What is the SCA? Here’s Our List of SCA Approved Coffee Makers

by | Sep 24, 2018 | General

If you already make an effort to seek out the highest quality coffee or simply coffee that you know has been made with safe and ethical resources, then you’re going to be thrilled to hear about the SCA and how you can get involved. The SCA ensures that specialty coffee is made without exploitation and sets the standard for what good coffee really is.

How was the SCA created?

The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) was created in 1982 when a group of coffee professionals got together out of a desire to create solid standards around what good coffee is. The founders of the SCAA are Ted Lingle, Phyllis Baldenhofer, Peter McLaughlin, John Randall, and Donald Schoenholt.

Their mission was to create an association that could help uphold ethical and safe practices for specialty coffee, especially since the roasters in other countries may not have the opportunity to negotiate fair prices for their work or to establishes ethical conditions to work in.

The Specialty Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE) was created in London on August 10th, 1998.  It was led by the President of the SCAE, Alf Kramer, who appointed a board of directors to the association.

This was after a group of about 50 coffee and community enthusiasts gathered together to create the association and provided five hundred euros each as seed money to help establish the association. These members are now referred to as the “Pioneer Members” of the SCAE.

From SCAA to SCA

In January of 2017, the Specialty Coffee Association of America and the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe merged and over 10,000 members were affected by this all together, and now its simply referred to as the Specialty Coffee Association.

What’s the SCA’s mission?

The SCA does a few things- they have created a standard that we should expect our specialty coffee to be at while ensuring that fair trade practices are in place when we seek out these goods.

The term specialty coffee refers to the entire process, from farmer to cup, that’s utilized in accordance with safe and ethical standards. Specialty coffee usually refers to a single origin source.

The SCA protects the coffee farmers in the regions where you can expect to find these blends by ensuring that the work conditions are ethical and safe. It protects the consumer by ensuring that the coffee has come from an ethical and sustainable source and is of the best quality.

Some farmers that work with the SCA have been pushed to use only the ripest coffee cherries so that the consumers, baristas, and roasters are working with the best coffee beans that fair trade standards can offer.

What does it mean if a brewer is SCA certified?

When a coffee brewer is SCA certified, that means that it meets the SCA’s list of technical requirements for any coffee brewer. Brewers that have been certified by the SCA have been reviewed by coffee science experts and professional coffee testers. SCA approved brewers have met the following standards:

  • It brews coffee at the proper water temperature. (Between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit.)
  • It brews in an appropriate amount of time.
  • It brews within the SCA’s Golden Cup

Essentially, if you’re able to invest in your coffee making setup and you care about where your coffee came from and whether or its made using fair trade practices, then you’re going to want to buy an SCA certified coffee brewer because these people know their stuff.

The full list of SCA approved coffee makers

When a coffee maker earns the SCA’s stamp of approval, you can be certain that the coffee brewer is going to be impressive. The SCA’s strict technical specifications for a home brewer basically streamline all of the traits that we desire when we look for a home brewer.

Most coffee lovers want a home brewer that is affordable, brews efficiently, can be stored easily, offers little to no mess, and consistently produces a good cup of coffee.

You’ll see below the full list of coffee makers approved by SCA. Keep in mind that you can always submit a particular brewer through the SCA’s website to see if it might qualify for being classified as an outstanding machine. Fees are comprised of yearly licensing fees of $5000 per year for 3 years. Check out our list of the best coffee makers for this year.

