Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 Review: Is This Espresso Machine Right for You?
Are you searching for an affordable and user-friendly espresso machine that fits into even the tightest business budgets? It’s likely you’ve come across the Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2, then, which is one of Nuova Simonelli’s least expensive models.
We’re here to answer questions you might have about this espresso machine. These are the topics we’ll be discussing:
- The Oscar 2’s more important features and why they’re important.
- Alternative options to the Oscar 2.
- Information about the background of the manufacturer, Nuova Simonelli.
- Pricing information for the Oscar 2 and alternative machines included in this guide.
The Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 is an excellent option both for small businesses and home baristas looking to upgrade their espresso routine. It has many high-end features like a soft infusion system and programmable timed dosing, yet comes in a small package that doesn’t take up much space. Additionally, it’s incredibly affordable, making it a viable pick for those on a budget.
Key Features and Why They Matter
The average commercial espresso machine can be described as either a semiautomatic or automatic machine. The Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 in this review is a semiautomatic machine. If you’re wondering what that means, we’ll explain.
A semiautomatic espresso machine is one on which baristas must both start and end the brew cycle. This is important, because the time you spend pulling a shot of espresso is crucial in the development of its flavor. You don’t want to extract the espresso for periods that are either too long or too short.
That means the Oscar 2 will require some training and practice before you’re consistently pulling perfect shots. However, it does have one feature that will make this easier for you, which we’ll discuss in more detail below…
Programmable Timed Dosing
Are you worried that you or your employees will have difficulties learning how to time the brew cycle properly? The Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 has the solution to your worries in its programmable timed dosing functionality.
Basically, you can program the proper durations for single and double shots into the machine. Then, when you need to brew a shot, just press the single or double buttons and the machine will stop at the right time.
Because of this programmability, the Oscar 2 in some ways bridges the gap between semiautomatic and automatic espresso machines. It’s certainly easy enough for beginners and experts alike to use.
Read Also: Nuova Simonelli Oscar I vs Oscar II
Heat Exchange Boiler
In a business, it’s important that you can prepare beverages as quickly as possible. This is even truer when you’re in the midst of a rush and have a queue of customers forming at your counter.
An espresso machine that can’t brew and grind at the same time becomes an inconvenience in this scenario. It increases the amount of time it takes to make each drink, as the machine must rise to the appropriate temperatures for steaming and brewing separately.
That’s why the Oscar 2 has a heat exchange boiler. The boiler has a copper pipe that takes water for brewing directly to the group head while other water is used for steaming.
Aside from allowing the machine to steam and brew at the same time, this design is energy-efficient. Unlike machines with multiple boilers, it only needs to worry about heating up a single boiler.
Cup Warming Shelf
Look at the top of the machine, and you’ll see that it has a flat area. This isn’t just a side effect of the Oscar 2’s boxy design – that flat area functions as a shelf for your cups.
Any barista will tell you that you shouldn’t be pouring fresh, hot drinks into cold cups. The cups will quickly leach the warmth of the drink, making it cool quickly. To preserve the warmth of each beverage, it should ideally be poured into a preheated cup.
You can keep a group of cups warm by storing them upside down on the Oscar 2’s shelf. The shelf will heat up while the machine is on, raising the temperature of the cups at the same time.
It’s a win-win situation. You get warm cups, your customers get toasty drinks, and you clear up some cabinet space by using your espresso machine as storage.
Push-Pull Steam Switch
Espresso machines that aren’t created with ergonomic features can leave your baristas feeling tired and uncomfortable. Your espresso machine’s steam controls are one aspect that can be especially tiring.
That’s what makes the Oscar 2’s push-pull steam system a breath of fresh air for you or your baristas. Instead of having to repeatedly twist a valve that can leave your wrists sore, you can simply push or pull the easy switch located right on top of the machine.
Further Reading: Nuova Simonelli Musica vs Oscar II
Extended Steam Arm
A barista might make it look easy, but there’s a surprising amount of work that goes into simply frothing milk for your latte. The barista must hold the pitcher at the right angle, submerge the wand to the correct depth, and hold the pitcher beneath the wand for a precise amount of time.
It’s easy to mess up, and mistakes are made even easier when employees don’t have access to efficient tools. That’s why the Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 has an innovative extended steam arm.
This steam arm is articulating, so you can easily position it to just the right angle for aerating milk. Additionally, the length of the steam arm has been extended, allowing it to reach further into the pitcher for even heat distribution.
The front panel of the Oscar 2 is made from polished metal. Aside from looking attractive, this panel serves an important purpose: it doubles as a mirror.
There are plenty of visual cues that let baristas know a shot of espresso is developing smoothly. They can monitor the color and consistency by looking at it.
With the Oscar 2’s reverse mirror panel, you’ll be able to watch your espresso from all angles. This makes visually monitoring every shot a simple task.
