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Thread: Breville Oracle Touch - Bes990XL

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    Breville Oracle Touch - Bes990XL

    Creating a new thread for this latest iteration of the Oracle as the new model is in a different price category from the BES980.

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    Melbroaster,
    Thanks for showing this new Breville,sounds wonderful albeit a matter of selling my home for the deposit!
    I would love to get my younger sister this model,she you be the perfect candidate with all the options.
    I'm sure these will soon grace many domestic situations however,I remain a manual machine enthusiastist.
    I do have some auto's and they have their place,just my own preference is to manually heat/ purge& brew together with a texturing of milk.
    Thanks again for the link.
    cheers,
    Mick.

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    Melbroaster,
    Thanks for showing this new Breville,sounds wonderful albeit a matter of selling my home for the deposit!
    I would love to get my younger sister this model,she would be the perfect candidate with all the options.
    I'm sure these will soon grace many domestic situations however,I remain a manual machine enthusiastist.
    I do have some auto's and they have their place,just my own preference is to manually heat/ purge& brew together with a texturing of milk.
    Thanks again for the link.
    cheers,
    Mick.

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    I will never be in the market for this type of thing for myself but as a marketing move by breville it makes a lot of sense. They should steal more sales from jura and all those other multi thousand $ appliances that grace small offices, homes of non-coffee enthusiasts and even car service waiting rooms etc.... that dont want to train people to use commercial espresso gear. My hunch is that its the right product at the wrong price. $2,500 was the starting point for the previous model and these days was more commonly sub $2,000 so a jump to $3,500 for a substantially similar machine is going to confuse/alienate the market.
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    Senior Member matth3wh's Avatar
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    Melbroaster... You've got me intrigued now to find out the new features of the 990XL.

    Perhaps they've learned some lessons from the previous product.

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    The way that they are positioning it is very close to a robot barista. User has to do little more than pour milk into the jug, move the portafilter handle from the grinding/tamping position to the brewing position and click on a latte symbol on the touchscreen. It will never satisfy most enthusiasts, but the funny thing is that if you feed it with quality beans the level of automation will likely outperform the average cafe because it will guard the user from many of the human errors that contribute to the average cafe coffee tasting like crap, without resorting to the even lower quality delivered by most superautomatics

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    Quote Originally Posted by matth3wh View Post
    Perhaps they've learned some lessons from the previous product.
    You can charge a lot more for a shiny product if you put a touchscreen on it
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    I understand 'why' these inventions exist but for me it pulls the heart out of the process.

    I wonder what their next step of automation is? Direct injection to the stomach?

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    I would love to have just the grinder/tamper part! The mess from manual grind and tamp is the one area of my espresso setup that I hate Actually it's the cleanup I hate...

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    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Some grinders are essentially mess free so clean up is non existent. Slightly messy grinders can be essentially mess free with a PF funnel. Some just seem to spray grinds everywhere!

    Does this touch essentially have the same internals with just a new interface?

    Cheers

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    I was thinking that as well; ie if you could buy a breville smart grinder with the inbuilt puqpress style tamp that gives you a 1 step grind and tamp that would be pretty awesome especially for beginners
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    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Congrats Breville!

    The Breville Oracle Touch just won the overall 2017 best new consumer machine at the SCAA Speciality Coffee Expo in Seattle.
    (An award previously won by the LM Linea single)

    bes990bss.jpg

    As mentioned by others above, I too can see plenty of places that something like this makes a lot of sense. Office kitchenettes and those too busy (lazy?) to learn good technique can still produce great coffee and use great beans instead of those nasty pods or worse, instant coffee.

    Office, hairdresser, mechanic workshop waiting room... for about $3 a day (over 3 years) all of those places could easily justify having one.

    I look forward to playing with one in the flesh sometime.



    https://www.breville.com.au/the-oracle-tm-touch.html
    BES990BSS_ANZ

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    my wife would love this. She hates using my r58 and kony e so never makes herself a coffee with it.
    Complains that its all too hard.

