If the Breville Oracle Touch Automatic Manual Coffee Machine BES990BSS sounds contradictory, stay with me, there’s a reason we list it like that. The Oracle Touch is the next-generation Oracle Espresso Machine- and it remains the only entry on the market to bridge the gap between ultra-simple super-automatics that offer the most convenience, and tricky manual espresso machines that offer the best coffee quality. Specifically, the Oracle is automatic enough to perform the complex, key elements that make great barista-quality espresso, it just needs a hand to select the beverage, move the dosed portafilter to the group head and put the milk pitcher (if desired) in place. And that’s what the “Automatic Manual” thing is about. The take-away is that the Oracle and User make an easy partnership that yields the best bean-to-cup espresso, that anyone can make.
But this new Oracle Touch improves on the original with an inspired, touch-screen menu design that adds incredible ease-of-use, and genuinely intuitive programmability. Simply scroll through the color display. It come pre-programmed for espresso, long black, latte, flat white and cappuccino. But no matter what you select, you can easily adjust the coffee strength and volume, milk texture or temperature right from your selection. Then you can save your adjustments with your own unique name, and add up to 8 more personalized coffees. Programming and settings adjustment has never been easier, and no machine is better suited to multi-user households. This latest Oracle also benefits from a cleaner exterior look with polished chrome backsplash, drip tray and accents. The sleek, durable housing is made from Breville’s signature brushed stainless steel with a new fingerprint-resistant finish that helps the Oracle always look its best.
Inside, the Breville Oracle Touch remains equipped with an impressive line-up of hardware and intelligent programming to deliver on 4 key elements: dosing, precise water temperature, optimal water pressure, and sufficient, on-demand steam pressure. That means it will calculate grind size, precision weight-based dosing, and tamping for each beverage selection. It has a stainless steel, double-boiler heating system with a heated group head and digital PID contol for absolute temperature stability through the whole extraction. The dedicated steam boiler adds ample steam and hot water on demand, and will froth milk at the temperature and texture that you choose, as it presses a shot. Even the Italian-made 15-bar pump takes ques from commercial machines with Pre Infusion Function, and an over-pressure valve that limits water pressure, so bitter flavors from over-extraction never enter your cup.
Lots of goodies come in the box, including 1 & 2 cup single-wall filter baskets for the 58mm portafilter, a stainless steel knock-box, a 480ml stainless steel milk jug, water filter and more. The Oracle Touch is backed by Breville’s 2-year repair warranty and measures 16.25″ l x 15″ w x 18″ h.
- Uncompromising, manual-machine quality with the convenience of a super-automatic
- New, scrolling, touch-screen menu adds truly simple ease-of-use
- Pre-programmed to make Espresso, long black, latte, flat white and cappuccino with a touch
- 5 customizable coffee settings
- Adjustable grind control
- Programmable milk temperature and texture
- Select 1 or 2 shot preparations, long black and hot water at a a touch
- Every preparation can be tailored to your own taste and saved
- Integrated stainless steel conical burr grinder
- Automatic precision tamping
- Stainless steel dual-boiler system
- Dedicated steam boiler with heat exchange
- Dedicated espresso boiler with Digital PID control for the most precise temperature control
- Heated Group Head with PID embedded element ensures correct water temperature
- 15-bar Italian high performance pump
- Over Pressure Value prevents over-extraction and bitter flavors
- Pre Infusion Function gradually increases water pressure for a full, even extraction
- Espresso shot clock displays shot duration as a guide to extraction consistency
- Automatic Micro Foam Milk Texturing can be prepared simultaneously with shot
- 58mm full stainless steel portafilter
- Dedicated Hot Water Outlet
- 8 oz bean hopper capacity
- 84 oz water tank
- Breville’s signature brushed stainless steel housing with fingerprint-resistant finish
- Mini stainless steel knock box grinds bin
- 1 cup & 2 cup single wall filter baskets
- 480ml Stainless Steel Milk Jug
- Steam wand spare parts
- Water filter holder and water filter
- Cleaning kit and Water hardness test strip
- 1800 watts
- Manufacturer’s 2-year repair warranty
- 16.25″ l x 15″ w x 18″ h
Brandon J. –
Let me preface this review by letting you know how we use our machine(s). We are both busy in the mornings with two kids to get to school. We’re moving around a lot and need something easy, but also want more than coffee and something we can change up a bit here and there. Previously we had the Breville Barista (it now sits in my office). First the Barista has been a great machine for us. Problem was, my wife never felt comfortable making the drinks. The time it took made mornings tough. I actually enjoy making the drinks but when early mornings come along it really is hard to getting a drink made everyday while trying to get out the door.Now this machine: What a machine it is. First, and most importantly, my wife loves it and she uses it daily, twice per day, on her own. It’s incredibly simple to use and clean. The price was something I was shying from at first. In fact I didn’t even tell my wife how much it cost for a week or two. I wanted her to fall in love with it first. My game is on point and it worked. I mean, I did get some backlash but man I dodged a pretty good amount of grief.TIME: I can make a single drink in under a minute. It’s all automated except moving the porta filter from the tamper to the extractor (I don’t even know the correct names most likely but you