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Toper 1 Kilo Roaster: Looking for Comments
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Discussions > Coffee > Home Roast > Toper 1 Kilo...  
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Breeze
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Breeze
Joined: 3 Dec 2006
Posts: 744
Location: St. Croix, V.I.
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Espresso: Pasquini Livia S
Grinder: Mazzer Mini/Rocky
Drip: TechniVorm/Krups MB
Roaster: Toper 1 kilo
Posted Thu Apr 10, 2008, 10:38am
Subject: Toper 1 Kilo Roaster: Looking for Comments
 

getusnet Said:
Hi Breeze - have you looked at the Toper 1 kilo table top roaster?

Well I have now and their 1kilo is in the same ballpark as the Deidrich 1 pound HR-1, although higher in price for sure.  

What really gets me interested is the propane option with the Toper unit.  I pay .42 per kilowatt hour here for electricity (anybody want to trade bills) so even if I run the HR-1 on 220v, propane would represent a real energy savings, I presume.   I don't know the flow rates for gas or the thermal efficiency, etc.  

Am I sold on this unit....well no.   It is a self service program with a year's warranty which is ok with me.  My tech. support question went unanswered but I guess that's included in the self service program...diagnostics and parts shipments.  I have a reasonably high degree of faith that the Deidrich unit is top quality and fully supported.   I do not have a high degree of confidence that the same can be said for the Toper.

Anyone out there with real world experience on Topers?   Anyone out there who knows anyone with real world experience on Topers?  I'm going to do some further searches on my own but any informative comments are solicited and would be very welcome.

Tomas
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DavecUK
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Joined: 21 Sep 2005
Posts: 1,386
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Apr 10, 2008, 7:48pm
Subject: Re: Toper 1 Kilo Roaster: Looking for Comments
 

I had one (electric cafemino) for quite a while, and it was built like a brick sh*thouse, would certainly outlive me. The machine has many standard components so would be quite easy to keep running and spares were cheap. Mine was one of the very early Cafeminos, so I know they made improvements. The finish is industrial, but they are rugged. The roaster was well over 85kg in weight, which is a lot heavier than many other 1kg roasters.

The electric really doesn't use very much electricity in real terms, and the savings compared to gas will be incidental on such a small roaster. The great thing about the electric is that the heating is mainly IR and the flue requirements are not very demanding, because the flue does not get hot!. You can put your hand on the outlet of the chaff cyclone and keep it there for as long as you want....even after the roaster has been on 8 hours.

It's also not a toy, it really is built to back to back roast for hours and hours on end.....sure it will occasionally use up a heating element, but they will be about 20 bucks and you simply keep a few spares handy to replace as required....I was testing out elements (long story), so I went thru quite a few, but when I got it right for our 240V country, I think I roasted 200-300 of kg on the element and when I sold the roaster on, it still had the same element and I had used none of the 5 spares Toper had given me.

Roast quality was good and capacity was about 3.5kg per hour

I did review the roaster for a company selling it....but the review was not influenced by them, it was a locked file and a take it or leave it review, whether it was good or bad was up to me not them. If you want a link to the review, drop me an e-mail.
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Breeze
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Breeze
Joined: 3 Dec 2006
Posts: 744
Location: St. Croix, V.I.
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Espresso: Pasquini Livia S
Grinder: Mazzer Mini/Rocky
Drip: TechniVorm/Krups MB
Roaster: Toper 1 kilo
Posted Fri Apr 11, 2008, 1:40pm
Subject: Re: Toper 1 Kilo Roaster: Looking for Comments
 

Yes, that's all good Dave.   Your comments are about the only ones I found anywhere.   On the electricity/gas issue, you may be correct or not.  If you're not correct I guess that's one more reason to look at the gas fired Toper.   Most customers in the US pay around .10 per kilowatt hour for electricity.   I pay four times that and they have suggested that the rate is going up to over .50 per kwhr, and soon.  Most areas in Europe or GB are probably the same as the US.   Multiply your bill by four to five times to see where I'm coming from here!

Anyway, reliability wise your comments are of assistance in my deliberations.   I figure that including the extra shipping and higher price, the Toper will cost me another 2,000 USD to land here, over the much smaller capacity Deidrich.   I've got such a micro market that it is not an easy decision.   Anywhere with unlimited population, larger capacity is a no brainer.   Here it might be like driving a truck to pick up a loaf of bread.  

