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Topic: Hot Top-v-Gene Cafe (3 msgs / 79 lines)
1) From: Jeremy DeFranco
Tim,
     You proabably can't go wrong with either, however I have only had
experience with the Gene Cafe, so I can't say that with complete certainty.
The one caveat is that Hottop will be coming out with a new model within the
next couple of months that will have programmable profiles. So If you were
thinking about a hottop, you might want to shoot hottop usa an email, and
see how soon till the new model is released. Personally, I love the Gene
Cafe. IMO, the major drawback is not the cooling or design or any of that
stuff- No complaints at all on flavor- It's the small batch size. But this
disadvantage is really here nor there when comparing against the Hottop,
since they each can roast equal amounts. I do hear that the Hottop will tend
to mute the more delicate and acidic flavors of many beans, though, esp. at
the darker roasts. But this might be desirable to you if you like more body
to your coffee. I like the Gene Cafe, because it's versatile in this regard-
you can accent the bright notes if you want, or simply roast longer for more
body. Albeit, I'm sure the Hottop adds a characteristic to the body that
probably can't be matched by a non-pure drum roaster. But FWIW many artisan
roasters claim air is a better roast medium for not muting flavors, and
providing the most even roast. You can beleive what you want, though...I
don't have enough knowledge to back that up or refute it, but after some
reading, it does seem scientifically sound when viewed from a physics point
of view. Then again, you may not care for really bright flavors. Either way,
neither the Hottop nor the Gene Cafe are air roasters, but the Gene Cafe
kind of combines the best of both worlds you could say. It makes a nice
compromise. Have fun with whatever new roaster you choose. Cheers! Jeremy

2) From: Les
Jeremy,
Your post was great.  I think I can sum up your post this way, "you have to
think when you roast".  Roasting is done as much by being aware of what is
going on with the bean as by the machine that is doing the work.  One of the
most fun ways of roasting is with an Androck Popcorn popper over fire.
Pecan Jim promoted this method.  This is a hoot because you control every
variable.  You can't push a  button and roast.  You have to be thinking and
moving throughout the roast to make it happen.  One time while roasting over
the campfire, I realized that I could PID my Androck.  I remembered back to
Jr High (I did learn something!) reading *Fahrenheit 451* by Ray Bradbury.
The title of the book comes from the temperature that paper burns. 451
degrees is a good roast temperature, so I put a PID on the Androck (Paper
Indicator Device).  When the paper began to burn, I knew I was moving the
beans in the heat column at about 450 degrees.  It did help with the
roasting.  So, no matter what device you use, don't forget to use the most
important roasting tool, your brain.  I controlled profiles for years with
an on-off switch on the heating element of my P1.  There is no perfect
roaster.
Les
On 11/1/06, Jeremy DeFranco  wrote:
<Snip>

3) From: Jeremy DeFranco
-Right on- no roaster is perfect, but with some brains and ingenuity, you
can get it pretty close to what your idea of perfect is. That PID idea is
ingenious! Now I know what an episode of MacGuyver would be like if he had
to somehow roast some great tasting coffee in order to save his
life..Cheers!
Jeremy,
Your post was great.  I think I can sum up your post this way, "you have to
think when you roast".  Roasting is done as much by being aware of what is
going on with the bean as by the machine that is doing the work.  One of the
most fun ways of roasting is with an Androck Popcorn popper over fire.
Pecan Jim promoted this method.  This is a hoot because you control every
variable.  You can't push a  button and roast.  You have to be thinking and
moving throughout the roast to make it happen.  One time while roasting over
the campfire, I realized that I could PID my Androck.  I remembered back to
Jr High (I did learn something!) reading *Fahrenheit 451* by Ray Bradbury.
The title of the book comes from the temperature that paper burns. 451
degrees is a good roast temperature, so I put a PID on the Androck (Paper
Indicator Device).  When the paper began to burn, I knew I was moving the
beans in the heat column at about 450 degrees.  It did help with the
roasting.  So, no matter what device you use, don't forget to use the most
important roasting tool, your brain.  I controlled profiles for years with
an on-off switch on the heating element of my P1.  There is no perfect
roaster.
Les


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