To those who thought an affordable heat exchanger espresso machine would never exist, the Nuova Simonelli Oscar Direct Connect has arrived to prove them wrong. Using the quality construction of many other heat exchanging machines, the Oscar comes in at several hundred dollars lower than the competition without sacrificing quality. The Oscar is offered in two water source types, a plumbed and a tank model. The direct connect model is best suited for those users interested in high-volume home production or small cafe settings. Easy to use and stylish to look at, great for pulling shots whether you tamp your own or adapt to use with espresso pods.
Features & Functionality of the Nuova Simonelli Oscar
Heat Exchanger: Double boilers are so 2010 -- Heat exchangers provide most of the same benefit at a much lower price point. Brew and steam at the same time with this unit as well.
Simple Interface: Two buttons and a steam knob. You wont need to spend hours trying to figure out what each feature does, making it easy to pull this guy out of the box, dial in your grinder and make espresso pronto.
Professional Portafilter: This machine uses a high quality and durable 58mm portafilter.
Direct Connect: Plumb this machine into your water supply for high-capacity home production or small cafe settings.
Large Water Tank: 2.3 liter reservoir means you won't have to fill up every couple shots.
Great Steam Pressure: This steam wand is both capable of good microfoam as well as very quick temperature increases, blasting milk to latte temperature in seconds.
Cup Warmer: The top of this machine functions perfectly as a cup warmer, with about enough space to old nine shot glasses cappuccino cups.
Sturdy Construction: This is a durable commercial quality espresso machine.
Removable Tray: Easily adjust the tray or remove it completely to accommodate taller cups.
Excellent Shots - The Nuova Simonelli Oscar produces great shots similar to machines that cost much much more.
Affordable - This is the first cost-efficient heat exchanger espresso machine that we have seen that doesn't sacrifice any quality in the coffee.
Easy to Use - With very few bells and whistles, this machine is extremely simple to operate.
Plastic Body - While it has no affect on the performance of the machine, some people just dig stainless steel casing better.
Water Reservoir Design - There is no water level indication and the hole to refill the tank is quite small. There is no hot water spigot either.
Origami - You can try adapting a Rocket Espresso water filter for the Oscar tank model but the small opening makes it difficult.
How Does it Compare?
The Nuova Simonelli Oscar makes great shots at a great price. Plus the red model looks great and jazzes up any countertop!
Tips and Tricks
Be sure not to turn the steam dial all the way off. Stop just after the steam ceases.
About the issue of descaling, is there a specific time, and how much does it cost to have the unit descaled including shipping ?
A shopper on Jan 22, 2015
Best Answer:The biggest thing to keep in mind with these machines is that you'll want to be sure that you're using soft water, and that it's soft enough that you won't need a professional descaling for several years. If you do end up needing the machine to be descaled, then this is part of a tune-up, and for this machine, that would run around $285, plus shipping. Shipping charges will vary depending on where you're located, the shipper that you use, and if you have the package it or add on insurance. You can probably expect a base price of somewhere around $40-60 each way.
Darn, this looks like the perfect home upgrade for a very enthusiastic espresso drinker. But my water has lots of minerals and I find I have to descale fairly often. Is there any way to descale the steam wand. At home? I would probably bdescale like once every 3 months. Any suggestions for possible ways to do this? Just read that I can't use destilled because it won't register the temperature correctly.
A shopper on Jun 27, 2015
Best Answer:You cannot descale a machine that uses a heat exchanger. You can use a half/half mix of tap water and distilled water. Heat exchangers do not need descaling but once every 2-3 years and need to be done so professionally.
I'm a new Oscar owner and I'm wanting to learn more about the recommended maintenance procedures. From the 'Resources tab for the Oscar on the SCG web site...
Caring for the Nuova Simonelli Oscar Soap out water tank (if applicable) and drip tray every few days. Backflush the brewhead every couple weeks to ensure the best tasting espresso. To prevent lime and calcium build up in your machine, it is necessary to have a water treatment and possibly a technician professional descale your machine.
I've indeed been cleaning the drip tray, but, wondering about what to do with regard to "Soap out water tank". Does this mean pulling the plastic tank from the machine and washing with soap and water every fews days? If so, why is this necessary (given that the tank contains water [filtered in my case] only)?
Can you provide detailed instructions for backflushing the brewhead on the Oscar?
