Breville Barista Pro vs Oracle: A Head-To–Head Comparison

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The Breville Barista Pro vs Oracle both are designed to make pulling good shots of espresso easier. But if you are a guy who likes to tinker endlessly with settings with your espresso machine, the Breville Oracle is for you as this one gives you greater customization, which is also why it is better and is the winner in this espresso machine face-off. 

Still, there are still reasons to consider the Breville Barista Pro, such as it being significantly cheaper or it allowing for adjustable espresso strength – a feature not inherently designed into the Oracle.

Breville Barista Pro Vs Oracle: Specs & Features Comparison Chart

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
Breville Oracle Espresso Machine BES980XL, Brushed Stainless Steel
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Breville Barista Pro Espresso Machine BES878BSS, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Oracle
Breville Barista Pro
Dimensions/Weight
17.8 x 14.7 x 16.1 inches/36 lbs
8.7 x 13.3 x 16.9 inches/25 lbs
Interface
Non-touch Display
Non-touch Display
One Touch Drink Options
2
2
Built-in Grinder
Stainless Steel Conical Burr Grinder
Stainless Steel Conical Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
45
30
Heating System
Dual Boilers
Single ThermoJet Boiler
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
15 Bars
Pre-Infusion
Milk Frothing System
Auto-Frothing Steam Wand
Manual Steam Wand
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/4 inches
Dual/4 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
2.5 L/0.28 Kg
2 L/0.25 Kg
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Yes (Optional)
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
User Profile
What I Like
Price
$2,199.95
$845.95
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
Breville Oracle Espresso Machine BES980XL, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Oracle
Dimensions/Weight
17.8 x 14.7 x 16.1 inches/36 lbs
Interface
Non-touch Display
One Touch Drink Options
2
Built-in Grinder
Stainless Steel Conical Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
45
Heating System
Dual Boilers
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
Pre-Infusion
Milk Frothing System
Auto-Frothing Steam Wand
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/4 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
2.5 L/0.28 Kg
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
User Profile
What I Like
Price
$2,199.95
More Info
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Image
Breville Barista Pro Espresso Machine BES878BSS, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Barista Pro
Dimensions/Weight
8.7 x 13.3 x 16.9 inches/25 lbs
Interface
Non-touch Display
One Touch Drink Options
2
Built-in Grinder
Stainless Steel Conical Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
30
Heating System
Single ThermoJet Boiler
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
Pre-Infusion
Milk Frothing System
Manual Steam Wand
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/4 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
2 L/0.25 Kg
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
User Profile
What I Like
Price
$845.95
More Info

Last update on 2024-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Breville Barista Pro Vs Oracle: Differences

The Oracle won 5-1 against the Barista Pro. Now, let’s delve into the specifics and explore the distinct differences between these two machines!

Coffee Flavor & Brewing System

Winner: Breville Oracle

Built-in Grinder

Both come equipped with a built-in stainless steel burr grinder, which is a real money-saver. You won’t have to shell out extra cash for a separate grinder, which is always a win in my book. 

The Barista Pro has 30 grind size adjustments. This range is more than sufficient for fine-tuning your shots to barista-level precision, so you can play around with the settings until you hit the perfect shot. 

As for the Oracle, it takes things up a notch with an impressive 45 grind settings. With these many options, you can dial in your espresso shots with even greater precision.

Dosing & Tamping

The Barista Pro is equipped with a 54-millimeter stainless steel portafilter, whereas the Oracle Touch steps things up with a 58-millimeter one. Now, in the world of espresso, the size of a portafilter does matter. The wider diameter provides a greater surface area and results in a thinner puck, which is a fancy way of saying that your coffee grounds are spread out more. This spread aids in a more even extraction of all that coffee goodness.

Now, let’s chat about filter baskets. The Barista Pro comes with single and dual-wall filter baskets for both single and double shots. This variety allows for more experimentation and customization based on your skill level and the type of coffee you’re using. The Oracle, on the other hand, only sticks to single-wall baskets.

The dual-wall baskets are particularly forgiving for beginners, helping to achieve a decent extraction even if the grind size or tamping isn’t perfect. Meanwhile, single-wall baskets are typically preferred by more experienced users who want greater control over their espresso extraction.

The Oracle features an automatic dosing and tamping station, which is a dream come true for those who love great espresso but could do without the intricacies of the process. You select your grind setting, place the portafilter in the grinding cradle, and voila! The machine handles the grinding, dosing, and tamping with the precision of a skilled barista.

the oracle’s automatic dosing and tamping station
The Oracle’s automatic dosing and tamping station

The Barista Pro keeps things a bit more hands-on with manual tamping, which requires some skill, but when you nail it, it feels great. And kudos to Breville here: the tamper included with the Barista Pro is made of stainless steel, not plastic. This is a big deal because a solid, well-crafted tamper can make a world of difference in your tamping game. 

