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Thread: Breville Oracle Touch - Bes990XL

  1. #51
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    Roast dates

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
    Welcome Dave. What actual beans are you using, and when were they roasted?
    I have two beans I am using to test setting up the machine.
    Starbucks Espresso Roast (dark & pretty oily). Bag does not list roast date, just 'Enjoy before 15 AUG 2018' (not much help)
    The other is a medium/ dark roast w/ little to no oil) from a local roaster. I think was roasted January 28, 2018.

    I did try a very dark and extremely oily French roast (Jan 28, 2018 roast), which as suspected, tasted extremely bitter and all around terrible.

    I'm thinking I should not pay primary attention to the 'start of brew' time of +/- 10 seconds but focus on the flow rate and color, then of course the taste (which I am new at discerning). The default brew time is 25 secs for a single, but one of Phill's (Breville) Youtubes says to set for 30 sec brew and look for a volume of 30 (or down to 25) ml.
    I am confused on how 5 sec longer brew time affects the outcome and taste. I guess it wrings out a bit more of the solids along with the 20% increase in volume, but taste or quality wise is that a + or a possible - .

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by davekro View Post
    I am confused on how 5 sec longer brew time affects the outcome and taste. I guess it wrings out a bit more of the solids along with the 20% increase in volume, but taste or quality wise is that a + or a possible - .
    If you haven't yet, I recommend having a look at this video by Matt Perger to better understand how dose/yield/time influence what you get in the cup: https://youtu.be/-BT7-yOUMDM
    noonar and davekro like this.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeezaw View Post
    If you haven't yet, I recommend having a look at this video by Matt Perger to better understand how dose/yield/time influence what you get in the cup: https://youtu.be/-BT7-yOUMDM
    zeezaw, HUGE thank you mate. Matts video was amazingly informative as were many of the comments to the video.

    I took detailed notes and hope to try the process tomorrow.
    Thanks,
    Dave
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  4. #54
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    New to site and thread...
    Owner of the Breville Oracle Touch for a month now. Love everything about it except this morning, the portafilter wouldn't seed onto the grind outlet. I have no idea why. What is usually a very easy Insert, turn, click process will not even begin to fit??? Frustrating, so I thought I would socialize it and see if anyone had any suggestions. Thanks.

  5. #55
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    OK, after absorbing Matt Perger's excellent dose/yield/time video, I have been testing this Oracle Touch. Different from Matt's example, I am starting with Single shots (12.2 gr), because I think the account will do 12 oz drinks. God I hope I get the process dialed in before testing (and eating up 20 gr per test) for the double shots!

    After running 11 shots at grind setting 32 kept steady. All my drinks are various degrees of sour. (so I maybe should have started off changing the grind to a bit finer since I think 'sour' is a course grind attribute.) The beans were roasted 10 days ago. The 1.5 pound bag was opened two days ago.

    Anyway, after running 11 shots ranging in time from 23 - 38 seconds, I settled on 30 secs brew time. The seconds to 'start of brew' was right at about 10 secs for all 11 shots. Now here is where I am concerned. The last 5 shots I left at 30 secs brew time and had a puzzling variation in Yield Volume Weight. These last 5 shots were run in maybe a 20 min time frame. Now obviously I can't weigh the actual dose weight of each shot, but I measured a Single shot yesterday at 12.1 gr and just now another at 12.3 gr, so it's hard to imagine the dose weight would vary more than +/- .1-.2 gr.

    My results with 12.2 gram dose in the 'brew time' order I ran them.
    Time set at / Yield Weight in grams / (Ratio = Yield wt. / 12.2 gr)
    30s/ Y 41 gr (3.36)
    25s/ Y 35.6 (2.92)
    38s/ Y 55.2 (4.52)
    23s/ Y 22.4 (1.84)
    25s/ Y 23.4 (1.92)
    28s/ Y 28.6 (2.34)
    ****************** (now all set at 30 sec brew time)
    30s/ Y 40.7 (3.3)
    " Y 29.2 (2.4)
    " Y 31.6 (2.6)
    " Y 19.7 (1.6)
    " Y 37.2 (3.05)

    From my research it seems this machine with a medium dark espresso roast, I should target a 2.5 ratio. My taste buds are new to the taste descriptions of espresso, so I try to lean towards number outcomes and how smooth and golden colored the flow is. My taste has been able to discern Sour (too coarse/ under extracted) and Bitter (too fine/ under extracted), but I have not seen bitter in today's (above) results.

    At this point in Matt's process, I'd lock in the Yield, but with no changes on my part, the machine does not seem to be able to settle on one yield??? Any insights as to why this might be? I have started with a completely dry Single shot basket each time. I read that was suppose to reduce water channeling around the edges of the basket (is this true?). A rep from Breville USA told me a wet basket was better as it allowed for a better dispersion of grounds or tamp (I don't recall which). So what is preferred on this machine wet basket or dry?

    Might my grounds be coarse enough to allow 'channeling' thru the grinds in the brew process creating wide variations in Yield?

    If anyone with this machine (or related experience with the 980 non touch) can share their specif experience, that would be great. Maybe share your dialed in Grind Time and Brew time, so I at least have a ball park place to start my testing for my specific beans. Also, what kind of range change do you see from one bean to another on Yield and Brew Time (good to know if it is big or just fine tuning)?

