Breville Barista Express vs Philips 3200: Which Automatic Coffee Maker Is A Better Fit?

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As a coffee lover, having control over the strength, quality, and flavor of my coffee is a big deal. Which is why after testing the Breville Barista Express vs Philips 3200, I instantly found that the Barista Express is the better option. While it has automatic functions, you also get to use the manual override which allows you to make specialty brews tailored to your taste. The Barista Express also has a great milk system which allows you to create microfoam milk that you can use for latte art or just for making great-tasting milk and coffee drinks in the morning.

On the flip side, the Philips 3200 is entirely bean to cup. This superautomatic espresso machine grinds, tamps, and pulls your espresso shots for you. On top of that, it has a couple of preset drinks that make you cafe-quality drinks at the press of a button. If convenience is what you need, then the Philips 3200 might actually be the better option, but you have to be willing to sacrifice some control.

Breville Barista Express vs Philips 3200: Comparison Chart

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Philips 3200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine w/ Milk Frother, Black, EP3221/44
Model
Breville Barista Express BES870
Philips 3200 EP3221/44
Dimensions
12.5 x 12.6 x 13.1 Inches
20.75 x 18.75 x 17 Inches
Color / Material
Stainless Steel / Metal
Black / Plastic
Weight
23 Pounds
20.3 Pounds
Power / Voltage
1600 W / 110–120 V
1500W / 120V
Heating System
Thermocoil
Thermoblock
Milk System
Manual Steam Wand
LatteGo
Grinder
Conical Burr Grinder
Flat Burr Grinder
Grinder Settings
16 Grinder Settings
12-Step Grinder Settings
PID Temperature Control
Water Tank Capacity
67 oz
60.85 oz
Hopper Capacity
1/2 lb
0.6 lbs
Preset Drinks
None
5
Manual Override
Water Filter
Charcoal Water-Filter Included
Aqua-Clean
Double Cup Option
What I Like
Price
$599.95
$599.95
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Barista Express BES870
Dimensions
12.5 x 12.6 x 13.1 Inches
Color / Material
Stainless Steel / Metal
Weight
23 Pounds
Power / Voltage
1600 W / 110–120 V
Heating System
Thermocoil
Milk System
Manual Steam Wand
Grinder
Conical Burr Grinder
Grinder Settings
16 Grinder Settings
PID Temperature Control
Water Tank Capacity
67 oz
Hopper Capacity
1/2 lb
Preset Drinks
None
Manual Override
Water Filter
Charcoal Water-Filter Included
Double Cup Option
What I Like
Price
$599.95
More Info
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Image
Philips 3200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine w/ Milk Frother, Black, EP3221/44
Model
Philips 3200 EP3221/44
Dimensions
20.75 x 18.75 x 17 Inches
Color / Material
Black / Plastic
Weight
20.3 Pounds
Power / Voltage
1500W / 120V
Heating System
Thermoblock
Milk System
LatteGo
Grinder
Flat Burr Grinder
Grinder Settings
12-Step Grinder Settings
PID Temperature Control
Water Tank Capacity
60.85 oz
Hopper Capacity
0.6 lbs
Preset Drinks
5
Manual Override
Water Filter
Aqua-Clean
Double Cup Option
What I Like
Price
$599.95
More Info

Last update on 2021-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Breville Barista Express vs Philips 3200: Differences

The Breville Barista Express and the Philips 3200 are two completely different products designed for different people. If you prefer having complete control over the flavor and strength of the coffee the Barista Express is a great option. However, if convenience is your top priority, the Philips 3200 is a great choice.

After comparing the differences of the two machines, I found that the Barista Express easily takes the cake. The main reason for this is the machine’s versatility. With that said, it was a really close fight as the Philips 3200 is still a very competent and convenient option.

