Coffee machine

Starting to look for coffee machine
I had a look at John Lewis today and I rather liked the Sage oracle touch but it costs a fortune.
Any advice in general and any bargains out there for me to consider?

Yep - don’t, whatever you do, buy a Sage. I bought a new one and it lasted two days. :confused:


Thought Sage was quite good, have had mine for a while now.

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Look at online reviews, reliability is patchy, customer service not too good. Pot luck.

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We have got these, our SAGE is second hand and going strong.

The other is a Breville Barista Max.


Are you specifically looking for semi-automatic i.e. something with a built-in grinder? They’re quite compromised and more complicated to repair.

Buying a Sage is like buying white goods, which is not to say they’re bad but they aren’t particularly repairable once the warranty is out. They do some good machines though, I just wouldn’t go with the more expensive ones.

The Sage Bambino+ is a very good starter machine. Pair it with a Baratza ESP, which is a way better idea than all-in-one. It has excellent milk steaming, PID thermal stability and lots of convenience.


I was thinking of something that ground as well as brewing.
Open to suggestions on good options

I had a Sage Oracle (standard version, not Touch)
until several years back. It wuz an absolute disaster from a reliability perspective, but made nice coffee when working.

Threw its dummy out first time I ran the descaling routine, fixed under warranty & did the same again next time I ran the descaling programme. Approx a year later.

Didn’t dare run the descaling routine ever again & just relied on scrupulously changing the filters regularly as I live in a very soft water area. This seemed to. work as I never noticed a difference in water flow throughput or speed which are typical indicators of an espresso machine needing descaling.

However after around 2 & a half years of ownership it completely shat itself & had multiple points of failure. I honestly wasn’t prepared to throw good money after bad at this point & wasn’t prepared to risk an out of warranty repair.

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Ironically I replaced the Oracle with another Sage (Barista Pro) approx 3 years & a bit ago, totally different heating tech & this has been rock solid & IMV a much better machine for hands on use & makes better coffee at less than half the price of the Oracle. Bought it from Curries & paid for their five yr warranty.

No issues at all, I’ve run the descaling programme at least 9 times to date. It even prompts you when to do so (approx every 4 months), as it does for the cleaning cycle.

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Sage Duo Temp Pro here. No issues*. Decent value.

*This is my second one. The first threw a fit and boiled itself to death but gave 5 years solid service before it’s demise.


Jerry Seinfeld Seriously GIF


As I recall Jim, yours wuz t’ dual boiler machine, very similar tech wise & price point wise to the Oracle/Oracle touch machines, all dual boiler with very similar tech (main difference the built in grinder/auto tamping function on t’ Oracle models).

I’d lump all these models together, as the reliability reports/stories I’ve seen/heard have generally been similarly poor in general & in line with both our user experiences.

In general the cheaper Sage models seem to fair better user experience wise.

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Yes Chris it was the dual boiler model. It was the vibration pump that failed after two days. Sage said to send it back to them to be repaired, but it was within the cool off period so I backed it to the retailer and got a full refund.

Spent some of the dosh having my La Spaz fully serviced. It has never broken down in the 18 years I’ve had it. :+1:


Any suggestion on good machines worth buying?

That’s asking quite alot.

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Seconded. We’ve had a smallest/simplest single-boiler Sage for 6 years and it consistently makes coffee we like. (That’ll be the kiss of death then)

Worth getting separate machines IMO because the quality of your grinder makes a difference too, although i would love a good dual-boiler to speed things up.

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Our oracle touch has been faultless for over three years. It’s had daily use the whole time. We have had shop perfect latte and cappuccino.
It’s just had a new grinder for a very reasonable service cost.

You need to look at what you drink. The touch makes superb milk. If you don’t need that then buy a much cheaper one.
Start with the type of coffee and how much you like the milk part. Hand steamers are a pain to get right.

James Hoffman on YouTube did a recent review of bean to cup. Worth a watch.

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In order of importance @Spider: beans > water > grinder >>> espresso machine


The grind mech in my Barista pro is very similar to their standalone grinder models. Wide range of adjustability & burrs can be further fine tuned outside the range of the manual adjustment knob with minimal spanner work.

My machine heats the water directly as it is pulled through the machine, digital thermojet heating tech, very speedy & pretty seamless, even when heating/frothing milk alongside normal coffee pulling operation. Fairly green in terms of power usage too, much more so than the Oracle it supplanted.

The volumetric water dosing function is always spot on repeatably for the two cup size presets I have set up, any tamping variation makes no difference to the cup size.


Sounds good :heart_eyes:
That could be a great upgrade when our current Duo Temp Pro* dies

*the name’s much grander than the machine :rofl: