Ultimate Guide To The Best SCAA Coffee Makers [2020]

Nothing beats the convenience of an automatic coffee maker. Especially in the morning when all you want is a cup of coffee, fast.

There are hundreds, possibly thousands, of coffee makers on the market. But not all coffee makers are created equal. Some make truly terrible coffee. Which is why choosing from the list of SCAA certified coffee makers guarantees you will enjoy great coffee every day.

So if you are looking for the best coffee maker for home, you have come to  the right place. Here we review 6 of the best SCAA coffee makers on the market today, fully updated for changes made to the SCA approved list in late 2019. 

Click here to see the best SCAA certified coffee maker now.

best coffee makers

Our Top Pick

Technivorm Moccamaster

BEST SCAA COFFEE MAKER
  • Price
  • Ease of Use
  • Design
  • Ease to Clean
  • Coffee Quality
4.8

Summary

Despite the hefty price tag, the Technivorm Moccamaster is our top pick. Simple to use and built to last, it produces an excellent cup of coffee, every time.

SCAA Certification Explained

The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) is a membership trade organisation who’s primary goal is to define and improve coffee standards. 

One way they do this is through coffee maker certification. To help consumers filter through hundreds of options they define specific criteria that produce a great coffee.

Through the certification process coffee maker brands pay to have their recommended coffee makers tested and re-tested against these criteria to ensure they meet the defined standard. Not all manufacturers of coffee makers will choose to have their products tested and we review other non-certified automatic pour over coffee makers here.

One point to make is that the best coffee makers approved by the SCAA tend to more expensive than your average drip coffee maker. The requirement to heat water quickly, retain a constant temperature and keep the coffee warm results in higher product cost.

But you can be assured when purchasing an SCAA approved coffee maker you are buying a high quality machine that will deliver a delicious cup of coffee every time.

Best SCAA Certified Coffee Makers 2020 Compared

In the coffee maker comparison chart below we list all current SCAA approved coffee makers for quick and easy comparison. For a full side by side feature comparison click here.

Keep reading as we compare and review the best SCAA coffee brewers from this list in detail in the sections below.

SCA Coffee Maker Requirements

So what criteria do SCAA recommended coffee makers need to meet? This document lists the SCAA coffee standards document in full, but we have summarised them for you here.

1. Coffee Volume

The brew basket must be able to accommodate the SCAA golden cup ratio weight of coffee per maximum capacity without overflowing the basket. 

The SCAA coffee to water ratio? It is 55g of coffee per litre or 2 tablespoons for every 6 oz of water.

2. Brewing Time

In SCAA approved drip coffee makers, water must not be in contact with the coffee grounds for less than 4 or more than 8 minutes.

3. Brewing Temperature 

Water must reach 197 degrees Fahrenheit within a minute of hitting the grinds, maintain that minimum temperature through the cycle, and not exceed 205 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. Beverage Preparation

This requirement is about ensuring the quality of the extraction and producing a balanced brew.

Technically it is described as “for a beverage strength (solubles concentration) of between 1.15% and 1.45% resulting from an extraction (solubles yield) of between 18.0% and 22.0% from the weight of coffee in the brew basket”.

5. Uniformity of Performance

SCAA certified drip coffee makers must be able to replicate the results across a number of machines a number of times to ensure consistency and reliability.

6. Uniformity of Extraction

All the coffee in the brew basket must be saturated during the first minute of brewing. This criteria for SCAA brewers maximises coffee flavor quality.

7. Beverage clarity

No excessive sediment must settle in the carafe of SCAA drip coffee makers.

8. Carafe temperature

The carafe needs to hold the maximum reservoir volume plus hold the temperature at 176 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes after brewing.

Other Considerations When Choosing a Coffee Maker

All of the drip coffee makers on the SCAA certified list meet the technical requirements. 

But don’t forget there are a number of personal requirements you need to weigh up when choosing which SCA coffee maker is best for you.

Here are the main differences to consider as you compare coffee makers certified by SCAA:

 

Programmable

How important is it for you to be able to set a timer? Some SCAA rated coffee makers simply have an on/off switch, others allow you to program the machine to start at a later time.

Manual Controls

Would you like more control over the settings for water temperature or infusion time? Not all auto drip coffee machines are alike so check what settings are available to find one that suits you.

Size

How much space do you have on your countertop? Some of these machines are WIDE and TALL. Make sure it will fit where you want it to go.

Price

How much do you have to spend? There is a large range of price points. Sometimes the easiest way to choose is to set your price point and choose from the makers in that range.

