The SCAA certification has been the gold standard for coffee makers for a while now. The reason? Folks want a coffee maker that makes excellent coffee every morning. Time after time. With no fuss.
Want that for yourself? This article will tell you the 3 best options you have for SCAA certified coffee makers right now.
Our buyers guide, further down the page, will also explain exactly why SCAA certification has got that “gold standard” status (and why you should through your old hunk o’ junk coffee maker straight in the trash).
Best SCAA certified coffee maker
Our #1 choice: Technivorm Moccamaster
Best budget option: Bonavita BV1900TS
Preset “wake up” timer: Oxo On Barista Brain
The Technivorm Moccamaster has a high price tag, even for SCAA certified coffee makers, but backs it up with a truly fantastic design that’ll make great coffee for years to come.
The construction is extremely high quality, being handmade in the Netherlands. The glass carafe and metal body are all made using BPA-free materials and it total it weighs in at 6lbs. That’s quite weighty for a coffee maker, so it won’t slip around on your kitchen counter every time an arm brushes it.
The capacity of the coffee maker is 40 fl. oz (about 1.25 liters) which will give you around three large coffees. There is no minimum amount, if you make smaller batches. And because it’s SCAA certified? The coffee process will be perfectly adjusted so whatever amount of coffee you make will taste great.
The Moccamaster is a delight for those who like their coffee hot because of its thermal carafe. When you make a brew, you can keep the coffee at 175-185°F. And that’s not a range, by the way. You choose the exact temperature you want your coffee at, depending on how hot you like it.
The thermal carafe lasts up to 100 minutes. So that’s nearly two hours of hot coffee on demand each time you make a brew. At the 100 minute mark, it uses its “auto off” feature for safety.
Another advantage to the thermal carafe is you can just “set and forget” when you brew. The brew time is about 5 minutes, pretty typical. So once you set it off, you can come back whenever to coffee that’s perfectly brewed and still hot. Even if you got distracted and come back 30 minutes later.
On the other hand, if you’re impatient about your morning coffee, you might also want to know about the “automatic brew basket”. This clever device lets you take the carafe while it’s brewing to pour yourself a coffee. The brew will collect in this basket, and go into the carafe when you put it back. So you don’t need to wait for the whole brew to finish before you can have a coffee.
The Moccamaster is backed by a lengthy 5-year warranty. And you get a ton of color options, too. Click here to check them out.
|Capacity||40 fl oz / 10-cup / 1.25l|
|Brew Time||5 mins|
The Bonavita BV1900TS is a great budget option for SCAA certified coffee maker. Now it still ain’t cheap because of the strict requirements of SCAA certification, but might be suitable for those looking at the cheaper end of this premium line of coffee makers.
So what do you get? Well, the Bonavita has a “pre-infusion mode” which wets the coffee grounds a little before the brew. This is called Blooming in the coffee world, and helps to get rid of some of the gas inside the coffee and create the conditions for an even extraction. Works best with fresh roasted coffee.
This coffee maker has a flat-bottomed basket and a wide showerhead for “even better saturation”. And of course, because it has that SCAA certification, it ticks all the right boxes in temperature and brew processes so your coffee is going to come out tasting great.
The Bonavita keeps things simple with a one-button design. You just fill up the tank with water, fill the basket with coffee and away you go. It has an auto-off feature that activates after 40 minutes, so you can “set and forget” your brew then come back to it later.
Any negatives? Well, the Bonavita is made in China which may be an issue for you. The build quality is strong and solid, weighing in at a decent 6lbs, but some reviews point out a couple of issues. For example, the carafe lid can trap the coffee as you pour it so you can’t get that last bit until the carafe is basically upside down.
|Brew Time||6 mins|
The OXO On Barista Brain is another quality coffee maker. Remember, that SCAA certification means it ticks all the right boxes in brewing up quality coffee every morning.
What the OXO has going for it is its Programmable Wake-Up Timer. This is like an alarm clock for your coffee. Set it the night before, and wake up to the smell of fresh coffee brewing before you’re even dressed.
The way it works is with the little LED screen on the front of the coffee maker. Can you see it in the photo? Usually, this displays the time. But you can spin the dial (just below it) to enter the time that you want your coffee brew to start. Obviously you need to fill the tank with water and the basket with ground coffee, too.
The “pause and pour” feature is another nice touch. As it’s brewing, you can pause the brewing process so you can grab a quick cup. Then resume the brew for the rest of the coffee to drip into the carafe.
Along with the SCAA certification, you get a Rainmaker Showerhead to help you brew great coffee. That’s a special design where the hot water drips out from that helps give you an even extraction — super important when you’re brewing quality coffee.
|Capacity||9-cup (2 liters)|
|Brew Time||6 mins|
|Features||Programmable “wake up” timer|
SCAA Certified Coffee Maker Buyer’s Guide
What does SCAA certified mean?
SCAA is short for the Specialty Coffee Association of America. It’s an organization that has spearheaded an improvement in standards for coffee makers with its signature SCAA certification.
As of writing, there are only 12 SCAA-approved coffee makers available for sale. Which should go some way to showing how stringent the demands are. You can see the latest list here.
Now do bear in mind you pay a premium for these coffee makers. These are not the kind of coffee makers you get at Walmart then throw in the trash 6 months later. These are well-engineered machines that will give you fantastic coffee at the touch of a button and will last you a decade.
The SCAA certification is considered the gold standard in coffee makers, and mean you can be confident any SCAA coffee maker will brew fantastic coffee. Here’s why…
Why are SCAA certified coffee makers better?
SCAA certified coffee makers are subject to testing that ensures they follow certain standards required for great-tasting coffee. Here are the important ones:
Reason #1: Use a strict temperature range
SCAA certified coffee makers must maintain a water temperature of between 195 and 205°F (91-96°C). This is the temperature that is required for the SCAA’s Golden Cup Standard that you can read about here.
This temperature range is generally agreed upon in the coffee world as being ideal. Lower than 195°F and your coffee may end up “flat”, “astringent” or “sour”. And this is the big problem with most cheap coffee makers — the water doesn’t get hot enough consistently.
Higher than 205°F is a problem, too, and can result in a “loss of quality” in the coffee that tastes “acrid” and “bitter”.
Reason #2: Deliver an even extraction
SCAA certified coffee makers must make sure the hot water is spread evenly throughout the ground coffee as it drips down — this is called the extraction. This can be achieved with a preinfusion of water, or a showerhead with a special mechanism.
What happens with cheap coffee makers is the “channeling”, where the water flows through fine channels which overextracts the coffee ground in the channel…. and underextracts everywhere else. That means bad-tasting coffee.
Reason #3: Adjust for different size
SCAA coffee makers will adjust the flow rate to be faster or smaller depending on the amount of ground coffee, and therefore the size of the batch of coffee. Cheap coffee makers do no such thing, risking sour and bitter flavors in the drink.
It’s without doubt that I can fully recommend the number one SCAA certified coffee maker, the Technivorm Moccamaster. A fantastic piece of kit that’ll make beautiful-tasting coffee morning after morning (and comes with a handy 5-year warranty).
For those on more of a budget… the Bonavita BV1900TS is still an excellent choice. Crucially, it has that SCAA certification that means every cup will be meeting the Golden Cup Standard.