Barista Express Vs Dual Boiler: Which One Is The Better Option?

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A Breville espresso machine has many features that make it easy to use and maintain and user-friendly. These machines are also perfect for beginners. Its shiny exterior provides a high level of service with a fast and constant performance lasting for a long time.  

Both the Barista Express and Dual Boiler are worth considering if you want to make a good cup of coffee at home. These two appliances have more features than we can count!

In a comparison of Barista Express Vs Dual Boiler, the Barista Express is preferred simply due to its small size and lower price.

In contrast, the Breville Dual Boiler is a good choice if you are looking for an elegant design made entirely of stainless steel, intricate temperature controls, and a straightforward, easy-to-use programming system. 

However, suppose you simply want a good quality espresso maker that makes incredibly delicious espresso without fussing with complicated features. In that case, this product may be a better choice for you.

Barista Express Vs Dual Boiler: Comparison Chart

Image
The Winner (#1)
Breville BES870BSXL the Barista Express, Espresso Machine, Black Sesame
The Runner-up (#2)
Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Barista Express BES870
Breville Dual Boiler Espresso BES920
Dimensions (LxWxH)
12 x 11 x 13.5 Inches
14.7 x 14.8 x 14.7 Inches
Capacity
1.9 Liters
2.4 Liters
Material
Steel
Stainless Steel
Color
Stainless Steel
Brushed Stainless Steel
Weight
23 Pounds
30 Pounds
Power
1600 Watts
1700 Watts
Warranty
1 Year Limited Product Warranty
2 Year Guarantee
Hands on like a barista
Built-In Grinder
Compact Footprint
3 Second Heat Up
Cafe Quality Microfoam
Precise Milk Temperature, Automatically
What I Like
  • Consistent and effective results every time.
  • Easy-to-use espresso machine for beginners.
  • Easy maintenance and a small footprint.
  • Rich espresso and strong steam are delivered.
  • Performs at a commercial-grade speed.
  • Quickly steams milk both automatically and manually.
  • A cleaning tool is included along with all other necessary accessories.
  • Coffee enthusiasts will appreciate the intricate controls.
Price
$689.99
$2,499.95
The Winner (#1)
Image
Breville BES870BSXL the Barista Express, Espresso Machine, Black Sesame
Model
Breville Barista Express BES870
Dimensions (LxWxH)
12 x 11 x 13.5 Inches
Capacity
1.9 Liters
Material
Steel
Color
Stainless Steel
Weight
23 Pounds
Power
1600 Watts
Warranty
1 Year Limited Product Warranty
Hands on like a barista
Built-In Grinder
Compact Footprint
3 Second Heat Up
Cafe Quality Microfoam
Precise Milk Temperature, Automatically
What I Like
  • Consistent and effective results every time.
  • Easy-to-use espresso machine for beginners.
  • Easy maintenance and a small footprint.
  • Rich espresso and strong steam are delivered.
Price
$689.99
More Info
The Runner-up (#2)
Image
Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Dual Boiler Espresso BES920
Dimensions (LxWxH)
14.7 x 14.8 x 14.7 Inches
Capacity
2.4 Liters
Material
Stainless Steel
Color
Brushed Stainless Steel
Weight
30 Pounds
Power
1700 Watts
Warranty
2 Year Guarantee
Hands on like a barista
Built-In Grinder
Compact Footprint
3 Second Heat Up
Cafe Quality Microfoam
Precise Milk Temperature, Automatically
What I Like
  • Performs at a commercial-grade speed.
  • Quickly steams milk both automatically and manually.
  • A cleaning tool is included along with all other necessary accessories.
  • Coffee enthusiasts will appreciate the intricate controls.
Price
$2,499.95
More Info

Last update on 2022-01-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Barista Express Vs Dual Boiler: Differences

The Breville Dual Boiler and the Barista Express are basically the same performance. The Barista Express still wins by one point (3 – 2) due to its superior technology affordable pricing. It may seem harsh, but both of these espresso machines have their pros and cons, so here’s a look at the best and not-so-great features of each.

1. Espresso Flavor

The Winner: It’s A Tie!

+ Coffee Grinder

The first thing you will notice when you take a look at the Breville Dual Boiler is that it does not come with a built-in burr grinder. On the other hand, the Barista Express does come with this feature. 

Ground coffee is the only kind of coffee you can use with the Dual Boiler. Those are not the coffee beans that a Barista Express automatically grinds using its burr grinder built into the machine. 

This means you’ll have to either buy fresh coffee to go in the Dual Boiler or add ground coffee from a packet. Additionally, you need to purchase a separate coffee grinder to use with the Dual Boiler. It will increase your costs a bit either way. 

+ Heating System

Dialing in Barista Express
Dialing in Barista Express

Although the barista express comes with a built-in grinder, it is still the Dual Boiler heating system that accounts for its higher price than the Barista Express. Yet I’m sure you knew this from the product’s name, right?

