Breville Oracle Touch Review (BES990)

The Oracle Touch is Beville’s top-of-the-line coffee machine. It includes all the features found on Breville’s other premium machines along with an intuitive touch screen interface.

This machine is perfect for those wanting a simple and efficient way to make great tasting coffee at home. It is also suitable for larger households thanks to its dual boiler and the ability to save up to 8 of your favourite drinks.

However, at almost twice the price of other excellent machines (such as the Breville Dual Boiler), is the Oracle Touch worth the investment? In this article we take a deep dive into Breville’s premium automatic coffee machine to help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.

Who is the Oracle Touch for?

Put simply, this machine is for the user who wants the convenience of a super-automatic coffee machine, but is happy to take a little bit more control in order to achieve a better quality of coffee.

The Breville Oracle Touch lets users customise everything from the grind, to the espresso temperature and volume, to the milk consistency and temperature. This allows users to create a cup of coffee that is perfectly suited to their individual preferences. Up to 8 different coffees can be saved and easily accessed via the intuitive touch screen.

The Oracle Touch is a dual boiler, meaning it features a dedicated espresso boiler in addition to a dedicated boiler for the steam wand. This means both functions can be used at the same time which significantly speeds up the brewing process. This makes it suitable for larger households or those who like to entertain.

The Breville Oracle Touch is not the best option for for users wanting to learn the ins-and-outs of espresso making. There is less control over the grind settings compared to using a separate grinder, and the machine uses a lot of smart features to help deliver a balanced espresso shot.

On more traditional espresso machines, the lack of these features mean the user needs to learn (often frustratingly) much more about the espresso making process in order to get the same result.

Likewise, if you want to learn to manually steam milk, you may be better off with the Dual Boiler or Barista Pro. The Oracle Touch only allows auto milk texturing.

Getting started with the Breville Oracle Touch

The Oracle Touch comes with everything you need to start making coffee at home.

In addition to the machine itself, you’ll receive a knock box/grinds bin, 58mm stainless steel portafilter, 1 cup and 2 cup filter baskets, milk jug, water filter, and a variety of spare parts and tools. It also comes with a cleaning kit and water hardness test strip.

Starting out, your best bet is to familiarise yourself with the touch screen interface and read through some of the guides.

Click the info button on the top left of the screen to access the “Touch Guide”.

From here you can access “Know Your Oracle Touch”, “Step-by-Step Coffee Tutorial”, “Coffee Extraction Guide” and “Tips & Techniques”.

From the settings icon on the home screen you access the “Quick Start Guide” along with everything else you need including brewing and milk temperatures, cleaning settings amongst much more.

Important Features

Triple Heat System

Breville’s premium machines (Oracle Touch, Oracle, and Dual Boiler) feature their Triple Heat System.

Heat systems are one of the key factors to consider when selecting a coffee machine and are often the main difference between machines in different price brackets.

The Oracle Touch is considered a “Dual Boiler” because it has a dedicated espresso boiler along with a second dedicated boiler for the steam wand. This drastically speeds up the coffee making process as it means the boiler doesn’t have to switch from one task to another. The dedicated boilers also help deliver more precise water temperatures for each process.

The third component of the Triple Heat System is a heated group head. A group head that isn’t the right temperature can have an adverse effect on espresso. The Oracle touch features a PID controlled embedded element within the group head which maintains thermal stability.

Colour Touch Screen

The most noticeable feature of the Oracle Touch is perhaps the colour touch screen on the front.

This is a feature previously only seen on fully automatic machines and is one way that the Breville Oracle Touch represents the best of both words.

Via the touch screen, users can access the five pre-programmed favourites or create, save and name eight of their own.

They also have access to various other settings including the adjustable grind control, shot functions, programmable milk temperature and texture, and cleaning.

Like your latte with a bit more foam? Or want your flat white slightly hotter? You can save all these preferences easily via the touch screen control panel.

Auto On Function

Gone are the days of waiting for your espresso machine to heat up in the morning. The Oracle Touch can be programmed to turn on at a specific time each day so its at the perfect coffee making temperature when you get up.

