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Thread: Breville Oracle Owners Thread BES980XL

  1. #101
    Member Caffeineholic's Avatar
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    Question to the void (but especially the Breville folk on the forum), has anyone been successful getting a response from Breville at their oracle email address? I've mailed em twice in a fortnight and get crickets. . . . . .

    Cheers,
    CH

  2. #102
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    Drop me a PM with your email address & questions & I'll get back to you today.

    Cheers, Phil

  3. #103
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    That's very kind of you Phil, I was contacted by email today however so I'll follow the official channel

    PS great videos, they helped me with the decision making process when I was looking to buy

    Regards,

    CH

  4. #104
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    what's not to like...

    It’s a couple of months for me with the Oracle now. Recalling the debate over why someone would buy a Breville vs a fine itallian made fully manual machine, I thought it was worth sharing some updated thoughts on using the Oracle…In a hyphened pair of words: “multi-tasking”.


    Yes, super-automatics can give you this kind of convenience too, but in my experience with 3 different super-automatics, they can’t even come close to the coffee quality of the Oracle. And I think this is what differentiates the Oracle from both the super-automatics bad coffee, and the fine italian machine’s quirky inconveniences that require patience and dedication to master, sweet though their coffee may be.
    The Oracle sits in the land between these extremes, with very little compromise to be seen.


    The Breville allows me to easily multitask the coffee making without worry.
    There are some really great features to the Breville that I have come to love, and I’ll state them all in order of their ‘appearance’ in the coffee making ritual.


    1: When I walk up to the machine, it is on and ready to go immediately, thanks to the built-in clock and wake-up timer. No waiting around for it to heat up to 200 degrees. Probably 5 minutes of time saving. Hardly rocket science, but a thoughtful feature.
    2: I can start steaming the milk right away and go straight to other tasks, knowing the Oracle will stop at exactly 150 degrees. I can’t count the number of times I have over-boiled the milk on other machines due to multi-tasking. Probably another 2 minutes saved. And because of the frother design with programmable foam, I don’t have to hold the milk jug and angle it to get the best foam - so i’m free to do other stuff without any penalty on milk quality.
    3: As the milk is heating up, I can start the bean grind. Now I’m running task 2 & 1 simultaneously.
    4: And because the bean grind & tamp is automatic, I can start task 3 as well -grab a cup and add some steaming hot water into it from the Oracle (those top-plate warmers never seem to do that much warming). This separate hot water tap is a great added feature.
    5: my cup is warm, I empty the water out, the milk is about 130F - I start to brew a shot of coffee - the coffee and milk both finish together18 seconds later.
    6: Time to perfect my Latte Art, and that too, is much easier thanks to the excellent milk frothing and crema topped-coffee shot quality.
    7: My wife thinks I’m some sort of professional Barista now!


    The expression, “what’s not to like”, comes to mind here. Because unlike so many products you buy today, it seems they really thought this one out well.
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  5. #105
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    Great call port3f9. I'd add that I'm really time poor first thing in he morning getting the kids and myself out the door and a well made cup of coffee is just what I need with out all the manual work. Autos have a place for some of us, but I understand not all.

    That's not to say i don't want to know how to make it all myself though. I have a guru from breville (an "Oracle" Oracle if you will) coming over to show me the finer arts of using the manual features next week. Learning milk frothing techniques and Latte art basics are on my hit list!

    Cheers
    CH

  6. #106
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    Hi there. First post here. I've been following this forum as I've been considering purchasing the Oracle for the last month. For me, it's a perfect fit.

    I've wanted great espresso, and I believed my $300 DeLoghi machine and blade grinder was all I needed. After accepting this for the past 4 years I began looking for an upgrade as I was ready for a new machine. I did all the research and finally realzed that all these years I've been enjoying crap coffee. I always wondered why the freshly ground coffee I bought at whatever grocery store tasted great on the the first pull, but gradually got worse every pull after. So I learned to grind just before extracting and got a $20 blade grinder at the local drug store. Again, I thought I was set. Fresh ground coffee tasted much better, but still was so inconsistent. Some days it was great, other days not so much. I did more research. Oh I should've purchased a burr grinder. Ok, I start saving up for a nice grinder. I have several Breville appliances - juicer, bread maker, toaster (all the top models), so naturally I check the coffee grinder options Breville offers. $200 for a Breville grinder that has a familiar interface? Great! Just need to set aside $200. Since then, I did more research. I discovered that my $300 espresso machine is really a piece of junk, so now it's really time to upgrade. More research. I discover the Breville Smart Grinder isn't getting the greatest reviews, so I look at other options, but still leaning towards Breville. I find it'll be $500-ish for a nice grinder. Excellent espresso machine? At least $1000. But wait, there's an Aeropress that people are raving about for about $30? Hmm, more research. I learned that I have a lot to learn and will never learn everything as there are so many variables in coffee prep, but I go ahead and continue educating myself on what I need to know, what equipment I need, what skills/experience I'll need to aqcuire to pull great espresso shots, etc. I'm excited to become a coffee snob, or just a decent barista. I even started roasting my own coffee with great results.

