Sage BES980BSS the Oracle Espresso Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine – : 6 months now and still working like a dream

After one month use is too early to give a honest and comprehensive review. Appearance: looks absolutely fine, nothing spectacular in terms of design, but it will integrate with ease in a modern kitchen. Grinding and tamping works flawless. A weak point i see is you cannot use only tamping function (in case you grind separately, with a different grinder, a different type of coffee). Or a separate bin for decoff coffee. For testing purpose, until you’ll find the right grinding, tamping and water flow time settings you will waste a lot of coffee. Coffee dose is 21 grams (for the large basket). And after all these tests you will still not be so sure if you get a perfect coffee because each time you will change the coffee brand you will need to go trough the entire process again. Is rather a manual coffee espresso machine, as experience.

I bought this machine 6 months ago so i’ve had some time with it. It’s my first coffee machine (the wife gave me an unrestricted budget) before which we regularly went to all the high street chains. Well i was very excited when i received the machine, very easy to assemble and set up. I watched some instructional videos on youtube so i knew roughly what i had to do. I had bought several bags of fresh beans a couple of days before hand so all prepared. It wasn’t long before i was making a nice cup of coffee. We had the white glove service booked in later that week. I took the morning off work as i was told he would be there in the morning. When at 1000 no one turned up and i hadn’t received a call, i called the office only to be told that they were short on engineers that week and the engineer due to come to me had been called to a fault, which takes priority over the white glove service.

Sage BES980BSS the Oracle Espresso Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine – Silver

  • Automatic grinding and tamping
  • Programmable low pressure pre-infusion for a balanced extraction
  • Automatic milk texturing. Triple Heat System
  • Also features an over pressure valve – this commercial feature limits the maximum pressure throughout the extraction, helping to prevent bitter flavours in the shot

The oracle is a beautiful looking machine. It’s really well designed and flatters my coffee making. In fact, it makes some of the best coffee this side of a professional barista. But i’ll admit that, for the purists amongst you, there’s plenty to make your hackles rise. It doesn’t need a huge amount of skill to get great tasting coffee, and that may drive away those of you who like to perfect the art. Prior to the oracle i had a small manual machine which allowed me to pull an espresso and steam the milk at the same time. I’d also bought a massive, used grinder and spent many a happy hour trying to dial in the perfect grind, tamp and pull.

Takes a bit of fiddling if you change beans to get it right but very impressed. The best part is consistency. Latte art is a little tricky to get the hang of, and i’m no expert, but getting better.

By far the best machine i have ever owned. An absolute dream for all coffee lovers.

Sage BES980BSS the Oracle Espresso Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine – Silver : This machine is a step above any i have used before. Nice addition to my kitchen too. Rather pricey but it gets used every day, it is a quality bit of kit, easy to set up and use. The flavour of the coffee is fantastic, but don’t buy your beans from the supermarket, go to a reputable coffee bean seller and get the date of when the beans were roasted. I know this sounds mad, but the fresher the roast, the better the bean resulting in better coffee.

It’s been around four months since i took the plunge and made myself feel a little queasy at spending so much money on a coffee machine. Thankfully, the pangs of guilt have passed, and over the first few weeks of ownership i tweaked at the extremely configurable settings to find the perfect grind to suit my tastes. Everything here is so configurable, and controllable too. Little nudges here and there – be it the grind, the temperature of the water, the milk, the strength of the tamp. It’s all controllable, and crucially repeatablewhat i’ve discovered is that over the years, in my quest for a super-strong espresso shot, i’ve been grinding the beans way too finely. I’ve been inconsistent with all sorts of other parts of the coffee alchemy, and it’s led to lacklustre results. What this machine allows you to do is take control of your espresso shot – it’s so configurable, and consistent in delivery of results. I really love this machine – though i’m sure you can tell.

