Breville Barista Pro Vs Oracle: A Battle Between Two Breville Semi-automatic Machines

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Breville Barista Pro vs Oracle: The latter is considerably more expensive, and a bunch of new extra features could easily justify that.

The Breville Oracle essentially automates most things, giving you more free time to do other tasks in your kitchen while your caffeinated drinks are prepared. This one automatically turns on, tamps, brews espresso, froths milk, and turns off. It is literally a super-automatic machine and offers so much convenience.

The Breville Barista Pro is also a great value-for-money espresso machine. This one has no double boiler system, but the ThermoJet technology helps it heat up very quickly. Its 4-mole manual wand is a fantastic tool for latte art, though it demands some skill to navigate effectively.

Breville Barista Pro Vs Oracle: Comparison Chart

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
Breville BES980XL Oracle Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel,Silver
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Breville the Barista Pro Espresso Machine, Medium, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Oracle
Breville Barista Pro
Dimensions/Weight
14.7 x 16.1 x 17.8 inches/36 lbs
8.7 x 13.3 x 16.9 inches/25 lbs
Heating System
Dual Boiler Heating System
Single Thermojet Heating System
Interface
LCD Screen
LCD Screen
One Touch Drink Options
2
2
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/4 inches
Dual/4 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
2.5 liter/0.24 liter
2 liter/0.24 liter
Pump Pressure
15 bars
15 bars
Built-in Grinder
Stainless Steel Conical Burr Grinder
Stainless Steel Conical Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
45
30
Pre-Infusion
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Yes (Optional)
Milk Frothing System
Hybrid Steam Wand
Manual Steam Wand
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
What I Like
Price
$2,179.94
Price not available
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
Breville BES980XL Oracle Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel,Silver
Model
Breville Oracle
Dimensions/Weight
14.7 x 16.1 x 17.8 inches/36 lbs
Heating System
Dual Boiler Heating System
Interface
LCD Screen
One Touch Drink Options
2
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/4 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
2.5 liter/0.24 liter
Pump Pressure
15 bars
Built-in Grinder
Stainless Steel Conical Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
45
Pre-Infusion
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Milk Frothing System
Hybrid Steam Wand
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
What I Like
Price
$2,179.94
More Info
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Image
Breville the Barista Pro Espresso Machine, Medium, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Barista Pro
Dimensions/Weight
8.7 x 13.3 x 16.9 inches/25 lbs
Heating System
Single Thermojet Heating System
Interface
LCD Screen
One Touch Drink Options
2
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/4 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
2 liter/0.24 liter
Pump Pressure
15 bars
Built-in Grinder
Stainless Steel Conical Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
30
Pre-Infusion
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Milk Frothing System
Manual Steam Wand
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
What I Like
Price
Price not available
More Info

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

Breville Barista Pro Vs Oracle: Differences

The Breville Oracle knocks out the Barista Pro with a strong 4-1 victory. Let’s delve into what sets these two apart!

Coffee Flavour

Winner: Breville Oracle

Built-in Grinder

Both of these Brevilles have a powerful stainless steel conical burr grinder. That means you don’t need to spend money on a separate grinder and find separate space on your countertop for it. Also, you can get a uniform grind size since this type of grinder crushes the beans rather than chopping them, thereby leading to a balanced and flavorful shot.

stainless steel conical burr grinder
Stainless steel conical burr grinder

I was also impressed with their ability to customize the grind size. The Barista Pro has up to 30 grind adjustment settings, while the Oracle takes the lead with a whopping 45 settings. Unbelievable! Considering the industry average of just 6, that is a lot of grind size options for you to choose from. So the only hard task left is to make small changes until you find the right grind size for your favorite drinks by turning a knob.

breville barista pro vs oracle’s grind settings
Breville Barista Pro vs Oracle’s grind settings

One feature that really sets the Barista Oracle apart in the Breville line-up is its automatic dosing and tamping station. Just choose a grind setting, install the portafilter into the grinding gate, and the machine automatically takes care of the rest. The result? You have a perfectly tamped coffee puck with minimal mess on your kitchen countertop. But if you are a skilled barista, you will probably still trust your hands more than an automated program.

Interestingly, the Oracle uses two rotating distribution blades for automatic tamping instead of a flat tamper like the Barista Pro. You can even program two parameters related to this process, including force and interval (in seconds). My only gripe is that it is impossible to adjust the coffee dose from the control panel. Hence, I had to head over to the dosing and tamping station, take out the screws, and make adjustments there, which felt somewhat counterintuitive.

barista pro's magnetic tamper and oracle's automatic tamping system
Barista Pro’s magnetic tamper and Oracle’s automatic tamping system

The Barista Pro is equipped with a 54-mm portafilter, while the Oracle uses a commercial-grade 58-mm portafilter for better extraction. Both are made of stainless steel and feel well-made. But while the Breville Barista Pro comes with 4 filter baskets (pressurized and non-pressurized versions for both single and double shots), the Breville Oracle only has 2 pressurized baskets.