    Then I discover the Oracle. It does everything I started to teach myself how to do, it's just ONE machine and all I need to do is add beans, milk and water. I thought, why would I need to buy a new $1000+ espresso machine, $500+ coffee grinder, tamper, etc., and deal with all these things taking up space in my kitchen, along with the clean up associated when there happens to be this ONE machine that takes care of the most difficult and messiest things. Yeah, sure I would love to learn how to make great espresso on great traditional manual equipment. And one day I will. But when a machine like the Oracle comes along, and I was going to spend money on high end coffee making equipment anyway, I was sold.

    Now that I have the Oracle sitting in my kitchen and coffee grounds don't get all over the place, and I'm making great espresso drinks right away, I'm one happy coffee drinker.

    Between my wife and I, we have 3-5 coffees every day. At that rate, we'd get our money's worth of cafe quality espresso drinks in about 6 months. I saw someone post about high upfront cost, low running cost. This is exactly what the Breville Oracle is. Seriously, as someone who wanted to acquire high end espresso making equipment coming from a cheap machine and blade grinder, it was a no brainer. Yes, it's an expensive machine, but so are most high end espresso machines. This Oracle just happens to be just ONE machine that consolidates the work of several, and does so very, very, well.

    Love it Breville! Keep making great stuff!
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  7. #107
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    I thought it worth putting down my experiences with the oracle White Glove service that Breville offer in some Australian cities for new owners.

    I’ve owned my Oracle for 3 weeks and out of the box was making OK coffees with beans from local roasters and having a go in my corretto roasting myself.

    The Breville rep (Emilie) showed up at 6pm on the dot with a bag of beans, a brochure covering some of the finer points of the machine and a bunch of disposable cups. Emilie was really patient and covered all the basics about coffee, how grind can cause extraction issues, how tamping changes the pour (and the quality of the output) etc – stuff new snobs like myself need to know basically

    The Oracle is set up to have you dial the grind and use the machine to work out the rest, dose (which you can’t change), tamp pressure and time, volume of shot, boiler temp, steam boiler temp, spotlights (!) air mix for milk frothing and a whole raft of other tweakable settings. These were all covered to some degree and we also discussed how these impacted the final product. Some of these settings make little difference and I think I was given an honest appraisal of how it all fitted together and what I’d get a noticeable difference from.

    We then went onto to make a bunch of espresso’s so I could understand what over and under extraction looked like and how it impacted the coffee flavor. It also made me appreciate all the snobs who have to sort out dosing and tamping correctly – IMHO that’s a variable I’m ok to leave to the machine.

    We went onto manually frothing milk (because the auto method is to dump the cup under the steam wand and hit auto) so I learnt how to stretch the milk myself (OK with my first go – but the machine does it better). We then did a quick lesson in how to pour it cleanly – sadly the oracle can’t do that bit for me

    We also covered cleaning and I learnt a few from the trenches experiences of using and cleaning the machine. As well as a discussion about how the device was developed. Emilie is clearly knowledgeable and passionate about the Breville product line.

    Did it help me make better coffees? Yes absolutely. And knowing more abut why you do things always improves the learning and experimenting process. I think it forms an important part of the sales process too where these machines are sold by the more white goods end of the market. I’m sure the stores on this forum offer the same service for their product lines.

    I did suggest that since Breville makes bread mixers that they should build a corretto roaster and coffee machine in one. If they ever market that idea I’m staking claim to it first


    Cheers CH
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  8. #108
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    Having problems with the grinder not tamping the coffee level. It comes out looking very wavy - like it put too much coffee in. Asked Breville and they said to try fresh coffee. So far I've only used the last of my last batch of fresh roasted order and a supermarket pack. Have some fresh coming next week.

    Now Breville - since people in Melb/Syd/Bris. get the fancy schmancy personal lessons, what are you going to do for those of us that live 'out in the boonies'? Since you reckon this service is worth $349, hows about a voucher for that much at one of the online coffee roasting houses (since the machine doesn't seem to function properly with anything less than perfectly fresh coffee beans)?

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfdTamar View Post
    Having problems with the grinder not tamping the coffee level. It comes out looking very wavy - like it put too much coffee in. Asked Breville and they said to try fresh coffee. So far I've only used the last of my last batch of fresh roasted order and a supermarket pack. Have some fresh coming next week.