    Of course ANY comments from the gurus on my general path forward would be greatly appreciated as well.
    (end of novel ;o)

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wemasube View Post
    New to site and thread...
    Owner of the Breville Oracle Touch for a month now. Love everything about it except this morning, the portafilter wouldn't seed onto the grind outlet. I have no idea why. What is usually a very easy Insert, turn, click process will not even begin to fit??? Frustrating, so I thought I would socialize it and see if anyone had any suggestions. Thanks.
    Hi Wemasube,
    I'm new here also. Have you looked up into the grinder to see what it looks like? (I turned my camera to selfie side and it was easy to see what's there) I took some shots with and w/o the fan in place. Basically there are two white plastic inserts that I'm guessing the portafilter compresses into. Maybe one of those has become disconnected or moved out of place?? Does your fan seem flat and all the way in place? If you have not removed it before, try removing it and see if you can see if it was somehow misaligned (take pictures 'before' pulling fan so you can compare with after you replace it. The long skinny bristle brush has a magnet that you just place on the center of the fan and it pops down easily. To replace, feel for the orientation of the shafts flat sides and align fan to fit. I found it easier to get fan to go back in when I had it on the magnet tool, rather than just in my hand.

    Let us know what you find.
    Good luck
    (add your part of the world to your profile. I just did that )

    'Touch' Grinder w: fan.jpg'Touch' Grinder w:o fan.jpg
    Last edited by davekro; 8th February 2018 at 09:38 AM. Reason: forgot to add pics

  7. #57
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    Hi davekro,

    I like your dedication for the perfect cup!

    I have not used an Oracle but have seen them in action in videos, and the basics to make a good cup are universally applicable.

    Quote Originally Posted by davekro View Post
    I am starting with Single shots (12.2 gr)
    For now, I strongly recommend you drop the single basket and use the double basket instead. The tapered single basket that comes with Breville is not conducive to high extraction that you're doing (meaning the 2.5 brew ratio will be too much and over-extracting your coffee). For those single baskets, I would aim for 1.5:1 brew ratio at most. Also, the taper-shaped single baskets tend to channel which explains your variation in shot volume/time.

    Another thing that may cause the variation is the amount of bean in the hopper. As the hopper empties, your grind will become coarser. Keep that in check to prevent unexpected variation.


    So try using the double basket, aim for a brew ratio of 2:1 to 2.5:1, in 30+/-2 s (lower ratio = longer extraction time, higher ratio = shorter extraction time). You should get there really quickly, hopefully!
    zeezaw and davekro like this.

  8. #58
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    Big thanks for letting me know that one should aim for a lower ratio with the single basket. I had not seen that since all sources I saw were using a double basket. Important piece of info!
    As far a setting up the double dose, I wanted to first dial in the single as it 'might' be the CEO's preferred dose, but not sure. All I have to go on is that his drink of choice is Starbuck's soy latte. I do not yet know his preferred drink size. Online says Starbuck's uses one shot for 12 oz (tall) and two shots for 16 & 20 oz (Grande & Vente). I don't know their shot volume for single and double.

    I have been trying to keep hopper at least half full. I am conceerned about the account leaving beans in the hopper when it will sit for 2-3 days w/o any use when CEO is traveling and week ends. Is it important enough to (big) ask the admin to dump beans into a zip lock when machine will be idle (or even as a rule at the end f each day?)?? I hate to ask them to do that unless it will affect his soy latte taste.

    Off to change to aim for 1.5 : 1 ratio... THANK YOU!

  9. #59
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    Anyone know either the initial factory Grind setting or a good grind setting to start with on my Double shot (20.3 gr) testing? How do you pick a grind setting to start? Do you just look for a good looking flow from the existing time setting and hope for a +/- 'x' Yield gram weight? Should I shoot for 50 gr Yield on the double?
    Actually, should I try to adjust time to get a desired Yield, or should I adjust time to shoot for a desired ratio??

    I'll now stop beating my head against the wall trying to get a decent tasting and consistent volume Single Shot and change over to the Double Shot testing.
    I'll start with the factory set Double of 30 second Brew Time. I kick myself for upon unboxing, I twisted the grind knob a few turns each way before even plugging it in. Dumb in hind sight as I lost the factory tested grind setting.

    Boy, am I becoming a serial questioner!
    Last edited by davekro; 8th February 2018 at 12:51 PM.

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    '5 Cent Test' results (dime in the U.S.)

    Using US dime (1.35mm x 17.91mm) to try matching the AUS 5 Cent (1.3mm x 19.41mm) test,
    When pulling the PF handle perpendicular to machine, I get the coin completely embedded and flush with the 990's pretamped grounds as well as an imprint from the brew screen itself. Also, it takes a pretty hard pull to get the portafilter handle to be perpendicular to the machine. Theoretically from the below '5 cent test' links, if the coin is pressed fully into the grounds it means over dosed (w/ no small gap between the brew screen and grounds). But interestingly, when I lowered the tamp fan* in an attempt to lower the grounds level, it did not seem to lower the level (w/ the Single basket that I tested with), it just lowered the gram weight from 12.2 to 10.7 g (-1.5 g), not the actual grounds level. (ref:moving fan back 'up' a half turn got me 11.3 g dose)

    Breville rep in US said it's OK for the grounds to be imprinted with the brew screen, that it will not adversely affect the pour or the drink. I am confused. Which is it? I guess with this machine, by design we will get no gap between the screen and grounds. I might leave fan height adjustment at net minus 1/2 tun w/ 11.3 g dose, because I don't have to 'muscle' the PF handle to get to the 90º position, unless there is a recommendation otherwise here.



