Best Popcorn Popper for Roasting Coffee
If you’re looking for a way to roast coffee beans at home, it’s actually easier than you think. All you need is some green coffee beans, popcorn popper, and you’re good to go!
In this article, you’re going to learn about home-roasted coffee. Also, I’ll present you with a detailed review of the best popcorn poppers for roasting coffee.
The Coffee Roasting Process
When the coffee beans are wholly ripe and ready for picking, they’re dried and processed to change some of their chemical and physical properties. The still-green beans then go through the roasting process.
Throughout the process, the coffee beans are subjected to strong heating. As a result, the beans start the caramelization process, in which some complex starch breaks down into simpler sugars.
This caramelization process causes some changes in colors. Green beans turn to different shades of brown according to the amount of heat you give during roasting. This is similar to when you heat some sugar on the stove.
The color isn’t the only thing you get from this process. When you roast the beans deeply into a dark color, it alters the flavor profile into a sweeter taste. On the other hand, light roasts give a stronger taste profile.
After the roasting process, the beans are ready for storage. You insulate the beans from moisture to keep them fresh and ready anytime.
Why Would You Roast Coffee Beans Yourself?
If you’ve been around the coffee connoisseurs culture long enough, you’ll know the vast amount of benefits you get from roasting your own coffee. Here are some aspects where homemade coffee tops commercial ones.
In fact, this is one of the easiest ways to put it. It’s fairly known among coffee experts that green coffee beans are much cheaper than their roasted ones.
The gap between the price of both beans becomes more significant if you compare home-roasted coffee with coffee shop coffee. That’s why many coffee lovers who are on a budget roast their coffee beans.
Although you’re going to need certain tools to roast coffee at home, you’ll be saving a lot of money in the long run. This makes it an extremely cost-efficient option for heavy coffee consumers.
If money isn’t a concern for you, roasting your own coffee gives you a tailor-made coffee. This allows you to explore the world of coffee at your own pace and try new things. This includes different degrees of roasting, various additives, and more!
After some trials, you can reach the needed formula for your own ultimate cup of coffee. This ensures an unrivaled coffee experience every day of the week!
For those who love the smell of freshly roasted coffee, the heavenly aroma of coffee is an added plus!
By picking the ingredients of the roast yourself, you’ll be avoiding all the artificial additives in the processed coffee. This includes unwanted flavors, colors, preservatives, and anything else that might end up in your cup of coffee.
This means that you’d enjoy the benefits of coffee and avoid any dangerous side effects of commercial additive you never asked for. Fresh ingredients mean fresh coffee, which isn’t only good for its taste or aroma.
Why Are Popcorn Poppers Great for Roasting Coffee Beans?
You might think that you’ve been click-baited into this article because of its catchy title. However, popcorn poppers are one of the most reliable machines that you can use to roast coffee beans at home.
To roast beans, you need consistent heat and continuous stirring. There are different types of popcorn poppers, such as hot-air poppers, stovetop poppers, and microwave poppers.
Stovetop poppers are the best option for roasting coffee, as they’re the closest you can get to industrial-level coffee roasters. They also generate the most heat, so they can work in much less time than other methods.
Things to Look for in the Popcorn Popper for Roasting Coffee
There are some aspects that you need to check before picking your ideal popcorn popper for coffee roasting.
Popcorn pots come in two materials, which are stainless steel and aluminum. They’re both great options as they conduct heat efficiently.
However, if you’re looking for dark roasts, you should always go for aluminum pots. Not only do they conduct more heat than steel, but they also do it evenly. This ensures an even roast on all sides of the bean.
Most popcorn poppers are measured in quarts. The more the quarts the larger the roast patch.
Always look for a pot that ranges between 4 to 6 quarts. These ones offer decent trapping of heat while providing ample space for a large patch to roast.
Stirring is crucial to get an even roast. However, removing the lid for stirring allows a lot of heat to escape the system, taking a long time to complete the roasting process.
Always look for popcorn poppers that come with stirring systems so you don’t have to lift the lid while stirring. Additionally, make sure that they’re long enough to reach the entire patch inside the pot.
