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Breville the Oracle vs the Oracle Touch (2021): What’s the Difference?

Breville’s the Oracle and the Oracle Touch are the company’s top-tier espresso machines that boast digital temperature control, automatic tamping, and stainless steel dual boiler. Making espresso-making ultra convenient, the newer the Oracle Touch features a colored touchscreen display and fully-automated process, . Knowing this, is it worth upgrading to the Oracle Touch or are you better off saving a couple of hundred dollars with the Oracle? We deep dive into their similarities and differences to help you make the right call. 

Breville the Oracle vs the Oracle Touch Comparison Chart

ModelBreville the Oracle (BES980XL)Breville the Oracle Touch
 Amazon product Amazon product 
PriceAmazon product Amazon product 
14.5″ x 14.7″ x 17.6″
12″ x 15″ x 14″
InterfaceLCD + Adjustable Grind Control + Programmable Milk Temperature and TextureProgrammable Full-Colored Touchscreen 
Water Tank Capacity84 fl. oz.84 fl. oz.
Bean Hopper Capacity1/2 lb.1/2 lb.
Heating SystemStainless Steel Dual BoilerStainless Steel Dual Boiler
Pre-Programmed Café FavoritesNoYes, 5
Over Pressure ValveYesYes
Automatic Micro-Foam Milk TexturingYesYes
ColorsBrushed Stainless SteelBrushed Stainless Steel, Black Truffle
Warranty2 Year Repair Guarantee
2 Year Repair Guarantee

Design & Display

Breville’s the Oracle has physical buttons while all the controls in the Oracle Touch are in its responsive touch display

breville oracle vs oracle touch (1)
A closer look at the display of the Oracle (left) and the Oracle Touch (right)

The glaring difference between Breville’s the Oracle and the Oracle Touch is their interface. With a touchscreen display, the Oracle Touch has gotten rid of all its physical control buttons (save for the power button) in its panel. On the other hand, the Oracle has small LCD screens that display the settings whenever you press a button. These screens let you easily see the temperature and current setting it’s on. The Oracle further comes with a dedicated button for making an Americano with one touch. 

Not much is different in terms of their profile and look. The Oracle and the Oracle Touch come in the company’s signature brushed stainless steel finish that blends well with any kitchen’s theme. If you want a black espresso machine, however, you’ll have to go with the Oracle Touch as the standard one doesn’t offer this color option. Where they slightly differ is in their size. The Oracle is slightly wider and taller at 14.5″ x 14.7″ x 17.6″ than the Touch that measures 12″ x 15″ x 14″. Breville’s the Oracle and the Oracle Touch have an onboard 1/2 lb conical burr grinder and 84. fl. oz. water tank. 

Coffee & Milk Quality

Both the Oracle espresso machines feature premium espresso-making features to help you make excellent coffee at home

Coffee and milk quality breville oracle
No more guessing the perfect tamping pressure as Breville’s the Oracle Touch tamps the grind automatically

Apart from the Oracle Touch’s fully-automated capability (more on this later), not much is different between the Oracle and the Oracle Touch. Both Breville espresso machines can help you craft artisanal-quality coffee all within the confines of your kitchen. Here are their similar features: 

  • digital temperature control (PID)
  • automatic grinding and tamping
  • commercial-grade Over Pressure Valve (OPV) that limits the pressure to optimal levels
  • dual boiler: they have a dedicated boiler for extracting espresso and steaming milk 
  • automatic micro-foam milk texturing
  • self-cleaning steam wand

One of their most raved-about features are automatic grinding and tamping. The Oracle and the Oracle Touch tamp 22 grams of coffee–the standard amount of coffee most cafés observe–into the portafilter for you. This leaves the guesswork of how much pressure you should apply when tamping if you’re new to espresso-making. Whichever you choose, you can rest easy that these Breville machines can extract top-quality espresso shots out of your coffee beans. 

Programmable Settings

Breville’s the Oracle Touch is pre-programmed with five popular coffee settings and can save up to 8 custom settings

breville oracle vs oracle touch (3)
Choose from the Oracle Touch’s pre-programmed settings to make your coffee without fussing with buttons

Apart from its touch display, another feature that makes the Oracle Touch stand out is it comes with pre-programmed settings of Americano, latte, flat white, cappuccino, and espresso–the five most popular options among coffee drinkers. Its settings are fully-customizable, too. If you have your preferred water and milk temperature and texture, you can easily adjust these on the Touch and save your favorite settings for later. You can even name your customized coffee settings as you wish. 

Meanwhile, Breville’s the Oracle offers a dedicated button for making a cup of Americano or long black with one touch. It lets you program your favorite milk temperature and texture for that perfect froth, but it’s not as foolproof as doing so in the Oracle Touch.  


Breville’s the Oracle Touch and its programmable, intuitive interface makes it worth  the upgrade

Amazon product

Both the Oracle and the Oracle Touch come packed with Breville’s topnotch technologies that will help you make your definition of the perfect cup of coffee at home. While you can’t go wrong with either model, the Oracle Touch offers the utmost convenience and efficiency with its more advanced features. This espresso machine is perfect for complete beginners or those who want the ability to save the favorite coffee settings of every member of the family. 

If you make the same cup of coffee everyday and won’t find any use with the Touch’s programmable interface,  the Oracle is the better fit for you. Breville’s the Oracle is an exceptional espresso machine on its own, so you won’t go wrong with choosing this one either. While it’s not as fully-automated as its Touch counterpart, it still delivers the same essential Breville features. 


📌 What’s the difference between the Breville the Oracle vs the Oracle Touch?

The Oracle and the Oracle Touch have similar Breville technologies and espresso-making features, but the Oracle Touch comes with pre-programmed coffee settings and lets you save up to 8 custom settings.

📌 Is the Breville Oracle worth the money? 

Yes, its automatic steam wand that perfectly textures the milk for you alone makes Breville the Oracle worth the investment. Breville machines are also built to last, so you can have endless cups of cafe-quality coffee without having to go to a coffee shop.

📌 What is the most reliable espresso machine?

Breville espresso machines are some of the best out there. Those on a budget can choose from Breville’s the Barista line while those who don’t mind investing in a higher-end espresso machine should consider the Oracle line. 

📌 When should I descale the Oracle?  

Mineral build-up is inevitable in espresso machines, thus Breville recommends descaling at least once a month and replacing the Oracle’s water filter every two months. 

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Rhodaline Escala-Phelps

Former Managing Editor and Team Leader at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about food, people, product comparisons, culture, and current events.