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Breville Oracle Espresso Machine BES980XL

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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.
Pros
  • 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!
Cons
  • Grind Dosage - Coffee geeks will be unable to change the exact amount of ground espresso dispensed.
Ease of Use 4
Ease of Care and Maintenance 5
Overall Value for the Money 5
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 Yes
Case Material Brushed Stainless Steel
Boiler Material Stainless Steel
Cup Clearance 4 inches
Reservoir Size 84 ounces
Steam Wand Type Panarello Only
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

Ask a Question

Browse 31 questions and 39 answers
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Can you set the amount of coffee that goes into the portafilter? And if not, how do you adjust the strength of the shot?
A shopper on Aug 11, 2014
Best Answer: While you aren't able to adjust the quantity of coffee the Oracle doses, you can adjust strength through grind setting and tamp pressure. By having the unit grind slightly finer and tamp slightly firmer, you can extract stronger shots. Hope this clarifies!
Reply · Report · Teri KStaff on Aug 11, 2014
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Is it possible to make a coffee not using the beans in the grinder(ie. could I make a decaf right after a regular?)
A shopper on May 12, 2014
Best Answer: Unfortunately there is not an easy way to brew a decaf drink right after a caffeinated shot with the Breville Oracle. Since the machine requires a good quality grind for best results and it comes with a grinder, it does not offer dual-walled baskets like the other Breville models. If you weigh or measure out the exact amount of beans you need for each double shot, you could put only this amount in the hopper for each drink so none will remain. Otherwise, you can remove the hopper, empty any beans that are in it, and the grind the rest of the beans in the grinder chute through before adding the decaf beans. I hope this clarifies!
Reply · Report · Teri KStaff on May 13, 2014
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I have exactly 18 and 1/2 inches below my counter, please could you really assure me it will be enough to remove the grinder ?? thank you very much
Harry on Nov 2, 2014
Best Answer: Hello,
Yes/no.
Machine is ~18" (17-13/16")
So it will fit under your cabinet but you will still need to pull machine out from underneath in order to open lid, lock bin and lift out.
It all depends if you have enough/some free counterspace in front/next to machine.
Not a issue with the nifty roller bearing under drip tray.
So far, a great machine.
Reply · Report · Lap W on Nov 3, 2014
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I'm interested in the Breville Oracle.
I saw the answer on the 18" hopper height and it is removeable
Can the hopper be removed and installed while full of beans?

Trying to make this work with my cabinet clearance.
Darrell C on Oct 31, 2014
Best Answer: The answer is yes. The hopper is removable, but it comes straight up so you will need room above the 18" to actually remove the hopper. There is a cute little roller thingy that raises the front slightly but allows you to roll the unit around on the counter top. (Presumably to fill hopper and remove water tank). The tank is fillable from a door that pops up in font top of unit.
Reply · Report · WILLIAM J on Nov 28, 2014
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Can I get hot water from the machine for my wife's tea that she like likes to make without brewing an espresso?
A shopper on Jun 16, 2015
Best Answer: Yes, there is a hot water spout
Reply · Report · Randee SStaff on Jun 17, 2015
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what is the advantage of using a set shot volume on the menu vs, timed shot? I would think I am better off adjusting the grind setting to get the right shot volume in 30 seconds or does it not make much difference?
A shopper on Mar 1, 2015
Best Answer: This really is a personal preference. Especially when dialing in your grinder, it is important to find the right grind setting to get your shots out in 20-30 seconds. Really, just depending on your choice of volume vs. time, you'll just be watching for the other one while you're dialing in your grind.

For example, if you have it programmed to always be giving you 2 oz., then you will just want to see what the timing is, and tweak within that timeframe. If using time, then you know that it won't go longer than 30 seconds, so as you're watching the volume, you can stop it early if you wanted a slightly shorter shot, or wanted your shot to be slightly longer, or more hands-on. This is the traditional method, because if you'd like it to brew for a length of time, you can see how the volume is coming along and potentially stop it shorter. Now that machines are starting to have flow meters, volumetric programming is becoming more popular.

