Breville Oracle Vs Delonghi la Specialista: Which One Is Your Best Bet

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Today, we have an anticipated matchup: the Breville Oracle vs Delonghi la Specialista. And get straight to the point: The former got my vote.

Impressively, the Breville Oracle has up to 45 grinding settings. It makes life easy and mess-free with an automatic tamping system, while its steam wand works surprisingly well. Still, it’s quite bulky and heavy, not to mention that it doesn’t allow for changing coffee strength from its control panel.

As for the Delonghi La Specialista, its smart tamper and dual thermoblocks are major advantages. Additionally, it is available at a significantly lower price tag than the winner, making it an attractive option for budget-oriented consumers.

Breville Oracle Vs Delonghi la Specialista: Specs & Features Comparison Chart

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
Breville Oracle Espresso Machine BES980XL, Brushed Stainless Steel
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
De'Longhi La Specialista Espresso Machine with Sensor Grinder, Dual Heating System, Advanced Latte System & Hot Water Spout for Americano Coffee or Tea, Black, EC9335BK
Model
Breville Oracle
Delonghi La Specialista
Dimensions/Weight
17.8 x 14.7 x 16.1 inches/36 lbs
12.5 x 13.5 x 16 inches/26 lbs
Interface
Non-touch Display
Buttons & Knobs
One Touch Drink Options
3
4
Built-in Grinder
Stainless Steel Conical Burr Grinder
Stainless Steel Conical Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
45
6
Heating System
Dual Boilers
Dual Thermoblocks
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
19 Bars
Pre-Infusion
Milk Frothing System
Auto-Frothing Steam Wand
Panarello Steam Wand
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/4 inches
Dual/12 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
2.5 L/0.28 Kg
2 L/0.23 Kg
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Yes (Optional)
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
User Profile
What I Like
Price
$2,199.95
$536.14
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
3
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
De'Longhi La Specialista Espresso Machine with Sensor Grinder, Dual Heating System, Advanced Latte System & Hot Water Spout for Americano Coffee or Tea, Black, EC9335BK
Model
Delonghi La Specialista
Dimensions/Weight
12.5 x 13.5 x 16 inches/26 lbs
Interface
Buttons & Knobs
One Touch Drink Options
4
Built-in Grinder
Stainless Steel Conical Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
6
Heating System
Dual Thermoblocks
Pump Pressure
19 Bars
Pre-Infusion
Milk Frothing System
Panarello Steam Wand
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/12 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
2 L/0.23 Kg
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
User Profile
What I Like
Price
$536.14
More Info

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

Breville Oracle Vs Delonghi la Specialista: Differences

The Breville Oracle triumphed over the Delonghi La Specialista with a final tally of 5-4. This is a full analysis of how they compare and contrast in various aspects.

Coffee Flavor & Brewing System

Winner: Breville Oracle

Built-in Grinder

Both have a conical burr coffee bean grinder sitting right below the hopper. Your beans go in, the built-in grinder cushes them, and the coffee grounds come out – no need to buy a separate grinder. Sure, it might not quite match up to the costly standalone grinders that coffee aficionados swear by, but hey, it gets the job done without making your wallet cry.

There are 6 grinding levels in the La Specialista for espresso preparation, while the Oracle offers up to 45 settings to choose from, and making adjustments is as simple as turning the collar or dial. 

the breville oracle has up to 45 settings, whereas the delonghi la specialista has only 6
The Breville Oracle has up to 45 settings, whereas the Delonghi la Specialista has only 6

Trial and error is up to you, but if there’s something I want to tell you, it would be: don’t change the grind size when the grinder is taking a nap (a.k.a. when it’s inactive). It’s a bit like trying to change gears on a bike that isn’t moving – awkward and not very effective.

Dosing & Tamping

The DeLonghi La Specialista Maestro comes equipped with a 51mm portafilter, which is a tad smaller compared to the 58mm portafilter you’ll find on the Breville Oracle. In the espresso-savvy circles, the size of the portafilter can spark quite the debate among baristas, and trust me, I’m not about to jump into that fray.

Here’s the thing: the 58mm portafilter is often touted as the “gold standard” in the espresso world. It is roomy, comfortable, and a bit more evenly distributes the coffee grounds for a consistent extraction. This size is widely used in professional settings and is known for delivering a robust and well-developed shot of espresso.

And let’s talk about tamping. The Breville Oracle features an automatic tamping system. It’s true that seasoned baristas might scoff at the idea of giving up so much control. For them, manual dosing and tamping are part of the art and ritual of making espresso. The Oracle, in this sense, isn’t really aimed at those coffee purists.

the automatic tamping system of the breville oracle
The automatic tamping system of the Breville Oracle

By the way, the Oracle’s tamper isn’t an average tamper. It is a pair of blades rather than a flat surface. This fan-like design is kind of genius because it helps distribute the ground coffee more evenly, reducing the chances of channeling and avoiding under-extracted, sour shots. No one wants that in their morning cup.

