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How to Roast Coffee Beans using a Popcorn Popper as a Roaster

How to roast coffee beans in 4 easy steps. It's dead easy – all you need is a popcorn popper and a bag of green coffee beans. Who needs coffee roasters?! Not only is it easy, but it is also much cheaper than the processed beans from your favorite coffee store.

Basic economics always centers round supply and demand. Think how expensive coffee is. That is because many people want it, and the price therefore goes up. Now think about how many people know how to roast their own coffee beans, and buy green, unroasted beans that you see at your local supermarket or coffee house. Not too many?

Well, if you have never compared the price between roasted and unroasted beans you are in for a big surprise! Green beans can be 20% -50% cheaper! However, many people are put off roasting coffee beans because they either don't have a coffee roaster, or because they find that coffee roasters are really too expensive. Well, think again! You can roast your own coffee beans, all it takes is a little imagination and a popcorn popper to turn those green beans into a light roast or dark roast, depending on your personal taste.

First of all, as mentioned, you will need a popcorn popper. If you are like our household, our popcorn popper sat on the bench top was used once or twice, before the novelty wore off, and we resorted back to using the old pan. Well now your popcorn popper can get a makeover for a far more worthy and useful function – to roast your own coffee beans. So, how exactly is it done? In 4 short steps as seen below.

Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Roast Coffee Beans

Homemade roasted coffee beans roasted with a popcorn popper.How to Roast Coffee Beans Step 1

First, place about 3oz (75-85g) of green coffee beans into your popcorn popper in order to keep the beans at a high heat.  Too many beans will end up lowering the temperature and not roasting properly.

For those of you who like a light roast, keep the popcorn popper on for 5-6 minutes. 

For those of you who like a darker roast you will need to keep those coffee beans in there for 7-8 minutes. It might take you a couple of goes to see which roast you prefer.

How to Roast Coffee Beans Step 2

Now listen for the snap, crackle, pop! While you are roasting your coffee beans they will crack just like your popcorn, so don’t be alarmed at the sound! They will in fact crack twice; the first time they crack is when you put them in and then after a little bit of quiet they will crack again, but not as loudly as the first time. 

The second crack usually comes after the beans have been in the popcorn popper for about 6 minutes.

How to Roast Coffee Beans Step 3

Now cool down your beans. Cooling down your beans quickly, so that they don’t carry on cooking is a very important part of the process. To do this well, have two light containers ready that are of equal size and have a fan or an air-conditioner going.

Now place the beans from the popcorn popper into one container, lifting it up high in front of the fan or A/C let the beans drop into the other container that you have beneath to catch the beans. 

Repeat the process until the beans are cool to the touch. If the weather is cold or it is blowing a cold wind, this process could be done outside. Just don't drop the beans!

How to Roast Coffee Beans Step 4

The last step in the process is that you need to rest your beans to get rid of any gas that may still be present. Leave your beans to rest out on the kitchen counter away from steam or moisture for about a week.

After the week and the short drying process you can go ahead and grind your beans whenever you want to enjoy a cuppa, and take satisfaction in the fact that you have roasted coffee with your own fair hands! Enjoy!


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