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My first days living with Oscar

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  • My first days living with Oscar


    That kind of sums it up.

    Over the weekend I scored for myself a second hand, very well cared for Nuova Simonelli Oscar off a fellow coffee snob. I had previously been working with a Gaggia Classic, which is a good machine, but when you are trying to put out more than 2 or 3 cappucinos of consistent quality, it tends to fail. The boiler is too small, the steam pressure not powerful enough, she gives her all (hey maybe its me) but ultimately was struggling. I did (still do) love my classic, but it will be ready soon to grace the for sale pages.

    Back to the topic at hand. To use a motorbike analogy here, because its most fitting i think, moving from the Classic to the Oscar is like stepping up from a honda 250cc and getting a Harley Fatboy. Sure they will both get you there, but one has a whole heap more power that you need to be able to control if you dont want to feel like a goose.

    I am yet to produce my best coffee with the Oscar, I have certainly outputed a few decent ones already, but though good, nothing great. It could also be related to the fact that I am working with a new grinder taht is unfamiliar with me, but I suspect its just learning to use the machine. So far my pours are either too short or too long, I am getting closer to it though and was producing drinkable shots at least, fairly quickly.

    Steaming milk is also an entirely different beast. The Oscar was supplied to me with three different steaming tips - the original four hole, a coffeeparts two hole and a four hole with 3 holes blocked. So far I have tried the one with three holes blocked (which works ok) and the four hole which steams so fast its a blink and you will miss it.
    Talk about steam power, this thing just goes WHOOOOOSH! and the milk is steamed. I am certain that once i get past the learning curve I will be getting sensational microfoam. I do think i will need to get a bigger milk jug.

    The massive size of the drip tray is awesome. I would like to say more on this, but really, thats all there is too it.

    Also, the clearance height under the portafilter is the biggest ive ever seen and i can easily fit my mug underneat it without needing to take out the drip tray.

    Some things with Oscar will take a little getting used to. As mentioned, the steam power is explosive. The steam wand being on the left is a bit weird too, especially since the portafilter still goes from left to right so you are almost always banging your hand on it when putting it in. Its almost as if the designer of the machine was a southpaw but didnt have the guts to go all the way and make the portafilter go in right to left. This is an incredibly minor issue though and one I am certain will not be bothering me at all once I am used to it.
    Filling the reservoir is also very different from the classic. Some people recommend using a funnel to do so as it only has a small funnel for input. I personally at this stage find it easier to pull out and put back in. My space designated as a coffee station has just enough room to lift it out.

    The one thing id probably change (and i may investigate modding it to fix this) is that the Oscar lacks a vacuum breaker, meaning that to bring it up to correct temperature and pressure, steam needs to be bled out of the boiler. As previously I had the Classic on a timer so I could make my morning coffees quickly before heading into work, I have added a step to my routine where the Oscar is on a timer, and before I have my shower in the morning, I wander out to the kitchen and bleed off the steam for a minute. Then after my shower is done, the machine is ready and off i go. Of course the advantage now is that instead of having a long black with a touch of milk, i have proper milk drinks because... i can...

    So all in all, my Oscar experience is good, i feel immense potential in the machine and am rather happy with it. With a little luck my coffee preparation skills will improve and I will have consistently good coffee with it.

    Some people say the Oscar with its plastic front is a little ugly, but personally, the black matches everything else I have and somehow now my coffee station looks colour coordinated.

    will report back after a few weeks and then again after a few months with further thoughts.

  • #2
    Re: My first days living with Oscar

    Hi, good to see another Oscar user. Mine works really well and produces great coffee consistently and easily. The steam wand is wonderful once you get used to it, although I find I need to concentrate because it is so fast. Ive always used the original four hole steam tip.


    • #3
      Re: My first days living with Oscar

      ive been using the 4 hole tip.... had to do soy milk for my bro and sister on the weekend, it superheated that stuff way too quickly...

      Will continue this post after a month or so, but i suspect it will be mostly good stuff to say about it


      • #4
        Re: My first days living with Oscar

        You beat me to this machine!

        Hope it works out well for you.


        Originally posted by raphec link=1219616454/0#0 date=1219616454
        Over the weekend I scored for myself a second hand, very well cared for Nuova Simonelli Oscar off a fellow coffee snob.