Best Answer:No, you do not need to clean out the water tank of your Oscar every few days, just periodically to remove any build up. We have found that even using water only, the tank of any machine can develop unpleasant flavors that may transfer over to your espresso, and even an almost slime-like film if left sitting in there for too long (yuck!).
Yes, the Oscar does have a pressure release valve, and so you follow back flushing guidelines as outlined here:
As far as descaling, because the Oscar doesn't have a hot water wand, we have actually found that descaling at home is quite a process, as the descaling agent can only be drawn through the brew head- NEVER the steam arm. Recently we found that descaling the Oscar takes many many tanks of water run through the brew head to remove all the descaler, and so we do advise bringing this into a service center for professional descaling instead. Hope this info helps!
Three questions really - 1) what is the recovery time? In other words, if I make a latte, how long will I have to wait before I can make another one?
2) I'm having a terrible time with the steam line on a 6-month old Pasquini Livietta. How much trouble have you had with scaling, clogging, etc?
3) An anyone tell me how the machine handles distiller water?
A shopper on Jul 14, 2013
Best Answer:Type recovery time seems to be less than one minute. The steam wand works well but we have very good water here so I suspect that may help. You can't use 100% distiller water as the water sensor requires some mineral content to work...
Overall, we are happy with the unit, although we got off to a very rough start...if you do not leave the unit on 24/7 you will need to run the steam at least twice after warm up before trying to actually steam milk...kind of a pain in the a* as we choose not to leave the machine on.
1. I have brewed three shots in succession; if you wait for the temperature light to go out between shots (no steaming of milk), you won't have to wait more than 30 seconds, probably less.
2. I have had no trouble at all and, to be honest, have not been especially observant in de-scaling the machine.
3. The Oscar can't use pure distilled water: apparently, the water-level sensor relies on a low level electric current and distilled water isn't sufficiently conductive. So I fill the reservoir with distilled water and add 8-12 ounces of filtered water, which works fine.
1. Recovery time is very fast. We have no problems making one right after another with no problem at all.
2. No problems yet, but I've only had it for about 2 months.
3. Simonelli says NO to distilled water in this machine. There has to be some minerals in the water for the boiler auto fill to function properly. If you used distilled, the pump won't shut off when it fills the boiler.
We use Primo bottled water from the grocery store. It has 33 TDS (total dissolved solids) which is perfect for this machine and should keep scale to a bare minimum.
Can I take the reservoir out to fill water while the machine main switch remains on ?
A shopper on Feb 14, 2016
Best Answer:Not a good idea, just in case you end up spilling water while re-inserting the container, plus the boiler will draw water in whenever it needs some, so if the container is not there and it can not find water it will shut down.
Best Answer:Jeffrey, yes it comes with a single and double portafilter. This is a "bulletproof" machine! The only gripe that I might have is that the steam head is a little overpowering but I plugged two of the four holes and it works pretty well. Lots of suggestions online...go for it.
Yes it does come with two portafilters: the standard 2-shot portafilter and also a 1-shot portafilter, which, by the way, I don't use at all (it's just more difficult to tamp and I'd never want just one shot, anyway).
Greetings. I leave the Oscar on 24/7. Please advise if there is any adverse effect on the machine's operation or lifespan because of leaving it on all the time. And if so, what is the impact of this practice? Thank you.
Best Answer:Being that this is a home machine not typically intended to be left on 24/7, doing so can cause the components to wear out faster being kept at a high heat constantly. You can certainly keep it on, but we advise shutting it off each night.
Best Answer:Yes, you can brew and steam on a heat exchanger like this Nuova Simonelli Oscar, you just need to let the machine heat for about 30 minutes prior and need a good quality grinder as well. Another point to be aware of with this unit is that you do not have a dedicated hot water spout for tea or an Americano. Hope this helps!
Best Answer:For the Nuova Simonelli Oscar, the lowest price point grinder you'll want to look at it would be the Baratza Preciso, which is the starting point for getting an espresso quality range. If you wanted to stick with the same brand, the Nuova Simonelli Grinta is a great grinder option. If you were looking to spend a bit more money, I would suggest a stepless grinder like the Compak K3, or the Nuova Simonelli MCI grinder. Feel free to write in to firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like us to compare some grinders for you!
Want to buy Simonelli but not sure how quickly warms up the boiler in the morning? 10 min, 20 min, 30 min? Thank you!