Sadly i have to restrict myself to 1 a day or i end up jogging around the block. There are a load of poor reviews about the froth not being perfect and i have some sympathy for that. It is not as perfect as the barrista does in my cafe but it is 100x what i have ever achieved. 5/10 coffee at home whenever you want it. The wife has dropped her 5x per week habit from costa so at £2. 50 a go so it has its upsides.

Almost the perfect machine, i’m not very impressed by the auto milk steamer, but in basic a good machine.

I had read only good things about the breville oracle (it’s called sage in the uk) and as i was getting good results with my stand-alone sage grinder and de longhi espresso machine,i really expected this to be incredible. It cost x 4 times the cost of that grinder and espresso machine, so is the coffee x4 better?. No, it isn’t, so don’t expect too much and you will be fine. I’ve used this for two years now – how time flies- and there is much i like about it:1. It looks really nice, is well constructed and i don’t find the plate flimsy like many others here have mentioned ( see photos of the machine and plate, after ten months of use, below) there are some scuff marks, but , that is only to be expected2. The auto tamp is great, however,i was getting really consistent tamps with a calibrated tamper from espro, so its no big deal. The auto grind and dosing is very convenient, but uses too much coffee4. The water level indicator and the lcd information display that tells you when the tank is empty is just fantastic5. The hidden wheels and supply box : design is a+6.

The perfect coffee machine for aficionados.

I’ve had this machine now for a year and held back on a review until i could assess the machine properly in everyday use. I can honestly say that the quality of coffee you get from this machine is better than anything i have ever owned and i have owned a lot of different coffee makers over the years. Once you get used to understanding that different beans can require different grind settings, all other settings can be left as factory. Overall, the pinnacle of home coffee brewing. If you can’t extract a great cup of coffee from this machine, just change your bean supplier.

Perfect and provides many options to make your preferred specialist coffee simply in your home.

Makes the best coffee of any domestic machine i’ve tried. But – don’t think about installing and setting it up yourself. Its a complex machine and the instructions are ambiguous at best, often misleading and downright wrong in important places. Make use of the ‘white-glove’ service and save yourself some heartache.

Holy moly it is expensive, and it is very difficult to say ‘it is worth one and a half grand’. However, if you completely ignore price, it’s awesome. I bought this after my barrista express broke for the third time. I have yet to utilise the white glove service but will update this review when i have.

We like this machine as it makes great cafe style coffees without much hassle. Much better than the nespresso it replaces. Great build quality and a pleasure to operate but then it should be at the price. Only beware for those making for one the standard shot is pretty strong.

I bought a cheaper model for my office, regret it.

The machine was super easy to set up and extracts the perfect cup every time. I thought about getting the machine for 6 months and did quite a bit of research before finally making the jump and i haven’t regretted it for a single second.

Comments

  1. 2.0 out of 5 stars Overfilling issues

    This review is from : Sage BES980BSS the Oracle Espresso Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine – Silver

    Unfortunately machine suffers from serious issues with the grinder. Instead of getting 19-22g i get 23-25g which results in overfilling, uneven tamping and a wasted batch. The only way around it is to weigh the beans manually prior grinding, then the tamping mechanism works perfectly but obviously the machine should do it for you. Personally i wouldn’t recommend it.
    1. Colour: SilverStyle Name: Coffee Machine Only
      Unfortunately machine suffers from serious issues with the grinder. Instead of getting 19-22g i get 23-25g which results in overfilling, uneven tamping and a wasted batch. The only way around it is to weigh the beans manually prior grinding, then the tamping mechanism works perfectly but obviously the machine should do it for you. Personally i wouldn’t recommend it.
  2. 5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Coffee

    This review is from : Sage BES980BSS the Oracle Espresso Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine – Silver

