July 18, 2016
The Whirley Pop has been a home roasting standard ever since some out-of-the box thinker imagined it possible to roast coffee in one. We have carried the aluminum version for a long time and it has offered much more reliability than expected from thin gauge aluminum and nylon plastic gears. Over the past few years, there have been new versions of the popper's parts and we are very satisfied with the current monster that has been born from the newer and better pieces.
IN THE PAST: The aluminum pan worked great and can last for years under normal use but we were excited to start carrying the stainless steel pan when it became available because of it's added durability, ability to use on induction stoves and heat retention. We thought the metal gears would be an improvement from the plastic ones but it turned out the plastic gears provided a smoother experience. The plastic gear set was only available with the aluminum pan so we continued to carry the aluminum model and offered the steel pan as a separate upgrade.
TODAY: Wabash Valley Farms (the folks that make the Whirley Pop) Frankensteined an exclusive Sweet Maria's model of the Whirley that is a combo of the best pan and the best lid for home coffee roasting. Now, you can buy a Whirley Pop with a stainless steel pan and lid with plastic gears...the Frankenstein of coffee roasters.
Due to the manual nature of this method, getting that perfect roast might take a little practice but you will get the hang of it after a batch or two and you will appreciate being able to roast more than most home roasting appliances out there. Also, stovetop poppers are really great for dark roasts. Using one at your campsite can be a lot of fun too.
If you are a newbie to coffee roasting, consider getting a Starter Kit because it includes a Whirley Pop, some green coffee, storage bags and a great book for beginners
Check out our extended Whirley Pop review.
Here's a video recorded from a Ustream broadcast where we roasted a batch in a Whirley and discussed some useful techniques.