gourmetguy Senior Member Joined: 10 Dec 2002 Posts: 144 Location: Atlanta Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: All kinds of stuff Grinder: Various in my day Drip: You name it I've had it Roaster: just an iRoast
Posted Sat Dec 15, 2012, 8:28am Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli Oscar First Look
After over a decade of looking at this machine, and a Saeco Vienna (1998 or 9), Gaggia Classic/Silvia (2002), Grimac/Espressione XP1 (2003), Marcuzzi (Expobar) Office (2005), and Delonghi ESAM 4400 (2009) later - it's mine.
First impressions - easiest machine ever to keep clean (don't knock black textured ABS until you try it), the boiler insulation is first rate (coolest HEX machine of the three I've owned, by far), the Sirai has a very satisfying heavy-duty mechanical cycle sound that the tiny Ma-ter pressurestat in every other HEX machine can't match, massive drip tray, bonus second PF handle (for wife's decaf), but tiny reservoir.
Took about a 1/2 gal of milk to find my steaming stroke. Will take another gallon or two to get my bonafide microfroth back.
When the dollar was worth a damn a decade ago, you could find this machine for under $800. These days, nobody wants to come off the $1,050 you find on the web. That said, I found a somewhat local resource who is a dealer, and a delight to work with. He made me a cash and carry deal (Mario Jr. at Espresso SE in Auburn, GA) and I'm a very happy coffee geek again!
A new (used) Oscar has been challenging me for a few weeks. It's great fun and shot pulls are slowly coming into focus (although brew pressure seems to be high). However, steaming milk with the four hole tip has a tough row. Been reading and reading and watching videos but I just tend to get hot, thin milk with a creamy cap on top. Can you offer any of your Oscar discoveries for microfoam?
Yes. Either attempt to foam 20-24 oz of milk, or ditch the steam tip for the Isomac two hole steam team over at Chris Coffee. That's what I had to do - I only steam milk for one latte at a time so the four hole tip wasn't cutting it.
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