Are there good Chinese tempering machines for a small/medium size chocolate shop?
I have never purchased a tempering machine from China. But I have purchased three pans for panning coffee beans and the like. My experience has been very good. Prices around $1000 to $3000 versus around ten times that for the equivalent purchased from big name companies with local representation.
My thinking is that simple machines are good from China and a tempering machine is simple enough as are pans. So it's probably worth your while to try - suggest looking on www.alibaba.com which has heaps of chocolate gear from China.
Hope this is helpful.
I'd be much more cautious with anything complex though - like an enrobing system.
I'm looking for a good, small panning machine, what kind have you purchased? :)
I have three. All are Chinese "no-name" although the companies do put their stickers on them. The use a "BY" system which refers to the diameter of the bowl. Hence I have a BY-600, BY-800 and BY-1000. The BY-800 is the most useful as the BY-600 is really small (takes about 15Kg) and the BY-1000 is too big for some things but a DREAM to use for chocolate coated coffee beans and fruit such as razz-cherries and incaberries. I use it for 40Kg loads but can be used up to 70Kg loads.
The BY-800 is handy as it's in the middle like Goldilocks. Not too big, not too small.
I asked for internal heating for heated air but not external heating which is not useful for chocolate. Also variable speed as different centers may need different speeds. The angle of the bowl can be adjusted to get it right. Takes a bit of experimenting.
A little clarification. The number in the BY system (eg BY-800) is the size in millimeters. Hence BY-800 is 800mm in diameter and the BY-1000 is 1000mm (1 meter). That is the diameter of the bowl - not the opening.
that's good to know, I feel insecure about the quality of the chinese machinery though. That website has a LOT of different things.
I've only purchased one thing through Alibaba, a small screw press that would allow me to extract cocoa butter. The capacity is only 1-2L/hr, but I did not have to sink $10-$30K into an artisan scale machine, such as the one at Cacao Cucina. The cost was about $200, delivered.
However, just as you have suspicions, I would not likely send thousands of dollars to an Alibaba vendor unless they had already earned my trust with smaller purchases. You also have to bear in mind that Alibaba is a list of vendors, not a single source.
I have purchased quite a lot through the Alibaba sellers and have had very good experiences. There are "bad guys" everywhere but I find the Chinese good to deal with. Consider too that Alibaba have their own reputation to protect and if you are unhappy you can revert to them and they will take it up with the vendor. The vendor does NOT want to lose their relationship with Alibaba as it's their income!
Also, Alibaba will hold your money in escrow if you want (for a fee) and only release it when you have taken delivery and are happy. I have not used that service but I see it there.
There ARE some pitfalls though. I just ordered and paid for a dehumifier for my "chocolate room". Now the Customs Agent tells me that I may have a problem with getting the refrigerent into Australia. Some comounds are banned. I never thought of that! Might be OK. Might not be. Let's see... You DO need to be very careful about your power and order what you can use. One pan came without a power cord - they thought I had a big factory and maintenance people, and I don't!
But for all of that it's still worth the risk so far. I got a pan that will do up to 70Kg for around US$3,500 landed and into my premises and I have used it for a year with no problems. Now I have three so if one does break down I can either get it fixed or buy another at that price! ANd I do have two "in reserve" for less than just one would have cost me locally. (Actually I could have purchased 10 for the price of one bought locally!)
All the best with this.
Check Alibaba. They have a wide range of just about everything mechanical, with a wide range of capacities.
Hey I looked at this one recently but i haven't tried it
Would love to know someone who used it or has any information about it
Check the price including clearance into your country. It is highly likely that it's worth taking the "risk".
The price of the unit and shipping is usually really inexpensive. In my country (Australia) it's the clearance that costs the money! A pan cost me around $2,500 delivered to Sydney. Taking delivery is around another $1,000 just for local charges. I picked it up myself from the bonding warehouse to avoid the extra $275.00 on top of that. About 15Km to drive.
Also check the power carefully. I see this one is 240VAC 50hZ. Is that right for you? They can usually do what you want but sometimes they can't.
Thanks thats helpful
I am in the market for a panning machine for coating coffee beans, nuts and dried fruit, the panning machines you have seem just perfect for my application, I was on Alibaba web site and found it hard to pick a suitable machine, there are copper one, steel ones different shapes etc. I would greatly appreciate of you could point my to a machine on Alibaba that would be suitable, I will have no problem to pick the suitable capacity of the machine from the fantastic information you posted.