1. Heating System

Winner: Breville Barista Express

Breville Barista Express Heating System
Breville Barista Express Heating System

One of the most important factors of any coffee machine is the heating system. Consistent and reliable temperature is crucial in brewing a good espresso or coffee drink, and in this comparison, I found that the Breville Barista Express has the better heating system.

The Barista Express uses a Thermocoil heating system, which is part of the reason that it’s one of the more affordable semi-automatic machines out there. Thermocoil systems work by pulling in water through the heating tube made out of metal or copper. On the other hand, the Philips 3200 uses a Thermoblock system, which heats water in a similar manner, but instead of pull water through tubes, it uses a heated block of metal.

When comparing the two systems, most experts point to Thermocoil heating as the better option for home coffee systems. The reason for this is that since water passes through the coils consistently, you get a more stable temperature. On top of that, Thermocoils tend to last longer than Thermoblocks, so if you plan on using the coffee machine for a long time, Thermocoils are the better option. 

On top of that, the Breville Barista Express features a PID, which is a new technology that allows for consistent and precise coffee temperatures. That way, you really get the flavor and strength you are looking for in your espresso shot.

2. Preset Drinks

Winner: Philips 3200

Philips 3200 Preset Drinks
Philips 3200 Preset Drinks

The Breville Barista Express doesn’t offer bean-to-cup coffee. Since it’s semi-automatic, you still have to move the portafilter to the water dispenser after grinding. However, the Philips 3200 makes brewing a morning espresso easy, as all you have to do is press a button to choose any of the preset drinks. The Philips 3200 comes with five different drinks, including, espresso, cappuccino, latte macchiato, coffee, and Americano. You also have the option Cafe au Lait, Milk Foam, and plain hot water. 

On top of that, the Philips model also allows for customization of the drinks. You can tweak the temperature and shot volume easily. With the Breville Barista Touch, the only presets it comes with are grind amount and water volume, but you still need to manually move the filter into the water dispenser to pull a shot. It also takes some practice to pull quality shots with the Breville Barista Express, which is why the Philips model is the more convenient option.

3. Grinder

Winner: Philips 3200

Philips 3200 Grinder
Philips 3200 Grinder

When people test out the Philips 3200, they instantly get surprised by the grinder. At least I was when I first tested out the machine. The Philips 3200 features a flat burr grinder made of ceramic. This provides you with much more even and consistent coffee grinds, which can potentially make for better tasting coffee.

Flat burr grinder are supposed to be quieter than their conical counterparts like the grinder found on the Barista Express, though customers have still noted that the Philips 3200 has a fairly loud grinder. When it comes to grinder settings, the Barista Express has more options with 15, but the Philips 3200 puts up a close fight with 12-step grinder adjustment.

Since the Philips has a more consistent grinder in terms of design, it easily beat out the Barista Express in this regard.

4. Milk System

Winner: Breville Barista Express

Breville Barista Express Milk System
Breville Barista Express Milk System

The Breville Barista express comes with a manual steam wand. This allows you to feel like a barista and produce microfoam textured milks perfect for cappuccinos and latte art. Since it uses Thermocoil heating, you still need to wait a bit for the system to heat up steam for the milk, but the wand can help you produce milk foam specific for your tastes, though it might take a bit of practice. On top of that, the Barista Express also comes with a stainless steel milk jug that you can fill with cold milk for steaming whenever you want.

The Philips 3200 model is a bit different. It uses the LatteGo system which is designed for convenience. The Philips 3200 is designed to do everything for you, so you don’t have that much control when it steams your milk. However, all you have to do to use it is press a button and wait for your drinks.

But since the Barista Express allows you to tweak the temperature and settings as you please, I chose this milk system since it gives you more control and versatility.

5. Coffee Quality

Winner: Breville Barista Express

Breville Barista Express Coffee Quality
Breville Barista Express Coffee Quality

It can be really hard to answer the question, “Which machine makes the better coffee?” for a number of reasons. Everyone has different tastes, but I chose the Barista Express in terms of coffee quality simply because of its versatility and control. Don’t get me wrong, the Philips 3200 can make decent coffee, but if the presets don’t fit your tastes, there isn’t much you can do to adjust it.