The pressurized filter basket (or the dual wall filter basket) is much more forgiving and beginner-friendly since it can help pull acceptable shots even if your grind size isn’t perfect or your tamping technique is a little off. But once you’re willing to spend time perfecting your grind size, dose, and tamping technique, you’ll get more flavorful and nuanced espresso shots with the non-pressurized filter basket.

Heating System

Like the Breville Dual Boiler, the Breville Oracle is a double boiler system: one for steaming milk and the other for brewing espresso. Meanwhile, the Barista Pro has a single ThermoJet boiler to handle both functions one by one. Each boiler maintains its own independently controlled temperature, ensuring that each function always gets the ideal temperature with absolute stability. There’s no risk of one operation affecting the other’s temperature, leading to more consistent results.

Having two boilers means the Breville Oracle can simultaneously brew and steam, which can significantly speed up the coffee-making process. The Barista Pro doesn’t have this magical ability, but ThermoJet fast-heating system can reach the ideal operating temperature in just a blink – a mere 3 seconds.

The small con of the Barista Pro’s thermojet system is that it doesn’t heat up the portafilter, but you can do this separately by pulling an empty shot (a shot without the coffee puck) or just dipping the portafilter in hot water.

Both also have a built-in cup warming tray to heat up your cups before brewing to reduce heat loss. Why is this important? If your espresso is poured into a cold cup, it can lose heat rapidly, which not only affects the taste but can also change the texture of the crema. The Breville Oracle’s cup warmer is quite different because it uses a separate heating element to actively heat it rather than relying on the boilers.

Brewing System

All Breville espresso machines have a pre-infusion function, which is an important part of espresso extraction, and the Breville Barista Pro vs Oracle is no exception. During this stage, the coffee grounds are moistened with hot water for a few seconds, allowing carbon dioxide to escape for better aroma development. Moreover, it also helps prevent channeling, which leads to uneven extraction. Better yet, these machines enable you to adjust the pre-infusion duration to fit your brewing method, and the Oracle even has the option to change the pressure.

After this low-pressure pre-infusion phase, their 15-bar Italian pump ramps up to high pressure to extract espresso. Given that the ideal pressure to pull a nice shot is around 9 bar, they ensure that your espresso is always extracted efficiently, capturing the full range of flavors and aromas from the coffee grounds.

This sounds great, but how do their espresso shots taste? Well, just one word: Delicious! I found them to be flavorful, rich, not bitter, and topped with a lovely golden crema.

Milk Frothing System

These Brevilles are wand-fitted machines, but while the Barista Pro has a manual steam wand, the Oracle blew my mind with its hybrid wand that can seamlessly switch between manual and automatic modes.

breville barista pro vs oracle's steam wand
Breville Barista Pro vs Oracle’s steam wand

Breville Barista Pro boasts a manual wand with a 4-hole tip, enabling it to distribute steam more evenly and aerate better, resulting in superior microfoam milk. I loved this wand because of the variety of milk textures I could make with it, from thick foam for a cappuccino to the velvety microfoam required for latte art. Of course, this requires practice – perhaps more than you’d expect. But the results? Simply sublime.

the breville barista pro has a 4-hole manual steam wand
The Breville Barista Pro has a 4-hole manual steam wand

I couldn’t wait to talk about the Breville Oracle’s one-of-a-kind wand. Yes, it can function either as a Pannarello-style wand for those who prefer a simpler approach or as a manual wand for seasoned baristas aiming for precision. It’s clear Breville designed this machine with every user in mind.

For those new to the coffee world or those who prefer a hands-off approach, the automatic milk frothing feature will be a godsend. All you need to do is fill a stainless steel milk pitcher with cold milk, choose the desired text and temperature via the right sub-screen, dip the wand into the pitcher, and the machine will take over from there. There is a minor sensor tip on the wand that indicates when the milk reaches the desired temperature. Making a coffee shop-quality drink has never been easier.

sensor tip on the breville oracle's wand
Sensor tip on the Breville Oracle’s wand

But if you want to unleash your inner barista to control the whole frothing process by hand or make complex latte art, just flick a lever to the right of the machine to switch to manual mode. Mastering the art of milk frothing with a manual wand requires patience and practice, but the results, especially for intricate latte art, are truly rewarding. Once you’ve honed this skill, you’ll find that this manual wand becomes a trusted companion in your coffee-making adventures.

the breville oracle's hybrid steam wand
The Breville Oracle’s hybrid steam wand

Design & Usability

Winner: Breville Oracle

Dimensions, Footprint, & Weight

Breville Barista ProBreville Oracle
Dimensions13.5 x 13.9 x 16 inches14.7 x 16.1 x 17.8 inches
Weight20 lbs36 lbs

While the Barista Pro is on the compact side and not too heavy, the Breville Oracle is the real beast at a whopping 36 pounds. Well, unless you’re a bodybuilder, lifting it could be a herculean task. Fortunately, this heavy machine features a handy roller bearing system controlled by a knob under the drip tray, allowing you to easily swivel it around to access its rear-positioned water tank.

the roller bearing system on the breville oracle
The roller bearing system on the Breville Oracle

