Here’s the truth:
Learning how to roast your own coffee beans can completely change the way you view coffee as a drink.
But roasting coffee beans doesn’t sound very simple or convenient. Or is it?
Turns out, roasting coffee just takes one simple tool. A tool that most people already have in their kitchen. The Popcorn Popper.
But how could you possibly roast coffee beans from a popcorn maker? And even if it is possible, what popcorn popper should you buy?
To find out, keep on reading!
The Best Popcorn Poppers For Roasting Coffee
|1. Wabash Valley Farm Whirley-Pop Popper Kit||Stovetop||6 quarts|
|2. Hamilton Beach Electric Hot Air Popcorn Popper |
|Hot Air||4.5 quarts|
|3. Great Northern Popcorn Original Spinner Stovetop Popcorn Popper||Stovetop||5 quarts|
|4. West Bend 82505 Stir Crazy Electric Hot Oil Popcorn Popper|
|Hot Air||6 quarts|
|5. Nostalgia APH200RED 16-Cup Air-Pop Popcorn Maker|
|Hot Air||4 quarts|
1. Wabash Valley Farm Whirley-Pop Popper Kit
The Wabash Valley Farm Popper is an extremely versatile and super-easy to use popcorn maker. But thanks to its stovetop design, it also makes for an excellent coffee roasting machine.
Since the stovetop design allows you to heat the popper at different temperatures, you can roast coffee in a range of strengths and styles. The popper also comes with a special nylon stirring system which lets you achieve a more uniform and balanced roast. And for cleaning up later, the lids can be easily detached through its quick-release clips.
2. Hamilton Beach Electric Hot Air Popcorn Popper
If you’re leaning towards automatic roasters, the Hamilton Beach Electric Popper can make roasting a breeze for you. Featuring a flat metal bottom roasting chamber, the popper constantly whirs coffee beans to prevent them from scorching.
At the side of the roasting chamber, hot air is channeled inside through the vents. The hot air allows coffee beans to caramelize at a consistent speed. So whenever you decide to stop the popper, you’re guaranteed to get a perfectly balanced batch of roasted coffee.
3. Great Northern Popcorn Original Spinner Stovetop Popcorn Popper
The Great Northern Popcorn Popper is another solid contender that doubles as an excellent coffee roaster. The sturdy stainless-steel body quickly heats up evenly, allowing you to roast your coffee beans at any temperature you desire.
It’s super-easy to clean and features real wooden handles so you can use it without gloves too. The stirring mechanism allows you to easily agitate the beans to prevent them from burning. And with the special lid design, moisture can escape easily. All while your beans are roasting to perfection!
4. West Bend 82505 Stir Crazy Electric Hot Oil Popcorn Popper
The West Bend Electric Popcorn Popper is a cleverly designed popcorn machine that serves as one of the best automatic coffee roasters out there. Featuring a triple-layered heating plate, the West Bend Stir Crazy uses a heat-resistant base and handles to protect your countertop and hands from harm.
But what makes it special is the clear vented cover that allows you to see your beans roast gradually. With the help of an automatic stirring rod, beans are constantly stirred so they can roast evenly from the inside out.
5. Nostalgia APH200RED 16-Cup Air-Pop Popcorn Maker
The Nostalgia Popcorn Maker is an aesthetic appliance with a heating mechanism that makes it perfect for roasting coffee. With multiple air vents placed along the circle roasting chamber, the popcorn maker pushes in hot air to roast coffee beans while simultaneously stirring the beans.
Its super-contemporary design allows it to easily blend it with any modern kitchen. The lid also doubles as a measuring cup for your popcorn and beans. Considering the price, the Nostalgia Popcorn Maker is an excellent choice for anyone wanting to roast coffee beans themselves.
6. Franklin’s Original Whirley Pop Stovetop Popcorn Machine Popper
The Franklin’s Original Whirley Popper is another classic stovetop popcorn maker that roasts coffee beans flawlessly. The aluminum body evenly disperses heat through the surface, even if the heat source is away from the center.
Moreover, the wooden handle is merged with the stirring arm so you can keep the beans moving in the pot and prevent them from scorching. The exterior of the pot is also finished with a nice satin black coating.
7. Time for Treats PopAir Electric Hot Air Popcorn Popper
A super-efficient popcorn machine, the Time for Treats PopAir is a great coffee roaster if you’re in a hurry. Using a vented chamber to roast beans with hot air, the PopAir can push temperature high enough to let you achieve whatever roast you desire.
The clear ventilated lid lets humidity and aroma escape the chamber while letting you see the coffee beans getting roasted. It’s also ETL certified for extra safety and has a measuring cup built into the clear lid.
8. Zippy Pop Red Stovetop Popcorn Popper with Glass Lid
If quickly roasting small batches of coffee is your priority, the Zippy Pop Stovetop Popper is for you. With its smaller non-stick aluminum body, the popper can evenly distribute heat while being lightweight and easy to handle.
Instead of a conventional steel lid, the Zippy Pop Popper features a glass lid so you can see how much your coffee beans have roasted. The lid also has a built-in stirring arm so you can prevent your beans from scorching.
While a popcorn machine can double as a coffee roaster, it’s still made primarily for making popcorn. So how do you figure out if it can roast coffee beans equally well?
Since almost every popcorn popper can roast coffee, it’s just a matter of picking the best. And we’re going to tell you how.
