About this project
"It's actually very tasty. Really." the flatev tortilla quality was tested live in TechCrunch Disrupt earlier this week.
flatev is fresh tortillas at the touch of a button.
In less time than it takes you to toast a slice of bread, flatev transforms a recyclable pod of fresh dough into a hot and delicious tortilla.
What happens in the magic box?
The freshest little ball of dough jumps out of the recyclable pod and into the baking system, ready to be a tortilla. After seconds of baking, your tortilla slides into the warmer and waits for you to enjoy the aromatic perfection.
"You know that age-old problem, when you want to make fajitas at home but just don’t want to settle for store-bought tortillas? We’ve all been there. Thankfully, a new company has the solution.” Wired
"The Flatev eliminates the mess, effort and time spent making fresh tortillas. Genius, right?" Food & Wine
"We can’t wait to try fresh tortillas out of a Flatev tortilla maker. […] And there's no doubt fresh-made tortillas put store-bought tortillas to shame.” WFAA ABC
"We think it has a pleasing portliness fitting for a device that makes delicious things to eat!” Fred Bould on SysCon Media
"The next generation tortilla maker is taking tortilla making to a whole new level.” Latina Lista
"Flatev emphasizes the importance of using non-GMO dough flour and no artificial preservatives” Foodbev
Did you know tortillas have been around for 12,000 years? According to Mayan legend, tortillas were invented by a peasant that made them for his hungry king around 10,000 BC. flatev uses new technology to preserve the essence of that ancient culinary tradition.
Great ingredient are the only way to start a perfect tortilla. Organic flour, maybe a dash of salt and the purest spring-water make the right start. We add fermented starch (basically, aged flour) to deliver an authentic complexity of flavors (aging is a beautiful culinary process – think cheese & wine).
The magic come with the pods and the maker. The flatev tortilla maker takes pods filled with fresh dough. Those little pods hold the dough so air tight that the precise blend of quality ingredients for each flatev tortilla stays fresh through the moment of baking. Then the maker takes over to transform the fresh dough into the perfect tortilla.
Enjoy Carlos' favorite tacos: the Taco Al Pastor that inspired flatev, the Carnitas Taco with salsa verde and fresh cilantro, or savory quesadillas with melted Raclette cheese or Oaxaca cheese from Mexico! Perhaps you’re in the mood for something sweet and want to indulge with a flatev crêpe filled with mixed berries and acacia honey or filled with pineapple and Nutella.
If you are in a cooking mood or simply want to impress your friends, flatev tortillas are the perfect canvas for your culinary creations! flatev allows you to focus on the fun and creative part - the fillings!
The flatev machine has come a long way. The first flatev concept model was made of cardboard. The proof of concept worked with pneumatic energy and had a Kinder chocolate egg as a pod for the fresh dough! That meant everywhere the three co-founders went, every startup competition or pitch contest, they brought a small compressor.
We worked approximately 6 months on the first, electric working prototype.
Proof of concept
Our very first prototype (a rough proof of concept) worked with pressured air, and had no external design.
Our first official prototype worked on electricity, and we had good Swiss industrial designers give the machine a friendly and clean aesthetic look.
Our first major design evolution was a specially developed capsule for dough, a container to keep the cooked tortillas warm, and a loading mechanism for multiple tortillas. The device was very reliable for making tortillas. We still had to integrate the pod opening to the inside of the machine.
“Carnitas” was the name of our final major prototype. We moved from Swiss design to a great US designer, Bould Design. We added the crispness adjustment feature, and added a pod drawer to insert the pod into the machine.
Wait, why “Carnitas”?
“That’s visual and functional. Visual because it’s friendly, approachable. It’s a little piggy-like, which I think is appropriate for something that makes tasty things to eat." (Fred Bould, on FastCoDesign)
Nest & GoPro Designer and Nespresso Manufacturer
flatev has partnered with Eugster/Frismag a world leading OEM, manufacturer of brands like Jura and Nespresso for commercial machine development and production of Carnitas, and with Bould Design on the design and user interface. It’s the best of all possible worlds: Mexican taste, Swiss engineering, and a beautiful Californian finish.
Testimonials from the Homeland
The taste of tradition! We asked chefs and opinion leaders in Mexico City to try the flatev’s tortillas. They let us know what they thought:
Founder and CEO Carlos born and grew up in Guadalajara, Mexico eating his mom's fresh tortillas. After high school he had the opportunity to travel to Canada to learn English, backpacked through Europe to discover new cultures, and went to college in Switzerland. Throughout his travels, Carlos could not find authentic Mexican food, neither in restaurants nor in supermarkets.