Glass or Thermal

There are pros and cons to both glass and thermal carafes. It comes down to personal preference. Decide which you like to make your short list.

Brew Time

If time is of the essence, shortlist your machines based on brew time. The SCA coffee makers brew time ranges between 4-12 minutes (including time to pre-heat the water in the reservoir).

Best SCAA Coffee Maker Reviews

1. Behmor Brazen Plus 2.0 Review

The Behmor Brazen Plus coffee maker with thermal carafe is an advanced drip coffee maker with plenty of features to customize your brew to SCA standards.

We love the fact the water is pre-heated in the stainless steel reservoir to maximise temperature consistency and that it has a large oversized showerhead for optimum grounds saturation.  

The Behmor produces an excellent, well extracted and flavorful coffee. Brewing 8 cups in 12 minutes, it is slower than other SCA certified home brewers due to the fact the water is pre-heated in the reservoir. 

Start time, pre-soak time and water temperature are all programmable. You also have the option to use your Behmor brewer with your favorite manual pour over coffee maker, such as the Chemex, with the manual release function.

The Behmor coffee makers are tall at 15.25″ high and 9″ w x 9″ d. The reservoir is topped up from above so high cabinet clearance is required or you will need to pull it out from under the cabinets to refill.

The Behmor Brazen Coffee Maker features:

  • 8 cups brewed in 12 minutes
  • Programmable temperature and pre-infusion control
  • Flat bottom filter basket
  • Auto start and brew delay functions
  • Two year warranty

Pros

  • Altitude calibration
  • Stainless steel water reservoir
  • Brew delay to heat water only

Cons

  • One of the more expensive SCAA certified coffee brewers
  • Slower brew time

One thing to be aware of is that the Behmor Connected Brewer can only brew 6 or 8 cups, no less. Which is great if you drink a lot of coffee but may not be ideal for a single coffee drinker.

Is the Behmor for you? 

With full control over water temperature and pre-infusion time plus programmable start and brew delay, it offers all the bells and whistles you would expect on a premium coffee maker. 

2. Bonavita BV1900TS 8 cup Coffee Maker Review

This Bonavita drip coffee maker is a simple yet high quality coffee maker. It is a compact coffee maker with consistent brewing ability and a large shower head for enhanced infusion and flavor.

It features a 1500w heater and can brew 8 cups in 6 minutes. The optional pre-infusion feature (which you activate by pressing and holding the on button until it beeps) wets the grounds before brewing to further enhance the flavor in your cup.

Note this Bonavita coffee maker does not have a programmable timer. If you need to be out the door fast in the morning and an extra 6 minutes of sleep is a priority, then check out the Bonavita BV1900TD 8 cup digital coffee brewer.  

When comparing the Bonavita 1900TS vs Bonavita 1900TD they are both SCAA certified and have all the same features, just with the addition of an auto start function on the Bonavita BV1900TD 8-cup. Click here to read Bonavita BV1900TD reviews.

For both models the carafe lid, filter basket and showerhead are dishwasher safe which makes clean up a breeze.  The carafe has a wide top and is very easy to clean compared to other models in this list. It is reasonably compact at 12.4″ w x 6.8″ d x 12.2″ h with top access needed to top up the water reservoir.

The Bonavita BV1900TS features:

  • Simple one touch design
  • 6 minute brewing time
  • Auto shut off
  • Flat bottom filter basket
  • 2 year warranty

Pros

  • Optional pre-infusion function
  • Large shower head for better infusion
  • Produces consistently good coffee
  • Great value coffee maker
  • Components dishwasher safe

Cons

  • Clunky lid and filter basket design
  • Non programmable
  • Cannot pause and pour
  • No audible signal when brew cycle completes

Editor’s Note: This Bonavita model has been superceded by the Bonavita Connoisseur 8-Cup BV1901TS. The new Bonavita one touch BV1901TS is also SCAA certified.

What is the difference between the Bonavita 1901 vs 1900 range? Whilst the new 1901 model has an improved hanging filter basket and carafe insulation, it still isn’t possible to have the lid on the carafe whilst under the filter basket. Click to read the Bonavita BV1901TS reviews here.

Is the Bonavita for you? 

The Bonavita BV1900TS is a great choice if you have limited counter space and want a simple machine without the bells and whistles. It is one of the best drip coffee makers at this price point and produces consistently good coffee. 

3. OXO On Barista Brain 9 Cup Coffee Maker Review

The OXO 9 Cup Coffee Maker is a popular SCA coffee brewer amongst coffee drinkers. With an attractive design, thermal carafe and simple control panel it offers consistent brewing quality without the bells and whistles.

