The Breville Oracle Touch is a unique machine that has bridged the gap between Super-Automatic and Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines. It offers a balance of control and precision while automating many of the steps in brewing. This is a top-of-the-line coffee maker that requires no skill and makes a delicious cup of coffee. But is it worth the high price tag? Read our review to find out.
Breville Oracle Touch
The Breville Oracle Touch is an excellent espresso maker with a quality grinder by a company that has shown that it knows how to make good coffee gear. It is fully automated, utilizes cutting edge technology, and makes high end barista skills look like a walk in the park. But in all seriousness what sets this machine apart is the sheer quality of the espresso and milk. Whether you are a purist looking for a short black, or a traditionalist looking for a latte, the Breville Oracle Touch has the ability to rival your favorite café at the push of a button.
Water tank capacity: 2.4L or 84 oz | Bean Hopper Capacity: 8 oz | Average heat up time: 60 seconds | Brew group: in-built | Milk Frother: automatic steam wand | Drinks you can make: espresso, long black, latte, flat white, cappuccino
Super-Automatic vs Semi-Automatic
If you are on the market for a new espresso machine the first decision you will have to make is what type to opt for. Super-Automatic or Semi-Automatic? Super-Automatic machines offer coffee at the push of a button. They tend to be very simple and convenient to use, but generally offer little customization. They make the espresso they make and have little scope for the user to develop their brewing skills or tweak their shot. Semi-Automatic machines on the other hand offer more control and are a good option for the brewer wanting to make coffee a hobby rather than a habit. They require time and patience to learn to use them but can produce an excellent shot. The Breville Oracle Touch is an interesting hybrid that falls somewhere between the two. Breville has taken your traditional espresso machine and grinder and automated the grinding, dosing, tamping and milk steaming.
Breville Oracle Touch Review
The Breville Oracle Touch flaunts the iconic Breville aesthetics. It has a stylish, brushed stainless steel casing and excellent build quality. The color touch screen makes it easy to select or customize your favorite drink. However we would be remiss if we did not mention that it is a huge machine. Measuring 14.7 x 14.5 x 17.6 inches and weighing 37.3 pounds, the Breville Oracle Touch may not be a good fit for every kitchen.
Ease of Use
The Breville Oracle Touch has been designed to make brewing a cup of coffee as easy as possible. Using the touchscreen you can select from preset drinks such as espresso, long black, latte, flat white or cappuccino. Alternatively you can create your own drinks. For each drink you are able to adjust the coffee strength, milk texture and temperature to suit your taste. Once you have selected your drink you lock the portafilter into the grind outlet and the Oracle Touch automatically grinds, doses and tamps coffee into your portafilter. You then move the portafilter from the grinder to the brew group and the machine will pull your shot while simultaneously steaming your milk. The dual boiler speeds up the process of producing a drink.
The Breville Oracle Touch has a built in stainless steel conical burr grinder. It has 45 grind settings with number 1 being the finest and 45 the coarsest. This number of grind settings is adequate for the coffee lover, however the coffee connoisseur may want more room to fine tune their grind size. In terms of the quality of the grinder, it outperforms most of its competitors and produces an even grind. The only issue some users have found is that the grind setting shifts a bit as it warms up, so if you are pulling a few shots in a row you may need to slightly alter the grind setting.
The Breville Oracle Touch can produce a fantastic shot of espresso once you have dialed it in. It uses a commercial sized 58mm portafilter and then automatically doses the portafilter with a 22g dose (this cannot be changed). This is quite a high dose however it ensures you don’t get over extracted coffee. While you can’t alter the dose, you can alter the grind size and shot duration. When pulling the shot, it starts with a low pressure pre-infusion to soak the grinds, before increasing to a higher 9 bar extraction. This helps the water pass evenly through the coffee, for an even extraction. The Breville Oracle has pre-programmed single and double shot buttons as well as an optional manual override.
The milk frother is definitely one of the standout features of the Breville Oracle Touch. To use it you simply fill the milk pitcher to the mark and stand it under the wand. The Oracle Touch measures the temperature of the milk and adjusts the steam pressure to produce perfect milk every time. Whether you are after microfoam for latte art or dense, rich foam to top your cappuccino with, it does it all. You can adjust the temperature and texture of the milk on the touchscreen. There is also an option to steam milk manually if you are wanting to work on your barista skills. And as if that wasn’t enough, the Oracle Touch auto purges once you have finished.
PID Controlled Adjustable Water Temperature
As you will likely know, water temperature is a key parameter for pulling excellent shots on espresso machines. The Breville Oracle Touch has a dual PID system (Proportional-Integral-Derivative for those who love acronyms) which carefully regulates the water temperature with great precision. One PID is on the boiler, ensuring precise water temperatures; the second PID controls the temperature of the grouphead to maintain precise brewing temperatures when pulling shots. This combination ensures you pull consistent and even shots.
The Breville Oracle Touch allows for some tweakability. You are able to alter the grind size, shot temperature and duration and milk temperature and texture. If you are a home barista wanting to explore espresso, play with the dose and grind size, this will not be enough, however if you just after a quick and convenient coffee at the push of the button this is more than sufficient.
The Breville Oracle Touch has been packed full of handy and thoughtful features. From the self purging milk wand to the empty me sign that alerts you when the drip tray is full. You will find this machine has been well thought out. We love that it has a huge water reservoir and you are able to fill it from both the front and back of the machine. Because this machine is both bulky and heavy it also comes with handy retractable wheels which can be switched on or off with a knob under the drip tray, making it easy to move. The other feature we love is that you can program it to turn on automatically in the morning. It is little things like this that make life that little bit more simple.
Cleaning and Maintenance
The cleaning involved with the Breville Oracle Touch is pretty similar to your standard espresso machine. You need to dispose of the espresso puck (the presence of a solenoid valve produces a dry coffee puck making it easy to knock out) and wipe down the steam wand and group head after each use. The machine has a programmed cleaning and descaling cycle you can run and it automatically notifies you when this is due.
Finally, the elephant in the room needs to be addressed. At $2500 this is one pricey machine (i’ve bought a car for cheaper than this!) Is it worth the huge price tag? The answer is that it really depends on your end goal. If you are wanting a super-automatic espresso machine, then we would argue that the Breville Oracle Touch is one of the best on the market at the moment and well worth the price. It produces a high quality shot of espresso and perfectly textured milk. If you are a home barista wanting to explore espresso then you will likely find it does not offer enough control.
The Final Verdict
The Breville Oracle Touch is an excellent machine that produces a quality shot of espresso and outstanding milk with very little effort. It produces café quality drinks that would put many professional baristas to shame. So if you love really good coffee, have the money to spare, and don’t want the rigmarole of making the coffee yourself, then this may be the last coffee machine you will ever need!