get the point). The machine has an auto-on setting so it’s on and heated up for us when we go to use it. It even has a heater for the porta filter that gets it hot prior to putting grinds in it. I never knew much about it but I guess it helps the taste of the coffee if the porta filter is hot when the coffee grinds are tamped in it. Most amazingly, it TAMPS THE GRINDS AUTOMATICALLY. My biggest issue was always finding consistent pressure when doing it on my own manually. I’m no pro so it was always a different quality of drink. Here, it’s the same every single time.Another thing that I loved that so few ppl probably think of when buying anything is, the size of the water container AND how to refill it. Unlike most machines, you don’t have to remove the water container or open a lid in the rear to refill the water. You put the container in the machine when you first get it and then on the front is an opening to refill it. So easy. Everything was thought through. Also it holds enough water for us to refill maybe just every few to four days, with regular use.Every thing is touch screen, down to the grind size and temps.Something to address: A previous reviewer said it “cannot make lattes” because of the milk froth. I do want to address this. First, It absolutely can make a latte for the average person out there. Now, if you are a barista, or a person who demands only the top notch froth, yeah maybe this is where the machine is a bit less quality than full manual. When I made froth manually, I could make it absolutely perfect. It’s true, this machine cannot do it “as well” but does do pretty well. However, manual machines, often take twice as long to froth milk and it requires constant attention. This machine allows you to set the temp that you want the milk and the amount of froth. It automatically stops frothing at the desired temp. It’s really fantastic. It makes really nice froth IMO, but not great froth. You are trading this one aspect. As far as the coffee, I believe this makes better than I can manually becuase of the consistency. Now a barista can probably make a better coffee than this machine, but I cannot. I’m an average joe who wants more than coffee in the mornings, and wants nice quality with ease and quickness. This machine requires almost zero cleanining aside from the froth wand, and is super easy to run cleaning cycles on.Another note: You can always change your grind and coffee pour. For example, if you really want a stronger coffee, you can make the grinds smaller. However, this may cause less coffee to come out during extraction. However, the machine very easily allows you to simply go in and add brew time to the shot so that you get your complete two ounces. If you do purchase this machine, I highly suggest purchasing a 2 ounce (minimum) shot glass so that you can test your grind to extraction ratio. Basically if you aren’t getting two ounces, add time. Test when you get it with a small bag. Basically just assume you are going to burn through a test bag of coffee (use the coffee you plan to drink as results change with each bean type). Get it down pat and make sure you get your two ounces and you’re set.CREMA: This machine makes absolutely gorgeous crema. Even on my best “pulls”, I never got crema like this machine creates. Do yourself a favor if you get time, do a shot in a clear glass just to watch the crema bubbling underneath as it is pulled. It’s very impressive.These are my thoughts. If you have the money, get this machine. Don’t look back. I know the progression of thought. It’s this kind of “want, need, doubt, price, doubt, price, want, need, almost buy, back away, price, need, etc” kind of thing. I promise you, unless you are looking for excellence you will feel you just made the best buying decision you have in a long time. Personally, I think it’s better than a Starbucks drink (just my opinion) and truly, considering the price you pay for a Starbucks drink, this machine pays for itself in time. Also, be assured, it’s very well built. It’s a very nice, sturdy (very heavy), solid machine.
Brandon J. –
I’ve had this machine for a little over three months. It makes great coffee and my wife and I have been very pleased with it, despite the cost, until now. After about three months of use, you will be prompted to change the water filter. Which should be a simple operation, except that you will discover you can’t buy replacements for the disposable water filter the machine uses. At least not in the US. I spent a bunch of time searching online, which only turned up posts dating back a year and more complaining about the same exact problem. The filter for this machine is out of stock at Breville’s US e-commerce site, and apparently this is a long-standing problem. Ditto the very few resellers (not Amazon) that claim to carry it. So I am stuck continuing to use my machine with the used-up disposable filter it came with, which presumably will give us worse and worse results over time. This feels like a result of some combination of corporate incompetence and terrible customer service.
Going back tomorrow. Doesn’t reach 195 F. Breville blames polar vortex lol. My home is 74 degrees at the moment and I live in AZ. Therefore is brewing sour espressos. The auto on stopped working for no reason. Neither Amazon or Breville were helpful. Breville said they could try to service it but they don’t think something is wrong and went to say this is not a professional machine and I couldn’t expect much. Hahaha for over $2,300 I should expect to the dishes even. Well not really but hopefully you see the point. Amazon support asked me to plug it in a different outlet. What??? The he asked me to hold the power butto for 30 seconds. Click!!!The frothed is just ok. The milk is frothy but not the silky kind you would need for latte art. I would’ve kept it if the temperature wouldn’t had been an issue but sour coffee and cold coffee is not what I am going for.Not worth the quality of coffee.