    Factory setting (12.2 g) 5 Cent Test.jpg Lowered spindle for tamp fan one full 360º turn (10.7 g) 5 Cent Test- Lower 1.5 gr.jpg


    Links to '5 Cent Test: http://coffeesnobs.com.au/general-co...-unknowns.html
    https://coffeeforum.org.au/how-to-im...a-smooth-pour/

    * Procedure per Breville (removed the fan, unscrewed spindle, loosened set screw, unscrewed shaft bolt one full 360º turn, re-tighten set screw, screw spindle back into grinder counter clockwise to hand tight).

  11. #61
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    Ideally you would have the grounds just below the level of the shower screen, but keep in mind the grounds swell when water is added (as little air space as possible).

    I don't know for sure what the Breville rep means but the pour wont be terribly affected (although I would think some as the grounds are physically compacted against the shower screen and can't swell), however it is a matter of hygiene. If the grounds constantly press against the shower screen you will get a lot of oils built up in and around the shower screen which inevitably will make a difference to the shot quality.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhatEverBeansNecessary View Post
    Ideally you would have the grounds just below the level of the shower screen, but keep in mind the grounds swell when water is added (as little air space as possible).

    I don't know for sure what the Breville rep means but the pour wont be terribly affected (although I would think some as the grounds are physically compacted against the shower screen and can't swell), however it is a matter of hygiene. If the grounds constantly press against the shower screen you will get a lot of oils built up in and around the shower screen which inevitably will make a difference to the shot quality.
    Unfortunately, it appears that this machine may be incapable of 'lowering' the dry grounds level after it's automatic tamping, as my experiment leads me to believe. Though I did not try to lower the fan further than the one full turn as I did not want to drop the Single basket dose further than from 12.2 g down to 10.7 g already a 1.5 g drop. I don't think I want to test if a change to 9 g 'might' drop the dry grounds post auto tamped level enough to allow a 1 mm gap. I ended up moving the tamping fan back 'up' a half turn, so now my doses went from (factory/ my adjstmt) Single 12.2/ 11.3g, Double 20.3/ 19.4g.

    I finished testing and got final quality shots for my 'Medium Espresso Roast' bean at:
    Single shot basket; 11.3 g grounds, Grind set at #31, Time set at 21 secs. Avg Yield was 29.5 gr wt. Avg Ratio was 3.3 (ratio sound high, but this mix got the best balance taste/ smoothness between the tastes of sour and bitter.
    Double shot basket; 19.4 g grounds, Grind set at #25, Time set at 25 secs. Avg Yield was 48.9 gr wt. Avg Ratio was 2.5 (ratio seems to spec, this mix got the best balance taste/ smoothness between the tastes of sour and bitter.

    Interesting that the grind for the same bean needed to change so much to get good tasting / balance shots from the single vs. double shot pulls. Breville told me for a single, my time should be 20-25 secs to get 30g yield (I was in spec for the single).
    Breville said spec for a double should be 30-35 secs to get 60 g yield. (surprisingly, I needed to drop my time way below that spec to 25 secs to the best taste which ended up being just under a 50 g wt. yield. But since my dose was 19.4 g instead of the factory assumed dose of ≈ 22g, I figured the lower yield was OK. Especially since taste was the deciding factor (and hit the magic ratio of 2.5... ;o).

    Now I am off to test a way oilier bean that I believe my accounts CEO, a die hard Starbucks drinker will demand to use (S'bucks 'Espresso' roast). )
    Last edited by davekro; 9th February 2018 at 01:01 PM.

  13. #63
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    The Fix for losing drink settings & 'memorized drinks' (per Breville USA)

    After installing the 990 Touch in the executive pantry of my coffee account, I ran into the 'losing drink settings' problem. After being on hold for Breville USA customer support for 30 mins. I was told there is a glitch in the software that allows the settings to be erased if one the following two situations is in play:
    1) any Milk Temperature is set above 168ºf or 2) Any custom drink name has more than 10 characters. I was told the CEO always ordered his soy latte extra hot. Initially, I had said the max temp was 170º, but recommended 165º. The admin insisted on 170º. Getting a call the next day that the drinks settings were gone, I then called Breville USA (Torrance CA). They said I could either lower the Milk Temp to 168º or below or send the machine in to be reprogrammed which would take 2-3 weeks to get back. I lowered the milk temp to 167.

    If anyone loses their drink settings when they have no Milk Temps set above 168º, please call Breville and let us know what they tell you about what the workaround is.
    Breville USA has a specific direct phone number for Oracle customer service (866) 765-2445. The regular Breville USA cust. serv. #is (866) 273-8455.
    The direct line is not any less hold time than the main CS #.

