These are the latest-release, improved models, KN-8828B-2K, with a thermocouple, and KN-8828B-2K+ with two thermocouples. The KN-8828P-2K ("P" model) has been discontinued in 110 volts, but it is still available in 220 volts. Shipping to Europe for 220volts models is $144 to $168.
For several years, the Hottop has remained the top-of-the-line home coffee roaster. It is the most expensive, but for those interested in a traditional drum roaster, it is well worth its asking price. It has a long history of satisfied customers and a well-deserved reputation. You will spend more money, but you will not be disappointed. We provide full-service, and repair. On our site, you will also find excellent, detailed instructions for the do-it-yourselfers.
Complimentary Coffee Samples: With your Hottop order, we will include, at no extra cost, three samples (one pound each, three pounds total) of great-quality Bolivian, Brazilian, Burundian, Colombian and/or Costa Rican specialty green coffee beans to get you started on roasting, as soon as you open the box! These beans are 100% Arabica. You will receive samples of our bagged-in-Grainpro at origin, Invalsa Superior (AA) and vacuum-packed-at-origin Invalsa Cumbre (AAA) coffee beans. If you prefer (custom regulations, lower shipment costs, etc), we can also ship the roaster without any coffee beans.
What is the difference between the two programmable (KN-8828B-2K, KN-8828B-2K+) models, and which one should I buy?:
The "B" and "B+" models are designed to roast beans by time. You will have full control over total roast time, target roasting temperature to end, fan speed, and heater power. These can be easily changed during the roast. The combination of variables that are subject to programming changes are virtually infinite. You should have some basic knowledge of the roasting process to know when to change fan speed and/or heater power in order to control the roast for best results. However, if you are new to roasting, just use the default values until you get more comfortable with the process.
The "B+" model has dual thermocouples (one for bean temperature the other for roasting chamber temperature. Both temperatures are displayed on the LED screen throughout the roast. It also comes USB ready to transfer data and store roasting profiles to a computer. The bi-directional USB port supports third party software for real-time monitoring and graphing of roasts as well as for computer control of the roaster. The roaster comes with an advanced LED with wide viewing angle, high contrast, and full roast data displayed in real time. It can save roasts to memory for recall
The "B" model only has a single thermocouple for roasting chamber temperature. It can save roasts to memory for recall
Most experienced roasters have found that the "B" & "B+" models allow you to change roasting parameters at anytime for the ultimate roasting control. The silver lining is, if you decide that you got the wrong model, you can just swap out the control panel. There is no need to exchange the whole machine, and we will be happy to help you with that or any other issue that you may have.
Because of its quality, versatility, and price, the full Programmable Hottop (either model B or B+) has become a professional sample roaster of choice compared with traditional, commercial sample roasters that normally retail for $3,000 to $5,000, without the smart programming and electronics. A sample coffee roaster is used by professional roasters to cup (and hence decide) which green coffee beans to buy. With the release of the programmable models (KN-8828B-2K and KN-8828B-2K+), the Hottop is definitely a serious contender in the sample roasting category. Be advised, however, that the Hottop is rated in the US as a household roaster and not a commercial roaster. We like to consider it a professional model.
Roaster features on ALL programmable models:
- Computer controlled roasting for accuracy and repeatability.
- Fully automatic roasting and cooling.
- User can end roast at any time. Just press the "Eject" button.
- Capacity: 8 to 11 oz per roasting, optimal 9 oz (230g - 300g/ 250g optimal).
- Roast cycle: 17 to 23 minutes.
- External cooling tray with agitation arm and cooling fan. Beans cool in 4 to 5 minutes.
- Easy cleaning.
- Very quiet operation.
- Built-in smoke reduction system. Washable & replaceable filters.
- Stainless steel cover and drum.
- Large window gives good view of the beans during roasting.
- Audible signaling of roast progress.
- Heat element: 750 Watts.
- Steel Drum: 4 x 8 inches.
- Viewing window: 4 inches.
- Height: 14 inch, Width: 10 inch, Depth: 19 inch
- Weight: 19 pounds, net
- Voltage: available only in 110-120 volts
- Warranty: One year for parts labor. 30-days, money-back, satisfaction guarantee.
Basic Programmable Model
Basic Plus Programmable
- Accurate K-thermocouple
- Temperature, time, and fan speed can be programmed and monitored at any time
- Can store (and re-store) three roast profiles
- Auto mode allows simple operation without programming, just like older models
- Digital display & measurements.
