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Breville Oracle BES980XL Espresso Machine

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Product Description

Breville may have traveled to an ancient land for the answers, but arrived at only one conclusion – the Oracle! Gather around and present your deepest coffee concerns, because we have a feeling you’ll find what you’re looking for.

Grinder, scale and tamper not needed! The Oracle automatically doses, grinds and tamps freshly ground beans from the ½ pound removable bean hopper into a 58mm stainless steel portafilter. While the shots brew, take advantage of the dual boilers and allow the Oracle to simultaneously froth your milk with the automatic or manual latte (less texture) and cappuccino (maximum texture) settings. No one machine has all the answers, but we think this one comes pretty close!

Features & Functionality of the Breville Oracle Espresso Machine

  • Dual Stainless Steel Boilers: Two dedicated boilers for simultaneous espresso extraction and milk steaming.
  • Dual Pumps: Dedicated espresso and steam boiler pumps for ideal pressure.
  • Regulated Extraction Pressure: Over-pressure valve limits extraction pressure for optimal espresso shots.
  • Programmability: Easily program shot temperature & volume, milk temperature & texture, tamp force, grind setting, pre-infusion power & length, as well as auto start & auto off features.
  • Actively Heated Group Head: Maintains thermal stability throughout the extraction process.
  • Espresso Shot Clock: Keeps track of exact extraction time.
  • Backlit LCD: Monitor everything from this easy to read display.
  • Auto Start: Preheats the machine for the pre-programmed time.
  • Hot Water Spout: Easily make a delicious cup of Americano from this fully loaded espresso machine.
  • Hidden Swivel Foot: This secret foot lifts the machine upwards to easily maneuver itself around your countertop.
  • Gunk Be Gone! - The Oracle automatically purges the steam wand after each use. One less thing to remember when making the perfect latte!
  • Automated Features - This machine offers automated features not normally found on semi-automatic machines.
  • Dual Boilers - Allows you to simultaneously brew espresso and froth milk, saving you time!
  • Grind Dosage - Coffee geeks will be unable to change the exact amount of ground espresso dispensed.
How Does it Compare? This machine offers automated features not normally found on semi-automatics, but may take just as long to "dial in" the perfect shot.
Tips and Tricks Frothing milk on the Oracle is no joke and easily climbs to high temperatures. Be sure to wipe the wand immediately after each use, as hot milk sticks to steam wands.

Additional Information

Model Number BES980XL
Manufacturer Breville
Width 16.25 inches
Depth 15 inches
Height 18 inches
Product Weight (lbs.) 35.0000
Watts 1800W
Volts 120V
Programmability No
Case Material Brushed Stainless Steel
Boiler Material Stainless Steel
Cup Clearance 4 inches
Reservoir Size 84 ounces
Cup Warmer Yes
Available Portafilters Non-Pressurized
Boiler Design Double Boiler
Water Sources Reservoir/Internal Tank
Auto Shut Off Yes
Auto On Yes
Pre-Infusion/Aroma Yes
Material Stainless Steel

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Warranty Information for the Breville Oracle Espresso Machine


What it Covers:

Breville espresso machines, grinders and blenders


- 2 Years (Oracle & Dual Boiler)

- 1 Year (All other new equipment)

- 6 months (Refurbished Models)

Who Supports the Warranty: Breville USA
Warranty Contact Information: 866-273-8455
Notes: Please register your product with Breville for warranty support.
Eligible for SCG Extended Warranty? Yes (Excludes YouBrew)
Can SCG Repair? Yes. Read more about our out-of-warranty repair services.

Caring for your Breville Oracle Espresso Machine

For detailed care instructions, please refer to your machine's user manual.

User Manuals for your Breville Oracle Espresso Machine

Helpful Videos


This is one great espresso machineReview by George
I've lived with my Breville Oracle for a few weeks now. In the past, I've owned 2 Jura semi-automatics and a Gaggia Academia. Each one of those machines fell somewhat short of making what to me would be a good mocha latte. The Academia came the closest but its low temperature (110 degrees) and the mess if left on the counter when iot overflowed made it unacceptable. At the time I bought the Academia, I looked at the Breville, but it had just been introduced. I didn't want to take a chance on an unproven product. I finally took the plunge a few weeks ago.

