Breville Cafe Roma vs Barista Express – What Is the Best Espresso Machine?

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Now Breville is a brand that always comes up when talking about the best coffee machines. And in the popular category of espresso machines, you have this mainstream debate between Breville Cafe Roma vs Barista Express.

Time to compare the two, so your at-home espresso can taste even creamier!

Let’s take each crucial or deciding factor and then compare Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma and Breville BES870XL Barista Express within those limits…

Quick Comparison

Image
The Winner (#1)
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
The Runner-up (#2)
Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Stainless Espresso Maker
Model
Breville Barista Express BES870XL
Breville Cafe Roma
Dimensions
12.5 x 12.6 x 13.1 Inches
9.25 x 9 x 11.75 inches
Capacity
1.9 Liters
1.2 Liters
Material
Steel
Stainless Steel
Color
Stainless Steel
Brushed Stainless Steel
Weight
23 Pounds
13 Pounds
Heating System
1600W Thermocoil–Integrated
1000W Thermoblock
Power
1600 Watts
1000 Watts
Warranty
1 Year Limited Product Warranty
1 Year Limited Product Warranty
Pre Infusion Function
Purge Function
Dose Control Grinding
Precise Espresso Extraction
Built-In Grinder
Compact Footprint
Hands-Free Operation
What I Like
Price
$557.00
$234.49
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
Heating System
1600W Thermocoil–Integrated
Power
1600 Watts
Warranty
1 Year Limited Product Warranty
Pre Infusion Function
Purge Function
Dose Control Grinding
Precise Espresso Extraction
Built-In Grinder
Compact Footprint
Hands-Free Operation
What I Like
Price
$557.00
More Info
The Runner-up (#2)
Image
Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Stainless Espresso Maker
Model
Breville Cafe Roma
Dimensions
9.25 x 9 x 11.75 inches
Capacity
1.2 Liters
Material
Stainless Steel
Color
Brushed Stainless Steel
Weight
13 Pounds
Heating System
1000W Thermoblock
Power
1000 Watts
Warranty
1 Year Limited Product Warranty
Pre Infusion Function
Purge Function
Dose Control Grinding
Precise Espresso Extraction
Built-In Grinder
Compact Footprint
Hands-Free Operation
What I Like
Price
$234.49
More Info

Last update on 2022-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Breville Cafe Roma vs Barista Express: Detailed Comparison

Brewing Performance

Now you should know that Cafe Roma is a much more affordable unit than Barista Express. Even so, the former gives you a reasonable quantity of espresso shot for the price point.

Needless to say, the subtle crema and flavor nuances often a part of thousand-dollar espresso makers cannot be expected with Cafe Roma (since it’s priced below $200). But, at the same time, there’s no weak-tasting espresso here.

That’s because Cafe Roma features a full 15-bar pressure while the other Breville uses only 9-bar pressure for the extraction process. But both give you single-shot and double-shot filters for crema and consistency.

But with Barista Express, you also get custom controls. Such as Dose-Control Grinding in the form of a built-in conical burr grinder and Grind Size Dial that works with every type of coffee bean. So that explains the comparatively higher price tag of this particular model.

Build Quality

Build quality is one of the most common grounds between the two Breville-made espresso makers. For example, both machines are durable, corrosion-resistant stainless steel units. Obviously, Cafe Roma has the upper hand here because it exudes such remarkable quality at such an affordable price.

This same machine also has a smaller, thus more compact footprint. That’s 9 inches x 9 inches x 12 inches, as opposed to Barista Express dimensions of 12 inches x 13 inches x 13 inches. So if your kitchen countertop space is limited, you know the former is a more suitable choice.

And both offer a 1-year limited warranty, just thought you should know.

Milk Frothing

Can both also prepare delicious cappuccinos and lattes? Well, yes of course. All thanks to the standard steam wand that comes well-equipped with a froth enhancer.

In both cases, you have to learn to froth the milk since both machines aren’t automatic, which means it can be challenging for beginners but there is a learning curve. Nevertheless, the process of frothing milk certainly becomes much easier because of the inclusion of the stainless steel 360-degree steam wand. With it, you get the perfect angle for the steaming pitcher.

On top of that, the infuser, in both Cafe Roma and Barista Express, doesn’t disappoint. Be it for preparing latte-quality silky microfoam or cappuccino-style milk froth.

Cleaning

It just doesn’t make sense if you’re going to end up wasting your time cleaning the coffee maker after every brewing cycle, right?

Fortunately, that’s something you don’t need to worry about with Cafe Roma or Barista Express. Thanks to the simple design of both machines and their stainless steel construction. Along with the removable water tank, which has a  large capacity for less frequent re-filling.

Needless to say, Barista Express does require a little extra cleaning since it’s outfitted with a burr grinder as well. But for cleaning that, just take out the bean container with a twist to reach and remove the burrs.

And lastly, both drip trays are removable for easy cleaning. But with Cafe Roma, sadly, there’s no warning light to alert you each time the tray becomes full. Barista Express, on the other hand, gives you the added advantage. But then that’s because the drip tray here is prone to creating more mess because the machine also features a grinder that often gets some coffee grounds into the tray.

Quick Rundown of Breville Barista Express

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 2022-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Stainless steel espresso machine with built-in burr grinder
  • Reasonable 9-bar pressure for extraction
  • Single-shot and double-shot filters
  • Simple, intuitive Grind Size dial
  • Powerful steam wand for latte art
  • Removable water tank and drip tray (with cleaning indicator)
Cons
  • Cleaning takes more effort due to the integrated grinder
  • Only 9-bar pressure, unlike Cafe Roma’s 15-bar pressure

Quick Rundown of Breville Cafe Roma

Sale
Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Stainless Espresso Maker
  • Stainless-steel espresso machine with 15-bar thermoblock pump
  • Dual-wall filter system for excellent crema; froth enhancer, cup-warming plate
  • Accesories: Stainless steel frothing pitcher Tamping tool/measuring spoon/cleaning tool
  • Removable drip tray and grid; Frothing jug included
  • Measures 9 x 9 x 12 inches; 1-year limited warranty

Last update on 2022-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • More compact stainless steel espresso machine
  • Very high 15-bar thermoblock pressure
  • Single-shot and double-shot filters
  • Adjustable steam wand with easy-control finger looper
  • Removable water tank and drip tray, thus quick, easy cleaning
Cons
  • Since it’s budget-friendly, no advanced or fancy features

Product Videos

Final Verdict

Go ahead and buy Breville EXP8XL Cafe Roma Espresso Maker if you want an entry-level espresso machine that’s downright straightforward to use. Plus, it has a higher 15-bar pressure for extraction.

As for Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine, it’s the best for espresso brewing geeks who want to have it all. This includes an expresso coffee maker with an integrated burr grinder.

No denying that both espresso machines rank among the top choices. It’s just that one, which is Cafe Roma, is a more budget-friendly pick. While the other, Barista Express, offers more advanced features.

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