To keep the popcorn popper functional for a long time, you need to clean it after every patch. It’s essential for the pot to be easily cleaned so you can maintain it.
Pots that are lined with anti-sticking materials like PTFE (aka Teflon) are much easier to clean, as you’ll only need a damp cloth to clean them after the session.
Top 5 Popcorn Poppers for Roasting Coffee
The market is full of popcorn poppers. However, not all of them can work for roasting coffee. In the following list, I’ll review the best 5 popcorn popper to pull off the trick.
Franklin’s Original Whirley Pop Stovetop Popcorn Popper
Let’s start our list with one of the best Stovetop Popcorn poppers to roast your coffee beans. The Whirley Pop from Franklin’s Original is a great coffee bean roaster that packs a lot of features that puts it among the best.
Unlike many products in the market, this stovetop popper’s body is made of aluminum. While stainless steel is great at conducting heat, aluminum offers a much higher level of heat conductivity.
Additionally, aluminum is a much lighter element that steel, which makes the pot lighter as a result. This makes it much easier to carry and work with.
The remarkable heat distribution in aluminum also means that it can spread more heat evenly throughout the pot.
Even if you don’t stir the beans as much, they’d still end up roasted because of the great heat circulation. All that translates into shorter coffee roasting time.
The pot also offers a huge internal space of about 6 quarts, which allows you to roast a large patch of coffee beans in one go. However, you can easily store the pot whenever you don’t use it.
One of the best things about that popcorn popper is that it comes with a warranty that guarantees a long-lasting unit in your kitchen.
- Spacious internal space of 6 quarts
- The Aluminum frame offers excellent heat circulation
- Lifetime warranty ensures quality and product’s longevity
- A bit pricey compared to similar products
Wabash Valley Farms Whirley Popcorn Popper
The Whirley-Pop is easily one of the most popular popcorn poppers in the market, so does it live up to its name when roasting coffee? Let’s find out.
Wabash Valley Farms claims that it doesn’t burn the contents after frying, which is true. However, the unit has a remarkable ability to trap in the heat. This makes it one of the best poppers in the market to give you the needed heat for dark roasting.
The popcorn popper comes with clamps that prevent heat from escaping. This shoots up the temperature up to 450 °F.
However, the lip is equipped with few holes that allow the moisture to escape, leaving the roasted beans dry and extra fresh.
The product also features an aluminum frame, which allows for great heat distribution across the pan. Additionally, the Whirley comes with a stirring system that enables you to stir the coffee beans without even lifting the lids!
Both these features are great to keep your coffee beans roasted evenly and prevent one-sided roasts.
Moreover, the unit comes with wooden handles that stay cool no matter how hot the popcorn popper gets. This means you won’t have to worry about getting your hands burned, as it protects it from any direct contact with the heat.
All the parts of the unit are easy to clean, although there have been some complaints that the lid is a bit tricky to clean.
Wabash Valley Farms trust the quality of its products, that’s why it backs it up with a lengthy 25-year warranty. This gives you an insight into the level of quality you’re getting with this worry-free purchase.
- Comes with a generous 25-year warranty
- Large 6-quarts internal space
- Excellent heat-trapping for dark roasting
- The lids are a bit difficult to clean
Great Northern 6250 Spinner Popcorn Popper
Great Northern’s popcorn popper is another great example of a coffee roaster in disguise. The features it offers are highly suitable to roast coffee efficiently.
The spinner popcorn popper comes with a durable stainless steel body. This gives it sturdiness and excellent heat distribution and conductivity. The even heat spreading throughout the popper prevents any one-sided overheating.
Additionally, the spacious volume of 5 quarts allows you to roast a huge amount of coffee beans in a single patch.
The incredible design of the pot and its lid also allows the moisture to escape freely. This is extremely essential during the roasting process, as it saves a lot of energy and time during the roasting process.
The handles and knobs are also made of real wood for the highest level of heat insulation. This protects your hands from burning while operating the popper. They also allow you to take it from one place to the other while being hot.