    Now Breville - since people in Melb/Syd/Bris. get the fancy schmancy personal lessons, what are you going to do for those of us that live 'out in the boonies'? Since you reckon this service is worth $349, hows about a voucher for that much at one of the online coffee roasting houses (since the machine doesn't seem to function properly with anything less than perfectly fresh coffee beans)?

    Hi wfdTamar,

    This does happen occasionally. I have a few options for you:

    Firstly try turning the grind size down a bit – finer. If the particles are too coarse & your basket is new, sometime the coffee can ‘slip’ in the basket & the tamper fan is unable to detect the correct force.
    When this is the case, it is an ideal opportunity to also adjust the tamp force to a harder setting (e.g. 7). Wetting the basket slightly with a damp cloth may also help to give some grip when your basket is new.

    As for using fresh coffee beans, we only recommend that you do, as you will get the best out of your Oracle. You can of course, use any coffee you like.

    Please let us know how you go.

    Cheers,
    Kat

  10. #110
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    Ok, tried fresh beans (well 10 or so days after roasting) and got the same thing (before I'd read your message above). Tried to ring the Oracle phone 'hot line' and it got answered and promptly hung up! Noice. There's me imagining alarms and a big red phone at Breville HQ and everything dropped to answer the call of an Oracle owner - ha! Instead I now picture something like the Magda Szubanski phone lady with ciggie hanging out of corner of mouth, too busy gossiping to the others to take calls.

    Well, of course I'd love to be able to use fresh beans all the time, but living where I do that isn't an option. I have to buy at least 2 kg at a time. Hence my hint at the coffee house voucher for those of us in 'remote' areas (i.e. not Mel/Syd/Brs).

    One thing I'd like is the option to use less beans per cup - it does seem to chew through the coffee. The logic behind using the same amount of beans for a single as a double escapes me. Why not have single and double baskets like other machines?

  11. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfdTamar View Post
    Ok, tried fresh beans (well 10 or so days after roasting) and got the same thing (before I'd read your message above). Tried to ring the Oracle phone 'hot line' and it got answered and promptly hung up! Noice. There's me imagining alarms and a big red phone at Breville HQ and everything dropped to answer the call of an Oracle owner - ha! Instead I now picture something like the Magda Szubanski phone lady with ciggie hanging out of corner of mouth, too busy gossiping to the others to take calls.

    Well, of course I'd love to be able to use fresh beans all the time, but living where I do that isn't an option. I have to buy at least 2 kg at a time. Hence my hint at the coffee house voucher for those of us in 'remote' areas (i.e. not Mel/Syd/Brs).

    One thing I'd like is the option to use less beans per cup - it does seem to chew through the coffee. The logic behind using the same amount of beans for a single as a double escapes me. Why not have single and double baskets like other machines?

    Hi wfdTamar,

    I’m sorry to hear that you were hung up on – I will follow that up with Customer Service promptly, I know how frustrating that is. In the meantime, hopefully I can help you fix the issue. Did you try the suggested options?

    As for beans per cup, people have been surprised that there is no single basket. The reason for this is the auger. The auger works on sensing resistance & is a very sensitive and complicated component in the machine. The Oracle and the La Marzocco Swift are the only 2 machines in the world that grind, dose and tamp and neither come with a single basket option due to the restrictions of the auto tamp mechanism.

    I understand it is difficult to find fresh coffee in remote areas as it is difficult logistically to provide certain services to remote areas like Oracle installers. Supermarket coffee will still be OK to use in the machine.

  12. #112
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    Yes tried it with the basket a tad damp and that seems to have worked (so far). I'll try it with the supermarket coffee I have left just to see if it still handles that.


    On my other suggestion - how about if we come to you? Do you have the facilities to provide in house (your house) lessons? If so where would that be? I'd be interested to see Breville HQ as I bought a heap of Breville shares on the strength of this machine.

  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfdTamar View Post
    Yes tried it with the basket a tad damp and that seems to have worked (so far). I'll try it with the supermarket coffee I have left just to see if it still handles that.


    On my other suggestion - how about if we come to you? Do you have the facilities to provide in house (your house) lessons? If so where would that be? I'd be interested to see Breville HQ as I bought a heap of Breville shares on the strength of this machine.

    Hi wfdTamar,

    Yes, you are more than welcome to come & see us at HQ – Address is 1A Hale St, Botany Sydney NSW 2019.

    Matthew Green, our Oracle Coffee Specialist, can conduct a full white glove install onsite – We have coffee here and we ask that you bring your own machine, that way we can calibrate it for you.

    I would also like to re-iterate that to get a satisfactory extraction both in taste and consistency from the Oracle (or any machine for that matter), that it is really best to use freshly roasted coffee. This is the same advice for any manual machine to yield an ideal result.

