Every coffee maker out there is capable of producing a seemingly decent cup of coffee – it’s what they’re made to do, after all – and if you’re okay with drinking mediocre coffee, by all means, go ahead.
However, if you’re looking for premium quality and rich flavor cup after cup, you should give SCA certified coffee makers a try.
Here’s all you need to know!
Table Of Contents
- Best SCA Approved Coffee Makers Reviews
- #1 Hamilton Beach (49976) FlexBrew, Single Serve & Full Coffee Pot
- #2 OXO On Barista Brain 9 Cup Coffee Maker
- #3 Technivorm Moccamaster 59691 KB
- #4 Cuisinart CPO-850 Coffee Brewer
- #5 Behmor Coffee Maker
- #6 BUNN HB Heat N Brew Programmable Coffee Maker
- #7 Behmor Coffee Maker
- #8 Wilfa Precision Automatic Coffee Brewer
- First Things First: What Is The SCA?
- SCA’S Approved Coffee Makers Guide
- Final Verdict
Best SCA Approved Coffee Makers Reviews
Now, when we know exactly what to look, it’s time to review and compare the popular products on the market.
I’m going to compare the top recommended picks, consider the online reviews and opinions, and come up with the best picks.
Let’s dive in!
#1 Hamilton Beach (49976) FlexBrew, Single Serve & Full Coffee Pot
The FlexBrew is a great example of what Hamilton Beach can offer. It’s a highly effective and versatile coffee maker that excels in two fields at once without falling short in either.
On the single serve side of things, it gives you the option of using the usual k-cups or other similar products or using your own coffee grinders, with two brew choices – bold or regular. The tray can fit a travel mug or a regular mug – whatever you prefer. Sadly, a travel mug is not included with the machine.
The carafe side has a variety of options as well. You can brew in many different sizes, from 2 up to 12 cups of coffee at once and you can use your own grinds. You can also choose between regular or bold.
The programmable brew timer can also save you a lot of time since you can set it in advance to make coffee whenever you want.
#2 OXO On Barista Brain 9 Cup Coffee Maker
If you’re looking for an SCA-certified coffee maker that not only looks aesthetically pleasing but performs exceptionally well, too, the OXO On Barista Brain might be the perfect choice for you.
Controlled by a microprocessor, this coffee maker is more than “just a pretty face” – it has the Brains, too.
And yes, that pun was intended. All jokes aside, though, it’s packed with some handy features, such as adjustable brewing temperature, programmable wake-up timer, as well as freshness countdown.
It doesn’t stop at making coffee, either – it will make tea and other hot beverages like it’s nobody’s business!
Now, before you get carried away, you should know that this model comes with a not-so-affordable price tag, so make sure you check in with your wallet before you hit that “Add to Cart” button.
Another issue you should be aware of is the size of this coffee maker – it’s by no means a small unit.
So, if you’re struggling to fit all your appliances on your kitchen counter as it is, you might want to skip this one.
#3 Technivorm Moccamaster 59691 KB
If you don’t mind spending a small fortune on a coffee maker, you should consider the Technivorm Moccamaster.
The adjustable brew basket has to be my favorite feature – not only can you steep your coffee a bit longer if you’d like, but thanks to the drip-stop feature you can stop it mid-brew to pour a cup, as well.
Now, in case you were worried about all the plastic parts found in the unit, especially the reservoir, you should know that they’re all made from BPA and Phthalate-free plastic.
Furthermore, the heating tank itself is made from stainless steel, so you don’t have to worry about your coffee having a plastic taste.
Oh, and once it’s done brewing your coffee, the warming plate will keep it at an optimal temperature for up to 100 minutes!
My main concern is the price – it’s fair to say that it’s not for everyone’s pocket.
One other thing I didn’t quite like is the carafe – I can’t shake off the feeling that it’s a bit too flimsy. And at this price point, having parts that don’t seem like they’ll last very long is unforgivable.
#4 Cuisinart CPO-850 Coffee Brewer
If style is a major concern, I suggest that you consider choosing this coffee maker.
This will be an elegant addition to any space and is sure to turn heads when you have guests around. This is the perfect example of how form meets function
There are options to customize your drink based on what you want.
For instance, there is a flavor strength control, which will allow you to choose from mild, medium, or bold, depending on what tickles your taste buds.
The timer can also be programmed up to 24 hours in advance. Plus, there is an automatic on and off feature. You can also pause the brewing process.
