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I wanted to see if any chocolate producers have used coffee roasters to roast cacao. I'm looking for a mid-size capacity roaster that doesn't look like a toaster oven and doesn't cost $30K. There are a good number of coffee roasters that are significantly less expensive and are much more attractive. 

Tags: Cacao, coffee, roaster

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This is great, thank you for the info. I'll reach out to Erkan and possibly Coffe-tech as well.

All the best.


[Note from moderator: Rifat appears to work for Sevval, which is located in Turkey. In addition to making coffee roasters they make nut roasters and other machines. This link is to the home page, which is in Turksish. Here is a direct link to the coffee roasters (in English): Roaster

Hi guys,

I am on the lookout of purchasing a coffee roaster myself. I spoke to the manufacturer about the modifications, and he told me to be more specific and give him technicalities, as to what modifications do I need for cocoa.

Can you'll please suggest the modifications that I am going to have to get integrated on my roaster?

Thank you!


Hi Luvin,

See Colin's post earlier in this thread. I think the only modifications would be related to drum speed and the ability to roast at lower temperatures. If you can control those two things adequately, a coffee roaster should work fine.


Hi Luvin,

We, Coffee-Tech Engineering, have several customers around the world using our roasters for cocoa roasting - on our small capacity roasters and on our commercial roasters.

What Ben writes is true - you'll want to have control over drum speed and thermal behavior. I would also add that drum material is an important factor (we suggest perforated mild steel drums for cocoa) and airflow control is also something that will only benefit you.

- Dan

Thanks Ben & Dan for your much appreciated insight.

- Is there an absolute number (in RPM) as to what the drum rotation speed should be?

- Im getting the roaster made in mild steel with the drum contact parts in stainless steel. Should I be going for a complete mild steel body, according to what you are suggesting?

- Can you please let me know more about what you mean when you say 'airflow control'. I'll be able to get this across to my manufacturer, better.

Thank you for your help. I greatly appreciate it!



Put a speed controller on your motor and tune it to the speed you need - based on the diameter of the drum you're using and how you're roasting (time/temp). Smaller drums can run faster as the beans are not subject to as much banging around as a larger drum.

Airflow control, conceptually, means having a fan that enables you to blow air through the drum. Ideally, you'd control the speed and temperature of the airflow.


I spoke to my roaster manufacturer about the aforementioned modifications. He told me that to have a speed controller on the motor would not be possible, as the motors come standard. However, he said that to change the drum rotation speed, the length of the pulley would have to be changed. In the existing design that he has, the rpm for the drum is 32. Should I take the one he has on stock, or should I ask him to reduce the speed somewhere in the range of 25-28?

PS: My roaster is a 25 kg capacity. 

Thanks for your time Clay. I greatly appreciate it!


Convection Oven.

It roasts 35lbs at a time (260lbs in 8 hours), and does a fine job, provided you place the beans on screens or use perforated sheet pans.


On a smaller scale (Under $30k), there simply is no better solution.  On top of that, you can roast your dinner, and cupcakes, and brownies, and coffee, and anything else you like.


Cooking ANYTHING is about heat and airflow.  It's that simple.  A convection oven has both.




Convection ovens are versatile beasts to be true and I recommend a lot of them into situations where there is no budget for a more conventional roaster.

I would like to add that cooking is also about CONTROLLING heat and airflow. One thing very few convection ovens have is any sort of even the most basic control over the airflow. 

Also, not all convection ovens heat evenly from top to bottom, left to right, back to front. One very easy way to see how even your oven is is to put yellow or white cake batter into a sheet pan on every rack in the oven and bake it. Light areas in the top crust indicate places where the oven is cooler, dark brown areas indicate places where the oven is hotter.

Hi Matthew


You can visit our web page I think Antonino Allegra fro Cocoa Fair gave some idea about our roasters you can roast cocoa in our roasters too


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