New 100g $89 "Popper" roaster at Sweet Maria's [VIDEO] - Page 2

Discuss roast levels and profiles for espresso, equipment for roasting coffee.
baldheadracing (original poster)
Team HB

#11: Post by baldheadracing (original poster) »

tennisman03110 wrote:Something I don't need but really want, just to try.

I'd be interested if someone compared this to the Fresh Roast SR540. Which is the roaster I periodically look at online, only to not buy it (yet).
The Popper is about half the price of an SR540. An about $100 price point vs. about a $200 price point can be a significant difference for "just to try."

I think that the Popper is something that you buy and use as-is and have fun with (outdoors). $109 gets you the machine and nine pounds of coffee - about 40 roasts.

I suspect that by 40 roasts one will have a very good idea whether roasting is a new hobby that one wants to get into, or is something that is best left to others. I know not-a-few people who have tried home roasting and subsequently decided that home roasting wasn't for them. On the other hand, if roasting appeals, then there may well be upgrade-itis, whether Popper or Fresh Roast.

Also, I don't think that this machine is for people who like to modify and DIY - something like a roaster using a heat gun is perhaps better for them to start out with (and they probably already have a heat gun ...).
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada


#12: Post by renatoa »

Sure, agree, my reply was about using this popper derived machine as a sampler, suposedly for pro usage, not for having fun.

One problem I see about the combo offer is that cheap coffee bad results can ruin even the greatest enthusiasm.
Nine pounds of coffee for $20 is not the coffee quality I would try to persuade a newcomer... start with $10/kg coffee or better buy from a roastery.

baldheadracing (original poster)
Team HB

#13: Post by baldheadracing (original poster) »

Tom demo's the Popper (there is about 5:15 of overlap between the two videos, so you can skip the first 5:15 of the second video)

Part 1: 16 minutes
Part 2: 20 minutes
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

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#14: Post by pcofftenyo »

It arrived!

Nice deep roasting chamber.
Adequate airflow on high to get 50g moving evenly but not blowing about.
Seemingly enough heat.

It has a 10 minute timer cutting off heat at 7 with 3 minutes to cool. If not nearing the end of the roast before 3 minutes are left should add time back onto the roast.

The cover is amber-ish tinted so bean color changes are difficult to see. I pulled it off to watch for yellow, putting it back on when nearing 1C.

Would be pretty easy to add temp monitoring by dropping a probe into the chamber or by drilling through the case.

The SO was stoked and now wants to learn to roast.

baldheadracing (original poster)
Team HB

#15: Post by baldheadracing (original poster) »

pcofftenyo wrote:... The SO was stoked and now wants to learn to roast.
Worth it for this alone! :D
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada


#16: Post by mikelipino »

Thanks for the find on this! This might be the perfect intersection for me of price and basic functionality to try out roasting. My order has been placed.

@pcofftenyo, do you think you'll be adding a thermocouple to the Popper? I watched a few videos by SM installing TCs on poppers, and do you think the chamber could support a TC drilled through the side?

Side note: I get the simplicity of calling in the Popper, but it's going to be really hard to search for info on it on the forum and out in the wild internet


#17: Post by renatoa »

And here we start again... with the modding hysteria.

May I ask you "innocently" why would you need a probe in such machine ?
To get some very noisy and useless data... for what purpose ?


#18: Post by mikelipino »

Not a continuous data logger, but a simple thermometer to slow heating before first crack. I'm also color blind, so I think a final bean temp is more helpful to me than stopping a roast based on color


#19: Post by renatoa »

There is so much turbulence in such machine that you aren't able to get a proper bean or air measure, always is a mix, a very noisy medium.

Also, no need to slow heat before FC, if afraid about flick and crash, they are specific to drum roasters, or other machines with less airflow, and hard to notice on FB machines, should no worry on this subject, and keep a proper but constant heat level in the development phase.

I would be more concerned about usage of a pot instead of a switch or other stepped mean for power control.
The first thing you need for coffee roasting, before everything else, is a precise controllable and reproducible source of heat.
A thermometer tell you too late that the heat is too much, when the beans are already damaged.

Not the last, in coffee roasting the differences are more important than the absolute values.
A really valuable tools should be able to tell you the rate of change, as degrees per minute, rather than the temperature of the moment.

Team HB

#20: Post by ira »

When I started roasting, I used a popper with 2 toggle switches and a thermometer straight down the middle into the bean mass. One switch was fan, on or off, and the other switch was heat, on or off. As I recall, I did better roasting with that then I ever did with my highly modified Behmor and if I still had it, I'd be tempted to try again with that machine. I've no idea if adding a dimmer to the heater would have improved the quality of my roasts, just flipping the heater on and off while watching the beans and the thermometer seemed to be plenty of control , then again in 1985 or so when I was doing that, getting information about roasting was a whole lot harder so I was pretty much winging it.