It’s a lower $79, but has a limited warranty period!
Popper is back on sale at Sweet Maria’s now on “clearance.” What is it about?
It’s probably best to repost some of the description and the Clearance FAQ posted on the SM site. It really answers all the questions… Here it is:
What do we mean by Popper V.1?
The first 2 manufacturing runs of the Popper are what we are calling “Popper V.1” as we prepare to do a 3rd run with modifications, which we are calling V.2 for now.
When is Popper V.2 coming?
Not for a long time actually, because final parts haven’t been approved at this writing (Feb 2023) and things are moving pretty slow. The target was production in July 2023, which would not have them here in USA until around September or October 2023. All that can change though. Manufacturing has been very slow generally.
Why offer a “clearance” on Popper V.1?
We wanted to grab people’s attention by calling it a clearance honestly. It’s not like there are a few units left. There are 1800 at this writing! We aren’t doing a “clearance” to get rid of them fast. We used the word to draw people’s attention to the fact we frame it as a roaster for light and medium roasts, and that there is a 30 day warranty against manufacturing defect. For more see in the next question…
What are the changes in the marketing of Popper at the lower clearance price?
We think Popper is a great roaster, have stress tested it for 180+ roasts and 40 lbs of coffee, and have confidence in its roast quality. We think our original marketing material, and thus the way people used it, put a lot of stress on the machine and led to issues with the fan motor. We didn’t anticipate that.
1. The main issues were roasting very dark, not allowing the machine to cool enough between roasts, and extending roasts a long time to get into dark roast ranges.
2. Machines we inspected that had fan motor failure often showed signs of misuse, repeated dark roasts, lack of chaff basket cleaning. And while our instructions read not to do these things, they didn’t make it clear the machine could fail if you repeatedly do them. So we changed the instructions.
3. We frame the Popper as a good machine for light and medium roasts. If you want dark roasts this isn’t right for you. Stovetop roasting is great for repeated dark roasts.
4. We state that you should start out roasting 85 gram batch size. You can likely increase that to a maximum of 100, if you have watched our video and see the coffee is rotating well.
5. We require 30 minute rest time to cool the machine between batches. This was never intended as a back-to-back roaster. It’s a small capacity machine, not one to produce pounds of coffee per week.
At our clearance price, the warranty is only 30 days from date of sale. If you buy it, please use it in that time frame to be sure it has no issues. We will absolutely replace a machine that fails or has a manufacturing defect in that time, after we receive it back for inspection at our warehouse.
How can I roast on the Popper and make the machine last?
Really, heed the instructions that come with it, don’t overload it with coffee by weighing out your batches, don’t roast dark, let it cool between roasts as instructed … We highly recommend using a digital scale to weigh out your batches so you get good results! We think using a wattmeter with the Popper is brilliant! It lets you know exactly what your heat setting is in watts, talking some of the guesswork out of getting consistent results.
How long should my V.1 Popper last if I follow the instructions and roast light-to-medium levels?
Our stress tests on V.1 Poppers are successful for 180 roasts of 85-100 grams, totalling about 42.5 pounds of coffee. (Meaning that it still works great at 180 roasts). We calculate that at 15 months of use roasting 3 batches per week. For $79 that seems like a pretty good deal.
What if I have a problem after the 30 day period?
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org . We have some parts for the hood and chaff collector, and can assist on other issues. Please start using the machine though, when you receive it, so if you have an issue, we can back it up.
But to be clear, the warranty is only 30 days and only covers manufacturer defect, not errors in use. Hence the low clearance price. By buying it you are accepting those terms.
The warranty does not cover misuse and is not a warranty of customer satisfaction.
(FYI If you have a fan motor issue, and you have some tech skills (ie can fix an appliance), we are working on getting a good supply of the V.2 motor we intend to use, which we have tested as being able to handle higher heat levels than the V.1 motor. So you can potentially repair your Popper and do a lot more roasting on it! We hope to have the motors in stock by June 2023, and they will be inexpensive).
What will be the changes with the V.2 Popper when available?
Basically it will be a different motor with harder carbons. At this point that’s the only change, although we are looking into a different fan. We think Popper design matches it’s intention, a Popcorn popper with added controls. We just want it to be durable for the way people use it, and many people want to roast darker. Calling it V.1 and 2 makes it sound like a big upgrade, and it isn’t actually, but we don’t have any better idea to make the distinction. And “clearance” makes it sound like we only have a few and want to sell them really fast, which is also not the case. But it’s the best way we could think of to try to get people to slow down, and think before buying it.