roasting coffee with a popcorn popper

How To Roast Coffee Using A Popcorn Popper

Contrary to popular belief, roasting coffee at home does not need to be complicated. While having a specialized coffee roasting appliance certainly has its benefits, it’s far from an absolute necessity. All you need is a hot air popper, some high-quality green coffee beans, and you’ll be well on your way to creating a cup that’s far superior to store-bought roasted coffee. For small quantities, poppers produce a relatively even roast under the right circumstances. It’s a great place to start your roasting journey.

What You Need?

cup of green coffee
popcorn popper
cooling tray

1 Cup Of Green Coffee

Popcorn Popper

Cooling Tray

Follow these simple steps to create a magical cup of coffee: (Click here for a video guide)


Measure 1 cup of green coffee beans. It should weigh around 2.5-3 ounces or 75-80 grams for the popper we carry.

[Note: Amount may vary for other poppers. The key to understanding whether or not you have the right amount of green beans is to check if the beans are moving when you switch on the popper. If they don’t, it means you’ve added too much.]


Lift open the cover of the hot air popper, add the beans into the popping chamber, and switch it on.


As the magic of coffee roasting happens, watch closely. To capture the chaff ( skin of the coffee bean), place a cotton cloth right underneath the popper spout.


Keep an ‘ear’ out for cracking sounds. For a Light Roast, switch off the popper about 5 seconds after you hear the crack.

popcorn popper roasting instructions 1-4


For a Medium Roast, let the beans roast for an additional 20 seconds

For a Medium-Dark Roast, let the beans roast for an additional 40 seconds

For a Dark Roast, let the beans roast for an additional 60 seconds

For a French Roast, let the beans roast for an additional 90 seconds

[Note: These times are applicable for the popper available on our website. The time it takes to reach a certain roast level depends on the type of beans, type of popper you’re using, and ambient temperature. For a better understanding of roast profiles, here’s our recommended reading.]


After you’ve achieved your desired roast level, stop the machine & pour out the beans onto a cooling rack.


Once the beans reach room temperature, store the beans in a bag and label them. [roast level, roast date, country of origin, etc.]


After 24hrs have lapsed, grind and brew your coffee to experience heaven in your mouth.  

[Note: Remember to use all of your roasted coffee within 8 days because that’s how long freshly roasted coffee retains its freshness.]

popcorn popper roasting instructions 5-8

Every popper is different and to get the perfect roast level, you need to understand how your popper works. Which essentially means that you need the answers to a few questions. Does your popper run too hot or not hot enough? Have you added too much coffee or too little? Do your beans need more agitation? Is your popper in a ventilated part of your house? Asking these questions early on helps a great deal with consistency moving forward. To read more about the common home coffee roasting mistakes and ways to avoid them, check this out.

Ventilation proves to be an important factor. If you’re roasting indoors, make sure that you crack open a window or run it under the vent. Coffee roasting can sometimes create enough smoke to trigger your smoke detector. Dealing with a fire alarm may not be as fun as watching your coffee change colors.

The inherent flavor notes of your coffee are influenced by several factors. Among these factors, one of the strongest is the roast level. If you’re someone who likes origin flavor notes in your coffee, go with a light roast. If you like your coffee with milk, you’re likely used to a medium-dark, dark, or french roast. For a combination of body and origin flavors, we recommend starting with a medium roast and dialing it up or down depending on your preferences.

At Bunafr, we believe in making home coffee roasting as easy as possible with some help from our Home Coffee Roasting Kit. It comes with a hot air popper, green coffee beans of three different origins, and one-way valve bags to maintain the freshness of your roasted coffee. To get it for yourself, click here. Alternatively, you could bypass all guesswork with our Smart Home Coffee Roaster. Get yours today for next level coffee.

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