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Tomas
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DavecUK
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Joined: 21 Sep 2005
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Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Apr 11, 2008, 5:45pm
Subject: Re: Toper 1 Kilo Roaster: Looking for Comments
 

The usual problem when roasting commercially, is the roaster quickly becomes too small. I would say that a 1 pound roaster is far too small for any sort of commercial roasting, unless it's limited to sample roasting. The 1kilo, will only work out for a while, because when the business builds up, you would quickly want a bigger roaster.

Where I think these little roasters shine, especially the Toper, as it so looks the part (the absolute dogs nuts), would be behind a safety glass screen in a Coffeeshop, in a little roasting room for roasting the very coffee the shop uses and sells. What a draw for the customers and of course quality coffee to drink.

P.S. Even if the price of electricity trebled, over here, running such a roaster on propane would still be very expensive...it only really works for the larger roasters and then the gas would have to be properly supplied, not via propane.
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Breeze
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Breeze
Joined: 3 Dec 2006
Posts: 744
Location: St. Croix, V.I.
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Espresso: Pasquini Livia S
Grinder: Mazzer Mini/Rocky
Drip: TechniVorm/Krups MB
Roaster: Toper 1 kilo
Posted Fri Apr 11, 2008, 6:37pm
Subject: Re: Toper 1 Kilo Roaster: Looking for Comments
 

Dave,

Thanks.  Propane is it here, no Natural Gas.  Now I need to look into consumption rates before I even consider what I would have though the best choice in the land of extreme electricity cost.  

Probably the most difficult thing to convey about where I live is the population.   Let me try it this way.   By August or so every year, when the flow of tourists pretty much dries up, I can go weeks without seeing anyone that I don't recognize.  This fact goes directly to capacity.   I don't intend on roasting over 20 pounds of coffee a week  At 3 pounds an hour with a single pound roaster, that's less than 7 hours roasting.   Time may be a dear commodity in the real world but here I probably have 30 hours a week or more of discretionary time, even though I have a full time job.  (Full time here and Full time in New York would be vastly different expressions of the term)   My commute from job to home is 4 minutes 22 seconds.   Given some terrible average commute of an hour or better each way, that I understand many folks in the states do, that leaves me with almost ten hours a week to the good, if I subtract no commuting time from my life.  Likewise, my deliveries require less than a 5 minute trip off the mountain, which I'm going to make anyway.    

I appreciate your comments related to mo quantity and a growing business.   My responses are requiring me to think, and what I think is that I could achieve my goals on a single pounder.   (I'm doing 8 lbs a week on a half pounder, as it is)  

Next stop is to go back to Toper for flow rates and cubic ft. of gas required.  I can get a large tank installed and serviced by truck but if that option does turn out to be more expensive than electricity then WOW!
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RallyMike
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Joined: 18 Feb 2008
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Location: Illinois
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Roaster: Toper Cafemino
Posted Fri Apr 11, 2008, 9:29pm
Subject: Re: Toper 1 Kilo Roaster: Looking for Comments
 

Sorry for the threadjack, but Dave, how did you find an element for the Toper?  I've got a 110v unit and I'd like to be able to source this part locally, here in the states.  I got a spare from Toper but I think it's a 220v part as it doesn't get hot enough.

Thanks!
Mike
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DavecUK
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Joined: 21 Sep 2005
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Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Apr 12, 2008, 5:01pm
Subject: Re: Toper 1 Kilo Roaster: Looking for Comments
 

RallyMike Said:

Sorry for the threadjack, but Dave, how did you find an element for the Toper?  I've got a 110v unit and I'd like to be able to source this part locally, here in the states.  I got a spare from Toper but I think it's a 220v part as it doesn't get hot enough.

Thanks!
Mike

Posted April 11, 2008 link

Toper sent me quite a few, as I was doing some informal element testing for them (only for the UK). In the UK they were supplying 2.4kw or even more powerful elements that had a life of about 1 hour. This was because the higher tension (votage) was breaking down the insulation (partly because they got very hot). The same problems would not have happened at lower voltages, which are far less likely to break down insulation.

