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Breville The Oracle BES980
See the Best Semi-Automatic and Manual Coffee Machines in 2022 as rated by Australians on ProductReview.com.au.
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Pros

Grinds, doses and tamps for you
Makes excellent coffee
Free at-home demonstration

Reviews

  • Build Quality
    4.0 (96)
  • Value for Money
    3.8 (97)
  • Ease of Use
    4.6 (96)
  • Cleaning & Maintenance
    4.3 (95)
  • Noise Level
    3.2 (58)
  • Product is used
  • Consistency
    4.3 (81)
  • Milk Frothing
    4.2 (84)
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Chantelle Morrissey
Chantelle MorrisseyGreater Melbourne (Outer), VIC
  • 4 reviews

Makes the best coffee but In warranty repair is awful

published

Purchased at The Good Guys.

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relles
rellesSouth East Queensland, QLD
  • 4 reviews
  • 1 like

Was great while working

published

Breville have since contacted me and are replacing my machine.
After waiting over an hour and a half on hold to have the agent disconnect the call absolutely disgusting customer service. I bought an Oracle coffee machine which has been sitting in the repair shop since April 5 and they are still waiting for Breville to send an air pump. Can not recommend Breville on either quality or service! While the machine was working it was great but to get repaired is a nightmare, definitely buy a different brand with actual customer service.

Purchased in .

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CRM
CRM
  • 2 reviews

Can't live without it!

published

Beautiful looking machine that consistently creates barista level coffee for 2 person household. Love this machine- saving so much money not visiting my local Bondi cafe every day. Highly recommend!

Purchased in for $2,500.

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Kawalla
KawallaSydney, NSW
  • 2 reviews
  • 3 likes

Excellent Coffee every day

published

After 4 years my Breville Oracle has proven to be a well made performance coffee machine.

To get the best from Oracle choose a bean you like and spend some time setting the grind right. Once set, this removes the issues of inconsistent coffee extraction.

I back flush my machine weekly and descale every 3 months, maybe overkill but seems to keep operating trouble free.

And finally, filtered water keeps the boilers free from scale.

Excellent machine 10/10 for performance and quality

Purchased in for $2,500.

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Tan
Tan
  • 2 reviews

Love, love, love it! Can’t live without it!

published

Auto switch on everyday, warmed up ready for us to get our smooth organic creamy coffee on! It has a built in grinder and tamper. I’ve used other larger commercial machines and I seriously couldn’t honestly knock this machine if I tried!

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Purchased in for $2,000.

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Cafe Quality Espresso

published

I bought this for my husband when our offspring moved out with their Breville. We were missing it and so I did some research and this one came out on top. It's not cheap but it's excellent and very easy to use. I would highly recommend this machine for both quality and ease of use

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Purchased in at Appliances Online for $3,100.

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Great coffee!!!!But……

published

The Breville Oracle is an attractive machine. The coffee( depending on the beans used) is delicious. It takes a little time to brew but gets easier with use. My only complaint is how noisy the process is. I have moved our Oracle to another room!!! Overall I love It!

Purchased for $3,200.

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pundit41
pundit41AU
  • 4 reviews

I always drank coffee black with this machine

published

Purchased in at Harvey Norman for $2,300.

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Consumer CJ
Consumer CJSouth East Queensland, QLD
  • 11 reviews
  • 4 likes

I absolutely love this machine. Can't decide whether I love it or the dog more.

published

Purchased in at The Good Guys Physical store for $3,500.

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Semi-Automatic and Manual Coffee Machines

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Ced
CedPerth, WA

Great machine

published

This machine is fantastic and especially more after the demo by Emily. Getting the grind of the coffee beans right is so important and the final product was great. Highly recommend this machine

Purchased in at The Good Guys.

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Andrew
AndrewMelbourne
  • 9 reviews
  • 5 likes

Better Than Expected

published

Brought this machine around April 2020, needed my coffee hit whilst in lock down. The machine was recommended by a barista with a company roasting his own beans. It has made around 3-4 coffees a day since then. Being able to adjust the grind and tamp is great for getting the right brew. Did have one issue with the triac output board that controls the steam wand. This was repaired under the 3 year warranty via a service agent. Overall very happy.