Once you have your settings selected, you'll probably be fine, but may have to tweak as your beans age, when you get a new bag, or if you change blends.
Reply · Report · Stephanie AStaff on Mar 1, 2015
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We are conceding this machine in a commercial environment. We are opening a Coworking business and will be offering complimentary coffee as one of the perks. We are also considering opening the coffee shop to the public as it is in a nice (small) downtown area and would get some foot traffic. How many cups per day could this machine handle and what would be the max cups per hour that it could produce? We need a machine that doesn't take a professional barista to operate and we have had great experiences with Breville in the past. Thanks for your time!
Station211 on Feb 16, 2015
Best Answer: I'm sorry, but unfortunately this machine would not be ideal for a coffee shop, or even for a heavier use situation. This machine ideally would be suited for a home that drinks no more than 10 drinks per day, because although the machine can produce more within a day, it will wear on the machine and you would likely see a shorter lifespan because of it.

If you're looking for a machine that can be a bit easier to use, but can handle a higher volume situation and be appropriate for a cafe, it might be good to look into a superautomatic, that will grind and brew for you, such as the Nuova Simonelli Microbar, Prontobar, or Rancilio Egro. These will be able to handle a variety of demands, depending on what you're anticipating, and will also be NSF rated, which is important when serving to customers. I would also recommend contacting us for further details and to help you narrow it down, just contact our Commercial Sales department!
Reply · Report · Miranda GStaff on Mar 11, 2015
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can i use already ground coffee in this machine?
A shopper on Nov 23, 2014
Best Answer: Yes, just keep in mind that using pre-ground coffee may not yield a very good shot/cup. It is important, since the portafilter and basket are non-pressurized, to be able to dial in your grind setting for the coffee that you're using, so you will need a nice, high quality burr grinder to find just the right setting and to provide the consistency to pull a good shot. Without grinding it fresh, you may not find the right timing with your shots, or the quality that you're looking for!
Reply · Report · Stephanie AStaff on Nov 28, 2014
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Hi 2 questions
1) When I use the milk frothing on the cappiccino setting, the milk is very thick. My wife likes light airy foam that the espresso can flow through. I know in the advanced menu, there is a way to adjust the air. Not sure what settings I should try to make lighter foam for her. I realize many things affect this such as type of milk etc. Is milk foam in a cappuccino supposed to thick? (example- when I finish my beverage, only the foamy layer on top is left in the cup
A shopper on Mar 1, 2015
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Hello,

According to you guys, what would be your ideal dialing on thins machine? (grind, tamper pressure, shot seconds, water temp, steam temp).

Greetings from Nayarit, Mexico.
A shopper on Sep 23, 2014
Best Answer: Still dialing in the grind, tamp and water amount. Using fresh beans from local roaster only, so it totally depends on what you use.

I'm currently "stuck" on grind of 36, tamp of 7, polishing for 5, pre. 6sec. And brew time of 36 (including pre. time) to achieve good balance and volume of 30 (split) reading creama level. Brew pressure at 60%, temp 202.
Milk at 155, mid setting for texture to get latte art.

Want to achieve finer grind and lower tamp but like I said am stuck. Breville is sending me their beans, will see if it makes a difference?

Overall, no regrets on purchase.