As for the La Specialista, this one features a smart tamper. So instead of the traditional manual tamping, where you need to put in some elbow grease, all you need to do is press a left-hand lever. I personally found it to work well, but when comparing it to the Breville Oracle’s tamping system, it just feels a bit like a step-down.

the delonghi la specialista's smart tamper
The Delonghi la Specialista’s smart tamper

Heating System

The DeLonghi La Specialista has dual thermoblocks, so it can pull a shot of espresso and froth milk at once, which is still a big step up from a machine with a single heating system. 

Now, let’s talk about the Breville Oracle. This machine also justifies its steeper price tag with not one but two boilers, allowing it to multi-task as well. However, the initial warm-up time takes its sweet time – around half an hour for it to heat up sufficiently. If you’re in a rush for that first-morning coffee, it might feel a bit like waiting for paint to dry.

Brewing System

The Oracle comes with a programmable pre-infusion function. This lets you set the amount of pressure and the duration for this crucial initial stage of extraction. It’s pretty awesome because pre-infusion plays a big role in the final taste of your espresso shots.

you can adjust the pre-infusion interval of the breville oracle
You can adjust the pre-infusion interval of the Breville Oracle

But wait, let’s hit the pause button for a sec. What exactly is pre-infusion? Before the main event of full-pressure extraction, pre-infusion gently soaks the coffee grounds with a bit of water. This helps the coffee grounds swell and settle, leading to a more even extraction when the full pressure kicks in.

Well, pre-infusion is all about avoiding those bitter or sour notes that can sneak into your espresso. Pre-infusion ensures that the water flows through the coffee evenly, extracting all the good flavors without overdoing it.

The DeLonghi La Specialista brings to the table the Dynamic Pre-Infusion function. It automatically adjusts the length of the pre-infusion stage for each extraction based on the density of your coffee puck. For example, if the puck is denser, the machine gives it a longer pre-soak, ensuring that the water can evenly penetrate the grounds for a more balanced extraction.

Then we get to the main event: espresso extraction at maximum pressure. Here’s where things get interesting. The Breville Oracle features a 15-bar pump compared to the 19-bar one on the La Specialista. Now, you might be wondering, “What’s all this bar talk about?”

In the espresso world, pressure is key. A good shot of espresso requires a minimum of 9 bars of pressure. That’s the sweet spot for extracting all those rich, complex flavors from your coffee grounds. So whether it’s the Oracle’s 15 bars or the La Specialista’s 19, you’ll get a cup of espresso that’s full-bodied, aromatic, and exactly what you need to start your day off right.

Milk Frothing System

Winner: Breville Oracle

both are equipped with an automatic steam wand
Both are equipped with an automatic steam wand

These bean-to-cup machines have automatic steam wands, which simplify what used to be a pretty daunting part of making barista-level coffee at home: milk steaming. They’re great, but I personally still prefer a manual wand, as with it, I’m in charge of every aspect of the milk steaming. It’s all about the angle of the wand, the depth of the tip in the milk, and the way you swirl the pitcher. It’s a real challenge, but when you get it right, it’s incredibly satisfying. 

With the Breville Oracle, you can pre-select both the temperature and texture of your milk foam and the wand will automatically work and stop, taking the guesswork and manual labor out of the equation. If you are serious about latte art, you can use the wand to steam milk manually, so I should call it a hybrid wand.

the temperature sensor on tip of the breville oracle's wand
The temperature sensor on tip of the Breville Oracle’s wand

As for the Delonghi machine with its Panarello wand, you won’t get the same level of experimentation or precision as the Breville Oracle. All you can do is turn the ring on the wand to either the “flat” or “foam” positions, depending on the type of drink you’re aiming to craft.

you can adjust ring on the wand to give you foam for latte or cappuccino
You can adjust the ring on the wand to give you foam for a latte or cappuccino

Design & Convenience

Winner:  Delonghi La Specialista

Dimensions & User Interface

Breville OracleDelonghi La Specialista
Dimensions17.8 x 14.7 x 16.1 inches12.5 x 13.5 x 16 inches
Weight36 lbs26 lbs

These stainless steel machines are nothing short of sleek and stylish. They surely add a touch of professional barista vibes to your kitchen. The Breville Oracle is a behemoth of a machine – when I first got it, I quickly realized that it’s not just another appliance you can tuck away in a corner. The Delonghi machine also demands its own considerable space in your kitchen, even though it is more compact.

Talking about the control panel, the Breville Oracle might initially seem a bit intimidating. It’s decked out with a variety of dials and buttons and not one but up to three LCD screens. However, let me reassure you – operating the Oracle is surprisingly straightforward.

