When it comes to choosing a high-quality espresso machine for your home, Breville is a brand that often comes to mind. Two popular models from their lineup are the Breville Barista Pro and the Breville Barista Express.
Below we will compare these two machines in detail, highlighting their specifications, features, and differences. So, let's dive in and see how the Barista Pro and the Barista Express stack up against each other.
Design and Build Quality
Both the Breville Barista Pro and the Breville Barista Express boast a sleek and stylish design that will elevate the aesthetic appeal of any kitchen. They are constructed with durable materials, ensuring longevity and reliability. The Barista Pro offers a more compact footprint compared to the Barista Express, making it suitable for smaller kitchen spaces (more on that later).
One notable difference between the two machines is the built-in grinder. The Breville Barista Pro comes with a more advanced and precise grinder, featuring Digital Temperature Control (DTC) technology. This technology ensures that the grinding process is consistent, resulting in optimal flavor extraction.
On the other hand, the Breville Barista Express also has a built-in grinder but lacks the DTC technology found in the Barista Pro.
In terms of control panels, both machines offer intuitive and user-friendly interfaces. The Barista Pro features a clear and informative LCD screen that provides real-time feedback, allowing you to monitor the brewing process with ease.
The Barista Express, while not having an LCD screen, offers dedicated control knobs and buttons for selecting various brewing options.
When it comes to brewing capacity, the Barista Pro and the Barista Express are quite similar. Both machines come with a 67-ounce water reservoir, allowing you to brew multiple shots of espresso without frequent refills.
They also feature a 54-millimeter portafilter and single or double shot options, enabling you to customize the strength and size of your espresso.
The Breville Barista Pro and the Barista Express offer several additional features to enhance your espresso-making experience. Both machines have a steam wand for frothing milk and creating creamy, velvety microfoam. They also include a hot water dispenser, which is useful for making Americanos or brewing tea.
Price and Availability
Pricing and availability may vary depending on your location and the retailer (Amazon probably has them both competitively priced - here). Generally, the Breville Barista Pro is priced slightly higher than the Barista Express due to its advanced grinder technology and compact design. However, it's important to consider your specific needs and budget when making a decision.
Breville Barista Pro or Breville Barista Express?
Alright, we have established they are both very capable machines and probably both are very capable of fulfilling your needs. If you are already leaning towards one over the other, know you can't go wrong with either.
Also, I should say that I have extensively reviewed both machines. You can find the reviews below:
But - for the sake of comparing the two fantastic machines - what advantage does one have over the other? Let's take a look!
Advantages of the Breville Barista Pro
The Breville Barista Pro comes with several advantages that make it a top choice for espresso enthusiasts. One significant advantage is its advanced grinder technology.
Equipped with Digital Temperature Control (DTC), the Barista Pro's grinder ensures precise and consistent grinding, resulting in optimal flavor extraction from your coffee beans. This technology allows you to achieve a superior level of control over the grind size, enabling you to fine-tune your espresso to perfection.
The Barista Pro's grinder also offers faster and more efficient grinding, reducing the time it takes to prepare your favorite espresso drinks.
Another advantage of the Barista Pro is its compact design. With limited countertop space becoming a common concern in many kitchens, the Barista Pro's smaller footprint is a welcomed feature. Its sleek and space-saving design allows it to fit seamlessly into various kitchen setups without compromising on performance.
Despite its compact size, the Barista Pro retains a generous water reservoir capacity and other essential features, ensuring you have everything you need to create exceptional espresso-based beverages.
Advantages of the Breville Barista Express
Though no real advantages over the Barista Pro, the Breville Barista Express offers a range of advantages over traditional expresso machines, which makes it a popular choice among espresso enthusiasts. Especially among those who are new to home espresso brewing.
One key advantage is its built-in grinder. The Barista Express simplifies the espresso-making process by eliminating the need for a separate grinder, saving you both space and money. With its integrated conical burr grinder, you can grind your coffee beans fresh for each cup, ensuring maximum flavor and aroma in every shot.
Another advantage of the Barista Express is its user-friendly interface. The machine features dedicated control knobs and buttons (no bright screen), making it easy to select the desired grind size, dose, and brewing options. This simplicity allows beginners to quickly understand and navigate the machine's functions, enabling them to learn and master the art of espresso making at their own pace.
The Barista Express also offers helpful indicators and built-in pressure gauges that provide real-time feedback, assisting users in achieving optimal extraction and perfecting their espresso shots.
The Breville Barista Pro and the Breville Barista Express are exceptional espresso machines that deliver remarkable performance and convenience. The Barista Pro shines with its advanced grinder technology and compact size, while the Barista Express stands out with its slightly larger size and beginner-friendly interface.
