Breville Barista Touch Vs Barista Pro: Which Breville Fits You Best?

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Breville has marketed some of the best entry-level espresso machines, including the Breville Barista Touch vs Barista Pro. Cutting straight to the chase, my pick is the Breville Barista Touch.

The Breville Barista Touch is indeed the first Breville model to have an intuitive color touchscreen. This one also comes with an automatic Panarello-style steam wand, which is easier to use than the manual wand but not the best tool for latte art. What’s more, it allows you to save up to eight drink recipes.

The Breville Barista Pro is quite similar to its rival, except it doesn’t have a touchscreen and comes with a manual steam wand. That means frothing milk with it has a learning curve, but it gives more control over the frothing process and is ideal for complex latte art.

Breville Barista Touch Vs Barista Pro: Comparison Chart

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine BES880BSS, Brushed Stainless Steel
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Breville Barista Pro Espresso Machine BES878BSS, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Barista Touch
Breville Barista Pro
Dimensions/Weight
16.0 x 12.5 x 12.7 inches/26.8 lbs
8.7 x 13.3 x 16.9 inches/25 lbs
Heating System
Single Thermojet Heating System
Single Thermojet Heating System
Interface
Touchscreen Screen
LCD Screen
One Touch Drink Options
8
2
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/4 inches
Dual/4 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
2 liter/0.24 liter
2 liter/0.24 liter
Pump Pressure
15 bars
15 bars
Built-in Grinder
Stainless Steel Conical Burr Grinder
Stainless Steel Conical Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
30
30
Pre-Infusion
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Yes (Optional)
Milk Frothing System
Panarello-Style Steam Wand
Manual Steam Wand
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
What I Like
Price
N/A
$807.45
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine BES880BSS, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Barista Touch
Dimensions/Weight
16.0 x 12.5 x 12.7 inches/26.8 lbs
Heating System
Single Thermojet Heating System
Interface
Touchscreen Screen
One Touch Drink Options
8
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/4 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
2 liter/0.24 liter
Pump Pressure
15 bars
Built-in Grinder
Stainless Steel Conical Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
30
Pre-Infusion
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Milk Frothing System
Panarello-Style Steam Wand
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
What I Like
Price
N/A
More Info
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Image
Breville Barista Pro Espresso Machine BES878BSS, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Barista Pro
Dimensions/Weight
8.7 x 13.3 x 16.9 inches/25 lbs
Heating System
Single Thermojet Heating System
Interface
LCD Screen
One Touch Drink Options
2
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/4 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
2 liter/0.24 liter
Pump Pressure
15 bars
Built-in Grinder
Stainless Steel Conical Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
30
Pre-Infusion
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Milk Frothing System
Manual Steam Wand
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
What I Like
Price
$807.45
More Info

Last update on 2024-05-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Breville Barista Touch Vs Barista Pro: Differences

The Breville Barista Touch has a 3-2 win against the Barista Pro. Just keep reading for more information!

Coffee Flavour

Winner: Breville Barista Pro

Built-in Grinder

These Brevilles have a built-in stainless steel conical burr grinder, which is off to a good start since it is unnecessary to purchase a separate grinder and find extra space for it. This burr grinder also outperforms its blade counterparts in terms of consistency, as it crushes the beans between two burrs to a uniform size, leading to a balanced cup.

stainless steel conical burr grinder
Stainless steel conical burr grinder

Better yet, these are quite quiet during operation. All right, they might not function at a whisper-soft level, but at least you can confidently brew an espresso at the crack of dawn without waking any sleepers up.

Beyond the freshness of the coffee beans, grind size is also a paramount factor in the espresso brewing process. These machines blew my mind with their 30-grind settings, which is far more than most built-in grinders on other automatic espresso machines. That is plenty of room to experiment and dial in the perfect grind size for your chosen beans and brewing method.

breville barista touch vs barista pro’s grind settings
Breville Barista Touch vs Barista Pro’s grind settings

While most super automatics take care of compressing the coffee grounds on their own, these Breville machines require you to do this yourself, which is called manual tamping. Interestingly, many home baristas have a penchant for manual tamping over auto tamping, despite the learning curve.

manual tamping
Manual tamping

I loved that they both came with a stainless steel tamper, contrasting with the somewhat ineffectual plastic ones accompanying some Gaggia semi-automatics I’ve experimented with. These tampers are still far from perfect and not quite as heavy as I expected, but there’s a reason to justify this: they magnetically attach to the machine, so they need to be light enough to ensure they don’t continually drop off.