First, I love the looks of this machine and I like all the settings you can change to fine tune your drink. My initial experience was not good, however, when the machine lock at 161 degrees on startup. If this happens to you, just open the valves to the boilers (accessed by 2 screws under a rubber cover right up front). Turn it off and let it sit overnight with the valves open. Close the valves in the morning and turn it one. At this point, everything was working as it should.

While I drink mocha lattes, I like additional milk froth, so I set that at maximum. Coarsened the grind up a little and got some of the best tasting mochas I've ever had. The fact that the machine does all of the hard work (which needs to be consistent to get consistent results) and there's no mess since the grind and tamping are all done automatically.

Now, for the wife factor. $2,000 is a lot of money to spend on a coffee machine, and she likes her old drip pot coffee. First, this wouldn't fit under the cabinets where the old machine was located, so I had to move it. Score 1! More counter space for her. I was able to find another area for it and neatened up a counter that had not been considered neat in a long time. Score 2! So, the other day, I asked her if she wanted to ry a latte. "Sure, and put a little chocolate in it" I did. About an hour later, she said, "You know, you might just have to make me another one of those coffees tomorrow!" Score 3! Success!

At this point, my experience has been totally satisfying. Gail was great to talk to. I registered the machine with Breville and they sent me some fresh roasted coffee which was quite good.

So the price is still scaring you? From the quality of the build, providing you do some required maintenance like descaling when necessary and replace the filter when needed, this machine looks like it will last a long time. There is a quality feel to it, including the accessories Breville supplies with it (that's a real nice knock box). Since a lot of automatic machine need service within 3-4 years. my guess is that this one will easily double or triple that.

Go ahead. Take the plunge. Your taste buds will thank you. (Posted on 7/26/2016)
BEST machine ever!Review by Val-lynn
I've had my Oracle BES980XL for almost 2 years and I loved it from the start and still love it and remain am impressed by the quality of both the machine and the espresso it makes. Easy to use, easy to maintain/clean, makes me feel like a skilled barista and the two times I had a problem, I solved them both by viewing SCG YouTube videos. The tamping fan fell out during cleaning, it is magnetic, so it pops back in when properly lined up. When I tried another coffee bean, I had to play with grind and volume controls, once I watched the video several times, I got the machine dialed in perfectly. My brother-in-law makes Americanos every time he visits - states the Oracle beats any Americano he has ever bought!! Yes, it's a tad expensive, but in this case, it's my opinion you get what you pay for. The machine has more than paid for itself based on my past daily purchases at drive thru shops. LOVE MY ORACLE BES980XL!! (Posted on 7/4/2016)
A very nice step upReview by bob
I have been using a Jura-Capressa F7 for about 5 years and just wanted better shots without going all manual. I also had to consider that my wife would be using it and she doesn't have the patience/passion for "tinkering" to get that perfect shot. Iv'e made about 20 shots and there is a little learning curve but the videos on SCG and youtube are helpful. So far I'm very happy! No it's not a Rocket or La Pavoni but it's a damn good shot. Still on a newbie area and will up date in a couple weeks-200+ shots. (Posted on 5/19/2016)
well worth the moneyReview by James
I've been using this machine for multiple shots daily ('clean' triggered yesterday so over 200 extractions) for a month now and I'm *really glad I decided to get it.
I struggled over this purchase for a few months before I pulled the trigger and now that I've been using it daily I think it was *completely worth the money.
The Oracle replaced my Rancilio Silvia and Gaggia grinder ... which I could reliably get a decent shot from and occasionally a great shot from.
The Oracle is a reliably *good shot.. and it's a dead easy push button operation to get a consistently good cappuccino (and it *doesn't make a giant mess). (Posted on 1/18/2016)
Awesome oracleReview by Sal
This machine is absolutely awesome. Had a sunbeam thermblock before that was a great machine also but this is outstanding. I have had for over 18 months. Not one bad coffee. If anyone is humming or haring about should or should not buy. Just buy you will never want to go back to your old coffee shops and be disappointed that the. Coffee tastes better at home because it does. Can't sing this machine enough praises. Totally awesome. I am a very fussy coffee drinker. I couldn't count how many coffees I've had from coffee shops and just had to throw them out the window u drinkable. I have never had to do this with this machine. Consistent all the time. Easy to clean, work. Very stylish looking too. Right go buy a machine I'm thirsty now going to make a cappachino. (Posted on 6/19/2015)
Best combination of automatic and manual featuresReview by Chiapet
* Simple to use (even for beginners) and is very consistent.
* You always have the option to tweak parameters (grind, tamp pressure, temperature, milk froth temperature/texture) to suit your specific tastes.
* Seattle Coffee Gear includes a lot of extras which makes purchasing from them a great value compared to other online and physical retail stores. The extra 1yr warranty from them is great peace of mind given the cost of this machine.
* Grinder burrs and tamping disk are easily removed for complete cleaning.
* The quality and flavor of the shot and frothed milk matches that from artisan coffee shops in the San Francisco Bay Area (Equator, Verve, and Blue Bottle)
* I registered my machine with Breville USA and they sent two 12oz bags of Verve espresso (Street Level and The Sermon) via UPS 2nd Day Air. Roast dates were within 2 weeks of receipt date.