    This makes a great cup of coffee and really easy to use. There is a fair bit of routine maintenance to do which can seem daunting but i’m sure will become second nature before long. The portafilter is huge and weighs a ton which is a good thing. It takes a bit tweaking to get the grind right as with as machine or new grinder. I don’t think they offer the white glove service anymore as there was nothing in the box about it, there coupon for 3 filters, maybe instead of the white glove service. I didn’t get a water hardness testing strip either but i know after a run through a charcoal filter it needs the softest setting, there is another filter in the tank so scale shouldn’t be a big issue.
  3. Colour: SilverStyle Name: Coffee Machine Only Verified Purchase

    This review is from : Sage BES980BSS the Oracle Espresso Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine – Silver

    This makes a great cup of coffee and really easy to use. There is a fair bit of routine maintenance to do which can seem daunting but i’m sure will become second nature before long. The portafilter is huge and weighs a ton which is a good thing. It takes a bit tweaking to get the grind right as with as machine or new grinder. I don’t think they offer the white glove service anymore as there was nothing in the box about it, there coupon for 3 filters, maybe instead of the white glove service. I didn’t get a water hardness testing strip either but i know after a run through a charcoal filter it needs the softest setting, there is another filter in the tank so scale shouldn’t be a big issue.
    1. 3.0 out of 5 stars Questionable Factory Assembly/Checking but seems well built
      1st machine arrived, set it up (not for the faint hearted), first process failed as the boiler would not boil the water past 70/71 oc – kept oscillating between these temperatures (it needs to reach 93oc before it will allow you to make coffee). Phoned sage, they were very helpful but confirmed it was a dud machine. 2nd machine, set it up again (quicker this time), machine grinded the coffee then dumped it into the portafilter without tamping. When i checked the troubleshooting it suggested the tamper fan may not be installed, and it was not. Checked through all the packaging and found it loose at the bottom of the box. Finally got it all sorted and made a brew. First brew seems ok so far, having used half the packet prior to fitting the tamper fan.
  4. Colour: SilverStyle Name: Coffee Machine Only

    This review is from : Sage BES980BSS the Oracle Espresso Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine – Silver

    1st machine arrived, set it up (not for the faint hearted), first process failed as the boiler would not boil the water past 70/71 oc – kept oscillating between these temperatures (it needs to reach 93oc before it will allow you to make coffee). Phoned sage, they were very helpful but confirmed it was a dud machine. 2nd machine, set it up again (quicker this time), machine grinded the coffee then dumped it into the portafilter without tamping. When i checked the troubleshooting it suggested the tamper fan may not be installed, and it was not. Checked through all the packaging and found it loose at the bottom of the box. Finally got it all sorted and made a brew. First brew seems ok so far, having used half the packet prior to fitting the tamper fan.
    1. 1.0 out of 5 stars Defective
      Arrived with security tape all round box but despite this the water hardness test strip was missing. Anyway set the machine up and switched on to heat and purge system as per instructions. But after an hour had only heated to 70 and it needs to be 93 before it functions. I let it cool and tried again but still only gets to 70 degrees. Having read a few reviews seems this may be a common fault with some of these machines. I’m not convinced i received a brand new product. So i’m returning as not fit for purpose.
      1. Colour: BlackStyle Name: Coffee Machine Only Verified Purchase
        Arrived with security tape all round box but despite this the water hardness test strip was missing. Anyway set the machine up and switched on to heat and purge system as per instructions. But after an hour had only heated to 70 and it needs to be 93 before it functions. I let it cool and tried again but still only gets to 70 degrees. Having read a few reviews seems this may be a common fault with some of these machines. I’m not convinced i received a brand new product. So i’m returning as not fit for purpose.
  5. 5.0 out of 5 stars Really good coffee....at a price.

