Quest M3s or Hottop KN-8828B-2K+

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
ste

#1: Post by ste »

Hello HBs!

QUEST M3s or HOTTOP KN-8828B-2K+ ?

Would you mind helping me in this choice?

Looking for a solid upgrade from my hot air popcorn popper!

- Preferably electric although still resembling a commercial drum roaster as much as possible.

- Capacity 200-300g off green beans would suffice.

- And I would like to connect it to Artisan

- Simple to maintain

- relatively inexpensive (so no Bullet)

Anyone who can share their experience?

Thanks!

User avatar
Randy G.

#2: Post by Randy G. »

These are to very different roasters in two very different price ranges. I do not know if the current design of the Hottop varies from the last model I saw about 4 years ago.. Maybe five. Major cleaning of the Hottop requires the removal of a lot of screws and a good number of them go into the plastic parts so care must be taken. Chaff collects internally and even gets between the front cover and the glass. The airflow through it pulls the hot, dirty air over the drum motor and electronics. They talked about changing that, but I do not know if they did.but the controlmsysgem has a number of safety features and the roaster is (or at least, was) UL approved. I do not know if the Quest is. If not, it could be an insurance or liability problem if it causes a fire.

To familiarize yourself with the Hottop, go to the Hottop USA website and go through the repair procedures.
Espresso! My Espresso! - http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
LMWDP #644

Nick111
Supporter ♡

#3: Post by Nick111 »

Ability to Set and Forget(Never leave your roaster unattended though!)
We have a Hottop since July 2013.Several years back the heating element failed.I did the kit upgrade to B2K+.(Thanks to Randy G. for the detailed instructions).
Very happy with the machine.I love the auto functionality since we drink 3 kilos of coffee per month and I am not in the "head roaster"mood
all the time.
Full automation is a must feature on all my machines.Same goes for bread making and ice cream making.
I have no experience with the Quest but reading the forum posts over the years it comes to mind as a machine that is closer to a professional drum roaster.
Between the two I would go again for the Hottop.I recently had to choose between two ice cream makers.Same price range.One was praised for
its ability to reach pro level ice cream.The other for the operator choice of not being involved giving up a bit of performance.
Went for the second.

ste

#4: Post by ste »

Thanks a lot for the insight, it does clarify the main benefit of the hottop indeed.
I do like manual controls indeed: I brew my espresso entirely manually with the Flair, grind my beans with a hand grinder...although a coffee roaster is a completely different ball game, I might be more inclined for the Quest, which is also more compact and I seem to understand easier to clean. Must be quite difficult to use - I've seen coffeeshrub selling it only to experienced roasters.
Here in Dubai though, I could order the hottop or the Quest directly from Taiwan.
Thanks again !
Stefano

pcofftenyo

#5: Post by pcofftenyo »

I think that some of the Hottops have a way to connect to Artisan monitoring software so that plus automation is another plus. I don't routinely see folks chirping about breakdowns or parts problems but there could be.

I can tell you that there are pluses and minuses with full manual. Were I looking for a new roaster, I'd want a drum with full self-programmable auto features with complete manual override capability. 1 lb capacity with quality roasts possible in 7 minutes. Not that I _want_ to roast that short but I want enough power to do so and think that's a reasonable capacity benchmark, of particular concern with an electric heat source.

Have been interested in the Ikawa Pro but that's got its own story.

espressojr
Supporter ♡

#6: Post by espressojr »

I've went from popcorn popper-> SC/TO-> older upgraded hottop with artisan control (TC4C) -> recently got a Quest M3S with artisan interface (phidget to measure BT/ET).

I 'just' decided to sell my hottop as the roasts I got from it 'were' equal if not better to the Quest and I wasn't sure if I wanted to keep the Quest. Now that I am on the downward slide of the Quest learning curve, I believe I will be able to get (slightly) better roasts from it as it has better heat and air control. At least that is what I am seeing now on my artisan graphs (i.e. quicker reaction in the roasting curves to manipulation). Both will result great roasts.

A few other responses based on your questions:
I think the 'ideal' charge weight is about 150g for each machine, well below your weight. I have roasted from 180-240g with good results but when I have a bean I want to manipulate, like a kenyan, ethiopian, etc a lower charge weight is better for me (which means I haven't learned to control larger batches). If I have a brazil I want to use as an espresso base and develop chocolates more deeply, I charge up to 240g.