    However at $3500 i am not sure, but if it takes sales away from some of those other full auto machines and makes a good cup of coffee, i can certainly see a market for it, and not to mention the amount of bench space saved.

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    Hi Guys,

    Well I bought one of these last weekend. I showed my wife and the guy at the shop made her a coffee and showed how simple it was to use and that basically clinched it. Yes it is expensive (overpriced I think)....but I had the Breville Dual Boiler and Smart Grinder setup for a few years and bought a behmor roaster from Coffee Snobs and thought that I would be making daily coffees and enjoying good coffee. In the end we only ended up using it sparsely, mainly when friends came over or the odd coffee for myself. My wife never used it as it was too difficult for her and I had trouble getting consistency and to be frank, it was a lot of effort for a coffee. I get why people do it but I just didn't take to it as much as I thought I would. I still love roasting though....

    FYI. It is basically the same as the Oracle but it has an LCD touch screen with recipes built in...and you can make your own....You can do all of this with the Oracle but it doesn't save the individual recipe...No biggie for me but for my wife it was a clincher and she loves it....Bottom line, she's making her own coffees which she has never done so it was worth it in the end...Oh....I managed to get 4 years extra warranty (6 years total) though Harvey Norman and it was $3650 all up. The extra warranty is a replacement unit and ability to upgrade to new model if the old one isn't available....
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    Quote Originally Posted by darrynhatfield View Post
    Hi Guys,

    Well I bought one of these last weekend. I showed my wife and the guy at the shop made her a coffee and showed how simple it was to use and that basically clinched it. Yes it is expensive (overpriced I think)....but I had the Breville Dual Boiler and Smart Grinder setup for a few years and bought a behmor roaster from Coffee Snobs and thought that I would be making daily coffees and enjoying good coffee. In the end we only ended up using it sparsely, mainly when friends came over or the odd coffee for myself. My wife never used it as it was too difficult for her and I had trouble getting consistency and to be frank, it was a lot of effort for a coffee. I get why people do it but I just didn't take to it as much as I thought I would. I still love roasting though....

    FYI. It is basically the same as the Oracle but it has an LCD touch screen with recipes built in...and you can make your own....You can do all of this with the Oracle but it doesn't save the individual recipe...No biggie for me but for my wife it was a clincher and she loves it....Bottom line, she's making her own coffees which she has never done so it was worth it in the end...Oh....I managed to get 4 years extra warranty (6 years total) though Harvey Norman and it was $3650 all up. The extra warranty is a replacement unit and ability to upgrade to new model if the old one isn't available....
    I understand the main issue with the Oracle was it dosing 21-22 grams regardless of whether you want a single or double shot. Do you know if this has been changed in the Touch?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahmed1000 View Post
    I understand the main issue with the Oracle was it dosing 21-22 grams regardless of whether you want a single or double shot. Do you know if this has been changed in the Touch?
    Well I actually weighed the shot after it was tamped and it was about 12mg for a single shot so it sounds like that it no longer an issue.

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    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    12 milligrams? How'd you manage to tamp that?


    Java "Just a bit over-extracted" phile
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    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

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    Haha...sorry, 12 grams....that would be a weak coffee!
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    Yeah so it is about 11-12 gm for a single shot or 21-22 gm for a double shot

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    After failure to 2 oracles I wouldn't be going near another Breville coffee machine. That is a lot of money for a toy but they will sell

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    Where can you buy these? I can only see Harvey Norman online.

    I'm about to open a 6 person office, trying to avoid the calls to buy a Nespresso machine, and this looks like it would be just the thing.

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    Saw one at HN a few weeks ago. There was a guy demoing it. It appears the only difference is the interface. I would save the $ and put it towards fresh beans, or a decent extended warranty?

    Cheers
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    Quote Originally Posted by artman View Post
    Saw one at HN a few weeks ago. There was a guy demoing it. It appears the only difference is the interface. I would save the $ and put it towards fresh beans, or a decent extended warranty?
    Yeah, the interface seems like a small upgrade, but for an office where everyone needs to be able to make their own, I actually think it might be useful to have a super-simple interface.