OXO On 9-Cup & 12-Cup Coffee Makers

OXO On 9-Cup Coffee Maker
915 Reviews
OXO On 9-Cup Coffee Maker

  • Double-wall stainless steel thermal carafe
  • Perfect temperature control
  • 24 hours programmable
  • Runs very quietly
  • Very easy to use and maintain
  • Brew-strength control
  • Clean modern look


Bonavita BV1900TS & BV1900TD 8-Cup

Bonavita 8-Cup One-Touch Coffee Maker
2,711 Reviews
Bonavita 8-Cup One-Touch Coffee Maker

  • Double-wall stainless steel thermal carafe
  • Perfect temperature control
  • 24 hours programmable
  • Runs very quietly
  • Very easy to use and maintain
  • Brew-strength control
  • Clean modern look


Technivorm Moccamaster Coffee Maker

Technivorm Moccamaster KBT 79112 Coffee Brewer
672 Reviews
Technivorm Moccamaster KBT 79112 Coffee Brewer

  • It makes great-tasting coffee, at the correct temperature
  • Simple to operate and quiet brewing process that brews a full carafe in just 4 to 6 minutes
  • Manual-adjust drip-stop brew-basket with stainless steel thermal carafe
  • Designed & Assembled in the Netherlands
  • The cleaning process is super easy
  • Functional and stylish


KitchenAid KCM0802 & KCM0801OB Coffee Makers

Who doesn’t love a good cup of pour-over coffee? Sometimes, it seems like the best way to make coffee, even if it takes a bit longer. You can count on tasting a wide range of complex flavors with this method, but the KitchenAid Coffee Maker takes out the stress of dealing with a makeshift pour over station.

It’s the same KitchenAid excellence that you’ve relied on for years with your blenders and mixers, but at the start of your day with a good cup of coffee.

KitchenAid KCM0802OB Pour Over Coffee Brewer, Onyx...
308 Reviews
KitchenAid KCM0802OB Pour Over Coffee Brewer, Onyx...

  • Affordable, reliable, durable and good-looking
  • A new unique compact brewing unit technology
  • Includes starter pack of #4 paper filters, 8-cup glass carafe, coffee scoop
  • Runs very quietly
  • Very easy to use and maintain
  • Heats the water to the optimal range of 198°F -204°F

The KitchenAid KCM0802 unique pill-shaped design is definitely eye-catching and it’ll look great on your kitchen counter. It’s a decent size for setting on your kitchen counter and it won’t eclipse a lot of your other appliances.

The pour-over method is obviously its best-selling point, as its all the taste and patience of a pour-over but dressed up in a classic drip brewer.

You can brew anything from 2-8 cups of coffee, and the KitchenAid KCM0802 also hits one of the SCA’s toughest qualifications- the brewing temperature.

This coffee is going to take a bit longer to brew than average but not by much, however, this machine is more about making a good cup of coffee that a lot of other drip brewers can’t duplicate than being the fastest to create a cup of coffee.

Your guests and coworkers will enjoy coffee that falls in between 197 and 204 degrees Fahrenheit, which is pretty close to the highest range. You can currently get one for about $150.

Wilfa Precision Coffee Maker

Wilfa Precision Automatic Coffee Brewer
18 Reviews
Wilfa Precision Automatic Coffee Brewer

  • Good looking, great coffee
  • Perfect temperature control (197º-205ºF)
  • Detachable water tank
  • Flow control
  • A bit more expensive

BUNN 10-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker

Let’s get into why the SCA loves this machine. Upon first glance, the Bunn Heat N Brew looks like a basic coffee maker. It reminds you of something simple that you might see in the main office of a workplace or maybe crammed into the corner of an educator’s desk.

However, this machine has more than earned its place on this list of impressive machines.

BUNN HB Heat N Brew Programmable Coffee Maker
42 Reviews
BUNN HB Heat N Brew Programmable Coffee Maker

  • Digital clock with programmable brew start time
  • Brews 10 cups in about 10 minutes
  • Auto warmer plate
  • 3-Year Warranty
  • Simple yet sophisticated

Its equipped with a shatter-resistant, mess-free carafe and can brew ten cups of coffee within ten minutes. It brews coffee in the ideal temperature window, at 197 degrees. You can grab one for about $80. While you’ll have to be patient as you wait for it to brew a full pot, you’ll be happy you stuck around the Bunn’s tried and true spray head saturation method.

