Breville Oracle vs Barista Express Espresso Maker Review: Finding The Right Fit For Home Brewers & Espresso Drinkers

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Both the Breville Oracle and Barista Express are elegant and beginner-friendly espresso machines. But the Breville Oracle is more knowledgeable and skilled at making espresso. It’s got a super-automatic design with a dual boiler and a larger water capacity. It already knows what works, saving you time and effort in the process!

The Breville Barista Express offers the best barista-like experience if you want to learn about coffee. It has intuitive features that let you become more and more skilled at brewing espresso. With high-quality and sturdy parts, it is a durable pick with a wide range of capabilities.

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Breville Oracle vs Barista Express: Comparison Chart

Image
The Winner (#1)
Breville BES980XL Oracle Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
The Runner-up (#2)
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Oracle BES980XL
Breville Barista Express BES870XL
Dimensions (LxWxH)
14.5 x 14.7 x 17.6 Inches
12 x 11 x 13.5 Inches
Weight
37.26 Pounds
23 Pounds
Color
Brushed Stainless Steel.
Brushed Stainless Steel
Power / Voltage
1800 W/ 110–120 V
1600 W/ 110–120 V
Material
Stainless Steel
Stainless Steel
Water Tank Capacity
84 ounce
67 ounce
Pressure Gauge
Interface
LCD Display, Button Control
Analog Gauge, Button Control
Temperature Controls
Dual Boiler
Thermoblock
Shot Dose
22g
19-22g
One-Touch Functionality
Automatic Milk Temperature
Bean Hopper Capacity
270g
250g
Built-in Grinder
What I Like
Price
$3,600.43
$599.95
The Winner (#1)
Image
Breville BES980XL Oracle Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Oracle BES980XL
Dimensions (LxWxH)
14.5 x 14.7 x 17.6 Inches
Weight
37.26 Pounds
Color
Brushed Stainless Steel.
Power / Voltage
1800 W/ 110–120 V
Material
Stainless Steel
Water Tank Capacity
84 ounce
Pressure Gauge
Interface
LCD Display, Button Control
Temperature Controls
Dual Boiler
Shot Dose
22g
One-Touch Functionality
Automatic Milk Temperature
Bean Hopper Capacity
270g
Built-in Grinder
What I Like
Price
$3,600.43
More Info
The Runner-up (#2)
Image
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Barista Express BES870XL
Dimensions (LxWxH)
12 x 11 x 13.5 Inches
Weight
23 Pounds
Color
Brushed Stainless Steel
Power / Voltage
1600 W/ 110–120 V
Material
Stainless Steel
Water Tank Capacity
67 ounce
Pressure Gauge
Interface
Analog Gauge, Button Control
Temperature Controls
Thermoblock
Shot Dose
19-22g
One-Touch Functionality
Automatic Milk Temperature
Bean Hopper Capacity
250g
Built-in Grinder
What I Like
Price
$599.95
More Info

Last update on 2021-10-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Breville Oracle vs Barista Express – Differences

Between the Breville Oracle and Barista Express, Oracle is the higher-priced pick. What you’d be paying extra for is better, integrated features such as automatic tamping, a dual boiler, and a faster grinder.

That is why buying the Breville Oracle is the better option. It wins against the Barista Express 4-2 for a classy yet functional choice for beginners and intermediates!

1. Ease of Use

Breville BES980XL Oracle Ease Of Use
Breville BES980XL Oracle Ease Of Use

It’s true that fully automatic espresso makers are easier and faster to use. And they are also readily available in baristas because of their superior brewing technology.

Perfect for producing cup after cup of coffee, a fully automatic brewer is the one to buy.

The Breville Oracle which is fully automatic includes a burr grinder. Simply press a button and the machine will grind and brew, bean to cup, in a matter of minutes.

It controls the volume, time, and grind size perfectly. If you select the drink you’d like, latte, cappuccino, Americana, the Oracle will fine-tune the variables according to that coffee selection. Even though the settings are automatic, they are not the same for every drink.

The Breville Barista Express, on the other hand, has a bit of a learning curve. It’s not as one-touch as the Oracle so it does take a bit of guesswork, experimenting, and tweaking according to taste.

But the performance is smooth and consistent, just like the Oracle. You have control over the water amount that passes through the grounds. This is the point of difference, controlling the volume of water, between the Oracle and Barista Express, giving the former advantage for faster results.

2. Heating Element

Breville Barista Express Heating Element
Breville Barista Express Heating Element

The Breville Oracle features a stainless steel dual boiler which is better because it heats up quickly and maintains high heat for consistent brewing.

Here’s a fun fact: originally, espresso machines used stainless steel boilers for producing heat!

In the Oracle, you have two boilers – one for espresso, the other for steaming milk. This saves time during and between brewing and steaming, especially if you have a drink like a latte or flat white.

The machine will not lower the temperature after brewing espresso. And the separate steam heating element ensures that the milk warms up to the perfectly accurate temperature for milk frothing!

This makes the Oracle slightly heavier and less energy-efficient. Because the machine uses more power to maintain and stabilize high temperatures.

The Barista Express uses a Thermoblock heating element. The advantages of using Thermoblock are less than a stainless steel boiler.

While it does make the water hot quickly, it is unable to maintain higher temperatures for brewing and steaming. This can affect the milk temperature, keeping it slightly less warm.

The advantages, however, of using Thermoblock are better energy efficiency, lightweight design, and longer-lasting performance.

3. Size

Breville BES870XL Barista Express Size
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Size

The size of the Breville Oracle is larger than the Barista Express. Where the Oracle weighs 34.5 pounds, the Barista Express weighs 23 pounds.

