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Hottop Roaster - Brad Bittinger's Review
Posted: March 15, 2006, 1:51pm
review rating: 6.7
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Hottop Coffee Roaster
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More About This Product
Arrow The Hottop Roaster has 27 Reviews
Arrow The Hottop Roaster has been rated 7.27 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 4, 2003.
Arrow Hottop Roaster reviews have been viewed 161,592 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Sam Decock 9.50
Bruce G 9.00
Aaron Tubbs 8.54
Doug Jamieson 8.50
Darshan-Josiah Barber 8.50

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 8.8
Manufacturer: Chang Yue Quality: 9
Average Price: $550.00 Usability: 9
Price Paid: $665.00 Cost vs. Value 9
Where Bought: Sweet Maria's Aesthetics 8
Owned for: 3 months Overall 9
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned:
Bottom Line: Quiet, even roasts.  ALL who appreciate the joys of really fresh coffee should buy this machine!
Positive Product Points

Even roasts.  Very quiet--allowing cracks to be clearly heard/differentiated.  SUPER product support from Hottop USA.

Negative Product Points

None, really.  Would prefer that display defaulted to temperature display rather than time display, and that you had a choice of time display (countdown or count-up) but it's a small point.

Detailed Commentary

Have done approximately 80 roasts in this excellent appliance.  All have come out just as I intended, save for the one Brazil Daterra that I was doing and my cellphone rang, taking my attention away.

The Hottop only operates in one mode:  automatic, where you set the time of the roast, and if you don't hit the "Eject" button, the beans will eject based on the time set for the roast.  Like most users, however, I set the time for the maximum allowable, then manually eject the roasted beans based on the color of the beans and the timing of the cracks.  (That's how the one roast got away from me.)  I have found that beans from the same lots can vary in the amount of time that they take to get to a target temperature, appearance, or timing of cracks:  if you set by time alone, I think that your roasts can be really inconsistent, as even 15 seconds plus or minus at that "full city" stage can mean a huge difference in the beans.

I like what the Hottop does.  It is obviously not perfect, but if Chang Yue comes out with one of a higher capacity (say, 1-2 lb roast), I'll be first in line to purchase it.

Buying Experience

As always, buying anything from Sweet Maria's is a joy.  The roaster came double-boxed and I have had no problems with it whatsoever.  I had originally purchase the analog unit, but when a digital control panel came up on Sweet Maria's "Sale Page," for $80, I jumped for my credit card:  that's why my digital unit's cost is slightly different than one purchased under normal circumstances.

While I'm at it, I should point out that, having purchased green coffee from a multitude of sources, I always come back to Sweet Maria's:  Tom and Maria's operation may not be the least expensive purveyor, but I have always received quality beans, and based upon Tom's Cupping Reviews, I always know precisely what I'm going to get.

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review rating: 6.7
Posted: March 15, 2006, 1:51pm
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