Breville Oracle Touch Vs Gaggia Babila: Both Are Absolutely Fabulous, But The Winner Is…?

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Getting straight to the point, in the confrontation between the Breville Oracle Touch vs Gaggia Babila, the Babila has my vote!

There are many reasons to love the Gaggia Babila. It has a handsome appearance, a ceramic grinder with multiple levels, and two boilers for multi-tasking. Best of all, it has both a steam wand and an automatic milk system, catering to both hardcore purists and coffee novices.

The Breville Oracle Touch is one of the highest-end Breville machines for good reason. This one automatically grinds, doses, tamps, and even steams milk. I bet you’ll be impressed with the amount of hands-free time you’ll get with it.

Breville Oracle Touch Vs Gaggia Babila: Specs & Features Comparison Chart

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
Gaggia Babila RI9700/64 espresso Machine, Stainless Steel, Medium
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Breville Oracle Touch Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES990BSS
Model
Gaggia Babila
Breville Oracle Touch
Dimensions/Weight
10.7 x 12.7 x 17.5 inches/20.7 lbs
14.7 x 15.4 x 17.9 inches/37 lbs
Interface
Non-touch Display
Touch Display
One Touch Drink Options
10
8
Built-in Grinder
Flat Ceramic Burr Grinder
Stainless Steel Conical Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
15
45
Heating System
Dual Thermoblocks
Dual Boilers
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
15 Bars
Pre-Infusion
Milk Frothing System
Auto-Frothing System & Steam Wand
Auto-Frothing Wand
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/2.8-6 inches
Dual/4 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
1.5 L/0.3 Kg
2.5 L/0.28 Kg
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Yes (Optional)
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
User Profile
What I Like
Price
$1,899.00
$2,799.95
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
Gaggia Babila RI9700/64 espresso Machine, Stainless Steel, Medium
Model
Gaggia Babila
Dimensions/Weight
10.7 x 12.7 x 17.5 inches/20.7 lbs
Interface
Non-touch Display
One Touch Drink Options
10
Built-in Grinder
Flat Ceramic Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
15
Heating System
Dual Thermoblocks
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
Pre-Infusion
Milk Frothing System
Auto-Frothing System & Steam Wand
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/2.8-6 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
1.5 L/0.3 Kg
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
User Profile
What I Like
Price
$1,899.00
More Info
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Image
Breville Oracle Touch Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES990BSS
Model
Breville Oracle Touch
Dimensions/Weight
14.7 x 15.4 x 17.9 inches/37 lbs
Interface
Touch Display
One Touch Drink Options
8
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 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
$2,799.95
More Info

Last update on 2024-03-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Breville Oracle Touch Vs Gaggia Babila: Differences

The Gaggia Babila beat the Oracle Touch with a 4-3 lead. Now, let’s dive deeper into what makes one stand out from the other.

Coffee Flavor & Brewing System

Winner:  Gaggia Babila

Built-in Grinder

Both are equipped with a built-in grinder, so they can crush the beans themselves without any additional gadgets. Of course, having a separate high-end grinder doesn’t harm either.

The Gaggia Babila features a ceramic burr grinder with 15 grind settings. The beauty of a ceramic grinder lies in its durability and consistency. It stays sharper for longer compared to its stainless steel counterparts and is excellent at maintaining a cool temperature during grinding. This is crucial because it helps preserve the delicate, volatile oils in your coffee beans, which are essential for flavor. 

the gaggia babila has a ceramic burr grinder with 15 grind settings
The Gaggia Babila has a ceramic burr grinder with 15 grind settings

Still, it’s important to remember that ceramic is more brittle. So, be cautious about what goes into this type of grinder – anything harder than a coffee bean, like a tiny stone, could cause damage.

The Oracle Touch, on the other hand, uses a hardened stainless steel conical burr grinder with 45 different grind levels to grind the beans, which can be adjusted using a dial on the left side of the machine. This vast range allows for an incredibly precise adjustment of grind size, making it possible to fine-tune your coffee to your exact liking.

Heating System

They are dual-boiler espresso machines, so they have the ability to brew and steam milk simultaneously. This not only speeds up the coffee-making process but also ensures optimal temperature control for both espresso brewing and milk frothing.

In a single-boiler system, the machine has to switch between brewing and steaming, often compromising the consistency and quality of the final product. This is especially noticeable when making multiple milk-based coffees in a row, as the single boiler struggles to maintain the right temperature, leading to longer wait times and inconsistent results. This is not the case with the Oracle Touch or Babila.

However, one notable difference between the Oracle Touch and Gaggia Babila is their heat-up times. The Oracle Touch takes about 20-30 minutes to fully heat up at first, whereas the machine is ready in about a minute, thanks to its thermoblock technology. The quick heat-up time means less waiting and more enjoying, so the Babila take the lead here!

