The Breville Oracle is one of those espresso makers you dream about showing off to your friends whenever they visit. It’s one of the most expensive and best espresso machines available that offers an impressive array of features that we were incredibly excited to test out. If you’re hunting for a state-of-the-art espresso maker to go in your kitchen that can be used without extensive barista training, this is probably near the top of your list already.
Here’s what we thought of the Breville Oracle.
Breville Oracle Features
The Breville Oracle was primarily designed to offer you the high-quality espresso that you long to have, without the need for barista training. The features are all designed to create a mess-free coffee making process that requires minimal effort from you.
- Automatic grinding, dosing, tamping and milk frothing
- Dual boilers and 15 bar pumps
- Programmable settings, including temperature
- 84oz water capacity, ½ pound hopper capacity
- 3 pre-set and 6 adjustable settings
- Create a latte in under a minute
- Capable of single shots, double shots and custom volumes
- Hot water dispenser for other hot beverages
It’s a $2000 espresso maker (at the time of writing) that takes care of everything for you. The integrated grinder can hold half a pound of coffee and the 84oz water capacity ensures you can pull shot after shot of espresso. If dropping 2 grand is out of the budget, have a look at our suggestions for the best espresso machines under $500.
Inside the box, you also have a mini grinds bin, stainless-steel portafilter, 2 filter baskets, stainless steel milk jug, steam wand spare parts, cleaning kit, water hardness test strip, and water filter.
The grinding, dosing, and tamping are all completed automatically (although you could do this yourself and still use the espresso maker) with a few buttons. It also froths your milk at the right temperature automatically to create café quality microfoam.
The features inside the espresso maker are the dual boilers and 15-bar pumps, plus PID temperature control.
Breville Oracle Performance
We must admit, performance is exceptional. When you pay several thousand dollars, you’d expect that it works well, at the very least.
It’s mildly noisy – unavoidable for a grinder and espresso pump – but not ear-shattering and very fast. Room temperature water was up to brewing temperature in 7 to 10 minutes and once you have all your milk, coffee beans and cups placed correctly you can brew a latte in under a minute.
The coffee it produces is smooth and rich. Delicious. We had no complaints.
You can make the Oracle espresso maker a little more hands-on if you prefer. There’s nothing stopping you from grinding your beans separately, tamping them in the coffee basket and clipping it onto the machine with your own two hands.
There’s also a great level of adjustability to play around with, from water temperature to dose volume to water volume. And then there’s the instant Americano feature that certainly saves a lot of time.
Of course, for $2000 you’d expect the machine to do all of this for you. The Oracle will meet that expectation. We thoroughly enjoyed waking up in the morning and knowing a professional espresso could be made in a matter of minutes using the perfectly pre-set settings.
Plastic is kept to the minimum, with brushed stainless steel on the exterior and stainless-steel boilers on the inside. But plastic is still there. In fact, there are quite a few customer reports (unverified) that the weaker, plastic components on the inside often cause for the coffee maker to break.
Don’t forget that you have a 2-year repair warranty with this coffee maker. Plus, if you’re willing to spend $2000 on an espresso maker we would recommend you consider getting some additional insurance for it. If you do run into any problems, Breville will offer to have the espresso maker repaired – although bear in mind that talking to their customer service is not always a pleasant experience.
The more impressive design features include the dial turns and control panel which allows for very precise adjustability. You’ll want to consult the manual for the best way to program it.
Overall, it’s a very attractive looking espresso maker and one that you wouldn’t hesitate to proudly show off at a party or when guests visit.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Cleaning is essential for the longevity of the coffee maker, not to mention the flavor. Breville include a water filter in the box which helps immensely to prevent scale build-up, but you’ll still need to clean it regularly. The cleaning cycle will pop up on the display screen roughly every 200 shots and will clean out the shower head and back-flush the group head, cleaning out old coffee.
Cleaning the grinder requires a screwdriver to open it up and get into the conical burr blades with a brush. A mini vacuum or compressed air blower are also good tools to use, although not specifically recommended by Breville.
The drip tray will alert you when it needs emptying and the outer espresso maker can be cleaned with a simple damp cloth.
There’s no one big button to press to clean the whole Oracle espresso maker – you will need to schedule a time to clean out each part regularly. We recommend once a week if you’re using it daily.
Replacement water filters and cleaning tabs can be purchased from the accessories page at Breville.
Pros and Cons
- Makes exceptional, barista-style coffee
- Very little mess made
- Fast heat-up time
- Can be as manual or automatic as you desire
- Some internal components are poorly made
- Breville customer service is often poor
Overall, this is an impressive espresso machine with all the features you would expect considering the price. It produces an exceptional cup of coffee and there’s really not much more to say about the performance. It’s very easy to pick apart a bad coffee maker, but when the quality is this high, it’s hard to think of any word other than ‘perfection.’
We would recommend frequent cleaning of the espresso machine and possibly taking out insurance or extra warranty on the Oracle as it’s not immortal or indestructible and there are some reports about the coffee maker breaking down that shouldn’t be ignored.
Anthony is a professional barista in the city of Chicago. He has written for many online publications on various topics related to coffee.