Hope this helps
Reply · Report · Lap W on Sep 24, 2014
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What is the actual heat up time before making 1st cup? I see 30 min but I then see a review site put about 3.5 min. I know it has an auto on but I wont be using this feature as I drink coffee at different times each day
Ed S on Nov 24, 2014
Best Answer: We recommend allowing the machine to heat for 30 minutes because although the machine will heat the water to temperature faster than that, there are a lot of other components that also need to heat up, so that you don't loose a lot of temperature as it's brewing, such as the brew head and portafilter. As an alternative to having it start at a particular time (or in conjunction) you can set how long the machine will stay on before it automatically turns off, and you can set this to be up to 8 hours.
Reply · Report · Stephanie AStaff on Nov 28, 2014
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Why do you consider the Breville BES980XL as a "semi-automatic"? Seems automatic everything where you can even program start time so that my semiconscious morning soul can just show up and press two buttons (after putting milk in a container) and make a quick cappuccino. Might save me 15 precious minutes as rush out the door and make easier work out making multiple cappuccinos for guests. Do I understand that right? I like the frother in that there is no other container or attachment needed clean with one step automation and that the dual boiler allows a simultaneous brewing for quicker cappuccino. What other machines have these same same sort of features? PS love your videos!
Adriano on Jan 3, 2015
Best Answer: Yes and no. From a features standpoint, yes the Oracle is/compares to a "super-automatic" (if not better), but does not technically qualify because of the use of a portafilter versus a internal brew-group. With the Oracle, Breville might of created a new class/level that further closes the gap from semi-autos to super-autos.
There is no real time savings but if you're used to super-automatics, there are a few more steps involved in making a drink and again the use of a portafilter.
It is the frother and auto-tamper that makes the Oracle unique and worth a good consideration (those used to super-automatics). The frother differs from super-automatics because it is submersed into your milk, so it does require extra step of wiping down the exterior of wand.
Because of the built-in grinder, auto-tamper and auto-frother (main reason why anyone would consider this), a comparable alternative would be something in the super-automatic class/level (too involved to get into).
I hope this helps.
Reply · Report · Lap W on Jan 7, 2015
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Can larger quantities of coffee be ground to use in a french press or other option or is the grind and tamp the only option?
PBandJ on Aug 6, 2014
Best Answer: Unfortunately the built in grinder of the Breville Oracle is really just meant for espresso, and grinding and tamping right into your portafilter is the only grinding option.
Reply · Report · Teri KStaff on Aug 7, 2014
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Can this dispense hot water without brewing?
Zack G on Jun 16, 2015
Best Answer: Yes
Reply · Report · Randee SStaff on Jun 17, 2015
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This coffee is included with my Breville Oracle purchase from SCG, and since I will pull my first shots ever when I receive my machine, I was wondering if you could provide the settings SCG recommends to start with. The Breville Oracle has its own numerical values for grind and tamp pressure (for example, I’m not sure what value corresponds to a tamp pressure of 30lbs) so the values would be specific to this machine. Would you be able to provide the grind, tamp, temperature, and volume settings that you used to dial-in your Breville Oracle machine for this coffee? I will use it as a starting point. Thanks!
Daniel C on May 18, 2015
Breville Oracle Espresso Machine BES980XL
Breville Oracle Espresso Machine BES980XL
Velton's Coffee - Bonsai Blend
Velton's Coffee - Bonsai Blend
Best Answer: We still recommend using the Oracle's specifications as your starting point and then go from there. Yes, each coffee is different, but it's best to start with what the machine requires, as the machine's specific settings determine how fine the grind will be. 30 is a great starting point and you can adjust from there.
Reply · Report · Randee SStaff on May 29, 2015
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What comes in the box? milk pitcher? anything?
A shopper on May 9, 2015
Best Answer: Milk pitcher, knock box, travel cup, small brush, backflush rubber disk, extra steam tip and o-ring, and of course a double non-pressurized basket.
Reply · Report · Randee SStaff on May 26, 2015
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can I put already ground coffee in the BES980XL grinder to get it finer, dosed and tampered as it was if it was whole beans?
Roberto R on May 5, 2015
Best Answer: I really don't recommend this. Putting pre-ground coffee into the grinder will likely gum it up and things will get clogged.
Reply · Report · Randee SStaff on May 7, 2015
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Can cleaning tablets like the Urnex Cafiza E16 Espresso Machine Cleaner Tablets be used as well? The Breville tablets seem rather expensive, the Urnex Cafiza can be found for one tenth of the price...
DIRK H on Apr 5, 2015
Best Answer: Absolutely! However, it's important to note that while you are under Breville warranty, you need to use the branded product, then after warranty, you can use whatever you want. This is only to ensure you do not void your warranty.
Reply · Report · Randee SStaff on Apr 10, 2015
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I cannot get the upper burr basket to rotate to the left, in order to disengage the burr for cleaning. Is there is a release mechanism? How much pressure can be applied? Any other suggestions?
Murray B on Mar 27, 2015
Best Answer: There is no specific release mechanism. It just needs to be turned to the left. There may be a bean blocking the way. Try using a brush to brush out any stray grinds. You may also try using canned air to blow out any stray grinds. You should be able to apply enough pressure to loosen the top burr without breaking it.
Reply · Report · Randee SStaff on Apr 4, 2015
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Is there a two year warranty with this model?
Connie S on Mar 26, 2015
Best Answer: This is a single boiler and Breville provides a one year manufacturer warranty. Occasionally we will also add an additional warranty of our own. Currently, this is the case, a 1 year extended warranty is included with purchase, but that may change, so act soon!
Reply · Report · Randee SStaff on Mar 30, 2015
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How large of a cup can you use to collect Espresso from this machine? UP TO: 8" tall??; maximum height of cup=only 6" tall??
STEVE T on Mar 15, 2015
Breville Oracle Espresso Machine BES980XL
Breville Oracle Espresso Machine BES980XL
Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine
Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine
Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine BES870 - Open Box
Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine BES870 - Open Box
Best Answer: These machines have a cup clearance of 4 inches. This is suitable for most coffee mugs and/or cappuccino cups or demitasse cups, however, a travel mug will not fit under the brew head.
Reply · Report · Randee SStaff on Mar 28, 2015
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I'm curious about the grinder...When you grind the beans, are those the actual grounds that are being put in the portafilter? Or...are those grounds sitting in a chute waiting to be pushed out the next time you go to grind another shot? I know in some of the super automatic machines I've owned in the past, the coffee grounds you were getting were not the ones being ground at the time.
Christina D on Feb 10, 2015
Best Answer: That's the case with any grinder, there is always some space both between the burrs and in the area around the burrs that is filled with grounds, and as the grinder grinds, it pushes out the previous grounds. This happens with all grinders, and while this one doesn't have a chute per se like a superautomatic would, there still will be some grounds between the burrs and in that area where they funnel before ending up in your portafilter. This would be the same as a stand alone grinder.