Due to the advent of stainless steel dual boilers in espresso machines, brewing coffee at home has changed dramatically. Therefore, the Dual Boiler is constructed with a pair of stainless steel heating elements. The first element is used to extract espresso, while the second element is used for steaming.

Right from the start, you should be aware that you need to heat the water at different temperatures for espresso and milk. The temperatures are different. This is why having two separate boilers is essential.

Almost all commercial machinery has two boilers. This ensures that your espresso shots won’t lose their richness and that the steam will be hotter than ever, regardless of how many cups you brew.

However, one negative of a home espresso machine is that it could cost a lot of money to purchase. However, it will not be energy efficient either since the boilers would have to work harder to keep the temperature at an optimal level.

On the other hand, the Barista Express introduces a more intelligent and efficient system for preserving the temperature of the espresso. Fast, lightweight, and durable, the 1600W Thermocoil is an excellent choice for heating. This is, in my opinion, an excellent function for coffee makers at home.

In this comparison, though, the Dual Boiler is the winner since it features an adjustable temperature control (+/-2 degrees Fahrenheit), which is absent in the Barista Express.

2. Dose Control

The Winner: Breville Dual Boiler

Breville Dual Boiler's reservoir
Breville Dual Boiler’s reservoir

+ Portafilter

Dual Boilers are offered with a 58mm portafilter and a dose control system between 19g and 22g. With the Barista Express, you get a 54mm surface area with adjustable shot volume and single and double shot filter baskets.

In the Barista Express, you can adjust the amount of coffee per espresso using the dose control grinding technology.

With the Dual Boiler, you can decide whether to use the single shot or double shot or choose a precise manual control. Having the LCD display makes adjusting the machine’s temperature a lot easier than the Barista Express, which only has the selector dial for adjusting the temperature.

Coffee enthusiasts will prefer to be able to choose how they desire their coffee to be ground, which is why they will want to control this process. Nevertheless, if you trust the expert grinding expertise of your local coffee shop staff, you can find plenty of fresh and rich roasts that you can try. 

A full kit for making espresso at home is available with the Barista Express. This is a well-constructed, high-quality bean-to-cup coffee maker for home use that you can trust. You can achieve a full-bodied flavor by adjusting the grind and filter size. In addition, the grinder will adjust its dose automatically depending on whether you choose a single or double shot of espresso.

+ Programmability

The control panel of Dual Boiler

Programmability is another feature that the Dual Boiler provides: temperature control, personalized shot control, and automatic operation. In other words, you have plenty of options to choose from if you are genuinely interested.

In fact, the LCD display of the Dual Boiler also features an espresso shot timer so you are able to read out exactly how much time you should spend pulling an espresso shot, giving you more practice at pulling the right shot with the exact extraction time. The guesswork is gone!

In contrast, the Barista Express has no such intricate customization options. With this machine, you can adjust the grind size dial, the size of the filter for single or double shots, the pressure gauge for pre-infusion, the buttons for the single or double sessions, and the indicators for cleaning and hot water.

3. Ergonomics

The Winner: Breville Barista Express

The Breville Barista Express has an overall size of 12.5 x 12.6 x 13.1 inches. As for the Breville Dual Boiler’s dimensions are 14.7 x 14.8 x 14.7 inches in size.

As far as weight is concerned, the Barista Express weighs 23 lb, whereas the Dual Boiler weighs 30 lb.

The weight reduction makes transporting the machine from one place to another easier. Although the Barista Express comes equipped with a built-in grinder, but with greater portability, it is unquestionably better than the other option. 

Moreover, I believe that the Barista Express is a good option for people who have a tiny space and want to place an espresso machine that will fit anywhere without taking up too much space.

Additionally, the Dual Boiler features a larger water tank capacity than the Breville Barista Express, which is also a great feature. Consequently, the Dual Boiler is quite bulky in design.

Compared to the barista express, the Dual Boiler has 82 ounces of water capacity. As an extra advantage, the Barista Express also holds a 220g bean hopper on top, even though it is a compact machine. Even so, it’s a lightweight and portable machine.  

4. Price

The Winner: Breville Barista Express

Breville’s Dual Boiler is a high-end coffee maker, and it is safe to say that a top-of-the-line product. One of the factors contributing to its status as a high-end and luxury product is the fact that you can tailor it according to your requirements. The downside of this is that it is much more expensive than a Barista Express, and you may end up paying three times as much.

Compared to the Dual Boiler, the Barista Express seems to be less expensive. Still, it has all the necessary characteristics to deliver rich espresso as well as solid steam from a boiler.

