Post by Mark
As most of you know by now, my obsession du jour is currently coffee, specifically lattes. I just started having them for the first time around 2 months back and I’ve been hooked ever since. Like everything I obsess over, I start really getting into, reading as much as I can and watching endless hours of videos until I know the subject inside out, and thats what I have been doing with coffee machines. Arabica had already passed me a small coffee machine to play around with, the Delonghi Magnifica S but I quickly grew out of it and wanted more. So I started doing a lot of research and had finally decided on the Breville Dual Boiler unit with the Smart Grinder Pro. Just to clear something up quickly, Breville is called Sage in the UK so the machine is listed on Amazon UK as the Sage Dual Boiler not Breville.
The reason I decided on the Breville Dual Boiler is because it would allow me to pull my espresso shot while at the same time I can steam the milk. That option was important for me since it would save me a lot of time and was a closer experience to the professional coffee machines. You would think pulling shots and steaming at the same time would be a common feature with these machines but they actually aren’t except in the higher end models. Coffee and steam both require different temperatures, so with single boiler units, you either pull your espresso shot first, then wait for the boiler to heat up to a higher temp so you can steam your milk or the other way around, you steam your milk and then wait for the water to cool down before pulling your espresso shot. With dual boiler units, one boiler is set at the correct temp for coffee, the other for steam and you can perform both tasks at the same time.
After finally deciding on my machine, I placed the order on Amazon UK and then posted the article on the blog on how you could order expensive appliances from Amazon UK and end up paying less than the listed UK price and get it shipped to your doorstep here in Kuwait. That night, like every night for the past few weeks I was watching random videos on youtube on coffee machines and I came across a video review of the Breville Oracle. I was a bit surprised because I thought the unit I was getting was there top of the line model but the Oracle was even a step above mine. The Dual Boiler didn’t have a built in coffee grinder so I was ordering the Smart Grinder Pro along with the unit but the Oracle had one built in. There was another Breville model that had a built in grinder called the Breville Express, but that unit had a single boiler and I didn’t know there was a dual boiler also with a built in grinder.
But the Oracle not only had a grinder and a dual boiler, but it also had a feature I hadn’t seen on any other machine during my research, it not only ground the beans, but it also filled up the portafilter with the correct amount of coffee and then tamped it (check the video I shot above). But that wasn’t the only trick up its sleeve, the Oracle also automatically steamed the milk for you but unlike most automatic steamers, the Oracle allowed you to set the temperature of the milk and generated micro-foams so you could create latte art. So I quickly headed to Amazon to check the price and it was around KD500 shipped to Kuwait, around KD100 more than the cost of the Dual Boiler and Smart Grinder Pro units I had ordered. The KD400 I was paying for my items was already more than I wanted to spend on an obsession I’ll probably be bored of in a months time, so I wasn’t going to pay even more for the Oracle.
Randomly, the next day, I get an email from my classified section. Every time someone posts an item for sale, I get an email informing me what the item is so I can make sure people aren’t selling anything inappropriate. The email I got that afternoon was informing me that someone was selling the Oracle in my classified section, it was in like new condition and he was asking KD250 for it. Right away I got in touch with the guy and asked him if he’d let it go for KD200, he agreed and I headed over 30 minutes later and picked up the machine. The guy turned out to be a reader of my blog and after reading about how you could order appliances from Amazon UK, had ordered his 6th coffee machine. Since he wasn’t using the Oracle, he decided to sell it which is how I ended up with the unit. Such a strange coincidence.
I’ve now had the Oracle for close to a week and I’m just so in love with it. Setting up the machine was fairly easy to do, the most important aspect you need to get right is dialing in how fine you want your beans to be ground. There are 65 levels to choose from but selecting the correct level is fairly easy with a bit of trial and error. With every espresso pull you should get around 20-25ml of espresso, if you get more than that you need to grind your beans finer, if you get less than that you need to grind your beans coarser. Once you set that the first time, as long as you continue to use the same beans you’ll get a consistent espresso pull every single time. I’m using the Arabica Blend of beans from Arabica and the coffee I’ve been producing is as good as the coffee I would get at their shop. I even stole a few empty cups from them so I could compare the volume I was making to theirs and I’ve basically nailed it now. I also experimented with 6 different kinds of milk before settling on the full fat Lactofree milk from Almarai. The steamer in the Oracle is so ridiculously good, I have the temperature set at 60 degrees which is when the milk is at its sweetest point and combined with the Lactofree milk I end up with such a deliciously sweet tasting milk. I’ve even been steaming milk for my hot chocolate and god damn the hot chocolates I am making are coming out so good.
Over the past week I’ve made a whole variety of coffees for friends from Americanos, Cappucinos, Lattes to straight up espresso shots, and everyone just thought it was the best shit ever. And it’s all because of the machine and the beans. Although I am physically at the machine making the coffee, I’m really not doing much, it’s the machine that is really doing all the work for me while making it look like I’m the amazing barista. I also don’t really have anything negative thing to say about the machine. I kinda wish I had more space on top of the machine for all my cups but thats a minor quibble. The machine also does go through a lot of coffee beans. 500 grams of beans make around 22 cups of coffee give or take. The Arabica Blend of beans I get is KD10 for 500 grams which means every espresso pull costs me around 450 fils. A liter of milk is 450 fils so add around 150 fils and each latte I make costs me roughly 600 fils. At Arabica it costs KD1.850 for a similar sized latte so I’m saving KD1.250 per cup when I make it at home. Since I paid only KD200 for my machine and I have 3 lattes a day, that means I’ll recoup the cost of the machine in less than 2 months time. Not a bad deal at all. Cleaning the machine is fairly easy, I’ve developed a routine I perform at the end of the night and it just takes around 5 minutes which is a small price to pay for great consistent coffee.
As you can tell from this post I love this machine and I can’t recommend it enough. I really wanted to dig into even more details about what makes this machine special but it would be too long of a post and I’d bore 90% of you talking about little things nobody really cares about. Instead if you want to find out even more about the machine then I’d recommend you watch [This Video] on Youtube, they give a great rundown of the machines features. I then suggest you head to Amazon UK and order one since this really is the only coffee machine you ever need [Link]