These good-looking appliances use LCD displays, a modern twist compared to the button-only interfaces on older Brevilles. While the Barista Pro features a single display, the Oracle has a trio of LCDs, with the left-most for fine-tuning your grind and the right-most for monitoring the temperature of your milk froth. All are clear and intuitive.

breville barista pro vs oracle’s control panel
Breville Barista Pro vs Oracle’s control panel

Pre-programmed Coffee Options

Breville Barista ProBreville Oracle
Espresso 
Hot Water
Espresso
Americano
Hot Water

You can program these bean-to-cup machines to your heart’s content with no sweat. They also allow you to change the grind size, the strength and length of each shot, the brewing temperature, and the pre-infusion time. As for the Breville Oracle, you can even actively control the tamping pressure and interval, as well as the frothiness and temperature of the milk froth. The sky’s the limit for customization!

Both have a separate hot water spout for things like making an Americano café, brewing tea, or preparing hot chocolate. With the Breville Oracle, however, you get a nifty Americano button that can instantly brew this cafe-style drink, featuring three adjustable strengths and size settings to cater to your palate. Of course, you can use pre-ground coffee if you want (with the pressurized filter basket).

hot water spout
Hot water spout

Spout & Cup Clearance

Breville Barista ProBreville Oracle
Spout TypeDualDual
Cup Clearance4 inches4 inches

Their cup height is unchangeable, but that’s not a big deal since you can put a variety of cup sizes under their portafilters. You can even remove their drip trays to have more clearance to brew espresso in a coffee thermos. If there’s room for improvement, I’d like them to be fitted with a small plate like the Delonghi La Specialista to somehow lift some espresso cups closer to the portafilter to, you know, prevent splashes and preserve the lovely crema layer.

breville barista pro vs oracle's cup clearance
Breville Barista Pro vs Oracle’s cup clearance

Water Reservoir & Bean Hopper 

Breville Barista ProBreville Oracle
Water Reservoir2 liter2.5 liter
Bean Hopper0.24 liter0.24 liter

The sizable water tanks on these machines are a notable advantage for those who’d rather not be constantly refilling throughout the day. But it’s not just about quantity; it’s also about quality. Both models are equipped with a water filter, ensuring that your beverages are crafted with the purest water possible. This not only elevates the taste but also lessens the frequency of descaling.

The thing is that their water tanks are awkwardly located in the rear, making it a bit arduous to reach and reload. Oh, it turns out Breville has introduced a novel solution in the Breville Oracle’s design to deal with this. It now has a top slot for water refills, ensuring that users can replenish the water tank as effortlessly as refilling its bean hopper. It’s a small tweak but a game-changer for many! This one even has a small window to monitor the water level.

the breville oracle has a top slot for refilling water
The Breville Oracle has a top slot for refilling water

Speaking of the bean container, both have an airtight lid to preserve the aroma of the beans by preventing them from being exposed to the elements. And as a bonus, it aids in reducing the noise emitted by the grinder.

Cleaning & Maintenance

Winner: Tie

When it comes to the daily upkeep and maintenance of these machines, manual labor is minimal. You will need to empty the drip tray, dispose of used coffee grounds, rinse the water tank, and clean the portafilter. Remember, sending these parts through a dishwasher cycle is akin to playing Russian roulette with your espresso machine’s lifespan.

After frothing, these machines take the initiative to run hot steam through the wand, making sure its interior remains hygienic. All you have to do is give the wand a thorough wipe with a damp cloth. I’d also recommend wiping down the machine’s casing with a soft rag every day or two since it’s typically a common landing zone for splashes and debris.

Right, even if you choose to use water filters, occasional descaling is still a must. The LCD display will warn you when it’s time to run an automatic descale cycle to clear coffee oil residue from the group head and prevent internal buildup. For the how-to, Breville has a handy YouTube tutorial that walks you through the process, and keep in mind that you should always use Breville espresso machine cleaning tablets.

Utilities & Other Features

Winner: Breville Oracle

Auto On Off

While the Breville Barista Pro has an auto-shutoff feature that kicks in after 30 minutes of inactivity, the Breville Oracle lets you specify the exact time for the machine to power down. In addition, the latter can also be programmed to automatically turn on, ensuring you’re greeted by a warmed-up espresso machine each morning.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Oracle

Breville BES980XL Oracle Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel,Silver
  • Earn up to $200 cashback with a Beanz coffee subscription when you purchase a selected Breville espresso machine. 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 2024-03-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Has up to 45 grind settings.
  • Heats up quickly with two boilers.
  • Features a high-quality hybrid steam wand.
  • Offers automatic grinding, dosing, and tamping.
  • Has a large and easy-to-refill water tank.
Cons
  • Very heavy.
  • Bulky.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Barista Pro

Breville the Barista Pro Espresso Machine, Medium, 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 2024-03-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Sleek and compact design.
  • Has up to 30 different grind settings.
  • The ThermoJet heating system heats up quickly.
  • Features an adjustable pre-infusion step.
  • Its large water tank is compatible with a water filter.
Cons
  • Quite heavy.
  • Only one boiler.

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References

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