Breville The Oracle Espresso Machine BES980XL Review

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If it is genuine coffee shop quality espresso that you are wanting, while at the same time having it in the comfort of your own home, this machine is most definitely a wonderful consideration to add to your list of top home espresso machines available in today’s market.

Product Description

If you have always wanted a manual or semi-automatic espresso machine, due to the quality of the espresso produced by these machines (by someone who was knowledgeable in making them) but were scared off by all of the knowledge you felt you had to acquire prior to being able to decently use it, here is your chance to get quality espresso that tastes and presents like that made with a manual or semi-automatic machine, while at the same time being made by a machine that does it all for you.

Includes completely programmable features; built-in grinding, dosing, and tamping ability; programmable milk frothing capability; and more.

Top Features Include:

  • Tons of programmable features.
  • Great LCD front panel display.
  • Stainless-steel dual boilers and dual Italian pumps.
  • Very large water reservoir at 84 ounces.


Product Details

Is this machine in the Super-Automatic, Automatic, or Semi-Automatic class?

Although this machine has been placed into the semi-automatic class of home espresso machines according to its specifications, it truly much more closely resembles a super-automatic espresso maker due to all of the programmable options and auto features available with it.

Is this machine programmable?

Yes, this machine has tons of programmable options, to include milk-texturing (frothing),  shot temperature programming ranging from 190 to 205 degrees, completely customizable settings for beverage preference (i.e., Americano, etc.), automatic on and shut-off features, and much more.

Is this machine easy to use?

This machine is, per customer report, with all of the available programmable options, very easy to use.

What types of beverages does this machine make?

This machine makes any kind of espresso beverage you would find at your local Starbucks or other coffee house.

What is the cup height allowance of this machine?

This espresso maker allows for using a cup up to 4 inches tall. If you prefer a machine that has a taller cup clearance space than this one, consider the DeLonghi Magnifica, which offers up to 6 or 7 inches of cup height clearance, almost an unheard of amount with this type of appliance!

Does this machine use pods/capsules or ground coffee?

This machine does not use pods or capsules. It instead uses only coffee beans, which are placed into a hopper that is built in to the machine and fed into the grinder when a cup of espresso is brewed. This guarantees the most fresh espresso, much more so than when using pods or capsules.

Does this machine have a built-in coffee bean grinder?

Yes, this machine does have a built-in coffee grinder.

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What is the bean hopper size in this machine?

The bean hopper that is built-in to this machine holds approximately 1/2 pound of your favorite coffee beans.

Does this particular machine have an LCD display?

Yes, this machine has a wonderful LCD display, as well as numerous buttons for different programmable settings.

What is the frothing capability of this machine?

This machine has a fantastic frothing ability that is made so much easier than it is with most other machines. Frothing with the Oracle is actually an automated process from which excellent milk froth can be obtained without a lot of practice and wasted milk.

What is the brew time length of this machine?

Very short brewing time – this machine provides the user with the capability of having two completely finished cappuccinos or other beverage in 90 seconds.

How many cups at a time can be made with this machine?

There are two spouts that dispense espresso on this machine, thus allowing for either one or two beverages at a time.

Does it have a cup warmer?

Yes, this machine does have a cup warmer. In addition, the cup warmer on this machine heats cups with the use of a heating element, as opposed to most machines in this price range, which normally heat cups with heat generated by the interior heating system.

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What colors is  this machine available in?

The entire body of this machine is silver. There are no other colors available.

What type of housing (outside casing) does this machine have?

This machine’s casing is brushed stainless steel.

What type of water heating system does this machine have?

This home espresso maker has stainless-steel dual boilers that heat the water for brewing espresso while at the same time heating/steaming milk.

Does this machine have dual boilers?

Yes, this machine has dual stainless-steel boilers.

Is this machine noisy?

It was unable to be determined whether this home espresso machine is noisy or not. You should assume that some noise will be generated when the built-in grinder is grinding the coffee beans; however, it is unclear whether noise is generated during brew time.

What is the bar pump pressure information regarding this machine?

This machine has dual Italian pumps for super high pump pressure.

What is the water tank size on this machine?

This machine boasts a huge water reservoir that holds approximately 84 ounces — the largest seen thus far among the reviews at this site.

Is the water tank easy to access?

This machine has one of the most easy-to-access water reservoirs available with today’s home espresso makers, enabling the home barista to add water from the top-front of the machine.

Is clean-up easy for this machine?

This machine is incredibly easy to clean, as the machine itself does the work. Features include auto-purge of the steam wand after brewing,

What is the weight of this machine?

This machine weighs approximately 34-35 pounds. Not one of the lighter machines, but definitely one of the more sturdy ones.

What are the dimensions (measurements) of this machine?

This home espresso machine measures 16-1/4 inches wide x 15 inches deep x approximately 18 inches in height.

The bean hopper that sets atop the machine is what makes it 18 inches tall. When the bean hopper is removed, the machine stands approximately 15-1/2 inches tall.

Shipping and Warranty Info.

This machine has a 2-year warranty.

What is the wattage of this machine?

This wattage of this machine is 1,800 watts.

Customer Reviews – Pros & Cons – Breville The Oracle Espresso Machine BES980XL Review

Here are some of the pros and cons that are actual reports from customers who have purchased and used this espresso machine.


  • Great automated features – one customer reported that this machine has “superb automation.”
  • Quality of construction – this machine is felt to be constructed very durably and made to last for a number of years.
  • Ease of use – per customer report, this machine is incredibly easy to use.
  • Hot water outlet that is dedicated to dispensing only hot water, for those hot chocolate or tea lovers!


  • Cost – This definitely is not one of the cheaper home espresso machines.
  • At 34-35 pounds, this machine most definitely is not one of the more lightweight machines available.

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