  14. #64
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    My Grind & Brew time settings for Oracle Touch

    I thought I'd post the grind and brew time settings that I ended up with after running many test shots with two different beans for both double and single shot doses. Note that I have adjusted the tamping fan lower by one half turn from how I received machine from the factory. Initially this was in hopes of getting the grounds NOT to press hard directly onto the brew screen. This dropped the dose weight for this particular bean from (factory set) 12.2 g to 11.3g. I decided to leave it at this setting because it was particularly hard to pull the portafilter handle to a full 90º position.

    My first round of testing was with a ≈ 10 days from roast medium dark espresso roast, roasted to achieve almost no oil (due to constraints of the super automatic's I use these beans in).
    Single Shot (11.3g) Grind #31, 21 secs to brew, ≈30g/ml yield vol., ≈2.6 yield/dose ratio
    Double Shot (19.4g) Grind #25, 25 secs to brew, ≈49g/ml yield vol., ≈2.5 yield/dose ratio (note: dose before fan lowered 1/2 turn was ≈21g IIRC)

    Second round of testing was with this accounts bean of choice Starbuck's Espresso roast. A pretty dark roast and very oily (but not as 'burnt' dark and oily as a French roast).
    Starbucks does not list a 'Roasted On' date, just the nefarious 'Best by date', which was Aug 15, 2018.
    Single Shot (11.5g) Grind #31, 21 secs to brew, ≈37g/ml yield vol., ≈3.2 yield/dose ratio
    Double Shot (19.7g) Grind #24, 23 secs to brew, ≈60g/ml yield vol., ≈3.0 yield/dose ratio

    These settings will vary for your beans, but may give noobies like I was a place to start testing from.

    If anyone cares to report their grind and brew time settings as well as their bean brand and roast name (along with the roast color/level and oiliness description because many won't know your bean). It may help fellow new Touch owners get started.

    Good luck,
    Dave
    Last edited by davekro; 18th February 2018 at 07:04 AM. Reason: spelling

  15. #65
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    Mind if I ask how you lower the tamp fan dave?

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    How to lower tamping fan

    Quote Originally Posted by Lukemc View Post
    Mind if I ask how you lower the tamp fan dave?
    Luke,

    To lower the tamping fan and hence reduce the gram dose and amount of force required to pull portafilter into position (90º to machine):
    1) Remove tamping fan (held in place just with magnetic force), use magnet on end of longer bristle brush and magnetically attach it to center of tamping fan and 'pry' downward so fan pops off.
    2) Reach under and with your fingers, turn the fan shaft clock wise (normally, righty is tighty, but not in this case). Shaft coupling will unscrew easily. No wrench is required. If it does not turn off, you are turning the wrong way. ;o)
    3) Once you have the coupling in your hand, use a sharpie or scratch an alignment mark so you know where you started.
    4) Use smaller (2mm) hex/allen wrench to loosen the set screw on coupling.
    5) To lower fan, unscrew. I recommend half turn interval to see what that gets you. My first adjusstment was a full 360º turn out/lower (counter clockwise) which reduced my dose by If I recall correctly, about 1.5 grams. This amount still had the brew screen leaving an imprint on the grounds and fully pressing the ' 5 cent test' coin (dime in U.S.) into the grounds and did not leave the hoped for 1mm air gap. So I turned it back 'in' a half turn.
    6) re-tighten set screw
    7) screw coupling 'counter clockwise' back into the grinder (finger tight only).
    8) feel for shaft 'sides' orientation, place fan back onto magnet brush so fan slot aligns with shaft and raise into place until fan finds 'home' magnetically. I found using the magnet brush a little easier than free hand placing fan into 'home' position,

    Good luck.

    What is your reason for wanting to adjust the fan?
    Lukemc likes this.

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    Great machine, poor QA !

    Hi, I haven't posted for a long time but thought as this is a relatively new machine and there is scant info on the web from owners I would give you my review after owning three Oracle Touch machines (read on and find out why 3).

    I have previously owned a Breville BES900 and many other machines before that. I would say for sure this machine makes by far the best latte of any machine I have used. Breville have taken the right approach by automating the two areas where most people struggle when making an espresso coffee. The automatic grind and tamp is a breeze to operate and gives a consistent result every time. Although the Touch doesn't have adjustable tamping pressure it does allow you to fine adjust the volume of the grind by manually elevating the height of the tamping fan. The grinder can also be calibrated in the same way as the Oracle, by rotating the top conical burr.

    The other area that is automated is the milk texturing and I have to say they have built utopia here ! I have used many machines with so-called "automatic steam wands" and all they produce is hot milk with shaving cream on top. This machine actually makes a Latte art-quality pitcher of milk and the remarkable thing is you don’t need to touch it, just stand back and watch it happen - Amazing ! The machine is incredibly easy to operate, which is the reason I bought it. My wife can now make her own coffee to a very high standard and that gets me off Barista duties ;-) Yes, we had to mortgage the house and sell the kids to buy it but on performance and quality in the cup I’d say it is worth the asking price. BTW, don’t pay more than $2,600 for one of these bad boys (Good Guys Feb special price, which my friends at Harvey Norman matched).

