The SCAA. The SCAE. The SCA. If any of these organizations means anything to you at all, then you probably fit under one of two categories:
- You own or are looking to buy an SCAA (or SCA) Certified Home Brewer.
- You are one of 8,000+ “coffee professionals” whose livelihood comes from the business of coffee.
Assuming you are either #1 or #2 above, the big newsflash here is that the Specialty Coffee Association of America (the SCAA) has merged with the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe (the SCAE). And the new name of this newly-unified coffee trade group? The Specialty Coffee Association, a.k.a. the SCA. No America, no Europe. Just coffee ’round the world. The SCAA and SCAE are no more. Now it’s just SCA!
It’s a bit amusing that I am “announcing” this news now, in August of 2018, because this merger actually happened in 2017. Or was it 2016? I have no idea. The point is, it happened a long time ago, and I just found out about it within the past five minutes. The reason I’m writing about it today is to clear up any confusion among shoppers who are out there looking for “SCA Certified Coffee Makers” and are only finding coffee makers that are “SCAA Certified.” I believe this confusion probably exists because if you google “SCA Certified Coffee Maker” right now, most of the top results still say “SCAA” on them, and that includes Buy/Don’t Buy’s very own list of Top 10 SCAA Certified Coffee Makers.
Assuming you’re either a current or future owner of an SCA/SCAA Certified Home Brewer, what does this mean for you? NOTHING! It literally means absolutely nothing. As far as I know, the old SCAA standards have not changed. The method by which coffee makers are certified has not changed. Everything is basically the same for the average coffee consumer, except you might start to see blog articles that reference “SCA Certified Coffee Makers” instead of “SCAA Certified.”
So there you have it! SCAA Certified means exactly the same thing as SCA Certified. So, to answer the question posed in the title of this article, the answer is a resounding NO! SCAA Certified coffee makers are not different from SCA Certified coffee makers. They are one and the same, save for one letter A which has been kicked to the curb.