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Coffee can be very intimidating when one finds themselves searching for the best quality ways to prepare the brew. It’s a combination of ingenuity and the proper gear that allows us to take advantage of the naturally-caffeinated bean and make one of the most delicious and sought-after beverages on the planet.
So you’re grinding your beans thirty seconds before brewing, and making coffee with a great water source, and in a quality machine. What more could you ask for, right?
Try roasting your own coffee.
It sounds like a proper challenge but there is an easy workaround for getting good results. Try using a popcorn popper.
Here’s our list of the best popcorn poppers for roasting coffee beans in the comfort of your own home. Now you’re on your way to achieving coffee greatness.
Preparing Roasted Coffee Beans With a Popcorn Popper
There are a few things to keep in mind when one decides to start roasting their own coffee with a popcorn popper. First, is safety. Second, you want to understand the process and why this actually works. It is pretty wonderful for any seasoned coffee lover.
Thus, if you’re choosing your first popper, attention should be given to the depth of the roasting chamber. A chamber that is four and a half inches deep will normally roast 90 grams of green beans (no, not the vegetable but the raw coffee itself) and have enough room for the roasted beans to expand without blowing out of the popper. A three and a half-inch chamber is more than likely going to need a chimney extender to keep the beans from blowing out. So keep that in mind when perusing the details.
Now that you’re a little more familiar with the process, let’s run down the best choices out there for making roasted coffee beans.
The Nostalgia APH200RED 16-Cup Air-Pop
The Nostalgia APH200 is great for roasting coffee beans as it blows hot air into the chamber through vents on the chamber wall, which spins the beans and keeps them moving well. This is a slightly faster roaster process than one might want with their air pop, but it does work well.
Coming in at sixteen cups, this air popper is well-suited for creating a finely roasted coffee bean. Includes a built-in measuring cap to ensure the proper amount of kernels are used, and the clear top housing allows for easy viewing. This is an affordable air-popper and is well worth the investment into the world of home coffee bean roasting.
PopAir Electric Hot Air Popcorn Popper by VICTORIO VKP1162
If you’d prefer to get right to roasting and don’t want to scour the Internet for a vintage popper, consider the Presto PopLite Hot Air Popcorn Popper. This highly-recommended popper can make up to 18 cups of freshly roasted coffee beans in less than two and a half minutes. It’s also particularly quiet for an air popper.
This PopAir Electric Popper by VICTORIO VKP1162 makes for a great internal roaster, at what many experts think is a perfect temperature for a house roast. There’s plenty of debate whether it can get you a dark roast properly, but you’ll have to try it and weigh in on your own experiences.
Hamilton Beach 73400 Hot Air Popcorn Popper
The Hamilton Beach features the perfect design for coffee roasting, with a flat metal bottom in the roasting chamber with vents along the side of the chamber that blow the coffee in a rotating motion. The rotating motion allows for an even roast and keeps the coffee beans from getting scorched.
The Hamilton Beach 73400 finds a great middle ground between a fine even roast and not using too much speed and heat intensity.
Excelvan Hot Air Popcorn Popper Electric Machine Maker
The Excelvan Air Popcorn popper is another great selection for roasting coffee beans. Additionally, this hot air popper is able to reach a higher temperature than many on this list and thus works great for a darker roast. Composed of a high-quality material, the popping chamber contains a food-grade aluminum alloy to resist damage, this is very helpful in the roasting process.
Employing the Spiry design, this popper makes use of air and circulation to ensure that the contents are heat treated equally. This means a much lower chance of burning when roasting coffee beans.
West Bend 82505 Stir Crazy Electric Hot Oil Popcorn Popper
West Bend has been a leader in developing electric kitchen appliances since being founded in West Bend, Wisconsin in 1911. This is the benchmark popcorn popper for roasting coffee beans. The Stirring mechanism makes it easy to avoid burning beans. The West Bend Stir Crazy uses a triple-layer heating plate which increases performance and insulates the body of the popper to fully roast up to nearly seven quarts.
With any new popcorn roaster that one uses to roast coffee, you have to learn to use it correctly. There’s a procedure, and if any of the popper s on this list didn’t meet your needs then keep in mind that if the beans do not move when you put them in the roasting chamber, stir them with a wooden spoon or use fewer beans.
If the temperature rise is slow, partially cover the top of the roasting chamber.
Always keep a careful observation on the beans as well as making sure that the by the second crack of the beans you are ready to get them out of the chamber and away from the heat source. Of course, this is all variable with the heat of your air popper, but it’s wise to at least start looking over your beans and determining whether they are roasted to the point you would like. This usually takes about seven minutes to get a city roast, but pushing further can yield a dark roast or burnt beans so be cautious at this point.
As with anything in the coffee game, practice makes perfect. We hope that this list helps you find the missing element in your morning coffee routine, but there’s still more to learn, as always, so check out the rest of our blog for more insights.