The new home espresso machine by Nuova Simonelli is the restyling of the very reliable “Oscar.” After several years of honorable service, the first Oscar version is retired and Nuova Simonelli presented the new version, OSCAR II. Technically, few things have changed. Much has been worked on the aesthetics, making it more pleasant.
Continue with our Nuova Simonelli Oscar review to rediscover what's new about this redesigned versatile coffee machine.
The Nuova Simonelli Oscar II is a premium quality heat exchange machine. And what’s beautiful about heat exchange machines is you can do coffee and steam at the same time.
The best results are obtained with an adequate coffee grinder. A good coffee extraction would be impossible without it.
The machine is actually also volumetric. So it’s programmable for your dose, whether for a single or double cup extraction. It’s great for a situation where you need to extract in the office or when you have multiple people at home.
Once again, one of the key functionalities of the machine is the heating ability, thanks to the heat exchanger. This means it has a pipe that runs through the boiler. So when you make the coffee, the water comes to your reservoir tank through the heat exchange, out of the group head, and it’s always fresh. It heats up while the water travels through the heat exchanger. This is also functional for the hot water needed for making your steam.
You have to place your cups to absorb as much of the temperature as possible when you’re making coffee. However, note that if the cup is cold, it is going to deplete the temperature of the coffee and bring it down and change the taste profile.
So you need to have your cup warm before you start running coffee. Or if it’s not, you have to heat it with hot water or water from the group head.
One nice thing about this machine is you can fill up the water tank or clean the water tank without having to remove any of the cups.
With some machines, you have to take the top panel off to fill it which makes it awkward and is a bit more tasking. So with this one, you can fill the tank up. You can have your cups under and easily activate the steam.
Lastly, one thing you should note is that the pump is not very quiet but a normal vibration pump.
Oscar 2 uses ground coffee and does not use coffee pods. So, to use the machine, you need a coffee grinder that can grind to the fineness of espresso. You can also choose to buy ground coffee.
The semiautomatic machine can be used for making espresso, cappuccino, and other milk-based drinks. The cappuccino option is made possible thanks to the manual frother.
After having filled the water tank, you have to turn on the OSCAR II with the main switch placed on the bottom.
Immediately you hear the noise of the pump starting up, do not worry, the pump is sucking water from the tank and is placing it in the boiler. It will operate for about two minutes. When the water level sensor “senses” that the water level in the boiler is ideal, it will stop and start the heating phase.
This is because the control unit checks if there is no water in the boiler and if it is missing it will compensate for the level. Also, after the first ignition when the boiler has filled up, refill the water tank again because the tank has almost certainly been partially emptied.
After the heating phase has started, shortly after, you will hear a small noise coming from the boiler. It is the air expelled from the anti-vacuum valve. It will stop when the boiler pressure has reached its maximum
After 10-13 minutes, the LED indicating the heating phase will turn off and the machine is ready to brew a good coffee.
Because the OSCAR II (and all machines with heat exchanger) needs more time, the thermosiphonic effect will start. A waiting time of 30 minutes is advisable
The portafilter is very heavy; it is advisable to leave it inserted in the coffee machine during the heating phase in such a way that it heats up. Otherwise, the water that will flow will cool down. Hence, you will have a lukewarm coffee.
Before starting to extract the coffee, pass a little water through the filter holder, heating it further.
The OSCAR II is very simple to use. The temperature stability is good. You can make several coffees at the same time without finding significant drops in the extraction temperature.
The steam produced by the OSCAR II is incredible – dry steam without any water at the outlet of the steam wand. Also, the steam delivery control is very easy
The Oscar II produces good-quality coffee. Follow the instructions explained in the brewing process, make the right grinding, pressing, use the right quantity of coffee, and you will obtain satisfactory results.
With this machine, you will be able to pour your espresso; and while you’re doing that, you can have your milk steaming. It ensures that your espresso is not sitting in there for too long after you pour, which improves the quality of your brew.
The front of the OSCAR II is very simple and clean. Above the brewing unit, you can find the soft-touch keyboard with two keys, dispensing for one cup and dispensing for two cups.
Two LEDs respectively indicate lack of water in the tank and resistance of heating in operation.
On the left, you will find the 360 degrees articulated steam wand and the steam opening tap control.
It has a steam wand with 4 holes with a diameter of 1 mm. The main switch is located at the bottom, on the right under the machine.
At the top, you can find the large housing for coffee cups and cappuccino cups. The housing of the machine has the purpose of heating the cups passively. Essentially, the heat inside the OSCAR II will be sufficient to heat the cups.
