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Hottop v. Behmor
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Discussions > Coffee > Home Roast > Hottop v. Behmor  
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Sam21
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Posted Sat Jun 23, 2012, 6:29am
Subject: Re: Hottop v. Behmor
 

JKalpin Said:

I think this thread is really about 'control'.  However, that is not the only criterion:

My Behmor looks good in the kitchen.  As I live in a condo, that's the only possible place for indoor roasting.

Under the stove hood with the fan on low it does not set off smoke alarms.

After I 'peg' the best spot for a bean (usually 3 roasts) I can reproduce that result time after time.  As I usually buy 10-15 lbs at a time it is more a production roaster than an experimental machine.

For 1/3 the price of a Hottop I get 80% of the bean potential.  It's an economical solution.

Posted June 22, 2012 link

You hit on some great points. I will say again that I think the Hottop and Behmor have separate niches in the home roaster market. The Behmor does fit on a kitchen counter a bit better and is a bit friendlier smoke-wise. It also adds in pre-programmed control to make it more approachable. Being pre-programmed obviously has nothing to do with quality of roasts. It's also more affordable than the Hottop.

The Hottop is a machine better suited for a kitchen/area with smoke ventilation (I use a window fan in my kitchen). It is better suited for somebody seeking total control, which adds a steeper learning curve than the Behmore. It also takes up a bit more room and does not fit in as easily as the toaster look of the Behmor.

I think that these machines really attract two different buyers. While there are some that may move to a Hottop from a Behmor, there are enough differences that I think it's comparing apples and oranges. Yes, they both roast coffee, but their build, feature set, etc. set them apart in a big way.

That's my take on it. I remember reading somewhere recently that Joe thinks something similar about the two roasters.
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frcn
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Posted Sat Jun 23, 2012, 8:21am
Subject: Re: Hottop v. Behmor
 

Sam21 Said:

... [The Hottop] is better suited for somebody seeking total control, which adds a steeper learning curve than the Behmore..

Posted June 23, 2012 link

All Hottops have always had some sort of automatic profile built in. The manual control on the "B" model (or pre-programming on the "P") is optional, so there may be a perceived "potential" of dealing with a steeper learning curve, but the "-er" ending on "steeper" is, by definition, makes it a relative term. I don't mean to make it sound like I'm getting in line to beat a dead horse..

 
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Sam21
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Posted Sat Jun 23, 2012, 8:41am
Subject: Re: Hottop v. Behmor
 

frcn Said:

All Hottops have always had some sort of automatic profile built in. The manual control on the "B" model (or pre-programming on the "P") is optional, so there may be a perceived "potential" of dealing with a steeper learning curve, but the "-er" ending on "steeper" is, by definition, makes it a relative term. I don't mean to make it sound like I'm getting in line to beat a dead horse..

Posted June 23, 2012 link

Still, the machines seem to cater to those that want a bit more control, or the OPTION of more control.
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germantownrob
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Posted Sun Jun 24, 2012, 4:43am
Subject: Re: Hottop v. Behmor
 

gucciago Said:

Yeah I should have explained more before posting... lol My point was in my case, at 8 oz id be roasting everyday just to keep my family satisfied... lol I have a Behmor and of course no experience with a hottop and it does look like a nice machine... I roast on a custom made sample roaster and it works fantastically and the behmor I use occasionally , Im currently in the market for a Dedrich 1kilo or similar for my local roasting business , however Ive been roasting for about 12 years and can get some fantastic roasts with the Behmor that even though different than the batch roaster, are great... 8 oz just to me seems like such a small roast for 1000$ after tax... so comment was not to badmouth the HOTTOP.. but to show frustration on the exuberant price ... I remember when it was around 600 maybe less it seems I remember and I thought it was too expensive then also! maybe I need try one.. maybe its Gods gift to small roasters! lol

Posted June 22, 2012 link

I own all machines you mention, comparing a $300, $1000, and $6500 (now $10k) machines against each other on the basis of batch size and price point does non of the machines justice. Each machine does what they do very well, it is when you compare the roast quality to one another there will be large differences.

If you are in the market for an IR-1 or other 1k machine for business I would really consider an IR2.5 ( for the same price as an IR1). When moving very efficiently I can do 8lbs per hour but would say it is much easier to do 6lbs and get some bagging done and other chores done while roasting, to me there is no profit margin in this small of a batch size. A machine that can do a minimum of 15lbs per hour allows some profit margin but little room for growth so for me the IR7 or 12 is the logical next step with the IR1 being the machine to work out profiles on, hence why it is called a lab roaster.
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Endo
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Posted Mon Jun 25, 2012, 8:34am
Subject: Re: Hottop v. Behmor
 

jammin Said:

It's all about gaining control over the roast.  You'd be surprised how much small changes in roast profile can affect the cup.

Posted June 22, 2012 link

So if I have manual control on my Behmor (opening doors, etc), it's no good. But if I have manual control on my Cremina, it's coveted over all other methods? Kinda ironic, no?