A shopper on Jan 18, 2016
Best Answer:10 minutes is about right. The trick is that it likes to have the steam valve open while its warming up. If the valve isn't open, then it starts cycling the element before its all the way up to temp. So if you are near the machine and can shut the valve off when it starts to spit, 10-15 minutes is a safe bet. If you turn it on then go take a shower, you'll need to count on about another 5 minutes after you return and crack the steam valve open.
I would not hesitate to buy this machine again. We love ours. We even packed it up and took it on a big family reunion vacation last summer because we couldn't stand buying Charbucks while we were away from home.
Hello, The Oscar takes less then 10 minutes to warm up. I d usually left the machine on all the time but my husband said the machine woke him up at night when it sometimes start its regular warm up. My barista teacher told me to leave the machine on all the time because every time you shut it off and starts it again the pump is active , so the on and off may over work in pump in the long . That is what she said but other might not agree. I hope this help.
I give it 20 min, not so much for the boiler which is up to speed in ten or so, but so as to give the portafilter plenty of time to get up to temperature. If I'm in a rush, then I just run a little water through the portafilter, and then it's ready sooner. Or you can use a bottomless portafilter, and those are up to temperature right away. Great machine! And great service here at Seattle Coffee Gear.
I have two Simonelli Oscars, one in NM and the other in our Maine cabin; they are fantastic! The boiler warms up in 5-6 min. I just turned it on and timed it. BTW it functions as well as the best professional machine; it foams milk better any of the other machines I've had. We lived three years in Italy and that's when I first got to like coffee. doug reilly
Sorry about the delayed response, my experience has been that after 20 min you have thing really steady, but if you are in a hurry you can still get a good, hot shot in 10... By the way, I can't completely explain it, but moving from a Gaggia to this I am making a much better coffee but it takes more focus and attention to what you are doing...
Hi! I'd say it takes about 20. I usually turn it on first thing in the morning. Then after 10-15 min I'll open fully and close the steam spout to get the machine to go up to full temp (I've read you have to do this). Then a few minutes later I start steaming etc. it's a great machine-- so easy to use and very reliable!
20 minutes is doable but 30 is better. I usually open the steam valve for a quick blast at the 10 minute mark and it's ready to brew in another 15 minutes. I usually pull a couple ounces of water through the brew group just before pulling shots.
I have an Oscar and it takes between 20 and 30 minutes to heat up from cold start. Just remember to open the steam wand valve to let off pressure as it heats. Close it once you get steam coming out. This is a great little machine.
Best Answer:That is a tough one, this is an excellent (pretty much commercial grade) espresso machine - it will require a pretty fine grind, but above Turkish Grind. I have had to adjust the grind based on oil content of the beans and humidity in the air based on season etc. to stay with the proper flow. There are excellent video's on the seattle coffee gear site that walks you through how to fine tune. My suggestion would be for your customer to get a grinder and learn how to tune in. I have long given up buying ground coffee, had to return it more than 50% of the time as it would be too course or to fine... Sorry I can't be more positive about it.
As is made abundantly clear in the Schomer book, the proper grind depends on LOTS of things. It can be played off against the tamp in many cases, but not all. I have to admit that I would be lost without my tweaked Rocky grinder to adjust the grind based on temperature, humidity, age of the beans being ground, etc. You and your customer would be alot happier with an on-site grinder rather than you guessing for them. Your most carefully roasted beans will be even better that way!
I have a siminelli grinder. I turned my dial almost to 3. The best espresso is when you brew the 2oz espresso between 22-33 second. If it Drip 2 oz too fast or too slow you have to adjust the grind until the machine make the 2 shots espresso with 22-33 second. I hope this help.
Ok. Everyone knows that the Oscar lacks a hot water spigot. My question is: Why not just use the hot water out the brew group? Why havent I seen this obvious work around mentioned anywhere. Will it damage the machine if you were to use it in this way?
Best Answer:It won't damage the machine as I believe it has a auto pump cutoff after a certain amount of time. The heat exchanger tube that holds and heats the brew water is not big enough to supply large amounts of hot water, and since there is no pressure building up in the group to slow down the water as it passes through the heat exchanger it does not spend enough time in the tube to heat up to 200+ degrees. The workaround is heating water with the steam wand. The Oscar has plenty of steam to heat as much water as you need for one or two drinks usually under 30 seconds. The other benefit of this is that the water does not have that boiler water taste some people dislike. Hope this answers your question.
