Breville’s Dual Boiler espresso machines are the higher end of its home use espresso machines that allow you to create delicious espresso drinks quickly and easily, in a semi-automatic operation that gives you freedom to customize your drink as you like.
As of 2023 – there are three dual boiler models from Breville: The Dual-Boiler BES920XL, the Oracle BES980XL and the Oracle Touch BES990. In this post, we will look into the difference between these models..
Breville Dual-Boiler BES920XL vs Oracle BES980XL vs Oracle Touch BES990
- Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso Machine,84 oz, Brushed Stainless Steel
- Dual-boiler espresso machine
- Fully manual operation
- manual steam wand
- no integrated grinder
- 58mm portafilter size
- LCD display shows shot timer
- Professional results at home
- Advanced control options
- Does not have a built-in grinder
- Breville BES980XL Oracle Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel,Silver
- Dual-boiler espresso machine
- Automatic grind and tamping
- Built-in grinder with 45 settings
- Automatic milk texturing
- Select milk texture and temperature
- LCD display for controls
- 58mm portafilter size
- Dual Boiler
- Multiple LCD display to control each part of the machine
- Built-in Grinder
- No memory function to save customizations
- Breville Oracle Touch Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES990BSS
- Dual boiler espresso machine
- Automatic grind and tamp
- Automatic steam wand
- Touchscreen display with 5 preset coffee recipes.
- Customize and save additional 8 recipes
- 58mm portafilter
- Full automated features
- Built-in Grinder
- Beautilful colored touchscreen display
- preset coffee recipes
- Most expensive model
Similarities Between the Dual Boiler, Oracle and Oracle Touch
All of these espresso machines are dual boiler machines. This means that they have dedicated boiler of each part of the machine, one for espresso extraction and another for steaming, and you can carry both tasks simultaneously.
Differences Between the Dual Boiler, Oracle and Oracle Touch
All of these models are considered three of Breville’s advanced espresso machines. They’re not the best pick for a total espresso beginner, unless you are ready to dedicate some time to learn how to use them and understand what each element means. However, although they are considered to be advanced, the more automated the model is, the easier it is to interact with it.
Let’s start with the automatic features of each model, which can help you a lot if you’re a beginner, or if you’re an advanced user, it can give you the option of automation if you’re ever in a hurry…
- the Dual Boiler BES920XL: This model does not have any automated features. It has auto flow stop, which is pretty standard for all espresso machine models. But when it comes to grinding, tamping or steaming, it’s all done manually by you. In fact, there’s not even a built-in grinder in it like the other models.
- the Oracle BES980XL: Here is where it starts to get interesting. This model has Auto grinding and tamping, auto milk texturing (to your desired level and temperature) and one-touch Americano, where the machine will extract the espresso then add hot water using the integrated hot water dispenser.
- the Oracle Touch BES990XL: This model also has automatic grind and tamp, as well as milk steaming and texturing. But it takes automation a step further with its full colored display with a complete menu of espresso and coffee drinks. Simply select your recipe, adjust your customizations if you like, and let the Oracle Touch do the rest. It will extract espresso and texture your milk at the same time, with zero wait time.
Each machines of these has a different control panel that affects how you interact with it.
- The Dual-Boiler BES920XL has standard button controls. You have your single or double shot buttons, and a manual button to override presets. A small display will show you your shot’s timer, and a pressure gauge allows you to see how the temperature of your machine is operating and when it’s ready.
- The Oracle BES980XL has a combination of displays and buttons. You have the display that shows you your grind settings, a middle display that allows you to customize temperature or volume, then the steam display where you adjust texture level and milk temperature. With the buttons, you can select single or double shot, hot water, or a one-touch long black (Americano)
- Oracle Touch BES990 uses a colored touch screen only. You can use this screen to select your recipes, adjust them, adjust machine settings, save new recipes and a lot more.
Milk steaming has to be one of the most dreaded tasks when it comes to preparing milk recipes. It takes a lot of time and effort to get the correct texture and temperature…
With the Dual Boiler BES920XL, steaming milk is manual, and it’s where you’ll need to practice the most. So getting the milk to the desired temperature and texture is completely up to you.
With the Oracle BES980XL and Oracle Touch BES990, Milk steaming is totally automated. You get to select from a set of temperature settings and texture levels (for cappuccino, latte, flat white.. ) and leave the rest to the machine. And if you ever want to steam milk manually, you can, too.
The quality of milk texture on either of these machines produces nice micro foam that can be used for latte art. With the Dual Boiler BES920, you have to learn to get to the right texture for latte art, with the Oracle and Oracle Touch, they’ll make the correct texture for you (you’ll have to choose lighter texture), but doing the latte art is a task you have to learn on your own.
The Oracle and Oracle Touch have a built-in grinder with 45-grind settings to adjust your espresso in micro-steps for ultimate control. The grinder has a 1/2 lbs hopper capacity.
The Dual Boiler does not have a built-in grinder, so that’s something you’ll have to purchase separately.
All three models use a commercial style 58mm portafilter that can hold between 19g to 22g of coffee grounds.
Which Breville Should You Buy? BES920, BES980 or BES990?
Two things can affect your decision of which model to buy:
- How hands-on do you want to be with your espresso machine?
- How much do you have to spend
The Dual Boiler BES920 is the most hands-on that gives you full barista experience since it is fully manual. Budget-wise, it’s the most affordable, too. But keep in mind that it does not have a built-in grinder, so you’ll have to count that into your budget.
