There is a price to get one of the 7 SCAA certified coffee makers, but if you are a perfectionist, and your coffee means for you more than the daily fix of caffeine, the price is worth it. Making a great cup of coffee requires precision. Drip coffee can taste great even if it’s made at home. You just need to have the right coffee brewer.
You probably asked yourself why the coffee at Dunkin Donuts tastes better than the one you brew at home. Although there are stories about them using great beans, different than the ones they sell for you to take home, this is only part of the story. The main reason is the coffee maker. See, a commercial coffee maker is a powerful machine that is conceived to brew fast and consistent.
The powerful heating element ensures consistent, precise water temperature during brewing. The combination of the brew bed and showerhead are optimized for perfect grounds saturation. The filters they are using are selected after serious testing to ensure the best taste/coffee clarity ratio. The commercial machines are conceived to deliver hot coffee every time.
Why Do We Need SCAA Certified Coffee Makers
We could probably buy one of the Bunn’s commercial coffee machines, but it would be too expensive for home use. There is a lot of science behind brewing coffee and it involves using the right brewing temperature, maintaining that temperature during the entire period of coffee extraction, and ensuring that the coffee grounds are properly, uniformly extracted.
Most of the coffee makers on the market are not conceived to follow these strict rules, and that’s why we get insipid, flavorless coffee at home. Many manufacturers don’t care about the temperature during brewing, or if the flow of water during dripping is correct.
If the dripping is too fast the coffee grounds will be under-extracted.
If the water is too hot and the dripping is too slow, we will get over extracted coffee.
Getting these parameters right, requires some research, testing, and using the right material and design. This drives the price of a coffee maker up, and lowers the profits of a manufacturer. Buying a cheap coffee maker almost guarantees bad coffee.
SCAA has a program to certify home coffee makers. A certified SCAA coffee maker is a machine that is checked against a battery of tests to ensure it complies with the specialty coffee standards, and all the brewing parameters are correct. Some of the parameters that SCAA test during certification are:
- Brewing time
- Brewing temperature
- Extraction uniformity
- Coffee clarity
- Temperature of coffee
How to Choose Your SCAA Certified Brewer
There are 7 coffee makers that made it through the rigorous certification of the SCAA. They are not the same, there are many differences, and some excel in certain areas, others excel in different areas. Learn how to choose your brewer.
Make it Your Own
Any of the SCAA coffee brewers will deliver a delicious cup, with intense aroma and flavor. Sometimes, however, this just not enough. You feel that your coffee needs a little kick. Sure you can add some more grounds, but that is a little too much caffeine, you don’t want to get the jitters.
You can add the extra kick to your coffee by raising the brewing temperature just a tiny bit. You can also make a stronger coffee by prolonging the brewing time.
Some of the brewers on the SCAA list allow you to tweak your cup, some don’t. If this is important for you, make sure you make the right choice.
From the list, the Brazen Plus has the ability to adjust the brewing temperature. This means you can take your drip coffee making to new levels, you can tweak it to perfection. KitchenAid Pour Over brewer also has two settings to adjust the brewing temperature.
None of the certified brewers are cheap. All of these coffee machines are more expensive than the average maker. When you pay 200$ or more for a coffee maker, you would like to use it a few years. The good news is that most of these appliances have good warranties, above 2 years. This is the double of the industry average, which is one year.
From the bunch, the Technivorm Moccamaster stands out with 5 years warranty. The Moccamaster is the most reliable brewer on the market. Sure it doesn’t have the whistles and bells that Bonavita and Behmor Brazen do, but it surely is going to make you great coffee forever…
Our world is all about convenience and usability.
As an appliance that will be used on a daily basis, convenience and usability are almost as important as coffee taste.
Here are some features that will make your daily cup of joe more enjoyable to brew. Elevation adjustment is a feature that helps you take into consideration the altitude where you brew your coffee. Without this feature, it’s kinda’ complicated to adjust. This is only useful if you live in Denver or other high altitude cities.
Auto shut-off feature will help you save some energy. Another feature is the ability to program it to start brewing in the morning, according to your schedule. I personally don’t use this, because the coffee ground in the evening is stale in the morning. We are talking about specialty coffee, and grinding hours before brewing is just not acceptable. However, for people always in a time crunch, the feature is there.