You can certainly get hot water from the brew head from the Oscar, but the downside is that obtaining water this way means you will also get some grounds from the brew head, left from previous drinks. That would be the reason, in my opinion, why this is not generally the most popular solution.
Another thing I didn't think about, but now it does make sense. Since the brew group is assumed to be populated with the portafilter with coffee in it (slowing the flow of the water through the HX), the temperature of the water you get out of the brew group without something slowing it down will be much lower then 200F (brew temp). This also means you are getting something in the range of 190-170 depending on the state of the boiler and the time water spent inside the HX boiler.
Best Answer:Without putting a aftermarket temperature interface of some sort on the machine it's pretty hard to tell an exact temperature. I can say that letting the machine warm up for 30 min and purging the steam valve at 10 minutes in makes for great espresso. After the 30 minute warm up I pull a little water from the brew group and the first 2 or 3 seconds or so it's steamy hot so I'm guessing it's really close to perfect brewing temp. I've done 2 and 3 consecutive pulls without problems as long as the temp light has gone off. A temp and/or pressure gauge (and water level) would be a nice addition but would also effect pricing.
Hi, I recently bought a Nuova Simonelli Oscar. It is working very fine, brewing an excellent coffee every day for now ten days. However, I am finding that the deposit in the cup tray (where the grill is) is accumulating water wis some coffee in it. I have to say that when I finish brewing the coffee I immediately place another empty cup underneath the coffee filter, so it is not coffee dripping onto this water tray. Is this supposed to happen? Is the coffee being sucked into the boiler? Is this a malfunction, or am I using a coffee ground to fine? (I am using Illy, ground for espresso). I called the local vendor and he said he did not know whether this is a problem or "normal".
Best Answer:This is a normal function of the Oscar, as the machine has a pressure release valve that removes some of the moisture from the top of your grounds in the portafilter to provide a drier "puck" of coffee grounds. With this normal water removal, however, some grounds will also be pulled back into the pressure valve and therefore back flushing is something we recommend with the Oscar in order to clean out those grounds. Information for back flushing can be found at the link below:
I read there was an ESE pod adapter for this. Has anybody had any experience with this?
A shopper on Apr 14, 2013
Best Answer:Yes, I've purchased the adapter with my Nuova Simonelli Oscar and when it came in I immediately changed the screen on the machine and the portafilter since I only use pods to avoid the mess or cleaning the ground coffee.
Best Answer:Hello! Make sure you are always purging your steam wand after steaming. This will clear out any milk that has siphoned up the wand. Follow up with regular cleaning with Rinza or another milk system cleaner.
I'm working on restaurant design drawing...I have called for a shelf to be 18 in. above the counter where this Oscar PO will sit. it is 15 in. tall. does that work in terms of adding water, or any other access issue's...? Or can it slide out easily, or is it typically hard plumbed to water supply?
Best Answer:The Oscar water tank fills from the top back of the machine, under a lid that lifts to about 17 inches. It is a very heavy machine, so it does not slide easily. With such a short clearance to pour into, you may have an easier time connecting your machine to a water line and may want to consider the plumbable configuration of the Oscar.
My Oscar was purchased about a year and a half ago. I was very satisfied after figuring out how to dial in my grind choice of beans (Baratza Vario grinder/love it) etc. Use is limited to two double shotsna day and have always used soft bottled water. Done basic home maintnence.
Gasket needs to be replaced about every six months. Not difficult. If you leave the machine on 24/7 and fail to replace the gasket when the portafilter starts leaking the gasket may dry out and become petrified in the brewhead.
Last week the Oscar would not heat. It would fill the boiler but the heat would not come on. I am not a coffee machine geek. Went through basic troubleshooting with nice folks at SCG with end ooint being to send it back to them. If the failure is covered by the warranty great if not its on me. I ask what they charge per hour for labor but they do not do things that way.
I am in Delaware which adds time and cost to shipping something to the west coast. So a tip: when you pick a machine take into account where you are located relative to where would have to send the machine. I used local authorized Simonelli repair: failed mother board!
