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If you like cappuccinos and lattes, your single-boiler espresso machine will rapidly get irritating. But upgrading to a warmth exchanger or twin boiler can really feel intimidatingly costly.
Not anymore. Enter the Nuova Simonelli Oscar II, a heat-exchange boiler espresso machine that’s solely barely pricier than a single boiler.
Is it precisely what you could attain your cappuccino desires? Or is it low cost for an excellent cause? Let’s discover out on this detailed evaluation.
Nuova Simonelli Oscar II
- One of the lowest-price warmth trade espresso machines you should buy.
- Impressive steam energy with included 4-hole steam tip.
- New-and-improved stainless-steel construct and futuristic design.
I can’t perceive why folks aren’t speaking extra about this fabulous machine.
The Nuova Simonelli Oscar Review
The Nuova Simonelli Oscar II, launched in 2016, represents a HUGE UPGRADE over the unique Oscar. It’s nearly stunning they stored the identical title. In phrases of construct high quality, design, and ease of use, the Oscar II is a giant leap ahead.
Brewing capability – 3/5
If you’ve been utilizing a single boiler dual-use espresso machine, just like the Rancilio Silvia or the Gaggia Classic Pro, the Nuova Simonelli Oscar II is aimed squarely at you. Also, when you’re uninterested in ready between steaming milk and brewing coffee, you’ll love Oscar II. With its 2-liter insulated copper warmth trade boiler, it could steam milk and pull a shot concurrently (1).
And it’s in all probability one of many least costly prosumer espresso machines to boast this functionality.
It makes use of a vibratory pump, which is a bit louder than a rotary pump however equally succesful. In some circumstances, it’s even preferable.
There’s nothing incorrect with a vibration pump. In truth, some customers favor them as they ramp as much as brew strain extra slowly than a rotary pump.
Unusually, Nuova Simonelli has strayed from the normal E61 group head in favor of a thermo-siphon group, which regularly circulates sizzling water from the boiler. In comparability, the E61 may be barely simpler to keep up in the long term. The thermo-siphon system features simply as properly for temperature stability.
The Oscar II makes use of a strain stat quite than the PID typically discovered on higher-end machines
But this is quite common with warmth exchangers, the place a PID is much less legitimate anyway. And it retains the value low.
This present iteration of the Nuova Simonelli Oscar is a mix between the unique and the higher-end Musica mannequin. It makes use of timed dosing, which you’ll be able to program utilizing the 2 buttons on the group. You set the whole time, which incorporates pre-infusion, wait time, and brewing (2). Unfortunately, you can not tweak these variables individually.
It doesn’t include a guide mode, and it will frustrate some house baristas. Yet, there’s a simple work-around. Just program one of many buttons to run for 60 seconds, and you may cease it manually at any time.
Users’ greatest grievance is that this espresso machine doesn’t include an over-pressure valve (OPV). OPV is actually helpful when pulling non-standard drink sizes, like a ristretto. Many sellers will now set up an after-market OPV with out voiding the guarantee, and this can be a fashionable possibility. It additionally lacks a strain gauge for monitoring boiler strain, which might be a wonderful addition for anybody who makes many drinks again to again.
User-friendliness – 3.5/5
If you’re upgrading from a single boiler or thermoblock espresso machine, the Oscar II will take a bit getting used to. But as these machines go, it is extremely easy, with some good user-friendly options.
Lights provide you with a warning when the boiler is heating or the water reservoir is low, and the machine robotically turns off after 90 seconds of brewing to keep away from overheating.
The timed dosing implies that when you’ve dialed in your grind, a high quality espresso is only a button press away.
Though a draw back to this technique, in contrast with volumetric, is that when you’ve over-flushed the machine, your shot may begin late and throw off the timing. This answer to this drawback is apply.
You can get both a plumbed-in or reservoir mannequin, however you may’t change forwards and backwards. So select properly whenever you purchase. Most vibratory pump espresso machines aren’t suitable with direct plumbing, so it’s good that Nuova Simonelli gives the choice.
