Latest Posts

  1. Live Stream: Intro to Home Roasting

    Live Stream: Intro to Home Roasting

    Roasting with an electric popcorn popper is easy! Watch our online, interactive demo on 9/6 and we'll show you how.

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  2. Roasting Flores Gunung Gedha on a Popcorn Popper and Quest M3s

    Roasting Flores Gunung Gedha on a Popcorn Popper and Quest M3s

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  3. Coffee Roasting Demo at The Berkeley Public Library

    Coffee Roasting Demo at The Berkeley Public Library

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  4. Coffee Roasting Basics: Nerd Nite Silicon Valley 6/25

    Coffee Roasting Basics: Nerd Nite Silicon Valley 6/25

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  5. Aillio Bullet R1 Roaster: Testing Airflow with Rwanda Kageyo

    Aillio Bullet R1 Roaster: Testing Airflow with Rwanda Kageyo

    A look at two extreme examples of airflow settings on the Bullet and how they affect roast development.

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  6. Behmor Roast Profile: Ethiopiques 2.0

    Behmor Roast Profile: Ethiopiques 2.0

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  7. New Product Video Review: The Fresh Roast SR540

    New Product Video Review: The Fresh Roast SR540

    The SR500 was really good and the SR540 is even better

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  8. Video: Sample Roasting with an Aillio Bullet R1

    Video: Sample Roasting with an Aillio Bullet R1

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  9. Another Look at Roasting Espresso Workshop #44: Carga Larga

    Another Look at Roasting Espresso Workshop #44: Carga Larga

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  10. Video: Larry Cotton's Sifter Coffee Roaster

    Video: Larry Cotton's Sifter Coffee Roaster

    Sweet Maria's Customer Larry Cotton blows our mind again

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  11. Coffee Tasting At Sweet Maria's - Feb. 28th

    Coffee Tasting At Sweet Maria's - Feb. 28th

    Sign up and taste the difference between coffees roasted in different machines

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  12. Upcoming Class: Roasting With A Gene Cafe

    Upcoming Class: Roasting With A Gene Cafe

    Wanna learn more about the Gene machine?

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Air Popper Modifications -Timing Roasts

Air Popper Modifications -Timing Roasts

If you choose to alter your air popper you are assume the risk that it will no longer work as it was designed to, that it might not work at all, that you might injure yourself in performing these tasks or in using the altered device. This information is here for you to peruse, but Sweet Maria's accepts NO responsibility in what the results may be.

Time your Roasts with a Darkroom Timer

When I started roasting with an air popper, I found that timing the roasts was difficult. If I watched the clock on the wall I would lose track of the minutes, and it wasn't very accurate anyway. If I used a timer on my watch, I would forget to stop it, or even look at it, during the critical moment when the roast is done and you need to be dumping beans and agitating them. Kitchen timers are available in both analog and digital, but I would forget to stop them too.

Then I remembered all the photo darkroom equipment I had in the basement, and my old Gra-Lab darkroom timer. The popper plugs into the timer and is turned on and off by it. I turn the popper on and off with one switch on the timer, so the actual roast time is recorded nomatter. I actually own a fancier digital timer for photo purposes, but the old Gra-Lab is a wonderful workhorse.

Another advantage to using the timer is that you can dial in a particular roast time and, all other things being equal, you can reproduce your favorite air popper roasts without paying attention too much! Remember, roasting is a potential fire hazard, so use some sense and never leave the room when you're roasting.

Gra-Labs are readily available at used darkroom equipment shops at very reasonable prices. Like the old Bell telephones, these are built to last forever!