Roaster Guide: Hottop Coffee Roaster

As a home roaster, the world is your oyster. There are so many choices for a roaster these days - how do you know which roaster is best for you? To find the best match, you need to truly understand what each roaster offers, down to the smallest details. No matter what roaster you choose, you will love having a specialty home coffee roaster.

Finding the perfect roaster is a daunting process. So, we're diving into the nitty gritty details to help you make the best choice for you. Today, we will go over one of our favorites, the Hottop coffee roaster.

What Is the Hottop Roaster

The Hottop roaster is a drum roaster that can roast up to 8 ounces of green coffee beans. This roaster offers more control than others, letting you make tiny adjustments at all times.

If you understand roasting basics and want to dive deeper into your roast, the Hottop is perfect for you. The Hottop roaster is the closest at home coffee roaster to a professional roaster. You'll be able to roast for longer with more nuance and more durable equipment. On top of this, you can control:

  • The total time
  • Target roasting temperature
  • Heating element power
  • Fan speed
  • Toggle between auto or manual mode

If you're just getting into coffee roasting, the Hottop may not be for you. Because you have greater control over the roast, you need the knowledge to determine when to end it. All five senses are important - listening for the first crack, smelling the aromas, and watching colors change.

But if you're ready to take on this challenge, you'll get a front row seat to how your roast progresses. Pretty cool, right?

What Are the Differences Between the Hottop B-2K and Hottop B-2K+

At Coffee Bean Corral, we offer two Hottop roasters - the B-2K and the B-2K+. While we love both, we wanted to breakdown their differences for you, so you can decide which will work best for your needs.

The Controls

Both Hottop versions offer the same features outlined above, but the Hottop B-2K+ has some upgrades. The control panel has a new LED screen with wider views and higher contrast colors. You'll also see more roast data displayed in real time on the Hottop B-2K+.

Four bi-directional knobs allow you to tweak any settings during the roast. On the Hottop B-2K, you controls consist of a standard LED screen and three push buttons.

The Data

The Hottop + can store data and connect to Artisan software. It also has a USB port for other software. This enables greater roast monitoring and control.

The Roast Capacity

Aside from the data storage capacity, the roast capacity was also updated with the plus version. The original Hottop roaster can roast 225-250g of green coffee beans. The plus Hottop roaster can roast 225-300g of green coffee beans.

The Temperature Controls

Roasting more coffee is easier with the plus model, which has two new thermocouples for more accurate results. The thermocouples distinguish between the bean temperature and the environmental temperature. This gives you better insight into the roast.

Each roaster still offers the unique color changing display for the internal bean temperature. The colors will change from red to brown right before the first crack. You can also observe the actual coffee beans' color changes through the half moon style window.

The Cooldown Features

Both Hottop roasters have a cooldown cycle. But the Hottop plus has a quicker cooldown phase because of the external cooling tray and agitating arm. The software can even run the cooldown process automatically if you want.

The Roast Profiles

With all of the information provided by these roasters, it's relatively easy to evaluate roasts and duplicate them perfectly. You can save your favorite roast parameters on either roaster. Once you do, you can easily duplicate multiple roasts in a row without a problem. Repeating roasts saves you from having to correct settings each time after you found your favorite profile.

All of these amazing features allow for full control of your roasts on manual or auto mode. While the Hottop B-2K+ is upgraded in many ways, both roasters are great options.

General Roasting Tips for the Hottop Roaster

When we roast coffee, we make sure to follow 10 principles. We've listed them below for you to help you get the best roast, while being safe.

1. Roast in a well ventilated area
Your environment is a huge factor to the success of your roast, so make sure you are in a well ventilated area. Your roaster will produce smoke, and there's nothing like setting off the fire alarm in the middle of a roast.
2. Everything on the roaster is HOT!
Remember that every surface on your roaster is hot, especially the metal portions. Keep an oven mitt or towel on hand, and be careful when touching it.
3. Be sure to run the cooldown sequence
Because the roaster is extremely hot, it's essential to leave time at the end for a full cooldown cycle. Allowing your beans to completely cool will keep them from burning, and letting your roaster cooldown will prolong its life.
4. Don’t use an extension cord or power strip
To keep your machine running well, plug the cord directly into an outlet with the right voltage of 15 or 20. Using power strips or extension cords will cause problems with the timing of your roast.
5. Roast above 55 degrees ambient temperature
External temperatures, like extreme cold or heat, can negatively affect your roast. To ensure your target temperature is accurate, only roast when it is above 55 degrees around you.
6. Be mindful of little ones
The roaster is incredibly hot, so it's important to let anyone around you know not to touch it. If there are any children around, keep a close eye on them and let them know not to come near the roaster. Children are especially susceptible to injuries and burns.
7. Be sure to clean out the chaff collector
The chaff collector should be emptied after every single roast and during any standard machine cleaning. Chaff is very flammable, which is dangerous with a machine that operates at such high temperatures.
8. Roast on a clear, non cluttered area
There should be minimal equipment in your workspace. This way you'll have proper accessibility to the roaster. Be acutely aware of any flammable items and keep them far away from your roaster.
9. Change out the top and rear filters
We recommend changing out the filters about every 10 roasts. If the filters need to be changed, the machine will send you alerts and may even spit your beans out.
10. Record your roast
With all these things in mind, don’t forget to record your roast! If your machine has the database to save the roasting information, great! If not, no worries, grab that paper and pen to write out all the details of your roasting process.

