Breville Barista Express vs Philips 3200: Why the Breville Barista Express is the better pick?

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For me, a coffeeholic, having complete control over the strength, quality, and taste of my coffee is incredibly important. Due to this, when I tested the Breville Barista Express vs Philips 3200, I immediately preferred the Barista Express. In addition to its automatic functions, it also offers a manual override, which gives you the option to create specialty drinks tailored to your own tastes. Another great feature of the Barista Express is its microfoam milk maker, which you can use for latte art or just to make wonderful milk and coffee drinks in the morning.

The Philips 3200, on the other hand, is a true bean to cup machine. You can grind, tamp, and pull espresso shots with this superautomatic espresso machine. Additionally, it has a couple of pre-programmed drinks that allow you to make cafe-quality drinks just by pressing the button. You might prefer the Philips 3200 if you are looking for convenience, but you must be willing to give up some control.

Breville Barista Express vs Philips 3200: Comparison Chart

Image
The Winner (#1)
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
The Runner-up (#2)
Philips 3200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine w/ Milk Frother, Black, EP3221/44
Model
Breville Barista Express BES870
Philips 3200 EP3221/44
Dimensions
12.5 x 12.6 x 13.1 Inches
20.75 x 18.75 x 17 Inches
Color / Material
Stainless Steel / Metal
Black / Plastic
Weight
23 Pounds
20.3 Pounds
Power / Voltage
1600 W / 110–120 V
1500W / 120V
Heating System
Thermocoil
Thermoblock
Milk System
Manual Steam Wand
LatteGo
Grinder
Conical Burr Grinder
Flat Burr Grinder
Grinder Settings
16 Grinder Settings
12-Step Grinder Settings
PID Temperature Control
Water Tank Capacity
67 oz
60.85 oz
Hopper Capacity
1/2 lb
0.6 lbs
Preset Drinks
None
5
Manual Override
Water Filter
Charcoal Water-Filter Included
Aqua-Clean
Double Cup Option
What I Like
Price
$699.95
$599.95
The Winner (#1)
Image
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Barista Express BES870
Dimensions
12.5 x 12.6 x 13.1 Inches
Color / Material
Stainless Steel / Metal
Weight
23 Pounds
Power / Voltage
1600 W / 110–120 V
Heating System
Thermocoil
Milk System
Manual Steam Wand
Grinder
Conical Burr Grinder
Grinder Settings
16 Grinder Settings
PID Temperature Control
Water Tank Capacity
67 oz
Hopper Capacity
1/2 lb
Preset Drinks
None
Manual Override
Water Filter
Charcoal Water-Filter Included
Double Cup Option
What I Like
Price
$699.95
More Info
The Runner-up (#2)
Image
Philips 3200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine w/ Milk Frother, Black, EP3221/44
Model
Philips 3200 EP3221/44
Dimensions
20.75 x 18.75 x 17 Inches
Color / Material
Black / Plastic
Weight
20.3 Pounds
Power / Voltage
1500W / 120V
Heating System
Thermoblock
Milk System
LatteGo
Grinder
Flat Burr Grinder
Grinder Settings
12-Step Grinder Settings
PID Temperature Control
Water Tank Capacity
60.85 oz
Hopper Capacity
0.6 lbs
Preset Drinks
5
Manual Override
Water Filter
Aqua-Clean
Double Cup Option
What I Like
Price
$599.95
More Info

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

Breville Barista Express vs Philips 3200: Differences

Both the Breville Barista Express and the Philips 3200 are completely different products that cater to entirely different users. For those who prefer to control both the flavor and strength of their coffee, a Barista Express is an excellent choice. However, the Philips 3200 is a great option if convenience is your top concern.

On comparing the differences between the Breville Barista Express vs the Philips 3200, I found that the Barista Express easily became the winner with a close score of 3-2. This is mainly because of the machine’s versatility. As such, the Philips 3200 remains a very competent and convenient choice in this category.

 HEATING SYSTEM

The Winner: Breville Barista Express

Barista Express uses a Thermocoil heating system
Barista Express uses a Thermocoil heating system

Heating systems are among the most important features of any coffee machine. It is incredibly difficult to make a good espresso or coffee drink without a consistent and reliable temperature, and I found that the heating system on the Breville Barista Express is superior in this comparison.

One of the reasons it’s so affordable is that the Barista Express uses a Thermocoil heating system. Thermal coil systems heat water by pulling it through a metal or copper heating tube. Meanwhile, the Philips 3200 uses a Thermoblock system to heat water, which uses a heated metal block instead of tubes to pull water through.

For home coffee systems, most experts suggest Thermocoil heating as the better choice. It’s because the coils flow water consistently, so the temperature is more stable. Additionally, a Thermoblock also tends to last longer than a Thermocoil, so if you plan to use your coffee machine for a long time, Thermocoils are a better choice. 

As an added bonus, the Breville Barista Express has a PID, a new technology that permits precision and consistency in coffee temperature. In this way, your espresso shot will really deliver the flavor and strength you want.

