The Best SCAA Certified Coffee Makers
Your next coffee maker should be an SCAA certified coffee maker!
In a world with a wide array of coffee maker models, it can be challenging to choose the perfect one for your needs. SCAA is the acronym for the Specialty Coffee Association of America. This designation indicates that this coffee maker is the best of the best.
The Specialty Coffee Association of America has a rigid set of standards and requirements. This fact means that only the top coffee brewers can get SCAA certified. This certification is based on how well the brewer maintains water temperature, brewing time, and how well the brewer can work within the SCA Golden Cup standards.
The SCAA certification is considered prestigious due to these rigorous requirements. You know you are getting a top-quality machine when purchasing an SCAA certified coffee maker. In this article, the seven best SCAA coffee makers are reviewed. However, all of the factors you should consider before buying your next SCAA coffee brewer should be explored first.
Time to Brew
When considering which coffee maker to purchase, brew time should be investigated. If you only allow yourself eight minutes in the morning to brew a cup of coffee, you do not want to purchase a coffee pot that takes 10 to 12 minutes to brew. You can even find coffee makers that only take four minutes to brew.
Another vital consideration is the capacity of the coffee maker. If you only make coffee for yourself, you may want a smaller machine. If your family enjoys a cup of coffee in the morning, you definitely will need a more substantial capacity machine.
A typical machine will brew eight cups, but some of the following SCAA certified brewers can give you from 10 to 12 cups. You should purchase a device that fits your needs. You do not want to invest in a more massive coffee maker if you do not need to spend the money.
The great thing about coffee makers is you have a wide array of options when it comes to capacity. You can find machines that brew a single cup, half a pot, or full pot. These machines adapt to these measurements without compromising the extraction quality.
Do you want more options for your coffee maker? Some drip coffee manufacturers offer a variety of options, while others only provide the basics. These options include temperature and pre-infusion settings, which gives you more control.
If you enjoy one-touch brewing, a more precise and flexible coffee maker may be a bad investment. These features are great but not necessary. So, it is dependent on your needs and wants. Some people enjoy the models that allow you to combine your dripper with a favorite pour-over.
You can even find SCAA models that allow you to brew black coffee as well as cappuccinos and lattes. A variety of models offer programmable features. These features are an excellent choice if you like coffee waiting when you wake up in the morning.
Glass or Thermal Carafe
The carafe is what keeps your morning coffee warm. With an SCAA coffee maker, your coffee is guaranteed to be at temperature for at least 30 minutes. However, most of these models will keep the coffee warm for a few hours. So, this information means you only have to decide if you want a glass or thermal carafe.
The glass carafe is cheaper than the thermal carafe. The glass carafe also keeps the coffee extremely hot for the first few minutes after brewing. The main drawback of a glass carafe is that if it is left on the hot plate too long, it will stew the coffee, which creates a bitter flavored coffee.
The thermal carafe is more expensive, but it is made of stainless steel. It is the perfect choice if you take your time drinking a pot of coffee. This type of carafe will keep your coffee warm without affecting the flavor of the coffee.
Now that you know what to consider before purchasing an SCAA coffee maker, you can explore what is considered to be the top seven choices.
Top SCAA Certified Coffee Makers of 2020
As you read this review, you will need to have an understanding of the following terms. These terms can be universal when it comes to describing coffee makers, so they refer to any type of coffee brewer. If you have been in the coffee game for a while, you probably have heard most of them.
This term refers to any coffee made without steam. Most of the coffee makers on this list are drip coffee makers unless they have an espresso feature.
When you draw flavor from the coffee grounds, it is called extraction. When you over-extract coffee, you have a bitter taste. If you under-extract coffee, it tends to have sour flavors.
This name is used for the small nozzle that dispenses water from the machine’s pump.
This process gets the grounds ready to brew. You should tamp down grounds to help remove any air because it helps to achieve a stronger brew.
The pump is responsible for pushing water throughout the coffee maker’s system.
Pour-over means that a device is a gravity-powered machine. Sometimes, individuals also use this term to describe a manual unit because the user does all the work.
