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Inspiring Cooks Since 1975.
Established in 1975.

Specialty Coffee Association of America

Attention: Since January 2017 the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) and the Speciality Association of Europe (SCAE), have combined to create the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA)

The SCA combines the rich histories of both organizations on both sides of the Atlantic and around the world. Learn more about the new SCA and the renowned SCA Certified Home Brewer Program.


Who They Are:

Established in 1982 by a group of passionate coffee professionals, the Specialty Coffee Association of America is now the world's largest coffee trade organization. Currently, the SCAA includes 2,500 company members representing more than 40 countries and every part of the specialty coffee industry. 

What They Do:

The SCAA is the foremost organization dedicated, not just to the business aspects of coffee making from farming to retail, but also to the exploration of the subtle varieties of coffee flavor and aroma. Twenty years ago, the SCAA created a comprehensive flavor profile for coffee that quickly became the standard used by coffee tasters all over the world. It was recently updated through research studies the SCAA completed with the Food Science and Technology Department at University of California and World Coffee Research.

The SCAA is focused on the optimal coffee drinking experience, whether in the coffeehouse or the home. Their Certified Home Brewer Program conducts tests of coffee maker brands, rating them through a complex system that checks that each brewer performs well in these categories:

  • Coffee Volume
  • Brewing Time
  • Brewing Temperature
  • Beverage Preparation
  • Uniformity of Performance
  • Uniformity of Extraction
  • Beverage Clarity
  • Holding Receptacle and Temperature
  • Operating Manuals and other Instructional Materials

Each brewer is tested using the same batch size, specific coffee type, grind size range, water hardness and quality, coffee to water ratio and water pressure. The SCAA recognizes home brewers that meet their longstanding rigorous technical requirements. These requirements are based on decades of industry knowledge and research by the Coffee Brewing Center. All SCAA Certified Brewers have met these requirements, which are based generally on proper water temperature, brewing time, and ability to brew within the SCAA Golden Cup recommendations. If a brewer passes all of the above tests as conducted by the SCAA, that brewer will be recognized as an exemplary home brewer and join the short list of SCAA Certified Brewers. 

For more than 30 years, the SCAA has been involved in and inspired all aspects of the coffee making business through education, training, testing, resources and business services. Committed to quality and sustainability, its various programs ensure that growers and the environment are protected. For more information on the Specialty Coffee Association of America, visit their website at

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