Using the Whirley Pop for Home Roasting



You don't need to buy a fancy electrical coffee roaster to roast your own coffee. You can do it old school with a Whirley Pop style popcorn maker/coffee roaster. We've outlined the basic steps below:

Step 1
Step 2
Roasting with the Whirley-Pop is an excellent (and relatively inexpensive) way to roast coffee at home. To get started, pour in enough beans to cover the bottom of the roaster. Adding too much is worse than not adding enough; you need to make sure that the bean agitators at the bottom of the pan can evenly move and circulate beans. This ensures an even roast. If there are beans that stay on the top, or beans that are forced to stay on the bottom due to the weight of the bean mass, they will not get an even application of heat. We have found 8 oz. to 1 lb. of green beans to be ideal.

Once you add the beans to the roaster and apply heat, the circulation knob at the end of the handle needs to be regularly turned. When deciding the amount of heat to apply, keep in mind that a higher roast temperature means that total roast time will be shorter, but that you will need to rotate the handle more vigorously to compensate. Never go full blast - start off with a little less than half the burner's capacity and monitor the temperature with the supplied thermometer from there. Your ideal roasting temperature will be around 450F-500F degrees. *Do not leave your roast unattended! Burned beans will smoke heavily and can easily catch fire!*
Soon your beans will go from bright green, to yellow, to brown and start to crack and pop. This is known as the "first crack". This cracking will soon subside and as the beans continue to darken, you will reach the "second crack" - another phase of cracking and popping. Your beans will become black and oily if you continue to roast beyond this phase. If you are a beginner, stop your roast as soon as you hear the second crack and experiment roasting more darkly or lightly in subsequent roasts as you become more familiar with a particular bean. Different beans have different optimal roast levels. Keep in mind that you can find updated roasting notes for particular beans at

Step 3
Once you have decided that your roast is complete, dump your beans into a colander and cool them with a fan or hair drier (set to cool!). You may want to complete this step outside or in the garage as chaff (a fine paper-like skin that comes off the beans during the roast) will be blown about. It is important to cool your beans quickly so that they do not continue to roast and do not develop a "baked" flavor. Once cooled to room temperature, allow your beans to "degas" for 12-24 hours before grinding and brewing.


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