South Africa - Help to start roastery


New member
Jan 7, 2008
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Hi all

I live in Cape Town and want to start a high quality coffee roastery this year. There are only maybe one or two currently in the city. And competition is always good !

I want to start roasting from premises and sell direct to hotels, restaurants, etc.

My questions start with what is the best coffee roasting machine ? I want to invest in the best, something I could use even when I want to expand the business. I have worked as a barista in England in the past and know how to make a perfect cuppa, but I am completely new to the roasting process.

How do I start ? Where do I start ? I need to buy good quality raw beans at a fair cost. I was thinking of travelling to Ethiopia or maybe South America and visit the farms directly. Is this a feasible option ? I want the best and want to do things right from the start.

I was thinking to buy a roaster first, then beans, then to market the product. Is there another way of going about it ?

I''m planning a visit to Europe in March. Are there any places I should visit that will broaden my knowledge about roastery ?

I am sure it will take a lot of misses when I start roasting, but I look forward to the challenge !

Thanks for any help anyone can give me !



New member
Jan 9, 2008
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For green coffee I think you'd better try to find in importer in SA, unless you plan to roast industrial

For the roaster you'll need to define the quantity that you want to raost and look for a raoster accordingly. There are many good roaster in my opinion...

good luck


New member
Oct 18, 2006
Old England (UK)
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Try and visit a roaster near to you and see what equipment they are using, remember that any roaster needs to be maintained and will need parts. If your not prepared to do this maintenance yourself, you will need to pay to have it done. So parts and engineer availability at reasonable prices will be important.

depending on quantity and laws, you may have to budget for a
  • Bulk Loader
In addition to all the other equipment you will need at the roasters, such as scales, heat sealer for coffee bags, proper storage racking etc..In some respects the roaster is almost the simplest part of the purchase.

In general with roasting, it's often a good idea to size a roaster for 1-2 days roasting per week (to roast your weekly coffee needs)...if the roaster is too small, you will be stuck in front of it 9 hourse per day 7 days per week and that is not cost effective. If the roaster is too large, iot's also a problem.

If in future years you find you need more roasting capacity, you can roast an extra day and/or buy a second roaster. this way you can take one roaster down for maintenance or if one breaks, it doesn't stop your business.


New member
Feb 1, 2016
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Hi Lester

Nice to see that we are getting things going localy. We can help you with the purchase of the green beans if you like. Some coffee is being grown here in South Africa, but most of it comes from the Americas, Asia or Africa. Price depends on the quality and how good the crop was this year. You will need to work out your production requirements, to know how much you can roast and poackage per day.

Also take a look at your packaging. An airtight foil works well, and may cost less than branded packaging.

We currently visit coffee shops, hotels and retail shops here on the aEast Rand, and would be intrested in marketing/selling your product on a partnership basis. Please contact me and we vcan chat

Kind regards