Product Review Guide
When you see the name “Moccamaster,” you know the coffee maker has the backing of the European Coffee Brewing Centre as well as the SCAA stamp of approval. This unique copper-heating system only allows water and coffee to come in contact with metal parts.
This system also ensures the water is heated to the SCAA recommended temperature. The temperature is maintained consistently throughout the extraction by the use of a rectangular metallic showerhead, which contains nine outlets.
Your coffee grounds will blossom due to the pulse action that mimics manual pouring. This coffee maker allows you to choose if you want a full pot or a half pot. The lever on the brew basket makes this choice an easy decision.
If you are looking for a programmable coffee brewer, the Technivorm Moccamaster is probably not a good match. However, this machine is simple to use and does allow you to sneak a cup before the brewing process is complete.
The cone-shaped filters of this machine are the perfect match for the high-quality thermal carafe. This carafe comes equipped with a brew-through lid to help ensure an excellent cup of coffee every time. Technivorm offers a glass carafe with its 59616 KBG model if you prefer.
Equipped with a five-year warranty and made in the Netherlands, you can rest assured that this coffee machine is durable.
Dimensions: 12.8 inches by 6.7 inches by 14 inches
Materials: BPA-free plastic and thermal carafe
- Capacity is 10 cups/40 ounce carafe
- Only 4 to 6 minutes brew time
- Cool water reservoir
- More expensive
- Does not brew single cup
- Only comes black, silver, or grey
This fantastic coffee maker allows you to be a complete control freak when it comes to your morning cup of joe. The flavor of your coffee can be quickly changed by adjusting the water temperature and the length of your pre-soak time. This temperature is accurate to 1 degree, which is incredible for a coffee brewer.
Quite a few other coffee machines overlook the fact that altitude affects brewing. Water only boils at 100 degrees Celsius and 212 degrees Fahrenheit at sea level. Behmor Brazen Plus understands this concept and accommodates for it.
The built-in elevation calibration allows you to adjust the altitude to ensure the perfect extraction. This accurate extraction is further guaranteed by pulsing water flow, excellent shower head, and stainless steel water reservoir.
The 5393 Behmor Brazen comes with a gold-tone mesh filter, which can save you money. If you do not like mesh filters, do not worry; this coffee brewer also allows you to use paper filters if you prefer. The included thermal carafe will keep coffee hot without burning it. The other fantastic benefit from this carafe is coffee will not drip when you remove it from the stand.
This coffee brewer is an excellent choice when you want to be able to customize your cup of coffee. It is programmable to ensure you get the same consistent cup of coffee every morning.
Dimensions: 9 inches by 9 inches by 15.25 inches
Materials: Plastic, stainless steel, and thermal carafe
- Capacity is 8 cups/40 ounces
- Temperature is accurate to 1 degree
- Double-walled stainless steel carafe
- Gold-tone mesh filter included
- 7 to 8 minutes brew time
- Small opening
The OXO on Barista Brain has a unique design with a stainless steel dripper and water reservoir. This design allows you to add flair and style to your kitchen while still getting a fantastic cup of morning coffee.
This model of OXO comes with a mixing tube in the carafe. This tube takes the new coffee to the bottom of the carafe, which helps to eliminate stratification. If stratification does occur, the weaker coffee ends up on top.
It causes an inconsistent extraction and a variety of flavors across the different sections of coffee. Most carafes are designed to keep your coffee warm, but the display on OXO on Barista Brain carafe gives you information about how long it has been sitting.
This machine’s simple control panel includes just a single button with a dial. This button gives you the option between brewing 2 to 4 or 5 to 9 cups. The pulsating brew, pre-infusion mode, and rainmaker showerhead work similar to manual pour-over methods.
With features like programming, indicators, and silent mode, this coffee maker is a perfect addition to your kitchen. The pleasing design does not hurt either.
Dimensions: 15 inches by 8.3 inches by 17.2 inches
Materials: Plastic and stainless steel
- 9 cup capacity
- Stainless steel dripper
- Transparent water reservoir
- Simple control panel
- 7 to 8 minutes brew time (4 to 5 for half pot)
- Some users complain it leaks
This Bonavita is an excellent choice if you do not like the extra bells and whistles. It is a one-touch machine with a sleek, minimalistic design. Of all of the available SCAA certified machines, the BV1900TS is the most affordable. You can get quality in your morning brew while maintaining your budget.