* No direct way of adjusting the dose. You can increase the grind dose by 1g if you increase the tamp pressure.
* Grinder could use a finer readout, since it sometimes is hard to dial in the grind when the ideal fineness is in between two setting values; however, this isn't a showstopper and just means that it sometimes can take a little more time to find just the right grinder setting.

Before purchasing this machine, I was using a Nespresso pod-based system for espresso shots and a separate Capresso milk frother (the one which uses a spinning magnetic disk at the bottom of the milk carafe to froth the milk). I got tired of the limited pod selection and was ready for something new. I researched superautomatics and thought that they were too restrictive in using the same, non-adjustable brew parameters regardless of what coffee beans are used; this would definitely lead to shots that do not display the optimal flavor profile. Also, the superautomatics don't brew the shots or froth the milk hot enough and require quite a bit of maintenance/cleaning, which offsets the supposed time savings you get from one-touch functionality.

On the other hand, I was concerned that the learning curve for manual machines would be too high and I wouldn't have the time or initiative to become a home barista. Luckily, I found out about the Oracle and I think it's truly a game changer for coffee enthusiasts who want cafe quality coffee without the fuss of a manual (grind/dose, tamp, extract, and froth) and will not settle for the high maintenance/low quality of a superautomatic.

With the Oracle, I set the timer for it to turn on and warm up on its own, and it's ready to go by the time I finish my morning routine. I can drop the milk pitcher under the steam wand and have it automatically froth the milk in the time it takes a shot to grind and be extracted. Clean up is minimal, since all I have to do is wipe the steam wand, do a couple of clear-water backflushes, and wipe the coffee grinds off the tamper. My coffee routine now takes 5 minutes from start to completing cleanup.

I was apprehensive at first about there also being a steep learning curve for this machine, but with the default settings out of the box, and fresh coffee, one can get a pretty decent shot on their first try. Once you're ready, you can further optimize the flavor profile by tweaking the grind, tamp, temperature, shot time/volume. It has the flexibility to let you change each parameter, and does it consistently so that you're not chasing ghosts when you're trying to get the flavor just right.

I would say that the major limitation on this machine is the grinder with regards to not being able to adjust the dose directly, and not having grind settings that are close enough together. Luckily, the grind adjuster is mechanically linked to the burr, so even though the digital readout on the grind setting doesn't change, you're still changing the grind fineness when turning the adjustment wheel in between settings. I guestimate how far i turn the wheel before the fineness readout changes, and use that as a reference for adjusting the grind when I know it's in between two values.

