Swiss coffee equipment manufacturer Tone discusses how it has taken tankless water heater technology and elevated it to a whole new level with the Tone Touch 03.
When Holger Welz founded Tone Kaffeemaschinen AG in 2018, he was inspired by the technological innovations and advances being made in the world of espresso equipment, and wanted to create the same revolutionary equipment in the brewing world. He had a vision to invent a boilerless brewer, a feat that had not yet been achieved.
After meeting Markus Widmer through friends in Switzerland, a world-class engineer from the medical and aerospace industry, Welz set Widmer the challenge.
Widmer, now Head of Research and Development at Tone, worked with the company to help create the world’s first boilerless and energy optimised brewer, and the result, is the Touch 03.
It is Tone’s latest commercial coffee and tea brewing equipment and an automated, urn-free drip brewer with the capability of also brewing 1.5-litre batches.
Tone General Manager Jörg Krahl says the Touch 03 was designed with the idea of elevating the precision and consistency of temperature, flow and pulse control available on filter coffee and tea brewing equipment.
“The Tone Touch 03 is the world’s first boilerless coffee brewer with temperature consistency of up to 99 per cent,” Krahl says.
The Tone Touch 03 uses an electronic heating system to ensure water is at the right temperature as it leaves the machine, eliminating the need for a traditional boiler. Krahl says the technology is a “game changer” for those that are limited on space, seeking consistency and are conscious of their carbon footprint.
“Being boilerless, you can simply place the Touch 03 on the bench, connect it to a water supply and electricity, and it will only take two seconds to heat up the water to 98°C,” he says.
“Traditional brewing devices have boilers with constant standby heating and energy wastage keep their water within the temperature range. The Touch 03 uses a completely different mechanism so there’s a huge savings on energy over time and you are super flexible to brew for example a green tea at 84 °C, right after your pour over with 95 °C.”
According to Krahl, Tone’s powerful Touch 03 brewer unleashes the full potential of coffee at the touch of a button, and connects with Windows, Apple, and Android software via an intuitive software that allow each user to define consistent brewing parameters as well as editing and sharing recipes.
“The intelligent recipe development system enables 100 per cent customisation of coffee, including the ability to vary product, volume, flow, strength, and temperature,” he says.
The Touch 03 offers controlled agitation, programmable flow rates, and detailed adjustment of pulse patterns at different stages of brewing. These can be further organised into three phases per profile, labelled blooming, turbulence, and development. These settings are expressed through four quick start brew buttons on the interface of the Touch 03. In the ‘freestyle mode’ recipes can be replicated from a local barista to a World Brewers Cup Champion.
Filter batch sizes brewed on the Touch 03 range from 100 millilitre single cup brews up to 1.5 litres. Water temperatures range from ambient room temperature up to a maximum of 99°C, and flow rates vary from as slow as one gram per second up to eight grams per second.
“Inside the housing is a black box [of electronics and pipes] where the magic happens. You can get this box out of the frame and build it in or on top of wherever you want it to,” he says.
The original launch plan for the Touch 03 was to greet the world in 2020 and make the rounds of international coffee and hospitality industry exhibitions and trade shows. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, it did not get that chance.
“Fortunately for us, our technology is so advanced and innovative, especially when it comes to brewing. We had a lot of partnership requests and the chance to expand our partner network and sales globally through these tough times,” Krahl says.
The General Manager says the company’s dedication to unmatched brewing precision and control was recognised when the Tone Touch 03 won the 2021 Specialty Coffee Association Best New Product Award in the Commercial Coffee Preparation and Serving Equipment category.
“Energy saving products as well as consistency in coffee beverages became highly sought after during 2021, which is one of the reasons why the Touch 03 stood out. I think the judges also saw how the Touch 03 can make a barista’s life much easier and allows them to focus on the most important aspect of a business: the customer,” Krahl says.
The global hospitality industry continues to face staff shortages in the wake of the pandemic, meaning skilled baristas remain hard to come by. Krahl says the Touch 03 assists with this challenge as its technologically advanced features increase efficiency in the workplace and aid the barista in matching their skillset.
“Nowadays, customers are highly educated on how specialty coffee is supposed to taste. The Touch 03 can produce the perfect pour every time at the touch of a button, meaning the barista is free to chat with the customer, sell more coffee, adjust the grinder or recipe settings. All things that contribute to a more efficient and cost-effective business,” he says.
“Not to mention how easy the Touch 03 is for the barista to use. The barista is empowered to easily adjust brew recipes to profile various coffees by varying temperature, brew time, and a host of other parameters.”
According to Tone, its boilerless equipment also operates sustainably and consumes 10 times less energy than traditional brewing equipment with a boiler.
“During the research and development process we were not limiting ourselves to technology and material that is commonly used within the coffee industry. We also used as few parts as possible to reduce stock of spare parts for our partners” says Krahl.
“Imagine the running time of a boiler. Usually, it would take 20 to 30 minutes for it to reach the desired temperature. The Touch 03 uses ‘energy on demand’ and has four LEDs that consume next to no energy. One Touch 03 currently saves 1.3 tonnes of carbon pollution annually compared to a brewer with a boiler and we have significantly reduced our carbon footprint thanks to this product.”
Krahl adds the Touch 03 is not only energy efficient, but its intelligently designed technology is committed to brewing quality and consistency.
“Designed to address every customer’s need, the Tone Touch 03 offers a whole new level of flexibility and automation in brewing. It’s the most revolutionary brewer in today’s market and has all the operational capability to take the modern brew bar to the next level,” Krahl says.
This article was first published in the November/December 2022 edition of Global Coffee Report. Read more HERE.