The showerhead style top provides an even extraction for every brew. The pre-infusion mode on this coffee maker allows the coffee grounds to bloom before it is done brewing. You can get 8 cups of coffee from this machine in a little over 6 minutes.
With the stainless steel carafe, your coffee is guaranteed to stay hot for up to two hours. This machine contains a powerful 1500-watt heater, which ensures that the brewing temperature is consistently at 198 degrees to 205 degrees Fahrenheit.
One of the best parts of this machine is the BPA-free plastic components. These components are dishwasher safe making the cleaning process a breeze. Unfortunately, this particular Bonavita is not programmable. However, other Bonavita models have this capability.
The warming plate of this machine is nonstick and will automatically shut off after 40 minutes of continuous usage. If you forget to turn off the device before you leave, connect your iPhone to this machine using your home internet.
Dimensions: 12.4 inches by 6.8 inches by 12.2 inches
Materials: BPA-free plastic and stainless steel
- 8 cups capacity
- Plastic is dishwasher safe
- WiFi accessible
- 6 minutes brew time
- Not programmable
The Breville BDC450 comes with a variety of unique features. One of these features is the PID water temperature control. Some other features include the ability to control water flow and allow pre-infusion time. It also has an adaptor that enables you to use a pour-over device.
The six preset modes offer you a wide array of choices to ensure you get your best cup of coffee. Gold, Cold Brew, and My Brew are just three of the available options. My Brew will help you continue to replicate your best brew.
This versatile device gives you the choice of brewing a single cup or 12 cups depending on your needs. This precision coffee maker can automatically detect if you use a regular coffee cup or the carafe and will change the setting accordingly.
The carafe is a stainless steel thermal option, which is excellent in keeping your coffee warm. If you prefer a glass carafe, Breville has other SCAA certified models for you. With the precise temperature settings of this machine, you can adjust it to meet the various processes needed for different roasts and grinds.
Dimensions: 12.4 inches by 6.7 inches by 15.7 inches
Materials: Stainless steel
- Variety of 1 to 12 cup capacity
- Automatically detects coffee cup or carafe
- My Brew setting
- 8 minutes brew time
- Requires a larger investment
If you enjoy variety, the Ninja Specialty CM401 is the perfect device for you. It gives you the option of having a strong black coffee or various other types of brews. You can also choose between one cup of coffee or a large pot of 10 cups.
When researching Ninja products, you will find they have an excellent reputation and a wide array of popular models. However, the CM401 is known for being one of the best when it comes to the quality of the brew.
This Ninja offers four unique brew styles, which include iced coffee, rich, classic, and specialty brew. I know it is surprising to think a drip coffee maker can make a cappuccino. This SCAA certified dripper comes equipped with a fold-away frother.
This frother allows you to warm up or froth up milk while your coffee is brewing. This device also offers you the choice of six different sizes of brew. You can make a single cup, extra-large cup, travel mug, half a pot, or a full pot of coffee. If you want a single cup, you can place the cup on a retractable stand located directly below the filter.
With some single cup coffee makers, you may be worried about waste. The CM401 Ninja is pod-free. This freedom means you can customize various brew with worrying about plastic waste.
Dimensions: 12 inches by 8.8 inches by 15 inches
Materials: Plastic, metal, and glass carafe
- 1 to 10 cup capacity
- 4 to 8 minutes brew time
- Fold-away frother
- Users complain gauges are hard to read
- May experience inconsistent brewing
This Cuisinart can be an excellent solution for those who like coffee as soon as they wake. You can program this device to start within a particular 24-hour period. The flavor strength can also be adjusted between mild, medium, and bold.
You can choose if you want a hot or extra hot cup of coffee. The bloom mode also helps to provide optimum extraction. The Cuisinart CPO-850 offers you a wide array of choices when it comes to filters also. You can choose between the laser-etched metal filter, charcoal water filter, or paper filters.
