Nuova Simonelli Oscar I Vs Oscar II: Which is Better?
The original Nuova Simonelli Oscar was a marvelous and affordable espresso machine for enthusiasts interested in adding one to their kitchen.
With the creation of the Oscar II, you might be wondering what improvements were made and if they’re worth it. In this guide, we’ll break it down for you by comparing the Nuova Simonelli Oscar I vs Oscar II.
Here’s what you’ll learn about:
- Features that are similar between the Oscar and Oscar II
- Different features added to improve the Oscar II and why they’re beneficial to you
- How to decide which one is the best choice for you
The Oscar I was a single-group machine, meaning it only had one group head. This design was kept in the Oscar II with good reason.
Groups affect how many drinks you can make at once, so more groups equals more drinks.
But for small businesses or home users, where there’s more time to focus on each drink, single groups allow you to make sure every single beverage you create is the best it can be.
And even with a single group, the Oscar and Oscar II were built to keep up with nonstop use. So in a business setting, either one would be able to speedily fulfill drink orders.
HEAT EXCHANGE BOILER
Some espresso machines can’t brew and steam at the same time, which leaves users having to wait between brewing and steaming.
This wasn’t an issue with the Oscar, and it won’t be an issue with the Oscar II, either. Housed within the Oscar I or Oscar II, you’ll find a two-liter heat exchange boiler.
It works by siphoning brewing-temperature water through a tube to the group head, and storing steaming temperature water independently.
The heat exchange boiler design is quick to warm up when you turn the machine on and makes it so you can comfortably steam your milk as you wait for your espresso to brew.
The original Oscar’s reputable steam power was integrated in the Oscar II’s design.
How does it benefit you? It’s simple: you’ll be able to steam your milk more quickly than machines with lesser steam power.
It also results in a more desirable silkier texture. You’ll love being able to sip on a velvety latte even sooner with the Oscar II’s steam power.
NO HOT WATER OUTLET
Neither the Oscar I nor Oscar II uses a hot water outlet, which can be advantageous depending on what drinks you make most often.
By not having a hot water spigot, these machines are naturally less expensive than other models that do have one. If you don’t really need to make drinks like teas and Americanos, then you might as well save a little money by not having a hot water spigot.
But if you do make Americanos or teas, then you’ll need another way to supply hot water for them. If you can’t have a hot water tank just to make them, the Oscar I or Oscar II are not good choices for you.
These machines couldn’t look more different.
For one thing, the Oscar I’s body was made entirely from plastic. It wasn’t nearly as sleek or shiny as the Oscar II.
Nuova Simonelli definitely took its appeal up a notch when they designed the Oscar II. Instead of plastic, the Oscar II is built from gleaming stainless steel.
It’s complemented by red or black accents on the top and bottom, which can give it a warmth or look of polished professionalism.
The reflective stainless steel also functions as a mirror above the drip tray. Baristas are able to use it to visually monitor the espresso from all angles as it brews.
OSCAR II PROGRAMMABLE DOSING
With the original Oscar, users had to start and stop the brew cycle themselves.
While this means drinks can be customized easily, it also means that there was a steeper learning curve for the Oscar I. Newer baristas who didn’t know when to stop brewing could end the cycle at different times, resulting in drinks with varying levels of quality.
Programmable dosing was added to the Oscar II, a feature that makes brewing simpler. You can program the proper doses into its buttons in advance, so all you have to do is press the buttons and let the machine handle brewing properly for you.
With the Oscar II, you’ll also have access to pre-infusion. This saturates the puck in the portafilter before full extraction occurs, correcting any inconsistences in the distribution of the grounds.
Combined, programmable dosing and pre-infusion add up to drinks that are equally delicious every time you use the Oscar II.
PUSH PULL STEAM
Steaming on the Oscar I was operated by turning a dial. While the design was functional, it just wasn’t as ergonomic as the push-pull switch used on the Oscar II.
To steam on the Oscar II, you can gently move the switch forward and backward. A design like this protects users from wrist strain.
POUR-OVER MODEL WATER TANK
The tank capacity of the pour-over Oscar I configuration was approximately two liters of water. The water tank in the Oscar II can hold almost 25% more water than the Oscar I with a close to 2.5-liter capacity.
With pour-over models, you need to fill them yourself when the water tanks get low. So the bigger the water tank, the less you have to refill it
While either water tank is ample for users at home, the Oscar II’s larger capacity means you won’t need to be worried about having to refill it after just a few lattes.
Should you decide you’d prefer a lower maintenance direct-connect machine, which can replenish water automatically by being hooked up to a water line, then you can get the Oscar II as direct-connect rather than pour-over.
As an improvement to the Oscar I’s boiler design, the Oscar II’s copper boiler is insulated.
Copper boilers are already energy-efficient since they’re so good at conducting heat. But the insulation around the Oscar II’s boiler makes it even more so, because the machine won’t need to work as hard to stay up to temperature.
STEAM ARM LENGTH AND RANGE
The articulating steam wand on the Oscar II has been lengthened, which will allow you get smooth microfoam that much easier.
With its upgraded length, the steam wand will be able to reach deeper into the pitcher, promoting even temperature in the milk.
As an added bonus, the steam wand can be repositioned to wherever you need so that you can froth milk from the perfect angle.
Those concerned about price will be pleased to hear that the Oscar II kept the budget-friendliness of the Oscar I.
As Majesty Coffee strives to offer you the lowest prices online, our pour-over Oscar II, available in Red or Black, is $1,295.
We offer the Oscar II direct-connect configuration, also in Red or Black, for $1,620.
WHICH ONE IS THE BEST CHOICE FOR YOU?
You’ll most likely find the Oscar I only available used these days if you were to search for it. With the advent of the Oscar II, you can’t really find the Oscar I new anymore.
That’s why in this section of the guide, we’ll compare and contrast direct-connect and pour-over configurations in the Oscar II instead.
Direct-connect machines are the standard in businesses – you probably won’t find pour-over machines in most coffee shops. The reason for this is direct-connect machines speed up the process of drink-making by eliminating the need to stop for reservoir refills.
Aside from that, daily maintenance is easier because it’s easy to install water filters and softeners in direct-connect machines. These protect your espresso machine from scaling that can damage it and enhance the taste of the water being used.
So if you’re a business owner looking for a machine that can more easily meet customer demand, the direct-connect configuration of the Oscar II is for you.
But if you need mobility, pour-over machines are your best bet. Because they don’t need to be connected to water a supply, they can be used from any location.
Additionally, they tend to be cheaper than direct-connect machines on average. If those things appeal to you, the Oscar II pour-over machine is a fantastic choice.
For more information on the Nuova Simonelli Oscar II and the best deals online, check out our listing in the Majesty Coffee store: