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Moving to Oracle Touch from dual boiler?


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Hi all, great forum.  First post.  I have a Sage dual boiler which has developed a leak around the sides of the porta filter.  Sage are taking the machine back and have already decided to replace it. 

 

Unfortunately there is no Dual boiler stock until November so they have offered me an upgrade to an Oracle touch if I pay the difference. 

I read the specs etc and appreciate that the Oracle touch is an automatic machine.  I don't understand how changing grind settings can be evaluated if you have no extraction pressure gauge.  I find the latter to be one of the most useful aspects of my dual boiler, allowing me to perfect grind, amount, tamp to get even extraction pressure. 

I do like some customisability so will I just get frustrated with the Oracle touch? 

Grateful for your help. 

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@Charanko - What grinder do you have currently, is it better than the built in Sage ones?

Any chance of a refund so you can use the extra towards a non-Sage machine, like a HX machine or a dual boiler with an e61 group that could take a brew gauge/paddle for flow profiling?

https://www.bellabarista.co.uk/profitec-600-espresso-machine.html

https://www.bellabarista.co.uk/lelit-bianca-dual-boiler-paddle-pl162t.html

 

Edited by Northern_Monkey
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Just checked the price, £1,800 RRP or £600 difference for the Oracle is a lot and potentially limiting if you have a good separate grinder already.

For that cash I would want 10 years of life out of it and for it to have enough headspace to still do more than I need further down the coffee rabbit hole. Also for it to have fairly standard parts I could buy to repair it myself.

Your call really on how much faff you are happy with and where you want to go in the end.

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Welcome to the forum. Please do keep posting and engaging as you learn more - everyone’s experiences and comments really help others who might be following on the same route.

There was a stage a couple of years back, pre-Decent IIRC when a few members had the Oracle and there were some detailed threads on their experiences of using it.

I nearly bought a DB at one point and recall them being quite highly regarded, albeit some reliability issues.

I have never owned a sage, but I recall that upgrading to the “touch” bit in the name didn’t change much in the Oracle performance or abilities. Use google search to try and find some old Oracle threads. You will learn a lot about what others have thought and if you post on these threads the members might be able to update their views.

Agee with NM’s point on the grinder - I recall this being a weak point in the Oracle.


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1 hour ago, Charanko said:

Hi all, great forum.  First post.  I have a Sage dual boiler which has developed a leak around the sides of the porta filter.  Sage are taking the machine back and have already decided to replace it. 

 

Unfortunately there is no Dual boiler stock until November so they have offered me an upgrade to an Oracle touch if I pay the difference. 

I read the specs etc and appreciate that the Oracle touch is an automatic machine.  I don't understand how changing grind settings can be evaluated if you have no extraction pressure gauge.  I find the latter to be one of the most useful aspects of my dual boiler, allowing me to perfect grind, amount, tamp to get even extraction pressure. 

I do like some customisability so will I just get frustrated with the Oracle touch? 

Grateful for your help. 

That isn't an upgrade, get a refund instead. The extraction pressure gauge shouldn't be that useful, keeping dose consistent and altering grind to achieve your desired ratio in some kind of reasonable time like 25-40 seconds makes more sense than focusing on a pressure gauge. The pressure gauge is good to tell you if the expansion valve/pump pressure is set correctly and allows you to limit it to whatever you want within reason (e.g. 6-10 bar).

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Personally, I would stick with the DB rather than take the change over to an Oracle, especially for the control aspect. The Oracle deals with a lot of issues for you, but it sounds like you actually like to get hands on and think about the shot. With a DB, you are free to change and upgrade grinder, there are some modifications you can do to add additional pressure control (reversible so you don't damage warranty), you manage distribution and tamp etc. Reliability may be an issue - but I haven't found any definitive proof of that. After all, they do sell a lot of these units and people tend to turn up on sites like this when something goes wrong rather than to sing its praises. 

I have a DB. An upgrade to an e61 DB with flow profiling might be in my future somewhere (I don't think I'd bother with a HX anymore though) - but I'm personally not in a rush. I'm not even close to outgrowing this machine in terms of my capabilities vs what it can do. An Oracle might make good coffee, but would take away a bit of the fun of learning. Just my thoughts...

Finally, I think Sage should offer a bit more than a straight 'pay the difference' offer. Can they give you something to tide you over until November...or at least give you a decent discount on the upgrade.

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Thanks Monkey, Rob177, Rob1 and Earthflattener.  

Currently I have the Sage smart grinder which is ok, nothing stellar.  It does a decent enough job in combination with the dual boiler and I get quite consistent shots with the types of beans I use.

I haven't asked for a refund from Sage but I don't get the impression that is an option.  I had originally bought the dual boiler and grinder around 3-4 months ago using a 50% discount that was available during lockdown through my work.  Sage have said that they would honour the 50% discount on any "upgrade" like the Oracle/Oracle Touch.

Monkey, those are some serious machines.  Following refund, I would need to put in £1000 or so.  Would it be worthwhile?

Rob1, agree.  I just find the pressure gauge, including the rise/consistency of pressure through the extraction helps me decide on dosing and grind which I can set and keep consistent with the types of beans being used at any particular time.  When I get new beans, I only need to pull 1-2 shots to get it right.  Maybe I'm going about it incorrectly.  I am a relative novice.

Earthflattener, very helpful thanks.  Good to hear another owner's perspective.  I do like a bit of manual control but my wife doesn't bother with the machine at all and prefers to use an old bean to cup De Longhi machine which frankly makes awful coffee.  I thought I'd sacrifice the manual elements to help her use it too.  Tricky decision.

Edited by Charanko
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@Charanko - Forgot to say welcome to the forum! 😉

Ah, I hadn’t realised you got your dual boiler for such a good price (that is a bit of a steal tbh.). I only mentioned the more expensive dual boilers if you could get a refund assuming you had paid full whack for the Sage DB.

Echoing what others have said, stick with the DB if a refund is not an option and look at a grinder upgrade down the road.

Coffee like hifi etc. suffers from the law of diminishing returns, but you notice the biggest jumps at the mid point. Those machines might be better if you had your heart set on a particular feature, but “worth it” is a lot about personal preferences.

For grinders a mid range Eureka (always use with a hopper of beans) or a Niche for single dosing would be a really big step up from the Smart. With separates it’s always easier not to be tied in and to replace one if needed or sell on.

November isn’t that far off, I would spend £5 on a plastic v60 and £10 for a cheap pouring kettle if you don’t have one. Wait it out and see about a different grinder as a next step.

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Thanks all for the suggestions.  Hadn't thought of upgrading the grinder, but that is logically the next step.  If I do compromise and go for the Oracle Touch (so my wife can use it), although I appreciate it is automatic, presumably I can use a separate standalone grinder to grind/dose and let the machine do the rest.  This may help overcome the basic built-in grinder.

 

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I’ve had a few different machines, then a sage, then back to a dual boiler -e61

oracle sorry to say isn’t an upgrade , the grinder is the real weak spot. 
the auto tamping and milk are good, the rest of the cost price is in functionality of programming , your drink preferences that to be honest is just marketing blurb that serves little purpose . 

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