With the Breville Barista Express, you can use both the automatic settings or use a manual override. That way, you can really take control of the water volume, amount of coffee, and temperature of your espresso shot. So, if you know how to work your way around an espresso machine, you have full control over the flavor and strength of your drink.

With the Philips 3200, all the drinks are already pre-programmed. And while the coffee tastes decent, you can’t tweak that many parameters other than temperature and shot volume. So, if you’re particular about your coffee drinks and desire a specific strength, flavor, and consistency, then you’re better off with the versatile Barista Express.

Breville Barista Express vs Philips 3200: Key Features

A lot of the time, the main difference maker can be one single feature or characteristic. If you’re still on the fence with these two machines, you might want to learn about their key characteristics and features, as they can make a huge difference. The Barista Express offers a smooth fusion of control and convenience, but the Philips 3200 takes one-touch drinks to a whole new level.

Let’s take a closer look at the key features of each of these models.

1. Breville Barista Express – Complete Control Over Your Coffee

As a semi-automatic coffee machine, the Barista Express gives you the best of both worlds. If you aren’t too keen on programming everything yourself, the machine has simple buttons for double and single coffee shots. Simply put the portafilter under the grinder and select the amount of coffee you want (single or double), tamp the grounds, then put it under the water dispenser and select the amount of water. From there, the machine pumps the water through the filter to produce a high-quality espresso shot.

However, if you need more control you can manually override all the settings. You can tweak the amount of coffee beans, the water volume, and even the temperature for you to achieve just what you need. On top of that, the manual steam wand also allows for microfoam milk texturing so you can personalize the texture of your milk just like in a cafe. It definitely takes more work to use the Barista Express, but if you’re a coffee drinker who wants a specific taste, flavor, and punch, it’s all worth it.

2. Philips 3200 – Your Favorite Drinks at the Touch of a Button

If you’re a coffee drinker on the go, then the Philips 3200 is a great option. Since it’s a superautomatic machine, all you have to do is get your mug or cup ready, press a button, and wait for your coffee. There isn’t a complicated process when brewing with the Philips 3200, which is the entire point of the machine.

It even has the LatteGo milk system which automatically steams your milk to the right temperature for different coffee drinks. The Philips 3200 offers a quick bean-to-cup system that gives the user an incredibly easy, quick, and convenient coffee making experience. And while you can only customize certain parameters of your drinks, if you aren’t too particular about flavor and you just want a bold, high-quality espresso shot in the morning, the Philips 3200 works incredibly well.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Barista Express BES870 

Sale
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
15,455 Reviews
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 2021-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Offers a lot of control over your coffee
  • Manual milk wand
  • Uses a Thermocoil heating system
  • Comes with portafilter, milk jug, razor trimming tool, and cleaning materials
  • Precise espresso extraction through a digital temperature control system
Cons
  • Requires some practice to use
  • Doesn’t have one-touch coffee

Quick Rundown Of Philips 3200 EP3221/44

Philips 3200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine w/ Milk Frother, Black, EP3221/44
848 Reviews
Philips 3200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine w/ Milk Frother, Black, EP3221/44
  • Enjoy 4 coffees at your fingertips, makes espresso, hot water, coffee, Americano, Espresso Lungo
  • Intuitive touch display, frequency: 60 hertz
  • Adjust aroma strength and quantity
  • 12-step grinder adjustment
  • Aroma seal keep your beans fresh for longer

Last update on 2021-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Produces bean to cup coffee
  • Easy and convenient to use
  • Comes with LatteGo milk system
  • Adjustable coffee temperature
  • Has over 5 preset drinks
Cons
  • Doesn’t offer too much control
  • Thermoblock heating system could be better

Product Videos

References

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