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Best Popcorn Popper - Best Home Roaster?
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Discussions > Coffee > Home Roast > Best Popcorn...  
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CharlesM
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 7
Location: SAUSALITO
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni PL
Grinder: Gaggia MDF
Posted Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:00am
Subject: Best Popcorn Popper - Best Home Roaster?
 

Hi!

I'm just starting out with the Home Roasting concept.  Very excited!

Would you please recommend the best Air Popcorn Popper to use for home roasting?  I really would like to find one that is not too noisy... I hate high pitch screaming appliances.

Also if you would please recommend a home roaster that is not too expensive, I'd really appreciate.

I will never make my own sort of thing, so a good home use pre-manufactured machine would be perfect!

Thanks!

Charles
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PJK
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PJK
Joined: 21 Jan 2002
Posts: 2,318
Location: Shingle Springs CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancillo Silvia, Tonic...
Grinder: Modified Rocky, Elma side...
Vac Pot: Old Silex
Drip: Melitta BCM 4  +Some old...
Roaster: Hottop, Modified Z&D,...
Posted Sun Feb 3, 2013, 4:21pm
Subject: Re: Best Popcorn Popper - Best Home Roaster?
 

Hi Charles,

Likely the best air corn popper for coffee roasting is the original West Bend Poppery.  This is the one with the series wound universal motor as apposed to the later ones with small DC motors.  It is however something of a high pitched screaming appliance.

For made to purpose Fluid Bed roasters the Fresh-Roast is supposed to be relatively quiet.  It is however a hot air roaster so expect noise.

If you want quiet, get a Hottop. It is far and away the quietest roaster I have ever had.  It is fairly expensive and there is no smoke reduction so make sure you have a good vent.

Phil


CharlesM Said:

Hi!

I'm just starting out with the Home Roasting concept.  Very excited!

Would you please recommend the best Air Popcorn Popper to use for home roasting?  I really would like to find one that is not too noisy... I hate high pitch screaming appliances.

Also if you would please recommend a home roaster that is not too expensive, I'd really appreciate.

I will never make my own sort of thing, so a good home use pre-manufactured machine would be perfect!

Thanks!

Charles

Posted February 3, 2013 link


 
Philip J. Keleshian
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dorkroast
Senior Member
dorkroast
Joined: 3 Oct 2012
Posts: 88
Location: CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Drip: Cheapo Melitta pourover
Roaster: Behmor, Popcorn Pumper
Posted Sun Feb 3, 2013, 10:33pm
Subject: Re: Best Popcorn Popper - Best Home Roaster?
 

I use an old version Popcorn Pumper which works pretty well.

One thing to watch if you use a newer hot air popcorn popper is that many now seem to have a thermostat which turns off the heat at a certain temperature to avoid overheating and damaging the popper. Unfortunately this thermostat can cause the roast to stall by turning off the heat and never allowing the roast to fully develop.

The thermostat can be modded/removed- usually fairly easily but at your own risk (of course).
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dyqik
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Joined: 7 Oct 2011
Posts: 383
Location: Cambridge, MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ07 PM
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso...
Vac Pot: Cona D
Drip: Bona-Vita, CCD, Aeropress.
Roaster: Gene Cafe, Modded Poppers
Posted Mon Feb 4, 2013, 11:50am
Subject: Re: Best Popcorn Popper - Best Home Roaster?
 

For a new purchase, the Sunbeam Air Popper I bought from Target a year or so ago for $20 works pretty well - It's got the right circuit layout to allow the main heating element to be switched independently of the fan, and it was easy enough to disable the thermostat by popping out the bimetallic button.  I've seen it elsewhere around here as well.  This is it - Amazon reviews seem to think it's a terrible popcorn popper, although I think that's something strange going on with the review system - it worked fine when I popped corn in it yesterday!  It happily roasted coffee for me a couple of times as well, although I had a Goodwill purchase that I used as my main roaster until I got my Gene-Cafe.

