Many homes have adopted the pod based machines, we have one in the EFTM kitchen. With that said though we still find ourselves heading out to the local cafe for a coffee as a treat. Somehow it just tasted better. Breville has a machine named the Oracle which is taking that cafe experience into the home.
Certainly bigger in size, with more buttons and more bits. The Breville Oracle is an intimidating creature. It meant also buying beans rather than pods and also meant there was more work to do to make my morning brew each day.
The instruction manual to set it all up for use was easy, but you do need to follow the steps properly for first use. What this machine does, which is rather unique, is grind, tamp and then make your coffee using the traditional lever method. Many machines today automate the whole process however when you have friends over you are a true barista pushing buttons and turning the big lever.
After you’ve gone to your cafe, bought their beans (yes your local cafe will sell their prized beans to you) and poured them into the machine you’re essentially ready to get started. Putting the lever on the grinding jam, hearing the machine fire up and turn your beans into glorious powder and tamp it tight for you is a sound normally heard in the cafe you just took their business from. Once that is done, move the freshly loaded arm onto the pouring jam. From there, push the single or double shot and let the goodness flow.
There are plenty of settings on the machine for the coffee expert however for a graduating Nespresso pod user like ourselves we found this quite simple. The buttons quickly make sense and many we barely had to touch. Set it and forget it. The fun part though is sourcing your beans and trying the different aromas and flavours. We purposely bought small bags of bean varieties so we could try more flavours.
One thing we didn’t particularly enjoy is actually the next step. In a pod machine the pod is easily discarded and life goes on. With this machine you are left with a large coffee disc in your jam which you need to beat out. Breville provides the container for this with the rod to beat it on but it is rather annoying to do and makes a tonne of noise to bash out.
The coffee experience through this method instantly makes you feel a little more snobbish about your coffee. You stop people when they bring up their pod machine and you start sniffing your coffee more at the cafe to see if it was made as you could at home. Your friends will love you more though, no more $4 coffee for them as they’ll come to your place.
The Oracle is not a cheap product. It is one for those real coffee lovers, those who care more about the life the coffee bean lived prior to being ground. We may become one of them very quickly but the point in which you remove your wallet for one is the kicker.
Some are satisfied with their pod based machine and that’s ok. We think that machines such as the Breville Oracle are for those who have already lived that life and are ready to step it up. It is the good knife set, the upgraded gas stove, the Asko washing machine, the wagyu beef or the built to measure home. When all else has failed this could be your next.