Like most Breville espresso machines, the pair also has a well-made 54-mm portafilter and four different filter baskets (both non-pressurized and pressurized variations for single and double shots). Considering their price tags, it would be nice to have the 58-mm portafilter that comes with the Breville Dual Boiler

both come with four filter baskets
Both come with four filter baskets

And for those who don’t know, pressurized baskets are more forgiving and are excellent for beginners or the use of pre-ground coffee because they deliver great results even if the grind size isn’t perfect. Meanwhile, non-pressurized baskets are preferred by experienced baristas aiming for the perfect shot since they require the perfect grind size.

Heating System

Perhaps the biggest selling point of these bean-to-cup machines is their Thermojet heating system. They have only one single boiler, meaning they are not able to brew espresso and froth milk at once like the Breville Dual Boiler. But this minor drawback is overshadowed by their unique ThermoJet heating system, which can heat up within approximately 3 seconds, positioning them at the forefront of the quickest single-boiler machines. Truly impressive!

This fast-heating system, no doubt, can save you precious time when crafting your go-to morning beverage.  It also swiftly provides hot water for brewing a cup of tea or making hot chocolate, eliminating the lengthy wait you are accustomed to with conventional kettles.

The Thermojet heating system really heats up very rapidly, but it doesn’t heat up the portafilter. No problem! You can preheat the portafilter before brewing espresso by pulling one or two blank shots (a shot without coffee grounds in the portafilter). You’re basically using hot water to preheat the portafilter!

Well, there is also a built-in cup warming plate on top of both that is used to pre-heat your cups before dispensing espresso. Espresso is brewed at a high temperature, but it’s a small volume of liquid and can undergo a rapid temperature drop while you froth milk, especially if poured into a cold cup. Using the cup warmer ensures that your espresso retains its temperature longer, allowing you to savor the flavors and aromas at their best.

cup warming tray
Cup warming tray

Brewing System

At this point, the automatic pre-infusion function is a pivotal step that’s now standard in most semi-and super-automatic espresso machines, including these Breville models. Even though it adds a few seconds to the brewing process, its benefits to the final cup’s quality are well worth the time. During this stage, the coffee grounds are gently and slowly moistened to ensure they are uniformly saturated and reduce channeling, thus resulting in a more consistent extraction.

The Barista Pro even gives you a bit more control over the pre-infusion duration, but this isn’t an option with the Barista Touch to dial in the right setting for your beans or your brewing method. This is an excellent feature for those who want a deeper level of customization in their brewing process, as even a few seconds’ difference in pre-moistening can result in noticeable flavor variations.

Following the pre-infusion step, both of these machines extract espresso at the ideal pressure produced by 15-bar Italian vibratory pumps. Just know that they don’t provide any control over extraction pressure or flow rate.

At the end of the day, the combination of the pre-infusion stage and ideal extraction pressure results in espressos that are rich, full of flavor, and devoid of bitterness, mirroring what I’d expect from a high-end coffee shop. Of course, this perfection is the fruit of continuous tinkering.

Milk Frothing System

Both the Breville Barista Touch vs Barista Pro are steam wand-equipped machines, meaning you’ll need to get hands-on with your milk frothing rather than just pressing a button. This may sound tedious for those just starting out, but trust me, for every disciplined effort, there are multiple rewards!

breville barista pro manual steam wand and barista touch auto-frothing wand
Breville Barista Pro manual steam wand and Barista Touch auto-frothing wand

The Breville Barista Pro comes with a four-hole manual steam wand instead of the standard one-hole wand that can be found on the Barista Express and most home espresso machines. This enhancement ensures a more even distribution of steam, superior aeration, and, consequently, better microfoam milk. Naturally, this wand initially comes with a steep learning curve, but mastering it paves the way to easily whip up airy froth for a perfect cappuccino or creamy microfoam milk for your latte art game.