    I will PM you Matthew’s details so that you can organise a suitable time with him directly.

    Cheers,
    Kat

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    I know it's considered bad form to cross-post in different forums but I now realize I'm more likely to get a meaningful response to my questions here than in the other place. So here goes....

    I am considering an Oracle and have a few questions which I hope an owner or someone from Breville might be able to answer:

    1 Are the boilers insulated? I think i read somewhere that the boilers in the BDB were not.

    2 Does the water in the reservoir get warm from the boilers?

    3 How much heat is given out by the Oracle? Is the machine itself insulated? Here in the desert we try to keep extraneous heat to a minimum!

    4 I assume that because water is preheated by passing throughout the steam boiler before it enters the brew boiler there is no way of turning off the steam boiler to save energy. So the steam boiler is powered as long as the Oracle is on. Is this assumption correct?

    5 How long do the boilers take to heat up from cold (say 70F ambient) on a 15A/110V circuit?

    6 Would it be better to power the Oracle down between shots if it were to remain idle for an hour? 2 hours? 6 hours?

    7 Since the Oracle has a fixed dose (~22g), what happens when a single espresso is made? Is the shot stronger? Is it just that more coffee is used than is actually needed? Does the Oracle somehow compensate when pouring a single?

    Thanks for any feedback, especially on the energy consumption/heat questions.

    Richard

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    Just received my Oracle yesterday and I already love it! I'm by no means expert (a Breville person will be a better source) but I can answer:

    #3: I am in a hot climate (southern CA) and, while I can't answer about insulation, the heat given out is non-existent to minimal.

    #5: I was impressed by how quickly the machine reached 200 degrees after I turned on the power: once 5 minutes; the other time 10. I am planning to use the auto start feature so I'll not wait at all in the morning.

    I am also interested in the answers to #6 and #7. BTW, I am a double shot type and my wife is single: she has been ecstatic with her lattes and I think that means, at least to her taste, the single shot is not stronger.

  16. #116
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    Welcome to CoffeeSnobs, goughy and chedog.

    I don’t own an Oracle but I have been using one of the first Breville Dual Boiler machines for nearly three years. I have made one coffee on an Oracle when demonstrated before it was launched.

    Other than the addition of the grinder doser tamper, the Oracle is the same as the latest Dual Boiler.

    #1. The boilers are not insulated.

    #2. The reservoir gets very little heat from the boilers.

    #3. The machine is not insulated. Outside heat will reduce the work required by the heating elements.

    #4. The steam boiler cannot be turned off while the machine is on.

    #5. Breville have said about 7 minutes. It depends on the surrounding temperature.

    #6. The machine goes to idle shortly after no use and turns itself off after a while. If I was not to use it for 6 hours I would turn it off.

    #7. I can’t help you here.

    Barry

  17. #117
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    Thanks Barry and chedog.

    Interesting that neither the boilers nor the machine itself are insulated. I assume this applies to the Oracle as well as the BDB. I wonder if it was a cost-saving measure or done for some other reason.

    Sounds like the machine would not be adding significantly to my air-con load. I wonder if the beans in the hopper get heated at all - not that I intend to keep a lot of beans there for long.

    The other difference in the Oracle is the auto-steaming wand but it would make sense for the steam boiler itself to be the same as the BDB.

    The coffee dosing question is not critical. Kat explained the reason for the fixed dosing (or at least approximately fixed) in post #111 above and I was curious what difference it made to a single shot. Since chedog's wife has no complaints, I guess it just means more coffee is used than with a single basket.

    Richard

  18. #118
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    Richard,

    I recommend that you don’t store beans in the hopper for any length of time.

    With my Breville Smart Grinder I put just enough in for my current use. I don’t know if that can be done with the Oracle.

    Barry

  19. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by goughy View Post
    I know it's considered bad form to cross-post in different forums but I now realize I'm more likely to get a meaningful response to my questions here than in the other place. So here goes....

    I am considering an Oracle and have a few questions which I hope an owner or someone from Breville might be able to answer:

    Thanks for any feedback, especially on the energy consumption/heat questions.

    Richard
    G'day Richard,

    I own an Oracle, don't know about insulation (I'd assume not) as the top of the unit gets warm to heat up cups. There's also an internal fan (with basis selectable speeds, I'd assume to limit noise) to keep the electronics cooler (something traditionalists will be quick to point out they don't need in their machines - whatever . . )

    You notice some heat on top the longer you leave it on, that's by design I'd assume.

