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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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!