The 8 Best SCAA Coffee Makers 2020

Where do you go for good coffee? For most people, it’s their local café. Great coffee needs proper technique, and that’s something you usually need a barista for – or do you?

In terms of making coffee at home via a machine, we don’t usually hold up brewers to the same standard, partially because of a lack of uniformity between each one.

However, this changes with SCAA coffee makers – which all have passed a specific benchmark of rigorous tests to become certified as the most effective home brewers. Below I discuss why this useful and what the best home coffee makers with an SCCA certification are.

But first, if you’re in a rush here’s my top pick:

Top Pick
Technivorm KBT Coffee Brewer, 40 oz, Polished Silver
$309.00

Aesthetics, brew quality and functionality, the Technivorm has it all!

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Alternatives At A Glance

Most Versatile
Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker, with 50 oz. Thermal Carafe
$199.99

If you need brew variety, give this a glance. It comes feature packed!

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Best Value
Braun BrewSense Drip Coffeemaker, 12 cup, Stainless Steel
$98.99

On a tight budget but still want something great? The BrewSense fits the bill.

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Best High Tech Brewer
Breville BDC450 Precision Brewer Coffee Maker with Thermal Carafe
$299.95

Capacity: 60 oz

Brew Strength Control: 3 settings

Temperature Adjustments: 3 settings

Brew Ready Alert: Yes


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Best Full Bodied Brew
Cuisinart CPO-800P1 PurePrecision 8 Cup Pour-Over Coffee Brewer, Silver
$143.96

The name gives it away, but this is precision brewing at its finest. Makes a brew with a fuller flavor, so if that’s your thing give this a deeper look.

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Excellent Heat Insulation
OXO BREW 9 Cup Coffee Maker

Capacity: 48 oz

Brew Strength Control: 1 setting

Temperature Adjustments: 1 setting

Brew Ready Alert: No


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Super Uniform Extraction
Bonavita BV1900TS 8-Cup One-Touch Coffee Maker

Want perfect coffee but need something which stands the test of time and is easy to maintain? The Bonavita has you covered!

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Best for Pour Over Lovers
KitchenAid KCM0802OB Pour Over Coffee Brewer, Onyx Black
$179.00

If you typically enjoy pour overs give this a glance.

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What Are SCAA Certified Brewers?

The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) is a North American non-profit organization whose purpose is to define, develop, and promote speciality coffee. They’re the ones who set and maintain the industry standards for quality and consistency.

In line with the mission of the Specialty Coffee Association is their Certified Home Brewer Program. Here, various coffee experts come together to review different brewers designed for use at home. When these are found to meet the SCAA’s quality requirements, they officially become SCAA-certified coffee makers.

Here are the primary criteria that the SCAA considers in certifying a coffee maker:

The brew strength, measured in total dissolved solids, must be within a specific range when 55 grams of coffee is brewed with one liter of water. This particular ratio between grounds and water is also known as the golden cup ratio.

The contact time between the water and coffee must be between 4 and 8 minutes. Simultaneously, the water temperature must also stay between a range of 197.6 and 204.8F throughout the whole brewing process.

The SCAA also brews multiple cycles of coffee with the same machine. They do this to measure the consistency of the brewer’s extraction and performance.

The carafe temperature, similar to water temperature, must also stay within a specific range once the brew cycle completes. And it must do so for at least 30 minutes.

Any heating element must also be inactive once brewed. This means that the temperature inside the carafe must never increase within these 30 minutes.

They also review coffee maker brew clarity. They do this by pouring coffee over a paper filter and comparing the paper filter’s weight before and after the pour. This action measures the amount of sediment in the coffee.

Operating information is also essential. This includes all necessary instruction manuals and advice on how to clean. Because the SCAA makes sure that the Gold Cup is achievable and repeatable by people brewing at home if you have the right equipment.

But more on all of this later. All you need to know now is that this certification is a fairly rigorous process, to say the least. And it’s this emphasis on quality, consistency, and repeatability, that only a very limited number of brewers have been awarded SCAA certification.

In the world of coffee machines, it’s a mark of brewing excellence. And don’t just take my word for it! Let me give you a look at some of the best SCAA-certified coffee makers in the market today.

The 8 Best SCAA Certified Coffee Makers in 2020

1. Technivorm Moccamaster KBT Coffee Brewer 

The Technivorm Moccamaster is a bit pricey. But if you just want to get your hands on the best SCAA certified coffee maker available, this is my favorite one in the market.