Purchased in at JB Hi-Fi Retail Stores for $2,600.

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Todd
Todd
  • 3 reviews
  • 2 likes

Perfect machine, I brought another when it was on sale for when this one dies!

published

I've had it since December 2018, I brought it from my work place for $500, they got a more commercial machine. Its had 3 weeks of downtime when it developed a leak, cost $300 to service and fix up, new air pump etc, now its been great for the last 2 years no problems. Great machine, love it so much I brought a black version when it was on run out pricing just in case this one finally gives up. Its a ripper coffee machine, makes a beautiful coffee, just took me a week or so to get it right, but taste and temp is exactly how we want it. Mother in law has an E8 Jura, and cannot get her coffee right.

Purchased in for $500.

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Breville customer service - POOR

published

Whilst I can’t fault the coffee produced by this machine, the customer service on this expensive machine has been below substandard. It took 2+ months to have my machine serviced, and the input of FairTrading to have damage caused on their part to be fixed.
Will not be purchasing from Breville again, the headache is too much.

Purchased in at Harvey Norman for $2,000.

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Michael of Mascot
Michael of MascotSydney, NSW
  • 14 reviews
  • 8 likes

A really great machine

published

I purchased my first Breville Oracle coffee machine in 2014 and it has never let me down. During lockdown it was worked hard everyday, but it never faulted. I like this machine because I can choose my own beans, have them ground and tampered for me. The milk frother can be manual or automatic (steams until a set temperature). One or two cups or even hot water (for those who want tea!). I decided to upgrade to the next model of Oracle because I was so impressed with my current model.

Purchased in at Harvey Norman for $2,459.

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Not Happy
Not HappyMelbourne
  • 4 reviews
  • 2 likes

Two failed machines within 4 years.

published

I purchased my first machine in 2016 which failed in 2019 requiring a complete replacement. Luckily I had purchased an extended warranty so that wasn't a problem. Just two years later another complete failure and Breville is not interested as warranty is only from date of purchase of original machine. $2,500 machine lasts 2 years apparently.

Purchased at Harvey Norman for $2,500.

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Questions & Answers

Frequently Asked Questions about Breville The Oracle BES980

Why isn't water flowing from the group head?

A common problem is that the machine won’t pump water through the hot water function or group head. When this happens, it’s possible that the steam wand - which uses a different pump - is still working.

If this is the case, there may be a blockage in the water tube - coffee grounds could be blocking the tube leading to the hot water spout.

Here are a few potential causes and options.

Do a clear water backflush

This helps keep any residual coffee oils from blocking espresso paths. Insert the grey silicone cleaning disc (in the tool storage tray underneath the drip tray) into the filter basket and run a few shots of espresso without any coffee. This flushes clear water back through the espresso path. Do this 3-4 times. Breville recommends doing this after every coffee-making session.

The hot water solenoid has jammed

The solenoid valve controls the water that goes through the coffee machine and out the espresso discharger or hot water outlet. It has an over-pressure relief valve built into it - a safety mechanism to stop the water pressure getting too high if you have a fine coffee grind.

Sometimes, the solenoid valve can become sticky, wear out, or stop working.

You can fix it yourself if you have a new solenoid valve, after taking off the back and top plates off your machine by removing 4 Phillips heads screws from the front left and right of the machine, and two just above the water dispenser. Once at the exposed top of the machine, you’ll need to remove another 4 Phillips head screws and a cable tie on the old solenoid valve to replace it with the new one.

If this sounds tricky, you can also send the machine into Breville for assessment and a repair.

Broken water pump

If the issue is caused by a broken water pump, then sending your machine into Breville for a repair or replacement may be the only solution.

Inadequate temperature

In other cases, the water might not flow because the machine isn’t reaching the right temperature.

What do I do if my machine isn’t heating up to the right temperature?