(Posted on 4/23/2015)
It's a bargain...reallyReview by JWL
As many have said, this is a no-frills machine, but it's excellent at pulling shots. According to Nuova Simonelli, it has the same innards as their more expensive models (like the Musica), but it lacks the automation of more expensive machines. My only complaint: I wish the ABS cover for the drip tray was stainless steel, because it does get stained by coffee and it's impossible to clean completely. Other than that, I have no complaints. Even filling, which some think is a chore, is simple: get a flexible-necked funnel and that problem goes away. What you get in return is an espresso machine capable of pulling great shot after great shot, and it's attractive and durable as well. (Posted on 3/25/2015)
Great Value and a workhorseReview by Ed
I bought the machine 4 years ago and am very pleased.
No nonsense instrumentation and a highly durable machine.
The body of the machine is NOT plastic but the same material that football helmets are made of. Try and tell a football player that his helmet is made of plastic. (Posted on 8/26/2014)
Pricey but Worth ItReview by mvaron
I once fixed stereo equipment for a living (not very well, I might add). One thing I noticed in the shop was that there two types of equipment, one for engineers and one for doctors. The type for engineers had all kinds of switches and sliders and knobs and dials to adjust nearly everything. The type for doctors, was made by MacIntosh. It had maybe four knobs to do the basic adjustments, select the source, set the volume, and adjust the bass and treble. Oh, and an on/off switch. And anyone who knows MacIntosh, knows they are expensive and solid looking and is known for making beautiful music.
Well, the Oscar is like the Macintosh. It has three controls: a power switch, a brew button and a knob that turns the steam on and off. That's it. For a home machine I think it's a bit expensive, but it's very solid feeling even though the case is made of plastic, and one could say that it makes beautiful music in the way of coffee.
For some reason I thought that an espresso machine named Oscar would be small. It's not so small and in my small kitchen my red Oscar makes quite a statement.
The steamer wand steams milk easily and beautifully. Once the steamer dial has been turned far enough to turn on the steam Oscar permits good control over how much steam pressure is released.
It does take a while for the hot water light to go off, thereby indicating that the water is at the right temperature to brew coffee. I think it takes at least four minutes.
The portafilters are polished and the used coffee puck comes out with very little pounding.
My last machine was a Solis 70 and I liked it but the steam wand would always come loose and spew steam inside the machine with all the electrical connectors exposed. I liked the machine until it started doing that. Oscar feels like a whole level or two higher of quality and solid feel.
I'm new to Oscar, but I expect our friendship to deepen with more familiarity.
(Posted on 8/20/2014)
The Oscar is it!Review by Short Pull
I have had one for over 2 years now. I can't say enough about the unit's providing professional quality shots (combined with the Breville smart grinder).
My objective has always been to pull commercial quality shots, My pour through version of this restaurant rated machine matches and exceed the espresso quality of any coffee shop that I visit, using having a higher cost machine (la Marzocco's etc).
The lack of a lot of automatic controls and flashy components provides fewer points of failure, providing that the bulk of the mechanics solely for the purpose of promoting the excellent extraction of the shots.
My girlfriend and I have to call each other into the kitchen often to observed the rich creamy shots that the either of us has just pulled. (Posted on 7/31/2014)
My 12/20/13 post scriptReview by OldOV
Oscars' been with me since Nov. What I wrote 12/13 still applies: It's not a machine for beginners, it does use more beans due to the portafilter's size & it IS difficult to refill. It's that 3d point I wish to add to.
