Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus Vs Barista Express – Which Machine Is Suitable For You?

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In this post, I’ll compare two of the most popular products: the Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus vs Barista Express. Let’s go over the key features of each machine and compare them side-by-side to help you decide which one is right for you.

The Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus is easier to use than its rival. It has a faster heat-up time and is easier to program the drink according to your preferences. It also has adjustable milk temperature and automatic milk texturing. So you don’t need much experience to have a nice milk-based espresso drink. If you’re looking for a small machine with easy-to-use automated features, this Breville Creatista Plus is for you.

The Breville Barista Express is one of the best semi-automatic bean-to-cup espresso machines. It has an integrated grinder with many grind settings. Its PID temperature control effectively helps to keep the water temperature consistent. Its pressure gauge is a nice feature to help you pull flavorful and consistent espresso shots. The Barista Express is a great espresso machine for someone who enjoys manually making espresso cups daily.

Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus vs Barista Express: Comparison Chart

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
Nespresso Creatista Plus Espresso Machine by Breville, Brushed Stainless Steel
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine BES870XL, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Nespresso Creatista Plus BNE800BSS
Breville Barista Express BES870
Material
Stainless Steel
Brushed Stainless Steel
Dimensions
8.9 x 18.7 x 15.7 Inches
12.5 x 13.8 x 15.9 Inches
Weight
11.4 Pounds
23 Pounds
Power / Voltage
1300-1600W / 220-240V
1600W / 110–120V
Water Tank Capacity
50 Ounces
67 Ounces
Heating System
ThermoJet
Thermocoil + PID
Interface
TFT LCD Display
Buttons & Analog
Automatic Milk Texturing
Adjustable Milk Temperature
Bar Pump System
19 bars
15 bars
Programmable Drinks
Removable Drip Tray
Auto-Purge
3 Second Heat-Up Time
Automatic Shut-Off
What I Like
Price
$599.95
$549.95
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
Nespresso Creatista Plus Espresso Machine by Breville, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Nespresso Creatista Plus BNE800BSS
Material
Stainless Steel
Dimensions
8.9 x 18.7 x 15.7 Inches
Weight
11.4 Pounds
Power / Voltage
1300-1600W / 220-240V
Water Tank Capacity
50 Ounces
Heating System
ThermoJet
Interface
TFT LCD Display
Automatic Milk Texturing
Adjustable Milk Temperature
Bar Pump System
19 bars
Programmable Drinks
Removable Drip Tray
Auto-Purge
3 Second Heat-Up Time
Automatic Shut-Off
What I Like
Price
$599.95
More Info
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Image
Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine BES870XL, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Barista Express BES870
Material
Brushed Stainless Steel
Dimensions
12.5 x 13.8 x 15.9 Inches
Weight
23 Pounds
Power / Voltage
1600W / 110–120V
Water Tank Capacity
67 Ounces
Heating System
Thermocoil + PID
Interface
Buttons & Analog
Automatic Milk Texturing
Adjustable Milk Temperature
Bar Pump System
15 bars
Programmable Drinks
Removable Drip Tray
Auto-Purge
3 Second Heat-Up Time
Automatic Shut-Off
What I Like
Price
$549.95
More Info

Last update on 2024-07-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus vs Barista Express: Differences

The Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus wins 2-1 against the Barista Express due to its auto milk frothing convenience and compact design. Meanwhile, the Barista Express is relatively better at keeping consistent water temperature. They tie in the utilities and maintenance aspects.

Coffee flavor & Brewing system

Winner: Breville Barista Express

Coffee input & Grinder

There are various types of pods used for Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus
There are various types of pods used for Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus

The Breville Barista Express and Nespresso Creatista Plus are different in the coffee input. The Nespresso Creatista Plus uses espresso pods or capsules for making espresso drinks. It comes with a tasting box with 14 different capsules for you to try to find the right flavors before ordering. No more grinding beans, measuring, and tamping; just simply put a pod into the machine, press a button, and then get a good beverage to enjoy.

