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.
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.
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.