Heating System

The Breville Oracle Touch features a dual-boiler system. Now, this might seem like just a technical detail, but in the home espresso machine world, it’s a pretty big deal. Most home machines try to handle both espresso extraction and milk steaming with just one boiler. The Oracle Touch, with its two boilers, can prepare espresso and milk foam at once, which is fantastic for efficiency. Plus, the machine maintains greater thermal stability because it’s not constantly switching gears between brewing and steaming.

The Barista Pro, on the other hand, features a ThermoJet heating system, taking only three seconds to warm up to the perfect espresso extraction temperature. It’s not a multitasker like the Oracle Touch, but what it lacks in multitasking, it makes up for in speed. Remember that the ThermoJet system doesn’t warm up the brew group right away. So, before pulling your first shot of the day, you’ll need to warm up your portafilter using hot water. 

Brewing System

The key takeaway is that both machines include the pre-infusion function, which is a crucial element in the espresso extraction process. During this phase, water is gently introduced to the coffee puck at low pressure for a few seconds. This allows the coffee to evenly saturate and swell, releasing carbon dioxide and starting the extraction process gently. It’s essential for developing the full aroma and flavor profile of the espresso.

But here’s where they diverge a bit. The Oracle gives you the flexibility to adjust the duration of the pre-infusion. It’s pretty fun for coffee enthusiasts who love to experiment and fine-tune their brewing process.

By the way, both have a 15-bar pump, more than enough to extract all the rich flavors and aromatic oils from the coffee beans. Well, in case you don’t know, a pressure of 9 bars is needed for optimal espresso extraction.

Design & Convenience

Winner: Tie

Dimensions & User Interface

Breville Barista ProBreville Oracle
Dimensions16.9 x 8.7 x 13.3 inches17.8 x 14.7 x 16.1 inches
Weight25 lbs36 lbs

Clocking in at over 36 pounds, the Oracle is indeed a hefty brute of a machine. But don’t worry! You won’t need to start a weightlifting routine just to move it around. There’s a clever design feature that comes to the rescue: a nifty swivel foot under the drip tray, making it surprisingly easy to maneuver the machine.

the roller system under the oracle
The roller system under the Oracle

Both are available in a sleek stainless steel finish, but the Barista Pro also offers a variety of other color options to suit different kitchen aesthetics. Trust me, no matter which color you choose, it’s hard to deny that the Barista Pro is quite the looker. 

Speaking of the user interface, the Barista Pro has a single large LCD screen, while the Oracle features a trio of LCD screens. Their screens are operated by a number of buttons, and once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll be able to adjust a variety of settings like a pro barista, I promise.

the oracle's control panel
The Oracle’s control panel

Water Reservoir & Bean Hopper

Breville Barista ProBreville Oracle
Water Reservoir2 liter2.5 liter
Bean Hopper0.25 kilogram0.28 kilogram

While you have to remove the Barista’s tank from the rear of the machine to refill, you can fill the Oracle from the top, which is certainly very convenient and makes a lot of sense for such a bulky machine. And, oh! I should mention this nifty feature on the Oracle: it has a front-facing window that lets you monitor the current water level.

the oracle's top-fill system
The Oracle’s top-fill system

Milk Frothing System

Winner: Breville Oracle

The automatic steam wand on the Oracle is definitely one of its most impressive features. You can adjust the milk’s temperature from 104 to 167 °F, and the consistency from a gentle 1 to a frothy 9, all at the mere touch of a button.

Now, I’ll be honest – I was quite skeptical about this whole automatic steam wand idea at first. As a self-respecting barista, the thought of just sticking the wand into the milk pitcher and then casually walking away almost seemed blasphemous.  But, I have to admit that it really works. 

You don’t have to stand there, thermometer in hand, playing a high-stakes game of “guess the milk temperature.” The wand has a built-in temperature sensor at the tip, so it knows exactly when to stop to reach your desired temperature. For those days when you’re feeling particularly barista-esque and want to show off your milk-frothing skills, you can still do the whole process manually.

The Barista Pro has a built-in manual steam wand. Sure, it might not have the whistles and bells of an automatic steam wand, but it is perfectly fine for most home baristas. I’ve whipped up some pretty awesome cappuccinos with it, complete with that lovely, frothy top hat of milk foam. And as for flat whites, it handled them decently too. Sure, it might not be as precise as a barista competition, but for a cozy morning at home? It’s spot on.

