I use a Popcorn Popper to roast coffee. It's beyond easy, but of course anything is easy when you've been taught how to do it.
There's a specific brand of popper that works best, a West Bend Poppery II, and it will roast my beans from green to medium dark roast in six minutes 30 seconds plus or minus 30 seconds depending on how hot the day is. You can find these at garage sales and thrift stores everywhere, I paid $6 for mine.
Yes, pour green beans in, plug it in, wait for 6 and a half minutes of growling, allow to cool and you're done.
So after three years of doing this I got the urge to make popcorn the other night. Since I'm watching what I eat, I didn't want a bag of popcorn, I wanted a very controlled batch of air popped popcorn with just a little butter. The bright idea was that I have this perfectly good popcorn popper sitting in the kitchen, why not use it for its intended purpose, the worst that could happen was a coffee flavored batch.
The popcorn turned out fine with no coffee taste. It also didn't clean the brown coffee color that the beans have painted on the walls of the machine over the three years.
I had a nice simple solution to my dietary needs. Air Popped popcorn can taste like packing material, and it is actually legal in the US to use popcorn to pack things to be sent via the US Postal Service. May as well, right? I might do that next time I have to ship something if I can't find shipping bags.
So this morning, waking up at the crack of 5AM, after the dog walk and the first mug of morning half caff, it was time to roast more regular beans. The sun wasn't quite up, and I didn't look closely into the popper hopper as I poured in my green beans.
Yawning as I set the timer, I went on to make the rest of my breakfast and waited for the magic to happen. Green went to yellow amber and then to brown, scenting the back yard with the smell of rich roasting coffee. As I started eating that breakfast, the timer sounded and I pulled the popper back into the kitchen through the window.
I had noticed that there were a few beans scattered on the deck outside the window, food for the Opossum I guess, and didn't know why until I poured out a fresh batch of coffee and popcorn onto the dinner plate that I use to cool the beans. I'll go out there and inspect the lanai later.
So the moral of the story is, look before you roast. You might have a snack with your coffee. There were a few unpopped kernels of popcorn left in the hopper before I began the roast and they popped with the coffee.
Tasted good too!