Brewing System

Pre-infusion is indeed a critical step in the coffee brewing process, and it’s great that both the Oracle Touch and the Gaggia Babila incorporate this pre-infusion function. This works by gently wetting the coffee grounds with a small amount of water before the full brewing process begins. This initial step serves two primary purposes.

Firstly, it allows carbon dioxide to escape from the coffee, which is especially important for freshly roasted beans. If this gas isn’t released, it can interfere with the extraction process, leading to an uneven brew. Secondly, pre-infusion helps the coffee’s aroma and flavor develop more fully, ensuring a more balanced and nuanced espresso.

The Gaggia Babila enables you to adjust the pre-infusion time in three “Taste” settings. That cool feature isn’t possible with the Oracle Touch, which is a bit of a shame, seeing as adjusting the pre-infusion duration can influence the flavor profile of the espresso.

the gaggia babila offers 3 levels of pre-infusion
The Gaggia Babila offers 3 levels of pre-infusion

Design & Convenience

Winner: Gaggia Babila

Dimensions & User Interface

Breville Oracle TouchGaggia Babila
Dimensions14.7 x 15.4 x 17.9 inches10.7 x 12.7 x 17.5 inches
Weight37 lbs20.7 lbs

They are beautiful coffee machines and will surely look great in any kitchen. Both feature a stainless steel housing, giving them a premium feel. There is still the presence of plastic in their parts, albeit a high-quality one.

The Oracle Touch uses an intuitive touch screen, eliminating the clutter of buttons and dials from the Breville Oracle. It’s so user-friendly that even a coffee novice can navigate through it to find the perfect shot. If you’re used to traditional espresso machines, you might feel a tad overwhelmed by the lack of manual controls. But trust me, you’ll quickly get over it once you’ve got real espresso!

the oracle touch's touch screen
The Oracle Touch’s touch screen

As for the Gaggia Babila, it reminds me of a retro arcade with its charmingly simplistic text display and buttons – think Pacman. This one might not have the flashy color display of the Oracle Touch, but it still makes navigating through the options as easy as pie, and after all, that’s exactly what most people need from a user interface.

the gaggia babila's old-school control panel
The Gaggia Babila’s old-school control panel

Spout Type & Cup Clearance

Breville Oracle TouchGaggia Babila
Spout TypeDualDual
Cup Clearance4 inches2.8-6 inches

The Gaggia Babila’s dual coffee dispensing spout is fully height-adjustable. You can lower it to just the right height, ensuring the espresso crema is as perfect as a barista’s kiss, or lift it up when making a larger drink. For a taller cup or an insulated travel cup, just remove the spout entirely. 

Incidentally, there is a little knob on the Babila’s spout that lets you adjust the flow rate of your espresso extraction, one of the available fine-tuning tools for espresso aficionados.

Then there’s the Oracle Touch. No height-adjustable spout can be found here, but at least you can remove its drip tray to get more cup clearance for a larger cup.

Water Reservoir & Bean Hopper

Breville Oracle TouchGaggia Babila
Water Reservoir2.5 liter1.5 liter
Bean Hopper0.28 kilogram0.3 kilogram

The Gaggia Babila’s tank is on the large side for a home-use machine – that is great, but what’s even better is that it can slide out from the front like a drawer, making refills a breeze. Meanwhile, the Oracle Touch’s massive tank is located at the rear of the machine, but you can pour water from the top and keep an eye on the water level through the front window.

As always, both ship with a water filter, keeping the descaling job down to a once-a-year type. Just start a separate savings account for the monthly replacement of the filter. Think of it as a small investment for your daily cup of Joe. After all, can you really put a price on a perfect cup of coffee every morning? I think not!

Milk Frothing System

Winner: Tie

In the diverse world of bean-to-cup coffee machines, some come with an automatic milk frother, taking the guesswork out of milk frothing, while others feature a steam wand, inviting your inner barista. Still, there is one exception. Some machines, like the Oracle Touch and Babila, offer the best of both worlds.

The Oracle Touch has an advanced hybrid wand, which is among the smartest ones still alive. Believe it or not, the wand can only measure the temperature of the milk, but it can also intelligently vary the amount of air introduced into the milk to give you everything from barely there microfoam to microfoam for a heavenly flat white. 

the wand on the oracle touch can automatically froth milk
The wand on the Oracle Touch can automatically froth milk

After the automatic steaming process and once you’ve removed the milk pitcher, the wand also takes care of cleaning itself, ensuring everything is ready for its next use without any extra effort on your part. And if you enjoy latte art and prefer to infuse your personal touch into each cup, the Oracle Touch offers a manual mode that can be activated simply by lifting the steam wand.

The Gaggia Babila, on the other hand, has both an automatic frother and a steam wand. Its left-side automatic frother includes a self-cleaning milk carafe. I love the simple design of this system. The carafe can be stored in the refrigerator, keeping your milk fresh and ready for use. When it’s time for a milky coffee, you simply slot the carafe into the machine. 

the gaggia babila’s auto milk frother
The Gaggia Babila’s auto milk frother

Better yet, the milk frother is self-cleaning after each use. That means you don’t have to rinse a variety of parts and pieces after making a latte macchiato or cappuccino.