That being said, whenever you make a change to the grind setting, it is certainly necessary to grind out approximately 1 portafilter-worth of grounds and discard it so that you ensure that you have cleared through the mixture of the old and new grind settings, and are 100% on the new grind setting.
Reply · Report · Stephanie AStaff on Feb 13, 2015
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How would you make a double shot?
A shopper on Jan 19, 2015
Best Answer: You will want to dial in your grinder first, so that your shots are pulling within the ideal 20-30 second ideal window. From there, you can program the 1 or 2 cup button to produce the volume or timing you're looking for. With everything dialed in, then it's pretty easy to create a double shot quickly and efficiently by taking the portafilter and securing it into the portaholder, where the grinder will grind, dose, and tamp for you, then simply remove from the portaholder, secure to the group head, and push the programmed button like the two cup button. You can check out the video on this machine to see it in action!
Reply · Report · Stephanie AStaff on Jan 19, 2015
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does the oracle have a cup warmer ?
A shopper on Jan 12, 2015
Best Answer: Yes, there is a passive heated cup warmer just to the right of the bean hopper.
Reply · Report · Stephanie AStaff on Jan 13, 2015
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I picked up my Breville Oracle. Great machine
Is there a way to attenuate the light surrounding the four lower control buttons ? The lcd nor spot adjustments do not affect. These four surround lights are a little obtrusive,as they are always on when up to temp.
Thanks for your help
Darrell C on Nov 28, 2014
Best Answer: I'm sorry, unfortunately there isn't a way to soften the lights around the buttons, just the display brightness and the cup lights underneath.
Reply · Report · Stephanie AStaff on Dec 1, 2014
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The spec for the machine shows it as 18" tall which i am assuming is to the top of the bean hopper? What is the height of the machine without the hopper? My cabinets are right at 18" tall. How much additional room is needed to remove the bean hopper from the machine?
A shopper on Oct 25, 2014
Best Answer: Yes, the total height of the Breville Oracle with bean hopper is about 18 inches. Without the hopper the machine is 15 1/8 inches. To remove the hopper, you will need about a half an inch additional height, so about 18 1/2 inches. The machine does pivot if you have any wiggle room, and it's hard to say just how easy it would be, but it may work depending on your space!
Reply · Report · Teri KStaff on Oct 27, 2014
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Hi,

