Latest Posts

  1. Behind The Scenes: Sweet Maria's Roasted Coffee

    Behind The Scenes: Sweet Maria's Roasted Coffee

    Here's how we roast.

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  2. New Postcards. Quakers: Resistant to Roast

    New Postcards. Quakers: Resistant to Roast

    Our new postcards. Look for one in your next order.

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  3. FreshRoast Basics Class at Sweet Maria's

    FreshRoast Basics Class at Sweet Maria's

    Sign up for our FreshRoast Class

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  4. Bullet R1 Roaster Meet Up

    Bullet R1 Roaster Meet Up

    Join us for a meet-up where we will discuss the very popular Aillio Bullet R1 coffee roaster.

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  5. Six Under Six - July 2018

    Six Under Six - July 2018

    Six great coffees. All under six bucks.

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  6. Video: A Cooler Way to Cool Your Behmor Roast

    Video: A Cooler Way to Cool Your Behmor Roast

    Cool your coffee faster by removing the drum.

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  7. Aillio Bullet R1 Support

    Aillio Bullet R1 Support

    Need a little help with your Bullet R1? We are here for you.

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  8. Intro to Home Roasting Class

    Intro to Home Roasting Class

    Sign up for this roasting basics class. It's going to be a lot of fun.

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  9. Sweet Maria's Featured on The Coffee Podcast

    Sweet Maria's Featured on The Coffee Podcast

    Listen in and share with a friend that needs a little motivation getting started with roasting on their own.

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  10. Hot Rod Home Coffee Roasters: The Spirit of Invention

    Hot Rod Home Coffee Roasters: The Spirit of Invention

    For some people who roast their own coffee, off-the-shelf home coffee roasting appliances don't cut it.

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  11. Air Popper Modifications -Adding a Thermometer

    Air Popper Modifications -Adding a Thermometer

    A thermometer can help you establish a more consistent roasting routine. Adding a thermometer to your air popper measures the temperature of the forced air heat flow after it has passed through the beans.

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  12. Gas Oven Roasting Method

    Gas Oven Roasting Method

    What You Need: A gas oven. A perforated pan, a vegetable steamer, or a stainless steel wire mesh collander.

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Recommended Air Popcorn Popper Design

Recommended Air Popcorn Popper Design

You must use a popper in which the hot air enters the popcorn chamber from side vents. We know of three types of this design: The West Bend Poppery II, The Popcorn Pumper, and the Popaire 2 by Hamilton Beach. You may find others that are of the same design; JC Penny brand for example. Recently folks have said that a Salton model sold at Target works, as does a Toastmaster model sold at Bed, Bath and Beyond. But any popper that looks like the photo below will work!

DO NOT attempt to use a popper where the hot air enters the popping chamber through a mesh-covered orifice on the bottom!!! This design is not safe for home coffee roasting and could ignite the chaff. The correct type of popper swirls the chaff upward and out of the popper into your chaff-collecting bowl.

We have tested all the poppers mentioned above, and prefer the Poppery II. It has the best chute design for home roasting and is rated at 1200 watts. We don't sell the poppers anymore - a long story - but you might be able to find them at a hardware store, thrift store or discount stores like Walmart or Kmart. If you have time to visit a few thrift stores, you will probably find the correct type of popper. You MUST buy one with all the plastic parts intact and uncracked, or else the roast chamber will not attain proper temperatures.

You can't be sure that a thrift store popper will work: some poppers have two heating elements and if one dies the popper will seem to function but never reach correct roasting temperatures. Also, some poppers are equipped with a circuit that, if overheated, will permanently disable the machine. It's a safety feature designed to prevent fires. On the other hand, most thrift store poppers cost around $2 so you won't have to hock the record collection if you buy a dud!