Breville Barista Touch vs Dual Boiler: One Is Clearly Better Than The Other!

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Breville Barista Touch vs Dual Boiler: Each has its own pros and cons. Yet, the Barista Touch emerges as my preferred choice, and the subsequent comprehensive comparison will illuminate the reasons for this decision.

The Breville Barista Touch stands out with a handy touch screen and a beginner-friendly automatic steam wand that can froth milk to the exact temperature selected. I’m also very impressed with its built-in stainless steel conical burr grinder with up to 30 grind settings.

The Breville Dual Boiler, true to its name, has two boilers to brew and steam at once. But this one does not come with an integrated grinder and is very bulky. Another factor to consider is that it has a manual steam wand, which is the best tool for latte art but requires a bit of a learning curve.

Breville Barista Touch Vs Dual Boiler: Comparison Chart

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine, 67 fluid ounces, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES880BSS
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso Machine,84 oz, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Barista Touch
Breville Dual Boiler
Dimensions/Weight
16.0 x 12.5 x 12.7 inches/26.8 lbs
16.3 x 15 x 15 inches/30 lbs
Heating System
Single Thermojet Heating System
Dual Boiler System
Interface
Touchscreen Screen
LCD Screen & Buttons
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
2.5 liter/None
Pump Pressure
15 bars
15 bars
Built-in Grinder
Stainless Steel Conical Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
30
Pre-Infusion
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Yes (Optional)
Milk Frothing System
Panarello-Style Steam Wand
Manual Frothing System
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
What I Like
Price
$999.95
$1,599.95
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine, 67 fluid ounces, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES880BSS
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
$999.95
More Info
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Image
Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso Machine,84 oz, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Dual Boiler
Dimensions/Weight
16.3 x 15 x 15 inches/30 lbs
Heating System
Dual Boiler System
Interface
LCD Screen & Buttons
One Touch Drink Options
2
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/4 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
2.5 liter/None
Pump Pressure
15 bars
Built-in Grinder
Grinding Settings
Pre-Infusion
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Milk Frothing System
Manual Frothing System
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
What I Like
Price
$1,599.95
More Info

Last update on 2024-03-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Breville Barista Touch Vs Dual Boiler: Differences

The Breville Barista Touch wins 4-1 against the Dual Boiler. Keep reading for more information.

Coffee Flavour

Winner: Breville Barista Touch

Built-in Grinder

Any coffee aficionado knows that a top-notch grinder is nearly as important as the espresso machine itself. The Barista Touch boasts a built-in stainless steel conical burr grinder, while the Dual Boiler has no grinder, requiring an extra investment in both money and space for a separate grinder. By the way, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro is also good enough to go with it.

breville dual boiler requires a separate grinder
Breville Dual Boiler requires a separate grinder

In the espresso universe, the burr grinder is always your best bet. Why? It outperforms its blade counterpart in terms of providing a consistent, uniform grind size, which is a key ingredient in the recipe for an exquisite cup of espresso. Even better, the conical shape dampens noise during grinding. Who wants to start their day with a cup of coffee and lots of harsh criticism? Certainly not me!

I’ve loved that the Barista Touch offers up to 30 different grind settings to pick from, giving you plenty of room to play around with grind size. Interestingly, it’s not even the Breville machine with the most grind settings yet. That title goes to the Oracle Touch, with a whopping 45 grind-size options.

the breville barista touch offers up to 30 different grind settings
The Breville Barista Touch offers up to 30 different grind settings

The Barista Touch uses a 54-millimeter stainless steel portafilter that can hold a total double shot dose of 18 to 20 grams, while the Dual Boiler comes with a commercial-grade 58 stainless steel portafilter that claims to get 22 grams of dose. In addition, you will get four filter baskets with both, including pressurized and non-pressurized versions for single and double shots.

breville barista touch vs dual boiler’s portafilters
Breville Barista Touch vs Dual Boiler’s portafilters

Both come with a tamper, which can be attached to the machine for on-board storage via a magnet. But while the Barista Touch uses a stainless steel tamper, the Dual Boiler let me down with a flimsy plastic tamper.  I didn’t know why, but such a commercial machine deserves to be packed with something much better than this substandard tamper. So, if you go for this one, upgrading to a stainless steel tamper will swiftly climb your priority list.

Heating System

The Breville Barista Touch is a single-boiler machine, so you can’t brew espresso and use the steam wand simultaneously. But this isn’t a massive deal since this one uses a ThermoJet fast-heating system that only takes 3 seconds to heat up. So, when compared to many other machines with older heating technology, it will actually be considerably quicker.

The ThermoJet technology is great, but its Achilles’ heel is that it doesn’t heat up the portafilter. So you’ll need to do it yourself by pulling a blank shot (pulling a shot without the coffee puck) or just dipping the portafilter into a cup of hot water. This not only heats the portafilter but also cleans it again to ensure no old coffee grounds or oils affect the taste of the main shot.