Meanwhile, the Barista Express is a bean-to-cup espresso machine. It allows me to take advantage of the beans’ quality. So, I believe that this machine would be a common choice for many people who want to enjoy the intense flavor of coffee and desire to experience the feeling of being a barista.

The Barista Express is equipped with a conical burr grinder to turn coffee beans into fine particles, ready to dial in your espresso. Its grinder works fine for me because it provides up to 16 grind settings for the right coffee particle size and amount. The grind size that I’ve been working on is 5, as this level results in the full-bodied espresso that suits my taste.

Apparently, the Barista Express requires more actions to get the right coffee input for brewing than the Creatista Plus. But if you have time and patience, the reward is well worth it.

The grind size and amount settings on Barista Express
The grind size and amount settings on Barista Express

Heating system

The heating systems of the Creatista Plus and Barista Express are quite different. Both of them use the thermocoil single-boiler for faster heat-up time than the thermoblock type. However, the Creatista Plus is equipped with ThermoJet technology, while the Barista Express has an integrated PID temperature control.

The differences here are that the ThermoJet enables the machine to heat up in 3 seconds. Meanwhile, the PID control keeps the water temperature consistent during the extraction process, preserving the flavor and quality of the espresso shots.

In fact, the Creatista Plus did reach the optimal temperature in less than 5 seconds. Thus, I can likely brew my espresso right after turning on the machine. However, it took 10-ish minutes for the Barista Express to get to the optimal temperature for brewing a good shot.

Despite the slower heat-up time, the PID control makes the Barista Express outperform the Creatista Plus, in my opinion. When using the Barista Express to pull an espresso shot after shot, I still get the right hotness for every cup. Besides, I can adjust the water temperature of the Barista Express within ±4oF.

On the other hand, the espresso cups made by the Creatista are sometimes tepid. I guess I did something wrong, so the hotness is not as expected, but I’ve not figured out the variable. Therefore, I’m more on the side of the Barista Express at this point.

Brewing performance

The brewing processes of the Breville Barista Express and Creatista Plus are different, but the overall extraction quality is good. Regarding the Creatista Plus, its pump pressure is 19 bar, which the brand claims to deliver the 9-ish bar extraction. So, I believe that it is true because the pulled espresso shot has good taste and color.

The Barista Express, on the other hand, has a pre-infusion feature, which is an essential factor in extracting the best flavor for the shot. Additionally, its 15-bar pump pressure can deliver a precise 9-bar extraction for a nice espresso crema and body.

Comparing the espresso flavor, I would lean over the Barista Express. I know the taste is different from other to other, but in my reference, the espresso shots made by the Barista Express are more balanced and richer with a great body and honey-colored crema on the top. This can vary depending on selected beans and other factors like the grind size and amount, and pressure. Thus, dialing in a perfect shot with the Barista Express requires a bit of a deeper learning curve.

A double-shot cup pulled by the Barista Express
A double-shot cup pulled by the Barista Express

Meanwhile, using the Creatista Plus is simpler to get a good shot. I just need to choose the capsule flavor I want to try, put it in the machine, select the drink recipes and customize it to my preference and press the button to start the brewing. 

At first, when I did not play around with the drink settings, the espresso from the Creatista Plus was a bit watered down. After adjusting the settings, the shot tasted stronger, a bit woody, and spicy. However, its flavor is lighter, and the crema is thinner and not consistent between cups, compared to the espresso shots pulled from the Barista Express.

Double-shot cup made by Creatista Plus using 2 espresso capsules
Double-shot cup made by Creatista Plus using 2 espresso capsules

Design & Convenience

Winner: Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus

Drink options & Programmability

Regarding the ease of programmability, I definitely go for the Creatista Plus. It has many drink options that are easy to customize with a touch of a button. The Barista Express is also simple to change the settings from automated to manual processes. Thus, it requires more skills and experience to get the best espresso pulls.

  • Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus

Specifically, the Creatista Plus provides you with 6 espresso recipes, including Ristretto, Espresso, Lungo, Caffe Latte, Cappuccino, and Latte Macchiato. This machine can also let you program 3 cup sizes: 0.84 oz for Ristretto, 1.34 oz for Espresso, and 3.72 oz for Lungo.

The Creatista Plus lets me customize more than 6 drink presets by adjusting the espresso level and the milk texture. Well, it takes me a few tries to find my perfect drink settings. But after that, I can enjoy a quick espresso drink in one minute – from turning on the machine to sealing my travel mug.

The only drawback, which is probably for me, is that I can’t set my drink to a double shot. Most coffeehouse drinks have at least two shots, and that’s what I like in my morning drink. But the pre-defined drink options seem to use one shot of espresso. However, I can get my “double-shot” by using 2 espresso capsules and selecting the espresso setting twice.

You can change the milk temperature and texture on the Creatista Plus
You can change the milk temperature and texture on the Creatista Plus
  • Breville Barista Express

The Barista Express is simple to operate but requires more time to get used to and pull the good espresso shot. So, if you are looking for an espresso machine that is convenient and fast, the Barista Express is not an ideal option. In this case, you might prefer the Creatista Plus instead.

Regarding the drink options, I can get a double-shot espresso in my cup with the Barista Express. Besides, I can easily switch between automated and manual shot control, depending on my need.

I love that the machine allows me to decide how many coffee grinds I want in the portafilter. I can also stop the brewing whenever I want and have an espresso shot that best match with my preference.

You can switch between automated and manual controls when using Breville Barista Express
You can switch between automated and manual controls when using Breville Barista Express

Capacity & Dimension

The Barista Express has a larger water reservoir, which holds about 67 fl.oz (~1.9 L). Meanwhile, the water tank’s capacity of the Creatista Plus is 50 fl.oz (~1.4 L), a bit smaller. Along with such a big water reservoir, the Barista Express has a huge footprint that is nearly double the size of the Creatista Plus. 

The Barista Express definitely takes some counter space. My estimation is that the machine and all the necessities take up at least 35 inches of your counter width. If your counter space is narrower than that, you should consider a smaller one, such as the Breville Creatista Plus or the semi-automatic Breville Bambino Plus.

Pressure gauge & hot water spout

These two features set the Barista Express apart. The pressure gauge lets me track the extraction pressure so I can know whether the espresso is under- or over-extracted. Therefore, I can adjust the grind size setting and the amount of coffee ground in the portafilter. This can speed up the learning process for a novice.

Additionally, the hot water spout is useful for making a long black or americano using the Barista Express. I also use the hot water from this spout to warm my cup before starting the brewing. On the other hand, this feature is not really necessary for the Creatista Plus because I can make my americano with normal pods and the lungo setting on the machine.

Pressure gauge and hot water spout of the Barista Express
Pressure gauge and hot water spout of the Barista Express

Milk system

Winner: Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus

Steaming

The milk steaming operation of the Barista Express is quite slow. It takes about 2-3 minutes for the milk to get to the right temperature and frothed texture. Meanwhile, the Creatista Plus steams and froths milk faster, about 30 seconds faster.

Besides, the Creatista Plus has an automatic milk steaming function with adjustable 8 texturing levels and 11 milk temperatures. So, you can make good milk froth even without knowing essential frothing techniques.

However, the milk wand’s movement of the Creatista Plus is quite limited, maybe because its steaming function is automatic. I can just lift it up and down in one direction. But it is not the case with the steam wand of the Barista Express. With 360-degree rotation, it will support you in aerating the milk to get a nice microform.

The Barista Express does not have an automatic milk steaming function. This means you have to froth your milk manually. Getting a perfect hand-crafted milk froth texture is a journey, but it’s fun and rewarding, so enjoy it!

