Breville Dual Boiler Vs Oracle: Which One Should You Pick?

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Breville Dual Boiler vs Oracle: They share many bells and whistles, and there are some notable upgrades on the second one. The question is whether those upgrades are worth it for you to dig deeper into your pocket. My short answer is Yes.

Apart from common features such as a double boiler system, a roller bearing system, and a 15-bar pump, among others, the Breville Dual Boiler has some upgrades. Those include a burr grinder with up to 45 grind settings and a super-great hybrid steam wand that cater to both ends of the user spectrum—from novices to aspiring baristas.

The Breville Dual Boiler is significantly cheaper. But considering you have to spend extra, possibly a lot of money, for a high-quality burr grinder, this one is not really an affordable option. So, unless you already have a grinder, I don’t recommend this one.

c: Comparison Chart

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
Breville Oracle Espresso Machine BES980XL, Brushed Stainless Steel
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine BES920XL, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Oracle
Breville Dual Boiler
Dimensions/Weight
17.8 x 14.7 x 16.1 inches/36 lbs
16.3 x 15 x 15 inches/30 lbs
Heating System
Dual Boiler System
Dual Boiler System
Interface
LCD Screen
LCD Screen & Buttons
One Touch Drink Options
2
2
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/4 inches
Dual/4 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
2 liter/0.24 liter
2.5 liter/None
Pump Pressure
15 bars
15 bars
Built-in Grinder
Stainless Steel Conical Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
45
Pre-Infusion
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Yes (Optional)
Milk Frothing System
Hybrid Steam Wand
Manual Frothing System
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
What I Like
Price
$2,179.94
$1,599.95
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
Heating System
Dual Boiler 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
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 Dual Boiler Espresso Machine BES920XL, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Dual Boiler
Dimensions/Weight
16.3 x 15 x 15 inches/30 lbs
Heating System
Dual Boiler System
Interface
LCD Screen & Buttons
One Touch Drink Options
2
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/4 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
2.5 liter/None
Pump Pressure
15 bars
Built-in Grinder
Grinding Settings
Pre-Infusion
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Milk Frothing System
Manual Frothing System
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
What I Like
Price
$1,599.95
More Info

Last update on 2024-04-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Breville Dual Boiler Vs Oracle: Differences

The Breville Oracle strongly wins over the Breville Dual Boiler with a score of 4-1. Let’s dig deeper into my comparison!

Coffee Flavour

Winner: Breville Oracle

Built-in Grinder

As mentioned in the intro, the Breville Oracle features a stainless steel conical burr grinder that is accessible through its top-loading bean feeder. On the other hand, the Breville Dual Boiler has no built-in grinder, necessitating the purchase of a separate one. A good stand-alone burr grinder, such as the Breville Smart Grinder, typically costs an arm and a leg, even compared to the cost of an entry-level espresso machine. Not to mention, you’ll need to allocate extra counter space for it.

breville dual boiler has no grinder
Breville Dual Boiler has no grinder

The steep price tag of a burr grinder can be rationalized for two good reasons. First, it gives more even grinding results than a blade grinder since it crushes the beans instead of “chopping” them, leading to a balanced and well-extracted cup of coffee. Also, it works very quietly, allowing you to enjoy your coffee-making process without causing any disruptions.

Even better, the Breville Oracle offers up to 45 grind settings and is the espresso machine with the most grind settings, or at least among the ones I tested. That’s ample room for experimentation to dial in the right grind size for your choice of beans and brewing method. I loved that it can automatically grind, dose, tamp, and keep everything enclosed and out of sight once the portafilter is locked in. That way, this one gives you a perfect coffee puck hands-free without any hands-on work from you and keeps your kitchen countertop mess-free.

the grinding and tamping station on the breville oracle
The grinding and tamping station on the Breville Oracle

If you’re an aspiring barista, the idea of having complete control over the bean-to-cup process, including tamping, may be enticing. But not everyone is willing to spend their precious time perfecting this art, so the automatic grinding and tamping station on the Breville Oracle is really a major selling point.

On the other hand, the Dual Boiler has a magnetic tamper that can be conveniently attached to a slot on the left-hand side of the machine for convenient storage and access. But this costly commercial machine deserves to be fitted with a well-made stainless steel tamper instead of just a plastic, flimsy one. You’ll quickly find that investing in a professional stainless steel tamper is a necessity for getting the best performance out of this machine.

Both come equipped with a commercial-grade 58-mm stainless steel portafilter and four filter baskets. But while the Dual Boiler comes with single and double wall options for both one and double shots, the Oracle only includes two double-wall filter baskets. A single-wall basket requires more precision in terms of grind size and tamping, making it a choice for those who want full control over the brewing process. A double-wall (pressurized) basket, on the other hand, is designed to provide a bit more forgiveness, making it suitable for beginners or for times when you’re using pre-ground coffee.

the dual boiler comes with four filter baskets
The Dual Boiler comes with four filter baskets

Heating System

These Brevilles both have a two-boiler system: one for brewing and one for steaming. So you don’t have to wait between brewing your espresso and steaming your milk because these machines can handle both tasks at once.

