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Have you ever tried to brew a cup of coffee using an old or poor-quality coffee maker?
No matter what you try, it just doesn’t seem possible to get that bold delicious flavor out of those beans and into your cup. If you’re keen to move away from poor-quality coffee machines then you’ll be keen to learn about the SCA.
The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) wins hands down when it comes to choosing a machine that can brew the best-tasting coffee. Their certified brewers have undergone rigorous testing procedures that ensure they are capable of brewing the best tasting coffee possible.
So, in summary, if you want the most delicious coffee possible from the comfort of your own home then look out for an SCA-certified home brewer.
It can be tricky to figure out if the machine you’re interested in does conform to these standards so we have come up with an easy solution. Here are ten top picks for SCA-certified home brewers, all the pros and cons, and an easy link to the product on Amazon if you click ‘Price & Reviews’.
So now is the time to get your beans ready. Grab that coffee grinder and polish your favorite mug. Here are ten of the very best home brewers available on the market and any of these will be the perfect addition to your home.
Top Five Best Coffee Makers
- 1. Top Pick – Breville Precision Brewer Thermal, Coffee Maker
- 2. Runner Up – Technivorm Moccamaster Coffee Brewer
- 3. Most User Friendly – Cuisinart CPO-850 Coffee Brewer
- 4. Best for Pour Over Type Coffee – OXO Brew Stainless Steel Coffee Maker
- 5. Best for a Budget – Bonavita Connoisseur 8-Cup One-Touch Coffee Maker
1. Top Pick – Breville Precision Brewer Thermal, Coffee Maker
- Automatic Presets
- Fully Customizable
- Gold Cup Standard
- Dual Filter Baskets
The Breville PurePrecision Brewer is the ultimate drip coffee maker to suit any need. It can make up to 12 cups of coffee so conforms to the gold cup standards set out by the SCA. It runs quietly and is fully programmable so you can set it up the night before and awake to the most delicious tasting coffee every morning.
It comes with automatic presets that are ideal if you like to keep things simple but is also fully customizable if you prefer to channel your inner barista when you brew coffee. You can tweak the water temperature and brew-strength as well as water flow rate and bloom time. Make your coffee as strong as espresso or try the cold brew option over ice.
Dual filter baskets mean you can choose flat bottom or cone-shaped filter to suit your brewing preferences. The Breville also features steep and release technology that automatically kicks in when you go to brew smaller volumes. It adjusts the brewing process so that water is held in contact with the coffee grounds for longer so you get the fullest flavor even if you opt for a single-serve batch of coffee.
The reason this machine is number one is it really ticks every box when it comes to drip coffee. It excels at brewing at the perfect temperature and ensures optimal uniformity of extraction. It’s almost excessively customizable so really is the perfect one-size-fits-all for coffee brewing. The only downside is, that all these amazing features mean that it’s not cheap to buy. It is worth the investment though and will give you the most delicious coffee for years to come.
2. Runner Up – Technivorm Moccamaster Coffee Brewer
- High-Quality Build
- Perfect Brewing Temperature
- Keeps Coffee Hot
- Not Programmable
The Moccamaster is one of the most advanced coffee makers on the market and if you’re looking for a machine that brews to absolute perfection then this is the model for you. The body is made from durable stainless steel and aluminum and the 5-year warranty gives more evidence that this machine will last a long time.
It uses pump-free action that ensures a quiet brew cycle and a copper heating element gives a fast and efficient transfer of heat. It always ensures an even saturation of coffee thanks to the showerhead design.
All you need to do is set the machine up, press a button and your coffee will start brewing. In 4-6 minutes there’s a full carafe ready and the machine will turn itself off to avoid burning out. The thermal carafe keeps your coffee hot and ready for when you want to enjoy it but make sure you pre-heat it first for best results.
This coffee maker is one of the best SCAA-certified home brewers for making amazing coffee but the one downside is that it’s not customizable and doesn’t have a programmable timer.
3. Most User Friendly – Cuisinart CPO-850 Coffee Brewer
- Temperature and Strength Controls
- Brew Pause Feature
- Charcoal Water Filter
- 24 Hour Programmable
- Awkward Opening for Coffee and Water
Moving on from our top two options, if you’re looking for a machine that’s affordable and very straightforward to use then the Cuisinart pour-over coffee brewer is ideal. You can set your ideal brew strength and change the temperature if you prefer it hot or extra hot.
A charcoal water filter removes impurities from the water so ensures a better coffee extraction as well as removes any bitter flavors. It has a 24-hour timer built in so you can set it to be ready whenever suits you best.
I love the brew-pause feature as it allows you to sneak a quick cup before the brewing time is complete which is perfect if you’re impatient like me! The button controls and LCD display makes it super easy to program and use.
The one design flaw with this option is that the lid for the water reservoir and for filling the coffee basket both flip upwards. This can make it annoying if you plan to position this machine under the kitchen cabinets.