This is another feature only found on the premium range of Breville coffee machines.

Pre Infusion

Pre infusion is a feature found across most of Breville’s line-up but is often missing from more commercial style home espresso machines.

This process involves a gradual increase in water pressure at the start of the espresso extraction. The result is the ground coffee is gently expanded which contributes to a more even extraction.

This is one of the features found on Breville machines that adds some “forgiveness” to the espresso making process and makes them more beginner friendly.

Over Pressure Valve

Another premium feature usually only found on commercial machines, the over pressure valve limits the amount of pressure applied during the espresso extraction process, preventing bitter flavours.

Integrated Conical Burr Grinder

The grind process on the Oracle Touch is fully automated. Simply insert the portafilter and press the grind button on the touch screen and the machine will grind, dose, and tamp 22 grams of espresso.

Remove the portafilter, insert it into the group head, and you’re ready to start the espresso making process.

Grind settings can be adjusted via the touch screen. Users can select the grind size that best suits their coffee beans and delivers the desired taste profile.

In terms of grind quality, you are likely getting a more consistency with the Oracle Touch than in a lot of other automatic machines. However, if you want to play around with different bean varieties and roasts, you may be left wishing you had a bit more control. The best quality espresso will always be made by using a separate high quality coffee grinder (and an experienced barista!).

Programmable Shot Volume and Temperature

Having control over your espresso shot is essential in creating coffee that perfectly suits your taste. The Oracle Touch allows users to set their preferred volume and temperature settings via the easy-to-use control panel. These can be paired with your preferred milk settings in your saved drink .

Auto Milk Texturing

The steam wand is powered by a dedicated boiler, meaning it can always apply the correct temperature and pressure and is able to be used at the same time as the espresso boiler.

Based on your programmed settings, the steam wand will automatically texture milk to the desired temperature and consistency. The cafe-quality micro-foam is very impressive and provides the perfect finishing touch to your cappuccino or flat white. You can even try your hand at some latte art!

What do users say about the Oracle Touch?

Feedback for the Oracle Touch is overwhelmingly positive. In fact, we think this must be up there with the most highly acclaimed machines in the Breville line-up.

Users rave about the consistent high-quality coffee they are able to make with the Oracle Touch and find the touch screen settings easy and intuitive.

Like with most consumer focussed espresso machines, there can be issues with components over time. Internal components are often plastic and because of the various smart features included, these machines can be difficult to fix at home or even using a professional espresso repair service. If this is a concern, look into getting an extended warranty on your Breville machine.

Positives

  • Cafe quality, great tasting coffee
  • Perfect micro-foam milk
  • Great consistency
  • Easy to use and customise settings
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Brushed stainless steel finish looks great

Negatives

  • Some users would prefer more control over grind settings
  • Some issues with quality and repairs

Is the Breville Oracle Touch right for you?

The Oracle Touch perfectly threads the needle between a semi automatic and a super automatic espresso machine. It lets users make an exceptional cup of coffee at home without the steep learning curve associated with mastering a traditional espresso machine.

That said, it doesn’t come cheap. At significantly more than the original Oracle, consumers are paying for premium features like the colour touch screen and 8 programmable coffee settings.

Pros:

  • Cafe quality coffee
  • Easy to learn and use
  • Easy to maintain
  • Features like PID Temperature Control, Pre Infusion, and Over Pressure Valve to improve quality
  • Perfect micro-foam milk frothing
  • Auto on function to preheat in the morning
  • Dual boiler improves speed and efficiency
  • Commercial-style 58mm portafilter
  • Roller ball under drip tray for easy manoeuvring
  • High capacity water tank
  • Instant hot water for long blacks or tea
  • Large 280g bean hopper

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Can’t steam milk manually, just via the program settings
  • Less control over tamp pressure or duration than when done manually
  • A seperate espresso grinder will usually lead to better results and more consistency

Alternatives to the Oracle Touch

Breville the Barista Touch

The Barista Touch is a modern espresso machine with a Dual ThermoJet heating system and colour touch screen. This is a good alternative for smaller households, or those looking for a more wallet friendly option.