Top Pick
Technivorm KBT Coffee Brewer, 40 oz, Polished Silver
$309.00

Aesthetics, brew quality and functionality, the Technivorm has it all!

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PROS (+)

  • Copper heated
  • Pre Infusion capable
  • Large thermal carafe included

CONS (-)

  • Pricey

One of the reasons this coffee machine makes excellent coffee is its copper boiling element. It brings the water temperature to within the range of 196F to 205F. This is well within the ideal parameters set by the SCAA for optimal extraction.

It also has a cone-shaped brew basket that’s ideal for yielding the maximum aroma, flavor, and complexity in your coffee. It also uses pre-infusion, so the coffee has time to bloom, It’s like watching a machine manually perform a pour over.

The Technivorm Moccamaster also has a manual adjust drip-stop function that lets you control the extraction time of your brew yourself. A toggle switch lets you stop the drip from your machine entirely and extract your coffee even longer if you like.

The brewer also comes with a thermal carafe that will keep your coffee hot for up to an hour. That’s twice as long as the minimum requirement of the SCAA. And if you want to keep it hot for even longer, you can also use the travel lid included. Use it so you can bring an entire carafe of coffee with you on your road trips!

Now this machine doesn’t have a lot of fancy features. This is a personal take, but that’s actually my absolute favorite thing about the Moccamaster. It’s so easy to use, and the design is certainly something to gawk at.

All I have to do is make sure there’s water in the reservoir, grind some coffee, and press a button. 6 minutes later, I have 10 cups of specialty quality coffee ready-to-serve.

Plus, it automatically shuts off once your water reservoir is empty. So you won’t have to worry about accidentally leaving it on and cooking your machine. Feel free to leave it and take your time to finish up breakfast!

2. Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker

I said I liked the Technivorm Moccamaster for its simplicity. But if you’re looking for a Swiss army knife of features and a wide variety of options, Ninja’s Specialty Coffee Maker might suit you more.

Most Versatile
Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker, with 50 oz. Thermal Carafe
$199.99

If you need brew variety, give this a glance. It comes feature packed!

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PROS (+)

  • Huge variety of brews
  • Perfect for milky coffee

CONS (-)

  • Feature set can be overkill

It has a “specialty brew” function, which makes a rich coffee concentrate. But as it doesn’t use pressure to extract the coffee, and while it’s not espresso, it’s an excellent addition. 

I’m not kidding when I say it tastes eerily similar to one, albeit without the crema. It’s so rich that adding steamed milk makes your cup taste like an actual latte or cappuccino. So it’s perfect that the coffee machine comes with a fold-away frother too. That way, you can make thick, velvety, milky coffee right from your kitchen.

There’s also an “over ice” function that ensures the coffee you brew is still flavorful even on ice. Then, there’s also the classic brew and the stronger rich brew.

And aside from the various brew styles, there’s also a bunch of brew sizes for you to choose from. You can brew a single, an extra-large, travel size, or multi-serve travel cup. Not to mention half carafe, or full carafe too!

So there you go 4 brew styles and 6 brew sizes. That’s a total of 24 different ways you can enjoy specialty coffee at home. And given the rigorous tests, the SCAA conducts on consistency. You can count on this machine every day of the week.

It’s like its own café that you can visit in your underwear every morning, where the coffee’s always hot and brewed to perfection. Now tell me that doesn’t sound great.

3. Braun BrewSense 12-Cup Drip Coffee Maker

If you’re looking for an excellent machine that won’t break your bank, Braun’s 12- cup coffee maker is worth a more in-depth look. Its large capacity makes it great to own in a large family or a small office.

Best Value
Braun BrewSense Drip Coffeemaker, 12 cup, Stainless Steel
$98.99

On a tight budget but still want something great? The BrewSense fits the bill.

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PROS (+)

  • Budget friendly
  • Full digital control
  • Charcoal filter

CONS (-)

  • Not great for milky coffee fans

You operate it by using an intuitive digital control panel. On the one hand, it has quite a handful of buttons (this is why I usually prefer simpler machines). But it’s also why making coffee with this machine feels like commanding a rocket ship. The buttons go from left to right, and it feels like getting ready for take-off. Appropriate, if you ask me.

You can choose between regular or bold coffee, and you can personalize the strength level too! It also has 24-hour programmability. Yes, you can wake up the next day to the smell of freshly made coffee, even if you live by yourself.

And that also means you can show the future version of yourself that you love them by making them a delicious cup of coffee. That’s self-love!

The Brewsense also uses Braun’s innovative Pure Flavor system. It makes sure that the brewing temperature and time are within the SCAA’s standards.