And as hinted before, the Gaggia Babila also includes a manual steam wand. This feature is great for experimenting with milk texture and temperature, allowing you to create that competition-level microfoam. Elevate your milk texturing game with a rosetta or elegant swan, why not? They will raise many eyebrows, believe me!

the gaggia babila also has the option to steam milk manually
The Gaggia Babila also has the option to steam milk manually

Drink Options & Programmability

Winner: Tie

Drink Options

Breville Oracle TouchGaggia Babila
Espresso
Americano
Long Black
Latte
Flat White
Cappuccino
Hot Milk
Hot Water
Ristretto
Espresso
Espresso Lungo
Caffè
Cappuccino
Latte Macchiato
Flat White
Hot Milk
Milk Froth
Hot Water

These machines don’t have a potentially endless list of specialty drinks like some other super automatics. but I guarantee all your favorites are here. An espresso? A cappuccino? Or a flat white? All can be prepared at the touch of a button. 

Programmability

Adjustable SettingsBreville Oracle TouchGaggia Babila
Coffee StrengthNoYes
Coffee TemperatureYesYes
Milk Foam TemperatureYesNo
Milk Foam TextureYesNo

Both allow you to adjust a couple of settings to dial in your shot and if you’re willing to tinker, you can create countless variations of your favorite drink.

Now, let’s chat about my love-hate relationship with the Oracle Touch. I love the fact that it allows for playing with the texture and temperature of milk foam. 

the oracle touch allows changing the texture and temperature of milk foam
The Oracle Touch allows changing the texture and temperature of milk foam

But when it comes to changing the coffee dosage, it’s not as straightforward. You can’t just tap a button on the control panel like you’d with the Babila. Oh no, you have to go into its automatic grinding and tamping station, taking out screws, adjusting them, and then the Oracle Touch will dose less coffee.

Other Features

Winner: Breville Oracle Touch

User Profiles

The Oracle Touch has 8 slots for your personalized recipes. This feature is technically a user profile feature, but not really. Either way, it is particularly beneficial for coffee enthusiasts or households with multiple coffee drinkers, each with their own preferences. 

Auto On/Off

The Oracle Touch has the option to schedule it to automatically turn on and heat up, ensuring it’s at the perfect temperature for brewing or steaming by the time you arrive – No more impatiently tapping my foot waiting for the machine to warm up. It’s also smart enough to turn itself off, so on those mornings when you’re running out the door, you don’t have to panic about whether you left the coffee machine on.

Bypass Doser

There is a chute bypass on top of the Oracle Touch for pre-ground coffee. This is a boon for late-night caffeine cravings, for example, or for those who’re not worthy of your precious coffee beans. 

What about the Oracle Touch? Yes, it also allows you to sidestep the grinding process and use pre-ground coffee. For this purpose, you should use the included dual-wall filter basket.

Wheel System

The Oracle Touch features a three-wheel system, so you can smoothly push it around when rearranging your counter space. That way, moving this hulking machine is as easy as moving a Rimowa suitcase.

Quick Rundown Of Gaggia Babila

Gaggia Babila RI9700/64 espresso Machine, Stainless Steel, Medium
  • One touch brewing and frothing: bean-to-cup feature. Milk carafe includes automatic milk frothing for cappuccinos, and milk froth. Manual steam wand doubles as a hot water dispenser
  • ACCESSORIES INCLUDED: 1 bottle of Gaggia Descaler, 1 AquaClean Water Filter, 1 Water Hardness Test Strip, 1 Tube of Brew Group Lubricant, 1 Brew Group Brush, 1 Coffee Scoop/Grinder Key
  • PROGRAMMABLE: 8 Programmable brewing options for espressos, espresso lungos, coffee, ristrettos, lattes, cappuccinos, macchiato, flat whites and milk foam
  • Easy access to water reservoir: features a top Loading removable 50.7oz water reservoir; Brew Boiler Wattage: 1400

Last update on 2024-03-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Easy to use and clean.
  • Ceramic grinder doesn’t overheat.
  • Both automatic and manual frothing milk.
  • Two thermoblock boilers.
  • Adjustable pre-infusion step.
Cons
  • No app.
  • No user profiles.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Oracle Touch

Breville Oracle Touch Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES990BSS
465 Reviews
Breville Oracle Touch Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES990BSS
  • Please refer to user guide or user manual or user guide (provided below in PDF) before first use.Grind Settings : 45 precision grind settings. Portafilter : Commercial grade 58mm portafilter.Portafilter : Commercial grade 58mm portafilter

Last update on 2024-03-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • 45 grind settings
  • A pair of boilers.
  • 58-mm commercial-grade portafilter.
  • Automatic dosing and tamping system.
  • 2-in-1 milk steam wand.
Cons
  • Costly.
  • Bulky.

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References

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