You should look at any popper to make sure that you have the side vented chamber kind rather than the mesh bottomed kind - this helps spin/agitate the beans in the chamber and avoids chaff falling onto the element and smoking.
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CoolFeet
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Feb 2013
Posts: 1
Location: bay area
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Espresso: moka pot
Roaster: West Bend Poppery
Posted Mon Feb 4, 2013, 9:09pm
Subject: Re: Best Popcorn Popper - Best Home Roaster?
 

I have been using the Westbend Poppery for 8 years and it has never failed me.  I burned out a few Toastmasters because I roasted back to back.  I am impressed with the flavor profile.  We have this incredible microroaster in the Bay Area that roasts their coffee light.  It's great coffee.  However, when I compare my light roast from my Westbend Poppery, I feel my coffee tastes so much better.  Even the "light roast" guy who sells his coffee in an upscale spot at the Ferry Building in San Francisco tastes burned by my standards.

Look in your local thrift stores and find the Westbend.  If you cannot find a used one local, buy one off eBay.  It's worth the money for good coffee.
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thusband
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Feb 2013
Posts: 2
Location: San Jose
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Feb 7, 2013, 9:01pm
Subject: Re: Best Popcorn Popper - Best Home Roaster?
 

CoolFeet Said:

I have been using the Westbend Poppery for 8 years and it has never failed me.  I burned out a few Toastmasters because I roasted back to back.  I am impressed with the flavor profile.  We have this incredible microroaster in the Bay Area that roasts their coffee light.  It's great coffee.  However, when I compare my light roast from my Westbend Poppery, I feel my coffee tastes so much better.  Even the "light roast" guy who sells his coffee in an upscale spot at the Ferry Building in San Francisco tastes burned by my standards.

Posted February 4, 2013 link

Is that the 1200 or 1500 watt Poppery? I would think the 1500 watt would be the one to go for.
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CapnJimbo
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Mar 2013
Posts: 20
Location: South Florida
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Dec 25, 2013, 2:17pm
Subject: Re: Best Popcorn Popper - Best Home Roaster?
 

The best popper?  Easy - the one with the side slots you find for $3 at a garage sale, or perhaps even free.    All of these will roast just fine, indeed the slightly lower wattage of the cheapies is even better.    Yes I own a Pumper (same as Poppery), no I don't use it and prefer my no-name $3.99 recycled popper I found.    Your only task will be to disarm the thermo, buy 5 pounds of Columbian, and check out SM for help on how to run a popper.
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BonsaiDoug
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Jun 2013
Posts: 50
Location: Canandaigua
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso
Roaster: FreshRoast SR500
Posted Wed Dec 25, 2013, 5:07pm
Subject: Re: Best Popcorn Popper - Best Home Roaster?
 

I'm still using the West Bend Air Crazy I started with in June ('13).  After disabling the thermostat, I'm hitting some excellent roasts at about 20-30 seconds into second crack.

While it's not super quiet, I can easily hear 1st and 2nd cracks.  And I usually do 3 roasts back-to-back, and I've yet to have an issue with the popper.
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CapnJimbo
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Mar 2013
Posts: 20
Location: South Florida
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Dec 26, 2013, 8:47am
Subject: Re: Best Popcorn Popper - Best Home Roaster?
 

BonsaiDoug Said:

I'm still using the West Bend Air Crazy I started with in June ('13).  After disabling the thermostat, I'm hitting some excellent roasts at about 20-30 seconds into second crack.

While it's not super quiet, I can easily hear 1st and 2nd cracks.  And I usually do 3 roasts back-to-back, and I've yet to have an issue with the popper.

Posted December 25, 2013 link

If my $3 cheepo no-name ever quits, count me in for your Air Crazy, which appears to be 1040 watts.   I think the biggest mistake we all make is to go after the high-powered Poppery/Pumpers, though while better made, have way more power (and HEAT) and tend to run hot and fast.   The truth is that while poppers (used properly) will give you quite predictable roasts, the roasts are a little faster than ideal.  

Thus a lower powered (read cheaper) popper is actually better if you want the best roasts.   Plus you can find/buy 15 cheepies for the price of one Poppery I.
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