- Dual K-thermocouples. USB Ready
- Temperature, time, and fan speed can be programmed and monitored at any time
- Can store (and re-store) three roast profiles
- Auto mode allows simple operation without programming, just like older models
- Digital display & measurements
This large, professional roaster is designed and manufactured in Taiwan by Chang Hue Industrial Corp, which also designs and manufactures vertical and horizontal rotisseries, food dehydrators and an electronic-temperature-control, pourover drip coffee maker. The coffee roaster is distributed and sold worldwide. We are an authorized worldwide distributors and hence we carry all the necessary parts for repair, replacement and/or warranty claims.
The full-color 44 page Owner's Manual is complete and well written with plenty of directions for using, cleaning and maintaining your roaster. You can also easily troubleshoot electrical, mechanical and roasting/coffee problems by using this colorful guide.
The venerable Hottop - the Basic Programmable
The latest-release KN-8828B's design is firmly established on the dependability and solid reputation of its predecessors. Some of these time-proven features include: a) The large, external cooling tray with forced air, which quickly cools the beans. The heat is removed away from the hot drum after the roast is stopped -a critical function for best taste. b) The large glass viewing window, which allows viewing of the beans during the roast. c) Extremely quiet operation makes it easy to hear the "cracks" and monitor the roasting. d) Heavy duty components and high quality electronics for dependable operation e) Stainless steel roasting drum and outer surfaces. f) Nine ounces (250 grams) rated capacity (green coffee). g) Replaceable filters to help remove particulate matter and lessen smoke production.
The KN-8828B model gives the user complete manual control of all parameters while still allowing those new to coffee roasting to easily and successfully roast from the very beginning Simply plug the roaster in, press the "POWER/START" button three times and the roasting process begins. Add the beans when the machine beeps ready and you can allow it to roast and then eject the beans automatically or you can manually end the roast at any time. As the user advances in her/his knowledge of coffee roasting, the various roasting parameters can be easily controlled without complicated programming. While the roast progresses, the user can use the simple keypad to change various functions, as can be seen below:
1 - START/POWER - The largest button at the top of the control panel is for both POWER and START. Only one of these two choices will be illuminated in the LCD display at any given time so that the button can be easily used for its dual function.
2 - EJECT - This is always available during a roast. Use it to immediately stop the roasting process and send the beans into the cooling tray.
3 - SELECT - The circular arrow is used to cycle through the various parameters that can be adjusted. Adjustable parameters are Target Time, Target Temperature, Fan Speed and Heating Element Power.
4 & 5 - CHEVRON ARROWS - The Up and Down arrows are used to change each of the four adjustable parameters explained below. If at any time a parameter is at its extreme (highest or lowest possible setting) that arrow will not be available.
The control panel uses an easy-to-read LCD display to give the user all the information needed to successfully complete a roast. By glancing at the four simple display areas the current process is easily understood:
1 - Time - Before the start of a roast, the user can program in the length of time. This is called the Target Time. During the roast the time display will countdown the remaining time in the roast. If the Select arrow is used to choose the time display it becomes encircled (as shown above). The remaining time can now be modified by adding or subtracting time using the Chevron up and down arrows. At any point in the roast, if the time display reaches 00:00 the KN-8828B will automatically eject the beans. The total roast time (time elapsed + time remaining) cannot exceed 25:00 minutes.
2 - Temperature - During the roast, the temperature display can show two different parameters. If the Select arrow is used to choose the temperature display it becomes encircled. This is the Target Temperature which, if reached, will automatically eject the beans. When the display is not encircled (as shown above) it is the current temperature in the roasting chamber. The Target Temperature can be changed at any time during the roast up to the maximum of 428 F. If the Target Temperature is lowered to the point that it equals the current temperature the beans will be ejected.
3 - Main Fan Speed - Five speeds are available. Each of the four bars represent 25% of the fan's speed. When no bars are showing the fan is off.
4 - Heating Element Power - Eleven selectable heating levels. Each bar represents 10% of the heating elements power. When no bars are selected the heating element is off.
All four parameters explained above can be regulated within their respective ranges by the user at any time during the roasting process.
The manufacturer has gone to great lengths in the design of this new model to be sure that current owners of a Hottop coffee roaster will also be able to upgrade their roasters to the "B" model by replacing the control panel and the main board.
