Roasting coffee is an integral part of my coffee hobby. Even though I enjoyed most of the coffee I order from vendors such as those that are on Roaste, I also enjoy very much roasting my own coffee. Part of this is also to learn by trying to see if I can replicate the coffee that I recieve from the Vendors. I started out with roasting coffee actually on a stove top! I was using a stove top popcorn popper to roast my coffee with. That particular popper has a handle which is attached to a stirring mechanism and when crank evenly rotate the coffee inside to facilite even coffee roasting. This amazing worked quite well but eventually, I was becoming tired of the smoke that it produce and the amount of cranking that I have to do. What I did was cranking the handle for 15 minutes while simultaneously keeping track of time and listening for first crack and second crack. It was too much for me to do and I looked for other methods of Roasting. Eventually, I bought air popcorn popper and started roasting; I enjoyed the process much more and also the result of the roasts are much more improved over the stovetop method. I will go a little indept about popcorn popper roasting may be in another blog post. However, my coffee roasting carreer changed when I was casually looking on craigslist and found a much neglected Hottop coffee roaster; I immediately contact the seller and drove 40 miles to the subburb of Chicago to pick it up for a measly $100!
For the next two day, I torn down the roaster, cleaning up all the oil and chaff that had accumulated in this roaster for years. The guy who own this before had never clean out the chaff and thus was the reason he experience difficulty with this roaster ( which is of course good for me because I got a really good deal). I also found out that the heating element through the years had sagged and is now rubbing into the roating drum. I hit up on Hottop website and order a new heating element as well as new fuse and smoke filter. And up until now may be about a year later, my precious Hottop is still happily chugging out roasts after roasts (in excess of 100 roasts I would think). So the video of the Hottop operation is long overdue. As you can probably see, I'm crazy enough to roast coffee inside the house! This is actually my old place and now I no longer do this!