Though both machines have different milk steaming mechanism, the texture and quality is quite similar. They produce frothy and delicious foam, even with non-dairy milk like coconut, almond, and oat. Besides, I’ve read that many people complain that steamed milk is not hot enough, but I haven’t encountered this issue.

Prepare to steam milk with Breville Barista Express
Prepare to steam milk with Breville Barista Express

Auto purge

Both of them have the auto-purge feature, which I appreciate for the single-boiler espresso machine. As the steaming temperature and brewing temperature are different, the auto-purge function helps the boiler cool down quickly to be ready for brewing the next espresso shot. 

In particular, their steam wands automatically release the excess water into the drip tray after the milk steaming or frothing process finishes. This feature is also good for removing milk residues on the tip of the wands, reducing the change of clogging efficiently.

Cleaning & Maintenance

Tie!

The cleaning and descaling cycles of the Breville Creatista Plus and Barista Express are easy to perform. They also tell you when to descale. Specifically, the Barista Express has a cleaning/descaling indicator, while the Creatista Plus shows the descaling alerts on the display screen.

Besides, the Barista Express includes a water filter for its water reservoir. The filtered water not only helps improve the espresso flavor but also reduces the descaling times.

Meanwhile, the Creatista Plus has a test kit for you to determine the water hardness level so you can change this setting on your machine. In this way, the machine can prompt the descaling alert on time to ensure the machine is functioning well.

Descaling indicator and alert on Barista Express (left) and Creatista Plus (right)
Descaling indicator and alert on Barista Express (left) and Creatista Plus (right)

Utilities

Tie!

The Barista Express and Creatista Plus both have the auto-off mode, which is useful for saving energy. Particularly, the Creatista Plus turns off automatically after 10 minutes of no use. Meanwhile, the Barista Express shuts off after 3 hours from the last interaction.

Additionally, the Creatista Plus machine has a little pop-out cup tray under the capsule container, which helps reduce the splashing when I use my short espresso cups. Meanwhile, the Barista Express has some attachments that help the brewing process more neatly, including a dosing funnel, a warming plate, and a storing tray.

With the Barista Express dosing funnel, you can avoid making a mess with the coffee grinds. Particularly, it prevents the portafilter from overflowing when you grind the beans. You don’t need to take off the funnel when you tamp the grinds; just press down with the right amount of force. Then, you can remove the funnel and brew your coffee with minimal spillage. 

The warming plate next to the grinder can help warm the cups up for a better espresso taste. Though I often warm the cup using the hot water from the hot-water spout of the machine, I still find this feature useful in some way. Besides, the storage tray of the Barista Express is located behind the removable drip tray. It is very convenient for me to store unused filter baskets, cleaning tablets, and other included accessories.

Dosing and tamping the coffee grinds with no mess using the dosing funnel
Dosing and tamping the coffee grinds with no mess using the dosing funnel

Quick Rundown Of Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus

Sale
Nespresso Creatista Plus Espresso Machine by Breville, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • Please refer to user guide or user manual or user guide (provided below in PDF) before first use

Last update on 2024-07-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • A variety of programmable functions for coffee and milk
  • Easy and convenient to use
  • A 10-minute automatic shut-off feature is included
  • Heat-up time of less than a minute and high pressure
  • Durable stainless steel finish that’s BPA-free
Cons
  • Nespresso capsules are costly

Quick Rundown Of Breville Barista Express BES870

Sale
Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine BES870XL, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • Earn up to 200 cashback with a Beanz coffee subscription when you purchase a selected Breville espresso machine. Visit earn-cashback.breville.com purchase to claim. Valid Aug 1, 2023 until Jun 30, 2024
  • 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, helping you make the perfect cup of Cappuccino or Latte
  • 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

Last update on 2024-07-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Authentic, barista-grade coffee-making experience
  • User-friendly and intuitive design
  • It features both automatic and manual features
  • All the important accessories included
Cons
  • The coffee filters are expensive and hard to find
  • Smaller water tank needs to be refilled often

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