Andy Taylor

Andy Taylor

Ghetto Coffee Roasting

I heard Shawn and Ben talking about roasting coffee in a popcorn popper on the B&B Podcast. So I decided to give it a shot.

I watch the videos they linked to and quickly started searching for where to buy green beans in Melbourne. I found the CoffeeSnobs Starter Pack which seemed good. They send you four random varieties of green beans to get started with. I then told my wife about the plan and she offered to sacrifice her popcorn popper.


Supposedly there’s a first and a second crack. The first is supposed to be quite audible, the second not so much.

I did two batches, the first for 8.5min, the second for 11min. The first had a few under-done beans and some that looked perfect—a bit inconsistent. The second looked better—darker, with a more even roast.

I’m not even sure I heard the second crack either time. The first I probably stopped too early, as I didn’t want to over-do it. The second time there was one or two cracks before I took them out, but they didn’t sound any different to the ones from first crack.

Here’s a video of the first batch:

Next time

On the Coffee Snobs Forum there’s a whole lot of people making chimney’s out of tin cans. I think I’ll try that. The beans weren’t exactly flying out of the popper, but I had to keep shaking it to keep a few stray beans in the chamber. A can would definitely keep them in.


Before roasting, the beans smelt alright, but not anything like coffee normally does. Straight after roasting they smelt pretty good—like coffee, but nothing to write home about. I went to have a look an hour later and they’d started to smell really good. In the morning they smelt even better and after I ground some—holy shit.

I made a short black first. I figured pure coffee with no milk or sugar was a good way to test it. Shawn had said his first batch was about as good as any coffee he’d buy (which could only leave room for improvement). I’d say mine is a bit better than coffee I’d normally buy, and I’m convincing myself that it’s even better again.

Very minimal bitterness, but still really strong and full bodied. I’d say batch two was a success. Time for another coffee.

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