NS Oscar. It has been real treat to own. Good Barista Quality = Consistant Oscar Output = Greatness
Positive Product Points
Relative Small Footprint, Ability to Perform 24hrs a day, Never Ending Jet-Engine Steam, Consistant, Consistant, Consistant Goodness.
Negative Product Points
First Time On - Steam Wand Required to be Open, Steam Wand Knob can twirl three rotations open, no dial or notching for help, Steam wand left slightly ajar will leak (just remember to close it!), 2.2l capacity means e/o/d refills of high daily use.
This was recommended to me from Austin with the Bellisimo Group. He said if I wanted a machine that would translate from home to store the best, this would be the unit to do it. After some time to play on it, and by play I mean for home use I'm pulling somewhere between 75-100 shots a week, this little unit is trucking!
I do not profess to be a pro. I am in training, and training very hard. I am from the technology field however so my analytical mind is always churning with making an experience as perfect and efficient as I can. The Oscar is a work horse. I sit there pulling shot after shot after shot, and it burbles to life to regain its heat and continues on begging for more. Lattes, Mochas, Steamers, Cappas, Ristrettos, are all coming out beautifully.
I first thought I might have an issue with the machine but quickly realized that it was just showing me the error in the rest of the processes. If there is a mistake, 80/20 rule says its probably your fault. Every time I pulled something wrong I'd take a little more time for finesse and wham, a great product would emerge. Over the past few weeks my mistakes are dwindling and repeat perfect performances are being seen.
Again, this unit just kicks a**. It is a bit more expensive for the home consumer. However, I cannot see a time when I would want to replace this. It works out to over a 5 year period to be worth 13$ a month, or .43c a day. Now if I haven't cost justified it to you that way I'm not sure what metric you want to measure on. I have not had a round on the Silva's so I cannot comment. I just know that right now I have no buyers regrets and a list of people who can attest to how nice this machine is.
I have the aluminum painted frame, which while some might guaff at. I am tired of stainless steel for everything. Smudgeprints and hard to get off as well as dryed on bits were always a pain in the arse. This paint is like teflon. If it gets on, a wipe gets it off. I like that. As well all the equipment pieces that need to be high quality are. The want, Portafilters, Gaskets, etc all feel and look good. The PF has a great feel in your hand. Unfortunatly they never include a tamp worth a damn, so order a new tamp at the same time. You'll regret not having the proper weight in your hand when learning the unit.
The downsides which I mentioned are really more bothers than stoppers. If you don't keep the unit powered up all the time the steam wand is required to be open to make correct pressure. I leave mine on 24/7 so that obviates that. Not knowing when the wand is open or closed based on quick dial check is a loss, but one you just feel out. Draw your own hash marks I suppose. Steam wand leakage is normal to most, just make sure you tighten it after a large set of pulls. Your mind gets all nummy and its easy to forget. The little capcity on the reservoir means no Americano's but with a wand you can heat a cup of water to boiling in a matter of seconds (really 1c = <30s, 3c = 1.2m). We use the wand in the morning to heat our press water. The small res also means you will have to fill it after one brisk day or two temperate days. Easy enough to keep a 1/2g in the fridge ready for it at all times.
I'm loving this unit. You can too.
Purchased straight from Nuova Simonelli US Distributor. Roberto Brescianni is a great guy to chat with and will gladly upsell you on anything he carries like a good distributor should. They will gladly send you their marketing kit which can give you the low down on all equipment they sell. They have a great staff and stand behind their unit so I'm glad to have worked with them directly.
Three Month Followup
I missed my 3mo followup, but it's worked through and through.
One Year Followup
The year followup still has me owning the NS Oscar and still loving it. I'm about to change the gasket due to small leakage but after being nearly on 24x7 for 365 days that's all the replacing I've had to think of. It get's a scheduled backflushing e/o/w and I scrub the screen every few months. The unit gets used up to 8 times a day on average.
Pull's great timed shots.
Naked's and Tripples are a pleasure
Steam is excellent for a home unit, but a margin below a real commercial machine. ** Texturing/Microfoam can be dead on each time
I highly recommend this product still. The only thing that could replace it would be an actual mini-commercial unit which blows the price range. If you have the money to spend and want a pro-sumer unit, this is the one to turn to.