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Breville BES980XL Oracle Espresso Machine, Silver
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- Automatically grinds, doses & tamps the required amount of coffee for mess free, barista-quality espresso
- Programmable hands-free milk texturing with automatic purge.Water tank capacity-84 ounce
- Dual stainless steel boilers & dual Italian pumps with PID; Boilers can be descaled by user
- One Touch Americano delivers water directly into the cup after extraction; 3 preset & 6 customizable settings
- Programmable shot temperature from 190 Degree-205 Degree. Displays in either Degree F or Degree C
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From the manufacturer
Automatic Grind, Dose & Tamp
Single or double cup for extraction at a consistent and precise amount every time...mess free and hands free.
Automatic Milk Texturing
From silky latte to creamy cappuccino. Automatically textures milk to selected style and temperature.
Triple Heat System
Independent espresso and steam boilers deliver water at +/- 2°F of the programmed temperature, meeting the Gold Standard. This ensures your coffee reaches its maximum flavor potential.
Heated Group Head
Aids thermal stability throughout extraction.
Automatic Grind, Dose & Tamp
Prepares for extraction at a consistent and precise amount every time...hands free and mess free.
Automatically purges steam through the steam wand to minimize cleaning.
Just like the best commercial machines, the Oracle gradually increases water pressure at the start of the extraction to gently expand grinds before applying higher pressure.
Without this gradual increase in water pressure, 'Channelling' or 'Drilling' can occur. This means water will pass between the tamped coffee and the wall of the basket or 'drill' through the centre of the coffee and not the perimeter. This results in bitter, over extracted flavours dominating the cup as excess water passes through the 'channel' and not evenly through the entire coffee puck.
The Oracle is the world's first automatic manual espresso machine that brings true cafe quality to your home without the barista. The Oracle has automatic grinding, dosing, tamping and milk texturing, automating the two most difficult parts of manual espresso.
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What I Like - EVERYTHING about the machine's functionality. If you use high quality beens, this machine makes amazing coffee consistently with little mess. it really is everything you want in a top end dual boiler machine.
What I DON'T Like - IT BREAKS! By putting everything you could possibly want in one small package, all the parts need to be small, cheap, and mostly plastic. When it works, its great, when it doesn't... read on.
What I REALLY REALLY REALLY Don't Like - Breville Customer Support. The machine pump broke about 1 year after purchase. Sent it for repair and it took 3 weeks to get the machine back... well, not exactly all of it. Just most of it. Parts were missing (and it was still broke when I got it back). Then they shipped a brand new machine, it worked fine. For 6 months... then it too broke, same issue. During the troubleshooting of the first issue, someone in the support team recommended descaling the machine with vinegar, even sent me a nice video on how to do it. I only came to find out with the second failure, from the same support team, that dual-boiler machines shouldn't be descaled at all. I pushed to get a full refund after they asked me to send the unit back to them. They insisted that I'd be contacted by their accounting team once the unit arrived and a refund would be issued. That didn't quite happen. I had to put in several irate phone calls after the machine arrived at their facilities to get a check issued.
Breville: The CONCEPT of this machine is great. Make it actually work by using quality parts. Fire your support team as they don't follow up on anything they say...a
Since I bought the machine a couple of years ago I have had a lot of issues related to descaling. The fist unit received had a now well known design issue. The descaling process got stuck in the program and it could not get the water temperature over 161 F. Normally it should go to the normal operational temperature of 199F. This prohibited they use of the machine after descaling.
Breville exchange the unit for a new one, but that unit had exactly the same problem. It could not complete the descaling program and this time Breville did not respond at all to my contacts - just no response at all.
Fortunately I managed to get the unit running again by using a trick I read about on a forum page. I left the two valves to the boilers open for about 12 hours and let the unit cool completely down. The descaling did not completing correctly though so I had to repeat several times to ensure that the descaling powder was cleaned out - all in all a process over several days.
So I was very happy when I saw on a forum (nothing from Breville) that there were a possible program update that should fix this problem. I contacted Breville a month ago and they offered that I could send my unit back for a repair/update. I received the unit back after about a week.
I was of cause very interested in how it would descale with the new instructions. All in principle the same where there is a 20 minute routine - first one time with descaling solution and then again with clean water. Unfortunately it got stuck in this routine so each time I pressed the "one cup" after completion of the 20 minute routine it would start a new cycle and never complete. I tried to disconnect the power, make a reset etc - but it would each time be in the descaling process where the unit does not heat up to operation temperature.
So I tried my old trick where I left the boiler valves open overnight and unplugged - and that worked it was operational again.
Now I are pretty much back to where I started I am afraid.
All of them have the same issue: water pump in the machine sounds like a lawn mower and will not pump water. Here is what I figured out: The machine requires you to clean the machine and prompts you to do so. So you follow the instruction and this is where the pump fails. It gets extremely hot during the clean process and overheats. The pump motor now will require more amps to operate because it was damaged by the over heating process, that kills the water pump. Frother has stopped working on 2 machines. Customer service will play you like a fiddle and you will invest a lot of time getting nowhere. At $2,000 each not a good buy.
Paid $2,000 for this coffee maker 2 years ago and its now worthless. Breville should not be allowed to take advantage of trusting customers. This is robbery without a gun.
The Oracle machine fills my need for control and my lazy side. Nespresso was super easy and good espresso. What I like even better with the Oracle is that the coffee is noticeably better and almost as easy.
Like a manual machine, you can control the grind and the tap at will. You can control the water temperature and the timing of each brewing step. That meets my need for control. The easy side is that once you set what you want, the Oracle does it almost automatically. The milk can be done manually or automatically as well. The automatic froth is OK. In a hurry I use it. The manual option can be select with every iteration..