Sage Espresso Machines - Café Quality Coffee at Home
Best Coffee have been testing the Sage Machines over the past few months and while we have been super impressed with the look and build quality, we have been blown away with what it actually does - which is to produce a repeatable café quality coffee in your home. If you’re missing local coffee shop Barista, or want to deliver the perfect flat white, then Sage is your answer.
Sage is one of the most reputable coffee machines makers in the industry and they have positioned themselves in the market between a fully automated machine and commercial machine that you would see in your local coffee shop. We think the most apt description is an “Automated/Manual” Espresso machine – meaning, that they are a leap above an automated press button machines which struggle to replicate a café quality cup of coffee but you don’t need Barista training to operate them.
The company offers a wide range of machines, which come with an extraordinary range of features and capabilities, along with a wide range or pricing. As you go up the range in price, the features become more impressive and the machines largely become more automated. Nevertheless, don’t be put off with the price as we found the entry level Bambino as one of our favorite machines. In our view, it is ideally suited to cover lovers looking to add on an Espresso machine to their home coffee set up while maintaining their Brewer/Dripper configuration.
The Sage Oracle Touch
So ok, “The Sage Oracle Touch” sounds like something out of a Sci-Fi movie, but in essence it is a professional coffee machine for your home without having the need for barista training to operate it. In essence it removes the guess work and skills required to produce a café quality coffee at home. Nevertheless, it allows you to gradually take it off “autopilot” and build your skills, so if you have the time and appetite to build a new hobby then this machine does it all.
The touch screen allows you to and select for espresso, long black, latte, flat white or cappuccino and enjoy café quality coffee at home. The integrated conical burr grinder automatically grinds, doses and tamps 22 grams of coffee, similar to the commercial machine in your favorite cafe. It comes with dual boilers, which means it has one for the espresso and one for the milk. This allows you to brew and texture milk at the same time.
You can easily adjust the coffee strength, milk texture or temperature to suit your taste and then save it under 8 personalized coffee settings.
The Sage Barista Touch – Brushed Stainless Steel
The first question you will ask is what is the difference between the Oracle Touch and the Barista Touch - despite the obvious one being price. The major difference is the Oracle Touch, has two boilers versus the Barista Touch with one, what this means is that you can extract coffee and froth milk at the same time whereas this is not possible with the Touch. The other key differences is that the Oracle automatically grinds, doses and tamps a consistent 22g of freshly ground coffee, versus an auto grind of the Barista Touch of 19g which is dispensed into a portafilter and then requires a manual tamp.
The brew shot of the Oracle is more precise PID temp control of +/- 10C versus the Touch at +/- 20C. The other key difference is the just the size - the Oracle Touch comes in a dimension of W37.3 x D37.3 x H45.3 cm versus the Touch at W32.2 x D39.4 x H40.7 cm so if space is a concern then consider the Barista Touch.
The Barista Touch is still packed with an intuitive touch screen display and pre-programmed settings. It has a built-in grinder, easily adjustable controls and automatic milk frother that lets you grind, brew and milk faster than ever.
The Sage Barista Express
This is a more compact and affordable version of the Barista Touch but still has a lot of the major features of the fully integrated machine. The main difference between the Touch and Express, is that the Touch comes with a full auto milk texture, which automatically controls the temperature and final texture for micro-foam milk that is perfect for pouring latte art. In contrast the Express which has a manual milk texturing which can clearly take time to mastering the perfect latte art.
The Express still comes with an integrated bean grinder, with automatic and manual features and requires a manual tamp. It comes with the and precise temperature control (PID) ensures optimal espresso extraction. Net, net this is a great machine.
The Sage Bambino Espresso
Seriously, Sage! you need to rename this machine, as we don’t think that “bambino” really does justice to a machine pulls the highest quality espresso shots with the lowest skill set or knowledge that we have seen. Day in day out this is the machine that will pull you the same shot with a sweet, medium bodied form. It is small and compact so doesn’t require a lot of countertop space. It has an equally fast heat up time, the milk wand can yield café quality microfoam without requiring any technical knowledge. This machine is perfect for anyone looking for an espresso solution for home.
The Dose Control Pro Silver Coffee Grinder
The Dose Control Pro provides an incredibly precise grinding ability, with 60 grind settings and the ability to adjust grind time in 1 second increments – truly the tool for a coffee connoisseur. The steel grinding burrs are designed to minimise head and maximise efficiency, so as to keep the flavours of your coffee intact.