Buying Guides

Breville Oracle Review

Just so you know, if you click on a product on RoastyCoffee.com and decide to buy it, we may earn a small commission.

Are you struggling to recreate the espresso that you get at your favorite coffee shop? The Breville Oracle may be exactly what you need. Now, you can make barista-level expresso right in your kitchen!

We put this machine to the test and found out that it is quite remarkable. Below we review the ins and outs of the Breville Oracle so you can decide if it’s right for you among other super-automatic espresso machines. 

Check out other top espresso machines we’ve reviewed!

Things to Consider Before Buying an Espresso Machine

The main factor that I consider when purchasing an espresso machine is the quality and taste of the espresso. However, there are a lot of other factors to take into consideration as well.

It is essential to think about how much time it takes to prepare your espresso. If it takes time to heat up, it might not be ideal for your busy mornings. Sizing is important too. Research the measurements of the machine and make sure you have room for it in your kitchen.

Decide on your price point. Espresso machines can range from tens of dollars to thousands. Consider how important the device is to you and how much you are willing to spend on it. If it eliminates you having to buy a $5 cup of coffee each morning, then a more expensive machine might save you money in the long run.

When purchasing an espresso machine, you should decide if you want an automatic or manual espresso machine. With a manual espresso machine, you use a lever to pump the pressure needed to make an espresso shot.  Automated machines do not require you to self-pump.

Another important factor is whether or not you need a milk steamer with it. Some people prefer to drink lattes or cappuccinos, while others just want straight espresso or an Americano. If you do not need steamed milk in your coffee, you can probably save some money going with an espresso machine that doesn’t have a steam wand.

Breville Oracle Product Overview

Breville BES980XL Oracle Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel

The Breville Oracle brings the cafe to your kitchen. Don’t let the price scare you away; the bells and whistles on this machine make it totally worth the money. It comes with automatic grinding, tamping, dosing, and milk texturing. This easy-to-use product makes it simpler than ever to create a latte; with the dual boiler, it can extract your espresso and texture your milk at the same time.

Things We Like:

  • Automatic grinding, dosing, tamping, and milk texturing
  • You can steam milk and brew espresso simultaneously
  • Features a plethora of programmable options

Room for Improvement:

  • A lot more expensive than other at-home espresso machines
  • Very large, won’t fit in every kitchen

Features & Benefits

The Breville Oracle is a super-automatic espresso maker that brews in a traditional portafilter way. It has a number of settings that you can choose from to make the perfect shot of espresso every time, but it also allows you to take the reins whenever you want.

You get the convenience of a one-touch espresso machine with the quality and flexibility of a fully manual one. Below we take a closer look at its specs; this espresso maker is truly one of a kind.

Brewing

The Oracle has dual boilers, so you no longer have to wait between brewing your espresso and steaming your milk. This is one of my favorite features. The machine has a pump that maintains 15 bar pressure, allowing the extraction to happen at the perfect pressure every time. Additionally, you can adjust the brewing temperature with the PID so you can get the exact shot you want each time.

The water tank on the Oracle can hold up to 84 ounces of water, which is enormous! It comes with a charcoal water filter to ensure you are using clean water in your drinks. You pour in the water through the top of the machine, and there is a window to see the water level. The device will also alert you when it is time to fill up or to change the filter.

The Oracle’s grinders are fed with a ½ pound bean hopper and are stainless steel. You can grind your beans directly into the stainless steel portafilter by interesting it into the holder then pushing the handle to the right to begin grinding. You can also adjust the grind size settings with the grind dial.

Finally, you can also adjust the steaming side. You have control over the steam temperature and the amount of foam you desire. A small sensor on the tip of the steaming wand alerts you when you have reached your desired temperature so that you can turn it off or continue to use it as a manual machine.

Quality

As I mentioned before, you can program this machine to your heart’s content. You can adjust the strength of each shot by changing the dose. The tamping pressure, temperature, and polishing time are customizable too. You can choose to make a single or a double shot with just one button, and you can adjust their duration and volume.

The machine features an Americano button that instantly turns your shots into cafe-style americanos. It comes with three different strength and size settings. You even can control the foam, frothiness, temperature, and more on the milk steaming side.

With all of these options, the possibilities are endless, however, if extensive programming is not your thing, then the 58mm portafilter can be fixed into position, and the machine can automatically grind, dose, and tamp your espresso for you, no sweat!