On the flip side, the Barista Touch boasts an auto-frothing wand that automatically introduces air into your milk to froth it. To be honest, I was initially dubious about this auto-frothing wand. I mean, this thing will in no way be able to compete with my hard-earned milk texturing technique! But you know what? This one truly blew my mind.

It features a built-in temperature control to ensure the milk is properly frothed for each specific milk-based drink. I could quickly pull out a delicious shot of cappuccino, but achieving the super-fine microfoam needed for complex latte art is a bit trickier. So, after all, the Barista Pro’s manual wand is still the best tool to master complex latte art, such as swans, lions, or something like that.

breville barista pro is the better tool for latte art
Breville Barista Pro is the better tool for latte art

Regarding how to use these steam wands, all you need to do is fill a stainless steel milk jug with cold milk, switch on the steam dial and give it a moment to heat up, submerge the wand into the milk, and hold the pitcher until it’s too hot to hold.  Finally, turn the steam off, give the wand a wipe with a clean, damp cloth, and turn it on again to get rid of the milk residue. Sounds easy, right? But earning the title of “latte artist” takes time and effort.

Their wands can rotate freely, and there is a rubber grip for easier navigation. Both come with a stainless steel pitcher to hold milk, but it has no lines to specify the volume of milk needed for a cappuccino or a latte.

Design & Usability

Winner: Breville Barista Touch

Dimensions, Footprint, & Weight

Breville Barista TouchBreville Barista Pro
Dimensions16.0 x 12.5 x 12.7 inches16.0 x 13.9 x 13.5 inches
Weight26.8 lbs20 lbs

As always with entry-level espresso machines, they are made almost entirely of plastic to cut costs. Still, they have sleek stainless steel casings for easier wiping down at the end of the day and a more durable feel.

The Barista Touch, as the name hints, is the first Breville semi-automatic espresso machine that comes with an upgraded touchscreen display, but it feels a bit prehistoric and isn’t always easier to navigate than the text-only LCD display screen and buttons on the Barista Pro. Anyway, though the touchscreen display isn’t one of the Barista Touch’s biggest selling points to my mind, it indicates Breville’s push to align with the modern trend of touchscreens dominating device interfaces.

breville barista touch vs barista pro's control panels
Breville Barista Touch vs Barista Pro’s control panels

Regarding the footprint, they are compact espresso machines and won’t take up much space on your kitchen countertop. But they aren’t necessarily lightweight, and you’ll probably need to be a gym guy to comfortably lift each one!

Pre-programmed Coffee Options

Breville Barista TouchBreville Barista Pro
Espresso
Latte
Flat White
Cappuccino
Americano
Hot Chocolate
Tea
Milk
Espresso
Hot Water

As mentioned earlier, the Breville Barista Pro has a manual steam wand. So it gives you nothing but one-touch espresso, and you’ll need to roll up your sleeves and whip up the right milk froth yourself for your desired milk-based drinks. As for the Barista Touch, a few preset milky drink options paired with its automated wand make achieving the perfect froth straightforward.

Both include a hot water function, which is great for crafting an Americano, brewing tea, or making something like hot chocolate, quick oatmeal, or instant soup. Thanks to the Thermojet fast-heating system, you only need to wait 3 seconds for hot water, which is much faster than using a kettle.

There’s no denying that it’s always best to enjoy a drink brewed from freshly ground coffee. But you can also use pre-ground coffee by using the pressurized basket whenever you find yourself running out of whole-bean coffee.

Both are highly adjustable, allowing you to fine-tune the grind size, coffee strength, and shot length. The Barista Touch even lets you choose the desired milk temperature and milk froth level. Making any adjustments is easy on the Barista Touch’s touch screen, whereas the Barista Pro involves various button combinations that take time to remember and get used to.

