Air Popper Coffee Roasting

After delving deeper and deeper into the specialty coffee world. I decided to try my hand at roasting from home. It’s amazing how inexpensive green coffee beans can be. It happens though because the art of great coffee really comes out in the roast. That’s what you are paying for when you buy fresh roasted small batch coffee, the skill of the roaster.

I had heard many people roast using one, so I thought why not!?! Home roasters can be pricey and I wasn’t ready to invest that heavily into something that was just an expirement at this point.

wp-1482112793926.jpgI stumbled upon Bodhi Leaf Coffee Traders a few years back just as they were setting up shop. They are a green coffee bean wholesaler and are just a few miles from home. So for some time I have been pondering the next step in my exploration of specialty coffee.

Like Squints, “I couldn’t take it anymore!” So we went down Anaheim to see what we could buy. I ended up walking away with a Guatamelan coffee and an Ethiopian too. It’s amazing that two pounds of green beans cost me less than one 12oz. bag of roasted beans, but that’s the way it is.

Once I got home I thought I better do some quick research. So I found a great little video from Sweet Maria’s. Sweet Maria’s is another green coffee wholesaler. The video was short and to the point. It really covered basics well and was just enough to get me started and on the right track.

I enjoy coffee that is on the lighter side of the roasting scale. The video was teaching how to roast to full city or full city plus. That means a darker roast, not quite Starbucks but almost. As a result my first two batches came out with a flavor profile with a lot chocolate and toasted nut flavors.

I recently completed my second run of the Ethiopian beans and tried to stop right after first crack. This yielded coffee much closer to what I find in most specialty coffee shops, more acidity and crisp flavors. I was very satisfied with the acomplishment. The flavors are not as complex as the beans I get from the pros, but I’m sure that has to do with the rapid roasting cycle of the air popper.


The beans roast extremely fast. I get a 1/3 cup of beans to go from green to roasted in about 3 minutes or less. The large professional roasters bring the coffee beans along much slower allowing the flavors to develop. My next adventure will be sitting in on a roasting session with a pro so I can see what they are looking for and figure out how to apply that to my home roasting process.

I can’t wait to try some more green beans from different regions. I can easily make 60z of coffee in a matter 15 to 20 minutes. So it’s not too time consuming and saves some money in the process. If you are a fan of coffee and have an old air popper or even a stove top model sitting around, you really should give this a try.


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