The Hybrid – Breville Oracle Espresso Machine Review

Editor rating

4.8/5 on July 29, 2017

User's rating

119 reviews

PROS

  • Double stainless steel boiler
  • Heated group head, and OPV valve
  • PID
  • Built in canonical burr grinder
  • Customizable pre-infusion
  • Automated milk steaming/frothing

CONS

  • The burr grinder is stainless steel not ceramic
  • The amount of coffee grounds can not be adjusted
  • Not able to pour water and brew espresso
  • Poor customer service

 

Are you one of those people who want to have more control over coffee making process, but at the same time you‘d like some of it to be taken care of? How would you like to have a virtual hands-free espresso machine that does the grinding, tamping, temperature controls, grinding controls, and milk texturing – all pretty much automatically? Sounds impossible? Then you should definitely read through the Breville Oracle Espresso Machine review to find out more about the only one semi automatic/hybrid espresso machine on the market.

If you’ve been struggling with other espresso machines that can’t froth milk and brew espresso at the same time, have purely manual steam wands for difficult milk texturing, and limited ability to control the temperatures, then you will definitely appreciate all of these features and more with the Breville Oracle. All you have to do is choose which is your favorite roast.

 

Features of the Breville Oracle espresso machine


 

1. Automatic grinding

Having an automatic and excellent quality stainless steel, conical burr grinder in this Breville Oracle Espresso Machine is one of the most useful and money-saving features. You don’t have to purchase a separate grinder. And as we know having a good quality grinder is the most important factor when brewing excellent espresso.

All you have to do is pour your personal coffee bean selection into the ½ pound removable bean hopper and turn on the grinder. After you’ve selected whether you want one shot or two, it precisely grinds the perfect amount of beans.

 

2. Choice of grinding settings

On the left-hand side of the Breville Oracle espresso machine, you can find a dial, which is responsible for grind settings. There are 45(!) From fine through medium to coarse. Since many espressos are merely average(over/under extracted )due to wrong size coffee grinds. Having a good selection of grind settings lets you precisely control it. You can tweak it and adjust it yourself according to the type of coffee beans you using.

 

3. Automatic tamping

After you’ve chosen your bean grind setting, which is entirely customizable, you simply affix the portafilter to the part of the machine under the hopper, and it will automatically tamp the grounds for you, adding that special espresso ‘polish’ that is a hallmark of a quality shot. You don’t need to purchase a separate tamper, it’s all built into the machine itself and you can set the tamping time and pressure as well.

Tamping evenly distributes the coffee throughout the filter basket, as well as compresses the grinds. You can interrupt between the grinding and tamping if you want to do the tamping yourself. The whole process from grinding to tamping takes about 60 seconds, so it’s extremely fast to have everything automatic.

 

4. Automatic milk frothing

Texturing your milk to get those perfect barista milk foam for lattes and cappuccinos is no longer a trial-and-error process. With this machine, it automatically froths your milk for either less or more texture, depending on the drink. The wand also has a sensor on the end of it, which automatically detects the milk temperature and keeps it the setting that you’ve picked. You can also choose to froth/steam milk manually if you prefer.

After you’re finished frothing you simply wipe down the steam wand. Then you insert it back into place and the steam wand automatically purges, which is quite cool and you don’t have to worry about all the nastiness that usually is left inside the steam wand.

 

5. PID temperature controlled dual boilers, heated brew head and over pressure valve

The water boiler in an espresso machine is the true inner workhorse, not just heating water but heating it to precise temperatures. This Breville Oracle has stainless steel, dual boilers. Steam boiler with integrated heat exchange and espresso boiler that is electronically controlled by the PID as well as heated brew head. All that helps immensely to keep temperature stability so important for brewing espresso.

Another commercial feature this machine has is Over Pressure Valve (OPV) that limits the maximum pressure while pulling the espresso. This way you don’t end up with bitter tasting shot.

Also, the advantage of having two boilers is that you can simultaneously texture milk and brew espresso at the same time. This saves you time during busy mornings as well as making your milk based drinks taste better.

 

6. Plenty of customizable settings

Would you like your Breville Oracle machine to start heating up at a certain time? You can program that. You can program the Automatic Shut Off feature for multiple times, including after 10 minutes, 30 minutes, or up to 8 hours in advance. Set the shot clock for preferable espresso volume(double and single shot).

You can also program the water temperature, change the pressure of the automatic tamping, and how many seconds it tamps. It even has a one touch Americano function that allows you to make one with a touch of a button. Multiple customizable settings create a machine that doesn’t just make espresso – it makes it your way.

 

7. Programmable temperature control

In addition to customizing the start time, stop time, and other features, this espresso machine also comes with specific programmable shot temperature settings. In many ways, making espresso is more like a science than an art, since you are changing temperatures to create different degrees of extraction.

You can also set the temperature of the steam for making your textured milk, between 130 and 170F. Getting precise temperatures is key to superior coffee.

 

8. Automatic self-cleaning

As with many complicated machines, the Breville Oracle will last longer when you keep it cleaned and well maintained. This model has a self-cleaning feature that is pretty much hands-free. You put a cleaning tablet into the portafilter basket, which then goes in the brew head, and push the automatic cleaning button. It cleans its parts all by itself. To prevent too much scaling and other hard water features, using filtered water is recommended.

