An Honest Review Of Breville Barista Express vs Oscar 2: Brew Performance, Milk Frother, And More!

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If you find it difficult to decide on the better espresso machine between Breville Barista Express vs Oscar 2, allow me to help! Due to the giant price gap between these models, comparing them almost seems like an impossible task. But I have the answer now: Breville Barista is the product with a better price and value relation of the pair.

With Breville Barista Express, you can expect a lot for a small price tag. The espresso flavor is balanced with highlighted sweet and bitter notes. Also, the machine is designed with a big 0.55 pounds hopper that feeds beans smoothly into a 16-settings conical burr grinder. Overall, my hands-on experience with this machine has been very positive, and I highly recommend the product to small households, especially for its low price.

As for Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2, I’m impressed by its huge 101oz water tank that can easily brew cups after cups at a party. Also, its potent 2-hole steam wand is worth spending money on since it can froth foam to microfoam in 10-15 seconds. However, it still loses to Breville because I believe it is a tad overpriced for its simplistic design.

Breville Barista Express vs Oscar 2: Comparison Chart

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES870XL
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Nuova Simonelli Oscar II Espresso Machine
Model
Breville Barista Express
Nuova Simonelli Oscar II
Dimensions (LxWxH)
12.5 x 12.6 x 13.1 Inches
12 x 16 x 16 Inches
Capacity
67oz
101oz
Color
Silver
Black
Weight
23 Pounds
33 Pounds
Material
Stainless steel
Stainless Steel, Copper
Power / Voltage
1600W/ 110–120 V
1200W/ 110V
Pump pressure
15 bars
15 bars
Beans container capacity
250g / 0.55 pounds
No bean container
Heating element
Thermocoil
Boiler
Built-in grinder
Heat up time
30s
15 minutes or longer
Milk frothing method
Manual steam wand
Manual steam wand
Suitable for pre-ground coffee
Cup warmer
Low Pressure pre-infusion
What I Like
Price
$599.95
$1,495.00
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES870XL
Model
Breville Barista Express
Dimensions (LxWxH)
12.5 x 12.6 x 13.1 Inches
Capacity
67oz
Color
Silver
Weight
23 Pounds
Material
Stainless steel
Power / Voltage
1600W/ 110–120 V
Pump pressure
15 bars
Beans container capacity
250g / 0.55 pounds
Heating element
Thermocoil
Built-in grinder
Heat up time
30s
Milk frothing method
Manual steam wand
Suitable for pre-ground coffee
Cup warmer
Low Pressure pre-infusion
What I Like
Price
$599.95
More Info
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Image
Nuova Simonelli Oscar II Espresso Machine
Model
Nuova Simonelli Oscar II
Dimensions (LxWxH)
12 x 16 x 16 Inches
Capacity
101oz
Color
Black
Weight
33 Pounds
Material
Stainless Steel, Copper
Power / Voltage
1200W/ 110V
Pump pressure
15 bars
Beans container capacity
No bean container
Heating element
Boiler
Built-in grinder
Heat up time
15 minutes or longer
Milk frothing method
Manual steam wand
Suitable for pre-ground coffee
Cup warmer
Low Pressure pre-infusion
What I Like
Price
$1,495.00
More Info

Last update on 2022-09-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Breville Barista Express vs Oscar 2: Differences

Thanks to its affordable price, overall stable functionality, and authentic espresso flavor, Breville Barista Express wins 3-2 against Oscar 2. I find the former much more beginner-friendly regarding entry-level machines, with all the necessary tools like a grinder and milk wand. You won’t have to worry about purchasing any extra accessories and spending more money on your first coffee machine experience.

Grinder

Winner: Breville Barista Express

With Breville Barista Express, we get an integrated 16-setting conical burr grinder, one of the best durable grinder types that cause less jam than blade or flat grinders. I have brewed with this model many times, and never once did I experience a jam.

With Breville Barista Express, we get an integrated 16-setting conical burr grinder
With Breville Barista Express, we get an integrated 16-setting conical burr grinder

Regarding the coffee ground texture, I’m nearly 100% satisfied with the results. The final ground I usually get is very even and doesn’t include noticeable clumps. Sometimes I still encounter coarser bits mixed with the fine ground, but they aren’t significantly bigger than the rest to affect the final taste of the espresso shot!

As for Oscar 2, Simonelli doesn’t design this product line with an integrated grinder, so you must purchase a separate one or constantly use pre-ground coffee. In other cases, I wouldn’t say this is a major minus point. It’s no big deal that a commercial machine doesn’t have a built-in grinder. The problem is this model isn’t made for commercial purposes. It’s a home-use one for family reunions at best. Thus, it should have come with a grinder, especially for its price.