Sometimes the Breville Oracle heats up to a certain temperature then stops, never reaching the desired temperature. In the experience of reviewers, this can often happen after descaling (though not always). Here are a few reasons that this can happen, and some possible solutions to try out.

Air lock

Sometimes pressure can build up in the boilers, which is also known as an air lock. Some air will need to be removed from the boilers. To do this, turn the machine off, let it cool down for an hour, then open both boiler valves, by looking at the lower right of the machine, where a small rubber plug covers two indents with screws inside.

Turn the machine on, and while it’s running open the left valve by turning the screw on the left - all the way to the left, using a flathead screwdriver. This should drain water from one boiler into the drip tray. Once no more water is coming out, turn the screw all the way to the right again. Repeat this process with the screw on the right.

Incomplete descaling

If you recently commenced a descaling session but it was interrupted, Breville suggests doing another descale (without inserting the descaler cleaning product).

Reset the machine to the original factory settings.

You can do this by following the instructions to ‘Reset Default Settings’ in the Breville Oracle BES980 user manual.

Other reasons

Breville and reviewers suggest making sure the steam wand level is in a neutral vertical position (not pointed upwards) and the water tank is locked in completely. Breville also says that a recent change to soft water could cause inadequate heating, in which case you can try spring water instead.

Why don't I get enough coffee, especially from the first shot?

Breville states that it should take around 25-30 seconds to get 60mL of espresso, including crema. This amount means your machine is using the optimum range of pressure during the extraction.

However, getting less coffee than you should from your first pour is a common problem. The coffee should start coming out of the machine in around 7-8 seconds, and if it takes longer than this, you’re probably getting less coffee than you should.

This can sometimes happen if your grind size is too fine. You can adjust the grind size by 3 numbers to make it more coarse - at least for the first shot. As the group head heats up, any successive shots may naturally be thicker, even with a lower grind size.

Try a coarser grind if your espresso is too bitter as well, as it may be over extracted. Also make sure you’re using beans 4-10 days after roasting, to get the best possible flavour.

If you’re getting too much coffee, change the grind size to make it finer.

If adjusting the grind size isn’t helping, you can send the machine into Breville to check that the circuit board, air pump and solenoids are working correctly. Or you may prefer to request a Breville representative from the White Glove Service to come to your home and teach you how to get the maximum use of your coffee machine.

Why isn't my milk texturing properly?

When milk automatically textures, it uses a combination of air and steam to both heat and stretch the milk to give it a thick volume and creamy texture. If your milk isn’t thick and shiny (and doesn’t look something like white paint or chrome) it may not be texturing properly.

Here are some possible reasons and what to do about them.

The steam wand tip is clogged

The steam wand tip has tiny holes in it. While the steam wand will auto-purge after each use, if the wand tip isn’t manually cleaned (and even if it is, sometimes) it can become blocked. To clear out these holes you can use the wand cleaning tool, in the tool storage tray behind the drip tray. Insert the needle into the 5 holes, taking care not to damage the o-rings.

You can give it a more thorough clean by unscrewing the wand tip off once it’s cooled down, and soaking it in a glass of hot water, or with a sachet of Breville’s cleaning powder dissolved in the glass.

Breville recommends manually cleaning the steam wand in addition to auto-purge after every use.

Damaged o-rings

If one or both of the o-rings in the steam wand are damaged, it can result in hot milk, with no texture. Two spares are provided by Breville, or you can order new ones and replace the existing o-rings, to see if this works.

Using cow milk alternatives

The Oracle machines were designed to be used with full-cream cow’s milk. Sometimes using a milk alternative (or even skim milk, etc.) can sometimes result in thin, untextured milk. Try experimenting with different brands and types of milk to find the right type of milk to texture using the machine.

Another error

Try a factory reset to change all of the machine’s settings back to their default/ original setting.

Manual texturing

While this is a little more time consuming, manual milk texturing is also an option.

Latest Consumer Questions

Peter T.
Peter T.asked
The Oracle BES980

What is the difference between the three different BES 980 coffee machines

1 answer
relles
relles

Where are you finding 3 different ones? Other then different colours the 980 is the Oracle manual then you have the 990 which is the Oracle touch.