If you've got a nearby water supply, by all means buy the plumbed version. Oscar is VERY thirsty. With every brew, a substantial amt of water is flushed thru the system, collecting itself in the drip tray. Thus, those who choose the tank model will find themselves refilling frequently, assuming you drink at least 3 beverages daily. Refilling is a tedious &, in my case, time consuming process. I've overfilled too many times to recount. My slender hands & forearm allow me in there to mop out all the water. Fortunately, the numerous wires that rest at the bottom must be waterproof. I can't plumb mine, so refilling is something I must get better at. Removing the tank sounds simple, but doing so causes it's own set of problems (see my 12/20 remarks). And, because reinserting the tank will cause overflow problems if the tank is too full, you can't refill as much as opposed to leaving it in place & carefully refilling 1 cup at a time (takes 7 8oz cups). I seem to be alone amongst all the reviewers who have this refilling problem, but I did feel this issue is important enough to take the time to add to my earlier review. (Posted on 4/6/2014)
Excellent home machineReview by Rich
I have had my Oscar for about two years and found it to be everything one needs in a home espresso machine. It is not difficult to pull consistent shots and make all the creamy foam one could want. If you are dithering about spending $1k on a home machine, rest assured, it is worth the investment. If you love tinkering, opt for the Breville BES900XL or similar. I can attest that they will not make shots or foam any better - if they do, it will only be in your head. The Oscar works and works consistently. Great machine! (Posted on 3/6/2014)
Excellent machine for ALL ages!Review by Andrea
I have this machine and it is, no doubt, a quality workhorse and can be used by any age barista! It may be a brief learning curve but it really is a "brief" learning curve! My youngest daughter started using this machine when she was 11 years old with no problem. I do recommend a Burr grinder to ensure the proper grind for your coffee bean but other than that I would buy this machine again and again! Well worth the money! Unfortunately, my current one is about to quit working (due to a freak accident boiler crack) but that does not make me hesitate to purchase another of these machines. It is a little bulky so make sure that you have counter space to accommodate it's size but again...well worth it! (Posted on 3/4/2014)
Buon Caffè Espresso!Review by Patricia
I would agree with the prior reviewer PJ ... I spent over two years researching home machines (including the Breville Dual Boiler and the Rancilio Silvia).
During those two years, I volunteered in our church Café, serving as a barista, smoothie maker, and cash register attendant. The Café has a beautiful Simonelli Aurelia (quality commercial machine). This machine prompted me to research Simonelli's Oscar. I've had my Oscar since Christmas 2013 and am truly pleased with the quality of the espresso shots and the machine operation.
Moving the water tank can be fitful, so the idea of carefully using a funnel to fill the tank is worth noting. I use a Gaggia machine for grinding beans ... and have found that grind #5 works best for the Oscar. Minimal tamping and about 22 seconds to process the shot works best for me. Frothing wand works great!
Like others have mentioned, I miss not having access to hot water. I purchased one of SCG's hot water kettles as a substitute. It's a functional kettle with style. Bonavita Electric Gooseneck Variable Temperature Kettle. I particularly like the pouring spout. No drips!
(Posted on 2/18/2014)
Go ahead! Get it!Review by PJ
I had a really hard time making a decision on which espresso machine to buy: the entry-level Sylvia, or the Sylvia with a PID; the dual-boiler Breville; or the Oscar. I decided on the Oscar because : (1) It's prosumer commercial-level machine of high quality (I'd worry about the long-term reliability of the Breville), (2) I'll have no worries about the boiler burning out (like the Sylvia), (3) I'll never have to wait between steaming and brewing (like the Sylvia), (4) Don't want to think about temperature surfing (Sylvia w/o PID), (5) The Sylvia with a PID is almost as much as the Oscar, (6) I'll never need to upgrade. For this price point -- and I never considered going to really expensive machines -- it's just a great choice, and I'm really happy with it. It makes excellent shots and steaming for milk drinks is effortless (after practice). Sure, there are a couple of annoyances with Oscar: as others have noted: filling the resevoir is a bit awkward, but I don't keep the machine under a cabinet and I use a funnel, so it's not that onerous. The vibratory pump cycles on occasionally (as it must) and it's loud, jarring even, when you're not used to it. Yeah, and it's got a plastic (good plastic) casing, which I actually prefer over an uber-shiny unit, and it offers no hot water for Americanos. Bottom line, though: All in all, I could not be happier and I'm really glad I went with Oscar!
(Posted on 1/25/2014)
Excellent machineReview by Simon
I have owned this machine for a year now, and it is flawless.
It makes great espresso shots and the milk frother warms up your milk in less than 10 seconds for a single latte.
It is perfect for heavy house or office use. Not a single complain yet. (Posted on 12/23/2013)
NOT a machine for beginnersReview by OldOV
I bought this as a step up from my 9yr old Starbucks Barista, a little machine that still can!!! It is a very forgiving machine, whereas Oscar is VERY PARTICULAR in how one goes about brewing.
First, it's 58mm basket uses twice the amt of coffee my Barista used. Second, it is picky in its tamping process. If you ARE a beginner & choose this machine, consider a calibrated tamper. Third, refilling is challenging. I use a funnel rather than continually pulling the tank out & in. My concern is after awhile, the gasket at the bottom will wear, allowing water seepage you many not know about until it's too late. Be very careful if you do use a funnel as it's too easy to overfill.