The newest Hottop - the Programmable Basic+
The KN-8828B-2K+ is more than just an update of the KN-8828B-2K which has been the coffee roaster to which others are compared. While maintaining the various safety features of previous models, the "KN-8828B-2K+" control panel has been designed from the ground up to be the most sophisticated control system that Hottop has ever offered. It incorporates many features that have been requested by users. Some of the new features include:
- The timer now can be set by the user to count up as well as count down!
- Bean temperature is now displayed. The color changes to this brown tone right around the time of first crack.
3. And now, environmental temperature is now displayed as well! Dual temperature displays using our newly designed K thermocouples. The bean thermocouple has been placed so that it is immersed in the bean mass throughout the entire roast for greater accuracy and more consistent results.
4. Bean temperature is now used for the Target temperature (maximum is set by the user) and is displayed separately.
5. All adjustments are now done using four knobs. Turn clockwise to increase a setting, counter-clockwise to lower. They have infinite rotation and are speed sensitive as well. No more pushing buttons or selecting a parameter before adjusting! No "up and down" arrows to deal with! The time and temp (the two top knobs) set the maximum targets for the roast. The Heat and Fan knobs (bottom two) are dedicated to those functions. Temp in 1% increments and fan speed in 10% increments. All settings are available at any time throughout the roast.
6. USB? Yes! The KN-8828B-2K+ has a USB port located on the side of the control panel. Artisan has been modified to accept the KN-8828B-2K+ and that version is now available. Artisan is now available with the communication and connection data for the KN-8828B-2K+.
7. The Fan speed and heating element power is constantly displayed
8. Other notable features are the relocation of the "EJECT button away from all other features to help avoid those frustrating mistakes that result in premature ejection. The control system has been designed around a new, higher-output heating element. Our testing shows that this model is very easily capable of dark roasts that so many enjoy. The setting knobs are the infinite rotation style control and the speed at which you turn them controls the rate of change of the parameter. The display itself is easily read and has a very wide angle of view from the sides as well as above.
The manufacturer has gone to great lengths in the design of this new model to be sure that current owners of a Hottop coffee roaster will also be able to upgrade their roasters to the "B" model by replacing the control panel and the main board, both of which are available as an upgrade "kit" for purchase from us.
We are an authorized manufacturer's distributor located on the East Coast (Boston). We service and support what we sell and we stock all necessary parts for immediate shipment.
Tech and After Sales Support: If your roaster is not operating properly and it is outside the warranty period you can ship it to us for repair and service. We will provide a written estimate before we start any work. Or, if you prefer, you can purchase the necessary parts directly from us and install them yourself. Detailed instructions on diagnosis and repairs are included here. Feel free to call us if you have questions, service issues, or need some advice on coffee roasting in general or how to use this roaster in particular. We provide unlimited email & phone support. Call or email us. The colorful, detailed (close-up pictures included) Repair and Troubleshooting Guidelines linked above are excellent and will make repairs easy and enjoyable. Follow the links and take a look.
Warranty Info: The Hottop roaster is warranted by the manufacturer for a full one year from the date of purchase. To obtain service under the warranty program, please contact us and we will ensure that you get your roaster repaired or replaced. The manufacturer provides a 30-day "Buyer's Satisfaction Policy" including a full cash refund. Shipping costs are not refundable. Please contact us for details or you may contact the manufacturer directly by email.
ILLUSTRATED HOTTOP ROASTING GUIDE:
To get started, make sure the roaster is located in a flat, level surface. It is going to get hot and generate smoke (quite a bit of smoke, in fact, if you want dark roasts), so leave plenty of space around it. Ideally it should be near a window or underneath a kitchen hood for ventilation. During warm (not hot, nor cool) weather you can use it outside, but be aware that ambient temperature has a direct impact on your roast. For this reason we recommend that you use the roaster only indoors and with adequate ventilation.
The Hottop has a unique feature, the pre-heating cycle. This is a familiar step to bakers; you need to preheat the oven before starting your baking. You start the roaster's pre-heating cycle by pressing the "Start" button. Do not drop the green beans until the pre-heat cycle is complete. The roaster will give you a loud beep to remind you that it is time to fill in the beans.
You will need to measure 250 grams (or 9 oz ) of green beans. This is an important step. Unlike the Gene Cafe, the Hottop is designed to roast the same amount of green beans every time. If you do not have an accurate, digital kitchen scale, we sell one on this site that it is reasonably-priced and that we recommend as a necessary with this roaster. You can use 1 and 1/3 cups (by volume) of green beans, but you will soon realize that measuring by weight gives much better results.
We have just loaded the green beans and the roasting process has begun. Notice the green color of the unroasted coffee beans.
