HotTop vs AlpenRost

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HotTop vs AlpenRost

Postby TISRI » Mon Jul 26, 2004 11:58 am

Hi all,

I've just sent an Aerolatte home roaster back to the supplier because it completely failed to provide a satisfactory roast. I'm looking at getting either an AlpenRost or a HotTop to replace it, since I've still got several kilograms of green beans.

Before stumping up my £250/£500 for one of these things I'd really like to see one in action, specifically to see beans being roasted to second crack so they come out nice and oily. I've found two places that stock the HotTop but both are up North and a long way for a London-based chap to travel to watch some beans getting roasted.

Can anyone suggest anywhere near London (SW rather than NE if possible) where I can see these things in action? Or can anyone offer their thoughts over why I'd choose one machine over the other?
TISRI
 

Postby phil » Mon Jul 26, 2004 12:15 pm

Hi Guest

Firstly, read the article about the Hottop on this site. OK as the author I would say that I suppose! :wink: Also read the other articles that the article links to.

You haven't found two places that stock the Hottop btw. Only one really does. The other one - well I'm not going to comment further in a public forum. If you want more specific information on UK sources drop me an email via the "Contact" option (top left on the page).

If you choose an Alp you have chosen (and here I risk the wrath of the several Alp owners on TMC):
  • Something that doesn't pre-heat so you don't bake the beans
  • Something that doesn't have a roasting profile like a pro roaster - it's just an oven with a drum
  • Something where you can't easily see and hear the roast going on
  • Something that many people have had significant reliability issues with


If you choose a Hottop the first three remarks have the opposite answers (it does preheat, it does have a profile, seeing and hearing what's going on is incredibly easy) and in my opinion it's a robust and reliable piece of kit. Mine's been rock solid for 18 months.

I live in Wiltshire which is also a bit of a trek for a demo, but I do work in the City if that helps you drop by for a chat about the machine.

BTW, as a courtesy what do we call you please (first name is fine)?

Phil

Site Admin and self-confessed Hottop enthusiast
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Postby Guest » Mon Jul 26, 2004 1:42 pm

Thanks for your input Phil. I read your article (three times in fact) but couldn't find anything anywhere near as comprehensive for the Alp.

If you're based in the City during the day would you be agreeable to letting me buy you a beer in exchange for picking your brains? I would offer a coffee instead, but doubt the local Starbucks can match the results of the HotTop :-)

You're right, Swindon is a long way to go for a demo - it's also a fair old way to travel in to work every morning... further than I'd choose anyway.

If you'd like to take me up on the offer of a beer (or a coffee, for that matter) drop me a mail at john2@another.com

Thanks again

John
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Postby phil » Mon Jul 26, 2004 1:54 pm

OK John I've sent you an email. Let's take it from there.

Phil
La Spaziale Spazio 2 group semi-auto

La Spaziale Lusso grinder (espresso),
Macap MC4 shop grinder (brewed coffee)
Three Thor tampers
Two Hottops, first since Feb 2003
No partridge, no pear tree either
Conas, Zassenhaus hand grinder....
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Postby Joey » Mon Jul 26, 2004 10:44 pm

Did try the Alp, too, but wasn't very satisfied. I got along pretty well with my HW Precision, and didn't have the time and nerve to start finding out how to "blind-roast" on this mini-drum. Once chaff started burning inside the chaff collector - that stank!!
I don't like it that I don't hear the cracks, specially because I did try many different beans at that time - I figured I would have to use a lot of beans of each origin until I found out the perfect profile for each. I'm not a patient person, I guess...

Good luck with your choice!

Joey
"Latte" is french for "you've paid too much for your coffee"
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Postby Guest » Tue Jul 27, 2004 12:16 pm

Joey,

Thanks for your thoughts - when you say that you didn't like it because you couldn't hear the cracks are you talking about the Alp, the HW or the HotTop?