We’ve made a full in-depth buyer’s guide detailing everything from top to bottom so you can set up your very own coffee bar in no time!
Reasons to roast coffee beans yourself
Before we head on into detail about the types of popcorn poppers, here are some reasons why roasting coffee beans yourself can be one of the greatest experiences of your life, especially if you’re a coffee lover!
1. Better Taste And Aroma
Packaging and processing can destroy a lot of the original essence of freshly roasted and grounded coffee. When you’re roasting and grinding coffee beans at your home, the flavor and aroma is still fresh. So when you brew it right after that, the cup of coffee that comes out of it will probably be the best cup you’ve ever had in your life!
2. Healthier and more refreshing
We’ve all heard of the numerous health benefits of coffee. But are you really getting them all?
Packaged coffee goes through many processes where preservatives and chemicals are added to keep it fresh. But with roasting coffee yourself, you’re in complete control. So compared to packaged coffee, you’re preventing many preservatives and chemicals from entering your body.
3. Create Your Own Flavour And Blends
Roasting your own coffee can open up a world of possibilities regarding flavors and aromas. Since you’re in charge of roasting the coffee, you can experiment to a great extent and even create your own unique blend!
You can choose to roast your coffee beans to any level you desire, whether it be light or dark. You can also experiment with coffee beans from different locations, taste and combine different batches, and create your own blend!
4. Your House Will Smell Like A Coffee Shop
Probably the most pleasant feature of coffee shops is the aroma of fresh coffee that lingers in the atmosphere. And when you’re roasting coffee at your own home, your room will be filled with the same amazing aroma. Now who doesn’t want that?
5. Easier And Cheaper Than Packaged Coffee
Roasting coffee is just as easy as making popcorn. No complex instructions or methods, all you have to do is add raw coffee beans to your popcorn popper, wait a few minutes, a take them out when they’ve reached the desired color.
Also, buying raw coffee beans in bulk is also significantly cheaper than purchasing it from cafés. You can also store them quite easily as green coffee beans can stay fresh for much longer than roasted ones.
Types of popcorn poppers
If by now you’re convinced that you’ve got to start roasting coffee on your own, here’s where to get started. Now although there are many different types of popcorn poppers available in the market, here are the best ones that can be used for roasting coffee:
Stovetop poppers are the optimal choice for coffee snobs since it allows you a degree of control. Since these poppers are usually heated on a stove, you can easily adjust the temperature to your requirements. This allows the coffee to gradually break down at the perfect pace so you can achieve your desired level of roast.
Some stovetop poppers also have clear lids so you can observe your coffee beans as they darken and crack. You can also stir the beans at your own speed to prevent them from scorching or burning from one side.
Although manually stirring the beans might be an inconvenience for some people, it really boils down to how much control you’re willing to have. But apart from that, stovetop poppers are also quite practical in other aspects.
Most feature a non-stick base which allows you to clean them up using just a paper towel. They also tend to heat up pretty fast, so you don’t have to wait as much while roasting your coffee beans. Another advantage of stovetop poppers is that they’re spacier and can roast more coffee beans at one time than most hot air poppers.
Hot Air Poppers
Unlike a stovetop poppers, a hot air popper uses just hot air to make oil-free popcorn and you guessed it, roasted coffee beans.
These hot air poppers are shaped like a tall basket with a clear lid at the top. Inside this popper is a circular chamber in which the magic happens. Hot air is channeled through vents placed along the sides of the circular chamber with pressure. This hot air slowly roasts the coffee beans while spinning them in a circular motion to keep them from scorching.
So, a hot air popper pretty much does all the work. All you have to do is add the coffee beans, watch them slowly roast, and remove them when they’ve reached the desired color and level.
But since hot air poppers are made for popcorns which usually cook at a lower temperature, roasting coffee with it can take some time. Also, most hot air poppers can’t even properly roast coffee beans since the hot air cannot reach the temperature required for the roasting process.
Electric Popcorn Poppers
If you’ve never seen an electric popcorn popper, those are the ones you see in movie theatres. These poppers usually have a steel pot connected to the roof of a glass enclosure. This steel pot heats up through electricity and is connected to an automatic stirring rod.
Although these electric popcorn poppers seem great for roasting coffee, they really aren’t. Since they’re made specifically for making popcorn, the temperature is insufficient for properly roasting coffee. Also, because coffee beans are larger than popcorn kernels, they can get stuck under the stirring rod and damage the non-stick finish of the popper.
How long does it take to roast coffee?
Normally, a small batch of coffee takes around 5-10 minutes to reach the first roast level. A larger batch might take up to 15 minutes or more to reach the same level.
What are the different levels of coffee roasts?
There are 10 levels of roast in coffee namely the green stage, yellow stage, steam stage, first crack, city roast stage, city plus roast stage, full city roast stage, second crack, dark roast stage, and the burn stage.
How do you flavor roasted coffee beans?
To flavor roasted coffee beans, just put the coffee beans in a mixer, pour your choice of concentrated flavor syrup that’s approximately 3% of the weight of the coffee beans, and blend for about 15 minutes.
Should you wash green coffee beans before roasting?
Yes, rinsing your coffee beans can not only wash off any unwanted material, but also moisturize and prepare them for roasting.
How long should you wait after roasting coffee?
After you have roasted your coffee, you should wait around 12-24 hours before brewing them. This lets the flavor of the coffee develop and become as strong as possible.