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AndyJH

Replacing DB with Oracle??

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In the pursuit of harmony I'm thinking of changing my current DB machine to an Oracle but, I'm really interested in what I'll be missing by doing this? 

Currently I have a DB paired with a Niche grinder, which is a creaking setup but the girlfriend can't stand the faff and want's coffee fast and often 😆 She has a Sage Bambino Plus paired with a Sage Smart Grinder and this setup works for her really well. We are discussing moving in together and our coffee setups have become and interesting stand-off 🤣

Therefore I'm thinking of changing my machine to an Oracle and keeping to Niche so it will satisfy both of us and our coffee needs.I believe the Oracle is very similar if not the same internally to the DB, excluding the grinder, but the controls are slightly different? I'm also thinking the Oracle Touch takes more control away to just have a LED panel so I don't think that is for me either.

Some context, we both mainly drink Americano style drinks and only use the milk wand when we have visitors, hence why we are both rubbish at milk and the auto system appeals. I have improved the Niche workflow by using pre-measured shot containers for the beans and now having the ability to grind directly into the PF so the girlfriend is getting happier.

My main use of my current machine is using the Manual button in order to stop the shot by weight on a scale, I can't see a similar setting on the Oracle? I think from browsing the owners manual the only setting is then fully manual where you have control over the Pre-infusion time also, don't really want that tbh.

Am I going to be happy with the Oracle just like I am with the DB? All I want is a machine that is well controlled and allows me to measure a shot by volume whereas the girlfriend wants to press a button and go....


Breville (Sage) Dual Boiler, Niche Zero, joey24dirt custom tamper

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I cant really see what added benefit it will bring. Especially when you already have a decent grinder running along side the DB. I may be wrong, but all the Oracle will really add is an inbuilt grinder. If your girlfriend is already happy using her sage grinder and bambino, is it not just a similar (but better) setup with the current DB and niche and mayeb just a bit more practise needed. The DB and niche should be a quicker workflow. 

Im probably missing something but cannot see a huge benefit in all honesty. 

 

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I had an oracle ( non touch ) and Niche set up. 

Milk steaming is really good. For you, with the manual grinder, you would be keeping the same basket between you or having two portafilter s?

the Oracle runs best with the supplied basket which it will dose 22g into,  so you need to think about how to keep this simple between two grinder? Perhaps separate pf' with different sized baskets. or run the Niche set up with the same 22g basket . 

Oracle you can control time of pre infusion to about 10 seconds via reducing the pump pressure , DB you can run this reduce pump pressure for 60 seconds. Sounds like you do not use this. 

You can run a non touch oracle manually for yourself , the volume button is not good enough to give you the same weigh out consistently for your niche set up. I would still use it with scales.  the auto button I suspect It will, for your Gf make no worse coffee than bambino .

If there is anything I can help with ask away 

I would not get a touch , all the make your own drink menus are a waste of time .

 

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11 minutes ago, Planter said:

I cant really see what added benefit it will bring. Especially when you already have a decent grinder running along side the DB. I may be wrong, but all the Oracle will really add is an inbuilt grinder. If your girlfriend is already happy using her sage grinder and bambino, is it not just a similar (but better) setup with the current DB and niche and mayeb just a bit more practise needed. The DB and niche should be a quicker workflow. 

Im probably missing something but cannot see a huge benefit in all honesty. 

 

Also I agree with this .

In all honesty the oracle is massively overpriced 

I suspect the nub of this though is counter space 

Edited by Mrboots2u

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3 minutes ago, Mrboots2u said:

I had an oracle ( non touch ) and Niche set up. 

Milk steaming is really good. For you, with the manual grinder, you would be keeping the same basket between you or having two portafilter s?

the Oracle runs best with the supplied basket which it will dose 22g into,  so you need to think about how to keep this simple between two grinder? Perhaps separate pf' with different sized baskets. or run the Niche set up with the same 22g basket . 

Oracle you can control time of pre infusion to about 10 seconds via reducing the pump pressure , DB you can run this reduce pump pressure for 60 seconds. Sounds like you do not use this. 

You can run a non touch oracle manually for yourself , the volume button is not good enough to give you the same weigh out consistently for your niche set up. I would still use it with scales.  the auto button I suspect It will, for your Gf make no worse coffee than bambino .

If there is anything I can help with ask away 

I would not get a touch , all the make your own drink menus are a waste of time .

 

As per Boots, I agree with this. 

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I don't think you are missing anything really and this is one of those situations in which I'm attempting to bring a bit more convenience to the gf whilst enabling me to have a great machine, I think... She has compromised on an awful lot for me to invade her house 🤣 so I am trying to give something back. Convenience is a big thing for her so the auto grinder and milk wand are really appealing, I just want to make sure the main machine is as good as the DB and works for me also.

