cup of coffee from SCAA coffee maker

SCAA Approved Coffee Makers: Exacting Standards Make the Best Coffee

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If you’re serious about good drip coffee and you want to take your home brewing up a notch, you’ll probably want to look at SCAA-approved coffee makers so that you can be sure you’re getting the best cup of coffee possible.

We’ve compiled the list of approved coffee makers for you based on the Specialty Coffee Association’s current recommendations.

SCAA or SCA, What’s the Difference?

First off, let’s talk about the name of the organization and then we’ll get into who they are and what they do. The Specialty Coffee Association used to be known as the Specialty Coffee Association of America. So that is why you’ll sometimes see the group referred to as SCAA, but they now go by SCA.

I’m sure they weren’t trying to confuse the coffee-drinking public by shortening their name (and removing the geographic limitation), however, you may be out there looking for SCAA approved coffee makers but can only find products that carry the “SCA” approval. Rest assured, it is the same organization with the same exacting standards for properly brewing coffee.

Who is the SCA?

Now that we’ve sorted out the name we can talk about the organization itself and what their goals are. Simply stated, the SCA is a group comprised of baristas, roasters, technicians, coffee farmers, and other industry professionals  who are working to make coffee better. They accomplish this by sharing knowledge and raising standards and awareness about coffee worldwide.

The SCA is dedicated to sustainability and community-building in the industry and they host events in cities like Portland, Bangkok, Oslo, Zurich, New Orleans, and more.

What is an SCA or SCAA Approved Coffee Maker?

SCA approved coffee makers are selected through an extensive review process. The ones that make the cut are actually known as SCA Certified, so “approval” is correct to say but the language they actually use is “certified” if you want to be precise about it.

What is involved in the review process? Experts test for proper brewing temperature, brewing time, and ability to meet SCA Golden Cup requirements.

Since this certification is all about precision let’s quote directly from the SCA to explain what the Golden Cup standard means:

Coffee shall exhibit a brew strength, measured in Total Dissolved Solids, of 11.5 to 13.5 grams per liter, corresponding to 1.15 to 1.35 “percent” on the SCA Brewing Control Chart, resulting from a solubles extraction yield of 18 to 22 percent*.

*See full explanation of standard in PDF or on the Brewing Best Practices page

You can get the link to the PDF here. 

With regards to brewing temperature, the ideal range for optimal extraction is from 195 – 205 degrees F. If the water is below or above that range, you’ll notice that your coffee’s flavor is not where you want it to be. Perhaps the worst case scenario being under-extraction that comes from water temperature being too low. You can take a look at our list of coffee makers that brew the hottest coffee if this is your primary concern.

Top SCA / SCAA Approved Coffee Makers

Here are our top picks for SCAA approved drip coffee makers. Also check out the complete list located just below.

BUNN HB Heat N Brew Programmable Coffee Maker, 10 cup, Stainless Steel

The BUNN Heat n Brew is one of the more affordable choices on the list. Nice features include the heating plate’s automatic shut-off and the programmable brew time. It also has a unique carafe design for a truly drip-free pour. If you like the BUNN brand but you don’t the kind that need to stay plugged in and on all the time, this is the machine for you.

(Typically, BUNN coffee makers keep water hot and ready to brew in a heating tank. This makes the brew cycle speedy since the water is already hot, but you may not want the appliance heating water all day whether you’re making coffee or not.)

BUNN Heat N Brew Programmable Coffee Maker, 10 cup, Stainless Steel
  • Digital clock with programmable brew start time for Coffee that s ready when you are each morning
  • Brews 10 perfect cups in about 10 minutes when not using the programmable start feature
  • Auto warmer plate turns on during brewing and off after 2 hours.Wattage Output: 1300 watts
  • Exclusive shatter-resistant drip-free carafe delivers the cleanest pour on the market
  • 3-Year backed by Bunn customer service in Springfield, IL

Last update on 2022-01-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Braun KF9070SI MultiServe Coffee Machine 7 Programmable Brew Sizes / 3 Strengths + Iced Coffee & SCA Certified, Glass Carafe (10-Cup), Stainless Steel

The Braun is a really nice coffee maker for what I think is a surprisingly low price for the features you get. One of these features is the ability to choose your brew with the Over Ice, Light, GoldBold settings. It also has the ExactBrew System that is all about delivering perfectly-brewed coffee, controlling the water flow, temperature, and brewing speed during each cycle. It’s programmable and it comes with a nice three-year warranty.