Have you ever had a bad-tasting coffee?
With this coffee maker, I assure you, that won’t be the case!
One of the reasons for this is the charcoal water filter, which will effectively get rid of the impurities in the water for a fuller flavor of your caffeine fix.
There is also a stainless steel permanent filter that is laser-etched, as well as a paper filter.
#5 Behmor Coffee Maker
We are living in a digital era where this coffee maker has its perfect place!
It offers wireless control, which makes it the perfect choice for a contemporary space.
All that you have to do is to download a compatible mobile app to unlock the full potential of this coffee maker, including integration with Amazon Alexa.
The latter allows you to control the machine with the use of your voice. Meanwhile, the mobile app can be used for setting the brewing temperature, altitude, and brew strength.
To ensure the best flavor and aroma of your coffee, it comes with a pulsed water flow design. The latter allows the full saturation of the coffee grounds to optimize its taste.
Personally, I also liked the design of the carafe. It is made of stainless and comes with a double wall insulation, which is the one responsible for maintaining precise temperature, so you can enjoy your coffee hot!
However, one of the drawbacks is its price.
For a coffee maker with advanced features, expect that it will be more expensive than those with basic functions. Nonetheless, I assure you, the cost can be justified!
#6 BUNN HB Heat N Brew Programmable Coffee Maker
This is not your traditional coffee maker. What makes this unique is the Heat & Release technology, which has been exclusively developed by the manufacturer.
With the latter, there is a digital thermometer to ensure the precise temperature of the water when brewing your coffee.
The thoughtful design is also worth noting, which puts an emphasis on your needs. It comes with a drip-free carafe with an ergonomic handle.
The controls are also strategically positioned. Cleaning the coffee maker will not require too much on your end.
For your peace of mind, the coffee maker is covered by a three-year warranty from the manufacturer.
Hate drinking cold coffee? Such will not be a problem with the use of this product.
There is an auto warmer plate to keep the drink hot. However, the warming function will automatically turn off after two hours.
Aside from the price, one of the issues with this product is its height.
It is quite taller compared to conventional models, which will make it challenging to store if you have a small cabinet.
#7 Behmor Coffee Maker
Okay, am I the only one getting some serious retro vibes from this coffee maker?
It’s something to be expected from KitchenAid and their design elements, after all – but this time, it’s paired perfectly with a somewhat modern touch.
While it’s meant to mimic the pour-over brewing method, it takes away all the guessing that goes into the process – the manual aspects of it, if you will – and leaves you with a consistent infused coffee flavor cup after cup.
Another feature worth mentioning is the fact that the water isn’t heated in the reservoir, but directly above the brewer, instead. As a result, the heat loss is minimal, so the water’s temperature is spot-on when it reaches the coffee grounds.
One thing I didn’t like about this KitchenAid coffee maker was the carafe.
I feel like the design could’ve been better, because it’s prone to spills – every time I pour a cup of coffee, I end up having to wipe the kitchen counter, as well.
And while it’s not as expensive as some other models on this round-up, it still might fit everyone’s budgets – but it’s worth every penny, nonetheless.
#8 Wilfa Precision Automatic Coffee Brewer
The Wilfa truly lives up to its name – it’s all about making that perfect cup of coffee every single time.
One of my favorite things about this coffee maker was the water reservoir.
First off, it’s detachable, which means it’s super easy to fill it up with fresh water, and clean-up is a breeze, too.
But most importantly, it’s an essential part of the whole “Precision” experience – the perfect coffee to water ratio is shown on the reservoir.
The idea behind this coffee maker was to mimic the pour-over brewing method as closely as possible, but instead of making the entire process completely automatic, you still have some aspects you can control, most notable one being the flow rate.
Now, I know you’re probably waiting for me to start listing the downsides, but I’m sorry to disappoint you – I haven’t had any actual problems with the Wilfa coffee maker.
The only thing that could count as a deal-breaker for some of you is the price tag.
It’s not exactly an affordable coffee maker, so, if you’re looking for something a bit more budget-friendly, this might not be the best choice for you.
Update: This is no longer an SCA-certified coffee maker. Nonetheless, that does not make it any less in terms of its performance and quality.
First Things First: What Is The SCA?
Okay, before we go any further, I should take the time to explain what the SCA is and what it stands for – but since you’re already here, looking to buy one of the best SCA approved coffee makers, I’m pretty sure you already know that these guys mean business.