    Water is piped past the steam boiler into the brew boiler. You can set the temp for the brew boiler and the steam boiler separately but I doubt you can turn the steam boiler completely off. The water is also heated in the group head, as the brew temp is hit before the steam temp, you could in theory run a brew before the steam boiler reaches full temp then shut down. (at least on Australian 240 volts - not sure about US 110)

    Again on 240 volts it heats up quickly, 5 mins would be about right, it's set to auto power down after an hour of no use (I think that's default - it is user selectable) the unit powers off it's down lights and panel lights before that as well but the power saving would be small there. I'd leave it on if you were going to use it in the next 30 mins but power it off otherwise. I regularly do.

    Fixed dose is a necessity due to the tamping mechanism as noted by others. I run a 20 second shot (including 9 seconds pre-infusion) and get a great cup with around 30ml of coffee. The 2 shot button extends the shot time to 30seconds and doubles the volume of water through the grounds. The shot isn't really stronger but to my palate its a little sweeter, better snobs could answer this. Little difference with milk added IMHO. Either way you use more coffee on the Oracle than a machine that has a single basket.

    I've got a basic energy meter, I might run the oracle on it a couple of times and post the results, give me a couple of days. Assuming Breville folk on the forum may have something more scientific on this though?

    Hope that helps.

    Cheers,
    CH

  20. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caffeineholic View Post
    I've got a basic energy meter, I might run the oracle on it a couple of times and post the results, give me a couple of days. Assuming Breville folk on the forum may have something more scientific on this though?
    Thanks CH.

    If you get the chance, it would be interesting to get a rough idea of the energy consumption at different stages in the process (heating up, brewing, steaming, brewing and steaming, idle, etc.). I'd have to make some assumptions about 240V vs. 110V but I'd expect the power to be about the same with the current increasing to allow for the reduced voltage. Power might be a little lower in the US with the tradeoff being slower warmup and possibly weaker steaming.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caffeineholic View Post
    There's also an internal fan (with basis selectable speeds, I'd assume to limit noise) to keep the electronics cooler
    Yes, I noticed the fan settings under "Advanced Features" in the "Instruction Book". The fan was not given an automatic setting (unless that's what happens when "StNd" is selected) and as the settings are not readily accessible I assume that they would only need to be changed if overheating became a problem. Perhaps a Breville rep could let us know.

    Richard

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    Quote Originally Posted by goughy View Post
    Thanks Barry and chedog.

    Interesting that neither the boilers nor the machine itself are insulated. I assume this applies to the Oracle as well as the BDB. I wonder if it was a cost-saving measure or done for some other reason.

    Sounds like the machine would not be adding significantly to my air-con load. I wonder if the beans in the hopper get heated at all - not that I intend to keep a lot of beans there for long.

    The other difference in the Oracle is the auto-steaming wand but it would make sense for the steam boiler itself to be the same as the BDB.

    The coffee dosing question is not critical. Kat explained the reason for the fixed dosing (or at least approximately fixed) in post #111 above and I was curious what difference it made to a single shot. Since chedog's wife has no complaints, I guess it just means more coffee is used than with a single basket.

    Richard

    Hi Richard,

    So Barry has done a fantastic job of answering most of your questions. I just wanted to touch on a few points:

    3. Adding insulation did not offer significant enough improvement to warrant the cost impact to the consumer

    5. On initial heat up, when the boilers are filling for the first time, the machine will take approx. 10 minutes. The brew boiler heats up faster than the steam boiler but after initial heat up, the machine will take a total of approx. 7 minutes to reach temperature, before it is completely operational.
    You will not be able to select the1 CUP, 2 CUP or AMERICANO functions; or access the cleaning cycle in the menu options until the machine has reached operating temperature (STANDBY mode). The machine will beep 3 times if one of these functions is selected.

    6.In STANDBY mode, the machine draws 0.97 watts

    7. Yes, the single dose is the same, therefore giving a stronger single shot in a shorter time (20 seconds).

    And yes you can put just the amount of coffee beans you require into the hopper, providing it is enough to fill your portafilter.

    Cheers,
    Kat

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    Thanks, Kat.

    Any advice on when we might need to tinker with the fan setting in Advanced Features?

    Richard

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    Quote Originally Posted by goughy View Post
    Thanks, Kat.

    Any advice on when we might need to tinker with the fan setting in Advanced Features?

    Richard

    Hi Richard,

    Yes, the fan’s default setting is StNd.

    You could set it to “CooL” in hot weather OR if you have to make a large volume of coffees back to back.

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    Hi,
    I am very interested in this machine, but two things bug me:

    21g fixed dose for the coffee. Breville should make the dose adjustable, the dose shouldn't be the same for every coffee, as some roast requires less and other more. You adjust the taste by dosing. (And doing a single you waste A LOT of coffee grinding 21g each time.

    second thing: the grinder quality. The grinder included in this machine is equivalent to Breville's smart grinder. Which is not very suitable for espresso. I mean, it can grind espresso, but it basically is a basic grinder producing not much consistency. It would have been fantastic if Breville had developed a new grinder, with better burrs. Considering the price of the Oracle.