My opinion, once you have control, you quickly get bored. Some of my most memorable roasts (and shots) have been the accidents.
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frcn
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Posted Mon Jun 25, 2012, 10:35am
Subject: Re: Hottop v. Behmor
 

Endo Said:

My opinion, once you have control, you quickly get bored. Some of my most memorable roasts (and shots) have been the accidents.

Posted June 25, 2012 link

SO true. I still remember the flames and the aroma of melting plastic.. Ahh, the good times..  ;-)

"The worst roasts make the best stories."

 
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Sam21
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Posted Mon Jun 25, 2012, 10:50am
Subject: Re: Hottop v. Behmor
 

frcn Said:

SO true. I still remember the flames and the aroma of melting plastic.. Ahh, the good times..  ;-)

"The worst roasts make the best stories."

Posted June 25, 2012 link

I would have to disagree. Personally, I enjoy having control, because I get the most enjoyment out of the resulting cup and not from the process of roasting it. Yes, I do enjoy roasting it, but having all the control that the Hottop B provides, I enjoy the process quite a bit more. Again, this is just my personal experience with this roaster and I am in no way attempting to attack either of your points. There is control to an extent on the Behmor, I wouldn't argue against that.

Endo Said:

So if I have manual control on my Behmor (opening doors, etc), it's no good. But if I have manual control on my Cremina, it's coveted over all other methods? Kinda ironic, no?

My opinion, once you have control, you quickly get bored. Some of my most memorable roasts (and shots) have been the accidents.

Posted June 25, 2012 link

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Frost
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Posted Mon Jun 25, 2012, 11:14am
Subject: Re: Hottop v. Behmor
 

Endo Said:

........ Some of my most memorable roasts (and shots) have been the accidents.

Posted June 25, 2012 link

The good accidents (serendipity) are worth repeating. That's when good monitor and control really helps.
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jammin
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Posted Mon Jun 25, 2012, 11:34am
Subject: Re: Hottop v. Behmor
 

Endo Said:

So if I have manual control on my Behmor (opening doors, etc), it's no good. But if I have manual control on my Cremina, it's coveted over all other methods? Kinda ironic, no?

My opinion, once you have control, you quickly get bored. Some of my most memorable roasts (and shots) have been the accidents.

Posted June 25, 2012 link

Strong logic lol

Comparing pulling a shot on a Cremina to roasting coffee makes no sense.

Learning to control and shape a roast is an art and one that is not learned overnight.  With much practice, one can learn to coax special things out of a bean that normally might be missed.  You know the memorable accidents you've stumbled upon?  Those can be reproduced with the proper equipment and skill.

 
roast your own
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IMAWriter
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Posted Mon Jun 25, 2012, 12:08pm
Subject: Re: Hottop v. Behmor
 

JohnF Said:

But this point it time when you are asking the question is Behmor mania hour. I think you are going to get a slew of advice in that direction.

John F

Posted January 21, 2008 link

John I believe that's an unfair comment, and infers that the behmor is somehow inferior, or that behmor uses are "fan boys."
I have MUCH respect for the ability of the Hot Top to do an excellent job, with it's additional programmability.

But if you're going to comment, why not discuss 8-9 oz max roast versus up to 1#...which I've done consistently, with the same Behmor for over 400 roasts. I GENERALLY roast 13-14 oz, as i find it does exactly what I want there.
The top of the line Hot Top is a proven winner, as is the Behmor, provides slightly different taste profile than the Behmor, and has it's fans, and deservedly so.

Customer service from Behmor is beyond reproach (IMO), and Im sure Randy Glass, or some other Hot Top user will chime in regarding CS. I have to figure it's good, or the word would get around FAST!!

For ME, the lack of filter changing and cleaning, ease of use, and capacity favor the Behmor.
For others, the operating features of the HotTop, which more closely resemble a professional style roaster may make up for the smaller batch size.
From what I understand, the HotTop has a nicely designed cooling system, very important for getting a roast where you want to.

Both roasters allow for experimentation, though the Behmor is a bit more of a "seat of the pants" thing.

IMO, you can't go wrong with either.

Whoops, one more thing to consider is price.
The HotTop is, I believe $899?
The Behmor $299.

Disclosure...I've made it clear that I have never used a HotTop, though I've tasted roasts through it and the Gene Cafe.

In the beginning, I was a Behmor Beta tester for Joe, though just one of several.
I do not believe I have posted regarding the Behmor in any way that would show me to be a "fan boy"...just a happy user.





EDIT...I'ver been away, and didn't read on on this thread. Thanks, in general for not making this a pissing contest.
We, as home roasters are lucky to have several choices. All outstanding, for the price.

BTW, slightly off topic, I'd encourage anyone home roasting to purchase 20 pounds of artisan roasted a year, as a benchmark. Some of these guys do amazing things with a city++ espresso blend. Not I, though I working on it!!

Again, APOLOGIES for re-stating what others have already stated. My bad...just exhaustion from a 5 day trip to Texas.

 
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