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Roasting coffee in a popcorn popper

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  • 3 weeks later...
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Yep, that would do it. Just remember to keep spinning the beans round. Its over a decade since I've used a popper but I seem to remember angling the thing forwards and stirring with a long metal skewer to get the beans circulating from bottom to top




Your beans look really nicely roasted. Even colour and a good roast level.

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So I'm about to set off roasting in my popcorn maker.

I asked some advice from the sample roaster at work but much is up to interpretation.

When you hear the first pops of the second crack and stop, cool straight away you will end up with a medium on the lighter side?

How long into second cracks for a dark medium?

For a roast just shy of traditional italian dark roast should I be well into the second crack?



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So after looking at the temperature raising profiles, a 14 stage event, of various roasts at work, I'm questioning how I will ever capture the best out of beans in a popcorn maker.

Is it just a bit of fun or is it actually possible to control the temperature somewhat. Perhaps blowing on the top of the popcorn maker with cold air for the first few minutes?

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First attempt as follows using a Fairtrade Nicaraguan from Taylors.

Green bean






Roasted coffee



I never heard a rolling first crack and the second crack was pretty quiet to be honest.

Pretty sure I finished it few cracks into second but not sure.

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Good effort :) Better than my effort in a pan!

I've done a bit of research into air roasting. The roast looks somewhat uneven with some scorching so I'd say use less beans next time. In an air roaster you need to balance the bean weight with the blower power, otherwise it can't move the bed of beans fluidly (hence the term fluid bed roaster). Insufficient movement causes the scorching because some beans end up close to the heat source too long.

When you have less beans the roast will take longer too, because more of the air escapes through the bean mass. This is a good thing, as the slightly longer roast helps develop the beans' flavour. How long did this roast take?

In the US and Oz there are a lot of people roasting this way, and getting fantastic results. It's possible to add to the setup so you can control the temperature and power. I wouldn't know where to start, and frankly couldn't be arsed to do the mod, but instructions are googleable if anyone wanted to do it.

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What do you mean tilt the machine over? Like upside down? Or just tilt forward a bit?

Roasted for about 8-10 minutes roughly.

That was 70g of coffee which I think lookseehear recommended. He suggested using enough coffee so that there was little movement initially but this would encourage further scorching surely?

Next roast i'll try maybe 55g and stir more.


Thanks for comments

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Were the beans margogype? You may just have rolled 1C into 2C which can happen. It's the same with geisha, the need to ease off before 1C and let its own heat mass assist.


You can't expect an even roast from a heat gun and PPM! Anyway it all looks the same when its ground ;)

Sorry! I don't do skinny soy decaf latte


CoffeeMagic - Passion mixed with a little magic

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I brewed an aero press about an hour after roasting, why not?

The overriding flavour was fantastic toasted caramel.

Slightly one dimensional but that one dimension had superb flavour and good body.


This suits my palate perfectly and was thus one of the best cups i've tasted since I got into coffee.

I even took the rest to work got compliments from the sample roaster who gave me the green beans :)

Definitely going to try again tomorrow using expo's tilt tip.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Most recent attempt, after speaking with a coffee buyer at work they told me agitation is paramount so I made a really big effort to stir the beans more.

I think this resulted in my most even popcorn roast yet, see for yourself :)

Can't wait to try it. Its a UTZ Brazilian Pulped Natural shown in glorious British sunshine! Also a bit on the light side of medium.


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  • 9 months later...

Any popcorn roasters left? I'm really interested into roasting my own coffee because living in Bulgaria I don't have (all that much) access to specialty coffee and ordering batches from the UK every month will be quite tough on my student budget. I'd rather order green beans once every couple of months and roast them at home so I'll save up some money on the delivery charges at least. Can you recommend me a good and rather cheapish popcorn maker that is capable of roasting coffee? I saw the Poppery II on eBay UK but it's going for around 30 quid which is more than what I want to spend.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, I just "roasted" my first batch - 100g of Malawi Geisha. "Roasted" because 1) I reached first crack withing 1-1:20 into the roast which is very, very fast and 2) My roaster turned off because of the thermostat. I already widened the air vents a bit to increase the airflow and tomorrow I'll add an on/off switch for the heating element to try and slow down the roast. I'll also try with 70g next time. I tried the coffee after 24hrs in a French press - it has medium acidity but there are no flavors I can taste which I hope is due to the roast, not the coffee/my palate as this is the first specialty coffee I've tried, lol. I'll keep you posted.

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  • 3 weeks later...

It looks like I'm the only person writing here but just to keep you posted.. :D


So I got my new popcorn maker (IMEX 1200W from eBay UK) today. I immediately opened it to remove the bubble from the bimetallic thermostat and then headed to the balcony to try it. I'm somewhat happy with the results. I've taken a couple of photos comparing them to a Brazil Daterra Yellow Bourbon roasted by one of the two specialty coffee roasters in Bulgaria. He claims that the roast is FC but it looks pretty light to me - maybe around City+. As to my beans (Malawi Geisha from RaveCoffee) - I'd say it's probably FC+ as I'm pretty sure I heard a few second cracks. I roasted them in to batches - around 50g each because the popcorn maker couldn't turn any more beans than that. I was able to get around 9-10mins with the first batch and around 12-13mins with the second one by transferring the beans from the popcorn maker to a pot a couple of times during the roast. No science involved, just watching the color of the beans change. On another note, I won an auction for a popcorn maker similar to the West Bend Stir Crazy and I hope I'll be able to assemble a Convection Oven/Stir Crazy setup in a few weeks time. Here are the promised pictures - http://imgur.com/a/RhZO7 . What do you think?


P.S. They look a bit inconsistent but I think this is mainly due to the light. In reality they look much more consistent.

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I got to trying it out today but I didn't get the results I wanted. First shot was too slow with 14g in ~30g out for 32-3secs and I think I got some channeling. The shot came out with a lemony sourness and bitter aftertaste - not good. Then I tried again but this time I stopped the shot too early because of blonding signs and the output was around 17-18g for 27sec. The sourness was less palpable but the shot was more bitter. I gave up after the second one because my hand got tired of turning the crank of my Tiamo hand grinder. Will try again tomorrow.

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