 

Other helpful features


 

  • Large 84-ounce water tank – The more water that can go into the tank, the more espresso shots you can pull without having to refill it. On espresso machines, you want to look for a nice large tank. Not only that, you can fill the water tank right from the front of the machine. No need to turn it around, although you can also access the full water tank from the back when it’s time to clean it.

 

  • Quick warm up times – The Breville Oracle only takes about 3-5 minutes for the temperature to go from 67F standing basic room temperature up to the default 200F temperature. Faster warm up times means less waiting time for your espresso.

 

  • Even quicker reheat times – If you decide to shut off the Breville Oracle after heating and you turn it back on, it reheats to 200F within less than 2 minutes. This is especially useful for offices, who might have multiple employees using the machine during different shifts at different times of the day.

 

  • Cup warmer – There’s a cup warmer on top of the machine to keep yours warm. It’s a great place to set it and very convenient.

 

  • Programmable start times – As part of the complete internal electronics in this espresso machine, it includes a programmable start time. Since most espresso machines are recommended to take at least 10 minutes to start due to the PID temperature control regulating the dual boilers, this means you can program your machine to start that much earlier in the morning. You can program it to be ready to go well before you’re out the door. It takes quicker than it would if you drove to a coffee shop, stood in line, paid for your coffee, waited for it to be brewed, and then received it. The Breville Oracle saves time.

 

  • Programmable pre-infusion feature –It soaks the coffee grounds with reduced pressure allowing for better tasting and fuller shot. In this case also customizable. You can set the amount of pressure and the length of pre-infusion.

 

  • “Empty Me” drip tray – The large removable drip tray lets you know when it’s time to be emptied by showing you the “Empty Me” indicator.

 

  • Bottom roller bearers – You can anchor the machine to a counter top for extra stability, or use the hidden dial behind the drip tray to activate the roller bearings. This means the Breville Oracle can move around on the counter top, allowing for easy cleaning, hopper access, and water tank access.

 

  • Durable and heavy duty – This machine is stainless steel on the outside. As for size and weight, it is 16.2” x 15” x 18” in size, and it weighs 34.5 pounds.

 

Customer Scores and Reviews


 

At the time of writing this review, The Breville Oracle holds an average rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars on Amazon, after 119 reviews. Out of those 119 reviews, 71% gave it a 5-star review, 5% gave it a 4-star review, 2% gave it a 3-star review, 5% gave it a 2-star review, and 17% gave it a 1-star review.

 

Pros

1. Fast steamer warm up times for milk

Buyers really appreciate that it only takes about 60 seconds to bring milk up to 155 degrees while you’re simultaneously making your espresso thanks to having double boilers. This means your espresso won’t get cold while you texturing the milk. You can make a full cappuccino in about 90 seconds.

 

2. No interior plastic parts

Many inferior and less expensive super automatic and semi-automatic espresso machines do skimp on the quality of their interior parts and mainly those parts that come into contact with hot water, like aluminum boilers and plastic portafilters. This Breville Oracle is high quality, with the portafilter and the boilers being of stainless steel.

 

3. Less mess on the counter

It’s an unfortunate fact of coffee makers that many of them leak or spill coffee grounds. But, buyers really appreciate this Breville Oracle has both the built-in grinder and tamper, which means less mess on the counter.

 

4. Hot Water Has a Separate Spout

Sometimes, it’s the little things that make a big difference. Buyers of this Breville Oracle really appreciate that the hot water feature has a separate spout, so it doesn’t need to have any milk cleaned out first.

 

5. Extra controls turns good coffee into great coffee

The most important buyer feature that has been commented on is that every single aspect of making your perfect espresso based drink can be controlled. Then, after those controls have been set, basically the whole process is automatic and repeatable.

 

Cons

Yes, even in a machine as advanced as the Breville Oracle Automatic Espresso Machine, there are going to be some drawbacks! It does only come with one non-pressurized basket for the portafilter, so if you want a bottomless basket, that should be purchased separately. Another noticeable con for serious espresso and coffee users is that the machine doesn’t allow you to brew an espresso shot at the same time that hot water is being poured.

 

Also, along the same lines, keep in mind the built-in grinder is an espresso grinder, designed for the finer grinds. This is not a regular coffee maker, either. You can create Americanos, but it’s not designed to just brew a cup of coffee. Another con is that you can’t adjust the quantity of coffee that is dispensed into the portafilter. You can only adjust the grind coarseness. Also, do keep in mind that this machine is made in China. Those buyers who have had it over a period of time longer than two years have noticed internal parts that break down.

 

Finally, for those buyers seeking a fully automatic ‘one-touch’ machine that grinds, tamps, and makes milk based coffees, this won’t be what they’re looking for. It has many automatic features, but you still have to be more hands on when pulling the espresso shot.

 

Conclusion


 

I hope you’ve found The Breville Oracle Espresso Machine review helpful. It’s a great machine, almost purely automatic, and definitely the easiest semi automatic you’ll ever use. Every single aspect of superior espresso making can be tweaked and dialed into your linking. It’s perfect for beginners at home or office baristas who want to exactly duplicate their favorite coffee shop drink.

 

It’s also an excellent choice for those buyers who like to be more hands on with espresso making process and are looking for a machine that will let them do it. At the same time, the automation allows having consistent results without much in depth learning about the process itself.

 

It does have plenty of features that are found in higher level machines and that makes it very good value for money.

I think that Breville Oracle will make your espresso drinking experience at home or in the office a true pleasure.

 

Kat

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