On the flip side, the Dual Boiler, as its name implies, has two stainless steel boilers for multi-tasking: one for brewing espresso and another for steaming milk. Even better, each boiler is calibrated for the ideal temperature range for its respective task, ensuring that there is no cross-contamination. This means the water used for brewing is at the ideal espresso extraction temperature, while the steam for frothing milk is also at its most effective.

Both have a built-in cup warming tray on top, but it is much larger on the Breville Dual Boiler because of the lack of the bean hopper and integrated grinder. This is a welcome addition since pouring a shot into a pre-warmed cup ensures that the brew maintains its ideal temperature.

the breville dual boiler has a large cup warmer
The Breville Dual Boiler has a large cup warmer

Brewing System

They both have the pre-infusion feature, which is common in Breville’s line of espresso machines. This pre-brew stage allows the coffee grounds to be exposed to water and bloom before the full extraction process kicks in and reduces channeling, which would lead to poor extraction and a subpar shot.

The Breville Dual Boiler’s full pre-infusion cycle takes up to 60 seconds, which is significantly longer than the Barista Touch (10 seconds) and many other espresso machines on the market. This extended interval ensures that the grounds have time to fully expand, resulting in a shot with better flavor and aroma. As an added bonus, the Dual Boiler offers the ability to customize the duration of this low-pressure phase, a feature the Barista Touch lacks.

Equipped with a robust 15-bar Italian pump, both machines are more than capable of delivering the ideal pressure for an immaculate shot—especially considering 9 bars are often cited as the optimal pressure for espresso extraction. My tests showed that they produced high-quality espressos that rivaled what you might find at a neighborhood café. They didn’t have a burnt or dull taste while being crowned with a beautiful golden crema.

Milk Frothing System

These Brevilles are wand-equipped machines. The Barista Touch features an automated frothing wand, whereas the Dual Boiler offers a manual version. So, despite their similar looks, the two machines provide different frothing experiences.

breville barista touch vs dual boiler's steam wands
Breville Barista Touch vs Dual Boiler’s steam wands

The Breville Barista Touch’s auto-frothing wand works the same way as a Pannarello wand, but it’s not “fat” at all. I mean, all you need to do is fill the milk pitcher, put it in position, and then the wand will take care of all the hard work for you.

A noteworthy upgrade to the Barista Touch is its ability to pre-set your desired milk froth temperature. A built-in temperature sensor on the drip tray then monitors the milk’s heat and stops the frothing process once it reaches your pre-set temperature. Oh, this wand will purge itself when you put it back in position after frothing.

The Breville Barista Touch has a built-in temperature sensor
The Breville Barista Touch has a built-in temperature sensor

I must admit, I was skeptical about this auto-frothing wand at first, but the superb quality of the milk froth quickly put a smile on my face. But if you have aspirations of earning the “latte artist” title, you’ll likely want to switch to a manual wand, like the one on the Dual Boiler, and practice to master it.

On the other hand, the Dual Boiler features a professional-grade steam wand with a 3-hole tip. Unlike the automatic frothing wand on the Barista Touch, this one is all about giving your inner barista room to spread their wings and froth milk the old-fashioned way. If you are used to commercial machines, you might initially find the steam wand a bit on the slow side when it comes to milk texturing. But this lack of pressure can be a blessing in disguise, making it more forgiving and easier to steam milk to the desired texture.

the manual steam wand on the dual boiler
The manual steam wand on the Dual Boiler

Well, I guess milk frothing can initially seem like an intimidating task for those new to the world of home espresso, but it’s also one of the most rewarding skills to master.  And once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to effortlessly produce perfectly steamed milk for any milk-based drink, be it a creamy cappuccino or a velvety latte. Not to mention, it can make the process of making milk-based drinks much more engaging and satisfying.

A great thing about these steam wands is their 360° rotation capability, which makes the task of positioning your milk pitcher virtually hassle-free, as opposed to ones that are limited to two-directional movement. What’s more, kudos to Breville for including a milk pitcher in the package, something that is conspicuously absent in Jura’s offering.

Design & Usability

Winner: Breville Barista Touch

Dimensions, Footprint, & Weight

Breville Barista TouchBreville Dual Boiler
Dimensions16 x 12.5 x 12.7 inches16.3 x 15 x 15 inches
Weight26.8 lbs30 lbs

These machines come from a brand that focuses on high build quality. So, even though I think they still look good in either classic or modern kitchens, they might fall short of your expectations if your taste leans toward the ultra-modern “spaceship” styles. In return, these Baristas are built to last, and no part of them feels “cheap.” Additionally, both models come equipped with a two-year warranty for added peace of mind.

True to its name, the Breville Barista Touch comes equipped with a color touchscreen and is Breville’s debut in the “touch” category. This is a significant step up from the user interface of the older non-touch machine, both in terms of visual elegance and ease of operation. You won’t find yourself constantly flipping back to the user manual to figure things out or memorize various button combinations.

