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Breville Oracle Espresso Machine Review

Our Rating: 4.5/5

Breville Oracle


  • Triple Heat system
  • Over-pressure valve
  • Programmable milk froth settings
  • Grind control
  • Accessories included
  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price

Our Rating: 4.5/5

Breville Oracle


  • Triple Heat system
  • Over-pressure valve
  • Programmable milk froth settings
  • Grind control
  • Accessories included
  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price

Breville Oracle Review Summary

When I first stumbled upon the Breville Oracle, I thought it was intended for commercial use. Though it’s made for home kitchens, I wasn’t entirely wrong. Breville created the Oracle for connoisseurs of third-wave coffee — the belief that coffee is a craft and should therefore be experienced as such.

The 1800-watt machine uses a triple heat system, pre-infusion technology, and an over-pressure valve to ensure consistently even extraction and uninhibited flavors. The Breville BES980XL is crafted from brushed stainless steel and uses a generous double boiler.

As expected from Breville, you get a lot of say in your coffee. There are adjustable grind sizes, milk temperature and texture control, and a selection of drinks to choose from. A full range of accessories is included in your purchase and will help you with upkeep.

It’s not the most compact machine out there, and there’s definitely a learning curve when it comes to operation, but it’s worth it.

If you’re serious about your coffee and don’t mind paying extra for higher quality, don’t settle for less than the Breville Oracle coffee machine.


  • Integrated pressure and temperature regulation
  • Grind-size control
  • Programmable milk and froth settings
  • Choice in coffee size and type
  • Complete with accessories
  • Optimal 15-bar pressure


    • Takes up a lot of counter space
    • Not a budget-friendly choice
    • High maintenance

    Features and Benefits of the Breville Oracle Espresso Machine

    You may be wondering what makes the Breville Oracle worth its price tag. Although it doesn’t boast the aesthetic features of lesser machines, there’s more than meets the eye. Here’s what I love about it:

    Triple Heat System

    It’s no secret that when it comes to espresso, the perfect temperature is a must. It has a direct impact on your extraction and therefore flavor and consistency. That’s why it’s so handy that the Breville Oracle Espresso Machine uses a triple heat system to brew.

    A dedicated steam boiler with integrated heat exchange and a PID-controlled element both regulate thermal stability. Then, a dedicated espresso boiler — complete with digital PID control — automatically maintains the precise water temperatures your brew needs.

    Together, these three components ensure that your espresso is made to the true standard. Since they’re self-regulating, they also remove human error and give you consistently good espresso.

    The mechanics may be somewhat complicated, but the value lies in not having to think about it. The Breville BES980XL Oracle Espresso Machine does it all for you.

    Pressure Regulation

    Temperature isn’t the only automated function in the Breville BES980XL. Testament to how all bases are covered by Breville, the Oracle espresso machine takes care of your pressure settings too.

    Since pressure is vital to espresso extraction, it’s great that it’s regulated by the machine on two accounts.

    Firstly, the unit features pre-infusion technology, which gradually increases water pressure, in turn expanding your grinds and resulting in even coffee extraction.

    Secondly, the over-pressure valve — a feature typically found in commercial espresso makers — limits the pressure pump to prevent any over-extraction and subsequent bitter flavors.

    Combined with the aforementioned temperature control mechanism, the Breville Oracle is set to produce perfect espresso with little chance for error or extra effort on your part.

    Programmable Variety

    In another great step by Breville, the Oracle coffee machine has programmable settings and offers bean addicts plenty of choice and control over their coffee.

    To start, you can pick your grind size from fine to coarse using a simple dial. You can also select your brew size and strength, choose between a single or double-shot espresso, or use hot water for tea or chocolate.

    The machine also has programmable milk and froth settings. Temperature and texture are both adjustable to create the perfect micro-foam. Beyond making your froth exactly as you prefer it, these features enable latte art creation — a bonus if you’re looking for the feel and aesthetic of cafe-quality coffee.

    While we’re talking about foam, I’ll mention the self-cleaning steam wand, an obvious boon when it comes to clean-ups.

    Handy Accessories

    It’s always great when freebies are included with your purchase, and Breville took no shortcuts with the Oracle Espresso Machine.

    At no extra cost, you’ll receive:

    • A 54 mm stainless steel portafilter and a stainless steel jug
    • One and two-cup dual wall filter baskets
    • A water filter and filter holder
    • A handy coffee scoop
    • A dose trimming tool
    • Cleaning accessories including an Allen key and cleaning tablets

    It goes without saying that you’ll save some money with these accessories, as the Breville BES980XL comes with everything you need to get started. Plus, the freebies help you maintain your machine and, by extension, its lifespan.

    User-Friendly Controls

    I won’t lie, there is a slight learning curve before you master your Breville BES980XL, but its sophisticated design is bound to make things easier for you.