Breville BES980XL Oracle Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel

Maintenance

The Breville Oracle is relatively easy to maintain. It requires you to dump the used coffee grounds after each brew into the knock bin, and you will have to wipe it out quickly with a cloth. Additionally, you will have to wipe off the steam wand each time you use it. When you are done steaming, the wand automatically cleans the inside and the nozzle by forcing steam through the tip.

Less frequently, you will need to do some more in-depth cleaning. Your machine will give you an alert when it is time to run a backflush or to descale the machine. Descaling can take between 60 and 90 minutes, so it is not a quick process. Fortunately, you do not have to do this often, and Breville provides a YouTube video to demonstrate exactly how it should be done.

Design

The Oracle’s design is quite incredible to coffee enthusiasts that are looking for a machine that combines manual espresso machines with super-automatic devices. With this, you have complete control or no control, whichever you desire that day.

The sleek design features a stainless steel casing and an aluminum top. One of my favorite features is the built-in cup warmer that comes on top. As I mentioned before, it is significant.

With plenty of counter space to go around, the Oracle’s footprint was no problem for my kitchen, but for some, it might be too large. It measures 14.5 X 14.7 X 17.6 inches and weighs a whopping 35 pounds.

Luckily, it comes with a roller bearing system that can be used by switching the knob underneath the drip tray. This makes it easy to roll and swivel the machine so you can move it or reach the water tank on the back of the device.

Alternatives & Conclusion

The Breville Oracle seems like a dream to anyone who knows anything about the perfect espresso shot. Although I believe that it is top of its class, some drawbacks may deter some people. It is a lot more expensive than many of the other at-home espresso machines. Additionally, it is bulky, heavy, and is highly programmable.

If you are looking for something smaller, the  Bambino Plus might be what you need. It is a semi-automatic machine also built by Breville, but it is much more compact! Also, If you are a fan of black espresso or Americanos and not lattes, this might not be the right machine for you. If there is no need for the milk steamer, the  DeLonghi Magnifica machine might be better for your needs.

If you are looking for something more budget-friendly, you might benefit more from an automatic espresso machine that doesn’t include a milk frother. Buying a frothing wand separately will increase the time it takes you to create a latte, but it will save you some money on the espresso machine.

Finally, if you do not know a lot about espresso and you want an easier, beginner machine that takes a lot of the programming and guesswork out, then check out the  Mr. Coffee Espresso Maker.

All things considered, this is the perfect product for a coffee lover that wants an excellent, quick latte in the mornings but also wants the freedom to take control of their espresso machine wherever they want to switch up their brewing process.

If you have extensive coffee knowledge, you will be pleased with the programmability and performance of the Breville Oracle. Not to mention, your guests will feel like your home is a French cafe!

Happy Caffienating!

Share the goods

Recommended Reads

  • Coffee Facts

    Flat White vs Latte: How to Milk It

    But isn't a flat white just a small latte? No. Read on as we put flat white vs latte and explain some key differences between these two similar espresso and milk based coffee beverages.

  • Coffee Facts

    Nespresso vs Espresso

    Want to save some money by making your espresso-based drinks at home, but not sure whether to go for the modern pod or the traditional shot puller? Read on for the full Nespresso vs Espresso breakdown to find out which one is better for your home-brewing needs.

  • Buying Guides

    Saeco vs De’Longhi: What’s the Better Espresso Machine?

    Do not waste your time or money by purchasing an espresso machine that is not right for you. Join our team at Roasty in an espresso machine showdown as we compare two of the bigger names in automatic home-brewing: Saeco and De' Longhi.

  • Coffee Facts

    French Press vs. Espresso – Comparing Two Classic Coffee Brewing Methods

    Both French Press and espresso both give you the caffeine jolt you need, but what are the biggest differences in these 2 brewing methods? Let's dive in...

  • How to Brew

    25 Boozy & Delicious Coffee Cocktail Recipes

    Turn your morning caffeine kick into your new favorite evening cocktail with any of these 25 delicious coffee cocktail recipes!

  • How to Brew

    Bone Dry Cappuccino: Keeping Up with the Coffee Trends

    Looking to impress your friends or the cute local barista with your up-to-date coffee knowledge? We've put together this guide on the bone dry cappuccino, so you'll know what's what when it comes to this variant of the Italian classic.

Brew like a Barista
from home

The Home Barista Coffee Course 14-lesson video course about brewing consistently amazing coffee at home. Stream or download the entire course to learn how to make coffee as good as your local barista for a fraction of the cost.

Learn more