There’s also a charcoal filter for your water and a gold-tone coffee filter for your brew. This type of filter doesn’t absorb essential oils from your coffee grounds. So you can be sure every cup is super creamy and flavorful! It’ll stay fresh for longer too, as the carafe design minimizes exposure to air.

The maintenance required for this machine is also a breeze. It has its own cleaning feature, and the parts are dishwasher-safe. If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, Braun’s Brewsense is the way to go.

4. Breville BDC450 Precision Brewer Coffee Maker 

Ask any barista. The slightest variations in brewing temperature, brewing time, and flow rate of water can have a noticeable impact on how your coffee tastes.

Best High Tech Brewer
Breville BDC450 Precision Brewer Coffee Maker with Thermal Carafe
$299.95

Capacity: 60 oz

Brew Strength Control: 3 settings

Temperature Adjustments: 3 settings

Brew Ready Alert: Yes


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PROS (+)

  • Full brew control
  • Programmable
  • Great cold brew mode

CONS (-)

  • Glass carafe subject to overextraction

The truth is, optimal extraction is a moving target. The best “recipe” for getting the most flavor out of your beans actually varies with geographical origin, roast, age, and environment.

Brewing a cup in accordance with the SCAA’s standards will get you within the vicinity of a perfect cup for coffee. But you’ll need to be able to make some adjustments to really get there. For perfectionists, it’s essential to have a machine that gives them the option to make these adjustments.

And that’s something you can’t do with the previous coffee makers I mentioned.

Breville’s Precision Brewer Coffee Maker could be the machine for you if you’re a more experienced coffee drinker. That means you’re able to tell if your coffee is slightly under-extracted or over-extracted. If you want to be able to make slight adjustments needed to get to that perfect cup of coffee, you’ll enjoy using this coffee maker.

It has PID control, which lets you precisely adjust the temperature of your brew. You can also adjust the flow rate of your water, to change your brewing time.

But does this mean you have to adjust these variables every single time manually? Absolutely not. You can save your settings in the preset “My Brew” mode. Then, you can change them or go back to them as you please.

Breville offers something that’s even better than having total control. It’s having the option to have total control if you want it. As such, the Precision Brewer Coffee Maker comes with various preset modes, for mornings when you don’t feel like being experimental with your coffee.

There are the Fast, Strong, Iced, and Cold Brew modes, and there’s also one mode I like in particular: the Gold Cup. This preset automatically adjusts the machine’s temperature and brew time settings to make coffee in line with SCAA standards. So if your experimentation doesn’t go so well, you have a reliable backup!

The machine also uses Breville’s own steep-and-release valve. If you’re in a rush and can’t wait to pour yourself a cup, you can just remove the thermal carafe in the middle of the brew. The valve will automatically stop the drip, for minimal mess.

5. Cuisinart CPO-800P1 PurePrecision 8-Cup Pour Over Coffee Brewer

Cuisinart’s PurePrecision 8-Cup Coffee Brewer is great if you like a full-bodied cup of coffee with intense flavor, one that’s similar to French press coffee.

Best Full Bodied Brew
Cuisinart CPO-800P1 PurePrecision 8 Cup Pour-Over Coffee Brewer, Silver
$143.96

The name gives it away, but this is precision brewing at its finest. Makes a brew with a fuller flavor, so if that’s your thing give this a deeper look.

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PROS (+)

  • Full strength control
  • Reusable fiter

CONS (-)

  • Temp control could be more precise

Instead of a paper filter, it uses a laser-etched stainless steel filter. So it doesn’t absorb any of the oils from your grounds, and they go straight to your cup. This makes for a thick, flavorful brew.

This machine also has various options for controlling flavor strength: mild, medium, or bold, depending on your preference. All beans have a combination of flavors, both distinct and subtle. Being able to control flavor strength means being able to have control over which flavors you want to highlight in every cup!

You even have some control over the temperature of the water. It’s not as precise as the Breville coffee maker, though, as the only options are “hot” and “extra hot”.

In spite of this, I think the Cuisinart does a great job of extracting the best flavor possible from your coffee. It uses pre-infusion before brewing to allow the coffee to bloom. This process allows the carbon dioxide in the beans to permeate, becoming displaced by water and thus allowing the coffee to be extracted more effectively.

I like to think of it as a gigantic French press that can brew in batches. Just make sure your cholesterol levels are normal before gulping down half a carafe!