Then there was the issue of infrared heating about 70% or more, meant that as the elements got more powerful roasting times could actually go up (also due partly to thermocouple placement)! So I also sized the elements to give a balance between power, lifetime and roasting performance. Which for the UK on 240V was 1600W to 1800W elements...and you actually need to make the roaster temp hotter in warmer ambients and cooler in cold ambients. The swing is not large, but it needs around 5-10C on the temp setting cold winter to hot summer.....so I had loads of elements sent, burned out quite a few during testing :-). Asked them for about 5 x 1600W and 1 x 1800W element which they sent me. I only saw the internal Turkish invoice, and I think they were around $10 to $15  each. If you are going to get some, best thing is to order plenty as shipping costs for one will be prohibitive. you could also try Delaware Coffee Company (i think), who might be the US importers of the Topers.

if you measure the resistance of your spare element....or one half of it, you will soon find out whether its a 220V or 110V (e.g. is it around 25 ohms or so, if so then it will be 110V)

Once i got the element power correct, I think I roasted about 300-500kg in the roaster (I can't remember exactly) before i sold it, and the element was still fine, they seem to have a pretty good life (fairly good quality component)...but i would still want to have 2 or 3 spare elements. You will know when the element is going to fail as roast times will start to come down and roasts will become uneven as the element develops hot spots.
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RallyMike
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Joined: 18 Feb 2008
Posts: 6
Location: Illinois
Expertise: I love coffee

Roaster: Toper Cafemino
Posted Sun Apr 20, 2008, 9:45pm
Subject: Re: Toper 1 Kilo Roaster: Looking for Comments
 

Thanks for the reply!
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brentling
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brentling
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Posted Sun Apr 20, 2008, 9:59pm
Subject: Re: Toper 1 Kilo Roaster: Looking for Comments
 

Toper vs Diedrich, Electric vs Gas

hmmmm
Piping in late, but never mind.

I have a 1Kg Has Garanti electric, and a couple of bigger topers...

First off, electric and gas work differently, gas is like a race car - the power is *there* when you want it, whereas an electric element takes some time to generate the heat you want. Both systems work, and you will work out how to use the system you want. The electric bills aren't that big. We use more electricity with a 15 kg gas roaster than I did with a 1 Kg electric (of course we brown way more beans as well)

As for Toper vs Diedrich? It does come down to support. It would be reasonable to say that we are happy with the Topers having two of them, and not with the Has Garanti having only one. Stuff does, and will go wrong, and when it does you either need to be able to fix it yourself, or contact someone who will either do it, or tell you what to do.

Talk around users and find out who offers the best support where you are. You may be surprised, I have Topers cos they work, and in each case the price was right. I am not so concerned about after sales support (although I guess if I need it I can get it) but then I have pulled a commercial roaster to bits and put it back together so it isn't so scary for me :) the first time was... and it uses some fairly generic bits.

I have a friend with a Diedrich, and he got slacked off with the backup, so look around you will find good and bad stories about both.

Brent
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Breeze
Senior Member
Breeze
Joined: 3 Dec 2006
Posts: 744
Location: St. Croix, V.I.
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Espresso: Pasquini Livia S
Grinder: Mazzer Mini/Rocky
Drip: TechniVorm/Krups MB
Roaster: Toper 1 kilo
Posted Mon Apr 21, 2008, 4:12am
Subject: Re: Toper 1 Kilo Roaster: Looking for Comments
 

brentling Said:

Toper vs Diedrich, Electric vs Gas


Talk around users and find out who offers the best support where you are. You may be surprised, I have Topers cos they work, and in each case the price was right. I am not so concerned about after sales support (although I guess if I need it I can get it) but then I have pulled a commercial roaster to bits and put it back together so it isn't so scary for me :) the first time was... and it uses some fairly generic bits.
Brent

Posted April 20, 2008 link

Thanks Brent, I have not pulled the trigger yet but soon come!   On the support issue, I have none, nada, where I am which is around 600 miles N. of Caracas Venezuela or 1200 miles SE of Miami.   Your comment re: Topers cos they work is kind of what I was looking for, in terms of reassurance and the generic bits goes further in that direction.  DavecUK's comments relative to electric elements gave me pause but I understand what he was doing when he went through a bag full.  Here I have propane even when I don't have anything but self generated electricity, which is insufficient to power a 3kg roaster.  

I suppose having been burned with Chinese junk (not the seagoing vessel) so many times in the past several years I'm paranoid about some things.  The fact is, when I get a clear head, that some products, especially from a place like Turkey, are robust and probably better suited to a location like mine where one runs around with a can of WD40 in one hand and a Cuban Socket Set in the other (Adjustable Wrench).    

Thanks for the reply.   I've requested an inland freight quote from Delaware Coffee so I'm closer than ever to a buy!
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