Whether you prioritize precision and space-saving features or simplicity and affordability, both machines offer outstanding performance and the ability to create barista-quality espresso beverages in the comfort of your home. The choice between these two models ultimately depends on your preferences, budget, and the specific features that matter most to you.
Whichever option you go with, both the Breville Barista Pro and the Breville Barista Express will elevate your coffee experience and bring the delights of a coffee shop to your kitchen.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the main differences between the Breville Barista Pro and the Barista Express?
The Breville Barista Pro and Barista Express are two popular espresso machines with some key differences. The Barista Pro features advanced grinder technology with Digital Temperature Control (DTC), offering precise and consistent grinding for optimal flavor extraction. It also has a more compact design compared to the Barista Express, making it suitable for kitchens with limited countertop space.
On the other hand, the Breville Barista Express too comes with a built-in grinder (though said to be slightly slower). It also has a user-friendly non-techie interface, making it an excellent choice for beginners.
What is the difference between the Breville Barista Pro and the Barista Touch?
The Breville Barista Pro and Barista Touch (not compared here) are both high-quality espresso machines, but they have some notable distinctions. The Barista Pro focuses on providing advanced grinder technology with precise grinding control and a compact design.
In contrast, the Breville Barista Touch offers a more intuitive and interactive experience with its touch screen display. It provides pre-programmed café favorites and the ability to customize your espresso settings, making it ideal for those who value convenience and personalization.
How does the Breville Barista Express compare to the Gaggia Classic Pro?
The Breville Barista Express and the Gaggia Classic Pro (not compared here) are two popular espresso machines, each with its own strengths. The Barista Express features a built-in grinder, allowing you to grind fresh coffee beans for each cup. It also offers a user-friendly interface and intuitive controls.
On the other hand, the Gaggia Classic Pro is known for its traditional design and excellent steam power, making it a favorite among espresso purists who enjoy manual milk frothing.
Ultimately, the choice between these machines depends on your preferences for built-in grinders, user-friendliness, and milk frothing capabilities.
How do I clean and descale my Breville Barista Express?
Cleaning and descaling your Breville Barista Express is essential to maintain its performance and longevity. To clean the machine, regularly remove and rinse the portafilter, filter basket, and steam wand after each use.
You can also run a cleaning cycle with a cleaning tablet to remove any built-up coffee residues.
Descaling is necessary to remove mineral deposits from the internal components. Breville provides detailed instructions in the machine's manual on how to perform descaling using their recommended descaling solution.
What are the best grind settings for the Breville Barista Express?
The optimal grind settings for the Breville Barista Express may vary depending on the type of coffee beans and personal taste preferences. It is generally recommended to start with a medium-fine grind size and make adjustments from there. If the espresso flows too quickly and tastes weak, try a finer grind. If the espresso flows too slowly or clogs, adjust to a coarser grind.
It's a process of dialing in the grind size to achieve the desired extraction time and flavor profile. Experimenting with different grind sizes and making small adjustments will help you find the perfect setting for your espresso shots.
Can I use pre-ground coffee with the Breville Barista Express?
Yes, the Breville Barista Express allows you to use pre-ground coffee. Simply bypass the grinder by selecting the "Bypass Dosing" option on the machine's control panel.
This feature is useful if you want to use a different type of coffee or if you have pre-ground coffee available.
Does the Breville Barista Pro come with a milk frother?
Yes, the Breville Barista Pro comes with a dedicated steam wand that allows you to froth milk for creating lattes, cappuccinos, and other milk-based beverages. The steam wand provides excellent control and versatility, allowing you to achieve the desired milk texture and temperature.
How long does it take for the Breville Barista Express to heat up?
The Breville Barista Express typically takes around 30-60 seconds to heat up, depending on the starting temperature and your desired temperature settings. The machine features a thermocoil heating system that ensures quick and consistent heating for optimal espresso extraction.
Can I adjust the water temperature on the Breville Barista Pro?
Yes, the Breville Barista Pro offers precise temperature control. It features Digital Temperature Control (DTC), allowing you to adjust the water temperature to suit your preferences and the type of coffee you are using.
The ability to control the temperature ensures that you can achieve the ideal extraction for a flavorful espresso. Typically the recommended temperature of espresso shot extraction is 200 °F / 93 °C. I'd start there and experiment if needed!
Is the Breville Barista Express suitable for beginners?
Yes, the Breville Barista Express is often recommended for beginners who want to explore the world of espresso making. It offers user-friendly controls, a built-in grinder, and a range of features designed to simplify the espresso brewing process.
The machine also includes helpful tools and accessories, such as single and double filter baskets and a tamper, to assist you in achieving consistent and delicious espresso shots.