Brewing 9 cups in around 8 minutes, the OXO coffee maker gives you flexibility to brew 2-4 cups or 5 cups. The machine contains a microprocessor that controls water temperature and adjusts the brew process to account for the number of cups set to be brewed.

The water is pre-heated before the showerhead releases the water and pre-infuses the grounds in the cone filter. It replicates the pour over method without a complex menu of settings. 

The carafe is easy to pour and the lid stays on for both brewing and pouring.

In terms of cleaning, the carafe lid and filter basket are dishwasher safe, but the carafe should be hand washed.

This machine is the tallest of the machines reviewed here at 17.2″ high x 15″ wide x 8.3″ deep. 

 

The OXO Pour Over Coffee Maker features:

  • 2 to 9 cups brewed in 8 minutes
  • Microprocessor controlled water temperature and brew time
  • Cone filter basket
  • Auto start function
  • Freshness timer (turns off after 1 hour)

Pros

  • 2 cup brew capability
  • Pause and brew function
  • 24 hour programmable timer
  • Consistent tasting coffee
  • 2 year warranty

Cons

  • Large and tall coffee maker requires a suitable space
  • Single dial for all controls

One thing to note regarding the OXO 9-Cup Coffee Maker is there are not many options to control temperature and infusion rate.

If you would like to experiment with single origin medium and dark roast beans, the Breville Precision Brewer may be a better option.

Is the Oxo for you? 

If you love pour over coffee but lack time in the morning to prepare it, this OXO coffee maker is a great choice. With a simple control interface and programmable timer, you can enjoy pour over quality coffee every day with out the wait.

4. Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker CM407 Review

The Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker with fold away milk frother and thermal carafe is a new addition to the SCA coffee brewer list. With an attractive design, thermal carafe and the only golden cup coffee maker with a built in milk frother, it is a great choice for coffee lovers who enjoy milk based coffee drinks.

Brewing up to 10 cups in around 10 minutes, the Ninja Specialty Brew has 6 brew sizes from single cup to full carafe and has 4 brew styles from classic brew to iced coffee and single serve specialty milk based brews. It has a brew pause function to sneak a quick coffee before the brewing is finished.

The Ninja coffee maker has a removable water reservoir, permanent cone filter and the stainless steel thermal carafe keeps coffee warm for up to two hours.

The frother can be used with hot or cold milk (note it won’t heat your milk) and folds away neatly on the side when not in use.

A built in clean function will keep your machine in tip top condition with the press of a button.

If you prefer a glass carafe there is the Ninja CM401 which is also one of the SCA certified brewers. It has a built in warmer to keep coffee warm for up to 4 hours. These Ninja coffee machines are quite tall, but similar to the others in the list at 15″ high x 12″ w x 8.75″ d. 

The Ninja Coffee Bar Specialty Brew features:

  • 10 cups brewed in 10 minutes
  • Auto start function
  • Single serve specialty coffee drinks
  • One year warranty

Pros

  • 1 cup brew capability
  • Pause and pour function
  • 24 hour programmable timer
  • Brew pause function
  • Milk frother
  • Altitude calibration function

Cons

  • Large and tall coffee maker requires a suitable space
  • Fewer brew control options

Unlike other gold cup certified coffee makers, the Ninja brewer doesn’t have temperature control or pre-infusion options. It does however offer a wider range of coffee drinks than most others on our list.

Is the Ninja for you?

If you love milk based coffee drinks or want the flexibility to brew a single cup of coffee, this small batch coffee maker by Ninja is a great choice. With a simple control interface and programmable timer, you can enjoy a range of coffee drinks all year round without the need for multiple coffee makers. 

5. Technivorm Moccamaster Coffee Maker Review – Our Top Pick

The Technivorm Moccamaster coffee maker with glass carafe is the darling amongst SCAA approved coffee brewers and one of the best rated coffee makers on the market. 

With a classic (slightly retro) and simple design and few bells and whistles, it is renowned for producing a high quality brew for years to come. The Technivorm is also consistently rated the best Automatic Coffee Maker by America’s Test Kitchen.

There is a HUGE range of Technivorm models, with both glass and thermal carafes and a large range of colors.  There is even a dedicated one cup model. All models are SCAA approved.

This model brews up to 10 cups in around 8 minutes (and as little as 2 cups if preferred). With a simple on/off switch, it is quiet and quick to brew your morning cuppa in part due to the unique copper water heating element. 