Good tortillas are the foundation (literally and figuratively) of Mexican cuisine. However, outside of Mexico, good tortillas are very difficult to find. When Carlos tried to make tortillas from scratch with his mother's recipe, all he made was a mess. Carlos got frustrated, and he understood why so few people make tortillas from scratch.
Carlos started dreaming of a tortilla appliance that would be just as consistent and easy to use as his single-serve coffee maker. What if this system could also make different tortillas types and flavors like blue corn and chili? After some research, Carlos realized that his vision could go beyond tortillas. A single household appliance could potentially also make other flatbreads like roti, pita, and crepes.
Carlos met Jonas Müller in the Student House that served their universities. Jonas studied engineering at ETH Zurich (the MIT of Europe). The first thing Carlos asked Jonas was, "Could you make me a tortilla-making robot?"
Jonas said, "Sure. What's a tortilla?" One Mexican dinner later featuring homemade tortillas, and Jonas was sold. They got to work on their tortilla-making machine. This was Flatbread Evolution. flatev.
3 co-founders and one vision
Carlos and Jonas needed one more person to round out the core flatev team’s skills. They needed someone with business savvy, entrepreneurial experience, and connections. That person was Louis Frachon. Carlos met Louis at a dinner party, where he learned that Louis had traveled through Mexico and loved Mexican food there.
Louis, as a serial entrepreneur and consultant, got so interested in flatev’s concept that he started meeting Carlos every Saturday. Louis supported Carlos and Jonas, helped build Flatev, and brought investors in the early stages.
In December 2016, we will finalize our production line for the maker, Carnitas. Production Series One for the flatev makers will be delivered to our Kickstarter backers (you!) in Summer 2017.
The vision is to enable every kitchen to make fresh bread at the push of a button. Tortillas are only the beginning of the Flatbread Evolution. Many cultures around the planet have their own unique flatbreads and flatev will explore their deliciousness. The goodness of Roti and Crepes (and others) will soon follow the first flatev flatbread – the tortilla.
This project wouldn’t be possible without our friends and partners.
Risks and challenges
Creating healthy, delicious, affordable dough
At flatev we knew we had a big challenge; creating healthy, delicious, affordable dough that lasts, with no artificial preservatives. For the best tortilla-eating experience, only natural ingredients will do. Our tortillas are healthier, and they taste better. Nothing compares to flatev’s tortillas unless you make them from scratch using all natural ingredients.
The best tortillas are a little thicker than average so you can taste them, not just the filling! Our tortillas are much thicker than store bought tortillas, usually about twice the thickness. A great tortilla holds its own, and isn't afraid to be a little thicker. The perfect tortilla can be easily rolled, and has just the right bite. Your tortilla should hug the fillings without breaking, so your plate and fingers stay clean.
Our dough pods can be refrigerated for up to 6 weeks. To make sure they’re fresh when you get them, we’ll keep them chilled. Arranging refrigerated distribution, and using only high-quality organic ingredients are the reasons our tortillas may cost a little more than the ones you buy in the supermarket. We think it’s worth it for the convenience, the health benefits, and the truly delicious, traditional taste of our recipe.
We are always working on new ways to make the dough pod more affordable without compromising our quality standards, and your support on Kickstarter will help us with that.
Consistent quality, freedom of choice, and reduction of food waste:
Consistent quality - Inside each flatev dough pod is the precise amount of dough for you to enjoy one perfect tortilla. The pods control the precise blend of ingredients as well as their quality. The dough lasts 6 weeks and must be kept refrigerated.
Freedom of choice - Enjoy an assortment of different tortillas and wide variety of flavors within a meal. To start we will offer organic corn and flour tortillas in various flavors.
Reduction of food waste - Food waste pollutes the environment with carbon dioxide emissions. Make only the tortillas you need as you need them.
The flatev pods are made of polypropylene, plastic #5 (same material as your yogurt cups and bottle caps) that is fully recyclable. Our pods are different to single-serve coffee cups, because they have no residue left after usage and don’t contain filters. That means you can simply remove the pod foil from the pods, as you do with yogurt cups and recycle them in your nearest recycling station.
Delivery on time
Any manufacturing project can be faced with unexpected delays. We wouldn't want to ship you anything less than the highest quality. Our manufacturing needs could change, and with that, so might timelines. Fortunately, we're working with one of the top three worldwide appliance manufacturers. They have decades of experience, so we don't expect to encounter problems we can't over-come.
We know how frustrating it can be to not get your Kickstarter reward on time, so we'll always keep you up to date if something changes. We'll do everything we can to make sure you savor your delicious, perfect tortillas with your friends and families on time.
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