    $3500 seems hard to justify next to the BES980, but easier to justify compared to a Jura or Saeco (or the ongoing costs of Nespresso capsules).
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    A nice walk through of the touchscreen on the BES990 can be found here

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cruTvLq4Vpk

    For us aussies, I'm not sure the $1000+ 'extra' is worth it, unless you really like to change your coffee settings around lots.

    If you drink the same cup aka settings all the time, the BES980 would seem better value.

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    Hi everyone. I've just bought this model on Sunday and I think the touchscreen is faulty. Whenever the machine is on, the screen has lots of random, dancing pixels/interference artefacts on the screen. Worse/more if it's actually in operation. Worth taking back to the shop for a return/replacement, or is this normal for this model?
    Thanks and hi again

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    Quote Originally Posted by simonr23 View Post
    Hi everyone. I've just bought this model on Sunday and I think the touchscreen is faulty. Whenever the machine is on, the screen has lots of random, dancing pixels/interference artefacts on the screen. Worse/more if it's actually in operation. Worth taking back to the shop for a return/replacement, or is this normal for this model?
    Thanks and hi again
    i'd be taking it straight back and ask for a replacement if it was faulty straight out of the box
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    This was on sale in the Qantas points store just got it in the mail. Any recommended setting changes for a good Melbourne style espresso, I have a nice dark roast coffee I get locally roasted and am replacing an old Saeco Royal Cappuccino which I was quite happy with after putting it on the finest grind and strongest setting, it didn't have as many settings as this new Breville Oracle one touch so I think it is a decent upgrade.

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    Quote Originally Posted by simonr23 View Post
    Hi everyone. I've just bought this model on Sunday and I think the touchscreen is faulty. Whenever the machine is on, the screen has lots of random, dancing pixels/interference artefacts on the screen. Worse/more if it's actually in operation. Worth taking back to the shop for a return/replacement, or is this normal for this model?
    Thanks and hi again
    Hi Simonr23

    know it's been over a month since your post but yes, definitely get it replaced. It should be doing that at all.

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    Have any of you also considered the Breville Barista Touch? Why/Why not?