    Again, the idea of the manual/automatic with tamping is fantastic. And the steam wand is amazing. But at the price it is selled, you're better off with a Dual boiler 920xl and a very good grinder. The grinder is the most important gear for making great espresso. More than the machine. You can get an amazing grinder plus the dual boiler for the same price. You control the dose, and get the benefits from the dual boiler (pre infusion, pid, etc)
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  25. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by berenger View Post
    second thing: the grinder quality. The grinder included in this machine is equivalent to Breville's smart grinder. Which is not very suitable for espresso. I mean, it can grind espresso, but it basically is a basic grinder producing not much consistency. It would have been fantastic if Breville had developed a new grinder, with better burrs. Considering the price of the Oracle.
    (pre infusion, pid, etc)
    by what standards are you assessing the smart grinder by and have you used one before?

    i think you'll find that with some patience and a couple shims, the SG is capable of cranking out very tasty shots. some even believe they come quite close to commercial grinders in terms of shot quality. I've used one and it's come pretty close to a friend's vario, which is turn is pretty close to my mazzer mini. I personally find it consistent, and is leagues from a 'basic grinder' like the sunbeam 480 or other any other appliance burr grinder, and almost similar in performance to the vario.

    2400/2500 is actually rather reasonable IMO for something that takes alot of the operator error out of the equation - especially when you compare that to the retail prices of super automatics or any prosumer setup (italian made machine + commercial grinder). i think it is more of a case of apples to apples. in essence breville themselves have come up with the only comparable competition to the 2500 pricepoint with the setup you mentioned. any other machine+grinder combo with similar performance will blow that budget by a mile.

    your first point is fair enough though.

    lastly, welcome to cs =D

  26. #126
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    Actually, I do have tried the smart grinder. It is not a bad grinder, but it is not an espresso grinder. A Vario, ,a mazzer, or a compak k3 would produce a more consistant grind, with heating the beans less( compare side by side, take some of the grinds in hand and look at the consistency of the grinds.)(If you like check the comparisons videos on seattlecoffeegear)

    the thing here is that Breville makes a fantastic product, the dual boiler, and the oracle is basically a dual boiler with a smart grinder. (Plus automatic tamping and milk frothing if you want)
    so, if you buy a dual boiler , and add any GOOD grinder ( Vario, k3, mazzer) for the same price (or less!) you get a setup for fantastic results.

    For the best cup, the grinder is more important than the machine. So your dual boiler is not limited by the grinder quality. You lose the automatic tamping? Maybe, but you can't adjust the dose anyway! So instead of grinding 16, 18, or 18,5 grams you get that 21g, no matter how old the beans are, no matter how light the roast is.

    If Breville would make a dual boiler with their new steam wand, it would be a winner. But to have it you have to make so many compromises that's it's not worth the price (IMHO)

    in the US( or canada ) you get an oracle for 1000$ more than the dual boiler. Seriously? That's a lot of money for an average grinder and fixed dosing....again IMHO)

    thr concept is fantastic though. Breville should just make it better.

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    Problemo - just made two coffees, then the machine spent 10-15 minutes making a pumping sound - quite loud about 65Db. It stopped, then resumed after 1 minute or so (still going now, very annoying and not a high end sound. In fact so loud we're going out). What's it doing?

    It did this once before early on.

    On the uneven tamping issue I had earlier (swirling pattern after tamping that required manual fixing with a spoon). My machine just does not like doing a normal tamp. It only works if the basket is damp first.

  28. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfdTamar View Post
    Problemo - just made two coffees, then the machine spent 10-15 minutes making a pumping sound - quite loud about 65Db. It stopped, then resumed after 1 minute or so (still going now, very annoying and not a high end sound. In fact so loud we're going out). What's it doing?

    It did this once before early on.

    On the uneven tamping issue I had earlier (swirling pattern after tamping that required manual fixing with a spoon). My machine just does not like doing a normal tamp. It only works if the basket is damp first.
    Is there water in the reservoir?
    Hope you didn't go out and leave it running, there is obviously a problem that needs sorting out.
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  29. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Is there water in the reservoir?
    Hope you didn't go out and leave it running, there is obviously a problem that needs sorting out.

    Yes, plenty (well, about 2/5ths full)

  30. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfdTamar View Post
    Yes, plenty (well, about 2/5ths full)
    If it's not the sound of the pump filling the boiler it doesn't sound right. The tamping issue sounds odd to me too. I'd ring customer support and sort it out straight away.

    Best of luck and let us know how you go.

