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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Breville Oracle...  
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mbwelchutah
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Feb 2014
Posts: 7
Location: Salt Lake City
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Feb 27, 2014, 10:45pm
Subject: Re: Breville Oracle - Anyone know anything?
 

Sorry I didn't realize you worked for Breville :-)  Anyways thank you.  I like the machine.  For someone like myself who may only make one or two drinks a day at most, it's perfect.  Easy clean up.  Fairly easy to dial in.  And for the most part I don't have a lot of wasted coffee.  Excellent support :-)  It's just I don't think moving to a coarser and coarser grind, so it's up at a setting of 42 to 45, at the limits of the grinder, is the answer.  The shots are flat and seem to loose their color pretty early.  For the two bags that I received from Breville with the machine from Intelligentsia, they suggested an initial setting of 42.

I tried canned beans, and they are not so temperamental...but then then didn't really taste that great.
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KatBrazier
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Jun 2013
Posts: 8
Location: Sydney Australia
Expertise: Professional

Posted Tue Mar 4, 2014, 9:37pm
Subject: Re: Breville Oracle - Anyone know anything?
 

Hi Mbwelch,

I think I may have just replied to you on Coffee Snobs too but glad to hear you’re enjoying the machine. Every brand and batch of coffee varies greatly and so there are no optimal settings per say. It is all up to experimentation, but the flow rate to aim for is 60ml in 30 seconds for the 2 cup setting and 30ml in 30 seconds for the 1 cup setting.

When coffee is very fresh it emits a fair bit of carbon dioxide and can be quite unstable during extraction. For example, channelling will be an issue in the first couple of days as it expands more in this early period during extraction. Channelling will lead to flat and bland coffee as the water seeks out the path of least resistance. There is also a trend among Specialty coffee roasteries to roast coffee a little lighter than the traditional or supermarket style of coffees and it appears that this coffee requires a coarser grind than the average brands.

The upper burr inside the grinder is adjustable so you can make the grind coarser if you require – One of our customer service representatives can walk you through the instructions over the phone.

Although Grind Setting 42 might be a good place to start, each machine will vary and each batch of coffee will vary. The optimal window post roast date, in which to use a particular type of coffee can take some trial and error to achieve.

Dosing manually will have a different flavour profile to automatic dosing & tamping.

As for basket sizes, the industry standards here in Australia are either 9g & 18g or 12g & 21g. A commercial ‘21g’ basket holds up to 28g+ of coffee.

And canned beans....well coffee beans must be fresh (used up to 2 weeks post roast date) to produce all those beautiful flavours!
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mbwelchutah
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Feb 2014
Posts: 7
Location: Salt Lake City
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Mar 5, 2014, 10:40am
Subject: Re: Breville Oracle - Anyone know anything?
 

Thanks for the information.  I'm beginning to figure out some of the "fine points" of this grinder. In a previous post you mentioned that the "tamper consists of a fixed height auger with a torque sensor that digitally senses resistance to determine dose" and that the "tamper mechanism works on height. Once the coffee has pushed the auger (I thought it didn't move?) up to a certain height, the dose is achieved".  So, could, I just clarify some points?  So the grinder is basically a "volumetric" type doser, rather than "weight" based doser?  Would this be a correct statement?

What I've found so far, is that with what I'd call a more traditional roast, like Tony's Ganesha Espresso, the default settings throughout are spot on.  The weight of the basket is 21 grams.  The grind setting is 30.  The machine is pretty much turn it on, put the coffee in, and press the button.  With what i'll call the more boutique roasters, like Intelligentsia, etc., the settings require some tweaking.  I'm just guessing, and correct me if I'm wrong, these lighter roasts, result in what I'm going to call a more dense coffee, leaving more of the more volatile compounds in the bean.  Hence with Oracle, I get a bigger dose based on weight, even though the volume may remain the same.  I can compensate for this by increasing the grind or letting the coffee rest for a day or two,  but I've also noticed that decreasing the tamp set force also has an effect.  When I take the force to lowest setting, I can make the grind finer.  The basket weight also decreases. So maybe you could explain how exactly the tamp set force works (my guess is that the grinder portion turns off when a preset force is met, hence if I lower the force or tamp I lower the dose).  Also does the time for the tamp set make any difference?  Both functions aren't very well documented in the manual.

Finally since this is a "torque" based system it would seem possible to bring out baskets optimized for a smaller dose, by either bringing out different basket size or bringing out different tamping fans (just a suggestion).
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KatBrazier
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Jun 2013
Posts: 8
Location: Sydney Australia
Expertise: Professional

Posted Thu Mar 6, 2014, 4:55pm
Subject: Re: Breville Oracle - Anyone know anything?
 

Hi Mbwelch,

Just to clarify my earlier comments:

“The BES980 tamper consists of a fixed height auger with a torque sensor that digitally senses resistance to determine dose.
The La Marzocco Swift uses different technology – the La Marzocco Swift tamper mechanism works on height so once the coffee has pushed the auger up to a certain height, the dose is achieved.”

The BES980 system is a volumetric based system. It simply works on a measure of rotational resistance being reached between the Auger and the coffee surface.

I cannot give a definitive answer on bean density across different brands, except to say, that there are many variables that affect density – where the coffee was grown, how high & the conditions in which it was grown, how it was processed and of course how long it was roasted for. The list is endless.

Certainly a fresh, lighter roast profile will yield a different height and weight profile to a dark roasted, stale coffee.

Your guess here “…the grinder portion turns off when a preset force is met” is correct.

And here: “Also does the time for the tamp set make any difference?” Yes, lower tamp set force equals lower dose. The time refers to how long the tamper fan polishes for. Adjusting this comes back to taste preference; some coffees may benefit from it, others may not.