On the other hand, like the Barista Express, the Dual Boiler’s control panel is straightforward, with a bunch of function knobs and a huge pressure gauge, allowing you to keep an eye on vital information about how the extraction is performing to help you achieve the best results. The LCD screen on the left side is a valuable addition as well since it shows information about your espresso shot in real-time.

breville barista touch vs dual boiler’s control panels
Breville Barista Touch vs Dual Boiler’s control panels

My only gripe is that they are quite heavy, especially the Breville Dual Boiler. Plus, its substantial dimensions, compounded by the space needed for a grinder separately, can make it a challenge to find the ideal spot on your countertop, likely requiring a bit of rearranging.

Pre-programmed Coffee Options

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

Both are highly customizable machines. Seriously, they allow you to adjust almost any preparation parameter you can think of regarding espresso extraction, such as the grind size, the espresso strength (how many grounds are in a coffee puck), the pre-infusion time, the length of a shot, and the brewing temperature. The Barista Touch goes above and beyond by allowing you to set your desired milk foam temperature and frothiness.

Both have a dedicated hot water spigot for making Americanos or even brewing tea. This is a great thing since cheaper machines usually have a frothing wand that can act as a hot water tap. You can also use pre-ground coffee when you run out of beans (use the pressurized filter basket).

both have a hot water spout
Both have a hot water spout

Spout & Cup Clearance

Breville Barista TouchBreville Dual Boiler
Spout TypeDualDual
Cup Clearance4 inches4 inches

The room under their portafilters is fixed, but they can still fit most cup sizes, and you should be fine unless you try to brew espresso into a larger insulated mug. Of course, you can get more space by removing their drip trays. You can also prepare two shots of espresso for two cups or a single cup of strong coffee.

both have fixed cup clearance
Both have fixed cup clearance

Water Reservoir & Bean Hopper

Breville Barista TouchBreville Dual Boiler
Water Reservoir2 liter2.5 liter
Bean Hopper0.24 literNone

Their water tanks are very spacious and can hold enough water to serve your entire family without refilling for a day or even several days. Nevertheless, to maintain the quality of your brews, I recommend switching out the water daily, ensuring that you always start your day with a fresh batch. You can also use the included water filter to remove impurities from the water and reduce the need for descaling the machine.

The Dual Boiler also has a top refill door so you can refill its reservoir without accessing it, a very welcome addition to a machine with a rear-positioned tank. You can also monitor its current water level via a window on the front of the unit. As if that’s not enough, a roller bearing system that allows for effortless rotation when you need to remove the water tank.

the water refill door on top of the breville dual boiler
The water refill door on top of the Breville Dual Boiler

Cleaning & Maintenance

Winner: Tie

Admittedly, cleaning an espresso machine isn’t everyone’s idea of excitement. But I still appreciate how easy it is to maintain these Breville machines. So, nothing will justify your laziness.

They have several parts that you can disassemble for emptying or deep cleaning, including the drip tray, the dregs box, and the water reservoir. You can even remove their burr grinder to get rid of oil buildup. To keep the machine’s housing looking spotless, a quick wipe with a damp cloth and subsequent drying will do the trick. Don’t overlook the importance of flushing the group head and portafilter with a blank shot to get rid of any residual coffee grounds or buildup after each brew.

Speaking of descaling the machine, you need to use the Breville descaler and follow the instructions carefully to run an automatic descaling cycle through the machine. This will remove any mineral buildup and improve the quality of each shot. This will not only clear out any mineral buildup but also optimize the quality of each espresso shot.

Regarding cleaning the milk system, the Barista Touch’s wand will flush itself after each use, whereas the Dual Boiler’s wand requires flipping the steam lever. Don’t forget to give them a quick wipe with a damp cloth.

the barista touch's wand automatically flush steam itself
The Barista Touch’s wand automatically flushes steam itself

Utilities & Other Features

Winner: Breville Barista Touch

User Profile

These Brevilles don’t have this nifty feature, but the Barista Touch compensates by offering the capacity to save up to eight customized recipes. What’s more, you can personalize these presets with unique icons and names.

the breville barista touch allows you to save up to 8 different recipes
The Breville Barista Touch allows you to save up to 8 different recipes

Auto Off

The Breville Barista Touch vs Dual Boiler will automatically switch off after 30 and 20 minutes, respectively. While this is advantageous for both energy conservation and prolonging the machine’s lifespan, the lack of an option to customize the idle period is a slight drawback.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Barista Touch

Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine, 67 fluid ounces, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES880BSS
  • 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 2024-03-02 / 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 Dual Boiler

Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso Machine,84 oz, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • Please refer to user guide or user manual or user guide (provided below in PDF) before first use

Last update on 2024-03-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Two boilers for multitasking.
  • Has a large cup warming tray.
  • Has various adjustable settings.
  • Has a large and easy-to-refill water tank.
  • The manual wand is ideal for latte art.
Cons
  • No built-in grinder.
  • Bulky and heavy.

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