The Oracle BES980 is a great mid-range option, price wise and interaction wise. While it has automated features, you’re still having some interaction with your machine.
The ultimate automation experience comes with the Oracle Touch, with its beautiful large touch screen that allows you to customize and even save up to 8 additional drinks customized by you.
With the Oracle and Oracle Touch, you are paying for everything you need out of the box. No additional accessories need to be purchased. With the Dual Boiler, you’ll have to purchase a grinder that can grind for espresso.
- Breville Oracle vs Oracle Touch
- Breville Oracle Touch vs Barista Touch
- Breville Barista Pro vs Touch vs Express
How Oracle’s Americano Setting Works
Oracle has a one-touch Americano button, while the Oracle Touch has an Americano selection in its menu. Both options operate the same way.
An Americano is the closest thing you can get to a full cup of black coffee when using an Espresso machine, it’s Espresso mixed with hot water, and either Oracle model can do this for you with a single press of a button.
Features of Breville the Dual-Boiler BES920XL
The Breville Dual Boiler BES920XL is an excellent choice for those who want to get a professional-style espresso machine without spending too much. Its dual boiler construction allows it to deliver temperature control and simultaneous extraction and steaming, resulting in a perfectly balanced cup of espresso every time. The 58mm porta-filter holds 19-22 grams of ground coffee, giving you full flavor. With the Over Pressure Valve limit, it helps prevent bitter flavors by providing optimal water pressure throughout extraction and low pressure pre infusion gradually increases water pressure to gently expand grinds for an even extraction.
The LCD Display makes programming easy and has a shot clock that displays the shots duration, guiding you to consistent extraction. With its manual microfoam milk texturing via steam wand performance, you can achieve creamy texture with latte art like professionals. Plus, all necessary accessories are included such as 58mm Razor Dosing tool, 58mm Stainless Steel Portafilter, 1 Cup & 2 Cup Single and Dual Wall Filter Baskets, Integrated Tamper, 16oz Stainless Steel Milk Jug, Cleaning Kit, Water Hardness Test Strip, Water Filter Holder; Water Filter so you can start making espresso right away.
Overall the Breville Dual Boiler BES920XL is an amazing buy for those who want to make professional quality espresso at home without breaking the bank. With its precision temperature control system and high quality accessories included in the package makes this one of the best buys on the market today! The only down side of this model is that it doesn’t have a built-in grinder.
Features of Breville Oracle BES980XL
The Breville Oracle BES980XL is an incredible machine that produces high-quality espresso and coffee drinks at home. Its dual boiler construction allows it to have unparalleled temperature control, simultaneous extraction and steaming, resulting in a perfectly balanced cup of espresso every time. The 58mm portafilter holds 19-22 grams of ground coffee for full flavor and its Over Pressure Valve limit helps prevent bitter flavors by providing optimal water pressure throughout extraction as well as low pressure pre-infusion for an even extraction.
The LCD Display makes programming easy and has a shot clock that displays the shots duration which guides you to consistent extraction. Manual microfoam milk texturing via steam wand performance will give you creamy texture that can be used for latte art just like professional baristas. All necessary accessories are included such as 58mm Razor Dosing tool, 58mm Stainless Steel Portafilter, 1 Cup & 2 Cup Single and Dual Wall Filter Baskets, Integrated Tamper, 16oz Stainless Steel Milk Jug, Cleaning Kit, Water Hardness Test Strip, Water Filter Holder; Water Filter so you can start making espresso right away. Plus, the One Touch Americano delivers a double espresso shot followed by hot water fill up separately through the dedicated spout.
With Breville Oracle BES980XL’s precision temperature control system and complete set of high quality accessories included in the package makes this one of the best choices if you want to make great coffee at home without breaking the bank.
On the bright side, this machine has a built-in grinder with automatic dosing and tamping, so it’s much easier to get started and get great results right away.
Features of Breville Oracle Touch BES990
The Breville Oracle BES990 Touch espresso machine is a great choice if you want to make barista-level coffee right at home. This machine comes with all the features and accessories needed to make great coffee, including a built-in grinder with automatic dosing and tamping for easy use, as well as a colored touch display that makes programming simple.
For the perfect balance of espresso flavor and rich sweet milk, the Oracle Touch BES990 incorporates a fully automated steam wand for the perfect milk texture every time. The steam wand automatically textures milk according to your taste and desired temperature. To keep temperatures consistent, this espresso machine also features true low pressure pre-infusion along with PID (Precision Digital Temperature) Control technology that ensures optimal water temperature throughout each brew cycle.
In addition, the Oracle BES990 Touch has five pre-programmed favorites as well as eight customizable coffee settings so you can create drinks just how you like them. Plus, it offers one/two shots, hot water dispensing, adjustable grind control and programmable milk temperature and texture for maximum control over your beverage and a one-touch Americano/Long black option. The built-in grinder has 45 adjustable settings for complete control over the taste of your espresso.
With these features at your fingertips, you’ll be able to make barista-quality drinks from the comfort of your home every day.
Are There Any Other Breville Espresso Machines I Should Consider?
Absolutely! Breville makes excellent espresso machines and makes sure to consider people with different needs and budgets…
If you’ve got a budget under $1000 and can’t afford the machines above. I HIGHLY recommend the Barista Express which has been quite popular on this site. I have several detailed posts regarding this machine that you can check out. However, do note that this is a single-boiler machine and not dual boiler like the ones above.