In addition to the even heat distribution through the walls, the popper also comes with a spinner system that stirs the coffee beans. This continuous stirring also helps in preventing one-sided roasting and bean burning.
When you stir the beans using this spinner you induce a manual heat circulation that heats the coffee beans from all corners.
When you’re done roasting, the stainless steel body is also easy to clean. All you have to do is wipe it to wash it thoroughly and wipe it with some paper towels.
One of the downsides of that popcorn popper is the lack of transparency anywhere on the pot. This means that in order to tell that the beans are roasted, you have to rely on the popping sounds of the beans or uncover the lid.
- The design allows the moisture to escape easily for a better roast
- The stainless steel design and spinner system ensure an even roast in all sides of the beans
- Comes with wood handles for safe transportation and handling
- You can’t see the roasting beans while it’s working
Zippy Pop Stovetop Popcorn Popper
If you’re looking for a coffee roasting machine that’s extremely easier to use than most of the market’s products, then this one’s for you.
Zippy Pop is a simple but widely efficient popper that comes with a tempered glass lid system. This allows you to view the coffee roasting process clearly through the lid. This makes it perfect for beginner roasters who are still experimenting.
The pot is made of aluminum, which is great for conducting heat efficiently. Additionally, the pop is lined on the inside with a non-stick material. This can also be a great measure for beginner roasters as it’ll prevent the beans from sticking to your pot.
Moreover, the pot features a unique stirring mechanism. It comes with a propeller and baffles arms that are connected to a top handle for easy stirring.
One thing I didn’t like about it is that this metal handle can get hot quite easily from the rising heat. However, this can be solved by using oven mitts or a piece of cloth.
The real problem is that these arms don’t reach the walls of the pot, leaving some of the coffee beans unstirred properly.
The lid also has 3 holes to allow the moisture to escape while retaining as much heat as possible. The pot is also available with a stainless steel version if you prefer that finish.
- Comes with a non-stick surface that makes it easy to clean
- The glass lid allows you to monitor the entire roasting process
- Extremely user-friendly and perfect for beginners
- Short reaching arms doesn’t offer the best stirring
- The stirring handle is metallic and can easily get hot
West Bend 82505 Stir Crazy Electric Hot Oil Popcorn Popper Machine
If you’re looking for a smart way to automate most of the process, then you might be interested in this kind of poppers. This machine is capable of stirring the beans automatically. This takes away the inconvenience of manually stirring the coffee beans throughout the session.
Despite being one of the most affordable units on the market, it offers an ultra-large 6-quart interior. This allows you to roast large amounts of coffee beans easily.
The machine is lined with a triple-layer heating plate to allow for the best heat distribution while roasting the coffee beans.
The insulated base also prevents the heat from leaking to your countertop, which protects your hands and the counter from any heat damage.
The top layer is also a non-stick material that makes the cleaning process a much easier task. This means that you will only need to wipe it with a wet cloth to get it all ready for another patch.
The top cover is designed for maximum efficiency. The nesting lid allows for compact storage while its venting holes get rid of moisture easily while operating.
The transparency of the lid also gives you the ability to monitor the roasting process easily. This means you can guarantee the perfect shade of roasted beans every time you use the machine.
- Budget-friendly option
- The motorized blade system allows for automatic stirring
- Easily used and stored
- Large roasting capacity
- The lids are a bit hard to clean
- The electric cord needs to be longer
While shopping for the best popcorn popper to roast my coffee, I put the reasons why I went for that method in front of my eyes. This means that the pot needs to be cost-efficient, easy-to-use, and roast the coffee beans evenly.
For all these reasons and more, I choose Wabash Valley Farms’ Whirley Popcorn Popper as the best popcorn popper for roasting coffee.
It offers an unrivaled heat distribution that works for even the darkest roasts. Additionally, it’s backed by a 25-year warranty, showing the level of quality I’m bidding for.
Not to mention that the product has a bigger capacity than most products in the market. Moreover, as a dark roast lover, Wabash Valley Farms gives me the needed heat to reach the shade I like.