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Sweet Maria's Stovetop Poppers for Coffee Roasting
The Whirley-Pop 6 Quart Popper (Aluminum)
The Whirley-Pop 6 Quart stovetop popper just happens to be a competent
coffee roaster (in the right hands!) and has been our standby stovetop
popcorn popper - roaster for years. This is the same stovetop popper you
will read about in Home Coffee Roasting by Ken David's (it is also labeled
the Theater II by the same manufacturer). While this method is completely
manual (you need to set the right stovetop heat, crank the popper consistently
for 7-10 minutes, and dump it out into a colander to cool), you will appreciate
roasting 6-9 oz. of coffee at a time (almost 2 - 3 times as much as an
air popper or FreshRoast/Hearthware roaster). This method is better for
heavier roasts and great for espresso. It does produce smoke (more coffee
in the batch and darker roasts means more smoke) but a good range hood
will handle it. You can also use this method on a gas camp stove or other
portable heat source. Makes great popcorn too! The Whirley-Pop is light-gauge
aluminum but it is the best stovetop popper for roasting coffee out there.
Here's instructions for
stovetop roasting. The plastic gears work well provided you don't
overheat it, and the thin wire agitator is more jam-free than the paddle
You can get the Whirley Pop 6 Quart
with our one of our Samplers at a discounted price
- $10 for the 4 Pound Sampler ($17 ala carte) - or $20 for the 8 Pound Sampler ($32 ala carte). This includes 4 or 8 types of green coffees,
1 pound of each, and your choice of a Brewed Coffee Sampler, Espresso
Sampler, Half Decaf-Half Regular, or All Decaf selection. There is a slight surcharge for all Decaf samplers - since these coffees are a bit more expensive
Whirley Pop 6 Quart with 4 Pound Green
$36.50 (+ 7.2 Lbs shipping)
Whirley Pop 6 Quart with 8 Pound
Green Coffee Sampler
$46.50 (+ 11.2 Lbs shipping)
Whirley Pop 6 Quart
$26.50 (+ 3.2 Lbs shipping)
||You really need to preheat your popper to a set temperature to get consistent
roasts. Don't forget to add a thermometer to your order. We do not install
the thermometer in the poppers for you, but it entails simply drilling or
punching a hole in the top ... and we
have online instructions on how to do it. See below for links to the
page where the thermometers are listed.
|Stovetop coffee roasting in a popcorn popper has some great
advantages and a few caveats that you need to know before trying this method.
The benefits of Stovetop Popper roasting:
You can roast more in one batch than air roasters, and more than
some expensive drum roasters! 1/2 to 1 pound batches are possible.
With the Stainless popper you might be able to roast a bit more too.
This means you can probably roast enough for a week in one sitting,
and with 1 or 2 batches.
You can get good roast results through the entire range, from City
roasts to Dark French/Spanish roasts. Lighter roasts are a bit more
difficult with this method. But all levels can be done well with a
If you like doing things the "olde tyme way", you may enjoy
this! There's no electronics to break. Completely Y1k compatible.
It's fairly quiet and with experience you should be able to hear
the first crack and second crack easily.
You can have total control over the length of the roast, getting
more of a "drum roast" profile, which some people prefer
- You can go nuts and modify/customize the process endlessly. People
have added spit motors or electric screwdrivers to power the agitator,
bolted the roaster to camp stoves so it doesn't move around on them,
installed thermometers of all sorts...
The problems with Stovetop Popper roasting:
Stovetop roasting produces a lot of smoke, mainly because you are
roasting more coffee in each batch. You must have a hood over your
stove that actually goes to the outside, or roast outdoors on a camp
stove ... or maybe you really like smoke..
This method requires some skill - you need to set the heat source
so you don't roast too fast and scorch coffee, or too slow and bake
You need to be patient ... to roast coffee well the process takes
8 to 15 minutes, and you need to stand there and slowly crank the
roaster the whole time. Sometimes the popper doesn't crank easily
and you need to overcome that ...
... Stovetop poppers might require some adjustments and occasional
repairs to keep working right. You are on your own, since you
are using it for an unintended purpose you can't expect a warranty
to cover you. Poppers are for DIY people (do-it-yourself).
You may need to fix gears, replace rivets with screws, modify
the stirring paddle, etc.
- Some coffees don't get along with stovetop roasters and tend to jam
them up ... namely the Yemeni coffees and other small-bean types. Peaberry
coffees roast especially well because they "roll" in the popper.