The brew-pause feature on this machine will allow you to have your first cup of coffee before the carafe is full. If you hate cleaning the coffee maker, you will significantly appreciate the self-cleaning mode of this Cuisinart machine.
This particular model comes with a thermal stainless steel carafe, but if you want a glass carafe, Cuisinart has a variety of other models to choose.
Dimensions: 14.5 inches by 9.75 inches by 15.5 inches
Materials: Plastic, stainless steel, and thermal carafe
- Variety of filter options
- Flavor strength adjustment
- Temperature control
- Brew pause feature
- 7 minutes brew time
- 8 cup capacity
When asked to announce the one coffee brewer that stands above the rest, it was a hard decision. Each of the above coffee makers has individual strengths and weaknesses. Every user will also have particular preferences for the needed features of the best coffee maker.
However, if you want an excellent and consistent cup of coffee, the Technivorm Moccamaster, with its unique elements of the brewing process, is the superlative choice of an SCAA coffee device. This unit is the most expensive on the list, but it is well worth the money.
As stated above, it is a durable machine with the capability to brew ten cups of coffee within 4 to 6 minutes. The warranty on this machine stands above the rest also.
Before purchasing any of the above models, you should evaluate your caffeine needs and preferences and then match those to a specific model. Hopefully, the information provided about each of these SCAA certified coffee makers will help you come to a decision.
Care and Maintenance
Most SCAA certified coffee makers will continue to brew pot after pot of your favorite java without much assistance from the user. Each of these machines does not have a lot of moving parts. This fact makes it easy to overlook the regular maintenance and care required for each of these devices.
If you create a consistent cleaning and maintenance schedule for your coffee maker, you will get an increase in the longevity of the equipment and better flavor. Each component of the coffee will have different needs.
For example, the carafe will show wear and tear over time, but the internal parts of the machine will not give you a visual clue. Without a visual clue, you may forget to descale and clean your device’s internal components as well as external components at least a couple of times every year.
A regular care and maintenance schedule can look like this:
Weekly- The carafe and filter basket are washed with soapy water. It would be best if you used a food-safe cleaning agent while you wipe down the machine. Be sure to include the hot plate if the model has one.
Monthly- After the fourth external cleaning in a year, you should wipe out the water reservoir to help eliminate residue build-up. If your water has a high mineral content, descaling should probably be done at this time also.
Quarterly- If you have soft water, you can improve the performance of your machine by descaling every quarter.
Why It’s Essential
Some people may wonder why it’s essential to clean out the coffee maker reservoir when it only holds hot water. If you forget or choose not to clean the tank, you will soon have first-hand knowledge of why it is crucial.
If you have soft water, you probably will not see the neglect as soon as hard water users. Hard water contains deposits that can be left behind. These deposits can built-up over a short time. This build-up can clog the coffee maker’s system and cause it to run sluggishly.
What to Watch For
Most SCAA coffee makers will display a variety of signals to say it needs maintenance. If you see any of the following signs, it is probably time for you to clean the device.
- Build-up on any of the components of the reservoir or exterior
- Sluggish performance when making a pot of coffee
- Excess coffee grounds in the pot
- Device is only producing a portion of what the setting states
- Odors not associated with off-gasing
How to clean an SCAA Certified Coffee Maker
1. Unplug the machine and remove all detachable parts.
2. Wash all of the removable parts and allow them to drip dry.
3. Using a damp microfiber cloth, wipe the main component of the machine.
4. Ensure all of the coffee grounds have been removed from the device’s basket.
5. Once all of the detachable parts are dry, put them back where they belong.
6. Plug the machine into the outlet.
7. Using a solution of one-part cold water and one-part white vinegar, fill the reservoir.
8. Run a cycle using a regular setting. Be sure to collect this solution in a cup or other receptacle.
9. Once complete, run another cycle. This process is repeated as many times as necessary to remove all of the vinegar solution from the reservoir.
10. Refill the tank with cold filtered water. Run another cycle. Continue running cycles until all trace of vinegar is removed. The machine will then be ready to use as normal.