Having two boilers is a huge time saver, especially if you’re making multiple drinks in quick succession or if you’re preparing drinks for a group of people. In a single boiler machine, you typically need to wait for the temperature to switch between brewing and steaming, which can slow down the process. Even better, each stainless steel boiler is controlled separately, ensuring a stable and consistent temperature for each function. This contributes to the flavors and textures you achieve in your drinks.

Another thing they have in common is a built-in cup warming plate on top used to pre-heat your cups so that espresso doesn’t go cold quickly during dispensing, which can affect the taste and quality. The cup warmer on the Breville Dual Boiler is larger since it has no bean container like its rival. A cold portafilter and filter basket can also significantly impact the extraction process and the quality of your espresso, but pulling one or two empty shots (shots without any coffee grounds in the portafilter) will do the trick.

Brewing System

Just like most espresso machines, these Brevilles gradually moisten the coffee grounds with the right amount of hot water for a few seconds before the full-pressure extraction process kicks in. This is called “pre-infusion,” which plays a significant role in achieving optimal flavor and extraction results. Although this feature doesn’t set these machines apart from the rest, its inclusion was a welcome sight. Even better, they enable you to play with pre-infusion times according to the specific bean you’re using or even your personal taste preferences.

Another good thing about these units is that both are equipped with a 15-bar Italian pump, demonstrating that the coffee is always extracted at the ideal pressure of around 9 bars. Indeed, their espressos taste great and look good with a golden crema layer. Without the palate of a coffee expert, you’d be hard-pressed to notice any difference between them and professionally brewed cups.

Milk Frothing System

The upgraded hybrid steam wand on the Breville Oracle is a significant advancement compared to the manual steam wands found on the Dual Boiler and older-generation Breville machines. With options for both automatic and manual frothing, this wand is a “Swiss army knife” for coffee lovers of all skill levels.

breville dual boiler vs oracle's steam wands
Breville Dual Boiler vs Oracle’s steam wands

The Dual Boiler has a professional-grade manual wand with a three-hole tip, which is all about milk texturing manually. This might come with a steep learning curve, especially for coffee novices, and you will fail several times, even many times, to get the right consistency. But your efforts and patience will be rewarded with a hard-earned skill, enabling you to achieve the precise frothiness for a wide variety of milk-based drinks and take your latte art game to the next level.

the dual boiler's manual wand
The Dual Boiler’s manual wand

Although the steam wand on the Breville Dual Boiler is effective and quick to steam, it may not meet the expectations of those used to commercial machines. Still, this lower pressure can be a boon for beginners because it offers a more forgiving experience, making it easier to steam milk to the right consistency.

The 2-in-1 steam wand on the Breville Oracle indeed revolutionizes the home coffee experience. Whether you’re a beginner wanting easy and quick results or an aspiring barista who wishes to take more control over the frothing process, this wand offers the best of both worlds.

In its auto mode, the wand operates similarly to a Pannarello wand, automatically texturing milk without any skill barrier involved. You simply set your desired milk temperature (104–167 °F) and froth level, and the machine takes care of the rest. The wand includes a pin-shaped sensor at its tip that continuously monitors the milk’s temperature, ensuring your milk reaches the temperature you’ve set without the risk of overheating.

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

But if you are an advanced user or aim to reach a barista level of expertise in milk frothing and latte art, you can get more involved in the frothing milk process by going manual. I found its one-hole tip to tend to create more frothy milk, but after a few tries, I could create the exact texture I desired for latte art. Anyway, frothing milk manually with an automatic wand is never the best idea, but I was genuinely thrilled to have this capability.

Their wands can rotate 360° smoothly, and both have a rubber handle, offering optimum flexibility to find just the right angle for your milk frothing endeavors. Also, both come out of the box with a stainless steel milk pitcher. That is great, considering that many brands, such as Jura, opt to sell this as an add-on.

Design & Usability

Winner: Breville Oracle

Dimensions, Footprint, & Weight

Breville Dual BoilerBreville Oracle
Dimensions16.3 x 15 x 15 inches17.8 x 14.7 x 16.1 inches
Weight30 lbs36 lbs

These beasts are super heavy, especially the Breville Oracle, so you will definitely need help getting the machine into position unless you are the Hulk. The Dual Boiler might seem more compact at first glance, but the need for a separate grinder means it takes up more space on the kitchen countertop. Oh, they are quite eye-catching.

Aesthetically, they look quite similar, with the key differentiator being their respective control panels. The Dual Boiler includes some clearly labeled function buttons, a convenient pressure gauge that can help with the dialing-in process, and a small left-side LCD display that presents real-time information for each pull. On the other hand, the Breville Oracle features a trio of LCDs: the one on the left for grind size, a central display for multifunctional use, and a third on the right for milk temperature.

breville dual boiler vs oracle's control panels
Breville Dual Boiler vs Oracle’s control panels

Pre-programmed Coffee Options

Breville Dual BoilerBreville Oracle
Espresso
Hot Water
Espresso
Hot Water

If you’re looking for a machine that offers a wide range of one-touch drinks, you’ll probably need to raise your budget and consider a Jura super automatic. These Brevilles only give you espresso automatically, and you will need to froth milk yourself with their wands to craft some milk drinks.