    Ok, so that’s the good news. Now the warning and explanation of how I came to own three of these machines in the space of two weeks….

    The first machine made great coffee but had a dodgy display and computer. There were pixels dropping out intermittently and it would lose or corrupt the custom drinks that I stored. Sometimes it would append random letters to the stored name and other times it changed the programmed parameters. I reported this to Breville and to their credit they replaced it, no questions asked. The second machine had major problems with the grinder/tamper resulting in over-dosing of the portafilter and a very uneven “polish” of the dose (see photo). This was so bad on some occasions that I could not get the portafilter into the group head until I scraped off 7g of ground coffee. When I reported this to Breville they gave me all sorts of advice that seemed to infer that the problem was the user. I resented this as I have previously owned and operated the Breville BES900 for three years with no issues. Finally they agreed to replace the second machine but warned me they would not give me anymore replacements if that one failed until it had been inspected by their head-office technicians (pfff!).

    Well there is a happy ending as the third machine works flawlessly. It makes perfect coffee and remembers all saved settings. We had 20 people over on the weekend and I was able to make coffee and still spend time with them. One guest who lives in Melbourne told me the long black I made him was as good as any he’d been served in any café (high praise from a resident of the Nation’s Espresso Capital !).

    Summary, this is a great machine when you get a good one and worth the price tag. However there may be a few QA, teething troubles with such a high-tech machine and you could find yourself returning a few before you get a good one - a bit like old English cars. Watch out for the issues described above and don't take "no" for an answer. I recommend buying through a bricks and mortar retailer where you have a relationship established as they are more likely to look after you in case of trouble.

    If I have any future problems I will re-post to keep everyone in the loop. Caveat emptor !

    Addendum.
    I forgot to mention that the third machine also lost saved drink settings when first plugged in. I reported this to Breville and they advised me to select the "restore factory settings" option in Settings menu. This fixed the problem. I would recommend anyone buying this machine to restore of factory settings before doing anything else.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by compeasy; 28th February 2018 at 06:44 AM. Reason: Addendum re forgetting saved drinks

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    Compeasy,
    Thanks for the report on your Oracle touch experience. I'd be curious if your Touch (and anyone else willing to test this) is free of the 'over 168ºf' or 'over 10 character custom drink name' issue of losing your custom drinks and the changes made to standard drinks. Would you be willing to set one drink's milk temp to the max 170ºf for a day or two to see if your machine loses it's settings. Breville said this was a glitch in some units. I'm curious if it might be a glitch in all or most Touch (or even 980 non Touch?) units. Granted most people would not set milk temp to max 170ºf (or have an 11 character drink name).

    Thanks,
    Dave, Yank ;o)
    Many years ago I visited from Sydney to Cairnes for three weeks. You mates are the friendliest! And drive thru liquor warehouses, holy cow!

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    Quote Originally Posted by compeasy View Post
    The second machine had major problems with the grinder/tamper resulting in over-dosing of the portafilter and a very uneven “polish” of the dose (see photo).
    I recently purchased a number of VST filters to see if I could handle does control by more than just adjusting the fan. I tried the 15g basket the morning and got very similar results to what you shared in your image. Because I had to get to work, I didn't have time to play with the fan height to see if I could fix the issue. Will fiddle more this weekend. I'd like to get down to a more conventional 18-19g dose, if possible.

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    Oracle Touch losing and changing stored drinks

    Hi Dave,

    No worries !

    I tested the machine today and have attached some photos of the results. Being an Aussie model my machine shows temperature is degrees Celsius. The maximum it goes to is 75 deg, which is a bit under the 170 deg Fahrenheit you stipulated. Anyway I created and stored a drink under the name Test1234567 (eleven characters and maximum allowed). The parameters included milk temperature of 75 deg C. After turning the machine off and on again the name had been appended with weird characters and the brew and milk parameters had been changed radically. You can see in the photo the brew shows 25s/167s. The first number is extraction time and the second is for added water (Americano or Long Black as we call it). Problem is I never specified any water when I saved the settings so it has been corrupted. Also the milk shows 5 deg and froth level 1, when I actually stored 75 deg and froth level 5. So I guess my machine has the faulty software in it. I also tried testing with a short name and high temp (75 deg). This did not seem to cause any issue but when I ran a third test with the long name and low temperature it failed again. So it seems name length is the problem, more than temperature.
    Not sure if this helps ?

    Cheers from downunder !
    Mark.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Another weekend and some more tinkering. Haven't used the VST baskets yet, but still playing with the tamping fan height. I lowered it to the point where I am getting a 19.5g dose. Every 5th-7th dose gets tamped like the image in compeasy's original post. Also finding that at this lower height I am getting some noticeable channeling. The espresso starts right at 11s mark as it should, but the pour gets considerably heavier by 20s.

    This dosing issue is quite a bother to the extent that I might end up moving to the Barista Touch.

  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by sternalot View Post
    Another weekend and some more tinkering. Haven't used the VST baskets yet, but still playing with the tamping fan height. I lowered it to the point where I am getting a 19.5g dose. Every 5th-7th dose gets tamped like the image in compeasy's original post. Also finding that at this lower height I am getting some noticeable channeling. The espresso starts right at 11s mark as it should, but the pour gets considerably heavier by 20s.