Overall, I think Breville hit the ball out of the part with this one, and really created a new class of product that delivers on the simplicity and convenience of a superautomatic, but with the drink quality, flexibility, and hassle-free maintenance of a manual. (Posted on 6/14/2015)
Great Machine - some qualms, but I don't regret itReview by Tim Simmons
Bought the Oracle after wanting something nice and top of the line that wasn't fully manual. After reading all the reviews (both good and bad) I purchased from SCG. First off SCG was a great retailer for this machine and I was very happy with their service. Their site was extremely helpful and their information and video are what convinced me to purchase.

I was very excited to get this machine. I understood that there was going to be a learning curve and knew it would take some time getting to know all the facets of the Oracle. I've had the machine for several months and have only now felt like I've learned all the finer details of the machine. So I decided to review it.

Everything it's advertised as, this machine is. The duel boilers are great and make multitasking easy. The foaming wand it quality and can produce great foam. The grinder and tamper are great and nice to have on the machine itself. The reservoir is big and can handle just over a weeks worth of espressos for 2. It looks great and you feel like you get the value for the money despite its large price tag (which is consistent across all retailers, but SCG gives you the most bang for the buck because of the extras they throw in) . It's easy to clean and maintain.

Some of the downsides of the Oracle that I have found have not soured me on the machine, but have left me a bit disappointed. Maybe it's my machine, but I'm actually chalking it up to the Automatic capabilities of this semi automatic. I've found that the machine can be inconsistent. The foam quality is not always the same. I've had great foam one day and the next minimal using the same milk at the same temperature after a good cleaning of the wand.

I've had coffee volume be inconsistent despite not changing the grind, tamp or force. Like, different in back to back shots. My last problem is a more minor quibble. Because the dosing is done automatically and is the same for every shot. If you run out of beans mid grind, but there is enough in the Portafilter to set off the tamper, there is no way to have it tamp anyway. I've run out of coffee for one last shot but maybe need about a dozen individual beans grinder to have enough to make it to top to set off the tamp sensor and had to manually tamp (which turned out terrible). I would have liked to have an option to tamp anyway. This machine overdoses for every shot anyway so I had more than enough for a decent double shot. I wish this machine had a tamp option. Like I said, a minor complaint (I just didn't want to open a new bag for a couple of beans)

Anyway. I do love this machine but do want to note the caveats of the learning curve (you will play with the grind tamp force and time a lot to get close to find the right balance), and some inconsistencies with the automatic capabilities of the machine. I don't regret the purchase and would recommend it highly. (Posted on 5/31/2015)
Carving out a necessary niche marketReview by Jeff
I come from a superauto that I got tired of waiting to die, this seems like it may be the perfect machine for me.

Pros over a superauto:
* You've got much better control with this machine over a superauto
* The results are fantastic. This is really all you need to know. I've gone from 5-6 shots a day with my superauto down to 1-2 with this machine before I start feeling the effects.
* It's actually cleaner than my superauto. My old machine needed internal cleaning every few weeks, there is no internal here.
* The water tank is huge!
* Whoever thought to put that little roller under the machine to help me pull it out should be knighted.

Cons compared to a superauto:
* There are too many controls and too little documentation, I'd love a flowchart to help guide me around grind fineness, pre-infuse time, temperature, etc.
* Despite the last comment about too many controls, I'd like to complain that there is no control for dose size.
* There's no longer a single button to push. It's starting the grind, moving the portafilter over, and then a single button - at least once it's set up.

How about a semi-auto? I can't help too much there with practice, but in theory:

* Grinding and tamping is all self-contained, I've never spilled more than a few grains.
* Consistency is certainly better than I can manage myself, but your mileage may vary.
* Automatic grinding and tamping mean it's a quick twist of the portafilter to grind while you prepare the cup, then a push of a button to brew.
* You've got automated access to most of the variables you're used to controlling by hand.