4. Best for Pour Over Type Coffee – OXO Brew Stainless Steel Coffee Maker
- Rainmaker Shower Head
- Easy to Use Dial Control
- Temperature Control Brewing
- Pause and Pour Feature
- Potential for Drips
Oxo is another brand that makes coffee machines that are up to SCAA certification standards. This 9-cup coffee maker perfectly mimics the pour-over technique to brew a much richer and fuller tasting cup of coffee.
This starts with the brew cycle as the machine adopts a brew and pause pattern to allow optimal expansion and extraction of the coffee. The rainmaker showerhead ensures an even saturation so together this mimics the action you would take brewing pour-over coffee.
The dial control lets you set the brew size for a small batch (1-4 cups) or larger (5-9 cups) so it can adopt the best brew cycle to suit. Pause and pour lets you sneak a quick cup which is a nice feature.
The carafe has an internal spout that works to mix the coffee, avoiding oils collecting and causing bitter or weak patches in the brew. This also works to give a really nice, smooth pour when you serve it.
I couldn’t find many downsides to this machine. It’s quiet, easy to use, looks great, and makes a delicious cup of coffee. The brew basket has the potential for drips when the carafe is removed and that’s about the only issue. Possibly a bit annoying but absolutely not a deal-breaker.
5. Best for a Budget – Bonavita Connoisseur 8-Cup One-Touch Coffee Maker
- Optional Pre-Infusion
- BPA-Free Plastic
- One-Touch Brewing
- Powerful Heating Element
- No Auto Brew
Great coffee making doesn’t have to cost the earth as Bonavita has demonstrated with the Connoisseur one-touch coffee maker. It is built with a powerful 1500-watt heating element that ensures efficient and precise heating of the water. There’s also an optional pre-infusion stage that you can choose to include or not.
One-touch brewing makes it super simple to use as all you need to do is press the button. This model also has a showerhead water dispenser to evenly coat the coffee grounds.
All plastic used in this coffee maker is free from any nasty chemicals and the showerhead, filter basket, and carafe lid are all dishwasher safe for easy cleanup. Bonavita has optimized the carafe for heat retention as well as to ensure a smooth, even pour.
This option is not programmable so you can’t set it up the night before and awake to brewed coffee. Otherwise, this is a great option for delicious coffee brewed to the golden cup standard.
What is the SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America)?
The specialty coffee association of America is a non-profit organization that specializes in all things coffee. It aims to make specialty coffee a sustainable and profitable endeavor for everyone involved in the industry. The SCA has developed a rigorous testing scheme that helps to standardize coffee brewers. They test machines according to various standards and if the coffee maker passes the tests then it can be accredited as an SCA-certified coffee maker.
The Specialty Coffee Association of America Standards for Home Brewers
Brew Basket Volume
The brew basket is analyzed to ensure it can be filled to the machine’s full capacity without the risk of overflowing the paper filters. If overflowing does occur then you end up with sediment in the coffee which is not ideal. The brew basket can be a flat bottom or cone-shaped option and full capacity is calculated according to the standard brew ratio of 55g of coffee per 1000ml of water.
Coffee needs to be brewed at an optimum temperature range to ensure a good quality extraction without any bitter taste. Each machine that qualifies as SCA certified brews coffee at 90-96 Celsius (that’s 195-205 Fahrenheit).
The cup of coffee produced by the machine is the next thing that’s considered is how strong the brewed coffee is. A special device (normally used in a medical or science lab) called a refractometer is used. This detects the particle concentration of dissolved coffee in the water so can easily assess how strong the coffee is.
If the machine performs well in the strength test the next consideration is consistency. It’s no use if the coffee maker can brew great coffee every so often. The machine is used to brew several batches of coffee to ensure that each batch conforms to the optimal temperature range as well as the optimal extraction standards.
Keep Warm Function
Whether it’s a thermal carafe or glass option the machines are tested to see how they retain the heat of the brewed coffee. The temperature is taken every minute for thirty minutes to see how effective it is.
One of the final main checks on the coffee maker is the assurance that all operation/instructional manuals have instructions in alignment with the SCA brewing standards. This includes the optimal brew ratio, filter recommendations, and cleaning instructions.
What is SCA approved?
The SCA has set out its own set of standards for coffee brewing. They have developed a method for testing brewers to ensure they follow these parameters. Things like brew temperature, brew time, and extraction profile are measured and tested and if the brewer passes these tests then it is SCA approved.
Is Ninja SCA certified?
Ninja has developed coffee makers like the Hot and Cold Brewed System that are up to the SCA standards. Ninja is an SCA-certified brand.
Are Bunn coffee makers SCA certified?
The Bunn Heat N Brew programmable coffee maker is SCA certified making it a perfect choice as a home coffee brewer.
What does SCA stand for?
