First time roaster, any thoughts?

Roasters and roasting

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First time roaster, any thoughts?

Postby qwerty69 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:50 pm

Thinking about buying a roaster and was wondering if anyone has any recommendations for a machine for someone who's never roasted before.

From my investigations it's really down to behmor, gene cafe or hottop all of which have their ups and downsides.

I suppose my questions are:

Is the behmor too restrictive with its preset profiles? Or is this ideal for a first roaster?

Would the gene cafe be too complex for someone who's never roasted before?

Is the hottop all its made out to be? It seems quite expensive compared to the others.

In an ideal world I'd be able to find something with some preset profiles but that would allow me to program my own.

Any thoughts greatly appreciated.
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Postby simonp » Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:42 pm

A friend has the Behmor, which he is quite happy with, but does say it could do with some profile control, especially between 1st and 2nd crack.

I tested an early Cafe Gene and I wasn't overly impressed, mainly as it was so slow to cool beans and you had to rrally pre-empt when you wanted the roast to stop. Not ideal for a first timer IMHO.

I am biased as I have one, but yes the Hottop is most of what it's cracked up to be, mainly as it works like a mini pro roaster. It uses radiated heat, a drum and due to the dumping of the beans the cooling is fast so you can stop the roast exactly where you want it. BUT... They are now stupidly expensive :evil:

You have to be fast, watch what you are doing, and roast outside or ubnder a good extractor, but the popcorn maker is a good place to start. Ate least you cannot mess up large ammounts of beans! there is loads of info around on modifying them from power control (like my old article on here) to less drastic things like adding an old can on top to increase the capacity and keep the beans in.
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Postby GreenBean » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:16 pm

simonp wrote:... I am biased as I have one, but yes the Hottop is most of what it's cracked up to be, mainly as it works like a mini pro roaster. It uses radiated heat, a drum and due to the dumping of the beans the cooling is fast so you can stop the roast exactly where you want it. BUT... They are now stupidly expensive :evil:...

I agree with Simon, the Hottop is a great roaster. The Hottop P should be avoided, however, as it's controls are too limiting. I have also had good results with a Gene Cafe but, as Simon has mentioned, you need external cooling to get the best from it.
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Postby qwerty69 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:22 pm

In reality I think I'd like a Hottop but they are expensive and not available directly in the UK which is a bit of a pain.

I'll maybe drop an email enquiring about the B model to confirm the price and then decide from there. I'm right in thinking that although you get more control you can still program the Hottop B?
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Postby qwerty69 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:00 pm

Was just about to email when I realised that the B model was not listed on the .tw site only the US one.

Thinking I should email the US to enquire; any thoughts or does anyone who has been in touch with them recently have an email address?
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Postby Ian » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:25 pm

I've got a Behmor but am currently roasting with a pair of Prima poppers with much better results. As an added bonus, they are cheaper too.
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Postby qwerty69 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:30 pm

So lets say I was going to try roasting with a popper (until I decide on the hottop) which one? Are there any recommendations or required specifications?

I looked for Prima Poppers but beyond something expensive and shaped like a duck I can't find anything!
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Postby silron1 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:05 pm

qwerty69 wrote:Was just about to email when I realised that the B model was not listed on the .tw site only the US one.


If you contact Shelly in Taiwan she will update you with what's currently available in the UK together with the prices

Shelly Chiang <shelly@hottop.com.tw>


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Postby bruceb » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:22 am

In my opinion (somewhat late in this thread) there is really not a readily available alternative to the HotTop. I did over 2000 roasts with mine and was always delighted with the results. I bought the Maggio because it can roast a full pound if I want to. I would not say that the roasts are in any way superior to my roasts with the HotTop and I still use the HotTop as a reference roaster on occasion.
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Postby qwerty69 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:34 am

So I've just dropped Shelly an email asking about which models are available and price and will see what I get back.
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Postby qwerty69 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:39 am

Luckily I was sitting down when I checked my emails this morning:

KN8828B is £790.00
KN8828P is £890.00

including delivery.

Might need to be back to the drawing board as I don't think I can merit the outlay. Quick division by £5.50 says I can buy over 140 bags of roasted coffee for that amount.

Might have to hope I'm lucky and find a used one!
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Postby simonp » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:15 pm

qwerty69 wrote:Luckily I was sitting down when I checked my emails this morning:

KN8828B is £790.00
KN8828P is £890.00

including delivery.

Might need to be back to the drawing board as I don't think I can merit the outlay. Quick division by £5.50 says I can buy over 140 bags of roasted coffee for that amount.

Might have to hope I'm lucky and find a used one!


I did warn you. A bit different to the £400 they used to be (I got mine for £200 :) ). Same price in Dollars pretty much in the USA though so we get a poor deal. This is why the European distribution stopped I believe.
Profitec 700 dual boiler
Isomac Rituale
Mazzer Mini
Mahlkonig Vario
Chemex
Aeropress
2 Bodum press pots
Hottop updated to a B with Compuetr control
Imex roaster, dimmer mod on heater (under spare bed)
Rival popper, with split motor and dimmer mod on heater (retired)
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Postby qwerty69 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:43 pm

I know. I'd read they were expensive but its only when you see it written down. It really is a shame there isn't a UK or European distributer.

To be viable the price really needs to be closer to £550-600 then it'd be seen as a step up model from something like the Gene.

Might need to read up some more on the Gene and see if I think I could live with any downsides?!? Unless that is anyone wants to part with their Hottop at a more reasonable price?
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Postby simonp » Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:03 pm

Hmm, I just contacted Shelly from Hottop about the cost of the kit for upgrading my KN8228 to a KN8228B and was told that I shouldn't do this due to construction differences and that I should buy a new machine :shock:
Odd as 2 years ago they told me that I could and there is info on their USA website on doing exactly this. Are they short of cash? :roll:
Profitec 700 dual boiler
Isomac Rituale
Mazzer Mini
Mahlkonig Vario
Chemex
Aeropress
2 Bodum press pots
Hottop updated to a B with Compuetr control
Imex roaster, dimmer mod on heater (under spare bed)
Rival popper, with split motor and dimmer mod on heater (retired)
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Postby simonp » Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:07 pm

qwerty69 wrote:To be viable the price really needs to be closer to £550-600 then it'd be seen as a step up model from something like the Gene.


I think this is pretty much what Steve from Hasbean (who was the EU disty) told them but no luck so they got dropped. Like a lot of things people seem to think that you can just swap the $ sign for the £ one and reap the cash. they sem to forget that we have a recession like everyone else. It si such a shame as it is a fundamentally good product.

I guess I'll go back to my manual control project, not that it has gone anywhere in 5 years :lol:
Profitec 700 dual boiler
Isomac Rituale
Mazzer Mini
Mahlkonig Vario
Chemex
Aeropress
2 Bodum press pots
Hottop updated to a B with Compuetr control
Imex roaster, dimmer mod on heater (under spare bed)
Rival popper, with split motor and dimmer mod on heater (retired)
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