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patrickb
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patrickb
Joined: 5 Jun 2006
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Location: Toronto, Ontario
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Posted Fri Apr 27, 2007, 7:48am
Subject: Re: Roasting coffee with a popcorn popper
 

>>> OTH an open wok or frying pan and wooden spoon can produce some might fine coffee roasts, but it ain't necessarily easy!

Only if you have nothing else, IMHO. It's like baking cookies in a regular oven or a convection oven. Heat distribution just won't be the same and you will not get an even result. It's worth a try just for the experience but don't waste too much coffee. There's a reason why no one really does it this way anymore!
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reschsmooth
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Posted Mon Apr 30, 2007, 12:21am
Subject: Re: Roasting coffee with a popcorn popper
 

Top article. One technique I have been using is stealing my wife's hairdryer to cool the beans (as well as blow chaff down and away from everything.

Using a colander/seive (preferably round), I dump the beans into it, place a fitting saucepan lid over the colander and, with the hairdryer on cold, blast the beans with cold air - 80grams will cool in about 1-1.5 mins. The other benefit is that the agitation from the dryer will dislodge more of the chaff.

P
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JPR
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Joined: 29 Dec 2005
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Location: New Jersey
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Wed May 2, 2007, 2:06pm
Subject: Re: Roasting coffee with a popcorn popper
 

I've used a hot air popper for about 4 years. A couple of comments:

1)coffee flying out of the popper - it sure will. I have a small wedge that I put under the popper to tilt it back about 30 degrees. This completely stops that problem. I wait until the beans are light enough to really rotate before putting the wedge in as it will slow the rotation if you do it too early.

2)life expectancy of the roaster - I've been doing three or more roasts back-to-back once a week for these 4 years and the popper is still going strong. The plastic lid is half-melted, though.

3) profiles - my popper is a little fast (or my voltage is a little high). At 60 degrees F ambient temp I will reach 2nd crack in 5 to 6 minutes. I've been meaning to modify the popper to allow turning off the heat while leaving the fan on, haven't done it. Instead, Ive been turning the popper off for 20 seconds at various times in the roast and stirring vigorously and then turning it back on. In this manner I can stretch the roast out to 8 or 9 minutes. I try to keep the roast moving the whole time, just at a slower speed. I'd like to hear some comments on this method.

4)cold weather popping - I do all my roasts outside. I've roasted at temperatures in the teens quite successfully using variations of the box method. I also have an aluminum foil lid that I slide over the opening in the popper to help retain heat. I actually prefer cold temps as it allows me to control the roast better. Plus snow drifts make great places to put my cooling bowls for a rapid cool down.

4) popper limitation - in addition to only crude roast profiles, the biggest limitation to me is capacity.  A half cup at a time is too little. I occasionally roast with a heat gun or in a skillet on the grill for greater capacity, but find I get a much better roast with the popper.
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inkstar
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Posted Sat May 5, 2007, 10:49am
Subject: Re: Roasting coffee with a popcorn popper
 

I don't know how it compares quality wise, but I have a Chefmate from Target, 14.99, that has the same basket and works well.  I use a thermocouple through the top for temp sensing.  I'm still very new to roasting, so can you experienced guys call out some poppers that you've had luck with for us newbies?
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WonderClown
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Posted Sat May 5, 2007, 1:47pm
Subject: Re: Roasting coffee with a popcorn popper
 

inkstar Said:

I'm still very new to roasting, so can you experienced guys call out some poppers that you've had luck with for us newbies?

Posted May 5, 2007 link

The original West Bend Poppery is the best I've tried.  No longer manufactured; sells for $40+ on ebay.  The Poppery II came later and is probably only slightly better than your Chefmate.  It can only handle about 90g of beans, tops.  The Proctor Silex Popcorn Pumper is better; it can handle 120g easily.  I've also heard good things about the Wearever Popcorn Pumper, which is a very different beast, but I've never tried one.
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mcKoffee
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Posted Sat May 5, 2007, 3:08pm
Subject: Re: Roasting coffee with a popcorn popper
 

patrickb Said:

>>> OTH an open wok or frying pan and wooden spoon can produce some might fine coffee roasts, but it ain't necessarily easy!

Only if you have nothing else, IMHO. It's like baking cookies in a regular oven or a convection oven. Heat distribution just won't be the same and you will not get an even result. It's worth a try just for the experience but don't waste too much coffee. There's a reason why no one really does it this way anymore!

Posted April 27, 2007 link

I'd contend it depends on the regular oven and depends on who's doing the open wok roasting. FWIW I do know people who do regularly still open wok roast by choice over other methods. With skill wok roasts can be quite excellent and results fairly repeatable. I'd further contend a big reason people don't wok roast is because it takes far greater skill and effort than most other methods, not primarily because of the result potential in the cup. Personally I've gotten some most exquiste wok roasts, but haven't wok roasted in a couple years and choose instead to use dual variable boosted voltage controlled air profile roasting.

 
miKe mcKoffee aka Mike McGinness
www.CompassCoffeeRoasting.com
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rainham
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Joined: 18 Apr 2007
Posts: 18
Location: Toronto
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun May 27, 2007, 5:08pm
Subject: Re: Roasting coffee with a popcorn popper
 

thanks again to the author for such a great tutorial.  Being a first time roaster it made it very easy and i wanted to take the time to write and thank him for taking the time and to let him know how well put together it was and it all maded sence to a first timer like me!

cheers!!!

GHP
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MarkPrince
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Posted Mon May 28, 2007, 1:25am
Subject: Re: Roasting coffee with a popcorn popper
 

Thanks for the feedback, GHP!

Mark

 
CoffeeGeek Senior Editor
www.twitter.com/coffeegeek www.flickr.com/coffeegeek, www.instagram.com/coffeegeek (you get the picture)
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WWDoc
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Posted Sat Jun 16, 2007, 1:22pm
Subject: Re: Roasting coffee with a popcorn popper
 

Very nice article.

For the pure novice, it would be nice if you would mention how many cc's (or ounces volume) of green beans there are in 84 grams (some people don't have scales that accurate).

Maybe also, brand name of the popper and where to purchase.

Again, nice job!

WWDoc
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shawnhateley
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Joined: 28 Jun 2007
Posts: 6
Location: Melbourne Australia
Expertise: Pro Barista

Posted Thu Jun 28, 2007, 10:23pm
Subject: Re: Roasting coffee with a popcorn popper
 

nope
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