As a long-time coffee enthusiast, I’m always on the search for the best methods to roast coffees at home. After years of using expensive roasting machines, I discovered that a simple $20 air popcorn popper allows me to easily roast high-quality coffee in just minutes.

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll share my expert tips for Roasting Coffee Beans In Popcorn Popper at home. You’ll learn the process from start to finish, and be roasting amazing coffee in no time. Let’s get started with vietnamcoffeebeans!

Key Takeaways of Roasting Coffee Beans In Popcorn Popper

  • A basic air popcorn popper costs under $25 and works great for roasting green coffees at home.
  • Roast just 3-4oz of green coffee at a time for the best results in a popcorn popper.
  • Listen for “first crack” and “second crack” sounds to identify slight, medium, and deep roast levels.
  • Cool the toasted grains quickly by pouring them between two colanders or bowls.
  • Rest the toasted caffeine for 12-24 hours before brewing for optimal flavor.

Why Roast Coffee Beans at Home?

As any coffee aficionado knows, nothing beats the flavor of freshly toasted coffee beans via the process of roasting coffee beans at home. Roasting green coffees yourself allows you to:

  • Save money compared to buying premium toasted coffee
  • Customize your roast level exactly how you like it
  • Explore single-origin grains from around the world
  • Roast and enjoy fresh coffee anytime

While dedicated roasting machines can cost hundreds of dollars, I’ve found that repurposing a basic air popcorn popper provides a quick, easy, and inexpensive home coffee beans for roasting solution.

Why Roast Coffee Beans at Home?

What You’ll Need to Get Started

Roasting coffee at home with a popcorn popper only requires a few items:

  • Air popcorn popper – Any popper with a metal chamber and side vents will work. I use the cheap $20 West Bend Air Crazy.
  • Green coffees – Buy 3-4oz of your preferred origin. Lightly toasted grains are ideal for roasting.
  • Colanders or bowls – For cooling the freshly toasted beans.
  • A kitchen timer or phone
  • A scale (optional but recommended)
  • A thermometer (optional)

That’s it! Now let’s walk through the simple process of roasting step-by-step.

Step 1 – Prepare the Popcorn Popper

Plug in and turn on your popcorn popper. Place it on a heat-safe surface outside if possible – it will vent some chaff during roasting.

Pop off the plastic top piece to allow easy access.

Step 2 – Add the Green Coffee Beans

Add 3-4oz of your favorite green coffee to the popping chamber. I’ve found this small batch size works best.

Using a utensil, stir the grains around initially until the hot air can move them consistently.

Step 3 – Listen for the “Cracks”

Here’s where you’ll want to pay close attention. As the grains roast, they will go through two distinct phases called “cracks”:

First Crack – Starts around 2.5-3 minutes. You’ll hear slight , popping sounds as the grains reach 360-370°F. The grains will turn brown and smell like coffee.

Second Crack – Starts around 4 minutes with a higher-pitched popping like rice krispies. Beans will be around 420-430°F. You’ll see more smoke.

Roasting coffee in a popcorn popper is a good idea. Cracking sounds are fun to hear, too

Step 4 – Remove Beans at the Desired Roast Level

Using the cracking sounds, you can easily identify slight, medium, and deep roast levels:

  • Light Roast – Remove just before the first crack
  • Medium Roast – Remove during the early second crack
  • Dark Roast – Remove mid-way through the second crack once popping slows

I prefer a light-medium roast to highlight fruity notes in the bean. Dark roasts can mute these flavors.

Step 5 – Cool the Beans Fast

Once roasted, quickly pour the hot grains back and forth between two colanders or bowls. This cools them rapidly to stop the roasting process.

Some chaff will blow away in the process.

Step 6 – Rest and Store the Beans

Allow the toasted grains to rest for 12-24 hours before brewing. This helps improve and settle the flavor.

Store the grains in an airtight container away from light and moisture. Use or freeze within 1-2 weeks for best freshness.

And that’s it – freshly toasted artisan coffee in just 5 minutes! With a bit of practice using an air popcorn popper, you’ll be able to easily customize your preferred roast levels.

The small 3-4oz batch size is perfect for experimenting with new grains and always having the freshest coffee on hand. Let’s look at some common questions about popper coffee beans roasting next.

With everything done, you can make your own coffee cup deliciously

Frequently Asked Questions

An air popper with a metal chamber and side vents works best. The West Bend Air Crazy is an excellent budget choice at around $20.

The entire process of roasting takes only 4-5 minutes thanks to the rapid hot air circulation. Listen for the cracking sounds to monitor doneness.

Aim for 3-4oz of green grains per batch. Much more and the popper can’t circulate the grains well. Roast multiple small batches for larger quantities.

You can use the roaster popper machine out of the box, but many people add thermometers or sight glasses to monitor the roasting process. Search online for mods.

This comes down to personal preference! For fruity, bright coffee, stop just before or at the beginning of the second crack (medium roast). Dark roasts mute acidity but add roast flavor.


Roasting coffee at home using a basic air popcorn popper like the West Bend provides an easy, fast, and inexpensive way to enjoy freshly roasted coffee. In just minutes, you can take green coffees through the first and second cracks to your desired roast level from light to dark.

Cool, rest, and store the grains properly for optimal flavor. With minimal investment and some practice, you’ll be making café-quality coffee at home. The entire family will love exploring new good grains and always having the freshest toasted coffee on hand thanks to popcorn popper home roasting. Give it a try today for a nice cup!

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