    This dosing issue is quite a bother to the extent that I might end up moving to the Barista Touch.

    Update: Channelling issue seems to have been caused by too fine of a grind. Upped the grind a couple of steps and extraction appeared much better.

    Some thoughts on the machine so far:

    Pros:
    - Convenience of grind, tamp, brew, steam.
    - Does everything okay.
    - Good looking and reasonably compact given features.
    - Easy to clean.
    - Milk frothing is really good.

    Cons
    - Pain in the a** dose control.
    - Auto tamp works, 90% of the time.
    - Does everything okay, but not great (except frothing)


    When I get the brew parameters right, the shots are pretty good. With time I will probably get pretty good at adjusting the tamp fan height to get the dose I want, but for now it remains an annoyance. The auto tamp can be finicky, but ultimately probably not resulting in anymore lost coffee vs. me doing it myself.

    In about 3 weeks, I've constantly shifted from satisfied to underwhelmed. If I wasn't holding out hope that my fiancee would start using the machine and I had more kitchen space, I would have probably went for a more quality machine + separate grinder. For most people, this machine is perfectly fine, great even. This is the perfect machine for me to get started in espresso, but I can't help but think I am missing out on something better.
    Hughie likes this.

  23. #73
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    Hi, all, I'm a n00b here on Coffee Snobs, so apologies if I'm rehashing something that's been hashed. I did search this thread and didn't find my BES990 answer. Just got mine and am happy so far. I'm coming from a Jura Impressa S9, so used to automated, but wanted better coffee. This is delivering so far.

    One thing I'm missing is the ability to change have decaf when needed, which is rare but does happen. The S9 has a ground coffee option, so you can do it that way. Other than changing the hopper -- which honestly I hoped was an option, but the problem w/ the beans already "in" is an issue for me -- is there any way to have the machine douse and tamp ground coffee? I was wondering if the sensors would notice the full filter and just douse/tamp? Or am I missing something obvious?

    Thanks to the community for obviously supporting this amazing forum. I'm excited to have you all as a resource, and happy to share my experience if it helps anyone!

    Best,
    Jana
    East Coast US-based tech nerd, who likes good coffee

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeggers View Post
    Hi, all, I'm a n00b here on Coffee Snobs, so apologies if I'm rehashing something that's been hashed. I did search this thread and didn't find my BES990 answer. Just got mine and am happy so far. I'm coming from a Jura Impressa S9, so used to automated, but wanted better coffee. This is delivering so far.

    One thing I'm missing is the ability to change have decaf when needed, which is rare but does happen. The S9 has a ground coffee option, so you can do it that way. Other than changing the hopper -- which honestly I hoped was an option, but the problem w/ the beans already "in" is an issue for me -- is there any way to have the machine douse and tamp ground coffee? I was wondering if the sensors would notice the full filter and just douse/tamp? Or am I missing something obvious?

    Thanks to the community for obviously supporting this amazing forum. I'm excited to have you all as a resource, and happy to share my experience if it helps anyone!

    Best,
    Jana
    East Coast US-based tech nerd, who likes good coffee
    Hi Jana, I think you would need to have your own tamper and just fill the basket and tamp manually. The rest of the process is going to be the same.

    Good luck !
    Mark.
    jeggers likes this.

  25. #75
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    Thanks, Mark for the answer! Now I guess I have to learn tamping skillz. ;-)

  26. #76
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    Update on Oracle:

    Went to the 15g VST baskets for a week+. I had lowered the tamp fan to dose ~18g, which was perfect for CC Hologram. I was finding that although I was getting a perfect dose, the basket was a bit shallow. With this setup, the tamp fan would often not finish the job. Sometimes I would have as many as 3 bad tamps before getting a smooth one. Even when I got a clean tamp, the extractions were inconsistent. I suspect that even though the tamp looked smooth, there were underlying inconsistencies in the puck. Further, the shallow basket meant that 18g dose was sitting much closer to the shower screen, which was perhaps fracturing the puck. After this experiment, I decided to ditch the VST basket.

    Going back to the OEM Oracle basket, I've had much better extractions than I had with my previous experiment. With the stock basket, I lowered the tamp fan to its lowest level. This led to a dose ~18.4g. Right now I am brewing Cat & Cloud The Answer, so I raised the tamp fan a 1/2 turn. This now gets me ~19g, roughly the recommended 19.2g. I imagine extractions can't get much better than where they have been the last few days. The shots this morning were A+.

    Getting much more comfortable with the output of this machine. Fewer doubts for sure. I plan to add a nice manual grinder in the future to push the machine a little further, but for now it is doing a pretty solid job.