Joelle W.
Joelle W.asked
The Oracle BES980

Hi there. I am unsure if this has been asked. Have had our Breville Oracle BES980 for 2 months. Today it stopped after 5 seconds on a 2 cup selection. How do I fix it? Unsure where to start. Alot of money to just stop working.

No answers
Josh
Joshasked
BES980BSS (Brushed Stainless Steel)

Hi,
After 7 years, my machine suddenly leaks water into the tool box tray and if used at pressure it often triggers the safety switch in my fuse box. After examination, the water leaks from the outlet just behind the depressurize valves for descaling. I used Britta filtered water to avoid scale build up.
Any ideas from where the leak could come from and how to fix it? Thank you .
NB: Otherwise this was by far my best coffee machine.

No answers
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Breville The Oracle BES980

Details

Breville The Oracle uses a fully-integrated conical burr that grinds, doses and tamps 22 grams of coffee inside the portafilter for you. After adding the beans to the hopper, you just need to move the portafilter to the right, then release it slowly back to the centre again. You can also select whether you want to make 1 cup or 2 cups.

Features

  • In terms of capacity, Breville the Oracle allows you to place 280g worth of beans into the bean hopper at a time, and 2.5 litres into the water tank.
  • Designed with dual boilers, one for the espresso shot and one dedicated to steaming.
  • Water is brought to the precise temperature for coffee flavour extraction, due to digital temperature control in the heated group head and boilers.
  • A powerful 15-bar pump pressure allows for maximum flavour extraction, and thick crema on top of your coffee.
  • The boilers, portafilter and milk jug are constructed from stainless steel, and the machine has a brushed stainless steel exterior, for both a resilient and stylish finish.
  • Designed with the following settings: Adjustable grind control, programmable milk temperature and texture, option for a single or double shot, long black, and hot water.
  • Comes with the following inside the box: A mini grinds bin, conical burr, portafilter, 1 cup and 2 cup single wall filter baskets, 16oz milk jug, steam wand spare parts, cleaning kit, water filter, water filter holder and water hardness test strip.

Points of praise

Plenty of reviewers reported that Breville The Oracle makes a delicious and consistently satisfying cafe-quality coffee. Once you get the hang of using it, it’s easy and a pleasure to use. A high number of reviewers felt no need to visit the cafe anymore.

The White Glove Service that Breville offers was widely appreciated by reviewers. With this service, a Breville representative visits your house and demonstrates how to get the best use out of your new coffee machine.

Points to consider

Finding the right setting on the grinding dial can often require a bit of trial and error at first, but once you get this right for the coarseness of the beans you are using there’s no issues.

Secondly, some reviewers, including those giving positive reviews, reported that the machine doesn’t always work the way it’s meant to. However, reviewers who had minimal issues in this regard stated that this machine does require regular maintenance and regular cleaning, especially when it comes to cleaning or replacing certain parts of the machine (like changing the filter regularly). If you do this diligently, this helps a lot.

Compare all 3 Breville The Oracle BES980
CategorySemi-Automatic and Manual Coffee MachinesSemi-Automatic and Manual Coffee MachinesSemi-Automatic and Manual Coffee Machines
Price (RRP) $2,999.00$2,999.00$2,999.00
Pump Pressure15 bar15 bar15 bar
Input Power2,400 W2,400 W2,400 W
Dishwasher Safe PartsNoNoNo
Water Tank Capacity2.5 L2.5 L2.5 L
Dimensions 409 x 453 x 373 mm409 x 453 x 373 mm409 x 453 x 373 mm
FeaturesDisplay PanelDisplay PanelDisplay Panel
Milk FrotherSteam WandSteam WandSteam Wand
Bean GrinderIntegrated Burr GrinderIntegrated Burr GrinderIntegrated Burr Grinder
Coffee Bean Capacity280 g280 g280 g
Manufacturer Warranty2 year(s)2 year(s)2 year(s)
Colour / FinishStainless SteelBlackBlack Truffle
Compare all 3 Breville The Oracle BES980
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