Spout & Cup Clearance

Breville Barista TouchBreville Barista Pro
DimensionsDualDual
Weight4 inches4 inches

They have no height-adjustable spout, but there’s enough clearance to comfortably fit most cups, including travel ones. So, unless you’re trying to brew espresso in a coffee thermos, I think their fixed cup clearance is not a big deal.

both have fixed cup height
Both have fixed cup height

Of course, you can always take out the drip tray to use larger insulated mugs, though that isn’t really an option since you can’t set them properly. If you do that, ensure you don’t accidentally pull out the storage drawer for those filter baskets. 

There are also options for pulling a single or double shot. The latter comes in handy whenever you need to prepare multiple cups of espresso as quickly as possible.

Water Reservoir & Bean Hopper 

Breville Barista TouchBreville Barista Pro
Water Reservoir2 liter2 liter
Bean Hopper0.24 liter0.24 liter

Their water tanks are positioned at the back, so removing them to fill them up can be a bit arduous if they are nestled under kitchen cabinets. They come with a water filter to remove unwanted impurities from your water to keep the machine free from limescale in the long run and ensure your espresso is always brewed with high-quality water.

Their bean hoppers can house up to 230 grams of beans and share an airtight lid. So even if you can’t use up the loaded beans in a couple of days, rest assured that their aroma will remain as captivating as ever.

airtight lid
Airtight lid

Cleaning & Maintenance

Winner: Tie

Just like many home coffee enthusiasts, I’m not a fan of the cleaning process, but cleaning these Breville semi-automatic machines is a piece of cake since almost everything is automated.

I said almost,” as there are still hands-on tasks you need to do, such as emptying the drip tray, disposing of the used grounds, refilling the water tank, and cleaning the portafilter under the tap. There is one crucial rule to abide by: keep all the components away from your dishwasher. I’d recommend wiping down the casing oils daily to get rid of splashes and coffee oils.

After frothing milk, these machines will flush hot steam to ensure the interior stays hygienic and free of milk residue. Just don’t forget to wipe the exterior of the wand with a soft cloth.

When it comes to descaling these machines, they will prompt you when it’s the right time to kick start an automatic cleaning cycle, and only use Breville cleaning tablets for the best results. Remember, using a water filter can substantially lessen the need for regular descaling.

Utilities & Other Features

Winner: Breville Barista Touch

User Profiles

Needless to say, the user profile function is beneficial for families of espresso lovers because it enables them to have their own personalized drinks saved to the machine, preventing some arguments. Both lack this nifty feature, but the Barista Touch allows you to save up to eight drink recipes and even give them a name. Of course, this is far from being as convenient as a “real” user profile feature.

barista touch allows you to save up to 8 recipes
Barista Touch allows you to save up to 8 recipes

Auto-off Mode

Both Breville Barista Touch vs Barista Pro automatically turn off after half an hour of inactivity. That is great for saving electricity, but it would be better to be able to change the interval of non-use.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Barista Touch

Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine BES880BSS, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • Item Package Dimension: 17.39L x 16.19W x 16.19H inches
  • Item Package Weight - 28.25 Pounds
  • Item Package Quantity - 1
  • Product Type - COFFEE MAKER

Last update on 2024-05-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Offers up to 30 grind settings.
  • The ThermoJet system heats up quickly.
  • The Panarello steam wand is easy to use.
  • Allows saving up to 8 different recipes.
  • Easy to use and clean.
Cons
  • Limited cup clearance.
  • Has a single boiler.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Barista Pro

Sale
Breville Barista Pro Espresso Machine BES878BSS, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • Item Package Dimension: 17.39L x 16.59W x 16.09H inches
  • Item Package Weight - 27.20 Pounds
  • Item Package Quantity - 1
  • Product Type - COFFEE MAKER

Last update on 2024-05-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Comes with a high quality set of accessories.
  • Has an adjustable pre-infusion process.
  • Thermojet system heats up within 3 seconds.
  • Great for latte art.
  • Has a larger water reservoir.
Cons
  • Heavy.
  • Only one boiler.

Product Video

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References

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