If I'm looking for an Automatic aspect of the machine,would you look for the Saeco (Xelsis or Xprelia) or Breville Oracle? Taste is a important part of decision. Is those high end Saeco can produce quality drink vs Breville (with porta filter) since Breville is also a Toaster/blender maker so not an Italian espresso brand?.... Does it worth it to go in a E61 (Quick Mill for example) and all the trouble to do espresso/latte/cap for the taste or Breville could be enough close for a normal home user ? Would normal people will see a big difference or does worth it to go with Vario/QM67 kit for example.... Thanks for your advice. ( I know sound funny to speak about Seaco and Quick mill in same question but I don't know about how quality are drinks on those pricy Saeco)
Thanks
A shopper on Oct 23, 2014
Best Answer: The flavor of espresso you will get from the Oracle is going to be superior to the flavor from any of the super automatic machines from Saeco. There are many additional factors you can adjust and much more that is user controlled on the Oracle than a super auto, so you can produce very high quality drinks. Despite being a higher price point, the Saeco Xelsis and Exprelia will actually brew the same shots as the lower priced Saeco units, and the reason the Xelsis and Exprelia machines are a higher price point is because they offer additional features (like automatic milk frothing) and programming (for saving drinks). Breville makes great espresso machines that are very very user friendly, but if having an Italian branded espresso machine is important to you, you may check out the Rancilio and Rocket brands. These units are a bit trickier to master than the Oracle with even more that is user controlled, like dosage, tamping, and frothing. Machines with an E61 brew head as well as the Silvia and the Oracle require 30 minutes of heat up time, however the Oracle has a built in auto on so the machine will be hot and ready when you are! Depending on how you want to brew, one machine may already stand out to you, but if you have any other questions please feel free to call in to speak with our Sales team at 866-372-4734!
Reply · Report · Teri KStaff on Oct 23, 2014
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How many grams of coffee are dosed into the portafilter? Thanks for the help.
A shopper on Sep 27, 2014
Best Answer: The amount of grams that will be dosed into your portafilter will vary slightly based on the settings that you use, however my current dosage on the Breville Oracle in our showroom grinds and tamps about 23 grams.
Reply · Report · Teri KStaff on Sep 29, 2014
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Which descaling product is recommended for the oracle? Will descaling every month harm the machine?
A shopper on Sep 2, 2014
Best Answer: There is not a Breville specific descaler to use with the Oracle, so I would suggest a product like Dezcal or Durgol. Generally we don't advise descaling quite as frequently as monthly, and instead suggest softening your water before adding it to the machine if you have harder water. There is not, however, an issue with descaling monthly.

http://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/dezcal-coffee-espresso-machine-descaler

http://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/durgol-swiss-espresso-decalcifier
Reply · Report · Teri KStaff on Sep 3, 2014
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Can it be descaled at home or must it be done professionally?
Doug S on Jul 15, 2014
Best Answer: The Breville Oracle has a descale access point in the front for drainage and can therefore be descaled at home.
Reply · Report · Teri KStaff on Jul 16, 2014
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What's a good starting point for dialing this in?
Starbucks Espresso Roast (all I had on hand), Grind 25, Tamp 4?
A 30 second "double-shot" only gave me one ounce (single shot gave half ounce in 20 seconds).
Adjusting the double-shot button to provide two ounces has the time around 60 seconds (too long?).
A shopper on Apr 11, 2014
Best Answer: I would recommend starting at number 30 and adjusting from there. This should give you a better flow rate and help achieve the 2 ounces in the 20-30 second range. From there, you can taste the espresso and make the necessary adjustments. I hope this is helpful! If you have any further questions, please call support at 866-372-4734!
Reply · Report · Teri KStaff on Apr 12, 2014
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Resources

Warranty Information for the Breville Oracle Espresso Machine

 

What it Covers:

Breville espresso machines, grinders and blenders

Length:

- 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

Reviews

Best combination of automatic and manual featuresReview by Chiapet
Quality
Price
Value
Pros:
* 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.

Cons:
* 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
Quality
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Value
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
Quality
Price
Value
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:

Pros:
* 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.

Cons:
* 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
Quality
Price
Value
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
Quality
Price
Value
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
Quality
Price
Value
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
Quality
Price
Value
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
Quality
Price
Value
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
Quality
Price
Value
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 tasted.....so 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 products.....it 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
Quality
Price
Value
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
Quality
Price
Value
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
Price
Value
Quality
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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