Sage Oracle Touch inconsistency

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.

#1: Post by Boober »

Hi. I just bought this machine 2 weeks ago. I went through 1 kg of coffee already and cannot pull a decent espresso shot. The grinder/tamper duo puts a puck size between 21 and 23.8 grams, even though i pulled the tamper fan as low as I could. With single dose I sometimes need to add extra beans otherwise the machine won't start tamping...

With the grinder, lighter roasts are impossible to dial in. Today I tried dialling The Barn's Boa Vista, grinder burrs are set on 2, grinder settings are 18, i didnt get a shot in 35 seconds, so I went up to even 23 and I am not getting a 20/40 ratio in 50 seconds. I know I sound like an amateur which I completely am, however with the machine for that amount of money I was expecting more consistent results so I could learn what to adjust.

Sometimes on the same grinder settings I have a 25gr shot (from single basket) in 28 seconds and sometimes in 18!

1. What am I doing wrong? Any advise what can I improve WITH THIS SETUP (NO EXTRA GRINDER) to get better results?
2. I'm thinking of returning this machine and get something cheaper with external grinder (I currently own Comandante) - which you guys would recommend? Dual Boiler?

I'm so close to give up completely... So frustrating.

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#2: Post by Jeff »

Return the machine.

Its grinder is marginal, at best, for quality espresso.

Decide on a total budget and people will be able to make some reasonable suggestions of alternatives.

Boober (original poster)

#3: Post by Boober (original poster) »

I really wanted to avoid it :(


#4: Post by exidrion »

Breville seems to ascribe to the to the overstuffed basket doube ristretto regime, for "the best coffee flavour". That's why the manual states to use medium to medium dark, no oil beans. Take it from someone who had an oracle, with that grinder and the lack of dose control there is no way not to get sour under extracted light roasts. If you have a large family who like the Oracle's convenience and auto milk steaming, just alleviate this with a separate grinder for yourself. Otherwise sell it and get a different machine and grinder.

Boober (original poster)

#5: Post by Boober (original poster) »

Hmm, good hint possibly. If I return it, what setup would you recommend to keep a convenience of the safe and add a grinder? Let's say I want to land the grinder around 500 bucks? And the machine, which would you suggest?

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#6: Post by Jeff »

What's your total budget?

In the entry level range (if that is where your budget ends up), balancing the tradeoffs between the grinder and machine together is sometimes better than independent recommendations for each.

Boober (original poster)

#7: Post by Boober (original poster) »

1500, can be second hand

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#8: Post by Jeff »

The Niche Zero may be available used at a moderate price. It is a very solid grinder for traditional espresso, but can be finicky for pulling espresso from European "filter" or "omni" roasts.

If the price to you after taxes and duties is reasonable and you're typically making only a few cups at a time, the Option-O Lagom Mini is a very good grinder across both roast levels and espresso/filter preparation.

Assuming a bit under 500 for the grinder, that leaves 1000 for the machine. That's pretty tight for a robust, repeatable, pump-driven machine. My first suggestion would be a Cafelat Robot or Flair 58, but those are manual and don't steam milk. Something like the Profitec GO is probably a lot better than the Gaggia/Silvia-class machines. A step up from there would be the Lelit Mara X which keeps good, no-fuss temperature stability and control and adds easier workflow around milk steaming. (Virtually all other HX machines require a flush routine to manage temperature, no matter what the marketing claims are.) I understand that Lelit models are priced comparatively lower in the EU than they are in the US, so that may be within reach new as well as used. (Check that is is the "X" variant with the temperature management.)

For me, I like to decide I want to make espresso and be able to do so within 10 minutes or so. With an E61-style machine this means starting it with a timer in the morning and leaving it on most of the day. E61-style machines take about 30-45 minutes to fully warm up from cold. Close-coupled groups like those on the GO, Lelit Elizabeth, Breville/Sage Dual Boiler ("BDB") and others can be ready in around 10 minutes from cold.

There is no clear "winner" or even leading group of machines in the 1000-1500 range. Every one has some strengths and weaknesses. As long as you're looking at one of the better ones, it will come down to which compromises fit your needs and budget better than the others.

Boober (original poster)

#9: Post by Boober (original poster) »

I may decide to stay with sage oracle touch and buy either a niche or eureka mignon oro. I'll check option-o as well. Thanks for the recommendations.

EDIT. I was actually thinking to return the oracle and take the dual boiler from sage/breville. That would cover the cost of the grinder. Will I lose any other feaure when it comes to brewing? I was also considering different machines. It comes down to these choices:

Sage Oracle Touch
Sage Dual Boiler
Profitec Pro 500
Rancilio Silvia Pro X
Lelit Mara X
Rocket Appartamento

the grinders on my list:
Niche Zero
Eureka Mignon Oro Single Dose
DF64 (v)
Option-O Lagom mini

The service center for Sage in Europe are selling the refurbished machines and I could return mine and buyu the DB saving around 800 euros which woul easily cover the grinder and fall under the budget.

EDIT2 - I can see that the dealer that I got the Oracle touch from do not have the dual boiler in stock currently, so I may actually keep the oracle touch, however I am open to suggestions. My return window closes on Friday.