Soft Infusion System
A lot can go wrong whenever you’re making a shot of espresso. Tamping is one area where a large number of mistakes occur, because you must press the puck with the correct pressure and at the right angle.
Beginning baristas often get this step wrong. With a machine like the Oscar 2, though, these mistakes aren’t catastrophic due to a little feature called the soft infusion system.
Before each shot is brewed, the machine will release a small trickle of water into the grounds. This gentle trickle smooths out the puck and settles the grounds, promoting a consistently balanced extraction.
One of the most attractive features of the Oscar 2 is just how amazingly compact it is. Because it has a single group head and boiler, Nuova Simonelli was able to make a machine with an ultra-small footprint.
If you’ve got cramped counters or shelves, you can probably still fit the Oscar 2. Its exact measurements are 12 inches wide, 16 inches long, and 16 inches tall.
Additional Resource: Best 1-Group Commercial Espresso Machines
As you can imagine, the La Spaziale S1 Mini Vivaldi II gets at least part of its name from the fact it’s quite petite. Measuring at just 16.50 inches wide, 16.50 inches long, and 15 inches tall, this tiny little espresso machine is ideal for crowded settings.
Unlike the Oscar 2, it has a double boiler system that allows it to steam and brew simultaneously. This does mean that will naturally have a greater amount of steam power that makes it possible for your baristas to froth milk quickly and efficiently.
Another difference here is that it’s a volumetric or automatic machine. It will dose your espresso for you once you start the brew cycle, although you can adjust the duration of its extraction though its touch pad.
Here are some other significant features:
- Fault diagnosis alarms that will notify you when there are issues you need to address with the machine.
- A quiet vibratory pump, so you can use the machine in even the most peaceful settings.
- A large 2.4-liter pour-over water tank, which means you don’t have to hook it up to a water line.
- Steam arm adjustability, so you can swivel the wand to the most comfortable angle for frothing.
Nuova Simonelli has numerous espresso machine models for your consideration, ranging from small to huge commercial-scale ones. It’s not surprising that they have a few comparable compact models, including this Appia II.
The Appia II makes a few notable upgrades to compact espresso machine design. Such upgrades include an automated cleaning function that will tidy the machine for you and raised group heads that can accommodate larger cups.
These are some other important points on the Appia II:
- Available in one-group or two-group configurations, so you can find one that best fits your espresso demand.
- A cool touch steam wand that won’t burn you or your baristas.
- Soft infusion system to function as insurance against tamping errors.
- A bar pump gauge that allows you to keep tabs on the machine’s boiler pressure.
Want an espresso machine that you’ll love to look at? Then you really can’t go wrong by choosing the Nuova Simonelli Musica, which has delicately rounded sides and optional LED lights that combine to make a luxurious-looking machine.
There’s much more to this machine than meets the eye, though. It’s designed for the utmost consistency in your shots.
Consider its thermo-compensated brew group, for instance, which prevents fluctuations in temperature. It even has boiler insulation that preserves the temperature in its heat exchange boiler.
Here are some other nifty features for your consideration:
- Indication lights that tell you when the water level is low or when the heating element is on to take the guesswork out of operating the machine.
- A programmable hot water nozzle that’s perfect for making teas or Americanos.
- Optional pour-over or plumbed-in configurations for increased versatility.
- A pressure gauge that you can use to monitor the pressure in the machine’s boiler at any time.
About the Brand
When you look for complex equipment or services, you probably want to ensure you’re buying from someone who knows what they’re doing. This is why many people in need of an espresso machine turn to classic manufacturers like Nuova Simonelli.
Nuova Simonelli has been in the field since 1936. Ever since their creation, they’ve consistently produced machines that bring form and function together beautifully. Some of their high-end models have even been used in barista world championships.
Look no further if you want to purchase from a company with a sterling reputation. You can trust in the quality of their machines.
Ideal Machine Applications
The Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 is an extremely flexible machine. It can be used in a variety of situations, thanks to its multiple configurations.
If you purchase the direct-connect version, you’ll find it suitable for small businesses, including cafes and restaurants.
On the other hand, its pour-over version, which is oftentimes more readily available, works great in home kitchens.
What Customers Say
We’ve received some feedback from our customers who chose the Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2, and we’re pleased to say it has all been good. Our customers absolutely love this machine.
Those who have purchased it say it’s compact and reliable, perfect for businesses that are short on space.
If you’re pricing out espresso machines online, we’re proud to tell you that Majesty Coffee’s espresso machines are available for some of the most affordable prices available. This includes all the models we mentioned in this review.
Our Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 is currently available for $1,295. We have the Nuova Simonelli Musica ranging from $2,2245-2,925 depending on which configuration you choose, the La Spaziale S1 Mini Vivaldi II for $1,895, and the Nuova Simonelli Appia II for $3,510-6,165 depending on whether you pick one group or two groups.