There is no programmable timer or control over water temperature or bloom time. This model does however have an auto drip stop (brew pause) function and auto shut off after 2 hours. The dimensions are 12.75″ w x 6.50″ d x 14″ h.

The Technivorm coffee maker is manufactured in The Netherlands to exacting standards and they remain one of the most loved automatic coffee makers. What it lacks in programmable features it makes up for in high quality coffee and longevity. 

The Technivorm Moccamaster Coffee Maker features:

  • 2 to 10 cups brewed in 8 minutes
  • Flat bottom filter basket
  • Copper boiling element
  • Warming plate with auto shut off
  • Pre-infusion function
  • 5 year warranty

Pros

  • Superior quality handmade in Netherlands
  • Range of colours and styles all SCAA certified
  • Simple interface
  • Pause and brew function
  • Built to last

Cons

  • More expensive than most other coffee makers
  • Limited controls
  • No auto start function

The Moccamaster is a top coffee maker that has stood the test of time and is one of the more upscale coffee makers available. 

But the lack of an auto start feature at this price point is an inconvenience noted in some Technivorm coffee maker reviews. However when weighed up against the longevity and reliability of the machine, it is still a great buy. 

Is the Technivorm for you?

This machine will produce great coffee for years to come. If you are happy to pay for a european hand made coffee maker, you won’t be disappointed. Simple to operate and quick to brew they are great coffee makers. 

6. Breville BDC450BSS Precision Brewer Thermal Coffee Maker Review

The Breville Precision Thermal Brewer is the new kid on the SCAA certified home brewer block. 

Just like their high quality espresso machines, this Breville coffee maker is packed full of features. We love the cold brew setting, the PID temperature control and the flexibility to use it in manual mode with your favorite pour over device. This Breville drip coffee maker certainly  isn’t your average drip coffee machine!

The Breville BDC450 is also the largest cup brewer in the SCAA recommended coffee maker list. This 12 cup programmable coffeemaker brews in around 8 minutes (depending on your coffee grind), has 6 preset modes including Gold (SCAA mode), Fast, Strong, Over Ice, Cold Brew and My Brew (personal settings). 

It can detect when a single cup is being brewed without the carafe and will automatically adjust the flow settings. 

If you prefer a glass carafe, Breville offer the same featured coffee maker with a glass carafe and warming plate.  Click here to read more Breville Precision Glass Carafe Brewer reviews.

Both machines are tall at nearly 16″ high x 12.4″ w x 6.7″ d. The reservoir needs to be filled from the top and is not removable – it needs a good amount of counter space.

The Breville Precision Brewer features:

  • 1 to 12 cups brewed in 8 minutes
  • Programmable temperature and pre-infusion control
  • Flat bottom and cone filter baskets included
  • Auto start function
  • Unique thermo coil heating system
  • Adjustible flow water pump
  • 2 year warranty

Pros

  • Single cup brew capability
  • Automatically detects small cup and adjusts water flow
  • Adjustable temperature, bloom time and flow rate
  • Cold brew function
  • PID temperature control
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • One of the more expensive SCAA certified brewers
  • Large and tall coffee maker requires a suitable space
  • Water pump is louder compared to standard drip coffee makers

It is worth noting that while the thermal carafe keeps coffee warm for longer than the Cuisinart, it still can’t compete with the Technivorm for longevity in the pot.  

Also, as the machine uses a water pump, similar to an espresso machine, it runs louder than your standard drip coffee maker.

Is the Breville for you?

For the craft coffee lover, the Breville Precision is an excellent choice. With options for regular drip, cold brew and pour over it offers a lot more functionality than a regular drip coffee maker.  

Prepare a cold brew with a bag of Kona coffee for the ultimate craft coffee experience.

How to make the perfect cup of coffee

Once you have your new SCAA-certified coffee maker, you are ready to brew the  perfect cup of coffee. Here are our tips for achieving it:

  • It helps to start with best coffee beans. If you have a sensitive stomach check out our short list of the best low acidity coffee beans here.
  • For fresh tasting coffee, grind your beans at home with a coffee grinder like this one.
  • Read the manual! Especially if you purchase a coffee maker with options, experiment to find your preferred settings.
  • Use a scale to measure your coffee beans to achieve the golden cup standard every time.
  • Keep your coffee maker clean.  Check the manual and descale the coffee maker regularly.

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About Rachel

Creator and writer for Creators of Coffee, Rachel is an everyday coffee lover who also loves to research and share practical tips on everything to do with coffee. Favorite way to make coffee: With an Espresso Machine

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