Breville the Oracle

The original Breville Oracle is a very similar machine to the Touch, with the main difference being it lacks the colour touch screen. Features like pre infusion, auto purge, PID temperature control, and over pressure valve can be found on both machines.

RELATED: Breville Oracle vs Oracle Touch

Jura Z10 Automatic Coffee Machine

The Z10 is one of the flagship machines from super automatic coffee machine pros, Jura. If ultimate simplicity is what you are after, then this could be worth a look. The Jura Z10 would also be a great option for an office or shared working space.

RELATED: The Best Automatic Coffee Machines

Comparison Table

It can be difficult to figure out exactly what separates the various Breville machines. To help you wrap your head around it, we’ve summarised the key differences between the top Breville machines in the table below.

the Oracle Touchthe Oraclethe Dual Boilerthe Barista Touch
Link to Instruction bookBES990BES980BES920BES880
RRP$3,999$2,999$1,999$1,699
Check PriceThe Good GuysThe Good GuysThe Good GuysThe Good Guys
BoilersDualDualDualSingle
Heating SystemTriple Heat SystemTriple Heat SystemTriple Heat SystemDual ThermoJet
Power2400 Watts2400 Watts2200 Watts1680 Watts
Dimensions39.2 x 37.3 x 45.4 cm (WxDxH)40.9 x 37.3 x 45.3 cm (WxDxH)35.8 x 37.1 x 37.332 x 41 x 32 cm (WxDxH)
MaterialBrushed Stainless SteelBrushed Stainless SteelBrushed Stainless SteelBrushed Stainless Steel
Pump Pressure15 Bar15 Bar15 BarNot stated
Pre InfusionYesYesYesYes
Auto Purge FunctionYesYesNoYes
PID Temperature ControlYesYesYesYes
Over Pressure ValveYesYesYesNo
Espresso Pressure GaugeNoNoYesNo
Water Tank Size2.5L2.5L2.5L2.0L
Integrated GrinderYesYesNoYes
Bean Hopper Capacity280g280gn/a250g
Automatic DosingYesYesn/aYes
Colour Touch ScreenYesNoNoYes
Auto OnYesYesYesNo
Shot Volume ControlYesYesYesYes
Programmable Shot TempYesYesYesNo
Auto Milk TexturingYesYesNoYes
Saved Coffee Settings8228
Dual Wall Filter BasketsNoNoYesYes
Portafilter Size58mm58mm58mm54mm
Heated Group HeadYesYesYesNo
Dry Puck FeatureNoNoYesYes
Warranty2 Years2 Years2 Years2 Years

Conclusion

The top Breville machine certainly doesn’t disappoint, combining the convenience only previously found on fully automatic machines like those from Jura or De’Longhi, with the coffee quality found on Breville’s existing range of espresso machines.

If the price tag doesn’t put you off, the Oracle Touch makes a great addition to any modern kitchen and the closest beginners will be able to get to making cafe quality coffee at home.

FAQ

What’s the difference between Breville Barista Touch and Oracle Touch?

The main difference between the Breville Barista Touch and the Breville Oracle Touch is that the Oracle Touch is a dual boiler. This means there is a dedicated espresso boiler as well as a dedicated boiler for the steamer, meaning both functions can be used at the same time and temperatures are more precise. The Oracle Touch also features an Over Pressure Valve, Auto On, and a 58mm portafilter (Barista Touch is 54mm).

What is the difference between Oracle touch and Oracle?

These are very similar machines, with the key difference being the touch screen interface found on the Touch. This coffee machine also allows users to have 8 saved coffee settings.

Review Summary

the Oracle Touch

The Oracle Touch is for the user who wants the convenience of a super-automatic coffee machine, but is happy to take a little bit more control in order to achieve a better quality of coffee.

Product SKU: BES990

Product Brand: Breville

Product Currency: AUD

Product Price: 3,999

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
4.1