Let’s be honest, there’s a hell of a lot of coffee makers out there that will let you brew your coffee in what seems like unlimited ways – drip, espresso, pour over, you name it, there appears to be a brewer designed to brew it!
Whether you’re browsing online at your favorite coffee blog or painstakingly walking the aisles of your local Walmart, you’ll be overwhelmed with the vast array of coffee makers at your disposal and their endless list of features.
Funnily enough, the most confusing coffee maker category is actually the one that’s the most popular with home coffee drinkers and is also the easiest to operate, I’m talking about the good old automatic drip coffee brewer.
Some drip coffee makers are priced at under $20, while others demand a higher price tag of hundreds of dollars. So unless you have the knowledge of a full-fledged barista or your neighbor happens to be an expert on coffee makers, it’s almost impossible to make an informed choice unless you want to be reeled-in by your local store clerk trying to reach his sales target for the month.
Making a great tasting coffee isn’t “rocket
science chemistry” and in all honesty, a decent drip coffee maker should be able to get it right if it can tick all of these boxes, such as the correct water temperature, brew time, etc. just to name a few brewing variables.
However, one of the problems is that the steps to making a great cup of coffee are hardly ever included in the information provided by the manufacturers of the coffee makers, and in some cases, the coffee makers aren’t even up for the job!
The manufacturers are all to quick to point out the bells and whistles like the hotplates, timers, and flashing lights, etc. but none of these have anything to do with making great coffee.
Thanks to the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), there’s now an easy way to determine if the coffee maker you have your eyes on is capable for the job in hand.
What Are SCAA Coffee Makers?
The role of the SCAA is the test coffee makers which have been submitted to them by manufacturers who are seeking the SCAA certification, which is obviously a great selling point when they are marketing their coffee makers.
The testing typically takes on a quarterly testing schedule.
Each of the coffee makers are subjected to strict coffee brewing requirements which focus on the correct brewing time, water temperature, and ability to brew within the recognized SCAA Golden Cup points of quality brewed coffee.
The SCAA requirements
The SCAA requirements for approved coffee makers can be broken down into the following categories.
- Coffee Volume.
- Brewing Time.
- Brewing Temperature.
- Beverage Preparation.
- Uniformity of Performance.
- Uniformity of Extraction.
- Beverage Clarity.
- Holding Receptacle & Temperature.
- Operating Manuals and other Instructional Materials.
All of the requirements are based on decades of industry coffee brewing knowledge and research by the SCAA Coffee Brewing Center.
If a submitted coffee brewer passes all of the tests carried out by the SCAA, that brewer is then recognized as an exemplary home brewer.
Once awarded the SCAA certification lasts for 3 years, or until the design of production model is changed (whichever occurs sooner).
Current SCAA Certified Home Coffee Brewers 2018
At the time of writing, there are really only a handful of SCAA coffee makers that have passed the rigorous testing. The current 2018 SCAA certified coffee makers are as below.
Technivorm Moccamaster. (check price at Amazon.com)
Behmor Connected Brewer or Behmor Connected Coffee Brew System. (check price at Amazon.com)
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KitchenAid Coffee Maker KCM0802.
KitchenAid Pour Over Coffee Brewer (model KCM0801OB). (check price at Amazon.com)
Bonavita Coffee Maker (model BV1900TS). (check price at Amazon.com)
Bonavita BV1900TD 8-Cup Digital Coffee Brewer.
OXO On 9-Cup Coffee Maker. (check price at Amazon.com)
OXO On 12-Cup Coffee Maker. (check price at Amazon.com)
Wilfa Precision Coffee Maker.
BUNN 10-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker.
Cuisinart PurePrecision™ Pour Over Coffee Brewer. (check price at Amazon.com)
The above list of SCAA approved home coffee makers changes periodically. If you cannot find any of the above coffee makers locally, I have done some legwork for you and linked the brewers which I found on Amazon so that you don’t have to search through the the endless selection of other similar coffee makers at your local store.
Remember, the SCAA testing is rigorous, so even if it looks like the same coffee maker make sure the model number is the same as the model tested by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA).
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