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    I just had to jump in and add my two bob's worth to your thread, hope I'm not out of place. Now I 'had' I very nice setup... Vibiemme Domobar Super, Doserless (electric) Mazzer Mini, Pullman Tamper, Synesso ridge-less basket and the list goes on. But in recent times my enthusiasm for all the fiddling around, cleanup and annual (expensive) maintenance, had waned. I started to drink a lot more tea rather than fire up the VBM. Then I found out about the Breville Oracle Touch. I installed it this afternoon and made my first 'Flat White' with 6 day old single origin Papua New Guinea highland beans. WOW! and WOW! is all I can say. There may be skeptics out there but I reckon it tastes every bit as good and anything I've pulled on the VBM. I know the Touch expensive but I reckon, when I get to know it better, I'll be able to make a flat white in 5 or 6 minutes instead of 25 minutes. And the cleanup is absolutely minimal. In addition, I only had 3 coffees to my repertoire with the VBM... Espresso, long black and flat white. With this little beauty I've got a full quiver of coffees. Hmmmmm! Anyway that's enough from me but, and I know it's early days, if you have been thinking about the Touch, I reckon it's a keeper.
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    Hello everyone - this is my first post. I have been following this thread since before Christmas, and was debating whether or not to bite the bullet and buy the Oracle Touch - but was very apprehensive about shelling out the $$$. I have had my trusty Rancilio Silvia/Rocky set up now since 2010, and while it has provided me with a fantastic learning experience into the world of manual espresso, I have to say I strongly identify with pretty much everything Shotgun is saying in the post above this one... While I loved the shots that Silvia provided, I could only ever pour two good coffees out of every five, and latte art was something that I was never able to master. But ultimately I was just sick and tired of the clean up, the maintenance, the inconsistency, the messy bench top, grinds everywhere, having to refill the single boiler, waiting half an hour for the machine to reach temperature - you get the picture. I only ever had the desire to use the machine on weekends because it was just too much work for this non-morning person. So after scoring a deal at Harvey Norman for $2,750 along with $204 worth of beans, guess what was sitting under our Christmas tree five days ago? A shiny new Oracle Touch, with all its bells and whistles. Have to say, this is one GORGEOUS machine. But after five days of practice, I am obviously still in the learning process, and I will be brutally honest with you all and admit I have NOT yet been able to get the same quality of shot and milk as I did on the Rancilio - whether this is to be expected or not I do not know, however like I said, it's still early days. So here are my first impressions: PROS: Auto switch on/off scheduling, easy-manoeuvre wheel, speedy heat up, consistent puck, next to no mess, beautiful intuitive touch screen with lovely graphics, customisable options, auto milk wand purge, adjustable grind/brew time/milk temperature/froth level. The machine is a breeze to use, and so far my first impressions are excellent. CONS: Puck gets almost baked in the filter basket and won't tap out unless I chisel it out with a spoon, dose is non-adjustable, milk has to be filled up to a line on the wand which seems excessive and means you waste a LOT of milk, I can't seem to get the milk not to separate which gives me quite a watery cup with foam on top only. These are things I hope to conquer in time, but I would really love to hear from any Touch users who have mastered these issues and can give me some tips on how to perfect my cups. My honest opinion is that it while it doesn't (so far) give me the same quality of cup as with my Rancilio, the pay-offs in cleaning, time saving, ease of use, convenience, consistency, and customisable options well outweigh this. I find I am now drinking a coffee from my home machine every weekday morning rather than a trip down to the local cafe before work, so that's a good thing and a money saving right there. Plus my partner loves it too, and he never really got the hang of the Rancilio. So I'm really looking forward to hearing the opinions of other users; what are your first impressions, has anything changed since you first bought your machine, and especially hoping for some advice regarding the puck issue and milk separating. Thanks for listening!

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    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    To recombine the foam and milk swirl the jug before pouring. The separation happens due to the jug sitting still for a little while, it's pretty much unavoidable unless you have already pulled your shots before steaming the milk. Just give the jug a bit of a swirl until the foam combines and the milk looks like wet paint. As for the rest I can't answer as I don't have an Oracle.

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    Thanks level3ninja, but I've always been sure to whack the jug on the bench-top to get rid of any bubbles and also give it a decent swirl about. With the Touch there are no bubbles after the milk is stretched, so I don't have to worry about that any more but the separation thing still occurs, despite being very quick to pour as soon as the milk is done. I make sure it's always moving, so really not sure why it keeps happening. I can't wait to have a creamy coffee without it just being on the top.

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    "along with $204 worth of beans"
    Check how old the beans are, I can't see Harvey Norman having freshly roasted beans.
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    I will let you know once I receive them. They aren't coming directly from HN - they're a brand called "Pablo & Rusty's Porter Street" and I'll be receiving around 6 x 250g bags each month for the next three months. Not expecting great beans, but that's probably a good thing since I've had to throw away a number of dodgy shots!

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    I've had excellent espresso from their Sydney CBD shop and also from 250g bags bought from the local cafť.

    No doubt their subscription service will be supplying you with freshly roasted coffee.
    Last edited by Javaphile; 2nd January 2018 at 05:10 AM. Reason: Commercial link(s) removed

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    Hi, Can any one suggest a good setting for espresso using this machine? this is my first coffee machine, I decided to grab one of these after seeing the great reviews. I have been playing around with the grind settings and extraction times but cant seem to get it right. I got some Vittoria coffee from the local supermarket, I realise this may be a mistake as its likely stale and not fresh, the espresso tastes really bitter and is not getting a nice thick crema, I'm not sure I am using the machine to its full potential, can anyone please help with this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by iPatch View Post
    Hi, Can any one suggest a good setting for espresso using this machine? this is my first coffee machine, I decided to grab one of these after seeing the great reviews. I have been playing around with the grind settings and extraction times but cant seem to get it right. I got some Vittoria coffee from the local supermarket, I realise this may be a mistake as its likely stale and not fresh, the espresso tastes really bitter and is not getting a nice thick crema, I'm not sure I am using the machine to its full potential, can anyone please help with this?
    G'day ipatch, welcome to Coffee Snobs.