Milk frother

Winner: Oscar 2

There is no comparison. Oscar 2 is notably better than Breville Barista regarding milk frothing. With its 2-hole steam wand with an extremely potent steam flow, it only takes me 10 seconds to get steamed milk with light foam and a few seconds longer to get thick foam. The versatility in milk foam texture allows us to recreate more recipes, from flat whites to cappuccino.

Oscar 2 is notably better than Breville Barista regarding milk frothing
Oscar 2 is notably better than Breville Barista regarding milk frothing

Looking at a wider panorama, this feature is highly convenient when you need to serve coffee to various guests at a time. You won’t have to wait long between brewings and risk the cups running cold, which is unpleasant given that it’s coffee.

What about Breville Barista Express? This model’s hands-on milk frothing feature is quite standard and good enough for its price tag. It’s not exceptionally impressive, but I can still get some fluffy foam out of it after about 50-60 seconds of frothing before the milk pitcher gets too hot. So, it definitely requires more time to froth, but nothing too crazy.

Breville Barista Express froths less dry milk foam
Breville Barista Express froths less dry milk foam

Heating system and warm-up time

Winner: Breville Barista Express

With a Thermocoil heating system, the Breville Barista Express only needs 30 seconds to finish its warm-up cycle, ready for brewing. As for Oscar 2, it’s a dual boiler vs a giant water tank, so it takes much longer to heat up completely. I usually leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes to get the best water temperature. It’s not unreasonable for commercial or big machines, and this model fits into the second category.

Water tank size and target consumers

Winner: Oscar 2

Breville Barista is a compact model with a 67oz water reservoir, while Oscar 2 boasts a giant 101oz water tank. Needless to say, the former model is made for basic home use, and the latter is more well-received for larger groups of users. If you want an espresso machine for 2-3 users, I highly recommend the Breville. On the contrary, if you think of frequently serving family members coffee and putting up a classic model for your office, Oscar 2 will seal the deal.

Oscar 2 boasts a giant 101oz water tan
Oscar 2 boasts a giant 101oz water tan

Size and weight

Winner: Breville Barista Express

For home use, I always recommend a more compact machine. And Breville Barista Express fits in the compact category. It will easily sit on any kitchen stand without taking up too much space. As for Oscar 2, the bulky design with the asymmetrical shape of the machine will require more attention regarding placement.

Breville Barista Express vs Oscar 2: Similarities

Alongside the obvious differences, there are 2 small similarities between Breville Barista Express and Oscar 2. I will briefly introduce them below!

Straightforward interface for classic espresso brewing

Being entry-level machines, Breville Barista Express and Oscar 2 aren’t so different in interface design. With a touch of a button, you can get a single or double espresso with ease. What I like more about Barista Express is that it has an indicator light that tells when it’s time to clean or descale.

Cup warmer

With a cup warmer, you can keep the coffee hot for longer. Also, a cold cup will definitely cool down the coffee temperature from the first impact. When you prepare cups after cups, leave the first one on the cup warming tray so that when you serve 4-5 cups at a time, all of them are at the right temperature for the guest to sip and relax with ease.

Barista Express has cup warmer
Barista Express has cup warmer

Quick Rundown Of Breville Barista Express

Sale
Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES870XL
  • Get up to 24 bags of coffee beans with the purchase of this machine from September 19, 2022 to October 3, 2022. Visit beanz.com/us/en/promotions/coffee-day-2022.html to redeem. T&C apply.
  • 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. Grind Settings: 16 precision grind settings
  • Precise Espresso Extraction: Digital temperature control (PID) delivers water at precisely the right temperature, ensuring optimal espresso extraction

Last update on 2022-09-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Offers a lot of control over your coffee
  • Uses a Thermocoil heating system for quick warm-up time
  • Precise espresso extraction through a digital temperature control system
  • Modern design and stainless steel finish
Cons
  • Not very potent steam wand

Quick Rundown Of Oscar 2

Nuova Simonelli Oscar II Espresso Machine
  • Dimensions (H x W x D): 16" x 12" x 16"
  • Espresso Machine Type: Semi-Automatic
  • Voltage: 110
  • Water Source: Pour-Over

Last update on 2022-09-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Water tank is big enough for daily brewing of 2 to 3 people
  • The 2-hole steam wand is very powerful and can froth milk foam in 10 seconds
  • Brew and steam at the same time
  • Simple interface for beginners
Cons
  • Doesn’t have an intergreated grinder
  • Long heat-up time

Product Video

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