* No dose control.
* You can't just swap out for a different portafilter or a different grinder easily if you want that level of control.
* More parts means more things to break, but if it even matches the longevity of my superauto refurb unit I'll be happy replacing the whole thing.
* Having the beans integrated into the machine mean they spend a lot of time getting warm, however they seem much better insulated than my superauto. (Posted on 3/25/2015)
Simply ExcellentReview by Doug
I love this machine. I can dial it in to pull perfect shots with various beans. My biggest fear was the steam wand. Could it really get the job done? To put things in perspective, my wife and I are vegan, we drink soy milk. Anyone who has tried steaming soy knows that it's harder and very temperature sensitive. Bottom line, using the pacific barista soy blender series product I can bang out perfect soy lattes, caps, and just about anything in-between. My wife's criteria for my coffee hobby was 'no-mess' but I couldn't live with myself if I went down the super-auto route. This machine allows me to tinker to my heart is content, but make no mess and as a bonus feature once everything is dialed in then it's very easy to use. The machine is programmed to switch on in the morning. I come down stairs and have a quality drink in my hand in under a minute. It's pricey no-doubt but when you count the cost of a decent double boiler machine, a grinder, and the added bonus of no mess it's a no-brainer. (Posted on 3/21/2015)
Great Machine-a littler messier than a super auto but way better quality!Review by Darrell
Like many, I've had many espresso machines over the years, early Gaggia, Starbucks,then a Saeco Super Auto. Some died from use, some discarded for quality and mess.
I took the plunge to drop 2 grand on the Breville 980 and have no regrets. The quality of the drinks are "best ever". Foam texture for cappuccino's is the elusive "pourable white paint".
A little more hassle than my super auto Seaco, but so much better drink quality. I use only fresh roasted beans, which helps the quality I'm sure. But with this machine you want to chase that Italian Cafe taste goal.
Buy it. Breville is a good company for support and SCG with Gail and her crew can't her beat. (Posted on 2/8/2015)
Couldn't be happier! Great first machine for a home Espresso Maker novice! Review by Makai
I have been going to fine coffee shops for years. I never wanted a home machine I like going out in the morning as part of my routine. My family owned local shop was just sold to a chain so it finally felt like the right time to invest in a quality machine to make my Americanos at home. I did alot fo research on the internet and was ready to purchase a different machine when I called Seattle Coffee Gear. First, I had read what great service Seattle Coffee Gear provides and my experience was the same. Everyone I spoke to on the phone was knowledgeable and eager tto help me select the right machine. I had three Main requirments as I did not want my machine to turn into an unsused paperweight I knew if I was not completly happy I would revert to my old habits of buying coffee. 1. Espresso, Americanos and Latte's must be hot. No luke warm coffee for me! 2. It must be easy to clean. If it is messy or hard to clean it will not get used. 3. The Espresso must taste just a good as what I was buying at the shop.
When I gave Seattle Coffee Gear my requirments she asked what my price sensitivity was. Uh oh, But to be honest if my machine did not delvier on my requirements it would not matter what a bargain it was. So I gulped and said well since I am used to $4 per Americano in Hawaii as long as it breaks even before it dies it really doesn't matter as I am spending the money anyway. She said if you can afford the $2,000 price tag the Breville Americano is her recommendation. I wantched the videos and then ordered it. WOW! I love it. I have played with some of the adjustments over the last two months which were all super easy to make and have dialed in my perfect Americano. I love it!!!!!!! The only change I would make is if I could put a taller cup for hot water. I have been making my espresso and then using the hot water from my bottled water hot water dispenser. This has been fine as I don't have to fill the tank on my machine as often. it appears this was done intentionally so that the machine fits under the counter however, I would give up the machine being able to fit under the counter for the machine to allow me to make an americano in a taller coffee mug.
If you buy this machine you will not be dissapointed. PS I had only factored in my break even on what I was spending on Americanos at the shop. I have already saved even more money because I don't add a muffin etc to my order. So I am eating healthier too and spending less on the extras I used to buy at the coffee shop. So yes worth the $2,000 price tag. (Posted on 12/28/2014)
Updated reviewReview by Tall Guy
To update my recent review...after just a couple weeks of loving my Oracle, I went to turn it on one morning and it would NOT turn on. I called and the friendly people at Seattle Coffee Gear rushed me a new machine which I have now been using for about a month and has been problem free. This "unusual" issue has not changed my opinion about purchasing this machine. It is a game changer and worth every penny!! (Posted on 12/15/2014)
