Breville The Oracle Espresso Machine BES980XL Review

Breville the Oracle Espresso Machine Review

Get in the swing of things during your mornings with Breville the Oracle!

If it is genuine coffee shop quality espresso that you are wanting, while at the same time having it in the comfort of your own home, this machine is most definitely a wonderful consideration to add to your list of top home espresso machines available in today’s market.

Product Description

If you have always wanted a manual or semi-automatic espresso machine, due to the quality of the espresso produced by these machines (by someone who was knowledgeable in making them) but were scared off by all of the knowledge you felt you had to acquire prior to being able to decently use it, here is your chance to get quality espresso that tastes and presents like that made with a manual or semi-automatic machine, while at the same time being made by a machine that does it all for you.

Includes completely programmable features; built-in grinding, dosing, and tamping ability; programmable milk frothing capability; and more.

Top Features Include:

  • Tons of programmable features. See below for details.
  • Great LCD front panel display.
  • Stainless-steel dual boilers and dual Italian pumps.
  • Very large water reservoir at 84 ounces.

FEATURES

Product Details

Is this machine in the Super-Automatic, Automatic, or Semi-Automatic class?

Although this machine has been placed into the semi-automatic class of home espresso machines according to its specifications, it truly much more closely resembles a super-automatic espresso maker due to all of the programmable options and auto features available with it.

Is this machine programmable?

Yes, this machine has tons of programmable options, to include milk-texturing (frothing),  shot temperature programming ranging from 190 to 205 degrees, completely customizable settings for beverage preference (i.e., Americano, etc.), automatic on and shut-off features, and much more.

Is this machine easy to use?

This machine is, per customer report, with all of the available programmable options, very easy to use.

What types of beverages does this machine make?

This machine makes any kind of espresso beverage you would find at your local Starbucks or other coffee house.

What is the cup height allowance of this machine?

This espresso maker allows for using a cup up to 4 inches tall. If you prefer a machine that has a taller cup clearance space than this one, consider the DeLonghi Magnifica, which offers up to 6 or 7 inches of cup height clearance, almost an unheard of amount with this type of appliance!

Does this machine use pods/capsules or ground coffee?

This machine does not use pods or capsules. It instead uses only coffee beans, which are placed into a hopper that is built in to the machine and fed into the grinder when a cup of espresso is brewed. This guarantees the most fresh espresso, much more so than when using pods or capsules.

Does this machine have a built-in coffee bean grinder?

Yes, this machine does have a built-in coffee grinder.

What is the bean hopper size in this machine?

The bean hopper that is built-in to this machine holds approximately 1/2 pound of your favorite coffee beans.

Does this particular machine have an LCD display?

Yes, this machine has a wonderful LCD display, as well as numerous buttons for different programmable settings.

What is the frothing capability of this machine?

This machine has a fantastic frothing ability that is made so much easier than it is with most other machines. Frothing with the Oracle is actually an automated process from which excellent milk froth can be obtained without a lot of practice and wasted milk.

What is the brew time length of this machine?

Very short brewing time – this machine provides the user with the capability of having two completely finished cappuccinos or other beverage in 90 seconds.

How many cups at a time can be made with this machine?

Breville The Oracle Espresso Machine BES980XL ReviewThere are two spouts that dispense espresso on this machine, thus allowing for either one or two beverages at a time.

Does it have a cup warmer?

Yes, this machine does have a cup warmer. In addition, the cup warmer on this machine heats cups with the use of a heating element, as opposed to most machines in this price range, which normally heat cups with heat generated by the interior heating system.

What colors is  this machine available in?

The entire body of this machine is silver. There are no other colors available.

What type of housing (outside casing) does this machine have?

This machine’s casing is brushed stainless steel.

What type of water heating system does this machine have?

This home espresso maker has stainless-steel dual boilers that heat the water for brewing espresso while at the same time heating/steaming milk.

Does this machine have dual boilers?

Yes, this machine has dual stainless-steel boilers.

Is this machine noisy?

