Roasting coffee at home is not for everyone, but it is by far the most inexpensive way to drink the highest quality, freshest coffee. It is relatively easy and with a minimal investment anyone can begin to roast.
The best way to get started is to buy the right kind of hot air popcorn popper. Only models with a certain design work and some of those work better than others (see below). You can stalk your city’s thrift stores for one of the recommended models or buy one new. I ended up purchasing my first popcorn popper at CVS on clearance for $10. Recently I came across the coveted West Bend Poppery II at a local thrift store for $4.99 (and it’s amazing). A minimal investment can yield tremendous results when it comes to roasting your own coffee.
A popper with the recommended design for coffee roasting will have 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 from scorching.
Home roasters have found that the following models work for roasting coffee (see the forum at Sweet Marias for updated information):
- The West Bend Poppery (most highly recommended)
- The West Bend Poppery II ( recommended)
- Kitchen Gourmet (Walgreens)
- The Popcorn Pumper
- Popaire 2 by Hamilton Beach
- Toastess TCP-388 Hot Air Corn Popper
and more…. the important thing is that the popper should have the design features mentioned above.
Have you roasted using a popcorn popper? Whether it’s one of the models listed here or a different one, leave a comment describing your experience including tips, suggestions and warnings. Thanks -Tom