Sage oracle - Review after 4 Months Use
Sage Oracle, or Sage the Oracle, as it is also called, is one of the finest coffee machines when talking about semi / fully automatic espresso machines. It is made with the well-known chef Heston Blumenthal. In this article I will try to get around and the good stuff, and of course the bad stuff that is on this machine.
I have been drinking coffee for years. It actually started in my study time, where I took night watches where I needed to stay awake. Most places have easy access to coffee, whereas tea can be a bit more “hassle”. Today I drink coffee daily in the form of Cappuccino or an Espresso / Cortado.
A few months before I wrote this review of Sage The Oracle, my Sage barista Express had a minor issue with the grinder. That is why I started searching for the best alternative. And since I run this site, I thought I should get the oracle and write a few reviews on it.
I always loved completely manual espresso machine, with a grinder next to it, but wouldn’t work in my everyday life, and space would probably be a challenge too. A good friend recommended the Sage Oracle Espresso machine, and the more I read about it, the more interested I became …
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Design and quality
Sage Oracle has an aura of quality. It is really nice and made from super sturdy materials. It is available in 2 colors: Stainless steel and black. I have it in Stainless steel and I love it – but the one in Black is really nice too.
On the left side of the machine you have grinder and pistons. You fill the beans lightly in the top. How finely you will grind the beans is easily adjusted on the small round handle on the outside of the machine. You can follow the small display as you drive up and down.
On the right side you have the milk steamer. A small stainless steel milk jug is included, as well as an extra studs for the milk steamer. The jug works great for the automatic milk steamer function.
At the time of writing I have had the machine for approx. 4 months. It is set to automatically turn on at. 05.45 where it fits with it is warm some minutes after when got up. Next, I grind the coffee beans directly into the portafilter. While the beans are being ground, I fill milk in the steel cup and set it to foam to 65 degrees cappuccino milk / foam. Moves the porta filter into the brewing unit (center) and presses one cup of espresso. Runs easily, and approx. 25 seconds later the coffee is ready. The puck is knocked out in the knockbox. It works SO well.
My husbond is more into regular coffee in the morning. Here I have coded the button on the far right of our glass. It’s super easy. The beans are ground and inserted into the center. Press the button and the water runs through the painted and pressed beans for approx. 25 seconds, then fill with warm water (Americano). Super easy. You can adjust too long and amount in the menu to get it exactly as you want it.
The milk steamer can operate either manually or automatically. At the tip of the steamer is the temperature gauge, so you can make sure the milk doesn’t get too hot. The recommended temperature is 60-65 degrees. You can set it to automatically stop when it reaches it. If you prefer to do it manually, you can tip the steamer out and push the lever on the right side up. Then the steaming begins. Once you have used the milk steamer, it will purge / blow steam through the bounce as you tilt it back. Super smart.
The grinder noises a lot when painting the beans, but fortunately it is only short-lived. The rest of the brew is almost silent.
Sage recommends that the small rubber round into the porta filter daily and then press “double cup”. Then the port filter is filled with hot water (as it cannot be pushed through the rubber plate) and the pressure builds up. After approx. 20 seconds, press the button again and the pressure is removed and the bit of water in the filter empties back into the system and into the tray. In this way, coffee residues / oil are dissolved which should stand where the water flows. It is recommended to do this 4-5 times every night. In practice, I probably only do it every 2-3. day and it has not caused any problems yet (and probably only 2-3 times at a time).
After using the milk steamer you should also wipe it off with a damp cloth. Otherwise, you have milk remnants sitting on the steamer and they can be hard to get off if you don’t do it right away.
Approx. 2 times a quarter, the display writes “Clean Me”. This means that it must have an extra cleanser in addition to the above. Here you just get a small cleaning loss directly on top of the rubber plate in the porta filter. Then go to the menu and press Clean Me program. It then runs a cleaning cycle of a few minutes. Thats it !
Once in a while, water channels and boilers (water heaters) must be decalcified. It should only do approx. semi-annually, and is easy. It requires a screwdriver, as you have to “open” so that the water can run out of the water heater. This is easy and the actual descaling operation takes approx. 1 hour time. Lime cleaners (either the ones from Sage itself or another one for espresso machines) are filled into the water tank. Then just follow the instructions. The water is now pumped through the system after starting the descaling program. It takes 20 minutes. Then you repeat the same “program” only with clean water twice, so that the boilers are clean again and free of “limescale”. See below for video on how to loosen the boiler water / descaler screw.
The model I tested is Sage the Oracle. There is a new model Sage Oracle Touch, with touch screen. As a result, the price of the previous model without a touch has dropped slightly and you may be lucky to find it for 10-12,000 kroner. The price is slightly higher than many other semi / fully automatic machines, but you get both a grinder and an almost “manual” espresso machine in one – incl. automated features. I think the price makes sense compared to what you get. I have included the cheapest offers from Pricerunner below, so you can easily see what the price is incl. freight. Click directly to the dealer for more pictures / info.
- Automatic grinding, dosing and stamping with integrated conical grinder
- Automatic / manual milk temperature and foaming
- Dual boilers in stainless steel
- Brewing and foaming at once
- Safe brew temperature control within +/- 1 ° C
- Low Pressure Pre-Infusion – ensures better flavor / depth from the coffee
- Pressure relief valve (OPV) for limiting the pressure to a maximum of 9 bar
- The brew head maintains a constant temperature from water tank to cup
Espresso machine type : Manual (automatic grinder and pestle, automatic milk steamer)
Number of heaters : 3
Automatic switch-on and on : Yes / Yes
Hot water function : Yes (for tea etc.)
2 cups per brew : Yes
Digital display : Yes
Steam function : Yes , automatically
Built-in bean grinder : Yes
Bean container : 280 grams
Adjustment of degree of grinding (bean): Yes (and thus strength)
Adjustment of pestle pressure : Yes
Removable water tank : Yes (and possibility to fill via channel on the front) Milk
container : Milk jug for steaming included
Setting the temperature (milk frother): No.
Setting the thickness of the foam (milk frother): Yes
Cup warmer : Yes
cup light : Yes
Automatic cleaning program : Yes
Programming the water hardness : Yes
Weight : 19 kg.
Pump pressure (bar) 15 bar
Size (HxWxD): 45.3 x 37.3 x 40.9 cm
Water tank : 2.5 liters
Power : 2400 watts
Color : Stainless steel / Black
Warranty : 2 years
Contents in the box
- Knock-box (to knock the coffee puck in)
- Stainless steel milk jug
- Water filter holder with water filter
- Brew head cleaning tool
- Brush for cleaning tapered grinder
- Brush for cleaning grinder drains and magnet for removing the pestle
- Steam head cleaning tool
- Steam pipe cleaner
- Espresso cleaning tablets
- Strips for testing water hardness
My overall assessment
Sage Oracle is the top. You can easily make a perfect espresso / coffee EVERY time. You can set it exactly to the type of coffee beans you use – brilliantly. You get a super robust machine that lasts for many, many years. Not much maintenance and so it’s super nice.
Café-coffee at home – easy and straightforward. Sage the Oracle has my warmest recommendations even though the grinder is not silent. I love it.
- Design (silver and black)
- Large water tank
- Setting options
- Automatic painting and stamping of beans
- Brygge Quality
- Automatic / manual milk steamer
- Portafilter inserts (1 or 2 cups espresso)
- Supplied equipment (all included)
- The grinder is loud.
If you are interested in this amazing coffee machine, you can always get it on Amazon at the best price. Link Here.
I honestly believe that this is an amazing coffee maker, and anyone that own this machine, will never regret their purchase.