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Just upgraded: Nuova Simonelli Oscar Pro - Kind of feel over my head
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Just upgraded:...  
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Markarian
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Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 658
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Sep 4, 2012, 10:24pm
Subject: Just upgraded: Nuova Simonelli Oscar Pro - Kind of feel over my head
 

So after getting fed up with the wet steam, taking forever to heat up, and inconsistent shots I decided I had enough. I just purchased a used NS Oscar Pro and brought it home. The previous owner had descaled it and told me he had the GH gasket replaced less than six months ago. The machine appears to be in good shape, but I've had a bit of rotten luck pulling decent shots from it. Now I'm used to a Starbucks Barista and I've never even attempted anything with a big boy machine. I know I bought something wonderful, but I'm a bit overwhelmed and frustrated especially with steaming milk, since the steam is so powerful and blows out four holes at once. I went with Oscar over Silvia because the HX was so tempting. Any words of wisdom that might help me out? Thanks guys!
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frank828
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Feb 2011
Posts: 581
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: GS3
Grinder: RoburE, Kenia
Vac Pot: Hario
Drip: Brazen, CCD, Aeropress, V60,...
Roaster: Behmor, Air Crazy
Posted Tue Sep 4, 2012, 11:00pm
Subject: Re: Just upgraded: Nuova Simonelli Oscar Pro - Kind of feel over my head
 

i'm still trying to get it down too but i found that starting more in the middle of the milk and sinking the wand early helps.

the main thing is that the thing forces you to work extremely fast.  if i go too slow, i easily scald the milk.  :\


btw there is a replacement tip that is available at chris' coffee that will reduce the steam and make it easier.  something like 25 bucks i think.  i'm still debating if i want to get it.
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,030
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Tue Sep 4, 2012, 11:45pm
Subject: Re: Just upgraded: Nuova Simonelli Oscar Pro - Kind of feel over my head
 

Replace the gasket every 6 months.  I just did mine and I don't have to strain on the portafilter to get it to seal now. I should have done it at least 2 months ago.  So much nicer putting in the portafilter now.

  1. Learn how to read the water dance.  That will purge the over headed water from sitting idle and warm the group.  When the water dance stops I tamp and pull.  I am a slow tamper so it is at least a min or so after the purge.

  2. I am just now getting good at steaming microfoam. I believe I was doing to much milk in to large a vessel and taking to long with it.  And so I was not getting any better. Slip it in the side start a swirl, move to the middle get the chirp sound a few times and sink to edge and spin.  This goes really fast with 4-6 oz of milk.   I think about 15 - 20 seconds or so.  I guess I should time it.  I do have the Chris' tip but mine had no chrome left so I felt I had to replace it right away after buying it.

I really like my Oscar over what I have read about the Silva, I think you will also.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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NobbyR
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NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,044
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Wed Sep 5, 2012, 12:51am
Subject: Re: Just upgraded: Nuova Simonelli Oscar Pro - Kind of feel over my head
 

The Oscar can be considered an entry level prosumer HX machine, so it's capable of brewing excellent espresso and producing microfoam for latte art, if you want even simultaneously. However, working with a HX machine is different than brewing with a SBDU and needs some getting used to.

Instead of temperature surfing you'll need a cooling flush, i.e. you have to draw hot water until no more steam comes out of the brew head and the water flows in a calm single stream, before you start brewing coffee. That's what Coffeenoobie refers to as the water dance. It's required because the water in the HX line tends to overheat, when the machine is left idling for more than five minutes. After the cooling flush you might as well pull several shots in a row with a stable brewing temperature.

If you feel overwhelmed with its steaming power, you might want to exchange the four hole tip of the steam wand in favour of a two hole tip in order to gain a little more time frothing milk.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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frank828
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Joined: 23 Feb 2011
Posts: 581
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: GS3
Grinder: RoburE, Kenia
Vac Pot: Hario
Drip: Brazen, CCD, Aeropress, V60,...
Roaster: Behmor, Air Crazy
Posted Wed Sep 5, 2012, 1:00am
Subject: Re: Just upgraded: Nuova Simonelli Oscar Pro - Kind of feel over my head
 

NobbyR Said:

If you feel overwhelmed with its steaming power, you might want to exchange the four hole tip of the steam wand in favour of a two hole tip in order to gain a little more time frothing milk.

Posted September 5, 2012 link

oscar actually comes from the factory with a 4 hole tip but there is a replacement tip with smaller holes that will slow down the steam a bit and help you control it better.

if i leave my tip in for 15-20 seconds with the original tip, i would burn the milk.  i feel like i have less than 10 seconds to get the whole process done.  it's ridiculously fast.    also, the time it takes for me to reach the knob and turn it off, many times would also cause me to scald my milk.  when i get delayed at that point, i tend to lift the pitcher away from the tip and that ruins it too because i get a ton of big bubbling and foaming when that happens.   many times when i try to time it so that i dont burn the milk, i undershoot and my milk is a bit cooler than i'd hoped.

it's rough.  :\
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 658
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Sep 5, 2012, 3:34am
Subject: Re: Just upgraded: Nuova Simonelli Oscar Pro - Kind of feel over my head
 

So I just spent the last couple hours wrestling with the Oscar. It's really a different beast entirely from the little Saecos. I haven't been able to pull a single drinkable shot. Different grinds, different tamps, different beans, different doses. Every shot comes out underextracted and blonder than Barbara Eden. The group head is always a ghastly mess after every attempted shot and I try to keep it clean as best I can.

I've tried waiting at least ten minutes for the machine to heat up, and left it on for over an hour with the same result. I didn't know about the cooling flush, but after trying it my results didn't improve. I haven't tried backflushing or descaling the machine yet, so I don't know if that's causing this issue. But my main problem is that every shot comes out runny and severely underextracted. Whether choking or gushing, the shots only make it about a third of the way before blonding themselves to death. I'm really hoping I didn't pick up a lemon and that there's something important I missed when diving headfirst from a Saeco to an HX.
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,044
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Wed Sep 5, 2012, 3:49am
Subject: Re: Just upgraded: Nuova Simonelli Oscar Pro - Kind of feel over my head
 

The Oscar takes at least 30 minutes to heat up properly.

Try working consistently! Use the same dose by weighing, same (fresh) beans, and same tamp while dialing in your grinder. It's always wise to start brewing espresso with the double shot filter, because it's easier to handle than the single shot. When (re-)dialing in my grinder, I always start at a setting where the puck actually chokes the machine and approach the right fineness from there on.

Your Virtuoso might also be part of your problem. Its 40 steps are pretty wide and range from espresso to Frech press, so there are only a few settings actually to be used for espresso. That means, unfortunately, that you can get stuck in between two steps for proper extraction. The only way to work around that problem is to adjust the dose accordingly. When it comes to Baratza grinders, the Preciso is considered to be the entry level model fit for espresso.

Did your Saeco have a pressurized portafilter? The Oscar fornuately doesn't. Because if the Saeco did, your results might have seemed better than they really were.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 658
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Sep 5, 2012, 4:38am
Subject: Re: Just upgraded: Nuova Simonelli Oscar Pro - Kind of feel over my head
 

It's true working with the Virtuoso has been a challenge but I had it calibrated and shimmed for me at their HQ in person, so it can grind fine enough to choke the machine, though the stops do tend to be fairly wide. It's what I've got for now and hopefully workable for the time being. Originally I was going to get the lower-priced Encore, but this was recommended instead.

My Saecos had non-pressurized portafilters, one of which was a custom bottomless model from Seattle Coffee Gear, so I was already grinding and tamping.

I know I haven't been consistent, but when ALL my shots come out underextracted, I start to worry. But I'm quite happy to explore my technique being bad or my equipment being less than ideal before I count my Oscar as defective, definitely.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,775
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Wed Sep 5, 2012, 5:44am
Subject: Re: Just upgraded: Nuova Simonelli Oscar Pro - Kind of feel over my head
 

your grinder, while great for other than espresso, is not really up to the task of grinding for espresso, regardless of if it can choke or not. Espresso requires a different grind, a bi or trimodal grind and the grinder you have can't do that.

Congrats on the machine, it is a great starter machine in the HX class. I know it seems overwhelming to it's steaming when you come from a SBDU but in the HX class, it is on the weaker end of steaming!

I loved my Oscar and I can't speak highly enough about it, you did well.

Hang in there, it isn't the machine, it is you, your grinder and your habits that are not up to par. You WILL get it so just keep at it. Congrats and welcome!

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,044
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Wed Sep 5, 2012, 5:51am
Subject: Re: Just upgraded: Nuova Simonelli Oscar Pro - Kind of feel over my head
 

calblacksmith Said:

... Hang in there, it isn't the machine, it is you, your grinder and your habits that are not up to par. You WILL get it so just keep at it. Congrats and welcome!

Posted September 5, 2012 link

+1

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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