Super semi automatic A new category of espresso machinesReview by Tequila Monster
Well, let me start out by saying I am a real coffee snob from Seattle. I know good coffee when I see it and taste it. I have been making my own coffee for the last 15 years at home because I was tired of being disappointed by local baristas. I started out with a La Pavoni manual press. For those of you who do not know, This machine is only for the purists. After eight years use on my La Pavoni I was ready for something a little easier. My next machine was just that, Easier. The Rancilio Silvia made the process of making good lattes and Americanas. Consistency and timing was still a big problem with the Rancilio. I would waste A fair amount of coffee and time trying to get the correct grind, tamp and proper dose of coffee. Early in the morning when I just want A good cup of coffee to wake up I don't really want to be messing around with my espresso machine. Please just give me a good cup of coffee. My new Brevel Oracle is a real game changer. After setting up my new machine I ran a couple of test brews to see how the shots were coming out. On the third cycle I was ready to make myself a latte. I just made a few slight adjustments from the factory settings and in no time I made the latte, cleaned up my machine and was enjoying one of the best lattes I've had at home. I'm sure with a little more time, different coffee beans and A few more slight adjustments I will be making coffee as good or better than my favorite local coffee haunt. If you can afford this machine I recommend that you buy it. (Posted on 12/2/2014)
Worth every penny!Review by DrJim
My wife and I had a cheaper fully auto. Espresso maker for years until it finally broke recently......looked at the Breville Oracle, but decided to buy a less expensive brand. So we went with the newer version of the machine we had previously had and liked for so many years.....well, after 3 weeks of using the new machine, we took it back....couldn't get it to make us a good coffee, no matter what we did.......decided to spend the money on the Oracle......Wow!......definitely a great decision.....what a difference...quicker, quieter, easier cleanup, and amazing tasting espresso drinks. So good, the 2nd morning we used it, my wife actually sent me a text at work telling me how good her coffee good that I decided to write this review, and this is the first time I have written a review for anything......I'm sipping on my amazing caramel machiatto as I type this....and thanks to Seattle coffee gear for being so great at demonstrating their really helps to be able to see it work in person, and try it out at the store. They were very helpful, and great to work with. (Posted on 11/29/2014)
Breville OracleReview by Tall Guy
I was on a long journey of trying to find a super automatic machine that can deliver a good shot of espresso. I have owned a few super automatic machines that did an OK job but the shot was always under -extracted. My family drinks a lot of espresso and did not want a semi-automatic machine since my wife loves the idea of just pushing a button and not messing with dosing, tamping etc... It seemed the more I would spend on a super automatic machine only got me more fancy features and NOT a better shot. I was so excited to stumble on this Oracle that truly was the perfect compromise between a super automatic and a semi-automatic. Believe me when I say that this machine does not disappoint!! It pulls a beautiful and perfect shot of espresso!! Really, all you have to do is play a little with the grind setting to get the right volume and you are done. The frother set to automatic works amazing. Making latte art is no problem. My wife has been using it with no problems. It has little to no mess. Worth every penny. I have been buying beans from a local roasting company and brewing great espresso!! (Posted on 11/10/2014)
Excellent MachineReview by Yolas
I have owned espresso machines for over 30 years and The Oracle is the best machine I have had so far. Before this machine, I had a Saeco Ring Plus which I hated to clean (it was very messy and the brewing unit sometimes was hard to put back in). I love the Oracle's grinding and tamping system; so easy and convenient to use, no more wasted coffee and improper tampering. The Oracle is very easy to keep clean. The Oracle has dual boilers, espresso and milk can be prepared at the same time. Too many nice features to talk about. Overall, great machine. I love it!!!! (Posted on 6/22/2014)
Excellent MachineReview by DGM
This machine replaces my Delonghi Gran Dama. This easily makes a better coffee, without a doubt. Very easy to dial in the perfect to near perfect shot depending on the beans. I have been buying local roasted beans that are within 5 days from roasting. The quality of this machine is very good. Mostly steel, very little plastic. I am really enjoying this machine a lot. I also love how easy it is to clean, with so little work for coffee, heaven. (Posted on 4/20/2014)

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