Jun 7, 2006
New roaster in da hizzle dizzle hawse. The Hottop roaster landed on the front doorstep at 1205hrs and in just over five minutes I was heating it up for the first batch. I had read so much about the roaster that it felt pretty comfortable right away. I could have had it going in just under five minutes but as you can see Evan "need to help dad". I noticed the protective plastic film was still on the control panel four minutes into the roast (I started the roast at a 21 minute countdown). Gotta say that this roaster is a serious piece of eye-candy. Fit and finish are really better than I expected. Impressive.
The roaster is soooo quiet compared to the iroast2. Essentially you just hear the beans turning in the drum. First and second crack can be heard across the room. There is a great big viewing port directly above the cooling tray and slide-out chaff tray, which allows you to visually monitor the roast progression. The view into the chamber is really quite good. Looking into it makes you realize that 250gms of green is a heck of a lot more than the iroast2 (if any commercial roasters are reading this, stop shaking your head and laughing).
The first roast I did was the Makeda Harar, it turned out perfect (beginners luck). I will say that second crack came up faster than I expected, but between the temp reading, the visual, the cracks and the starting signs of smoke I had a pretty good idea where I was at. I stopped it about 10-15 cracks into second. Shiny brown, no oil or divots, Full City right at its peak. I was surprised how much more consistently roasted this was for being a Harar, not sure if it is the Hottop or the Harar as this is my first time roasting the Makeda. Ejecting the beans into the cooling tray was a treat, this photo shows the cooling tray up close, the two blurry spots are the arms rotating in a circular fashion, underneath the just roasted beans. A well executed design feature. 105gms in a bag for Doreen to take to work and 108 grams in a bag for an espresso blend, makes for approx 17% weight loss. I was torn between roasting lighter for Doreen so she could get the fruitiness of the Harar or taking it to Full City so she could get more chocolate and I could use it as a espresso blend. Ultimately the espresso won out, haha. Following that it was a full load of San Juan Del Oro SWP Peru decaf, then a load of the Brazilian Cachoiera Estate Red Catuai. This photo of Keegan has little to do with coffee, it was taken this evening when we had some company over; he just looks much older than his birth certificate says he is. Or maybe he's just growing up.
Most of you know to expect over the next several day some more photos, more Hottop roaster commentary and of course more gratuitous roasting photos - all randomly mixed in with espresso pulls and zoo animals on espresso machines. A veritable coffee love-in.