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Thread: Nuova Simonella Oscar - What Accessories?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015

    Nuova Simonella Oscar - What Accessories?

    So I'm happy with the breville 810, my shots are good and my latte art has come along.

    But I came across a near new Nuova Simonelli Oscar on gumtree, it's shiny, clean, functional - so I bought it. So here I am to chat, and to generally drivel on.

    Any must have accessories? I don't have a blind filter - I guess I should get one?

    The stock plastic tamper is I guess I need to find a good fitting (but simple and cheap!) tamper for the oscar.

    I'm trying to keep buyers remorse at bay. I didn't need it. It's very big. And it's very red. Everything in my kitchen is white or stainless steel, so it certainly stands out. I'm considering painting it one day, though I consider it to be a major project, and I suspect it would probably stand out even more.

    It is a beast. The boiler sounds awesome, the steam sounds like a lions roar. And this fills me with confidence. Trying to make 8 lattes with the Breville felt like trying to play golf with a straw. The Oscar is more like a perfectly weighted titanium club. (The only problem with this analogy is that I can't play golf....)

    The double basket seems a bit on the small side and seems to hold less than the breville double. Any current suggestions on best filter to use? Previous discussions suggested 700757 from coffeeparts might fit? Or any second hand or cheaper or local ones lying around in Canberra / Illawarra area?

    I love the portafilter - nice and heavy, though it is a little hard to put into place and seems to be very little travel between being loose and being too tight to move. This happens over the space of a few degrees. Yet I removed the gasket and it looks flexible shiny and new. Water leaked down the handle during extaction once, however I had overfilled the basket. This didn't happen with a lower dose.

    Still haven't achieved great crema - but I'll keep practicing.

    I've read up on OPV's and understand this but for now will see what I can do with it as is. I don't really want to waste the $ importing kits when I haven't even put it through it's paces yet.

    The steam power, my goodness, is going to take a lot for me to harness. Perhaps another steam tip is in order, but I couldn't even unscrew the old one. And in any event I've only had it for 2 days, so I'll keep going for several weeks to see if I can master it.

    So yeah...anything else worth discussing? Any busted up Oscars out there with cheap accessories? Anyone with a black or silver Oscar who'd like to change it to red? Any tips on what accessories the Oscar is compatible with from other manufacturers?

    fuzzyfozzy likes this.

  2. #2
    Senior Member matth3wh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Mid North Coast NSW


    Hi ajm07

    Hope your Oscar adventure goes well. Have fun!

    What grinder have you got to go along with your machines?

    Hopefully you're sourcing some good coffee too :-)

    You can look in to anti-vac kit for the Oscar v1 later on... (stock Oscar v1 I believe you need to start the machine with the steam tap open until it starts to get up to temp)
    old post of someone rebuilding an oscar/mods here for later reading have nice pictures of oscar modifications/parts.

    Most OEM stock baskets hold to the 7g single / 14g double basket convention... keep that in mind when dosing up your basket as you noted it leads to problems.
    Also the triple filter basket you mentioned from coffeeparts might not fit the stock portafilter unless you have a naked/bottomless PF instead.

    Here's a few accessories that may help (coffeeparts and other site sponsors can help with this):

    * 58mm blind filter basket like you mentioned (to let you water and chemical back flush and porta filter wiggle/wash the show screen to quickly clean after use)
    * cafetto or similar cleaner to dissolve those coffee oils before they build up too much... after every couple of weeks (or more often depending on how many coffees you make a day)
    * pallo brush to physically remove larger particles from shower screen after use
    * an 18g VST or similar baskets / cheaper 14-18g Espresso Parts HQ Precision basket
    * matching tamper to those baskets / these can be cheap and light such as Barista Hustle Tamper or open your wallet to $100+ dollars of tamper action

    * IMS or similar precision shower screen (less coffee oils and fines get stuck in this water pathway and make cleaning easier)
    * scales to weigh your coffee dose; somewhere from $10 to a Brewista II for $110 will get you .1g accuracy.
    * pack of microfibre cleaning cloths or roll of chux

    * stainless steel portafilter such as Pesado or Cafelat XT (the XT doubles as a naked portafilter)
    * Pallo tool to help remove baskets from PF or undo shower screen screws or undo steam tip for cleaning.
    * pick/hook set to remove old hardened group head gaskets

    Hope some of this helps.