  27. #77
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    I have been reading this thread with interest. I had the original Oracle for 2 years and decided to sell the workhorse and upgrade to the Touch. BAD MOVE! I loved the lcd machine, the profile set up and the ability of getting my husband involved. It worked well for three weeks, then no more frothed milk. The auto frothing function completely gone. Tried everything. Phoned Breville and of course went through oh you haven't cleaned it, you don't do this, you haven't done that, you are using the wrong milk. So I bought a smorgasboard of milk. cost me a fortune and guess what it didn't make a moo of difference. Eventually 12 weeks later my retailer changed the machine over after me protesting to Breville telling me to take it to the service centre 140 kilometers away! New one now home for 2 weeks and guess what? NO MILK FROTH AGAIN. Phoned the oracle hotline this morning and got the cleaning and milk grilling again. The problem for Breville is that the machine will froth milk on the manual over ride setting so it is the automatic issue on the board. Somehow there is a faulty batch of boards that have come out of China. I heard on the weekend that a couple of demonstrators in Sydney have also had machines with faulty milk froth function. Breville promised to phone me back today. It is now 6.15pm Sydney time so I guess for the $3500 for this product it is not a priority.

  28. #78
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    I've had my Oracle Touch since December 2017 now and for the first two months, was in love!!

    However, over the past two months, it has lost the ability to produce consistent shots. For background, I brew using a notepad and a scale, measuring my output that way.

    Basically, I use a bean that gives brewing parameters (amount of dry espresso, brew time, total output and temperature) so I base my grind size on my goal output (with all other factors being the same). I of course adjust based on the amount of coffee that is ground into the portafilter (mine is always 24g!!).

    In the past, I could pull a few shots and figure out the grind necessary to get my desired volume in the particular time frame (so in my case, 35second shot with total output of 38-40g of espresso), and then (pretty much) set it and forget it. However, now if I were to pull 4 shots in a row using the right/same settings, I will get a range of 25-65 grams of espresso in my cup! What the heck!

    The whole point of this machine (to me) is consistency within reason. Once I figure out the grind for a particular bean, I should be able to just press the button and get pretty consistent results. I do understand that as the beans age, I may need to tweak, but on the same day, I should be able to get something pretty consistent shot-to-shot.

    Breville is sending me a new machine, but my concern is whether this is always going to be an issue. Wondering if I should try to negotiate a return with the seller (using the brand new machine) and cut my losses....

  29. #79
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    After reading the posts on this site I now feel that I am not stupid. My oracle touch milk frother only makes hot milk and my machine doesn't tamp my beans.
    Any ideas. It is about a month old.

    Help! Breville customer support said they would get back to me and that was two weeks ago.

  30. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by millenial View Post
    After reading the posts on this site I now feel that I am not stupid. My oracle touch milk frother only makes hot milk and my machine doesn't tamp my beans.
    Any ideas. It is about a month old.

    Help! Breville customer support said they would get back to me and that was two weeks ago.

    If it is only one month old, I would absolutely be returning it. If they won't give you a full refund at the store, I'd go through Breville. Don't bother with a service call/repair....just get a new one. And my experience is that they rarely call back when they say they will...so call them back!

  31. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by millenial View Post
    After reading the posts on this site I now feel that I am not stupid. My oracle touch milk frother only makes hot milk and my machine doesn't tamp my beans.
    Any ideas. It is about a month old.

    Help! Breville customer support said they would get back to me and that was two weeks ago.
    Maybe if you provide a little more info regarding precisely what you mean, people might have a better chance of helping. e.g. what exactly has led you decide that the machine is not tamping your beans? What beans and milk are you using?

  32. #82
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    More information

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
    Maybe if you provide a little more info regarding precisely what you mean, people might have a better chance of helping. e.g. what exactly has led you decide that the machine is not tamping your beans? What beans and milk are you using?
    Thanks Barry,

    I have tried many different beans, in fact I am a barista, I have tried only good beans and currently use Merlo roasted usually about one week old or good bean again one-two weeks post roast. It is not the setting of the grind it is that the machine fails to tamp the beans. If I take the basket out the machines have not been tamped and coffee is just loose. As for the milk frother. I have tried the setting on hot milk and then tried on latte about 5 then tried on 9 and milk comes out all the same. I have used the following: barrista milk, smart milk, full cream pauls, full cream organic, full cream norco, smart milk with protein, a2 full, a2 lite. Now here is the interesting point. If I overide the automatic frothing and manually froth I can get a swirl, silky texture and froth. I have cleaned the wand, I have clean the holes I have nursed it and sung to it doesn't work. ! HELP
    Barry O'Speedwagon likes this.

  33. #83
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    me too! Same issue and same problems Breville don't seem to care. It is my problem and I am doing something wrong with an automatic $3600++ machine!

  34. #84
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    Interesting - I currently have a Rancilio, but looking at getting the Oracle

  35. #85
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    Hey Guys. New owner of a Oracle touch. I’m wondering if there’s a way to reset the grinder to the factory position? When I opened the box I played around with the grinder adjustment before plugging it in. Could this have put the grinder out of synch with the lcd screen?

    I have only tried two types of coffe in the machine. The first was a fresh roast from a local shop that I could not get more then maybe 10ml of the most sour tasting coffee immaginable from a 30-35 second pour. I tried every grind setting. Anything lower then 40 basically wouldn’t even pour a single drop. Maybe

    After going through a pound of this I switched over to my wife’s Starbucks decaf espresso. This coffee is roasted really dark and is definitely far from fresh.

