Breville Barista Express 870 Vs 875: Are There Any Significant Upgrades?

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The Barista Express is one of the flagship models of Breville’s semi-automatic coffee machine lineup. As always, this model is available in a couple of versions, and in this case, we’re looking at a comparison between the Breville Barista Express 870 vs 875. But a little spoiler: if you are expecting a significant difference or upgrade, you will be disappointed!

The only difference between the old Express 870 and the new Express 875 model is that the latter comes with a temperature-control milk jug that features an integrated thermometer indicator strip. That’s the sole difference, my friends!

That said, both share many features aimed at simplifying the process of consistently producing excellent espresso at home and still offer various manual control options for those who wish to refine their barista skills.

Breville Barista Express 870 Vs 875: Specs & Features Comparison Chart 

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
Sage the Barista Express Espresso Machine, Bean to Cup Coffee Machine with Milk Frother, BES875BKS - Black Sesame
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES870XL, Large
Model
Breville Barista Express 875
Breville Barista Express 870
Dimensions/Weight
12.5 x 12.7 x 16.2 inches /26.4 lbs
12.5 x 12.7 x 16.2 inches /26.4 lbs
Interface
Button-Operated Interface
Button-Operated Interface
One Touch Drink Options
2
2
Built-in Grinder
Stainless Steel Conical Burr Grinder
Stainless Steel Conical Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
18
18
Heating System
Single Thermocoil
Single Thermocoil
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
15 Bars
Pre-Infusion
Milk Frothing System
Manual Steam Wand
Manual Steam Wand
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/4 inches
Dual/4 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
2 L/0.25 Kg
2 L/0.25 Kg
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Yes (Optional)
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
User Profile
What I Like
Price
Price not available
$699.95
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
Sage the Barista Express Espresso Machine, Bean to Cup Coffee Machine with Milk Frother, BES875BKS - Black Sesame
Model
Breville Barista Express 875
Dimensions/Weight
12.5 x 12.7 x 16.2 inches /26.4 lbs
Interface
Button-Operated Interface
One Touch Drink Options
2
Built-in Grinder
Stainless Steel Conical Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
18
Heating System
Single Thermocoil
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
Pre-Infusion
Milk Frothing System
Manual Steam Wand
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/4 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
2 L/0.25 Kg
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
User Profile
What I Like
Price
Price not available
More Info
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Image
Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES870XL, Large
Model
Breville Barista Express 870
Dimensions/Weight
12.5 x 12.7 x 16.2 inches /26.4 lbs
Interface
Button-Operated Interface
One Touch Drink Options
2
Built-in Grinder
Stainless Steel Conical Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
18
Heating System
Single Thermocoil
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
Pre-Infusion
Milk Frothing System
Manual Steam Wand
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/4 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
2 L/0.25 Kg
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
User Profile
What I Like
Price
$699.95
More Info

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

Breville Barista Express 870 Vs 875: Differences

Okay, so you’re aware that the only distinction between these two models is simply the inclusion of a temperature control jug. So, what features does the Barista Express offer that make it a worthwhile choice?

Coffee Flavor & Brewing System

Winner: Breville Barista Express 875

Built-in Grinder 

The Barista Express boasts many admirable features, but its built-in grinder is a standout aspect. This one has a stainless steel conical grinder with 18 settings, so you can wave goodbye to cluttering your kitchen with a separate grinder.  Just load your beans on top, and they’re all crushed and ready to go straight into the portafilter.

the barista express has a stainless steel conical burr grinder with 18 settings
The Barista Express has a stainless steel conical burr grinder with 18 settings

18 settings might not blow your socks off, but remember, the Barista Express is a steal for beginners who are just dipping their toes into the coffee world, so you shouldn’t expect endless options with it.

What’s more, maintaining this grinder is a walk in the park. You don’t need to be a DIY guru to get it apart and clean it. Just remember to keep it away from your dishwasher.

Dosing & Tamping

The Barista Express, in both its versions, boasts a 54mm portafilter paired with a tamper that’s got a solid, high-quality feel to it. The tamper can even be neatly attached to the left side of the machine, which is a big win because no one wants to rummage through their house hunting for this essential yet tiny gadget.

The Barista Express also comes with both single- and dual-wall filter baskets, so you’ve got the freedom to use either freshly ground beans or pre-ground coffee, depending on your mood or what’s in your pantry. You can also even choose between single and double shots. See, Breville really thinks of everything!

the barista express comes with both single- and dual-wall filter baskets
The Barista Express comes with both single- and dual-wall filter baskets

Now the difference between the Express 870 and 875. The 875 version includes a stainless steel milk pitcher that comes with a handy temperature scale. This means you can easily keep an eye on how hot your milk is getting – a nifty feature for perfecting that latte or cappuccino.

the temperature control jug
The temperature control jug

Heating System

The Barista Express is equipped with a thermocoil that is ready to go in 30 seconds. Sure, it might not be the speediest Breville out there, but it’s faster compared to the traditional boiler that takes a sluggish half-hour to heat up.

The Barista Express heats up quickly, but I still suggest giving it a bit more time before diving into your coffee making. Why? So that the group head and portafilter have enough time to get nice and warm. Trust me, it makes a difference in your brew. 

the cup warmer
The cup warmer

The thermocoil system also warms up the top of the machine, creating the perfect spot to preheat your mugs. It’s also a little step that elevates your coffee from good to great.

Brewing System

You probably already know that pre-infusion is a key step in pulling a great espresso shot, and the Barista Express nails it. It gently wets the ground coffee before applying a maximum pressure of 15 bars, letting the carbon dioxide escape and the aromas start to unfold.