Pre-programmed Coffee Options  & Programmability

Winner: Breville Oracle

Breville Barista ProBreville Oracle
Espresso
Hot Water
Espresso
Americano
Hot Water

These machines don’t have a long menu of one-touch coffee specialties. So, if you’re craving a milk-based drink, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and let your inner barista shine. A perfectly prepared cappuccino or a mixture of hot milk and espresso – it all depends on you. Sure, there might be a little trial and error at first (hopefully without the dramatic background music), but the satisfaction of nailing that perfect blend is unmatched.

Both allow you to fine-tune shot length and brewing temperature, but only the Barista Pro allows changing coffee strength (or how much coffee grounds are used per shot). Still, the Oracle also allows changing the length of the pre-infusion process as well as the temperature and texture of the milk foam, so  it overall provides a higher level of customization.

Other Features

Winner: Breville Oracle

Auto On/Off

The Barista Pro comes with a pretty handy auto-off feature that shuts down the machine after 30 minutes of inactivity. The Oracle takes this a step further and ups the convenience game as it can be programmed to automatically turn off and on at specific times of the day – just like having a personal coffee assistant who knows your schedule. 

Breville Barista Pro Vs Oracle: Similarities

Spout & Cup Clearance

Breville Barista ProBreville Oracle
Spigot TypeDualDual
Cup Clearance4 inches4 inches

The spout on the Barista Pro or Oracle isn’t adjustable, but there’s actually enough room to accommodate most cups, even those chunky travel mugs. So, unless you want to brew directly into a coffee thermos, you’re unlikely to run into any height issues. If you do find yourself in a situation where you need just a bit more space, just remove it, and voilà, you’ve got extra clearance.

Built-in Cup Wammer 

Both have a built-in cup warmer. So what’s the big deal about warming up your cups? Well, a pre-warmed cup ensures that your coffee stays at the ideal temperature for longer. This is particularly important for espresso, which is typically served in small amounts. The last thing you want is your perfect shot of espresso to go cold before you’ve had the chance to truly enjoy it.

Water Filter

Ah, both ship with a water filter. The role of a water filter is crucial, especially when you consider that coffee is more than 98% water. The filter’s job is to purify the water used in brewing, removing impurities and any funky tastes that might be lurking in your tap water.

If your tap water is hard (meaning it has a high mineral content) or if it has a noticeable taste or odor, a water filter is your best friend. Hard water can lead to limescale buildup in your machine, which is about as fun as finding a rock in your shoe. The filter helps prevent this, keeping your machine running smoothly and your coffee tasting great.

But when might a water filter not be necessary? If you’re already using pre-filtered water or if your tap water is particularly soft and of high quality, you might not need an extra filter in your coffee machine.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Oracle

Breville Oracle Espresso Machine BES980XL, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • Earn up to $200 cashback with a Beanz coffee subscription when you purchase a selected Breville espresso machine. Visit earn-cashback.breville.com purchase to claim. Valid Aug 1, 2023 until Jun 30, 2024
  • The Breville Oracle fully automatic delivers third wave specialty coffee at home using the 4 keys formula; It has a professional Dual Boiler construction that delivers unparalleled temperature control and simultaneous extraction and steaming
  • DOSE CONTROL GRINDING: The integrated precision conical burr grinder automatically grinds, doses and tamps 22 grams of freshly ground coffee, for maximum flavor
  • OPTIMAL WATER PRESSURE: The Over Pressure Valve limits the maximum pump pressure throughout extraction, helping prevent bitter flavors; Low pressure pre infusion gradually increases water pressure to gently expand grinds for an even extraction
  • PRECISE ESPRESSO EXTRACTION: Dual stainless steel boilers and heated group head controlled by digital temperature control (PID) delivers water at precisely the right temperature, ensuring optimal espresso extraction

Last update on 2024-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Automatic grinding, tamping and steaming.
  • 45 grinding settings.
  • Both manual and automatic milk frothing.
  • Easy to use and clean.
  • Has dual boilers.
Cons
  • Costly.
  • Few one-touch drinks.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Barista Pro 

Breville Barista Pro Espresso Machine BES878BSS, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • Item Package Dimension: 17.39L x 16.59W x 16.09H inches
  • Item Package Weight - 27.20 Pounds
  • Item Package Quantity - 1
  • Product Type - COFFEE MAKER

Last update on 2024-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Built-in burr grinder with 30 different settings.
  • Adjustable pre-infusion.
  • ThermoJet fast heating system.
  • Affordable price.
  • Ease to use.
Cons
  • On the heavy side.
  • One boiler.

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References

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