It's taken me two weeks & lots of help from my hospital's barista to get my technique down pat. If you've got the experience, give serious consideration to Oscar. You should be happy with your choice.
My red Oscar does look great, but if you have a small kitchen, either color may overwhelm. That's a personal call on the buyer's part. Just be aware of its size, and anything larger, for that matter.
Unless SGC changes its specs, go by what they give you size-wise. I did go to Simonelli's web site & downloaded Oscar's manual. Their measurements are slightly higher due to the fact they're using the plumbed version, not the refill model. (Posted on 12/20/2013)
Good machine for home or eventsReview by Bojo
Have this machine at home after we would use a similar machine on celebrity events we would participate with. Years back we worked with Cafe Bustelo & Medalia de Oro in sales for west territory. We used this machine and it was definitely the best option vs. all others in same catagory. They traveled well, easy to use, and cleaning was very simple as well. (Posted on 11/25/2013)
Superb espresso machine!Review by Kimberly
We purchased this machine after seeing it in the Seattle Gear Shop. We live on the East Coast but a business trip to Seattle gave us the opportunity to see this machine as well as some other really nice ones in person at SCG. It was more than we had intended to spend on a new machine but seeing it in person was enough to convince us that it was time to move up to a commercial quality machine. We have been making espresso for about 10 years or so and have had a number of decent consumer quality machines.
The Oscar is incredibly easy to use and makes a superb cup of coffee--as good if not better than our local coffee shop. The temperature of the coffee is perfect and the frothing capability is the best we have ever used. Although we usually grind our own beans at home, we occasionally have to use illy from a can. Even those cups taste great.
This is a high quality machine that is worth the investment. Note the manufacturer's warranty is two years rather than the usual one year.
(Posted on 10/28/2013)
Great machine for entertainingReview by BK and PK
We bought this machine knowing that it was the only machine at our price point that can pull shot after shot for home entertaining. We've had the machine for a couple of years and have served up lattes, cappuccinos and espressos for parties on several occasions without a hitch.
We highly recommend the machine for anyone looking to move up from the entry level machines. (Posted on 10/18/2013)
Oscar SimonelliReview by Steve A
I have owned this machine for about 6 years. I used to work out of my home office so I did it in style with the Oscar. Initially the machine had some problems but after I sent it in for repairs it has been pretty much bulletproof. I use it for latte and espresso and always use water filtered with my britta filter which makes the coffee wonderful, our water has lots of minerals and messes up things like kuerig machines. I stopped using the machine for a couple of years and started up again and it is still flawless. I do not take the tank out to re-fill the machine I just pour the filtered water into a piece of tupperware and usually get 98% of it in the machine. I also have the grinders that are made for the machine, I have two but I only use one because I used to stock decaf but am now too old to drink decaf. Anyhow if you like hands on stuff and have disdain for cheap gadgets this is the machine for you. I use the Lavazza beans and the crema is great. Anyhow I can't think of anything else I bought over 6 years ago that I still use and it works. Thanks (Posted on 1/26/2013)
A Good "No Frills" Espresso MachineReview by Home Barista Wantabee
I did a lot of research on this unit before I purchased it. For me the fewer "bells and whistles" was a desirable feature. There are other products in this same price range, but I think this machine is very good for the money. My only complaint is the lack of a hot water spout, but a hot water kettle is an easy fix for that.
This machine makes good espresso and the product is well built and fits well in most kitchens without any problem. The machine takes about 10 minutes to warm up and we are very happy with the unit. It produces a good amount of steam and makes great steamed milk and foam for lattes and other drinks.
SCG usually throws in a free bag of Velton's coffee with the purchase of this unit so you get some great coffee to go with your great espresso machine. (Posted on 11/21/2012)
high quality at a reasonable priceReview by bob
it has been a great machine (and it's not necessary to flush the boiler!). Personally, I don't think the "plastic looks cheap" (it's high density ABS plastic, the kind used to make impossible-to-destroy wastewater canoes). It's a very heavy machine, which says "quality." As for the small hole in the removable water tank, I just leave the tank in the machine and keep a plastic funnel next to it, and every day I refill what I've used that day, using the funnel. Simple! I say this is the best machine at the $1000 price point.:-) (Posted on 11/8/2012)
my dream machineReview by MZ
This is the best machine for home use I suppose. Water temperate is perfect for a home-use machine.
Great Taste, Large boiler
(Posted on 9/29/2011)
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