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Nuova Simonelli Oscar - Larry Rudiger's Review
Posted: February 1, 2009, 3:21pm
review rating: 4.0
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Nuova Simonelli Oscar
Where to Buy
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Arrow Chris' Coffee Service
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More About This Product
Arrow The Nuova Simonelli Oscar has 38 Reviews
Arrow The Nuova Simonelli Oscar has been rated 8.49 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 30, 2001.
Arrow Nuova Simonelli Oscar reviews have been viewed 290,099 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Ünsal ORLU 10.00
Jay H 9.38
Lisa Swehla 9.00
Rob B 9.00
Andrea Karsh 9.00

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 9.0
Manufacturer: Nuova Simonelli Quality: 9
Average Price: $1,050.00 Usability: 9
Price Paid: $950.00 Cost vs. Value 9
Where Bought: Chris's Coffee Aesthetics 9
Owned for: 1 year Overall 9
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Briel Chamonix, La Pavoni Pisa, Gaggia Coffee
Bottom Line: If chrome doesn't matter and great espresso does, then this is the machine.
Positive Product Points

Easy to keep clean (in black -- would be different in the off-white or red)
Good size for a home kitchen
Pulls excellent, consistent shots
Massive, adjustable-height drip tray and good-sized H2O tank

Negative Product Points

Filling the tank is a bit awkward (slide forward, lift the door, position a funnel, pour in the water.)

Detailed Commentary

Arguably my first prosumer machine, I vowed that this would be my last. The plastic case was actually a major selling point. I was more or less happy with the stylish la Pavoni Pisa, and bought it (on a whim) because my partner liked the looks (he's got a huge collection of vintage chrome countertop appliances). But keeping it clean was a pain, and the eventual corrosion (yes) from a constant leak in the leak-prone water-holding system reduced it to an expensive pile of rust. Plus, I hated the pressurized 53MM PF and the fact that there was no bottomless PF option. All this (and a one-time 1K bonus check) pointed me to Oscar.

Though probably a sign of my own slovenliness, I like how I don't have to keep the Oscar clean because it looks clean even when, well, it's not. Not really. When the mood strikes, it's easy to wipe it down. But the important cleaning (backflushing, grouphead, etc.) is very straightforward.

As most prior reviews have put it, the performance is outstanding and super, super consistent. I had no remorse when I compared it to the Gaggia Coffee at my former employer (though that's a fine-enough little machine). I use a bottomless PF, giving me a grand total of 3, and usually go right into a coffee cup for a cappuccino. Also, Oscar is very forgiving of not-quite-fresh beans (my roasting days are either behind me or I'm just on an extended hiatus) and it responds to slight changes in grind (with a Mazzer Mini). VERY few sink shots. I seldom pull more than one (double) at a time, but it's a total champ in high-production mode. I also got a triple basket, but I prefer my results with the double.

Buying Experience

Like others, I had a great experience w/ Chris's. The coordinated the drop-ship of the rig and then direct shipping of the other doo-dads. Albany's close, but haven't yet been able to visit in person. Haven't needed service, but I'm confident that, when I will, they'll do their usual, outstanding job.  I was pretty much sold on this machine when I called, but it was helpful to get confirmation of my hunches.

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review rating: 4.0
Posted: February 1, 2009, 3:21pm
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