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Café William Opens Monumental All-Electric Roaster in Quebec

Cafe William roastery

The new Café William all-electric roastery in Sherbrooke, Quebec. All press images by CNW Group/Café William.

With support from numerous government agencies, Quebec, Canada-based coffee company Café William has opened what it claims is the world’s “first 100% electric industrial roaster.”

The roasting system, which was custom-designed by German industrial coffee equipment manufacturer Neuhaus Neotec, was part of a $19 million (US$14 million) Café William investment in energy-efficient technologies.

The total $47 million (US$34 million) investment in the new production headquarters, located in Sherbrooke, received support from multiple local and regional economic development agencies, including a $9 million loan under the ESSOR program led by the government of Quebec. The project also received a $2.5 million federal loan.


Although there’s no clear definition in the coffee industry for what constitutes an “industrial roaster” — as opposed to smaller production roaster types, such as “shop roasters” or “specialty roasters” — the new Café William production roaster may indeed be the world’s largest currently installed roasting system that does not require fossil fuels to generate heat in the roasting process.

In an announcement today, Quebec’s Café William said the Neuhaus Neotec-made roasting system has the capacity to generate 20 million pounds of coffee annually. The company also estimates the new system will reduce its current equivalent CO2 emissions by approximately 800 tons.

A separate company by the name of Beyers Coffee in Belgium, a subsidiary of multinational green coffee company Sucafina, is currently in the process of installing an all-electric roastery with a similar annual capacity.


Both projects reflect a broader trend in the coffee industry toward all-electric roasting machines, although the vast majority of production roasting machines currently in use throughout the industry employ natural gas to provide the primary heat source.

“It’s a true honor to share this revolutionary moment in our industry with Café William,” Neuhaus Neotec CEO Victoria Behrmann said in Café William’s announcement. “We are confident that this groundbreaking 100% electric coffee roaster will have a lasting impact, setting new standards and inspiring others to strive for similar heights.”

Caf- William-Caf- William sails towards sustainability- Its firs

Café William’s first cargo sailboat leaves the port of Santa Marta on Dec. 18, 2023. 2024 press photo by CNW Group/Café William.

Café William, formerly known as Café William Spartivento, made additional waves in the sustainability waters this this year by receiving a 72,000-kilo (158,000 pounds) shipment of green coffee from Colombia via a cargo sailboat.

The company said that the innovative shipping project — designed to further reduce fossil fuels in its operations — was a “proof of concept.”

[Editor’s note: This story has been updated. An original version incorrectly overstated the anticipated capacity of the forthcoming roastery from Belgium’s Beyers Coffee.]

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