    Your problem lies with the beans, you wont get anything close to fresh from your local supermarket.
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    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Well, you certainly won't find any fresh Vittoria at your local supermarket, but you might be lucky in some areas.....mine has fresh beans from both Cosmorex and Ona.

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    Yeah definitely it's the beans... was reading back through old posts (oooooold posts), and it was you Yelta among others that spent a great deal of time chatting with me in a thread I created, telling me that supermarket beans (which i was using at the time, that were preground mind you...) were no good, and it just didn't get through to me for ages haha. I just couldn't accept that I couldn't get great results with them old stale beans.. and I am super appreciative of everyone's help and the time taken to explain why they won't get great results. That was 8 years ago actually haha, wow how time flies!

    Anyways, once I made the move to actually getting a grinder and fresh beans, there really was no turning back
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    Thanks for the friendly advice. Ill Try some good beans.

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    Hey there iPatch, hope you're enjoying the Touch. Today we had a Breville specialist visit us at home as part of their "White Glove" service which they offer with purchase of this machine. She was fabulous and gave us a lot of helpful info on how to use the machine which we weren't aware of. Yep - as you mentioned, throw away the Vittoria beans and just buy freshly roasted. We had started with Vittoria and had to dial in the grind to level 10, and still it gushed out... we are currently using our Porter St beans which were roasted 5 days ago and the difference is enormous. The grind is now dialled to 27 to get closer to the 30ml shot with good crema. She also recommended to unscrew the milk wand tip every night and soak it along with the wand itself in a jug of water. This helps prevent milk build up in the internal part of the wand. She showed this to us and I was shocked at the build up only after a few weeks use. She poured us some perfect coffees and was even able to do some latte art which definitely gave me some inspiration. Hope you're enjoying your machine as much as we are.
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  44. #44
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    "throw away the Vittoria beans and just buy freshly roasted. We had started with Vittoria and had to dial in the grind to level 10, and still it gushed out... we are currently using our Porter St beans which were roasted 5 days ago and the difference is enormous."

    I'd like a dollar for every time this piece of advice has been offered on Coffee Snobs.

    "She also recommended to unscrew the milk wand tip every night and soak it along with the wand itself in a jug of water. This helps prevent milk build up in the internal part of the wand. She showed this to us and I was shocked at the build up only after a few weeks use."

    Not necessary if you purge the wand with steam immediately after use, will keep it spotless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Monsterface View Post
    Hey there iPatch, hope you're enjoying the Touch. Today we had a Breville specialist visit us at home as part of their "White Glove" service which they offer with purchase of this machine. She was fabulous and gave us a lot of helpful info on how to use the machine which we weren't aware of. Yep - as you mentioned, throw away the Vittoria beans and just buy freshly roasted. We had started with Vittoria and had to dial in the grind to level 10, and still it gushed out... we are currently using our Porter St beans which were roasted 5 days ago and the difference is enormous. The grind is now dialled to 27 to get closer to the 30ml shot with good crema. She also recommended to unscrew the milk wand tip every night and soak it along with the wand itself in a jug of water. This helps prevent milk build up in the internal part of the wand. She showed this to us and I was shocked at the build up only after a few weeks use. She poured us some perfect coffees and was even able to do some latte art which definitely gave me some inspiration. Hope you're enjoying your machine as much as we are.
    Wow, I did not know this was something they offered, thanks so much for sharing that. I'll certainly be booking that in ASAP. Its a shame the sales representative did not mention this to me.

    P.S. I started roasting my own coffee, so far I am still learning how to get the most out of the beans but if you have a little bit of spare time I highly recommend it. I was so disappointed with the vittoria I bought from the supermarket, tasted and looked awful.

