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on November 6, 2015
In the interest of full disclosure, I have never actually made popcorn in this machine. I bought it solely for roasting coffee, and I believe it is one of the best poppers on the market for this application. It has vents on the sides of the popping chamber, rather than the single mesh screen on the bottom. There are numerous articles and videos online with instructions for modifying these to increase performance, but I found that it worked great as-is.

I used the following process with a great deal of success:
1) Turn on the unit and add green coffee beans until the beans JUST stop swirling
2) Put the cover/butter dish on top, and place a large bowl lined with a damp paper towel in front of the spout (to catch chaff)
3) Gently shake the popper to keep the beans moving until the beans will swirl on their own when the machine is left undisturbed
4) At this point, the roast has begun and you may continue until your desired roast level. Guides are available on the Sweet Maria's website
5) Just before the beans reach your desired roast level, quickly turn off the machine, carefully remove the cover, and dump the beans into a metal strainer
6) Toss between two strainers quickly for several minutes to help the beans cool as rapidly as possible and prevent over-roasting
7) Store in a covered, but unsealed container for 24-48 hours to allow the beans to de-gas

Hopefully this works for you!
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on July 24, 2016
I used this for making popcorn and for roasting coffee beans. It was fantastic for both! I was a little worried that it would be too small, but it is absolutely perfect. Also, it has the on/off switch which many models lack.. I am very pleased!
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on August 10, 2013
Sometimes you just have to learn the hard way. I had read the other reviews that said it was noisy but thought "how bad could it be?" Well, it's noisy. What's worse is that it takes forever to pop corn. It was going to be a coffee roaster but didn't get hot enough to really roast properly - the beans darkened after about 15 minutes but never audibly "popped" as they should. And the lid does soften when heated. And did I mention the plastic stink? Usually a heating appliance will stink a bit when it first heats up but clears up. This one stinks and stinks. My kitchen smelled like a chemical factory - and I'm supposed to eat this stuff?

At least it has an on/off switch. This was actually the reason I picked it.

Just get a poplite and be done with it. Zero stars.
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on November 5, 2016
Pops popcorn really fast. I love how quiet this air popper is!! My previous air popper was a Presto one and it was way too loud! I plan on trying to roast coffee with this air popper too!
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on April 23, 2013
What I loved about it was that it was red to match my kitchen and... ummm yeah I guess that's all. We used it one time and it popped just fine but it was very loud. There's no sneaky popcorn movie night after the kids go to bed if you're using this. This thing would wake the dead, when I turned it on I thought there was a velociraptor in the room with me. Oh and prepare to be violently attacked by popcorn, it shot the stuff out so fast that it was jumping out of the huge mixing bowl I'd used and it was bouncing all over the place. Ever see the movie "real Genius"? It was like that!

The 2nd time we used it, it popped a few kernels and then just abruptly died. No warning, just dead. And my poor little kernels were left in there un-popped and unloved.
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on February 14, 2018
I've been using it every other week to roast a few batches of coffee beans and it's holding up well so far. ;)
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on January 19, 2014
I use it for roasting coffee. It has the spiraled "fluid bed" design that seems to work well.
It runs for about 7 minutes straight. I don't know if it's designed to do that, but so far it is doing fine. It does get hot to the touch on the outside, and the plastic hood is showing signs of overheating, but again it is functioning fine.

Good starting place for cheap coffee roasting I think.
At the price, I have a spare one standing by.
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on January 3, 2014
It runs too cold in the winter time to roast coffee to first crack unless you modify it by taking out the thermostat. Once you do that, you're off and running but I think it may be running a SLIGHT bit too hot. I'm still tweaking the process. If I didnt have to take out the thermostat, I would have given 4 stars already.
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on May 24, 2015
Great little popper, with only one draw back ... how do you get the last kernels, when the popper is hot as hades? I was looking for a healthy, cheaper option while dieting and air popped popcorn was at the top of the list for snacking, so I tried this one and was very satisfied. The cup on top isn't good for melting butter from the fridge (which my son loves), and you're not supposed to pour any liquids inside with your corn kernels, so it's only purpose so far is to protect my eyes when I looked inside to see if its finished. BON APPETIT!
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on December 10, 2011
I brought this popper, and I did not have any problems popping all the kernels. However, the only problem I did have each time were the kernels did not pop crispy nor crunchy. I thought it was the brand of kernels, so I bought three different brands, including gourmet kernels. No luck. While eating a few kernels, they are always tough and hard to chew. Not sure why.

I thought maybe one of the problems was the air coming from the popper getting too hot, or even the melted butter was contributing to this issue. So I tried a few plain pieces but it was the same result. I had plenty of hot air poppers over the years, and never had this problem. I would like to suggest to potential buyers not to purchase this popper, but that would not be fair. Maybe it was simply a defected product. It happens. What I will suggest is if anyone who is considers buying this popper, do not hesitate to return it if you are not completely satisfied.
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