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Great coffee kick-starts design innovations

In homage to the 1940s iconic Italian stovetop coffeemaker – Atomic – Hiron embarked on a personal quest to develop his own classic for the 21st century; he turned to Tiller as industrial designers of choice. Charged with a simple task: ‘put the body back into stovetop espresso,’ Tiller leveraged its considerable network, tapping into thermal dynamics and mathematics, as well as bringing on board top consultants specialised in fluid mechanics and stress analytics, to develop the machine’s prototype. Over a two-year period of intensive research, design, development and collaboration, Hiron and the Tiller team have produced something that not only ‘puts the body back into stovetop espresso’ but endures as a true masterpiece of aesthetic, and industrial design.

Robust body. Stainless steel finish. Built to last.

Beneath the gleaming steel body, the heart of the machine reaches a pressure level five times that of the Atomic. With its independent boiler bolted into the base, Tiller designed the machine to have a 100 bar pressure rating, enabling it to turn out tightly filtered, full-bodied coffee that would meet the approval of even the most fastidious and unforgiving coffee aficionados. With an internal brewing system designed to control pressure and temperature precisely, combined with a patent-protected fluid delay valve, and ongoing steam pressure equal to that of commercial espresso machines, Tiller Design’s team has kick-started a revolution in thermal stability in the stovetop extraction arena.

Two shot precision

The boiler ingeniously employs a dosage system that only allows a 60ml espresso to be extracted (perfect for two coffees while preventing burning of the grind) with full boiler pressure steaming the milk into a luxuriant crema. In the words of one aspiring barista: ‘Lovely little machine sits on my kitchen bench. It does two fantastic macchiatos with a perfect extraction and plenty of steam to froth the milk’. Says company founder, Robert Tiller: “It’s what I love about industrial design: making new discoveries and finding innovative solutions. To achieve that you have to examine the product, even if its only at the point of conception, from every conceivable angle, never forgetting for one second the purpose–how the thing is ultimately going to be used”.

I’ll be forever appreciative of what’s been achieved by Tiller Design with The Little Guy. I still couldn’t imagine a better experience being possible.

Craig Hiron
CEO, The Little Guy

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