    Cheers CH

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    No it's not the pump filling the boiler - it's louder and goes on for ages. Also like to check how others hot water comes out when you hit the How Water button. Mine is like an old man straining at the urinal (slight exaggeration). Would take a minute or so to fill a cup I think.

  32. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfdTamar View Post
    No it's not the pump filling the boiler - it's louder and goes on for ages.
    Not the pump filling the boiler, louder and goes on for ages, and you let this unknown sound run on! I suspect its time to end forum diagnosis and to take it to a qualified repairer.

  33. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Not the pump filling the boiler, louder and goes on for ages, and you let this unknown sound run on!

    Well, yes, because for all I know it could be a required function (like some internal cleaning) that I didn't want to interrupt.

  34. #134
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    Ouch! I almost feel sorry for the little 980. No mechanical empathy or sympathy going on in the Tamar household.

    Please promise me that if your car ever does the same thing that you'll pull over immediately.... turn off the engine and ring for someone qualified to come and help.

  35. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfdTamar View Post
    Also like to check how others hot water comes out when you hit the How Water button. Mine is like an old man straining at the urinal (slight exaggeration). Would take a minute or so to fill a cup I think.
    Mines faster than that, perhaps a pump has fallen over? I'd ring for service . Doesn't sound right at all

    Good luck,

    cheers CH

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    Questions on descale:
    1. Does the descale alert come on based on number of coffees made or is there a sensor in the boiler of some sort?
    2. Is there a descaling solution Breville recommends for the Oracle?
    3. In the manual, Descale step 2(h), it states: "Empty descale solution into water tank, then top with cold water to MAX line, or as per manufacturer's instructions." I noticed the descale process doesn't use a full tank of water, and thus I wasted a good amount of descaling solution by diluting per manufacturers instructions on the bottle, then filling to max level on the tank. How much descale/water solution is really needed for descale?
    4: After my first descaling completed, the descale alert still came on at power up. Do I need to descale again?

    Thanks in advance!

  37. #137
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    Hi Mike57,

    Just to answer your questions:

    1. ‘Descale’ is prompted by the amount of litres that the machine has used. The ‘Clean Me’ prompt is generated by the number of coffees made.

    2. Any domestic coffee machine descale solution is fine, we use Cafetto

    3. Certain descale solutions require more dilution than others. You will need the tank at least half full to ensure complete filling of the boilers

    4. This should only happen if the descale process was interrupted or not finished completely. Perhaps you could try another descale (without solution) & let me know if it appears again

    Cheers,
    Kat
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  38. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfdTamar View Post
    Well, yes, because for all I know it could be a required function (like some internal cleaning) that I didn't want to interrupt.
    Hi wfdTamar,

    This is not normal. Did you try resetting back to factory default settings?

    As for the tamping, your grind may be just a bit too coarse. Try making it a bit finer.

    Let me know how you go.


    Thanks,
    Kat

  39. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike57 View Post
    4: After my first descaling completed, the descale alert still came on at power up. Do I need to descale again?
    I'm a little surprised that the Oracle should need descaling already as I'm guessing that the machine is only around 6 months old.

    Kat, is this normal for the Oracle as I seem to recall that the other Breville Dual Boilers wouldn't need treatment until around 2 years or so?

  40. #140
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    Hi Goughy,

    Please see following table for descale – If the machine was left on its default setting of 3 (Hrd3) for example, it takes 100 litres for the prompt to appear.

    The prompt will disappear from the screen after 5 start-up cycles, if the descale process has not been completed.
    Setting 1 - 200 Litres
    Setting 2 - 150 Litres
    Setting 3 - 100 Litres
    Setting 4 - 75 Litres
    Setting 5 - 50 Litres

  41. #141
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    Thanks, Kat.

    Interesting information.

  42. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by goughy View Post
    I'm a little surprised that the Oracle should need descaling already as I'm guessing that the machine is only around 6 months old.

    Kat, is this normal for the Oracle as I seem to recall that the other Breville Dual Boilers wouldn't need treatment until around 2 years or so?
    I agree. I have used my BES900 daily for three years and it hasn’t needed descaling yet. If you take care to use softened water by keeping the calcium and magnesium low, you should also get several years without scale problems.

    I treat my water like I wear a belt and braces to hold my pants up. As well as the Breville water tank filter, I have a counter top water filter and a Brita Maxtra filter jug, all use Ion Exchange Filtration, which is widely recommended for removal of calcium (lime) and magnesium chemicals from the water, to prevent formation of scale.

    There is a lot of discussion at this and other coffee sites about scale and water filtration. Just use Advanced Search at the top of this page to find it.

    Barry
    Last edited by Barry_Duncan; 3rd July 2014 at 03:07 PM.