One of my considerations is space and we don't want too many machines/gadgets around so this needs to come down to a single machine and grinder setup. With the Oracle she gets the benefit of a similar grinder with included tamp so even less faff for her, she really likes the idea of this feature. Yes I know it's not a great grinder/tamp but it takes away some of existing faff (her words) so it's a big selling point. 

I already have an additional pf for the DB so I can kept that and we can use our own if needs be. Interesting point regarding the basket though, I thought all Sage machines were based around the 22g basket, so the DB also, but most people stick to 18g dose? Appreciate less coffee in the pf will generate less pressure so a tighter grind needed but this is what I've been doing on the DB, is this not the same for the Oracle? Ah, I think the Oracle you can't control the grind time, only the coarseness so it will always be around the 22g mark? Still, isn't the basket the same as the one supplied with the DB?

My DB is around 6 years old now ( I think) so I am wondering if a replacement will be on the cards soon anyway? It's had a couple of parts fail and repaired by Coffee Classics should be ok but just not expecting Sage devices to last in the same way as others....


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15 minutes ago, AndyJH said:

I don't think you are missing anything really and this is one of those situations in which I'm attempting to bring a bit more convenience to the gf whilst enabling me to have a great machine, I think... She has compromised on an awful lot for me to invade her house 🤣 so I am trying to give something back. Convenience is a big thing for her so the auto grinder and milk wand are really appealing, I just want to make sure the main machine is as good as the DB and works for me also.

One of my considerations is space and we don't want too many machines/gadgets around so this needs to come down to a single machine and grinder setup. With the Oracle she gets the benefit of a similar grinder with included tamp so even less faff for her, she really likes the idea of this feature. Yes I know it's not a great grinder/tamp but it takes away some of existing faff (her words) so it's a big selling point. 

I already have an additional pf for the DB so I can kept that and we can use our own if needs be. Interesting point regarding the basket though, I thought all Sage machines were based around the 22g basket, so the DB also, but most people stick to 18g dose? Appreciate less coffee in the pf will generate less pressure so a tighter grind needed but this is what I've been doing on the DB, is this not the same for the Oracle? Ah, I think the Oracle you can't control the grind time, only the coarseness so it will always be around the 22g mark? Still, isn't the basket the same as the one supplied with the DB?

My DB is around 6 years old now ( I think) so I am wondering if a replacement will be on the cards soon anyway? It's had a couple of parts fail and repaired by Coffee Classics should be ok but just not expecting Sage devices to last in the same way as others....

18 in a 22g baskets can lead to horrible channeling same if you under dose any basket that much, just going finer does not stop this. 

Re different baskets with Sage machines , dunno, what each machine is supplied with. The Oracle will dose you 22g out the box, id stick to that. 

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If switching to Oracle, please be aware of the consistency problematic BEFORE:

 


Used machine: Oracle Touch

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5 minutes ago, oracleuser said:

If switching to Oracle, please be aware of the consistency problematic BEFORE:

 

Gf is already using a sage grinder and a bambino, want be any worse than that. 

All bean to cup have consistency problems and none of em are perfect plug and plays, it the compromise you have to live with. 

Problems arise with the Oracle when users think they are getting something that is akin to a commercial volumetric machine , that will also dose and tamp for you . I know it marketed like this, but it doesnt and can't do that. It can tamp and dose and make half decent milk drinks for people that use medium to dark ish beans are not too fussy about what's in the cup .. 

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15 minutes ago, Mrboots2u said:

but it doesnt and can't do that.

Well the tamp mechanism isn't that bad. Sage just needs better grinding. I had the Sage Grinder Pro and it produced the same bad results with a stamp tamper.  For a machine price of RRP 2500$ - a good grinder can be expected. 

Edited by oracleuser

Used machine: Oracle Touch

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13 minutes ago, oracleuser said:

Well the tamp mechanism isn't that bad. Sage just needs better grinding. I had the Sage Grinder Pro and it produced the same bad results with a stamp tamper.  For a machine price of RRP 2500$ - a good grinder can be expected. 

For 2500 dollars id want better then a bottom entry grinder tbh but sage/breville only really to that grinder .  It doesnt help when you see people single dosing the thing too. It proper isnt designed to cope with that 

Edited by Mrboots2u

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The 22g dose in the Oracle double surprise's me a little as I believe it's the same part as used on the DB. On the other hand it rings a bell when some one weighed what the white gloves service used in a DB double basket. I think it was  @dfk41  that commented. Like me he always works with space for the grinds to expand. More than I use from comments about wet pucks.

The part numbers for the Oracle and DB double are the same according to the lists I have but the single for the Oracle is shown as not available. I'm afraid the ability to only use one basket would completely put me off the machine. A fixed dose wouldn't encourage me either. I had gained the impression that one model of it was a bit more flexible as I thought that some one used the single with one some time ago and found just like I have that it needs to be overloaded.

I typically use 17 to 18g in mine on the DB and I can see signs of the shower screen on a used puck - just the rim of it as I use an IMS screen that has a thicker rim. :( Pucks invariably stick to the shower screen when the portafilter is removed. I could probably find a weight when it doesn't but I only really use the double for guest beans. The answer to pucks sticking is a certain length pulse of the shot button. ;) Too short or too long and it can still stick. The higher dose via an Oracle may stop that from happening. Within limits it wont change taste much.

The grinder. All of them are more or less the same internally other than the separate one that no one seems to sell or buy. A large worm wheel driven by different arrangement according to what it's in. One feature is what to do when setting coarser - go too coarse and then finer to take out play. They wont behave sensibly until they have settled down. A couple of shots wont do that.

Perhaps the answer for the OP is girlfriend uses the SGP grinder and the DB. Only thing is that the Bambino is volumetric. The DB can be as well but I haven't found it as good as the Barista Express with the max brew pressure carefully set. I do a lot better with a timed shot. Niche means getting used to grinds cups gymnastics. Perhaps a high dose in the double prevents sticking. If too strong Fracino 12g and 14g baskets give some scope for adjusting the dose. Where I use them they hold around 2g more than their stated capacity. ;) Maybe she will tolerate weighing out but some people do accept timed grinder output variation.

Or stick with 2 grinders and 2 machines.

John

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In Use Sage DB+IMS Shower Screen, Niche. Others Sage BE, Mazer Mini A,. Projects Little Gem, Gaggia M7D

SageBanner_v01.jpg.a45786743a4eb401969788b45ae7f893.jpg

 

 

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I hadn't appreciated the fixed dose quite as much as has been explained here, this could be an issue.... The gf like to drink single shots so uses the single basket on her Bambino, I have just about managed to get her to use the 1/2 shot buttons on both grinder and machine so we can have our own shots..... If the Oracle only doses 22g or there abouts this might not work for her.

Might have to try her with my DB and retaining her Sage grinder.... will have to think about this a while longer.....

BTW, didn't know the Bambino was a volumetric machine? How can they do that on an entry level machine but not on the DB? They say the DB can do it but it really can't from every time Ive tried it.


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One thing I forgot to mention girldfriend could still use pressurised baskets on the DB. The single is a bit of a pain dosing though. To little in and the tamper hits the  portafilter. I suspect it has to be overfilled a bit. Hopefully the razor tool should give you an idea

There are lots of bits and pieces around about the Bambino. It would appear to be very similar inside to the BE. OPV, 3 way and flow meter. Very little about max brew pressure other than one comment that it's opv is set at 15bar as per the BE. On the DB and the BE Sage position the flow meter up front of the over pressure valve and the pump. I found the the one in the BE worked rather well providing the OPV wasn't opened much. :) It worked so well I thought my prep was better than it actually was but it gave consistent drinks anyway.

There's no way of knowing what Sage have done on the Bambino without looking. The BE for instance dumps flow out of the OPV directly into the drip tray. The DB like many machines dumps it into the tank. As the Bambino is so small it might do the same. One thing the DB has in common with the BE is a blue sector on the pressure gauge. As Sage see it that's the espresso range and it's before the OPV opens on both machines. Going on the BE too much going out of that messes up the volume measurement. When I brew on the DB a lot of time is spent with the OPV open and I have no idea how much water flows out of it.

I've been meaning to try my DB with pressures in the blue sector but some one has been in it and changed the OPV setting. 8bar which is a bit stupid really as 9 is reckoned to be needed to match a rotary pump. I suspect Sage set more like 10 going on a video from Oz.

I had thought  about replumbing my DB and putting the flow meter after the opv and pump. :( Then thought hang on it will then run a brew pressure so may well not be up to it. Flow meters needn't be expensive. Just a few mouldings and a sensor. Most bean to cup machines have them in them. Here's one for instance

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Dualit-Espress-Auto-4-in-1-Coffee-Machine-DCM3T-GENUINE-FLOW-METER/123699501629?hash=item1ccd109a3d:g:~78AAOSwLi1ckVAE

push on pipe connectors so probably not suitable for high pressure use. This one is ok for 12bar though and offer a high sensitivity one.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/153170767918

Gives some idea of the real cost.

