SUCCESS--Popcorn popper roasted coffee

BellsmomJune 10, 2014

Thanks to the folks here, I have now successfully roasted three pounds of coffee--not all at once, of course.

As others have said, it is either the best I have had or nearly so. Certainly the best coffee I have had at home.

I did find that, indeed, the roasted coffee needs to "degas" for two days before grinding and using. You weren't kidding when you said it doesn't taste very good the next day!

With my vast experience (a grand total of 3 pounds of roasted beans) in mind, some of you might find this routine helpful. I certainly had no idea what was needed or how to do this a month ago! And it's so easy!

Two days before you will need the coffee:

Measure one pound of coffee into separate sandwich bags of 85 or so grams each. This produces about 75 grams of roasted beans (they lose moisture in the roasting process) per baggie, which is what I like for my 10 cup coffeemaker, and, conveniently, is also about the proper load for the popper. (I usually have about 20 or 30 grams of green beans left over to use next session with a new pound of beans--5 days off.)

Set the popper in the sink with a large bowl lined with wet paper towels under the spout to catch the chaff.
Pour one 85 gram bag into the slightly pre-warmed popper, turn it back on and stir a bit until the beans begin to rotate, and heat for 7 minutes or so. Experience will tell you how long works best for you. Keeping notes the first few times is a great idea.

Turn off the popper and, using hot pads to handle the hot popper, pour the beans into a large colander and shake for a couple of minutes to cool quickly, then pour them on a large cookie sheet to continue cooling.

Repeat with the next pre-measured baggie of beans.
(I usually let the popper cool a bit between batches)

When cool, pour back into the baggies and set the slightly open bags of beans aside to degas for 2 days.
After two days, twist the bags shut and store in a mason jar until used.
This makes about 5 days worth of coffee for us. A little past optimum age in the last day or two, but very drinkable and convenient.

It is quite convenient to have the beans pre-measured and ready to pour into the grinder each morning.

Edited to add this:
Sleevendog--Yes, I do plan to by-pass the thermostat. (Or rather, have an electrician-friend do it) As you said, I can't get much past first crack and then the popper cools slightly. It peaks at about 425, then drops back and stays between 350 and 375. But for now, this is still darn good roast!

Here is a link that might be useful: Here is my original post and many helpful responses

This post was edited by Bellsmom on Tue, Jun 10, 14 at 9:44

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sleevendog

Hey, congrats! I was wondering how that was going...

A definite learning curve but short lived once a system is found...same thing with our meat grinder...

My vintage PopcornPumper reaches second crack in 6 min this time of year...12 min in the winter months.
Obviously no thermostat. I ran 4 batches back-to-back last night while prepping dinner. 3/4 cup of beans poured while running the popper starts spinning quickly. I just let the chaf spit onto the tray but i'm just outside on the deck steps from the kitchen...use my phone timer...pour into basket, shake a minute and into the fridge, then into ball jar with lid not tightened...
Seems all poppers are a bit different but what a sad day when this one dies. My back-up is a vintage Popperyll.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 11:54AM
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Bellsmom

Sleevendog
Yesterday I had great fun talking to two young men who have opened a coffee shop in our town. Quill's doesn't have much on the menu except coffee (lots of coffees fixed innumerable ways) and internet, but the tables are usually nearly full of people sipping, talking, and surfing. A single scone and a few muffins sat in the small display case, looking forlorn and neglected.

They knew about cornpopper roasting, and then we moved on to THEIR roaster (a six foot tall monster which was cooling what looked like at least 10 pounds and probably more of roasted beans), and the room full of bags of open and unopened green coffee and piles of empty burlap bags. I happily brought home two interesting ones.

Since I am now an aspiring coffee geek, I gotta figure out how to use the bags.

Thank you so much for your help in taking these first steps!
I'll post again when I get the popper de-thermostat-ed and can do darker roasts.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 9:27AM
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annie1992

Bellsmom, it's actually surprisingly easy, isn't it? I got my instructions from Cook's Illustrated and the hardest part was swirling the beans in the frozen colander to cool them.

Still, my coffee roaster was about $150.00 and definitely worth it, I use it weekly and can do enough for several days, plus it has its own cooling cycle, LOL.

Annie

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 7:47PM
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Bellsmom

Annie
Yep, it is surprisingly easy and very surprisingly good.
What "real" roaster did you choose?

I am almost ashamed to admit I won't mind at all when the popper dies and I can buy a "real" roaster that can do more beans at a time and multiple batches one after another.

But for now, this is certainly one of my better appliance leaps into the unknown.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 9:13PM
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annie1992

Bellsmom, mine is a FreshRoast SR500. Mine was on sale for $149.00 from Burman Coffee online. Now I see they are $169.00, but Burman gives free shipping plus 3 pounds of green beans to get you started.

I've been very happy with Burman's, their customer service is great. Plus, I use a Chemex and the filters are pricy, I think I paid $12 a box from Amazon. So, when I order coffee beans I also order my Chemex filters from Burman's, $6.50 for a box of 100.

Yeah, it spoils you for other coffee, doesn't it?

Annie

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 12:25AM
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