As for basket sizes & tamper fans; currently there is no single basket design that works with the Auto Grinder/Tamper. The tamper fan design is one of the most complex parts to get right and the end design was deemed the most optimal. La Marzocco do not offer a single basket for the Swift either.
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mbwelchutah
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Feb 2014
Posts: 7
Location: Salt Lake City
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Mar 6, 2014, 11:13pm
Subject: Re: Breville Oracle - Anyone know anything?
 

So let me ask you about this "As for basket sizes & tamper fans; currently there is no single basket design that works with the Auto Grinder/Tamper".  Does this imply that I could use a VST basket?  Just wondering.
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KatBrazier
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Jun 2013
Posts: 8
Location: Sydney Australia
Expertise: Professional

Posted Sun Mar 9, 2014, 7:54pm
Subject: Re: Breville Oracle - Anyone know anything?
 

Hi Mbwelch,

Just to quote Phil in another forum please see below:

“Just to let you know the basket that comes with the Oracle has been tuned especially to work with the Auto grinder. Using another basket may cause you issues. Just to let you know that the baskets we use in all our Dual Boiler configured machines, BES900, BES920 & the Oracle are all made to a quality that approaches that of VSTs. Hole roundness & consistant positioning is extremely controlled during production.”

The link to a discussion and photos on comparing Breville baskets with VSTs is here:
Click Here (coffeesnobs.com.au)
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Grant0830
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Mar 2014
Posts: 1
Location: Omaha,NE
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Mar 10, 2014, 8:23am
Subject: Re: Breville Oracle - Anyone know anything?
 

Hello fellow coffeegeek's

We are looking at the 980XL as a replacement to our current FrancisFrancis X5 Breville Grinder combo. We have a couple questions for 980XL owners ....

- how loud is the machine when grinding/pouring shot/steaming ? Don't want to wake the whole house with making coffee in the am

- how does the height of the machine fit under a standard 18" cabinet ? Any issue with moving the unit in and out to fill the hopper with an 18" cabinet?

Thank you all in advanced!!!
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mbwelchutah
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Feb 2014
Posts: 7
Location: Salt Lake City
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Mar 10, 2014, 7:07pm
Subject: Re: Breville Oracle - Anyone know anything?
 

So I'll try to answer a few of these questions.  I've had the machine since early January, and despite some initial stutters in learning to use it, I'm really loving the ease of use and ease of clean up.

1.)  Loudness.  I don't find it very loud at all.  Less so than most grinders.  There is a good review at Seattle Coffee Gear where you can hear the grinder and the steamer (it's the longer of the two reviews, and I think hits all of the high points and the few low points.  Like me they found the tamping force confusing, and I'm not sure they are really using it right, but I guess it's all a matter of taste).  In general, though, because I found myself, more efficient with this machine, the total noise is probably much less.  And anyways I find I make more noise hitting the knock box.
2.)  It's listed as 18" high.  I measured, and it's about 17.5, so it's going to be tight.  It fits easily under my 20" high cabinets.  Because of ball bearing switch in the base it can easily (and it really is easy) moved around and rotated without significant effort.

Let me know if you have other questions.
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VePee
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Apr 2014
Posts: 1
Location: Richmond, VA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Apr 3, 2014, 6:16pm
Subject: Re: Breville Oracle - Anyone know anything?
 

Greetings All,  been coming here for the last few weeks, just wanted to say hello.  I purchased a Oracle (#438).  I almost know enough to be dangerous and make a drink or two.  I am sure I will have a few questions when I start to get into the menus a bit.  Just trying to take it slow and enjoy the process.
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ToddJewell
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Apr 2014
Posts: 4
Location: Erie, CO
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Breville Oracle
Grinder: Breville Oracle
Posted Tue Apr 15, 2014, 12:50pm
Subject: Re: Breville Oracle - Anyone know anything?
 

I've had the machine for a little over a week now and still getting used to it, but so far, so good. I had an issue this morning before work though, but didn't have time to explore before heading out.

I believe the grinder is acting strange. My first clue was that it ran inordinately long and when it shut off, the polishing didn't continue (it's set to run 4 seconds). Sure enough, the filter was not completely full and it wasn't leveled/polished. I reinserted the portafilter and rotated right to see if I could finish the dose. It did add more grounds and polish, although I don't think the polishing continued after the grinder (again). It looked good so I tried to brew. The grounds must have been too fine/compacted, because only a couple dribbles came out in 30 seconds.

I checked my beans and made sure the chute wasn't clogged, and tried everything again, twice more. Basically the same thing result, although the polisher did run for 4 seconds after the grinder stopped (at least once).

So... I've got two possible issues. 1) Polishing didn't continue after grinder, and 2) is my grind too fine/tamp too heavy, so that only a partial shot is extracted in 30 seconds?

Second one first... I'll explore the "fineness" of the grind tonight to make sure it corresponds to the setting I used. I wasn't anywhere close to grinding fine though, I think I was around 40 (and have ground extensively all the way from 15 to 43 as I played with the machine this past week). Last time after using the machine I did clean the grinder out real well, including removing and cleaning the upper burr. Is it possible I didn't reassemble it correctly? I've seen posted here that there is a way to manually adjust the grind (range) by adjusting the upper burr. Is it possible I inadvertently "adjusted" the upper burr instead of simply reassembling it? Making sure I've assembled it correctly and that my grind corresponds with my relatively course grind setting is my first concern. Can anyone describe this manual upper burr adjustment? I see the "align" mark and how to align it and then rotate to lock, so I'm not sure what I could have done incorrectly.

Thanks,
Todd
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