Not only is it heavier, it also features a larger water reservoir capacity of 2.5L, the Barista Express is 2L. The stainless steel dual boilers contribute to the weight, making it wider and taller than Barista Express.

Overall both espresso machines have solid construction. Another point of difference is that you can access the water reservoir in the Oracle from the back, it features a water level indicator at the front so you can accurately figure out when to add water.

The water tank in the Barista Express can be accessed from the back. It’s sturdy, space-saving, and looks and feels compact.  

4. Coffee Grinding

The Oracle also features a larger bean hopper capacity of 270g. It’s lockable and you can store it for the longest time without the beans spoiling. The machine features automatic grinding and dosing and tamping. So all you need to do is add the coffee beans (of your choice) to the hopper and the machine takes care of the rest.

The conical burr grinding technology of the Oracle grinds and tamps precisely 22g which is perfect for espresso. It produces rich and crema-infused flavor perfect to drink as is, with hot water, and steamed milk.

The portafilter is high-quality and 58mm stainless steel which, according to baristas, is the professional range.

The Barista Express features a 250g bean hopper. You can detach it for cleaning and refilling coffee beans. However, the lid of the bean hopper is not as secure. I would recommend you to add only the amount of coffee beans you’ll require per cup.

You can adjust the grind size intuitively and quickly. And the machine automatically grinds the coffee into the portafilter. Since it’s not fully automatic, figuring out the right dose of coffee for maximum espresso flavor takes a bit of time.

5. Interface

The Barista Oracle features an LCD display to pick between certain variables. Such as shot volume and manual control. It displays all the information you need to get your espresso cup.

The Barista Express features a more basic yet useful interface with an analog gauge and button control. The pressure gauge is helpful because it displays the accurate pressure levels of the espresso. You can learn how much to tamp the coffee for the best possible flavor extraction.

6. Steam Wand

Breville Oracle Steam Wand
Breville Oracle Steam Wand

Both espresso machines have an incredible steam wand. The Oracle offers integrated steam with automatic and manual controls. It has a thermostat at the tip of the wand which touches the milk so it reaches an accurate steaming temperature.

The LCD display lets you know when the milk reaches the high temp for better frothing results. You can also set the temperature manually if you like your coffee at a precise temperature, either very hot or warmer.

Lastly, the steam wand has an automatic cleaning function which makes everything better! It cleans itself immediately after use, as soon as you put it back to its original position.

The Barista Express’s steam wand is traditional yet powerful. You can control how much foam you want and it also dispenses hot water. The steam wand is easy to clean with a damp cloth and purging. And it automatically lets out a few hot spurts to clean itself after use. This auto-purge feature is efficient and durable to use.

Breville Oracle vs Barista Express – Similarities

1. Pre-Infusion Technology

Pre-infusion espresso is one step ahead of the game when it comes to brewing coffee at home. And both these espresso machines feature pre-infusion technology.

The machine pre-infuses the coffee grounds before passing hot water through the puck. Soaking the grounds inside the portafilter itself makes sure that all the grounds are soaked in hot water. As the hot water penetrates through the coffee, it leads to a richer flavor, better crema, and a strong aroma!

2. Dose Control

Creamy espresso starts with proper dose control at lower pressure plus pre-infusion. And fortunately, the Breville Oracle and Barista Express offer all of these.

The correct dose of between 19 to 22g is the perfect spot for espresso. It is the professional standard for baristas. And it produces the richest espresso you’ll ever have.

Anything less will make the espresso watery, and anything more will lead to a powdery, bitter taste experience.

Quick Rundown of Breville Oracle 980XL

Breville BES980XL Oracle Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
268 Reviews
Breville BES980XL Oracle Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • 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
  • Automatic Microfoam Milk Texturing: Self-cleaning steam wand, powered by a dedicated boiler, automatically textures milk to your liking and delivers barista quality microfoam that enhances flavor and is essential for creating latte art at home

Last update on 2021-10-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • An automatic shut-off timer is included for maximum efficiency.
  • Quick, one-touch Americano function for a double espresso.
  • Capable of producing consistent espresso shots.
  • Ideal for straight espresso drinkers.
  • More nuanced and complex espresso flavor.
Cons
  • It does take up counter space.

Quick Rundown of Breville Barista Express BES870XL

Sale
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
15,113 Reviews
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • The Breville Barista Express delivers third wave specialty coffee at home using the 4 keys formula and is part of the Barista Series that offers all in one espresso machines with integrated grinder to go from beans to espresso in under one minute
  • DOSE CONTROL GRINDING: Integrated precision conical burr grinder grinds on demand to deliver the right amount of freshly ground coffee directly into the portafilter for your preferred taste with any roast of bean
  • OPTIMAL WATER PRESSURE: Low pressure pre-infusion gradually increases pressure at the start and helps ensure all the flavors are drawn out evenly during the extraction for a balanced tasting cup
  • PRECISE ESPRESSO EXTRACTION: Digital temperature control (PID) delivers water at precisely the right temperature, ensuring optimal espresso extraction
  • MANUAL MICROFOAM MILK TEXTURING: The powerful steam wand performance allows you to hand texture microfoam milk that enhances flavor and enables creation of latte art

Last update on 2021-10-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Sleek and compact construction.
  • Pressure gauge for accurate coffee extraction.
  • Strong stainless steel design with milk frother.
  • Fast and sturdy built-in grinder.
  • Hands-on experience for shot volume.
Cons
  • There is a bit of a learning curve involved.
  • The water capacity is small.

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