6. OXO Brew 9-Cup Coffee Maker

If you’re the type of person who enjoys multiple cups of coffee in a day, OXO Brew’s 9-cup coffee maker is a solid option. One of my favorite things about this is its double-walled thermal carafe, which will keep your coffee at a high temperature for hours.

Excellent Heat Insulation
OXO BREW 9 Cup Coffee Maker

Capacity: 48 oz

Brew Strength Control: 1 setting

Temperature Adjustments: 1 setting

Brew Ready Alert: No


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PROS (+)

  • Large capacity
  • Includes thermal carafe
  • Hi tech brewer

CONS (-)

  • Not great if you like your brew extra hot

But that’s not the only form of temperature control this coffee maker has perfected. It also holds the water temperature between 197.6 and 204.8oF for optimal coffee extraction. That’s precisely the range that the SCAA deems the best for brewing.

A problem users encounter with many home brewers is that some coffee grounds don’t even get wet at all from the brewer’s shower head. That’s not something you have to worry about with the OXO Brew.

It has a rainmaker shower head that evenly disperses water over your coffee grounds. This ensures the grounds are thoroughly wet for the perfect bloom, allowing them to brew and extract evenly for a balanced flavor.

Its microprocessor-controlled brew cycle also ensures you get an even, consistent pour every single time. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re making 2 or 9 cups! The standard doesn’t change.

But this SCAA-certified coffee maker doesn’t just allow you to make excellent coffee. It also makes it so easy to do! It has an intuitive LED interface with a freshness indicator and coffee maker status.

And just a single dial allows you to control the wake-up timer (programmable for up to 24 hours in advance), and choose how much coffee you want to make. So fill up the water reservoir, grind some beans, and make yourself a cup for today and tomorrow!

7. Bonavita BV1900TS 8-Cup One-Touch Coffee Maker 

Maintenance is probably the only pain point of owning a coffee maker. Of owning anything, really. Maintenance is the bane of my existence — the less of it I have to do myself, the better.

Super Uniform Extraction
Bonavita BV1900TS 8-Cup One-Touch Coffee Maker

Want perfect coffee but need something which stands the test of time and is easy to maintain? The Bonavita has you covered!

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PROS (+)

  • Makes a full carafe in 6 minutes
  • Beeps when ready
  • Single touch operation

CONS (-)

  • Less brew flexibility vs other options

If you’re looking to enjoy a golden cup of coffee at home and avoid some responsibility, this Bonavita coffee maker could be your best option. Its carafe lid, filter basket, and shower head are all dishwasher safe for minimum maintenance required.

Another thing I like about this brewer is that it’s so user friendly. It has a single one-touch brew button that will make you your Gold Cup, and that’s it. As someone who suffers from “analysis paralysis” way too often, that’s music to my ears. And the auto-off mechanism is also great for the neglectful brewer owners (you know who you are).

The quality of the coffee from this machine is spot on, too. The brewing temperature is right within the optimal range from 195 to 205F. It has a flat-bottomed filter basket and a large shower head, which is ideal for increasing the contact time between the water and grounds. It also has an optional pre-infusion mode to maximize the flavor of your coffee!

It’s simple to operate, easy to clean, and serves consistently high-quality coffee. What more could you ask for?

8. KitchenAid Pour Over Coffee Brewer

If you’re looking for the coffee maker that can best mimic a manual pour over, it’s this KitchenAid Coffee Brewer. It delivers a brew similar to a manual pour over every time. And it does so without the hassle.

Best for Pour Over Lovers
KitchenAid KCM0802OB Pour Over Coffee Brewer, Onyx Black
$179.00

If you typically enjoy pour overs give this a glance.

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PROS (+)

  • Premium materials
  • 24 hour programmability

CONS (-)

  • Little brew options vs competitiors

The pour over method is a great way to experience new beans. If you enjoy trying out beans from different countries, with different roasts and taste profiles, this machine could be ideal for you.

It’s the only machine on this list that offers the use of roast-specific settings when you brew. It adjusts how it brews your coffee based on whether you indicate it as a medium roast or dark roast. This allows you to experience the subtle flavors that varying roasts can have.

Kitchenaid has thought this through with an efficient heating element that keeps the water temperature within a narrow range of 198 to 204oF throughout the brewing process.

The brewer is also user-friendly, with a visual display to show each step of the brewing process. It even has 24-hour programmability too, like a few other SCAA certified coffee makers on this list.

Can you imagine waking up to a freshly brewed pour over in the morning? Would your spouse even do that for you? Because this KitchenAid would. Every day of the week.

