Coffee Roaster Mod for Home Roasting

The past month and a half I've been a bit distracted by coffee... I discovered that I can roast coffee at home in a regular old pop-corn popper. And not a brand new $30+ pop-corn popper, but I found out it was preferable that the pop-corn popper be really old. This is why God created e-bay - for around $10 (that included shipping) my wife bought me an old used crappy West Bend Poppery II pop-corn popper. And this is the PREFERABLE one to buy for this type of roasting. What's even more amazing is I discovered it tastes better than 99% of the coffee you can buy in the store or at your local coffee shop.

Don't believe me? Go check Google.

Anyway, combine the West Bend Poppery II, Sweet Maria's wholesale green coffee beans supplier and about an hour of free time and you've got yourself about a half-pound of the freshest coffee you can imagine.

After doing this for a couple of weeks I realized I needed to upgrade my coffee rooster. The Poppery II only allowed me to roast 1/4 cup of coffee at a time and that just isn't enough. I needed some real power with out the $400+ price tag for a fancy home roaster.

This is another reason why the Internet is great: SC/TO

That's right - I'm talking about the Stir Crazy / Turbo Oven home modded coffee roasting machine for around $90. Never heard of it? Neither had I until I looked to the coffee roasting forums of CG and Sweet Marias. The amazing combined coffee knowledge at these places will really make someone who thought they knew some things about coffee really feel inadequate. Yet I loved every minute of it.

Right - back to the SC/TO. West Bend does it again with their Stir Crazy Popcorn Popper. While it's quite proficient at popping corn, it's incredibly inadequate at roasting coffee - the temperature in the Stir Crazy only reaches around 320 degrees Fahrenheit. For coffee even to think about roasting, you need temperatures starting at 400 degrees up to 500 degrees F. Now careful, if you actually get the internal bean temp to 500 degrees you'll have charcoal. Anyway - back to my point that the Stir Crazy just doesn't cut it: What it DOES have is little spinning arms that have excellent stirring action for agitating the coffee beans.


This is where the Turbo Oven is important. What, you ask, is a Turbo Oven? It's a lid fashioned with a convection slapped on top. Its' temperature range goes just over 500F - perfect.

Some fairly small modifications and the Stir Crazy / Turbo oven is born. Now I can roast 1/2 lb to a full 1lb of coffee at a time, in a half-hour.

Here are some pictures I took while putting it all together:
Creation of the SC/TO
Roasting Sumatra Class Mandlehing in the SC/TO

What's great about this type of setup is that the coffee beans cost aprox. half as much as if you bought them at the store, but YOU get to determine the level of roast you like for a particular coffee. And you get the freshest coffee around.

4 comments:

  1. An associate of mine has had great success with stovetop roasting. You should try it sometime in a iron skillet.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've been wanting to try that method as well, but since I don't have a hood in my kitchen, it makes it more challenging to vent the smoke. I DO plan on using this method in the fall when I have my fire pit going outside. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for clarifying exactly what "SC/TO" means from what I've been reading in the CoffeeGeek forums!! I'm probably going to give this method a try!

    ReplyDelete
  4. No problem - it wasn't very difficult to pull of. It just took some patience at the hardware stored to pull together the correct parts. The Dremel came in handy as well.

    ReplyDelete