Crew Comparison: Nuova Simonelli Oscar II vs Crossland Coffee CC1

How Does It Compare?

How does a heat exchanger compare to a single boiler? In this Crew Comparison, we’re looking at the Nuova Simonelli Oscar II and the Crossland Coffee CC1. If you’ve been wondering what type of boiler is right for you, then this is your review! The Oscar II features a heat exchanger that can brew and steam—let’s not forget the Nuova Simonelli is famous for their impressive steam power—at the same time. While single boilers can’t simultaneously make a latte the CC1 compensates with a programmable PID, pre-infusion and shot time for three dedicated coffee options. So the Oscar II can make quick work of a latte, but with the CC1 you can program your perfect drink—how can a coffee lover choose?

Hello, steam power. The Nuova Simonelli Oscar II is a semi-automatic machine with programmable volume buttons. Hello, steam power. The Nuova Simonelli Oscar II is a semi-automatic machine with programmable volume buttons.
The Crossland Coffee CC1 features a programmable PID and three espresso profiles. The Crossland Coffee CC1 features a programmable PID and three espresso profiles.

Shot

The Nuova Simonelli Oscar II is still a relatively new machine and continues to impress us with delicious espresso. Built with a copper heat exchange boiler, there’s no waiting between steaming and brewing–prep your equipment and go! You can enjoy a delicious latte in minutes. And with two programmable time-based espresso buttons, it’s even easier to pull multiple shots without a second thought. Press and hold the button until it flashes then pull the desired shot time and press again to save—yeah, it’s that easy. Even with the factory settings—the one-second pre-infusion time and boiler temperature, which you cannot change, sadly—we consistently got delicious shots.

The Oscar II features two time controlled espresso volume. The Oscar II features two time controlled espresso volume.

On the other hand, we have the Crossland Coffee CC1 built with a single boiler and—drumroll please—ultimate control over your espresso. You can adjust nearly all the factory settings! With the programmable PID, you can set the brew temperature for three different espresso options. Each of these options, single, double and pod, can be individually adjusted for pre-infusion, brew and wait times. It’s a bit of a misnomer, but the pod option isn’t designed for coffee pods! It’s actually a third programmable option. Pro tip: you can set the pod option extra long to function like a manual control.

The CC1 comes with a 58mm non-pressurized portafilter. The CC1 comes with a 58mm non-pressurized portafilter.

Steam

The Nuova Simonelli Oscar II is always ready to impress you with its steam power—not surprising for the official espresso machine provider of the Barista Championships. Since this is a heat exchanger, the Oscar II is at steam temperature and you only need to wait once for it to heat up when you first turn it on. What we like most on the Oscar II, though, is the 360-degree rotating steam wand that easily reaches any angle. It features four holes in the steam tip to reach every corner of your pitcher. It’s powerful, fast and probably a little intimidating for beginners. But not to worry, the steam lever (while not the prettiest) is easy to feather on and off.

Check out that portafilter. The open spouts offer a beautiful view of your espresso. Check out that portafilter. The open spouts offer a beautiful view of your espresso.

The Crossland Coffee CC1 sports a single boiler that serves double duty for brewing and steaming, which means you’ll have to wait for a latte. After steaming milk, the CC1 pulls in cool water from the reservoir that, unfortunately, brings the temperature down below brewing and needs extra time to come back to temp. But some good news: The CC1 has a thermoblock that kicks in for steaming and draws from the boiler to reduce the heating time! But even with the extra boost, the CC1 does steam slower than the Oscar II, but we think that works in your favor because of the awkward L-shaped steam arm. The design makes it more challenging to get a pitcher under the machine and work the milk.

The one-hole tip makes it easier for new barista's to froth milk. The one-hole tip makes it easier for new barista's to froth milk.

Style

The Crossland Coffee CC1’s classic boxy body and L-shaped steam wand resonates with many coffee lovers. It’s a style you can find in most local cafes. However, if you’re not fond of the old-school look, what’s really appealing about the CC1 is the digital display. The crisp display allows you to change the temperature and time of your espresso and it’s incredibly easy to use. To switch the settings, press and hold the button and you’ll get into the menu. Turn the dial and select what variable you want to adjust. The only complaint with the design we have is the water tank. We love that it’s front-accessible. We don’t love that the placement of the steam arm and silicone water tubes make it really difficult to get in and out (however, this is a sweet update from the previous model that had the three-way solenoid valve in front and also in the way).

Coffee connoisseurs appreciate the classic boxy body and L-shaped steam wand. Coffee connoisseurs appreciate the classic boxy body and L-shaped steam wand.

Similar to the CC1, the Nuova Simonelli Oscar II received a much-needed update! If you remember the previous model, it was also a boxy shape (but covered in plastic instead of the nice stainless steel on the CC1). The Oscar II is a completely different machine. The futuristic design features curves and edges that create a visually appealing machine. In the Crew Review, we mentioned our disappointment with some of the style like the steam lever and buttons. It’s still not our favorite for design, however, for functionality we appreciate the programmable buttons and how easy it is to feather the steam lever. If you dig the Cylon-inspired look of this machine and desire the fierce power behind it, needless to say, the little stuff can be overlooked.

The Nuova Simonelli Oscar II's updated style stunned us! It looks nothing like the first Oscar.

Conclusion

These two semi-automatics are designed with different functionalities and offer you different control over your espresso. The Nuova Simonelli Oscar II transformation has futuristic style with the impressive steam power we expect from the official Barista Championship espresso machine. The Crossland Coffee CC1’s old-school design is timeless and features a digital display to program the temperature and timing of your espresso.

So, we’ve got two completely different machines but only one can go home with you—which one would you choose? Let us know in the comments below.

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