It was unable to be determined whether this home espresso machine is noisy or not. You should assume that some noise will be generated when the built-in grinder is grinding the coffee beans; however, it is unclear whether noise is generated during brew time.

What is the bar pump pressure information regarding this machine?

This machine has dual Italian pumps for super high pump pressure.

What is the water tank size on this machine?

This machine boasts a huge water reservoir that holds approximately 84 ounces — the largest seen thus far among the reviews at this site.

Is the water tank easy to access?

This machine has one of the most easy-to-access water reservoirs available with today’s home espresso makers, enabling the home barista to add water from the top-front of the machine.

Is clean-up easy for this machine?

This machine is incredibly easy to clean, as the machine itself does the work. Features include auto-purge of the steam wand after brewing,

What is the weight of this machine?

This machine weighs approximately 34-35 pounds. Not one of the lighter machines, but definitely one of the more sturdy ones.

What are the dimensions (measurements) of this machine?

This home espresso machine measures 16-1/4 inches wide x 15 inches deep x approximately 18 inches in height.

The bean hopper that sets atop the machine is what makes it 18 inches tall. When the bean hopper is removed, the machine stands approximately 15-1/2 inches tall.

Shipping and Warranty Info.

This machine has a 2-year warranty.

What is the wattage of this machine?

This wattage of this machine is 1,800 watts.

Customer Reviews – Pros & Cons – Breville The Oracle Espresso Machine BES980XL Review

Here are some of the pros and cons that are actual reports from customers who have purchased and used this espresso machine.

Pros

  • Great automated features – one customer reported that this machine has “superb automation.”
  • Quality of construction – this machine is felt to be constructed very durably and made to last for a number of years.
  • Ease of use – per customer report, this machine is incredibly easy to use.
  • Hot water outlet that is dedicated to dispensing only hot water, for those hot chocolate or tea lovers!

Cons

  • Cost – This definitely is not one of the cheaper home espresso machines.
  • At 34-35 pounds, this machine most definitely is not one of the more lightweight machines available.
 

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Breville BES900XL Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine Review

Breville BES900XL Espresso Machine Review

Although this machine is classed, even by Breville, into the semi-automatic espresso machine group, its ease of use and ability to produce excellent coffee-house quality espresso makes it much more than just the average semi-automatic espresso maker!

Product Description

If you are looking for a semi-auto home espresso machine that almost seems as if it is super-auto, then read this Breville BES900XL semi-automatic espresso machine review to see if the few things that separate it from the super-auto class will still make it a machine that fits the bill for you.

Just some of the great features of this machine include programmable options, ease of use once learned, and providing the home barista, both seasoned and newbies, with the opportunity to create all types of different espresso beverages, just like those found in local coffee shops.

FEATURES

Product Details – This Page (Click Ahead!) [show]

Is this machine in the Super-Automatic, Automatic, or Semi-Automatic class?

This machine is in the semi-automatic class of home espresso machines.

Is this machine programmable?

Yes. Programming options include volumetric control preset and programmable shot volumes, providing everything even a beginning home barista needs to make customized espresso according to personal preferences, as well as preferences of other. In addition, the programmable aut0-start feature ensures the water will be heated up and ready to roll when you are in the morning. Also includes an auto shut-off feature.

Is this machine easy to use?

Although a new user will need to get the hang of the different options available with this machine, once learned it has been reported that this machine is easy to use.

What types of beverages does this machine make?

Breville BES900XL Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine ReviewThis machine basically makes any type of beverage you can order at your local espresso stand. A good espresso recipe book would go a long ways with the purchase of this machine!

What is the cup height allowance of this machine?

This espresso maker allows for using a cup up to 3 inches tall.

Does this machine use pods/capsules or ground coffee?

This machine uses only ground coffee beans, and does not have the capability of using pods or capsules.

Does this machine have a built-in coffee bean grinder?

No, this one does not have a built-in grinder. You will need to either grind up your own beans or purchase pre-ground coffee.