SCA stands for the Specialty Coffee Association of America. It’s a non-profit organization that focuses on everything that is good about coffee. As well as introducing brewing standards they
More SCAA Certified Coffee Makers Reviewed
6. BUNN Heat N Brew Programmable Coffee Maker
- Shatter Free Glass Carafe
- Drip Proof
- Auto Shut Off
Bunn is a brand better known for their commercial coffee makers but they also do a range of home coffee brewers that are typically built to a very high standard. The Heat N Brew is fully programmable so it will have your coffee ready when you are.
It’s easy to use with button controls and an LCD display panel. The carafe is shatterproof and designed with a drip-free spout to ensure all the coffee ends up in your cup and not on the countertop.
It shuts off when the brew cycle is complete so is not at risk of burning out. Overall this coffee maker delivers a rich and tasty cup of coffee and the hotplate keeps it nice and toasty until you’re ready to enjoy it. The downside is that this machine is pretty slow to heat up and brew coffee and it can take around 10 minutes to make a full carafe.
7. Bonavita 8 Cup Coffee Maker(BV1900TS)
- Flat Bottom Filter Basket
- Optional Pre Infusion Mode
- Not Programmable
Bonavita is the best for affordable coffee makers that still conform to SCA standards. This 8-cup coffee maker ensures a fast brew cycle and optimal brew temperature every time you use it to make coffee.
It has a flat-bottom filter basket and a large showerhead outlet to evenly coat the coffee grounds and allows a balanced flavor extraction. The optional pre-infusion step gives you the chance to allow your coffee to bloom for the best taste possible.
The carafe is made from high-quality stainless steel with double-wall insulation to keep your coffee piping hot as long as you need it to. This option is great for a tight budget and makes really delicious coffee but it is lacking a programmable option.
8. Ninja CP307 Hot and Cold Brewed System
- Coffee and Tea Brew Settings
- Six Brew Size Options
- Single Cup Option
- Fold Away Frother
- Frother Doesn’t Heat the Milk
If you can’t decide between coffee beans and tea leaves then you need this Ninja brewing system. It can brew tea and coffee and has the option of any drink size from a concentrated, espresso-like coffee to a full carafe.
It comes with individual tea and coffee baskets so you don’t have to worry about the flavors mingling. It can take coffee grounds, tea bags, or tea leaves so you can brew using your favorite option.
You can brew an ultra-dark, specialty coffee that’s similar to espresso in taste and concentration. This pairs well with the fold-away milk frother to make lattes and cappuccinos. The only downside is the frother does not heat the milk as a steam wand does so you need to warm it in the microwave or over a stove first.
9. Braun MultiServe Coffee Machine
- Hot or Cold Brew
- Three Temperature Sensors
- Single Serve Option
- Freshness Indicator
- Very Tall
If you enjoy variety when it comes to brewing coffee then this machine by Braun is the perfect option. It comes with a variety of presets to brew any coffee you desire. From bold brew to over ice and single serve to a full carafe, this machine will get your creative barista brain going.
It has a removable water tank with a level indicator that’s easy to refill and it comes with a reusable gold-tone filter so you can choose this or paper filters if you prefer. It has a dial for setting brew size anywhere from single-serve to a full carafe.
Three temperature sensors mean this machine heats up the water, brews coffee, and stores it at just the right temperature. It even has a freshness indicator display so you can see how long the coffee has been standing for.
This coffee maker is a really functional option and brews delicious tasting coffee. The main downside is, due to the position of the water tank and the taller carafe design, the machine does stand very tall at 15 inches (22” with the filter basket lid open). This may be an issue if you’re looking for something to fit under the kitchen cabinets or in a small space.
10. Brim Coffee Maker
- Pour-Over Shower Head
- Attractive Carafe Design
- Auto Shut Off
- Automated Pour Over Machine
- The Metal Filter Can Let Grounds Through
The Brim coffee maker is less of a drip machine and more of an automated pour-over set-up. It has an hourglass-shaped carafe designed to allow optimal infusion of flavor. It fits a filter basket over the upper portion and has the option of using a mesh filter or adding a paper filter here. The coffee gently trickles into the lower portion and is kept warm on the hotplate.
It follows all standards for the correct brewing time and temperature so ensures a really delicious cup every time. The showerhead is designed for pour-over style brewing with even saturation of the coffee grounds as well as start and stop brewing.
It’s easy to use and an attractively designed coffee maker that works to perfectly mimic the pour-over method. The only downside I could find is that the metal filter is not ideal for a clean cup of java as it is prone to letting the grounds seep through into the coffee. It’s not a major problem and is easily fixed by using a paper filter instead.
So that’s it for SCA-approved coffee makers. All these devices have passed the rigorous testing procedure with flying colors and are able to brew coffee that’s as good as any barista can. I hope this article has been helpful in setting you up with the perfect coffeemaker for your home. Best of luck with your coffee brewing journey and I wish you a strong and bold cup of coffee every morning!
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