  43. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by KatBrazier View Post
    4. This should only happen if the descale process was interrupted or not finished completely. Perhaps you could try another descale (without solution) & let me know if it appears again
    Hi Kat,

    The first descale seemed to have gone fine and looked like it finished. After a few days, the descale notification went away. For my own sanity I picked up a bottle of descale solution and ran it through another descale process. Everything went fine up to the point where it was time to flush the boilers. I kept on getting the error that the boilers are not empty. After several attempts to empty the boilers to clear the error, I gave up and powered off the unit. After powering it back on, I hear the pumps filling the boilers, so I just waited for the pump to turn off, then turn the power off and empty the boilers, turn back on to fill. I did this manual flush three times. Everything seems to be fine so far.

    Reading the other comments on this subject, it is a bit odd that the descale alert came on after only two months of owning the machine. I just figured it may have gone through some QA testing post factory assembly and wasn't reset. I use water from a faucet attached filter. The water test strip indicated Hrd1, so that is where I set it.

    Other than this oddity, the Oracle has been great!

    Thanks,
    Mike

  44. #144
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    Hi, I just joined because I wanted to share my experience as an Oracle owner. I live in New Jersey and bought my Oracle along with an additional Smart Grinder ( for Decaf) about 2 months ago. At first I was not happy with with either because, I was trying to use Kimbo Beans in the Oracle, which were not freshly roasted; and my Decaf in the Smart Grinder (which was not grinding fine enough) to match a great cafe. My solution was to buy freshly roasted Intelligesta Black cat Decaf for the Oracle, and purchase a separate Mazzer Mini to use for the store bought beans I like (Kimbo, Zibetto (my favorite cafe in NY). This change has been an overwhelming success. I even tested the quality of Black Cat by going to the Intelligesta Cafe in NY and having Decaf made on the Marzocco machine, and then testing against the same Decaf made with my Oracle - They tasted almost exactly the same. This has lead me to the conclusion that the Breville Oracle grinder is great for certain freshly roasted coffees (like Black Cat), but it is not as forgiving as a Mazzer Mini that will extract out the flavors of even less than fresh beans. I returned the Breville Smart Grinder because I did not like that at all, and found it useless to have 2 grinders that can't work with a varied source of beans. For a bit I was contemplating a Marzocco GS/3 to go with the Mazzer Mini, because it just looks really cool, but I am now happy with the pairing of the Oracle and Mazzer because, frankly, the features (cleaning, frothing, etc. extra grinder for Decaf) on the Oracle just make it such a pleasure when paired with the Mazzer. Hope my experience helps any other Oracle users having the same issues with less than ideal beans. -Mark

  45. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfdTamar View Post
    Problemo - just made two coffees, then the machine spent 10-15 minutes making a pumping sound - quite loud about 65Db. It stopped, then resumed after 1 minute or so (still going now, very annoying and not a high end sound. In fact so loud we're going out). What's it doing?

    It did this once before early on.
    Did you resolve this? Mine has just started do that too. Pump runs continuously. Flushed everything but still an issue.

  46. #146
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    Picked one of these up today at Hardly Norman, priced matched the $1850 plus 5 years warranty for $200.

    What recommended setting do you guys suggest?

    only had a double shot latte with the standard settings and was pretty impressed, much better than the pod machine it replaced

  47. #147
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    Ok i've had a bit of a play, adjusted the grind to 10 which gives 60ml in 30 secs, coffee starts pouring at 9 seconds.
    coffee tastes a little bitter, my beans are 11 days old now.

    might have a play with the tamp force settings to see if I can get the grind a little more corse but still maintain 60ml in the 30 secs
    any suggestions?

  48. #148
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    Are you able to post your receipt? Harvey norman baulked at me today at that price. How you finding it so far?

  49. #149
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    Welcome to CS dsc.

    Did you offer to pay the $200 extra warranty? ;-)

    That's money for jam for these types of products/retailers and the extra cash might close the deal.

    Must say how impressed I am with the forum backup from KatB who seems to be always monitoring the site and

    doing some great troubleshooting..... pretty awesome for a 'box branded' appliance from a mega manufacturer.

    Nice to see Breville sponsoring the site and providing a service you would only normally see from small business.
    Caffeineholic likes this.

  50. #150
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    thanks, Yeah will post a pic of my receipt later tonight.
    nah price was sorted then they asked about the warranty, they originally wanted $299 for the 5 years and I got it for $200, pretty stocked with the whole purchase.

    performance wise it's a great bit of gear, super fast and easy, almost no mess which is what i wanted.
    I need to play around with it a bit more when I get some more beans, have been doing a bit more reading and have a better idea of what will improve my shots.

    I made my wife 2 latte's now and she claims they are some of the best she has ever had

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