Because the grind is very important for obtaining perfect espresso extraction with this machine, it is recommended that the owner of this machine purchase, and learn how to use, a high-quality coffee bean grinder.

What is the bean hopper size in this machine?

Not applicable – because this machine does not have a built-in grinder, there is no need for a bean hopper, which is used to store beans in the machine just prior to grinding them.

Does this particular machine have an LCD display?

Yes, it does have an LCD display which shows brew temperature, shot clock, or the time. Also helps the user with shot temperature and volume programming, duration and power of the pre-infusion process, and auto-start feature.

What is the frothing capability of this machine?

This machine, by all reports, has fantastic frothing capability. Comes with a 360-degree swiveling commercial-grade frothing wand. A stainless steel frothing jug is also included with the purchase of this machine.

What is the brew time length of this machine?

The time it takes to warm up the water in the machine is 6 minutes. The auto-start programming feature,  however, is an excellent way to avoid having to wait 6 minutes for heat-up in the morning.

How many cups at a time can be made with this machine?

The double spouts on this machine allow for making either one double-shot beverage or two single-shot beverages.

Does it have a cup warmer?

Yes, this machine has a cup warmer.

What colors is  this machine available in?

Available in stainless steel housing only.

What type of housing (outside casing) does this machine have?

This machine is housed in plastic and some metal.

What type of water heating system does this machine have?

This machine features two Italian-made stainless boilers, one for steaming and one for heating water.

Does this machine have dual boilers?

Yes, this machine has dual stainless steel boilers.

Is this machine noisy?

There is some noise involved when using this machine, although there are basically not any that we have found that do not make noise.

What is the bar pump pressure information regarding this machine?

This machine features 15-bar pump pressure via two Italian-made pumps.

What is the water tank size on this machine?

This home espresso maker packs with it an 84-ounce water tank, allowing for brewing of many beverages before needing a refill.

Is the water tank easy to access?

Yes, the water tank is very easy to access, no matter what your preference is. Water tank is either removable or able to be filled from either the top or the rear, depending on the kitchen set-up.

Is clean-up easy for this machine?

There is a “clean me” indicator on this machine. Other than the normal descaling process that is required with any appliance that runs water through it, clean-up generally involves a wipe-down, emptying and rinsing of the removable drip tray, and cleaning of the the frothing wand after each use, to prevent milk from drying on it, which is as simple as wiping it with a damp paper towel.

What is the weight of this machine?

This machine is one of the heavier ones available today and weighs in at 30-36 pounds. The reason for this discrepancy (30 vs. 36) is that we found one seller who reported it weighs 30 pounds and another who reported it weighs 36. Either way, this is definitely one of the heavier machines when it comes to home espresso machines.

What are the dimensions (measurements) of this machine?

This machine measures 16-1/4″ x 15″ x 15″.

Shipping and Warranty Info.

This machine has a one-year warranty.

What is the wattage of this machine?

This machine is powered with 1,700 watts.

Customer Reviews – Pros & Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons that are actual reports from customers who have purchased and used this espresso machine.

Pros

  • One customer reported their opinion that this is the “Lamborghini” of home espresso machines…enough said!
  • Although the weight of the machines is considered by some to be a drawback, there is a wheel on the bottom of the machine that can be released and lowered, for ease in moving the machine across a countertop.
  • One customer who purchased this machine came back to Amazon and provided updates every few months. The time span of these updates was from 2011 up to February 2014, at which point that customer advised that it still was working wonderfully.

 Cons

  • One customer reported on the large size of the machine and difficulty finding counter space for it. Therefore, if you don’t have a lot of counter space, this likely would not be a good choice for you.
  • One customer commented that this most definitely is a semi-automatic class espresso machine. Although it does have lots of programmable features, you do need to ensure that all of the features are set to preference in order to pull a good espresso to preference.
  • You likely will need to also purchase a good coffee bean grinder for this machine. The level of grind used with this home espresso maker can be the difference between making producing superior vs. non-superior espresso.

Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine

Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine

Making espresso is well-known for being a “fine art” as well as a science, one which requires the home barista to meticulously set the settings for grinding and beverage quantity, just to name a couple of the needed settings.

Among 231 customer reviews at the time of this writing, this Breville home espresso maker comes out with an overall average customer rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars.

Product Description

Whether you are a newbie to espresso making looking for a great way to a crash course, or a seasoned barista, the Breville BES870XL Barista Express home espresso maker offers you unlimited freedom to either easily learn or further explore the fine art of espresso making, right in the comfort of your own home.

Features include:

  • Auto-programming or not – your choice – programmable features include grind size and amount, a purge function (which allows for automatic adjustment of water temperature level after steam, for optimum espresso extraction). You can also choose not to set any programmable options.
  • Indicator lights showing when the removable drip tray is ready to be emptied and when the machine needs to be cleaned.

 FEATURES

Machine Classification (i.e., super-automatic, semi-auto, or manual)

This machine is in the semi-automatic class of home espresso machines.

Information Regarding Programmable Options

Programmable settings that come with this machine include options for grind size, grind amount, a purge function, which allows for automatic adjustment of water temperature level after steam, for optimum espresso extraction. Also provides a light indicating the removable drip tray is ready to be emptied, as well as another indicator light when the machine needs to be cleaned.

In addition, if you aren’t interested in having this machine auto-programmed for whatever reason, this machine allows the user the option of using auto-program or allowing the user complete control each time the machine is used…your choice!

Info. Regarding Ease of Use

This Breville is reported as being very easy to use for beginners and seasoned baristas alike. As with any new “thing,” there will be some learning curve involved in learning where the different controls are and how they are used. One customer who provided a review stated that the user instructions that arrived with the machine were very comprehensive and thorough.

What types of beverages does this machine make?

Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso MachineAll types of espresso beverages can be made with this home espresso maker, including espresso and lungo (tall) shots, Americanos, macchiatos, and more.

Because this machine has a steaming (frothing) wand built into it, any beverages you can order at your local Starbucks can be made, including drinks with and without milk froth and/or latte art.

How much cup “clearance” does this machine allow for?

This machine provides approximately 4 inches of cup height clearance, much more than most other home espresso machines.

Does this machine use pods/capsules or ground coffee?

This machine does not have the capability to use pods or capsules. If it is freshly-ground coffee beans you prefer, this would be a good choice for you.

If you are looking for a machine that uses pods/capsules over something that requires you to grind your own beans or use pre-ground coffee, a better choice for you would be one of the Nespresso home espresso machines, such as the Nespresso Citiz with milk Aeroccino Plus milk frother. Most of the Nespresso home espresso machines utilize only today’s convenient and popular pods/capsules.

However, keep in mind that if you do make the choice to have a machine that uses only capsules, you will be required to keep purchasing the capsules throughout the time you use this machine. If so, there are automatic order options available so that you are assured of always having capsules available for your next cup of java.

Two dual-walled pressurized filters for excellent pressure control, assuring maximum flavor extraction from ground coffee. Or, if you are experienced and are looking for experimentation, also includes two single-wall filters that are non-pressurized, providing even more room for experimentation of various grinds, beverage quantities, and tamping pressure.

  • Does this machine have a built-in coffee bean grinder?

    This home espresso machine has a built-in stainless steel conical burr grinder for bean to cup espresso production and no counter top mess to clean up.

    What is the bean hopper size in this machine?

    The sealed bean hopper in this espresso maker holds a whopping half pound of coffee beans.

    Does this particular machine have an LCD display?

    Although there is no actual LCD display on this Breville, it does have a very attractive front panel that not only looks great, but also offers a wide variety of settings for you to choose from. If a front panel LCD display is a feature you absolutely feel you need on the home espresso machine of your choice, a really great choice would be the Philips Saeco Intelia.

    What is the frothing capability of this machine?

    The Breville Barista Express features a frothing wand that has 360-degree swivel capability.

    What is the brew time length of this machine?