John

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In Use Sage DB+IMS Shower Screen, Niche. Others Sage BE, Mazer Mini A,. Projects Little Gem, Gaggia M7D

SageBanner_v01.jpg.a45786743a4eb401969788b45ae7f893.jpg

 

 

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Should add that an Oracle user needs to comment about using different sizes of filter basket. It might dose to a constant fill height and tamping pressure and in that case any basket could be used. I had gained the impression that some have used different sizes but have no idea how. The dosing can also be adjusted but one machine where white gloves did that had to be exchanged eventually.

If no one elaborates on Oracle and different baskets it might pay to ask that separately.

To be honest I have only seen one what I would call a sensible post on it. Early machine and some time ago now when some one set down to using it and mentioned results. Variation with shots out and grind weight variations were low. He also used the single but I have no idea how. He did notice the dosing problem so may have been filling it separately some how. Final comment was that it can't be expected to be dead accurate. :) If coffee brewing in an espresso machine could be dead accurate no one would need to weigh out. Commercial machines wouldn't need flow meters.

John

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In Use Sage DB+IMS Shower Screen, Niche. Others Sage BE, Mazer Mini A,. Projects Little Gem, Gaggia M7D

SageBanner_v01.jpg.a45786743a4eb401969788b45ae7f893.jpg

 

 

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2 hours ago, AndyJH said:

I hadn't appreciated the fixed dose quite as much as has been explained here, this could be an issue.... The gf like to drink single shots so uses the single basket on her Bambino, I have just about managed to get her to use the 1/2 shot buttons on both grinder and machine so we can have our own shots..... If the Oracle only doses 22g or there abouts this might not work for her.

Might have to try her with my DB and retaining her Sage grinder.... will have to think about this a while longer.....

BTW, didn't know the Bambino was a volumetric machine? How can they do that on an entry level machine but not on the DB? They say the DB can do it but it really can't from every time Ive tried it.

The Oracle comes with a single basket ,not sure of the size in grams .. If you are buying new you could get the white glove service person to set the tamper height right for single basket use .. If the fan/tamper is adjusted to lower the dose on a double it might not tamp properly on a single .. Going from single and. Double would also need the grind adjusted , but if the other half just uses the Oracle grinder and you the Niche ,that would be fine .. 

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I'd be inclined to try the SGP and a pressurised basket in the DB first. If it works out on the Bambino it may well work on the DB. Switching from 15bar brewing on the BE to 8bar on the DB meant I needed a bit more coffee. She may or may not be brewing at 15bar. :) I went to rather a lot more coffee but drink was a lot stronger.

I suspect the DB single needs 12g, maybe a bit more where as that was too much for the 54mm single. Type of bean can need a variation of a gram or more. The problem is that it's hard to spot that the tamper is resting on the filter basket but if the razor tool clears that it should give a base weight to use and vary.

The pressurised basket does tend to control the ratio. As finer and finer grinds are added that eventually has more effect. I tried it out of curiosity.

John

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In Use Sage DB+IMS Shower Screen, Niche. Others Sage BE, Mazer Mini A,. Projects Little Gem, Gaggia M7D

SageBanner_v01.jpg.a45786743a4eb401969788b45ae7f893.jpg

 

 

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Update on this after a lot of discussions over the weekend :) She is coming around to just using my DB as a primary machine and keeping both the Niche and Sage grinders, especially now I have the Niche modified for easier workflow by Nick :D The only thing we will be missing then is the auto steam wand, which is a shame but will just have to learn how to steam milk 😯

For note, I'm already using non-pressurised baskets in the Bambino as I believe the pressurised are for pre-ground coffee and we are obviously grinding our own. I've also stripped out the plastic bits from the potafilter on the Bambino to keep the coffee flow as clean as possible..... just need a naked pf now :D


Breville (Sage) Dual Boiler, Niche Zero, joey24dirt custom tamper

Macap MX

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The plastic bit is probably there for the same reason as it is on others - prevent the portafilter from taking heat from the shot. The portafilter still does on the Barista Express. Bottomless is probably best but the BE portafilter could be got very hot by a partial shot through an empty pressurised basket and that really did make  a difference to the taste of the shot from the bean I was using at the time.

It also removes a lot of the noise when a pressurised basket is used.

John

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In Use Sage DB+IMS Shower Screen, Niche. Others Sage BE, Mazer Mini A,. Projects Little Gem, Gaggia M7D

SageBanner_v01.jpg.a45786743a4eb401969788b45ae7f893.jpg

 

 

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