I loved that they allow you to customize espresso via various settings, including the grind size, the amount of coffee grounds in each puck, the pre-brew interval, the brewing temperature, and the length of each shot. The Breville Oracle has an even higher level of customization, enabling you to control the tamping pressure and the frothiness and temperature of the milk. With such various settings, the sky’s the limit when it comes to tailoring your coffee experience.

Incidentally, they both have a separate hot water spigot for brewing tea or whipping up an Americano without any concern for milk contamination. The Breville Oracle goes a step further by including a dedicated Americano button, allowing you to craft this café-style drink with the choice of three strength and size settings.

both have a separate hot water spout
Both have a separate hot water spout

Spout & Cup Clearance

Breville Dual BoilerBreville Oracle
Spout TypeDualDual
Cup Clearance4 inches4 inches

While they don’t have espresso dispensing spouts, which can go up or down, you’ll have no issues putting any espresso cups under their portafilter spouts. If you’re attempting to brew directly into a behemoth of a travel mug, that’s a different story, but fret not – you can remove their drip trays to make additional room if needed. Their dual-shot function is great for when you’re racing against the clock every morning to brew your go-to caffeinated drink before stepping out the door.

Water Reservoir & Bean Hopper 

Breville Dual BoilerBreville Oracle
Water Reservoir2.5 liter2.5 liter
Bean Hopper00.24 liter

First off, their water reservoirs are spacious, possibly holding enough water for several days. But I always recommend changing the water as soon as you can, so your espresso is always brewed with fresh water. By the way, each comes with an included water filter, allowing you to purify your water and remove any impurities.

Their water tanks are on the back of the machine. But you don’t have to struggle with accessing them to refill since you can pour water into a top-loading door. If you really need to remove the tank, you can do that by easily rotating these machines thanks to a roller-bearing system. A front window provides a quick way to check the water level.

top-loading door for refilling the water tank
Top-loading door for refilling the water tank

Cleaning & Maintenance

I must stress the importance of diligently cleaning the brew group, as it is a heaven for the growth of mold, which not only compromises the taste but can also render your machine useless over time. I recommend doing a clear water backflush after turning on the machine and before turning off the machine to purge any leftover ground coffee or coffee oils. This involves inserting a blind basket (aka cleaning disc) into the portafilter’s filter basket, locking it in place, and then letting the machine run for about 20 seconds. It’s akin to the machine giving itself a “gargle” for hygiene.

There are several parts that can be removed for thorough cleaning, including the water tank, the dregs container, and the water tank. There is a helpful minor “empty me” indicator that will float to tell you when you should empty the drip tray. Trying to balance a full drip tray across the kitchen without spilling it is practically an Olympic sport, right? You can also disassemble the burr grinder on the Breville Oracle to clean up the coffee oil.

After preparing a milk drink, simply push the Breville Oracle’s wand back to its original position, and the machine will automatically emit a jet of steam to cleanse any milk residue in the nozzle. On the flip side, the Dual Boiler necessitates manually opening the steam lever on the right side to execute a similar flush. Don’t forget to give them a good wipe with a damp rag.

Finally, you’ll need to descale these machines every few months to remove any mineral buildup and improve the quality of the espresso. All it takes is a Breville cleaning tablet and a quick follow-through of the accompanying instructions to execute an automatic descaling cycle.

Utilities & Other Features

Winner: Breville Oracle

Auto Off

While the Dual Boiler automatically goes off after 20 minutes of inactivity, the Breville Oracle gives you the flexibility to customize the power-off time to your liking. Additionally, the latter boasts an auto-start feature that lets you schedule when the machine turns on, ensuring it’s preheated and ready to go when you get out of bed.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Oracle

Breville Oracle Espresso Machine BES980XL, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • 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 flavour and is essential for creating latte art at home
  • 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
  • OPTIMAL WATER PRESSURE: The Over Pressure Valve limits the maximum pump pressure throughout extraction, helping prevent bitter flavours; Low pressure pre infusion gradually increases water pressure to gently expand grinds for an even extraction
  • SHOT CONTROL AND LCD DISPLAY: Choose between one shot, two shots or manual control on the LCD display to control how much espresso ends up in your cup to make the perfect coffee/espresso every time

Last update on 2024-04-09 / 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 Dual Boiler

Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine BES920XL, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • Please refer to user guide or user manual or user guide (provided below in PDF) before first use

Last update on 2024-04-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Two boilers for multitasking.
  • Has a large cup warming tray.
  • Has various adjustable settings.
  • Has a large and easy-to-refill water tank.
  • The manual wand is ideal for latte art.
Cons
  • No built-in grinder.
  • Bulky and heavy.

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References:

Rating 5/5 - (3 votes)

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