    This review is from : Sage BES980BSS the Oracle Espresso Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine – Silver

    We’ve been using this machine for a few months. We set it up ourselves and we both feel it produces the best coffee we have ever had, it outshines any coffee we have bought anywhere else, it is that good. Yes it was expensive and we thought long and hard before buying it. It all depends on how important a quality cup of coffee is to you personally i guess. The only downside we have encountered was with the knock box. To remove the ground coffee from the filter basket you have to give the upturned basket a fairly healthy thump on the knock bar soon after making the coffee and after a few months the bar on the knock box broke in half. I drilled out the centre of the bar, inserted a steel rod and the knock box now works efficiently and i expect it to do so for many years now. Surprising the knock box wasn’t engineered to the same standard as the rest of the machine.
  6. Colour: SilverStyle Name: Coffee Machine Only

    This review is from : Sage BES980BSS the Oracle Espresso Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine – Silver

    We’ve been using this machine for a few months. We set it up ourselves and we both feel it produces the best coffee we have ever had, it outshines any coffee we have bought anywhere else, it is that good. Yes it was expensive and we thought long and hard before buying it. It all depends on how important a quality cup of coffee is to you personally i guess. The only downside we have encountered was with the knock box. To remove the ground coffee from the filter basket you have to give the upturned basket a fairly healthy thump on the knock bar soon after making the coffee and after a few months the bar on the knock box broke in half. I drilled out the centre of the bar, inserted a steel rod and the knock box now works efficiently and i expect it to do so for many years now. Surprising the knock box wasn’t engineered to the same standard as the rest of the machine.
    1. 5.0 out of 5 stars Happiness in a cup!
      The perfect machine for any coffee addict. I bought this for my wife who loves coffee. She (no joke) has about 6 cups a day. I’ve previously had to clean 18 mugs in one go, and that’s just her. That’s how much coffee she consumes. She’s also a trained barista. Anyway, she opened this at christmas and within a half hour we were set to go for coffee. The setup is very simple and the options for customization endless, and the features are impressive, like the little drawer for the tools, saving you from storing them in a drawer to be lost later, or the clever floating sign in the drain that tells you when it’s full. It feels very premium and is heavy, which makes the retractable wheels in the base another great feature.
  7. Colour: BlackStyle Name: Coffee Machine Only Verified Purchase

    This review is from : Sage BES980BSS the Oracle Espresso Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine – Silver

    The perfect machine for any coffee addict. I bought this for my wife who loves coffee. She (no joke) has about 6 cups a day. I’ve previously had to clean 18 mugs in one go, and that’s just her. That’s how much coffee she consumes. She’s also a trained barista. Anyway, she opened this at christmas and within a half hour we were set to go for coffee. The setup is very simple and the options for customization endless, and the features are impressive, like the little drawer for the tools, saving you from storing them in a drawer to be lost later, or the clever floating sign in the drain that tells you when it’s full. It feels very premium and is heavy, which makes the retractable wheels in the base another great feature.
  8. 5.0 out of 5 stars Great machine - Great coffee - Great froth (only if done manually)

    This review is from : Sage BES980BSS the Oracle Espresso Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine – Silver

    Bought this as an upgrade from my delongi broke. Delivered by amazon in good time as ususal. The first thing i made sure is ihad some freshely roasted beans for a local coffee shop. Used about 200g of beans trying different settings, and wow. What a differance from my fisrt cup to my tenth cup. Mainly down to the grind size. Got it perfect fot one cup with the single shot as 90% of the tiime i only make 1 cup. But if i need to make 2 cups i just do it twice. Will need to work on the settings to get the double shot perfect soon.
    1. Colour: SilverStyle Name: Coffee Machine Only Verified Purchase
      Bought this as an upgrade from my delongi broke. Delivered by amazon in good time as ususal. The first thing i made sure is ihad some freshely roasted beans for a local coffee shop. Used about 200g of beans trying different settings, and wow. What a differance from my fisrt cup to my tenth cup. Mainly down to the grind size. Got it perfect fot one cup with the single shot as 90% of the tiime i only make 1 cup. But if i need to make 2 cups i just do it twice. Will need to work on the settings to get the double shot perfect soon.
  9. 5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars

    This review is from : Sage BES980BSS the Oracle Espresso Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine – Silver

    Amazing coffee, very comparable with what you get in a good coffee shop.

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