What are the SCAA Roast Coffee Standards?

The SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America) has produced a series of eight visual color standards for roast classification of ground coffee.

Visual SCAA Coffee Standards for roast classfication
Visual SCAA Coffee Standards for roast classification
SCAA – Specialty Coffee Association of America
Long Beach, CA 90831 USA
then search in their Online Store for item # R400100D SCAA/Agtron Roast Color Kit.
Visual SCAA Roast Coffee Color Standards from "very light" to "very dark".
Visual SCAA Roast Coffee Color Standards from “very light” to “very dark”.

SCAA item R4001 consists of a light-weight black vinyl kit (10″ x 12″ x 1 3/4″) containing eight color disks, numbered in increments of 10 ranging from “Very Light” (tile # 95) to “Very Dark” (tile #25).

The kit also includes 2 background sheets, two standard Petri dishes for sample presentation for visual evaluation, and an easy-to-read manual. These (8) industry standard disks were designed to provide a visual guide for the degree of roast as a purchasing specification for both roasters and their customers.

Reporting in SCAA visual grades is inherently less precise than using Hunter L, a, b or CIE L*, a*, b* color values and correlated SCAA Coffee #. For best results using this visual coffee color evaluation system, you need to use balanced white light that minimizes the glare off the card and visually offset the texture difference between the roast ground coffee and the flat, uniform coffee standard. The SCAA # and Roast Classification system can perform well as a purchasing specification.

The HunterLab ColorFlex EZ Coffee meter comes with a built-in correlation to report both SCAA # and SCAA Roast Classification, as well as the HCCI – HunterLab Coffee Color Index used for roast process control.


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