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Choosing an air popper with the right design is important if you want to use it to roast coffee safely and efficiently at home.
The single most important element to consider when choosing a popcorn popper to roast coffee is the venting system. Look inside the popping chamber. If you see an aluminum mesh screen at the bottom or sides, look for another popper. Chaff from the coffee beans can drop through the screen and pose a fire hazard.
Instead, look for a popper that blows hot air into the popping chamber through side vents. In addition to being safer, the blowing will keep the coffee beans in motion and contribute to a more even roast.
Sweet Maria's, one of the best known and most respected online suppliers of green coffee beans and home coffee roasting supplies, maintains a list of suitable air poppers at http://www.sweetmarias.com/airpop/airpopmethod.php. Other poppers may work as well, but these have been tested and recommended by Sweet Maria's users.