There is a door where the easily removable and washable water tank is housed inside. The capacity is around 100 fluid ounces, and there is a removable steel cup holder.
Onboard is also a thermally insulated copper boiler. This allows for the good stability of the water temperature. The boiler is of the HX type, with a heat exchanger.
The water present in the boiler has the dual purpose of generating steam and heating the water that you will use to extract the coffee.
Oscar II is sold in three colors: black, red, and blue. But what are the materials used? What are the dimensions and weight and what accessories come with it?
The Nuova Simonelli Oscar II is mostly made of metal and plastic. It is predominantly stainless with some areas in plastic, namely the drip tray and the cup. The right and left sides are in steel, the front in steel, with the top and back in ABS.
However, the coffee group is in chromed brass. It is decoupled from the boiler. The coffee group is powered by two copper pipes with a thermosiphonic effect, in practice the hot water flows through the two copper pipes, heating the group even if the pump is inactive.
The supplied filter holder is of the professional type, in chromed brass, weighing 585 grams. The handle is very easy to use and strong. You have the feeling of something sturdy. Not for nothing, it is the same filter holder that Nuova Simonelli uses in all professional bar machines.
Onboard is also a thermally insulated copper boiler. The quality of the material allows good stability of the water temperature. The boiler is of the HX type, with a heat exchanger.
The Nuova Simonelli Oscar has a dimension of 12 x 16 x 16 inches and weighs 28.8 pounds. The machine is quite neat and compact in that it’s only 30 centimeters wide. So it doesn’t take up too much room despite having the heat exchanger.
The Oscar II is supplied with the 1 and 2 coffee filters. There is only the spout for two coffees, in any case, sufficient and easy for dispensing in a single cup. A plastic coffee tamper is supplied, not very easy, not very heavy, you cannot “feel” the pressing that is exerted. We also find a plastic ground coffee dispenser.
The particularity of this machine is it has a 2.8-liter water reservoir tank that is removable for cleaning.
We like removable all tanks because you can just wash them easily. Some machines are hard to remove.
Accessing the interior is very simple. Just unscrew the six screws of the top and you are faced with a small wonder: all the main components are visible. The assembly is very clean, and the electrical wiring is very neat.
The Oscar II comes with a 2-year Standard Dealer warranty. But you will have to pay an extra $175 to get the Gold warranty.
The Oscar 2 is sold in the upwards of $1,000 but for less than $2,000. Overall, the machine represents real good value, especially for a heat exchange where most of them are being sold at double the price. We love it. It’s designed to look minimalistic and compact. It’s easy to use.
Oscar II is a professional machine that adapts to all needs. Some of the key features here are:
The water supply for the coffee is not in direct contact with the boiler water but is heated by a copper heat exchanger. The temperature of the water in the boiler is constantly adjusted to 120 ° by an electronic control unit. This allows you to always have continuous steam to make tasty and creamy cappuccinos or to heat water.
As soon as the boiler water level drops, the electronic control unit will start the pump to fill the water that has been consumed. And if the tank is empty, the same control unit will inhibit all the machine functions.
Some of the accessories included are: one chromed brass filter holder complete with a spout for two cups, one and two coffees filter, one measuring cup, and one plastic tamper. It even comes with a 2-year warranty.
Oscar II is more solid than the traditional version. This is thanks to the extensive use of stainless steel. Still, it has a minimalist design.
Measuring 12 x 16 x 16 inches and weighing 28.8 pounds, Oscar II provides coffee service wherever you see fit. That’s why it’s indicated for use at home or office.
The brewing group is thermocompensated and allows consistent and quality extractions. It also has high steam production, thanks to the soundproofed pump and the insulated boiler with exchanger.
The Oscar II is a professional-grade machine that offers value for every penny spent. It is a high-performance machine thanks to high-quality components such as the filter holder, the brew group, and the steam wand.
The espresso machine is best for home and office use. Small coffee shops with not-so-high demands can also get this as it is a semi-professional machine.
Oscar II is a professional machine that adapts to all needs. You can use it for home use to enjoy a good coffee or cappuccino like at the bar. It is also ideal for professional use. Meanwhile, if you want a commercial-grade machine for use in a high-demand coffee shop, we recommend the Nuova Simonelli Musica.
Still, we believe that the Oscar II is an excellent coffee machine from all points of view. It’s very reliable and the best results are obtained with an adequate coffee grinder. Without it, a good coffee extraction would be impossible.