Milk Frothing – 4.5/5
Italian model Nuova Simonelli carries a fame for highly effective steam wands with dry steam. These are good for latte artwork, and it’s good to see that maintained within the steam wand of this entry-level mannequin. The 2-liter boiler paired with a four-hole steam wand tip means you’re getting tons of steam strain, a lot in order that it’d take some getting used to!
Compared with the Nuova Simonelli Oscar, the newer mannequin has an extended steam wand with higher articulation, and the redesigned steam lever is unbelievable. It’s on high of the machine, which is uncommon, however I like that it has the choice of on/off or only a brief burst.
The solely grievance relating to the milk system is that there’s no possibility for decent water. This helps hold the associated fee low, however it isn’t very reassuring for Americano followers.
Build Quality – 3.5/5
Though nonetheless plastic on the again and high, the Nuova Simonelli Oscar II construct high quality is likely one of the greatest enhancements on this mannequin. The entrance and sides at the moment are stainless-steel, with a stainless-steel grate on the drip tray. It feels bombproof in comparison with the plastic authentic.
Of course, Oscar II’s aesthetics bear mentioning, even when they’re a primarily private alternative. It has a singular look — half artwork deco, half alien spaceship — positive to be divisive.
Couple this with its NSF score and this espresso machine might be good for light-duty business use.
It’s offered with a ineffective plastic tamper, which isn’t a shock at this worth however all the time a bit disappointing. If you don’t have already got one, be sure to funds for a metallic tamper.
Cleaning and Maintenance – 4/5
Keeping the Nuova Simonelli Oscar II working is straightforward, particularly with the plumbed model. The pour-over possibility has a good-sized 77-ounce water tank with a bigger gap on the high than the Oscar I, so it’s simpler to wash. In both case, all the time use filtered water along with your espresso machine to keep away from build-up contained in the plumbing. An ounce of prevention goes a great distance.
The detachable drip tray is well-sized, however you could tilt it a bit to get it out of the machine. So hold that in thoughts earlier than you fill it to the brim.
As talked about earlier than, the bizarre brew head could make it a bit tougher to search out skilled technicians for service. That mentioned, you probably have the chops to do it your self, the interior structure of this mannequin is accessible and well-laid-out.
Don’t Buy the Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 If…
- You desire a machine that does all of it: If you desire a machine that’s mainly a house barista, you want a super-automatic mannequin. Check out our Gaggia Brera review for a terrific possibility, which features a built-in espresso grinder.
- You’re not into its space-age model: If you’re apprehensive Oscar’s distinctive look will conflict along with your kitchen, attempt one other entry-level HX machine just like the Lelit Mara or the Rocket Appartamento.
- You need one thing for a restaurant: The Oscar II is commercially rated, however it’s solely sensible in low-volume skilled settings, like an espresso cart or catering enterprise. If you’re opening a small or mid-sized cafe, take a look at the Nuova Simonelli Appia line as an alternative (3).
If you need to have the ability to steam milk and pull espresso on the identical time, with out breaking the financial institution, the entry-level Nuova Simonelli Oscar II is simply what you want. Provided you’re a fan of its distinctive aesthetic, its low worth level and easy operation make it an apparent and un-intimidating first step into prosumer machines.
- Soque, N. (2021, March 1). Six years on: An up to date information to purchasing house espresso machines. Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2021/03/six-years-on-an-updated-guide-to-buying-home-espresso-machines/
- Lee, J. (2017, April 28). Espresso-Making Skills: What’s Pre-Infusion? Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2017/04/espresso-making-skills-whats-pre-infusion/
- Bar Magazine. (2019, October 28). UCC Coffee and Nuova Simonelli Launch New Generation Appia. Retrieved from https://barmagazine.co.uk/ucc-coffee-and-nuova-simonelli-launch-new-generation-appia/