    Oscar in action with 18g VST
    Last edited by matth3wh; 2 Weeks Ago at 12:11 AM.
    Casa Espresso and fuzzyfozzy like this.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    That's a good list, cheers.

    I can see myself doubling the cost of the machine here! Though I'd like to avoid over doing it. Just want to focus on the fundamentals.

    To answer your questions, my grinder is the Breville Smart Grinder Pro, and I usually get coffee from manna beans - but always keen to try new stuff to see how it compares.

    For now I think my priorities would be, along with my ideal budget;
    * 58mm blind filter ($10)
    * cafetto or similar
    * Largest basket that will fit the stock portafilter. 18g? 21g? ($22) - Would really appreciate anyone with first hand knowledge on the largest basket that will fit the Oscar.
    * Tamper suited to above basket ($20-$40).

    I'm interested in the precision screen - sounds like a good idea assuming that the mesh is many factors finer. Though can't tell which are compatible with the machine, and see the prices vary wildly.

    Also wondering if a different gasket would make the group handle less tight..
    Last edited by ajm07; 2 Weeks Ago at 02:56 PM.
    matth3wh likes this.

  4. #4
    Senior Member matth3wh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Mid North Coast NSW


    Hi ajm07.

    If you currently have no blind filter basket then chances are the previous owner never back flushed the machine. Did they tell you much about machine history?

    Definitely get the blind filter and the cafetto and run through a cleaning cycle and marvel at how much old coffee oils come out (especially if the previous owner has never done this before). Fingers crossed for you they didn't use the machine much :-)

    Definitely remove and inspect the shower screen. Hopefully you don't find this...

    Bad to no regular cleaning is a familiar story. A number of years back I bought a machine off a guy in Hunters Hill (Sydney) who was upgrading to new. He said he'd always kept it clean and serviced regularly. However, when I got it home and checked the machine more thoroughly I found a dirty portafilter and the back of the double filter basket caked with stale coffee granules/residue resembling instant coffee. So much extra flavour in every cup.

    I also found he'd sold it with no shower screen and no group head seal. Whoops! The shop once over missed that for him. I suspect the only time the poor machine got properly cleaned was when it visited the (non-sponsor) repair shop in Leichhardt. Maybe he never took in the PFs with the machine and they never saw it, or maybe that tech had given up caring or had a busy/off day. The shop didn't lose I suppose. Increased repair costs and sale of a shiny new machine to returning customer. Ah, that espresso tastes much better now!

    The standard rubber gaskets are fine for home machine use and only cost about $6. It should be tight at around the perpendicular / 6 o'clock position.
    Standard replacement shower screen probably around $10. Which should be fine if you're doing regularly cleaning. Caffeewerks/Mavam/IMS precision shower screen is around $30.

    Based on my experiences so far the largest basket to fit the standard PF is 18g. If you want to go bigger then you can get the naked PF / Cafelat XT portafilter.

    Have a look at the before and after pictures in Di Bartoli's PDF on 3 ways to ensure your coffee tastes good
    Last edited by matth3wh; 1 Week Ago at 12:28 PM.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Yeah he said they got excited at a charity auction and bought the oscar and hardly used it, already having a smaller sunbeam. It was also apparantly 'check out by some local coffee place', yet it clearly had some coffee grounds ON the external side of the group head. I certainly removed everything and cleaned it straight away.

    I've since got a blind filter and back flushed (with just water) - and seems clean enough. I just got some cleaner and will see if that gives me any gunk.

    I grabbed a $8 2 hole steam tip from jet black espresso and find that's a little easier to work with.

    Also a $21 tamper from coffeespares that just arrived this arvo.

    Cheers for the tips.
    matth3wh likes this.

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