Barista Express Vs Dual Boiler: Similarities

Breville Barista Express - Grinder
Breville Barista Express – Grinder

1. COFFEE DRINKS

Each of the machines has two buttons that can be programmed. They are responsible for providing different types of coffee and drinks, such as the Doppio, the Ristretto, the espresso, etc. The buttons allow you to save the combinations once you have obtained them for any type of beverage and use them again the next time you wish to have the same thing.

2. PRE-INFUSION FUNCTION

With the pre-infusion function included in this machine, you can keep lower water pressure at the beginning of the process before ramping up to 9 bars. Thereby, the grind will gently expand, resulting in a smoother extraction due to the expansion. 

3. 3-WAY VALVE

The other common feature between these two machines is a three-way valve. During the extraction, a solenoid valve with a 3-way switch releases the pressure and moisture in the portafilter. As a result, the puck is allowed to dry and be handled. Furthermore, this will save you some time as you won’t need to wait until the pressure equalizes before you can make several cups of coffee. 

4. EASY CLEANING

The Breville Dual Boiler and Barista Express, both espresso makers, contain a nifty feature that will alarm you as soon as it is time to clean the machine.

Moreover, the water tanks of both machines are removable, so one can empty and refill them with ease – something which is of significant importance to their users. As part of these machines, a built-in water filter is also present, which ensures that all drinks made with them are always free from germs and prevent the buildup of lime-scale.

5. PID TEMPERATURE CONTROL

Both espresso machines use PID controllers to control the temperature of the boiler. Compared to traditional mechanical thermostats, it is much more accurate and consistent.

Using this controller, you can easily control the temperature of the water during the process of pulling the perfect espresso.

6. CUP WARMER

If you have a cup warmer, you can warm up the cups before pulling an espresso, preventing them from becoming too cold and ruining the flavor and quality. Furthermore, both machines eliminate the need for users to manually heat the cups with hot water, making them highly recommended. 

7. PRESSURE GAUGE

One of the most critical factors in pulling a fantastic espresso is the amount of pressure used. How tightly the portafilter is tamped can affect how much pressure is applied, and therefore the extraction quality.

You can fine-tune your espresso machine processes to obtain the perfect 9 bars of pressure using the pressure gauge provided on both espresso machines.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Barista Express BES870

Breville BES870BSXL the Barista Express, Espresso Machine, Black Sesame
  • The Breville Barista Express delivers third wave specialty coffee at home using the 4 keys formula and is part of the Barista Series that offers all in one espresso machines with integrated grinder to go from beans to espresso in under one minute
  • Dose Control Grinding: Integrated precision conical burr grinder grinds on demand to deliver the right amount of freshly ground coffee directly into the portafilter for your preferred taste with any roast of bean
  • Optimal Water Pressure: Low pressure pre-infusion gradually increases pressure at the start and helps ensure all the flavors are drawn out evenly during the extraction for a balanced tasting cup
  • Precise Espresso Extraction: Digital temperature control (PID) delivers water at precisely the right temperature, ensuring optimal espresso extraction
  • Manual Microfoam Milk Texturing: The powerful steam wand performance allows you to hand texture microfoam milk that enhances flavor and enables creation of latte art

Last update on 2022-01-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Consistent and effective results every time.
  • Easy-to-use espresso machine for beginners.
  • Easy maintenance and a small footprint.
  • Rich espresso and strong steam are delivered.
Cons
  • Plastic-like components are present.
  • Portafilters have a cheap, flimsy feel to them

Quick Rundown Of Breville Dual Boiler BES920

Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • The Breville Dual Boiler with commercial features delivers third wave specialty coffee at home using the 4 keys formula; It has a professional Dual Boiler construction that delivers unparalleled temperature control and simultaneous extraction and steaming
  • DOSE CONTROL GRINDING: Achieve a consistent and balanced espresso using the right amount of ground coffee; The 58mm porta-filter with 19-22 grams is the key for full flavor and third wave specialty coffee
  • OPTIMAL WATER PRESSURE: The Over Pressure Valve limits the maximum pump pressure throughout extraction, helping prevent bitter flavors; Low pressure pre infusion gradually increases water pressure to gently expand grinds for an even extraction
  • PRECISE ESPRESSO EXTRACTION: Dual stainless steel boilers and heated group head controlled by digital temperature control (PID) brings water to precisely the right temperature (+/- 2⁰F) to extract maximum flavor potential every time
  • MANUAL MICROFOAM MILK TEXTURING: The steam wand performance allows you to hand texture microfoam milk of commercial machines that enhances flavor and is essential for creation of latte art

Last update on 2022-01-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Performs at a commercial-grade speed.
  • Quickly steams milk both automatically and manually.
  • A cleaning tool is included along with all other necessary accessories.
  • Coffee enthusiasts will appreciate the intricate controls.
Cons
  • The coffee grinder is not included.
  • This product comes with some plastic parts.

Product Video

Reference:

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