One of the perils of creating how-to books and blog posts is when one of your bits of advice blows up in your face after writing about it. Such is the case with my suggestion of roasting coffee in a hot air popcorn popper. Yesterday, my West Bend Air Crazy popcorn popper made good on the crazy in its name, started smoking and stopped working in the midst of coffee roasting.
In my guilt ridden imagination I can already see dolphins choking on the remains of my now useless West Bend Air Crazy. I can also imagine the letter from the West Bend legal team reminding me that I was using the air popper for something it was never designed to do. And then there’s the ire of West Bend’s Chinese factory workers cursing my privileged lifestyle. But worst of all is the wailing of wives and husbands angry that their partners had been suckered into the idea of roasting coffee at home with an air popper on the advice of some dumb blogger.
Let me make amends. My coffee geek friends use a manual, hand cranked stove top popcorn popper called the Whirley-Pop. Here’s why:
- You can roast a much bigger batch.
- You have more control over the roasting process (by regulating the heat on the stove).
- No electronic parts, thus nothing to break down.
- You can roast over a fire if your utilities go out. Having caffeine (if you’re the addicted sort) during a hurricane/earthquake/Mayan apocalypse is really important.
- Root Simple is supposedly about “Low Tech Home Tech.” There ain’t nothing low tech about a plastic hot air popper.
There are a few disadvantages to the Whirley-Pop:
- Not plug and play. You have to stand over the stove, regulate the heat and turn the crank.
- Smoke can set off fire alarms–harder to take outside than the air popper.
My air popper might have lasted longer had I roasted coffee in it without the top on as one reader suggested. I could also have just ended up with a bad popper. Apologies to anyone who rushed out to get an air popper. Maybe it will work better than mine did.
At least with our high tech blog I can correct mistakes. It would be harder if Root Simple was a mimeographed newsletter–the Whirley-Pop of information delivery methods. But we’ll see what format the blog is in after this week’s Mayan apocalypse . . .