Various studies have been conducted in the past to improve the quality of Malaysian cocoa beans. However, the processing methods still remain crude and lack technological advancement. In terms of drying, no previous study has attempted to apply advanced drying technology to improve bean quality. This paper presents the first attempt to improve the quality of cocoa beans through heat pump drying using constant air (28.6 and 40.4 °C) and stepwise (step-up 30.7-43.6-56.9 °C and step-down 54.9-43.9 °C) drying profiles. Comparison was made against hot air drying at 55.9 °C.