Although the coffee berry borer, Hypothenemus hampei (Ferrari) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) is the most destructive insect pest of coffee worldwide, there is much to learn about its thermal biology. This study aimed to develop temperature-based models for H. hampei development and to provide the thermal requirements of immature stages in the laboratory. Using a new observation method, larval development and survival were monitored daily on fresh Arabica coffee seeds, under seven constant temperatures in the range 15–35°C, with 80 ± 5% RH and 12:12 L:D photoperiod. Linear and non-linear functions were fitted to the development data plotted against temperature, using Insect Life Cycle Modelling software (ILCYM). Temperature significantly affected the development time of all immature stages. Egg incubation period ranged 4.6–16.8 days, under temperature between 30 and 15°C. No development occurred at 35°C and the larval stage did not develop to pupa at 15°C. The minimum temperature threshold (Tmin) estimated from linear regression was 10.5, 13.0, 15.0 and 13.0°C, for egg, larva, pupa and the total development from egg to adult, respectively. The maximum temperature threshold (Tmax) estimated from the Sharpe and DeMichele function was 32°C for egg to adult development. The thermal constant (k) was estimated at 78.1, 188.7, 36.5 and 312.5 degree days, for egg, larva, pupa and for egg to adult, respectively. Our results will help understand and predict the pest population dynamics and distribution in coffee plantations as impacted by temperature, and as such, will contribute to a more efficient management of the pest.