    Brew time length is incredibly quick – from whole coffee beans to completely brewed espresso generally in less than one minute. The large bean hopper size and water reservoir assures you will have water and beans already waiting a good majority of the time, requiring just the push of a button or two for fresh home-brewed espresso.

    How many cups at a time can be made with this machine?

    Allows for presetting the machine for either one- or two-cup volumes of beverage at a time.

    Does it have a cup warmer?

    This home espresso maker does have a cup warming tray.

    What colors is  this machine available in?

    This machine is available in stainless steel, cranberry red, and sesame black. There is sure to be one that fits into pretty much any kitchen decor.

    What type of housing (outside casing) does this machine have?

    This Breville home espresso maker is constructed of stainless steel.

    What type of water heating system does this machine have?

    This machine does not have a boiler like lots of the home espresso machines howadays have. Instead, it features a stainless-steel Thermocoil water heating system.

    Does this machine have dual boilers?

    Not applicable – The water used in this machine is heated with a Thermocoil heating system, which is reportedly one of the best heating systems available for espresso makers.

    Is this machine noisy?

    As with all of the home espresso machines evaluated thus far at this site, this one is also somewhat noisy. If you definitely want a home espresso machine, you likely will not be able to find one that makes as little noise as a standard coffee maker does.

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    What is the bar pump pressure information regarding this machine?

    The BES870XL by Breville has 15 bars of pump pressure.

    Water Tank Size

    Features of this one include a very large 67-ounce (2 liter) water reservoir, which is sufficient to brew many espresso beverages before needing a refill.

    Info. Regarding Water Tank Access

    The water tank is removable and is a top-fill water tank. It removes from the back of the machine, which requires the user to slide the machine out from under cupboards if the machine is underneath cupboards.

    Info. Regarding Ease of Clean-Up

    The combination of a built-in coffee bean grinder and a removable drip tray allows for ease of clean-up.

    The built-in grinder means you won’t have the fuss and muss of cleaning up ground coffee off your countertop.

    Although the drip tray does catch most or all of any spills, the drip tray does need to be periodically emptied.

Machine Weight

This machine weighs 23 pounds. If you are searching for something not quite as heavy, consider one of the Nespressos, such as the Nespresso Citiz.

Machine Dimensions (Measurements)

This home espresso brewer is 13.2 x 12.5 x 15.8 inches. If you don’t want something quite that large due to lack of counter space or other reasons, you might want to consider one of the Nespressos, such as the Nespresso Citiz.

Shipping and Warranty Info.

If you are an Amazon Prime customer and order from them via one of the links at this site, shipping is totally free.For those of you who are not Amazon Prime members, the shipping weight is 29 pounds.

 

This Breville home espresso machine has a 1-year limited warranty.

Machine Wattage.

This Breville uses 1,600 watts of power.

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Customer Reviews – Pros & Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons that are actual reports from customers who have purchased and used this espresso machine.

Pros

  • Makes a great cup of your favorite espresso beverage.
  • Features include no-slip feet, which keep the machine from sliding across the counter when in use.
  • Tons of settings provide for a great deal of options when it comes to brewing the perfect espresso beverages.
  • The beautiful stainless-steel housing on this machine ensures it will look great with any decor, particularly with the range of colors it comes in, which include black, silver, and red.
  • Those people who love a cup warmer with their machine will love the Breville BES870XL, as it does, in fact, have a cup warmer.
  • Steaming of milk was felt to be very easy with this machine, as well as the clean-up of the wand afterward.

Cons 

  • People who are new to using an espresso machine absolutely can learn to operate this machine pretty easily, although there will be somewhat of a learning curve for someone who has not made espresso before.
  • Some owners of the Breville BES870XL have stated it does require some clean-up after use, which was attributed to the distance between the drip tray and the espresso outlet.
  • The water tank located on the back of this machine was considered to be inconvenient by some.
  • The noise this machine makes is about the same as most or all other home espresso machines (i.e., it is noisy).

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If you are unsure of exactly what you are searching for in an espresso maker or the actual making of espresso, this article may help you understand some things you don’t understand.