Even better, you’re able to adjust the pre-infusion time to suit your taste. The default setting is dialed in at 10 seconds, but if that doesn’t hit the spot for you, you can adjust it in a snap.

Design & Convenience

Winner: Tie

Dimensions & User Interface

Barista Express 870Barista Express 875
Dimensions12.5 x 12.7 x 16.2 inches12.5 x 12.7 x 16.2 inches
Weight26 lbs26 lbs

The Breville Barista Express may not win any awards for being the most compact semi-automatic coffee maker out there, but it’s definitely not a giant either and you don’t need to carve out extra space in your kitchen for a separate grinder. But it might be a bit of a tight fit under overhead cabinets since you’ll need to frequently access the bean container and the nifty cup-warming tray on top.

On the front-facing control panel, there is a large pressure gauge and an array of buttons and knobs that feel great to the touch – tactile, easy to use, and clearly labeled. This means you’ll be up and running, pulling shots and tweaking simple settings in no time, without the need to bury your nose in the user guide for hours.

the barista express's control panel
The Barista Express’s control panel

Of course, there’s a whole world of adjustable settings waiting for you beneath the surface, such as shot volume, water temperature, and pre-infusion time. For those details, a quick glance at the user manual will do the trick.

Spout Type & Cup Clearance

Barista Express 870Barista Express 875
Spout TypeDualDual
Cup Clearance4 inches4 inches

If you’re familiar with semi-automatic machines, the fact that the Barista Express doesn’t have a height-adjustable coffee dispenser won’t come as a surprise. That is not much of an issue because there is enough room for every espresso cup size you might have and you can remove its drip tray to fit larger things like a tall mug or a travel cup.

Water Reservoir & Bean Hopper

Barista Express 870Barista Express 875
Water Reservoir2 liter2 liter
Bean Hopper0.25 kilogram0.25 kilogram

The water tank on the Breville Barista Express is quite roomy, which is great, but it’s positioned at the back of the machine. This makes taking it out and putting it back a tad awkward. So watch out! It’s a bit too easy to end up splashing water around.

Breville has thrown in a water filter with the machine. You can pop this into the reservoir, ensuring that every shot you brew is made with high-quality, impurity-free water. Not only does this make for a better-tasting espresso, but it also means you won’t have to descale the machine as often.

Milk Frothing System

Winner: Tie

Breville equipped the Barista Express with a professional-style steam wand. This wand rotates 360 degrees for ultimate convenience and precision in milk steaming. If you’ve ever wrestled with a steam wand that only moves in two directions, you’ll find this feature a joy!

the barista express uses a manual steam wand
The Barista Express uses a manual steam wand

Once you get the hang of it, the steam wand is pretty fantastic. It empowers you to whip up café-quality lattes and cappuccinos right in your own kitchen. If you’re aiming to dazzle your friends with fancy foam art, like a leave or a heart, this machine has got you covered (but mastering the skill is up to you!). 

There’s also a dedicated hot water spout right next to the steam wand, which is super handy for when you’re making an Americano or just brewing tea. Love it so much!

the hot water outlet
The hot water outlet

Drink Options & Programmability

Winner: Tie

Drink Options

Barista Express 870Barista Express 875
Espresso
Hot Water
Espresso
Hot Water

The Barista Express doesn’t feature an extensive list of one-touch specialty drinks like some fully automatic machines. So you’ll need to roll up your sleeves and recreate some specialty coffee drinks yourself. Whether it’s a creamy latte or a frothy cappuccino, the machine puts the art of coffee-making in your hands.

Programmability

Adjustable SettingsBarista Express 870Barista Express 875
Coffee StrengthYesYes
Coffee TemperatureYesYes
Milk Foam TemperatureNoNo
Milk Foam TextureNoNo

The Barista Express is loaded with customizable settings, which is a total win for any coffee enthusiast. You’ve got the freedom to adjust the brewing temperature anywhere from 187 to 205°F. You can also tweak the dose, shot volume, and pre-infusion time (which I mentioned before, remember?).

The center-located pressure gauge is becoming a bit old-school, but personally, I’m a fan since it gives really useful feedback during the extraction process. It’s like having a little coffee coach right there, helping you fine-tune your espresso shot. For instance, you can adjust your grind size just by keeping an eye on the gauge.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Barista Express 875

Sage the Barista Express Espresso Machine, Bean to Cup Coffee Machine with Milk Frother, BES875BKS - Black Sesame
  • Claim up to £200 cashback with a Beanz coffee subscription when you purchase a selected Sage espresso machine. Visit the Beanz by Sage website after purchase to claim. Valid Aug 1, 2023 until Apr 14, 2024.
  • The Sage Barista Express delivers third wave speciality 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 flavours 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 2024-03-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Adjustable grinder with 18 grind settings.
  • Good built-in steam wand.
  • A lot of adjustable settings.
  • A temperature control jug.
  • Simple to use and clean.
Cons
  • No milk temperature control.
  • Requires trial and error to froth milk.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Barista Express 870 

Sale
Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES870XL, Large
  • Earn up to $200 cashback with a Beanz coffee subscription when you purchase a selected Breville espresso machine. 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 2024-03-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Adjustable grinder with 18 grind settings.
  • Good built-in steam wand.
  • A lot of adjustable settings.
  • Brews a tasty espresso.
  • Simple to use and clean.
Cons
  • No milk temperature control.
  • Requires trial and error to froth milk.

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References

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