Breville Barista Express vs Barista Pro: Which Espresso Machine Is the Best Option For Beginners?

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It seems that there’s a tight competition between Breville Barista Express vs Barista Pro. But finally, I have to say that the Barista Express came out on top.

Due to its hands-free operation, the Barista Express is the most popular choice of espresso lovers. Thanks to its dose control grinder and milk frother, this coffee maker offers the complete setup for beginners and intermediates alike.

Compared to the Barista Express, the Barista Pro is a bit more expensive. Its key feature, however, is the bright and bold LCD display that gives you all the information you need to make a normal cup of coffee and saves you an incredible amount of time.

Breville Barista Express vs Barista Pro: Comparison Chart

Image
The Winner (#1)
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
The Runner-up (#2)
Breville BES878BSS Barista Pro Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Barista Express BES870XL
Breville Barista Pro BES878BSS
Dimensions
12.5 x 12.6 x 13.1 Inches
13 x 12 x 13 Inches
Capacity
1.9 Liters
1.9 Liters
Material
Steel
Stainless Steel
Color
Stainless Steel
Brushed Stainless Steel
Weight
23 Pounds
20 Pounds
Power
1600 Watts
1680 Watts
Warranty
1 Year Limited Product Warranty
2 Year Limited Product Warranty
Control Type
Button, Dial, Knob
Button, Dial
Pre Infusion Function
Purge Function
Hands-Free Operation
Intuitive Interface
Precise Espresso Extraction
Warming Plate
Removable Drip Tray
What I Like
Price
$649.95
$749.95
The Winner (#1)
Image
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Barista Express BES870XL
Dimensions
12.5 x 12.6 x 13.1 Inches
Capacity
1.9 Liters
Material
Steel
Color
Stainless Steel
Weight
23 Pounds
Power
1600 Watts
Warranty
1 Year Limited Product Warranty
Control Type
Button, Dial, Knob
Pre Infusion Function
Purge Function
Hands-Free Operation
Intuitive Interface
Precise Espresso Extraction
Warming Plate
Removable Drip Tray
What I Like
Price
$649.95
More Info
The Runner-up (#2)
Image
Breville BES878BSS Barista Pro Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Barista Pro BES878BSS
Dimensions
13 x 12 x 13 Inches
Capacity
1.9 Liters
Material
Stainless Steel
Color
Brushed Stainless Steel
Weight
20 Pounds
Power
1680 Watts
Warranty
2 Year Limited Product Warranty
Control Type
Button, Dial
Pre Infusion Function
Purge Function
Hands-Free Operation
Intuitive Interface
Precise Espresso Extraction
Warming Plate
Removable Drip Tray
What I Like
Price
$749.95
More Info

Last update on 2022-06-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Breville Barista Express vs Barista Pro: Differences

Based on this comparison, Barista Express is the winner as it is the most versatile espresso machine for home use. The score is very close: 3 – 2! Because the Barista Express offers a more affordable price, pre-infusion for stronger coffee, convenience, and ease of use. 

DOSE CONTROL

The Winner: Breville Barista Express

The Barista Express gives you total control for espresso shots and steaming milk
The Barista Express gives you total control for espresso shots and steaming milk

When it comes to espresso shots and steaming milk, the Barista Express gives you total control. Compared to the Barista Pro, the Barista Express has a pressure gauge that lets you do more experimentation.

What is the best way to froth milk for a creamy texture? What are the best methods for preparing a strong espresso shot without overpowering it? When tamping the coffee grounds, how do you avoid using too many grounds to enhance the coffee’s strength?

The Barista Express is the perfect choice for those eager to find the answers to these questions. It features a tamper, razor trimming tool, single and double filter baskets, and several other essentials. Additionally, you can control the length and strength of the shot manually to make espresso to your own specifications every time.

ESPRESSO FLAVOR

The Winner: It’s A Tie

+ Coffee grinder

It is similar to the taste and aroma of espresso brewed when using Breville Barista Pro and Barista Express. These burr grinders, portafilters, and steam wands are durable and strong. Because of the smaller increments available for adjusting the grind on the Breville Pro, setting the fineness of the coffee beans can be more complicated. 

Now let’s talk a little bit about that. There are 18 different grind settings on the Barista Express. It is also possible to pull both a single and double shot at the same time. On the other hand, with 30 grind settings, The Barista Pro has 12 more grind levels than the Barista Express.

The extra grinder settings will be more convenient for those who are fussy about their coffee. Hands-free grinding directly into the portafilter allows for more customization of the flavor. As with the Barista Express, it also features dual brewing cycles to save time.

+ Temperature settings

The Barista Pro has a temperature setting that can be adjusted
The Barista Pro has a temperature setting that can be adjusted

A number of features of the Barista Pro are upgraded from those of the Barista Express. These include a faster and more powerful Thermojet system. Within 20 seconds, the water is heated and ready for use. In contrast, it takes about 1 to 2 minutes for the Barista Express to reach the desired temperature. 

Also, compared to the Barista Express, the Barista Pro has a temperature setting that can be adjusted. This means that you can adjust espresso temperature in 2-degree increments with this machine. This helps to ensure that your espresso needs are always met.

Even so, the Barista Express is still a great product. A unique feature that it does have is an analog steam gauge, which the Barista Pro does not have. It does a better job of consistently enhancing the fullness or wateriness of your espresso for picky espresso drinkers. 

+ Brewing technology

The Barista Pro is an espresso machine that works on a semi-automatic basis. Therefore, in order to improve the flavor and consistency of your espresso with the Barista Pro, you’ll need to know a few basics about using an espresso machine.