Sale
Braun MultiServe Coffee Machine 7 Programmable Brew Sizes / 3 Strengths + Iced Coffee, Glass Carafe (10-Cup), Stainless Steel, KF9070S
  • Exact brew system: The exact brew system delivers consistent optimal brewing performance in every cup automatically calculating the precise water flow temperature and speed for every coffee preference
  • Brew choice plus: Customize your coffee to your liking (hot or cold brew) with the over ice light gold bold setting with the touch of a button
  • Fast brew exclusive heating technology delivers a full pot of coffee in under 8 minutes without sacrificing taste
  • Temp sensor system: 3 sensors closely monitor temperatures throughout the brewing process to achieve SCA brewing standards quickly and keep coffee at the perfect temperature
  • Specialty Coffee Association Golden Cup: SCA certification ensures optimal brewing performance to great tasting drip coffee with every brew

Last update on 2022-01-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Breville BDC400 Precision Brewer Coffee Maker with Glass Carafe

The Breville BDC400 has six brewing modes that include Gold, Fast, Strong, Iced, Cold Brew, and My Brew. The Gold setting is for the SCA presets for water temp and brewing time. My Brew is a setting that lets you customize bloom time, flow rate, and brewing temperature. This unit is perhaps the most highly customizable machine on the list, and brew time is pretty quick at 7 minutes for 12 cups. You can adjust the water temperature from 197 to 204 degrees F. You also have the choice of using the flat or cone filter basket, which are both included.

Sale
Breville BDC400BSS Precision Brewer Glass, Coffee Maker, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • The Breville Precision Brewer Glass is a 60 oz drip coffee maker with glass carafe that allows you to brew third wave specialty coffee at home, automatically; Experience your favorite coffee at its best with precise temperature and brewing time
  • AUTOMATIC PRESETS AND CUSTOMIZABLE: 6 unique brewing modes ensure you enjoy the perfect balanced coffee every time; Preset modes include Gold, Fast, Strong, Iced, Cold Brew and My Brew, all so you can experience your favorite coffee at its best
  • PRECISE & ADJUSTABLE TEMPERATURE: Coffee maker with precise digital temperature control (PID), 3 different flow rates to optimize contact time and Thermo Coil Heating System delivering water that is more pure than typical brewing systems that use aluminium
  • GOLD CUP STANDARD: In Gold Cup preset mode the Breville Precision Brewer Glass automatically adjusts the water temperature and brew time to meet the standards set by the SCA (197 to 204 degrees)
  • AUTO 'STEEP AND RELEASE' TECHNOLOGY: Breville's patented Steep & Release valve holds the water in contact with the coffee when small cup volumes are being brewed without the glass carafe in place automatically

Last update on 2022-01-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Technivorm Moccamaster 59616 KBG Coffee Brewer, 40 oz, Polished Silver

Technivorm coffee makers are beautifully designed and will make an aesthetically-pleasing statement on your kitchen counter as well as performing at the top of the pack in terms of coffee brewing. Brew time is 4 to 6 minutes, and the hot plate has a nice feature that allows you to choose which temperature you would like your coffee to be held at — either 175 or 185 degrees F.

This machine has a 10-cup capacity and a five-year warranty. Made in the Netherlands. In addition to SCA-certified performance, with this coffee maker you also have the choice of colors such as brick red, butter yellow, fresh green (kind of a lime shade), turquoise, metallic red, brushed brass, and quite a few more.

Sale
Technivorm Moccamaster 59616 KBG Coffee Brewer, 40 oz, Polished Silver
  • Perfect Coffee Every Time: This pump-free coffee maker heats water to the correct temperature for coffee extraction
  • Easy to Use: The Moccamaster brews a full 40 oz pot of coffee in 4-6 minutes using one switch
  • Quiet and Safe: The Moccamaster KBG quietly brews your coffee and automatically turns off after 100 minutes
  • Quality Materials: Moccamasters last a lifetime. We use BPA/BPS/BPF and Phthalate free plastics and durable stainless steel and aluminum
  • Delicious Coffee and Peace of Mind: Moccamaster coffee brewers have a 5-year warranty

Last update on 2022-01-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Technivorm Moccamaster 79312 KBGT Coffee Brewer, 40 oz, Polished Silver

Another Moccamaster to consider. It has a thermal carafe, which is nice for keeping your coffee hot after brewing has completed — up to an hour with this unit. Again, this one has a five-year warranty and is handmade in the Netherlands.

Sale
Technivorm Moccamaster 79312 KBGT Coffee Brewer, 40 oz, Polished Silver
  • The top coffee maker choice of coffee brewing experts
  • Easy use, one button Operation and 4-6 minute brew time for 40 oz of Coffee
  • Auto adjust brew basket pauses The drip if the carafe is removed
  • This Coffee maker features a stainless steel thermal carafe to keep Coffee hot longer
  • Backed by a 5-year Warranty

Last update on 2022-01-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

List of SCA / SCAA Approved Coffee Makers

These coffee makers come in a range of prices, so you can get the most delicious, properly-brewed coffee in your own home no matter what your budget looks like.

Here’s the complete list of SCA (or SCAA) approved coffee makers:

Final Thoughts

For brewing the best drip coffee at home, you’ll get the best results when you choose one of these SCA certified coffee makers. Since the Specialty Coffee Association tests each model rigorously, you can be confident that their seal of approval will translate directly into delicious, perfectly-brewed coffee in your home kitchen.

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