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It took a long time before I had all of the requirements for the best possible coffee down. The first thing I did was get my hands on a good grinder to make sure I am brewing the freshest beans possible at all times.

I only buy whole beans to grind myself, and I store my opened package of beans in airtight containers. This way they are always as fresh as possible. There is one step that comes before either of these, and will result in fresh, delicious coffee from home. That step is roasting your own beans.

Most people shy away when they hear the term “roast your own coffee”. There is a bit of a learning curve, but the process itself is not as hard as it may seem. You can have fresh roasted coffee beans in no time at home, without having to buy expensive equipment.

A popular method for roasting coffee beans at home is using a popcorn popper. Stovetop and electric popcorn poppers are popular among the at-home coffee connoisseurs. Stovetop popcorn poppers are closest to the professional coffee roasters, as they allow you to accurately control the temperature.

If you’re looking to roast your beans at home, don’t write off the popcorn popper method for roasting your coffee. This is an affordable, accurate way to roast beans in a way that doesn’t require fancy material or too much time learning the process.

We’ve taken a look at the best popcorn poppers for roasting coffee to highlight the features of some of the best machines out there today.

Nostalgia RHP310 8-Cup Hot Air Popcorn Maker

We’re looking to roast coffee here, so the nostalgic popcorn maker imagery may not be necessary, but does add to the overall nice design of the machine.

This popcorn popper is small and compact, and can sit easily on a countertop without taking up much space.

It comes equipped with a popping chamber which controls the airflow to ensure that everything is evenly roasted. The cap comes with a measuring unit, so you can easily use it to measure out the amount of beans you are roasting.

The machine is simple and easy to use, and made of BPA free plastic.

Whirley-Pop Popper

This machine does not have the classic popcorn maker look, and instead resembles a pot you’d use on a stovetop.

The popper is made from an aluminum base, and is heated on the stove. You can fit between .25 to 1.5 pounds of coffee beans at a time, which allows for a good chunk of beans to be roasted at once.

The popper comes with a thermometer, which can be useful for monitoring your roast. It is a stovetop popper, so you can easily control the temperature and monitor the progress of your beans.

Great Northern Popcorn Original

The Great Northern is a great popcorn popper for roasting beans. It is a stovetop machine, so you will have better control over temperature and be able to monitor the progress of your beans.

It comes equipped with a spinning mechanism that is used to prevent the contents from burning. This is especially useful for roasting coffee as it’s important to get the right temperature.

The knobs and handles are made of real wood, giving the popcorn popper a sleek look with its stainless steel pot. It also has an easy pour lid to make removal of your ground beans extra easy.

The popcorn popper also comes with a heat pad that ensures an even cook. The lid is vented, which prevents any moisture from escaping. All of the gears are made from high quality metals.

West Bend 82505 Stir Crazy Electric Hot Oil Popcorn Popper

This popcorn popper is electric, but still offers a lot of the benefits from using stove top poppers. One of these benefits is a clear view of your beans as you roast them for easy monitoring.

There are permanently attached cord wraps sitting under the machine meant for easy cleanup with no tangled cords. The cover and heating base handles are all coated to protect from the heat so users can grab the whole machine without getting burned.

The lid is easy to invert for the best storage options. The base is heat resistant to prevent any burns to your countertop.

Ozeri Popcorn and Snack Maker (ZY5-4Q-BLK)

This stovetop popcorn popper resembles a normal pot you’d use on your stovetop. It comes in a sleek black design with a stainless steel lid.

The popper comes with a patented tumbling mechanism that easily mixes the contents while ensuring none of them burn. The pot itself has a volume of four quarts, and the interior is made from aluminum.

The lid is made from vented tempered glass, and has a non-slip silicone top. The popper is dishwasher safe, making it a convenient choice.

Buyer’s Guide

If you’re looking to roast from home, choosing a popcorn popper is a great option. There are some things to keep in mind as you shop around.

The type of popcorn maker is important, as not all work well for this purpose. For instance, you cannot use a microwave popcorn maker to roast coffee.

Stovetop and electric are best, and many favor stovetop over electric. This is because with stovetop popcorn poppers you have more ability to control the temperature of the pot, and can also monitor the beans as they roast.

Before making your purchase, figure out what your exact plans are. If you will be roasting large amounts at a given time, you’ll want to go for a machine with a large capacity. A compact popcorn popper would not be a good choice. If you don’t expect to do large amounts of roasting at a given time, a smaller popcorn popper may be a more efficient choice.

Keep in mind that you can’t leave your roasting coffee unattended, so it’s probably a good idea to not use a machine that allows you to leave the machine alone while roasting. Some smoke will be produced, so you’ll want to make sure you are in the right conditions to be roasting.

FAQ

Why do we roast coffee beans?

The roast of the coffee beans is one of the most important factors in the flavor of the coffee. Different roasts result in different tasting coffee, with differing levels of caffeine.

The point of roasting is to bring out the aromas and unique flavors locked inside coffee beans. Before roasting, the beans are green and do not have any of the distinct flavors we know from our beloved coffee.

Why use a popcorn maker instead of a real coffee roaster?

Not everyone is equipped to purchase an industrial coffee roaster. Popcorn poppers are great alternatives because they are low cost, and not typically advertised as something that can roast coffee beans.

A lot of people are able to roast using their old poppers without having to make a new purchase at all. The versatility of the item makes it a convenient choice.

Are there other ways to roast coffee at home?

The popcorn popper method is an easy and controlled way to roast beans at home. Alternatively, some people roast their beans over the stovetop using a frying pan. This is a method that takes some skill and learning to achieve a great roast, and not as efficient as a real coffee roaster.

Conclusion

Roasting coffee from a popcorn popper is a great method for someone less experience who is looking to roast their beans at home. It is an affordable choice, and allows the user to control the roast of their beans.

There are a lot of popcorn machines out there, and it is important to figure out what their functions are before using them to roast coffee. Luckily there is a huge market for various machines, so finding the right one is easily attainable.

I would go for the Great Northern popcorn popper because it suits all of my individual needs. I like making homemade popcorn, so I made sure to sort through which machine would allow me to do both.

The Great Northern fits the look of my kitchen, and would store easily with my other pots. I like the look of the handles, and how they protect against heat. The whole device has a nostalgic feel to it, without being too distinctly a popcorn maker.

Although I don’t plan to roast large amounts of coffee at at a time, this machine works well for me because it will hold a lot of popped corn. This is not true of everyone, so be sure to narrow down what you need.

Whatever you end up choosing, you will be able to roast fresh coffee beans from home which will greatly improve the quality of your daily cup. You will have full control over the roast, meaning you can switch up from light and dark roasts to vary the flavor and effects.

As the roast gets darker, the beans contain less caffeine. By roasting at home, you can control all of these elements.


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Gamble Bay Coffee

James Lambert

Owner and proprietor of the Gamble Bay Coffee Company. Its my mission to teach you how to make amazing coffee at home... no barista needed other than yourself.