  46. #46
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    Okay I've had my 'Touch' for just over a month now and the verdict is on the Equipment for sale thread here on this site. I'm selling all my expensive espresso equipment and keeping the Touch. Use fresh quality beans and I can't pick the difference between the Touch and my Vibiemme Domobar. The difference is that I can have the machine ready to go in 10 mins, My wife can make her own coffee now, the cleanup is a cinch and I can make cups of coffee for 6 people when we're entertaining and still be sociable. I know the purists think its a toy but she's a keeper for sure. Expensive yes, but so much easier and, way less messier and I cannot pick the difference in the cup either. My ONLY concern is that with all the automation, will the unit last? You get a 2 year Breville warranty but I paid an extra $350 and took a 4 year extension.
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    Hey Shotgun, did you take advantage of Breville's complimentary "White Glove" service which is available with the Touch? I highly recommend it if you are still eligible. We learned some really helpful new things, plus they give you a decent amount of fresh coffee beans to play around with.

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    *** Apologies- Just after posting this on the Oracle 980 thread, I found this thread specifically on the 'Touch' BES990.
    [I edited my double post on the other thread adding a link to this thread ]

    I'm a new member. I just received my new Oracle Touch BES 990. I did not find a thread for it. The touchscreen 990 is 'almost' the same as the 980, but I understand does have some minor differences (like non-adjustable tamp pressure, not sure what others besides software/ controls type.)

    I am trying to find the relative importance of the adjustable brew variables for the 990. I am testing/ setting up with a single shot basket (12 gr), with brew time changed from the default 25 secs to 30 secs. Water being used is Crystal Geyser (Shasta/Weed source- specs**). I was focusing on the counter timer for the 'start' of coffee coming out, but that does not seem to vary too much compared to the flow speed/volume. From the non oily medium-dark roasted arabica beans I am currently testing & learning this machine with, with a 'coffee start time' of usually 10 secs, I get flow rate from very skinny stream to to thicker stream with output volumes from 15 - 35 ml. (This is with grinder settings between 31-33).

    The espresso stream never starts dark and change to golden color. Does anyone with the 980 get this? I go say from 31 grind 1-2 counts finer and I get drips (15 ml or less under extr.). From 31 + 1-2 counts and the flow can look lighter colored/watery even with bubbling at the center portafilter outlet and delivering 35-40 ml. In that narrow range of grind between 31 & 32 I can get the 25-30 ml of volume I guess we are looking for, but the stream just never seems optimal (deep golden color, non jerky even flow).

    What is the most important factor to focus on 1st? 2nd? The taste of the 25 -30 ml shot is not sour (under extr), not bitter (over extr.), but I am not enough of a coffee connoisseur to say it actually tastes 'sweet'. My quandry is that the flow does not look as it seems it should. I've read that 'time' of brew is the least important, but I can't think what other variables I might fudge on or change with this machines mostly all preset parameters.

    Thanks for any insights,
    Dave

    Crystal Geysers reported specs:
    Total Hardness 28-37 mg/L
    TDS 110 mg/L
    PH 7.2 - 7.5
    The water test strip result gave 5 green squares (no red) - soft water

  49. #49
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Welcome Dave. What actual beans are you using, and when were they roasted?

  50. #50
    Member
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    Mar 2011
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    Hi longtime lurker but havenít posted for a long time. We just yesterday bought one of these machines when my Simonelli Nuova Musica finally died. I had stopped drinking hot coffee eighteen months ago when I discovered cold brew so my husband had been solely using the Musica and I found I had lost my touch.

    Fast forward to three days ago and it finally died. Time to upgrade and the husband decided he liked the look of this machine so we searched around, found the best price online, walked into our local Domayne and they beat it by $57, taking it down to $2700.

    Started playing with it yesterday, had a few hiccups (I think because my beans were roasted 31/1) but got it spot on for our taste in a cappuccino and latte format. So far Iím loving being able to make a coffee with minimal fuss (as well as a smaller footprint!)

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