The SCAA Approved Coffee Makers Buyers Guide

A certification from the Specialty Coffee Association is the definition of home brewer excellence. The Home Brewer Program was started 30 years ago, but there are only 30 SCAA-certified coffee makers available today.

So why is it so difficult to get certified? And what exactly does the Specialty Coffee Association look for in coffee makers?

The Key Benchmarks

The SCA has what it calls minimum certification requirements. A home brewer needs to pass all of these requirements to become certified. If even one of these requirements isn’t reached, then it’s back to the drawing board for brewer manufacturers.

Golden Cup Ratio

One minimum certification requirement is coffee volume. The SCA checks if the brew basket can accommodate the Golden Cup Ratio. That ratio is equivalent to 55 grams of coffee for every liter of water. The brew basket must not overflow during one full brew cycle.

Using the Golden Cup Ratio, the SCA also tests the beverage strength of the coffee (in solubles concentration) for uniformity of performance.

Brewing Time and Temperature

Another requirement is brewing time. The water must be in contact with the coffee grounds for more than 4 minutes, but less than 8. The start time is measured as soon as the first drops of coffee fall from the brew basket. Then, the end time is determined to be when the coffee changes from a stream back to a drip again.

Any coffee maker that exceeds the contact time of 8 minutes is disqualified from receiving the certification.

Brewing temperature is also monitored with a Resistive Temperature Device (RTD) placed on top of the bed of coffee grounds. During the brew cycle, the coffee maker must reach 197.6oF in less than one minute. The water temperature must stay above that figure, but below 204.8F for the duration of the brew cycle.

Performance and Extraction Uniformity

Uniformity of performance tests the consistency and reliability of coffee makers through various brew cycle tests. The SCA evaluates 5 coffee makers (or 10, if it’s the first brewer submitted by the manufacturer). Then, they run 10 separate brew cycles on every single brewer.

Using a coffee refractometer and Brewing Control Chart, they determine the concentration of solubles within all brewers tested. These must range between 1.15% and 1.45% solubles concentration per brewer. Meanwhile, the range for solubles yield must also be between 18.0% and 22%.

Using the results for measuring the uniformity of performance, the SCAA also measures the consistency of extraction. They compare residual soluble solids in the outer, middle, and inner areas of the wet coffee grounds in the brew basket.

The graders then come up with a numerical rating from 0 to 100, based on the average uniformity of extraction. 90 is considered “outstanding” uniformity of extraction, 75 is “excellent”, and 60 is “good”. Anything below 60 is considered too low to be awarded SCAA certification.

Carafe Temperature

The SCA also measures how well the carafe can maintain the temperature of your coffee.

The coffee in the container must have a temperature exceeding 176oF, and lower than 185oF for the first 30 minutes of holding coffee. There should be no heating element active during this time. So the coffee’s temperature inside the carafe should not increase.

Brew Clarity

Too much sediment in your cup of coffee can be a nuisance. It can make your coffee taste bitter and almost unpleasant. The SCAA monitors the brew clarity by measuring the amount of sediment produced for every 100 milliliters of coffee brewed.

They do this by first measuring the weight of one piece of filter paper. Then, they pour 100 milliliters of brewed coffee through the filter paper.

The increase in the paper’s weight is the amount of sediment in the cup. The coffee machine must produce less than 75 milligrams of sediment for every 100 milliliters of brewed coffee.

Operating Information

Lastly, all SCAA-certified coffee makers require instructional materials to be given along with the brewer.

These should include proper brewing suggestions for a Golden Cup brew, and cleaning instructions. This is the last obstacle brewer manufacturers need to hurdle before getting certified by the SCAA.

The Final Verdict

The best SCAA certified coffee maker in my opinion is the Technivorm Moccamaster KBT Coffee Brewer.

Top Pick
Technivorm KBT Coffee Brewer, 40 oz, Polished Silver
$309.00

Aesthetics, brew quality and functionality, the Technivorm has it all!

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The machine is so simple to use, and it just produces an extremely high-quality coffee cup every time I brew. The thermal carafe keeps my coffee hot for a long time too, which is perfect for slow mornings.

Though, of course, the best SCAA brewer for me might not produce the best cup of coffee for you. But whether your preference is something rich like French press coffee or something light like a pour over, you can be sure that there’s any one you pick from this list is a high-quality home brewer.

Quino Papa

Quino Papa

Coffee Lover

Everything I first learned about coffee, I picked up working as a barista for my older brother. Now, I seek to expand my knowledge on my own as a coffee enthusiast who believes his best brews are still ahead of him.