After eight minutes the beans have begun to take on some color. Notice the small amount of steam coming out. There is a pleasant grassy aroma.
|We reached first crack (about 15 minutes). It sounds like breaking pencils. Beans are medium brown, more smoke is now present and smells like coffee!
||At about 18 minutes we reach second crack. This is a dark roast and the beans are being ejected. Yes, there is quite a bit of denser smoke now.
|Ejecting a lighter roast. Not so much smoke now. This is our preferred roast: "moderately dark". You maintain the fruity, acidic flavors of our Bolivian beans without an overbearing, ashy mouth feel.
||The cooling process is completed. Two arms rotate the beans while air is drawn down through the holes in the pan. Notice the nice, even dark roast. Cooling takes 4 to 5 minutes. This is a good roaster!
|An inside look of a just-used roasting chamber before cleaning and after the stainless steel drum is removed for required cleaning after each roast cycle. Don't skip the cleaning. Make sure there are no beans left inside. It will ruin your next roast.
|Side shot of the digital model after completing a dark roast cycle. The side filter (blue) is very visible. Keeping the wire heat protectors is very important. The roaster gets very hot! Notice the black handle on top. It belongs to the green coffee chute where you drop the coffee after it beeps announcing that it is pre-heated and ready to go. Is that cool or what?
||All the components that can be removed for cleaning. Notice the high quality of the stainless steel parts. Clockwise from the top left corner: a) perforated cooling pan. b) side filter (disposable), c) roasting drum, d) glass window, e) top metal charcoal filter (replaceable), f) drum bearing plate, g) chaff collector, and h) green beans drop-down chute cover
INVALSA PRODUCT REVIEW:
During our extensive tests, we were impressed with how solid this coffee roaster is built and how easy it is to use it. We roasted all sorts of beans (including decaf) and were impressed with the overall results. All models allow you to change the time of the roast. The temperature is controlled by the computer, which may be a positive or negative aspect depending on your point of view. If you like to change the temperature to achieve your preferred roasting profile, this is a negative. Such users should opt for the Gene Caf, or even the I-Roast2. On the other hand, if you have your hands full with the time of the roast and you rather just let the computer handle the temperature, this is a positive. By the way, there is debate among roasting experts as to whether changing the temperature during the roast is a good thing. Michael Sivetz, the inventor of "fluid bed" roasters, for example, thinks that the quicker you get to 482 F degrees (and stay there), the better the roast will be. As you can imagine, Mr. Sivetz doesn't think much of "profile roasting" because most roasters (even the expensive, commercial ones) do not have the ability or accuracy to measure bean temperature (the important variable), and simply measure "roasting chamber" temperature, which is not a good indicator. We will not settle the debate here. We just believe in full disclosure.
The roaster defaults at 18 minutes, which makes for a light roast. Using our Bolivian beans we have found the best results at 19 minutes for Primera Extra (A) and 20 minutes for Superior (AA) and Cumbre (AAA). You need to experiment and discover the level that best fits your preferences. Roasting is also influenced by ambient temperature and humidity, density of the bean and the voltage on your electrical circuit. So experiment, and take our levels as starting points. That is where the fun in coffee roasting comes: doing your own thing and then bragging to your amazed family and friends, who up to then have probably never enjoyed truly fresh-roasted coffee.
Even though, as a roasting principle, we prefer the "fluid bed" roasters because they produce sharper, cleaner, more flavorful coffee since the beans are always surrounded by air and never touch any metal surface (surfaces accumulate burned-up oils, which over time become rancid and affect the flavor of the new roast), with regular and aggressive cleaning, this roaster could produce intense flavors and deep, subtle bodies. For drum roasters it is important to do aggressive cleaning in order to prevent the accumulation of over burnt or rancid oils that will accumulate on the inside surfaces and impact future roasts. However, drum roasters retain the charisma of a technique that has been used successfully since the 15th century. A drum roaster allows you to roast more "by the senses" (smell, color, sound) than "by wire" (fully automated equipment). With the release of the programmable models, the Hottop has now joined the "roast by wire" category as well.
In any event, we are here to help you and to make your progression into a "Roastmaster" a truly rewarding and exciting journey. Do not hesitate to contact us. We answer all questions and love to talk about coffee. Can't you tell?
PLEASE NOTE that we strongly recommend purchasing shipping insurance on this item. It is a valuable item, and waiving insurance means that you will bear all of the risk of loss or damage after we ship this item to you.