About SCA Research

The Specialty Coffee Association takes great pride in its history of investigating the scientific principles of coffee- from chemistry and physics to agronomy and sensory perception. This research helps to develop education, standards, and best practices which form the basis of the specialty coffee trade. 

Available Reports

SCA also performs market research and analysis, giving our members valuable information that informs the economic strategies of the coffee industry, with the aim of helping our members be more successful and for the specialty coffee community to thrive.



SCA Certified Home Brewer Program

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The SCA recognizes home brewers that meet our longstanding rigorous technical requirements. These requirements are based on decades of industry knowledge and research by the Coffee Brewing Center. All SCA Certified Brewers have met these requirements, which are based generally on proper water temperature, brewing time, and ability to brew within the SCA Golden Cup recommendation. If a brewer passes all of the tests as described below and conducted by the SCA, that brewer will be recognized as an exemplary home brewer and join the short list of SCA Certified Brewers.

What Is Specialty Coffee?

Specialty coffee can consistently exist through the dedication of the people who have made it their life's work to continually make quality their highest priority. This is not the work of only one person in the lifecycle of a coffee bean; specialty can only occur when all of those involved in the coffee value chain work in harmony and maintain a keen focus on standards and excellence from start to finish. This is no easy accomplishment, and yet because of these dedicated professionals, there are numerous specialty coffees available right now, across the globe, and likely right around the corner from you.

Coffee Standards

What is a standard? Standards can be great tools for the coffee industry as they are trusted reference instruments established by knowledgeable subject-matter experts. A SCA standard is a high-quality recommendation by the Standards Committee. It is a quantifiable and qualifiable measure, based upon scientific testing, which set values and/or ranges of values for coffee. Currently, the SCA has standards for water, green coffee, and cupping coffee.

Protocols and Best Practices

What is a protocol? A protocol is a specific process recommended by the SCA Standards Committee and Professional Development Department. An SCA protocol is a qualifiable recommended process that the standards committee has agreed upon and may include individual standards.