I do think the Hottop is a little easier to manipulate, especially with the artisan interface. The knobs on the Quest feel a little retro and clunky but are fully functional.

I like cleaning the Quest better, mainly for the plastic issue John referred to. getting to the fan and rear circuitry of the hottop is a PITA.

They are both great choices but I'm keeping the Quest
jim

ste

#7: Post by ste »

Thank you very much espressojr, that is very helpful indeed.
At the moment I am leaning towards the Quest M3s: I like that it is more compact, I like the "retro" controls, the seemingly easier maintenance procedure, and that I can still connect it to Artisan to watch your curves.

Hottop is really attractive for its reliability as it has been out there for so long, and that you can control it directly from artisan.

Huky 500 T would be also quite nice, but would take much more space and I would need gas which at the moment wouldn't be very convenient for me.

Thanks again!

ste

#8: Post by ste »

pcofftenyo wrote:I think that some of the Hottops have a way to connect to Artisan monitoring software so that plus automation is another plus. I don't routinely see folks chirping about breakdowns or parts problems but there could be.

I can tell you that there are pluses and minuses with full manual. Were I looking for a new roaster, I'd want a drum with full self-programmable auto features with complete manual override capability. 1 lb capacity with quality roasts possible in 7 minutes. Not that I _want_ to roast that short but I want enough power to do so and think that's a reasonable capacity benchmark, of particular concern with an electric heat source.

Have been interested in the Ikawa Pro but that's got its own story.
Yes the IKAWA Pro is pretty awesome! I have recently discovered the Kaffelogic Nano 7 that seems to be really good and rather underrated ! I think it just suffers from the IKAWA's first mover advantage and great reputation

ste

#9: Post by ste »

espressojr wrote:I've went from popcorn popper-> SC/TO-> older upgraded hottop with artisan control (TC4C) -> recently got a Quest M3S with artisan interface (phidget to measure BT/ET).

I 'just' decided to sell my hottop as the roasts I got from it 'were' equal if not better to the Quest and I wasn't sure if I wanted to keep the Quest. Now that I am on the downward slide of the Quest learning curve, I believe I will be able to get (slightly) better roasts from it as it has better heat and air control. At least that is what I am seeing now on my artisan graphs (i.e. quicker reaction in the roasting curves to manipulation). Both will result great roasts.

A few other responses based on your questions:
I think the 'ideal' charge weight is about 150g for each machine, well below your weight. I have roasted from 180-240g with good results but when I have a bean I want to manipulate, like a kenyan, ethiopian, etc a lower charge weight is better for me (which means I haven't learned to control larger batches). If I have a brazil I want to use as an espresso base and develop chocolates more deeply, I charge up to 240g.

I do think the Hottop is a little easier to manipulate, especially with the artisan interface. The knobs on the Quest feel a little retro and clunky but are fully functional.

I like cleaning the Quest better, mainly for the plastic issue John referred to. getting to the fan and rear circuitry of the hottop is a PITA.

They are both great choices but I'm keeping the Quest
jim

Thank you very much espressojr, that is very helpful indeed.
At the moment I am leaning towards the Quest M3s: I like that it is more compact, I like the "retro" controls, the seemingly easier maintenance procedure, and that I can still connect it to Artisan to watch your curves.

Hottop is really attractive for its reliability as it has been out there for so long, and that you can control it directly from artisan.

Huky 500 T would be also quite nice, but would take much more space and I would need gas which at the moment wouldn't be very convenient for me.

Thanks again!

littlenut

#10: Post by littlenut »

I realize this is OT from the OP, so pls excuse me. Also, I do not know the limitations/requirements for Dubai.

If the goal is to be all electric, roast 1/2 pound (225g) and hook up to artisan, doesn't a normally modded SR800 meet these requirements? It requires buying the extended tube the chaff collector mod from Razzo. Then requires installing Phidgets/RTD's and building a stand, but it "seems" to not be too difficult. Fresh Roast SR800 - 1/2 lb Air Roaster

HTH,
-LN