    Cup selection and the hot water option are simple one-touch buttons, as is the power control. For grind size, brew size and strength, and milk frothing options, the dials are intuitive and easy to understand and operate.

    There are three screens for your convenience to easily see your machine’s current settings. You can adjust the machine’s temperature settings to Fahrenheit or Celsius too.

    The Oracle seems like a complicated machine at first glance, and in some ways it certainly is, but Breville has done well by making it as user-friendly as possible — which says a lot considering how high-end this model is.

    It’s Fast (When It Matters)

    There is a warm-up time of approximately 10 minutes to take into consideration, but once this machine is ready, it only takes 30 seconds to brew your espresso.

    Bear in mind that such a top-level machine isn’t intended for convenience, but rather the experience.

    Remember that true espresso is brewed through high temperatures and pressures passing through grinds and extracting coffee. For this to happen, precision is required and the machine’s 10-minute start-up time is a necessary part of quality coffee.

    Not ideal if you’re in a huge rush on those busy mornings, but that’s not what this machine is for. I say it’s fast because thirty seconds for espresso is ridiculously quick, and this machine is as efficient as it is exacting when it matters.

    What Do Users Say About the Breville BES980XL Oracle Espresso Machine?

    I love the Breville Oracle, but I wanted to make sure that others feel the same. I looked into customer feedback to see what buyers have to say. I’m happy to report that the majority of the reviews are excellent.

    Buyers are happy with the BES980XL’s speed, efficiency, and optimization. Users compliment the Oracle’s consistency and operation. Some say that it’s everything it claims to be and more. Other satisfied customers praise its build, design, and easy maintenance.

    The worst criticism leveled against the Breville BES980XL is that it’s fragile and higher maintenance, so some buyers feel its price isn’t warranted. However, this should be taken with a pinch of skepticism as maintenance issues can also be due to neglect.

    Overall, this is a highly recommended machine, and customers seem to love it.

    Alternatives To The Breville Oracle Espresso Machine 

    Excellent as this machine may be, it’s difficult to work around its price tag, and maybe that’s a roadblock holding you back. No matter. If you’re looking for a real espresso experience at a more reasonable cost, here’s what I recommend:
    The Barista Express is far more affordable than the Oracle coffee machine but has the same high quality expected from Breville. Though it’s not quite as sophisticated, its features are similar enough to make it the next best thing.

    The Barista Express has automatic temperature and pressure regulation, gives you grind control, and features plenty of milk frothing skill. Plus it includes a bundle of great accessories for maintenance, just like the Oracle.

    Grind-size control

    Micro-foam milk texturing

    Automatic temperature and pressure regulation

    If you’re looking for a machine in a similar style to the Oracle, this could be it. The Mr. Coffee costs a fraction of the BES980XL yet boats some of the same capabilities. It’s a dual-shot espresso machine with a 15-bar pump system and frothing arm.

    Use it to make espressos, lattes, or cappuccinos. Maintenance is easy thanks to its removable parts while Thermoblock heating adds to its convenience.

    Dual shot brewing

    Integrated frothing arm

    Removable reservoir and spill tray

    Here’s an espresso machine to consider if variety and convenience are what you’re after. This is a quality unit and a firm favorite in the coffee world, likely because of how many choices you get.

    The De’Longhi EC702 is a dual-shot machine with an integrated frothing arm and an optimal 15-bar pump. Use it to brew espresso, cappuccinos, or lattes how you like them, be it from grounds or pods. Also included are a removable reservoir, water level indicator, and automatic self-priming.

    Accepts pods and grounds

    Dual shot machine

    Automatic functions


    The Breville Oracle is exactly what it’s marketed as — an espresso machine for third-wave enthusiasts.

    There are many reasons to invest in an Oracle such as the excellent coffee, high-end and sophisticated technology, and plenty of customizable control. But the experience of making coffee is where the Oracle truly shines.

    Is it worth the money? Absolutely if you want a proper home cafe in your kitchen, or you’re a serious coffee connoisseur, you can’t go wrong with the Oracle.

    If, on the other hand, you want decent coffee at a reasonable price point, simpler machines will do just fine.

    All that said, this is a king among coffee machines that few others can match, and if you’re looking to take your espresso game to the next level, you should certainly consider it.

    Breville Oracle Espresso Machine FAQs

    What’s the Difference Between the Breville Oracle and Oracle Touch?

    The Breville Oracle uses buttons and dials while the Oracle Touch is 100 percent touch-controlled.

    Is the Breville Oracle a Commercial Machine?

    Although the Breville Oracle includes parts that are commonly found in commercial coffee makers, it is not intended as an industrial machine. Its capacity is best suited to home baristas.

    Does the Breville Oracle Come With a Warranty?

    Yes. Upon purchase, you’ll receive a two-year repair warranty.