Cheers
John
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Postby phil » Tue Jul 27, 2004 12:52 pm

If she couldn't hear the cracks then she cannot have been talking about the Hottop, that's for sure. Actually I'm fairly sure Joey hasn't had her hands on a Hottop. I think she meant the Alp.
La Spaziale Spazio 2 group semi-auto

La Spaziale Lusso grinder (espresso),
Macap MC4 shop grinder (brewed coffee)
Three Thor tampers
Two Hottops, first since Feb 2003
No partridge, no pear tree either
Conas, Zassenhaus hand grinder....
User avatar
phil
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Posts: 2321
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2003 12:05 pm
Location: Swindon, UK

Postby Joey » Tue Jul 27, 2004 4:05 pm

Excuse moi! Yep, I ment the Alp - sorry for the confusion. Smaller beans get stucked in the holes of the drum, btw. Forgot to mention that.
Joey
"Latte" is french for "you've paid too much for your coffee"
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Postby alans » Tue Jul 27, 2004 11:20 pm

I've had an Alp for over a year now and never had any problems hearing the cracks. I would agree with Phil's points in general but add that once you've roasted without seeing the beans a few times you get to know the other signs a lot better (especially the cracks) and the cost difference is a big one.

That said I'd love a hot top and think it's a far more "professional" roaster, just not willing to get one while I've got a working Alp!
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Postby Steve » Wed Jul 28, 2004 9:25 pm

Theres always ebay Alan :)
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Postby phil » Wed Jul 28, 2004 10:04 pm

You cheeky so-and-so Eeffoc! :shock: :wink:
La Spaziale Spazio 2 group semi-auto

La Spaziale Lusso grinder (espresso),
Macap MC4 shop grinder (brewed coffee)
Three Thor tampers
Two Hottops, first since Feb 2003
No partridge, no pear tree either
Conas, Zassenhaus hand grinder....
User avatar
phil
Founder Member
 
Posts: 2321
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2003 12:05 pm
Location: Swindon, UK

Postby Guest » Fri Jul 30, 2004 9:45 am

alans wrote:I've had an Alp for over a year now and never had any problems hearing the cracks. I would agree with Phil's points in general but add that once you've roasted without seeing the beans a few times you get to know the other signs a lot better (especially the cracks) and the cost difference is a big one.

That said I'd love a hot top and think it's a far more "professional" roaster, just not willing to get one while I've got a working Alp!


Just a quick update folks - I'm off to see the HotTop in action tomorrow (Saturday) and assuming it passes a quick "burn-test" (or not-burn test, depending on your viewpoint...) I'll soon be the proud owner of a shiny new unit.

Thanks to all for their input, and thanks especially to Phil for letting me pick his brains in exchange for a coffee!

I just know this isn't going to do anything to reduce my caffeine intake! :shock: :shock: :shock: 8)
Guest
 

Postby Guest » Sun Aug 01, 2004 7:19 pm

Final followup... I bought the Hottop. I wanted to see it roast some beans from an espresso blend to look the same as from the professional roasters. I put them in, gave them the cycle 7 with a couple of Pluses, and they came out looking absolutely identical. So the machine was sold, and the legend spread to another user. Now I just need to find something to do with a bunch of espresso beans... a sleepless few days beckons!
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Postby phil » Sun Aug 01, 2004 8:34 pm

Great new John! Welcome to the "Hottop Owners Club" ! :D
La Spaziale Spazio 2 group semi-auto

La Spaziale Lusso grinder (espresso),
Macap MC4 shop grinder (brewed coffee)
Three Thor tampers
Two Hottops, first since Feb 2003
No partridge, no pear tree either
Conas, Zassenhaus hand grinder....
User avatar
phil
Founder Member
 
Posts: 2321
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2003 12:05 pm
Location: Swindon, UK

Postby Guest » Mon Aug 02, 2004 12:16 pm

Thanks Phil. You should have my email request to sign up to TMC as a fully-fledged member by now.
Guest
 

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