The benefits of Stovetop Popper roasting:
You can roast more in one batch than air roasters, and more than
some expensive drum roasters! 1/2 to 1 pound batches are possible.
With the Stainless popper you might be able to roast a bit more too.
This means you can probably roast enough for a week in one sitting,
and with 1 or 2 batches.
You can get good roast results through the entire range, from City
roasts to Dark French/Spanish roasts. Lighter roasts are a bit more
difficult with this method. But all levels can be done well with a
If you like doing things the "olde tyme way", you may enjoy
this! There's no electronics to break. Completely Y1k compatible.
It's fairly quiet and with experience you should be able to hear
the first crack and second crack easily.
You can have total control over the length of the roast, getting
more of a "drum roast" profile, which some people prefer
- You can go nuts and modify/customize the process endlessly. People
have added spit motors or electric screwdrivers to power the agitator,
bolted the roaster to camp stoves so it doesn't move around on them,
installed thermometers of all sorts...
The problems with Stovetop Popper roasting:
Stovetop roasting produces a lot of smoke, mainly because you are
roasting more coffee in each batch. You must have a hood over your
stove that actually goes to the outside, or roast outdoors on a camp
stove ... or maybe you really like smoke..
This method requires some skill - you need to set the heat source
so you don't roast too fast and scorch coffee, or too slow and bake
You need to be patient ... to roast coffee well the process takes
8 to 15 minutes, and you need to stand there and slowly crank the
roaster the whole time. Sometimes the popper doesn't crank easily
and you need to overcome that ...
... Stovetop poppers might require some adjustments and occasional
repairs to keep working right. You are on your own, since you
are using it for an unintended purpose you can't expect a warranty
to cover you. Poppers are for DIY people (do-it-yourself).
You may need to fix gears, replace rivets with screws, modify
the stirring paddle, etc.
- Some coffees don't get along with stovetop roasters and tend to jam
them up ... namely the Yemeni coffees and other small-bean types. Peaberry
coffees roast especially well because they "roll" in the popper.