One of the best Semi -Automatic Espresso Machines–
The Breville Oracle BES980XL By Kathie FitzPatrick
If you loved the Breville Barista Express, be sure to check out the new addition to the family of Breville espresso machines, the Oracle. This machine was created in the tradition of the Italian Espresso machine. Sturdy stainless steel, this is a beautiful machine for the serious espresso lover!
The Oracle automatically grinds, doses & tamps exactly the required amount of coffee for mess free, barista-quality espresso. The programmable hands-free milk texturing with automatic purge is a nice feature.
- This machine has dual stainless steel boilers and dual Italian pumps with PID. The Boilers of the Oracle can be descaled by the user.
- The One Touch Americano delivers water directly into the cup after extraction. This machine has 3 preset & 6 customizable settings.
- This unit has programmable shot temperature from 190 Degree-205 Degree. Displays in either Degree F or Degree C
- The product Dimensions: (L) 16¼” x (D) 15″ x (H) 18″ Weight : 35lbs
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Here’s what happy and satisfied customers are saying on Amazon about the new Breville Oracle BES980XL Espresso Machine:
“I have been using it for about a week. I have wanted it for about 2 years, since I saw it at a William Sonoma and tried a sample and loved how it operated. I have a Saeco super automatic machine that I have used every day for over 10 years. It is slowly breaking (display stopped working, water tank occasionally leaks, can’t run the decalcifying program anymore). So, I didn’t need this machine now. But, I was going to need it. The Saeco is a workhorse and I never expected to last as long as it has. I thought the coffee tasted fine from the Saeco. But, I realized it tasted like crap once I got this machine.
Very easy to set up. There are a few things to know about operating it that requires reading the manual. But, day to day operation is pretty simple. It takes way longer to get ready than my Saeco. But, you can easily program it to turn on at a designated time. The main display is more old school than it needs to be. In this day and age, they can use something more than an old school lcd display. For some of the functions, if you don’t know what it supposed to be displaying, you won’t understand it. Probably used it for the aesthetic.
I really like the manual part of this machine. It is still essentially an automatic machine. But, you have an espresso basket to put in one port for the grinds to be dispensed into and tamped. Then, you move it to the other port and it makes the coffee. If you make a triple cappuccino, like I do, it is a bit more work than pressing the espresso button 3 times, like I did on my old machine. With this, I have to move the basket from one port to the other, then bang out the grounds in the included barista ground disposal thing, rinse it off and start the cycle again and do that 3 times. You also have to move the cup for the coffee off the machine when you remove the espresso basket or you risk knocking it over. That takes slightly more time than a fully automatic machine but it is more the attention it requires. If you want to multitask while the machine does all of the work, this machine is not for you. One nice feature that saves time is that you can froth the milk while the espresso is being made and you can do that hands free. So, compared to my Saeco, the active time making a beverage is about the same, since the Saeco required my attention in frothing the milk.
I think this machine provides the perfect amount of manual interaction in an automatic machine – and the interaction that I want. I would love to get a shiny La Pavoni and a professional grinder, learn the perfect amount of pressure to tamp and have that for the weekend and a fully automatic machine for the work week. But, I don’t have the money or the counter space for that. This machine gives me close to both experiences. I get to use an espresso basket (which makes it feel more like an authentic coffee making experience) but still not have to worry about tamping it perfectly and watching the coffee come out and stopping it when it makes the right amount. Yet, you can still experiment with the time for the water flow to control the strength of the coffee. You can control the water temp, the tamping pressure, the grind and a bunch of other options. Or, you never have to fool with those settings.
Did I mention it makes amazing coffee? It does. It tastes incredible and the froth is perfect every time. I haven’t even used espresso beans in it yet. I have been using some light roast that a local roaster made and was given to me as a gift mixed with some Philz dark roast that I had left over.
Only comment/complaint is that you only have one portafilter size. It only dispenses a fixed amount of grounds. So, the button for a double espresso isn’t really a double, compared to the single. At a coffee shop, they would use a different size filter for a single and a double and a different amount of coffee in each. So, if you want a full strength double, you really have to make 2 singles. You will have something different if you just let water flow through the same grounds for an extra 10 seconds. Small price to pay, though. Other comment/critique is that the milk can be tough to clean off the bottom part of the frother and you really should do it each time you use the frother. Didn’t have that issue with the Saeco that used a plastic frother tip.”
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” I have owned over 10 machines ranging from manuals to super automatics by Saeco and Jura. This is hands down the best machine I have ever owned. It is the perfect blend between full automation and manual control. It feels manual yet you can customize everything so much to dial in your exact beverage. I am amazed! Playing with the grind setting allows you to pull perfect shots given your exact water and coffee conditions. Being able to set the texture and temperature of your milk is unbelievable. I know it expensive but if you love good, CONSISTENT (that is the key!) espresso drinks this is the machine to get. Enjoy!”
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“We’ve had this machine for almost two months now and I am completely obsessed. It is the easiest machine I’ve ever used. We were waiting for the grinder with the dual heading system and it has seriously paid off! Thanks Breville can’t imagine a better machine!”
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This machine is awesome. For those insisting on fair and balanced feedback, the only negative to me is the pre-programmed large Americano being so large it overflows the provided cup. So I just make the espresso and use the manual override to add the amount of water I want. Otherwise, wow, wow, wow. I sell coffee and machines for a living. Oracle is my favorite by a landslide. I took it in to a local roaster to let them play with it and they were very impressed. The automatic grind, tamp and polish blew our minds. And it is easy enough to manual the infusion and extraction time, but there’s really no need. This thing rocks right out of the box. Considering you can pay many thousands more to get espresso machines that are much harder to use and maintain, this is worth every penny.”
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“This espresso machine is way better than any fully-automatic and I’m glad I picked it over the Krups, Delonghis, etc… If you want hot coffee with hot milk, this machine has incredible temp control and gives you even manual control to get your milk as hot as you want(using the manual steam lever)… I read that fully automatic machine have a tendency to only get the milk warm(and they are tricky to clean-up specially the milk carafe gizmos with all the tubes and little parts! )
The hot water dispenser could be a little faster dispensing hot water, but the water comes out nice and hot and fill up a very large cup/mug in about a minute or so…. I guess it controls the temp on the water so it always comes out at the set brewing temp… The grinding/tamping is top-notch and the steam wand is a magic wand 🙂 All you need to do is wipe it clean after each use and you’re good to go.
The electric wire that comes with the unit is pretty short(extensions not recommended by Breville) so plan on putting in right next to a plug, also plan on putting it on a countertop with at least 20″ clearance in height, so can easily fill-up the bean hopper on top and fill-up the water tank from the top door, this will save you time turning the machine each time to access the water tank in the back…
In conclusion, if you’re on the fence and trying to decide between this and any full/semi automatic, just get this one and you’ll be glad you did. All you need is some good coffee beans and some milk and you’ll have the best hot cup of cappuccino/latte you ever had at the comfort of your own home every morning :-)”
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The Owners of the Breville Oracle Espresso Machine have spoken. Make your decision today!