Make note of the temperature, total time, and other settings so that you can easily replicate the roast later. Specific software, like Artisan, will let you add your own notes to the automatically saved data.

If you're struggling to achieve your desired roast, even with your notes, we created the roast level guides for you. Feel free to bookmark and refer to our Light Roast Guide, Medium Roast Guide, and Dark Roast Guide at any time.

Walk-Through a Roast with the CBC Team

We wanted to set you up to succeed, so our team at Coffee Bean Corral took the time to video a roast on the Hottop. We'll go through a short play-by-play for you here, but you can also follow along in the video.

If you’re still learning how to roast coffee at home, check out our guide on How to Roast Coffee at Home. We walk you through a roast step-by-step to give you a full understanding of how to roast coffee.

Go through a dry run

Once you've set up your Hottop roaster, you'll need to complete a dry run. A dry run is necessary to rid your equipment of all the "manufacturer residue". If you skip the dry run, your first roast may taste strange because the beans absorbed residue from the packaging.

The dry run requires the machine to be preheated for about 10 minutes. You can preheat it by clicking the "on/off" button and then the "enter/save" button each twice. You can ensure your machine is preheating by looking for a "P h" near the triangle on the top of the display screen.

After 10 minutes, any unwanted residue should be burned off, and your machine is ready to roast. Press "eject" to end the preheating process.

Preheat your maine to starcht a roast

To preheat your machine, press the "on/off" button twice. Then press the "enter/save" button twice. Keep pressing until "P h" appears at the top of the screen.

Once your roaster reaches the desired temperature, it will make a loud beeping sound. At this point, you can start your roast. Press "play" and add your coffee beans to the roaster.

Add your green coffee beans to the roaster

To load your beans into the machine, remove the chimney piece and place the funnel in the top. Pour your green coffee into the funnel, and then replace the funnel with the chimney piece. If there are any beans stuck in the chute, the chimney piece has a scoop at the bottom to push the beans into the roaster.

Adjust your roast settings

As the coffee beans roast, you’ll want to adjust some settings. You should adjust the fan first and then move onto the target temperature, the percentage of heat, and then the total time. Depending on which roaster you have, you will make these adjustments using buttons or knobs.

We recommend starting with a fan speed of 6, target temperature of 390 (for a medium roast), and update the heat percentage as the roast progresses.

Note: If your roaster is in auto mode at this time, making any changes will revert it to manual mode.

Observe the roast

As the beans roast, you can use the half-moon shaped window on the front to watch the yellowing and browning. The panel will also tell you what the internal bean temperature is, switching from red to brown before the first crack.

Now is the time to write down what you're noticing. You should record when each crack occurs, starting with the first crack. Take note of any color changes and when they happen.

Let the beans cool down

When the beans are finished roasting, they will be ejected into a cooling tray. An automated arm will move them around until the cooldown is complete. If your machine is on auto mode, your beans will eject on their own when your roast reaches 390 degrees.

The cooldown phase should take five minutes. At five minutes, the roaster will beep to let you know that it's done. You can turn the beeping noise off with the "on/off" button.

Store your freshly roasted coffee beans.

Place your roasted coffee beans into valved bags while they de-gas. After a couple of days, you can grind the coffee and enjoy your hard work!

Is the Hottop Coffee Roaster a Good Fit for You?

If you're looking for a high-quality roaster for home use, the Hottop drum roaster is a great option. If you have the basic roasting knowledge, the Hottop roaster will be a great fit for you. It will also give you the opportunity to learn and grow as a coffee roaster.

The easy-to-change featuresgive you complete control. You'll get some of the best results with this roaster and can easily streamline your roast by saving each profile. Overall, the Hottop is the perfect roaster for you if you are looking for a step above the basic roasting abilities of other machinery for sale.