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Next Logical Upgrade from Gene Cafe?
I have been roasting with the GC for about 5 yrs or so and still love it, but am getting curious about a hottop or a quest. Those seem like the next step for me so I was looking for opinions. And if I'm gonna shell out that much cheese for a hottop, does it make sense to go ahead and get the quest?
I lean towards exotic and sweet and fruity coffees if that factors in....
Both the Quest and HotTop are good roasters. Each has its strengths, relative to the other.

It's tempting to say that the Quest offers more control, but there are so many tricks you can use to bring the HT up to the Quest's level. The Quest is more of a batch roaster than the HT, but the HT cools better -- and there's a lot you can do to shorten the time between successive roasts.

When push comes to shove, they're adequately powered electric roasters, with adequate airflow and 250g nominal capacities. Compared to big-deal professional quality roasters they share a similar lack of agility and require the user to act more proactively than (s)he otherwise might. That's not to say they're terribly limited; they aren't.

There isn't much in the way of drum roaster profiling you couldn't do with either, as long as you stay ahead of the roast instead of reacting to it.

The gas-fired Huky is in roughly the same price range as the Quest, has a higher capacity; but while it's nicely finished, it's considerably more kludged than either the HT or the Quest.

I used an HT for a couple of years before jumping well out of the price class for more production capacity and agility. It's been quite a while since roasting with it, but enjoyed using it so much I can't bring myself to move it on.

If I had to do it again, I'd probably go with the Quest... but tough call.

Good luck,
USRC 1lb Roaster, Chemex+Kone, Espro, Various FPs, Royal Siphon Vacuum, Yama Ice Drip Tower, Bunnzilla, La Cimbali M21 Casa, Ceado E92.
Also I am ok with half lb roasts but I do like to roast 3 back to back ......
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