The Chocolate Life

Discover Chocolate and Live La Vida Cocoa!


Following an instructible I've made chocolate for the second time now and I'm hooked!

I did both "manually", using a food processor and then conching by hand. Ouch, my arms.. :)

That's why I now would like to get some proper machinery and after reading around, the ECGC-12SL from CocoaTown seems to be one of the best choices for me.

I wanted to know if other people from NZ (or Australia) have ordered one. Just with shipping it is getting up to US$779.98 and there should be a lot of taxes ontop of that as well.. ( I just moved here and I'm not 100% sure about the procedures) 

Are there good alternatives?



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I haven't got any cocoatown equipment as yet, but I have bought several pieces of equipment from santha, and other equipment manufacturers in the USA.  Typically, it's a pretty easy process. Also, Clay has been most helpfu with advice when asked.

I took make chocolate from 'bean to scoop' - yes - for my ice cream - and I also agree that it's extremely rewarding.

I am currently looking at upgrading from my santha to a cocoatown grinder..

Hi Sebastian

You could try looking on trade me for a santha or something similar, they come up occasonally for a couple of hundred dollars. I brought one of them through John Nanci at chocolate alchemy a few years ago but it did end up being quite expensive with the shipping etc. 


Thanks for the replies. I might just take the hit and order it anyway. Nothing on trademe now and I must have it soon!!! :)

John, I guess you are talking about the "Grindeur" not the one I'm trying to get? Nice..!

May I also ask where you get your beans from - in this case I might just get some from cocoa-town to make it all a bit more worthwhile..

Hi Sebastian, We have heard from some of our customers that some countries have low duties, if you declare it as chocolate equipment. So please find out from your customs department what is the duty for this melanger. We have shipped a few melangers to New Zealand and Australia.

Thanks Andal,

I'll find that out :)


I believe NZ and USA have a free trade agreement in place - so see what you can find.  Also, I currently get the majority my cocoa beans from chocolate alchemy - John Nanci is extremely helpful.

Hi Sebastian

I have brought several items in to NZ (Santha Melangeurs, Cocoatown Grindeurs, Crankandstein, etc) - usually NZ Customs will hit you up for GST on the cost of the unit and freight, there is no duty to be paid (I think the import category to use is "food grinder"). You can also clear it yourself through customs to save money there as well (only the first time - after that you need a broker).

Good luck!



Thanks also for this info Rik, I looked it up online but I thought I'd better make sure here as well:

In NZ we have 220V and three phase instead of single current. Is that correct?

Hi Sebastian

NZ has single phase 230V @ 50Hz and also three phase (I think in higher voltages) - see for info.

Most domestic homes will only have single phase however depending on the draw of the device you can generally use an inverter to convert this to three phase.

Usually if you order off Santha or Cocoatown because of the non-US voltage the unit will ship from India rather than from US. Make sure you get a local electrician to check the unit out first - some of the earlier equipment I got had some pretty hairy wiring!



Awesome, I just ordered my first beans from the Alchemist and hopefully the melangeur will soon follow.

Exciting times!!

Thanks so much for the advice everybody, I'm glad I got here :)

Excellent news Seb...

I had absolutely no trouble ordering equipment in Australia from CocoaTown, their customer service was great too. Here you also don't pay tax on it unless the value is above $1,000 and if you're ordering 2 items that break above that you might want to split the invoices/orders.


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