People who plan on roasting their own coffee on a regular basis should opt for the more expensive yet longer lasting drum roaster. Drum roasters work using convection or conduction methods and are more complex to learn. These roasters require the individual to be more involved in the roasting process and learn to hear and smell the roasting process.
Coffee beans crack when the roasting process is fully underway. Once this cracking sound starts it is important to begin watching and timing the beans in order to achieve the desired roast. It is also important to cool the beans immediately after the desired roast has been reached in order to stop the roasting process. The air popcorn popper will work as a temporary coffee bean roaster. However, due to the amount of heat and smoke the coffee roasting process will produce it is not the best method and should only be used as to determine if roasting coffee is something that will be continued.
Using the popper method requires constant supervision of the beans to insure they don't scorch and to remove them from heat as soon as the roast has reached its desired color. Home roasting of coffee beans brings with it not only fresh coffee, it also brings a sense of accomplishment and pride in being able to produce coffee that is roasted and ultimately ground by the individual coffee drinker. This is coffee that can't be purchased on the store shelves.