    The odd things is I’d expect to have to dial this down super fine to get a good shot, but im actually getting good results at a grind setting of about 30.

    This is leading me to believe the grinder is set finer then it should be. Where a 30 setting is actually like a 5 or a 10 or something.

    Is it possible for this to happen or am i just overthinking this?

  36. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by smihalik View Post
    Hey Guys. New owner of a Oracle touch. I’m wondering if there’s a way to reset the grinder to the factory position? When I opened the box I played around with the grinder adjustment before plugging it in. Could this have put the grinder out of synch with the lcd screen?

    I have only tried two types of coffe in the machine. The first was a fresh roast from a local shop that I could not get more then maybe 10ml of the most sour tasting coffee immaginable from a 30-35 second pour. I tried every grind setting. Anything lower then 40 basically wouldn’t even pour a single drop. Maybe

    After going through a pound of this I switched over to my wife’s Starbucks decaf espresso. This coffee is roasted really dark and is definitely far from fresh.

    The odd things is I’d expect to have to dial this down super fine to get a good shot, but im actually getting good results at a grind setting of about 30.

    This is leading me to believe the grinder is set finer then it should be. Where a 30 setting is actually like a 5 or a 10 or something.

    Is it possible for this to happen or am i just overthinking this?
    Just wanted to follow up on this for anyone having a similar issue. I performed a factory reset via the main menu and it seems to have solved the problem. I called up breville support and they were kind enough to send me a free 300g bag of espresso!

  37. #87
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    Hi,
    I am new here and I have recently purchased the Oracle Touch, about one month old now. Recently there is an issue with the machine, it did not tamp properly. The tamp is quite loose and I can see the shape of the tamping fan on the ground (please refer to the pictures attached). It doesn't matter what type of beans used and what grind size set. I wonder if anybody encountered this issue and how to solve it.
    Thanks.
    20180412_092210.jpg20180412_092216.jpg

  38. #88
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    Tang1, I'm experiencing the exact same behavior from my machine. It was great for several months, then started doing what your pictures show- loose tamping. I did a factory reset on the machine this morning, but same result.

    Wondering if any others have seen the tamping problem, and if they were able to figure out how to correct it. Next stop, Breville support line.

    Thanks,
    Troy

  39. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by tang1 View Post
    Hi,
    I am new here and I have recently purchased the Oracle Touch, about one month old now. Recently there is an issue with the machine, it did not tamp properly. The tamp is quite loose and I can see the shape of the tamping fan on the ground (please refer to the pictures attached). It doesn't matter what type of beans used and what grind size set. I wonder if anybody encountered this issue and how to solve it.
    Thanks.
    20180412_092210.jpg20180412_092216.jpg
    I had the same issue when I switched beans. I resolved it by reducing grind to be finer...also removed the tamp fan with the magnetic tool and cleaned it. That resolved my issue... although mine was never as loose as the pics you showed..

  40. #90
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    Hi Guys,

    I'm yet another newbie whose looking to make the step up to real coffee from a pod machine that I've had for years., I'm been doing a fair bit of research and read a lot on this forum and the cold hard reality for me is I probably don't have the time or patience to go the whole hog with brewing coffee.
    Which leads me to the oracle, I think this may fit the bill in the sense that it will give me a taste but if its not for me I still have good coffee machine rather than a very expensive kitchen ornament. However from what i've read on here there seems to be a lot of issues with the oracle, as i know we are generally quick to winge if somethings not working as opposed to saying if its good, I just want to know if the oracle is an unreliable P.O.S and if Brevilles after sales service really is as bad as what I've been reading!!
    Any feedback would be much appreciated.
    Cheers
    Aaron

  41. #91
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    Tamping Issues Solved! (for me)

    Quote Originally Posted by tang1 View Post
    Hi,
    I am new here and I have recently purchased the Oracle Touch, about one month old now. Recently there is an issue with the machine, it did not tamp properly. The tamp is quite loose and I can see the shape of the tamping fan on the ground (please refer to the pictures attached). It doesn't matter what type of beans used and what grind size set. I wonder if anybody encountered this issue and how to solve it.
    Thanks.
    20180412_092210.jpg20180412_092216.jpg
    So after owning my Breville Touch for 6 months and 2-4 espressos a day, I developed this issue. Breville support had me make adjustments of tamping height and upper burr settings, they even sent me a new upper burr. None of this helped. Searching the interwebs, a user mentioned they had this when the portafilter basket was dry before grinding. It is because the tamping fan is spinning the entire puck in the basket so it never gets fully tamped. I was wiping my portafilter basket with a dry cloth before each grind. Now I wipe it with a wet(more than damp but not dripping wet) cloth before grinding and it gives me a good puck every time. The coffee sticks to the damp basket and the puck now doesn't spin so it tamps correctly.

    On a side note, after 8 months my milk frother performance slowly diminished until I was basically getting hot milk with no foam with any milk. I made sure the holes were open but removing the tip I found a thin layer of baked on milk residue. I used Rinza® Alkaline Milk Frother Cleaner from Urnex and my wand went from 0 froth to like new. From now on when I am prompted to clean the machine with the tablets, I will also clean the steam wand to maintain peak performance.



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