In this guide we will compare the Nuova Simonelli Musica with the Oscar II. We will cover all the important details you need to know to help you make the right decision.
The Musica in a short summary:
Designed with high-tech features, this espresso machine will impress both the home user and the small business. If you are looking for a powerful espresso machine with both style and functionality, Musica is the right choice for you.
Oscar II in a short summary:
Home users love the simple commercial features of this machine. It delivers professional results in your kitchen, in the office or even in a small business environment. Choose this machine if you only require basic commercial features with a low-budget price-quality ratio.
✦ Similarities ✦
These equally compact machines come with one group, making them ideal for small businesses and home baristas.
These machines are not suitable for making multiple espresso shots one after the other in busy shifts such as in the professional hospitality industry. Instead, they are designed to allow you to make expert espressos one by one, which is perfect for slower paced environments.
With pre-infusion, these machines will enable even extraction and thus a better tasting espresso.
The pre-infusion systems work by allowing a low pressure flow of the water on your coffee pad and then mixing with the ground coffee before the water flow is released under full pressure.
What it exactly does is preventing water from reaching all the coffee particles through channelling, so that the water does not end up in all the coffee particles. It is also useful to reduce the effect of an incorrect stoppage that could interfere with extraction.
Because both machines have a pre-infusion setting, you don't have to miss out on these benefits by choosing one machine over the other.
The heat exchangers in these espresso machines provide a temperature constant that is important for the brewing process.
The temperature has a major influence on the taste and acidity of the espresso. When you set the temperature, you want it to remain as constant as possible to avoid fluctuations that could change the espresso.
The Nuova Simonelli Musica and Oscar II provide temperature stability while simultaneously steaming milk and brewing your espresso. This is achieved by removing water from the boiler and heating it while it is directed to the group head for the correct fitting temperature, which is separated from the steam temperature.
Eventually you will be able to prepare espresso shots and milk foam for lattes and cappuccinos without having to keep a close eye on the temperature, which is already quite stable.
Push & Pull Steam levers.
To make these machines more ergonomic, Nuova Simonelli has installed push-pull levers to activate steaming. The problem with turning a knob to open the steam channel is that after a full day of making latte, it becomes very tiring.
If you don't use the machine too often, that's probably not a problem, but baristas would certainly choose the more user-friendly push-pull steam tab that is kinder to their wrists.
✦ Important differences ✦
Time dosage vs. volumetric dosage
This is a relatively small difference between the two machines. The Musica has a programmable volume dosage, which corresponds to automatic dosage based on the shot volume.
With the Nuova Simonelli Oscar II you can program recordings on time instead of volume.
Why are these functions useful? Programmable dosing means that the machine does part of the work for you, allowing you to multitask. Another advantage is that it helps users of all skill levels to make perfect espresso shots.
Musica manual dosage button
Although both machines offer programmable doses, only one of them is equipped with an optional manual dosing button.
In addition to volume dispensing, you can also choose manual dispensing with Musica. To brew manually, press the button both to start and stop the brewing cycle, giving you full control and allowing you to draw shorter or longer shots.
Manual dosing does require more finesse, but it is an option that many knowledgeable baristas and home baristas like to have access to.
The Nuova Simonelli Musica and Oscar II are both equipped with boiler indicators, but they work a little differently.
The Musica is equipped with a boiler pressure gauge that allows you to monitor the exact boiler pressure, so that you can see when the machine is ready to make espresso and steam.
The Oscar II has a light on the silicone touchpad that indicates when the machine is ready, which essentially does the same as the Musica boiler pressure gauge.
However, the indicator light on the Oscar II doesn't give you much information and you may need to give the Oscar II a little extra time during the first warm-up time for the day, even after the light goes out.
SO WHICH ONE TO BUY?
The answer to these questions depends on the applications you buy the machine for.
Are you an individual coffee lover and you're buying a commercial espresso machine for your home or office? If this describes you, the Nuova Simonelli Oscar II is a great purchase.
It's like the basic version of Musica with less advanced features, but with the same ability to produce high quality espresso.
Even restaurants that sell the odd espresso can make good use of the Oscar II. Please note that users should be trained to start and end the brewing cycle for proper extraction.
For small coffee shops, hotels and companies that order large quantities of drinks every day, Musica is a sensible investment.
The volumetric dosage alone is extremely useful. Baristas can press the brew button and then go back to ordering multiple drinks, because the brewing cycle will end automatically.
Users at every stage of learning can also count on a high degree of consistency as programming reduces human error. The LED lights on Musica are also beneficial for adding visual value to both the professional atmosphere and the espresso production.
Really, Musica, like the Oscar II, can be a great machine for individual home baristas and office workers, especially as it offers the best of both: the volumetric and manual dosing worlds.
But if the price difference makes you think twice, with the Oscar II you won't lose out on quality.