Anyway, the Specialty Coffee Association of America is an organization with an apparent goal in mind – to set new standards and raise the bar on all aspects of gourmet coffee.
Their focus is on using the best coffee beans, the right roast for achieving maximum flavor, and even something that’s often overlooked – the water you use for making coffee.
Most importantly, though, they take the time to subject coffee makers to a series of tests and evaluate their performance – those lucky few that pass the test end up on the SCA certified list.
UPDATE: The SCAA is now called the SCA. Before, it stands for Specialty Coffee Association of America. Now, it is only Specialty Coffee Association, which makes it more globally inclusive. It merged with the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe and now has more than 10,000 members.
To be specific, based on the website of the SCA, their mission statement reads:
“Engage, inspire, and expand a sustainable global specialty coffee trade through leadership in events, education, and research.”
The organization aspires to build a community where sustainability is the main goal.
They are geared towards unifying the forces within the coffee industry to raise the global standards. The community includes even farmers, making sure of their ethical work standards.
SCA’S Approved Coffee Makers Guide
Now, you should probably be aware that most SCA certified coffee makers come with a not-so-affordable price tag, but with the extensive amount of tests they have to undergo – and pass with flying colors – rest assured that they’re worth every penny.
Here are some of the critical requirements each of these products has to meet:
When it comes to optimal coffee brewing temperature, the SCA has some strict (and quite precise) rules in place:
During the first minute of the brewing process, the water should reach a temperature of 197.6 degrees Fahrenheit (92 degrees Celsius), and maintain at least that minimum throughout the process, without going over the 204.8-degree (96 degrees Celsius) mark, even when you’re brewing a full pot.
Moreover, to make the list of certified coffee makers, the unit has to feature a resistive temperature device that will allow you to regulate the temperature according to your preference.
Another critical factor directly related to your coffee’s flavor is the brewing time, or, to be exact, the time the coffee grounds spend in direct contact with water.
For this, the SCA requires that the brewing time takes no less than four and no more than eight minutes to achieve the best possible results, and get their “seal of approval”.
Uniformity Of Performance
It’s not about making one good cup of coffee – it’s about getting consistent results cup after cup.
One way to ensure this is to take anywhere between 5 to 10 units of the same coffee maker model, subject them to numerous brew cycles, and see if they’ll deliver the same quality cup of coffee each time.
Uniformity Of Extraction
The principle here is pretty similar to the one mentioned when I was explaining the tests the SCA does to determine the consistency of performance, the only difference being the fact that here they’re looking at the amount of soluble solids found in the coffee versus the actual grounds.
They’re checking for uniformity of extraction, or, simply put, testing whether or not the grounds are saturated evenly throughout the basket.
While it’s pretty much impossible to avoid sediment altogether, beverage clarity is another one of SCA criteria.
As a general rule, the coffee maker should produce less than 75 milligrams of sediment per 100 milliliters of coffee. More than that and the brewer doesn’t make the cut.
Holding Receptacle And Temperature
First off, the carafe has to be able to hold all the coffee brewed using a full water reservoir – and by “full” I mean filled to its maximum capacity.
For instance, if the coffee maker has a 10-cup water tank, the carafe should have a no less than a 10-cup capacity, as well.
Otherwise, you’ll end up with a kitchen countertop flooded with coffee.
Furthermore, it has to maintain an optimal temperature without increasing it and possibly burning your coffee in the process.
The general guidelines are that the carafe should keep your coffee at a temperature above 176 degrees Fahrenheit (80 degrees Celsius), without going over the 185-degree (85 degrees Celsius) mark during the initial 30 minutes after brewing your coffee.
Comprehensive User Manuals
Lastly, there’s another one important, although often overlooked requirement manufacturers have to meet to get the SCA “seal of approval“ for their products – and that’s to provide detailed user guides for their coffee makers.
The manual should include not only the basic stuff such as the right coffee to water ratio and care and maintenance instructions but all the other essential tips you might need to get the best possible user experience, as well.
The list of SCA certified coffee makers is a short one, indeed, which is a good thing – at least you don’t have to deal with an overwhelming number of models to choose from, right?
However, that doesn’t mean it’s an easy choice to make.
When you’re about to spend a small fortune on a coffee maker, you have to be sure it’s worth every penny – and the OXO On Barista Brain 9 Cup Coffee Maker sure is.