As a comparison, the Barista Express has a convenient grinding and brewing function that is automatic, thus making it easier for even novices to handle. Thus, the Barista Express is less tricky to use even if you are unfamiliar with how an espresso machine operates, how to dial in, how fine the coffee is, shot time, and milk frothing.

STEAM WAND / MILK SYSTEM

The Winner: Breville Barista Pro

Breville Barista Express vs Barista Pro: The Steam Wand of the Barista Pro is faster, quieter, and more customizable
The Steam Wand of the Barista Pro is faster, quieter, and more customizable

An additional wonderful feature of the Barista Pro is the frothing device, which is missing or incompatible with the Barista Express. The Steam Wand of the Barista Pro is faster, quieter, and more customizable as compared with that of the Barista Express.

In spite of this, the Barista Express comes equipped with a steam wand with a single hole. Meanwhile, the Barista Pro includes a steam wand with four holes. And a steam wand with more holes is advantageous for latte art. Foam density is reduced, giving the milk a creamier texture but not too thick.

Moreover, I noticed that the Express is slower at heating up milk than the Barista Pro. But they do have one thing in common: cleaning both steam wands is easy. Wiping them down with a clean cloth is all that is needed.  

VALUE FOR MONEY

The Winner: Breville Barista Express

Looking at the main features that the Barista Express has that the Pro does not, you can see why it is a better value for money. Despite the fact that the Express is $100 cheaper than the Pro.

+ Pressure Gauge

Though both Breville Barista Express vs Barista Pro are made of high-quality and durable materials, only the Express is able to deliver a powerful espresso extraction with its pressure gauge. The majority of users say it is better due to its intricate and customized pressure adjustment capabilities.

The Express is able to deliver a powerful espresso extraction with its pressure gauge.
The Express is able to deliver a powerful espresso extraction with its pressure gauge.

Pressure gauges are used to determine a tamping pressure for coffee grounds as well as the perfect pressure point. With a little practice, you’ll be able to tamp the coffee exactly with the same force that a barista would use in a coffee shop. Then, you are able to enhance the flavor and strength of your espresso.

The Barista Pro no longer includes a pressure gauge, which reduces its appeal for serious coffee enthusiasts. In the Pro, however, you can use the pre-infusion and shot timer features. Unfortunately, there isn’t a pressure indicator. Thus, it does not tell you how much tamping pressure and the amount of pressure you should apply to extract rich and delicious espresso.

Breville Barista Express vs Pro: Similarities

The two machines have the same capacity of water, bean hoppers, drip tray designs, and portafilters, but Barista Express comes with a built-in coffee grinder, making it easy to grind directly for the perfect espresso.

Additionally, both Breville Barista Express vs Barista Pro feature a hot water spout and a built-in burr grinder. The stainless steel body complements these features beautifully. Making hot Americanos is now a simple matter by using the hot water spout. Therefore, no longer will you have to microwave water separately.

There is no difference between the Breville Barista Express vs Barista Pro when it comes to burr grinder performance. A similar process is employed in producing rich, creamy mochas, cappuccinos, and lattes through their manual milk texturing micro-foaming system. 

You can quickly grind an adequate amount of coffee by following only a few simple steps without installing or adjusting too many buttons to operate the grinding mechanism. The quality of the ground coffee will always help ensure that the coffee tastes good.

With the digital temperature control function, the water temperature is set at an optimal level for perfect espresso extraction. As part of this function, pressure is maintained and the temperature is controlled appropriately for each type of coffee extraction. In this way, after extraction, each coffee’s taste remains intact and of a high standard.

The trays on both machines can be removed. During the preparation and steaming of the coffee, it catches water droplets and residue from espresso. In this way, the coffee machine and its surrounding surface will remain clean and dry, ensuring the safety of the user.

Additionally, the tray is detachable, allowing users to clean the coffee machine after use in a quick and convenient manner, ensuring its durability and keeping it more user-friendly.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Barista Express BES870

Sale
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • 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 2022-06-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Analog pressure gauge of the highest quality.
  • Perfectly functional and easy-to-clean grinder.
  • Designed for better control of shot volume and strength.
  • Cleans automatically with some manual controls.
  • A tamper and dosing tool is included.
  • Durable design with a stainless steel top warming plate.
Cons
  • The machine has some plastic parts.
  • There is a need to empty the drip tray frequently.
  • It does not have temperature settings like the Barista Pro.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Barista Pro BES878

Sale
Breville BES878BSS Barista Pro Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • The Breville Barista Pro 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: With a single touch, the integrated precision conical burr grinder with dose control delivers the right amount of coffee on demand, for maximum flavor
  • 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
  • FASTER HEAT UP TIME: Innovative ThermoJet heating system achieves the optimum extraction temperature in 3 seconds with the instantaneous transition from espresso to steam
  • PRECISE ESPRESSO EXTRACTION: Digital temperature control (PID) delivers water at the right temperature +/- 2°C, ensuring optimal espresso extraction

Last update on 2022-06-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • This machine produces rich, strong espresso.
  • The LCD display is intuitive and accurate.
  • Faster performance and streamlined design.
  • Features 30 grind settings and accurate temperature control.
  • Rapid steaming of espresso or milk.
  • Four holes on the steam wand help produce richer foam.
Cons
  • Some replacement parts are expensive.
  • In comparison to analog pressure gauges, steam pressure is less powerful.

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References

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