Cuisinart PurePrecision & CPO-800 Pour Over Coffee Brewers

The SCA definitely hit the mark with their stamp of approval on this final coffee maker. When you first take a look at the Cuisinart Pure Precision CPO-840 Pour Over Coffee Brewer, you’ll be impressed by its striking design. You’ll love its sleek and streamlined look on your kitchen counter, and all of this is made better by the fact that it produces a good cup of pour-over coffee.

While the Cuisinart Pure Precision Coffee Brewer is definitely attractive, top notch kitchen appliance brand Cuisinart didn’t spare any expense in making sure that this machine offers a powerful performance.

Cuisinart CPO-850 Pour Over Coffee Brewer
210 Reviews
Cuisinart CPO-850 Pour Over Coffee Brewer

  • Flavor strength control – mild, medium, bold
  • Temperature control – hot, extra hot
  • Dimensions: 14.5x13.75x9.5 inch (WxHxD), Unit Weight: 10.2 pounds
  • Capacity: 64 oz, 8 cup carafe
  • 24-hour programmable – auto on, adjustable auto-off, self-clean
  • Includes charcoal water filter, laser-etched stainless steel permanent filter

The Cuisinart Pure Precision pre-wets the grounds so that it has time to bloom before it brews. A lot of us that make our coffee in the morning before we rush out the door will appreciate the fact that you can remove the stainless-steel carafe and pour a cup of coffee before returning it to the brewer to finish the cycle.

It also comes with a timer and digital display which is great for coffee lovers that like for their machine to have a few more bells and whistles. The Pure Precision offers the luxury taste of a pour-over coffee with the convenience of a drip brewer, it brews within the Specialty Coffee Association’s approved brewing window and allows you to change the temperature and offers a bold setting for your brew.

You will have to slightly more coffee than you normally would for the Pure Precision to operate at its highest potential, but each cup will be more than worth the extra tablespoons.

Behmor Connected & Brazen Plus 2.0 Coffee Makers

Behmor Connected Coffee Maker
154 Reviews
Behmor Connected Coffee Maker

  • Customizable, temperature control coffee maker
  • Connection with Amazon Dash Replenishment
  • Temperature control from 190°-210° F
  • Double walled stainless carafe
  • Pulsed water flow ensures that all grounds are fully saturated
  • Alexa enabled with mobile app

Breville Precision Brewer™

Breville Precision Brewer
44 Reviews
Breville Precision Brewer

  • 6 preset modes including Gold Cup 
  • Precise & Adjustable (PID) Temperature Control
  • Designed to suit your favorite Pour Over Adapter (Adapter Sold Separately)
  • Dual Filter Baskets: Flat Bottom & Cone style Baskets included
  • Capacity: 60 oz / 12 Cup
  • Settings: Gold Cup, Fast, Strong Brew, Ice Coffee, Cold Brew, My Brew
  • Included Accessories: Thermal Carafe, coffee spoon

You can check the full list here.

In Conclusion

We have a lot to thank the Specialty Coffee Association for. If it wasn’t for them, it would be much more difficult to support roasters that use fair trade practices. Without the SCA, its hard to say whether or not your favorite single origin coffees would be brewed in an environment that preserves the dignity of the farmers, and the dignity of the bean right up until your barista gets their hands on it.

Lastly, how else would we know what the perfect brewing temperature is? Coffee lovers around the world can also thank the SCA for giving the consumer an idea of what to expect when they want to brew a perfect cup of coffee. If you’d like to know more about the SCA or get involved, you can visit its global site and submit questions and brewers for review.


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In Coffee Corner, I write about all things related to coffee and particularly coffee makers.

After being a self-admitted coffee addict for 20 years and as an experienced barista I would consider myself pretty well-versed on the subject. I will try to provide you as much information as possible about coffee makers and coffee in general, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Last update on 2018-10-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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