Sweet Maria's Stovetop Poppers for Coffee Roasting

The Whirley-Pop 6 Quart Popper (Aluminum)


Click Here: Whirley Pop for Roasting coffee

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 type ones.

Click Here: Whirley Pop for Roasting coffee+

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
Coffee Sampler
(+ 7.2 Lbs shipping)
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Whirley Pop 6 Quart with 8 Pound
Green Coffee Sampler
(+ 11.2 Lbs shipping)
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Click Here: Whirley Pop for Roasting coffee

Whirley Pop 6 Quart
(+ 3.2 Lbs shipping)
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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 Roasting Accessories 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 proper technique.

  • 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 for espresso.

  • 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 it.

  • 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.


Go to our Roasting Accessories Page for items to accompany and improve your roasting:

Keeping Track of Temperature


Marshall Instuments 55 degree thermometer


Keeping Track of Weight

scale for weight green coffee

Keeping Track of Time

timer for roasting coffee


Timer for roasting coffee