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

On the other hand, the Delonghi takes a more minimalistic approach with just some buttons and a familiar pressure gauge. The gauge isn’t just a fancy dial to look at – it provides essential feedback for making great espresso.

the delonghi la specialista's control panel
The Delonghi La Specialista’s control panel

Spout Type & Cup Clearance

Breville OracleDelonghi La Specialista
Spout TypeDualDual
Cup Clearance4 inches12 inches

The La Specialista impresses with its generous 12-inch cup clearance under the portafilter, allowing for a lot of flexibility when it comes to the size of the cup you’re using. Whether you’re filling up a tall travel mug or a grand latte glass, you won’t face any trouble fitting it under there. As for the Breville Oracle, it doesn’t have extensive cup clearance, but you can remove its drip tray to make more space.

Oh, by the way, the La Specialista has a liftable plate to raise the cup closer to the portafilter, minimizing the distance the espresso has to travel. This gentle pour helps maintain the integrity of the crema, ensuring that you get that silky, rich layer right on top of your espresso shot.

the la specialista has a liftable plate
The La Specialista has a liftable plate

Water Reservoir & Bean Hopper

Breville OracleDelonghi La Specialista
Water Reservoir2.5 liter2 liter
Bean Hopper0.28 kilogram0.25 kilogram

Their water tanks are spacious and can easily be topped from top and I highly recommend changing the water daily because fresh water is always best. Their bean hoppers are also airtight to ensure that the beans are protected from external factors like moisture, air, and even light, which can all degrade the quality of the beans over time.

Pre-programmed Coffee Options  & Programmability

Winner: Delonghi la Specialista

Breville OracleDelonghi La Specialista
Espresso
Americano
Hot Water
Espresso
Coffee
Americano
Hot Water

These machines don’t come with a “specialty drink menu.” But don’t let that fool you into thinking you can’t whip up all the classic coffee shop favorites. So, yes, while they won’t magically prepare a macchiato or a cappuccino at the push of a button, they do provide you with all the tools to get creative. Think of it as rolling up your sleeves and diving into the art of coffee-making.

Both allow you to adjust the shot volume, amount of water used, and brewing temperature. The La Specialista allows you to change the coffee strength, meaning you can adjust how much coffee grounds are used, while the Breville Oracle doesn’t offer this particular feature.

Other Features

Winner: Breville Oracle

Auto On/Off

The Breville Oracle’s feature of being programmed for automatic start and shutdown is a real game-changer in the world of home espresso machines. For many of us, mornings can be a rush. Having your coffee machine automatically start running means you don’t have to waste time waiting for it to reach the ideal temperature to pull a shot. Meanwhile, the automatic shut-down feature helps save energy.

Breville Oracle Vs Delonghi la Specialista: Similarities

Built-in Cup Warmer

Both have a built-in cup warming plate located on the top of the machine to pre-heat your cups. This is a great feature, and let me explain why.

both have a built-in cup warmer
Both have a built-in cup warmer

A warm cup helps maintain the temperature of your coffee after it’s poured. If you’ve ever poured hot coffee into a cold cup, you might have noticed how quickly it can cool down, affecting the taste and overall experience.

So, by warming your cups beforehand, you’re ensuring that your coffee stays hotter for longer, allowing you to savor every sip at the perfect temperature.

Water Filter

You’ll also get a free water filter with either of these machines. The water filter removes impurities and chemicals like chlorine, which can affect the taste of your coffee. With filtered water, you’re more likely to get a pure, clean flavor profile in your espresso.

Using the filter can also prolong the life of your espresso machine. By preventing scale and buildup, it reduces the need for frequent descaling and maintenance.

Still, the filter needs to be replaced regularly. So using it will add an ongoing cost to your coffee-brewing experience. After all, there is no such thing as a free lunch!

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 Delonghi La Specialista

Sale
De'Longhi La Specialista Espresso Machine with Sensor Grinder, Dual Heating System, Advanced Latte System & Hot Water Spout for Americano Coffee or Tea, Black, EC9335BK
  • Note: 1)Too coarse a grind, too little coffee, or insufficiently tamping the grounds before brewing can all lead to inadequate pressure for a proper brew. 2)It is important to note that the amount of espresso extracted will vary depending on the grind size and amount and reprogramming may be needed when the size and amount are adjusted
  • FRESHEST COFFEE, EVERY TIME: Integrated grinder with Patent Pending Technology delivers consistent grinding and optimal coffee dose.
  • HANDCRAFTED PRECISION: Smart Tamping Station ensures the right pressure for flawless results
  • 1 SECOND QUICK START Power the machine on and immediately start grinding
  • ACTIVE TEMPERATURE CONTROL: Provides ideal temperature stability for optimal coffee extraction

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

Pros
  • Dual thermoblocks.
  • Automatic tamping.
  • Easy to use and clean.
  • Impressive 12-inch cup clearance.
  • Upgraded Panarello steam wand.
Cons
  • No single-wall basket.
  • Not ideal for latte art.

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References

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