PRESET DRINKS

The Winner: Philips 3200

Philips 3200 makes it easy to prepare a morning espresso by selecting one of several preset drinks
Philips 3200 makes it easy to prepare a morning espresso by selecting one of several preset drinks

Bean-to-cup coffee isn’t offered by the Breville Barista Express. Due to its semi-automatic nature, you still have to transfer the portafilter to the water dispensing system after grinding. On the other hand, to prepare a morning espresso with the Philips 3200, you simply press a button to choose from one of the preset drinks. There are five drinks included with Philips 3200, including espresso, cappuccino, latte macchiato, coffee, and Americano. Alternatively, you may also choose Cafe au Lait, Milk Foam, or plain hot water. 

Philips’s model also provides the ability to customize the drinks. For example, you can adjust the temperature or volume of shots. On the contrary, only two presets are provided by the Breville Barista Express: grind amount and water volume, but to pull a shot, you need to manually position the filter into the water dispenser. Additionally, the Breville Barista Express requires a little practice to produce quality shots, which is why the Philips model is the better choice.

GRINDER

The Winner: Philips 3200

The Philips 3200 grinder will surprise people when they try it for the first time. At least, it surprised me when I tried it out for the first time. Philips 3200 is equipped with a ceramic burr grinder. It results in consistently ground coffee, which could potentially lead to better tasting coffee.

Although customers have commented that the Philips 3200 grinder has a fairly loud grinder, flat burr grinders are supposed to be quieter than their conical counterparts (like on the Barista Express). A 15-step grinder adjustment gives the Barista Express the edge over the Philips 3200, but the Philips 3200 has a close race with 12-step grinder adjustments.

Considering how consistent the Philips grinder is in terms of design, it easily beats out the Barista Express in this regard.

MILK SYSTEM

The Winner: Breville Barista Express

The Barista Express's steam wand allows you to make microfoam textured milk that is ideal for cappuccinos and latte art
The Barista Express’s steam wand allows you to make microfoam textured milk that is ideal for cappuccinos and latte art

The Barista Express comes with a steam wand that needs to be manually operated. This gives you the feeling of being a barista by allowing you to make microfoam textured milk that is ideal for cappuccinos and latte art. 

There is still a small amount of waiting for the system to heat up steam for the milk since it uses Thermocoil heating. With a wand, however, you can create milk foam that is customized for your tastes, though practice may be required. A stainless steel milk jug is also included with the Barista Express so that you can steam milk whenever you wish.

There is a slight difference in the Philips 3200 model. LatteGo is integrated into it as a convenience feature. With the Philips 3200, everything is done for you, so you do not have much control over steaming your milk. It is as simple to use as pressing a button and waiting for your drinks.

However, I decided to choose the Barista Express milk system since it gives you more control and flexibility to adjust the temperature and settings as you like.

COFFEE QUALITY

The Winner: Breville Barista Express

The question, “Which coffee machine makes the best coffee?” can be extremely difficult to answer because there are several factors to consider. While everyone’s tastes differ, the Barista Express is simply my best option in terms of coffee quality due to its versatility and control. Despite the fact that the Philips 3200 can make decent coffee, if the presets aren’t to your taste, you will have little or no control over it.

You can choose to use both the automatic settings and the manual override on the Breville Barista Express. This way, you can choose how much water and coffee your espresso shot has, and you can adjust the temperature as well. In other words, you are in complete control of both the taste and strength of your drink if you know how to operate an espresso machine.

All the drinks are pre-programmed in the Philips 3200. And although the taste of coffee in this machine is decent, other than the temperature and the shot volume, there are not many variables you can adjust. Thus, for those of you who demand a specific level of strength, flavor, and consistency in your coffee, the versatile Barista Express is the more suitable option.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Barista Express BES870 

Breville BES840XL Infuser Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • The Breville Infuser delivers optimal flavor in every cup creating third wave specialty coffee at home using the 4 keys formula, ensuring the right dose of beans, optimal water pressure, precise temperature control and microfoam milk for latte art
  • VOLUMETRIC AND SHOT CONTROL: Control the volume of each pour at the touch of a button and choose 1 shot, 2 shot or manually control over how much espresso ends up in your cup for the perfect dose every time
  • 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: Maximize flavor potential with low pressure pre-infusion, digital PID temperature control, adjustable in 4 ⁰F increments complete with pressure gauge that guides you to the right extraction every time
  • MANUAL MICROFOAM MILK TEXTURING: High power 1650W element for high pressure steam wand and faster heat-up to create the microfoam necessary for a third wave specialty taste and essential for creating latte art at home

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

Pros
  • Provides lots of control over your coffee
  • Manual milk wand
  • The heating system uses Thermocoils
  • Includes portafilter, razor trimming tool, milk jug, and cleaning materials
  • Digital temperature control allows for precise espresso extraction
Cons
  • The use of this device requires some practice
  • Has no one-touch coffee

Quick Rundown Of Philips 3200 EP3221/44

Philips 3200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine w/ Milk Frother, Black, EP3221/44
  • Enjoy 4 coffees at your fingertips, makes espresso, hot water, coffee, Americano, Espresso Lungo
  • Intuitive touch display, frequency: 60 hertz
  • Adjust aroma strength and quantity
  • 12-step grinder adjustment
  • Aroma seal keep your beans fresh for longer

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

Pros
  • Produces bean to cup coffee
  • Easily and conveniently used
  • Includes LatteGo milk system
  • The coffee temperature can be adjusted
  • Contains over 5 preset drinks
Cons
  • Offers very little control
  • The Thermoblock heating system could be improved

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References

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