Breville Barista Express Vs Pro: As the Price Tag Rises, So Does the Power!

I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Read more

Breville Barista Express vs Pro: Price-wise, the Barista Pro comes with a price tag almost double that of the Barista Express, and it begs the question: is it worth it? After a thorough head-to-head comparison, I believe investing those extra bucks in the Pro is a wise decision.

So, costing nearly $1000, what does the Breville Barista Pro bring to the table compared to the Breville Barista Express? Well, those are an integrated grinder with more grind settings, a more powerful steam wand, a faster heating system, and more.

Breville Barista Express Vs Pro: Specs & Features Comparison Chart

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
Breville Barista Pro Espresso Machine BES878BSS, Brushed Stainless Steel
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine BES870XL, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Barista Pro
Breville Barista Express 
Dimensions/Weight
13.5 x 16.1 x 16 inches/27.5 lbs
12.5 x 12.7 x 16.2 inches /26.4 lbs
Interface
Non-Touch Screen
Button-Operated Interface
One Touch Drink Options
2
2
Built-in Grinder
Stainless Steel Conical Burr Grinder
Stainless Steel Conical Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
30
18
Heating System
Single ThermoJet
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
$829.95
$679.99
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
Breville Barista Pro Espresso Machine BES878BSS, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Barista Pro
Dimensions/Weight
13.5 x 16.1 x 16 inches/27.5 lbs
Interface
Non-Touch Screen
One Touch Drink Options
2
Built-in Grinder
Stainless Steel Conical Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
30
Heating System
Single ThermoJet
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
$829.95
More Info
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Image
Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine BES870XL, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Barista Express 
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
$679.99
More Info

Last update on 2024-05-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Breville Barista Express Vs Pro: Differences

This showdown ended with a score of 4-2, favoring the Barista Pro. Now, let’s delve into a detailed comparison of these two!

Coffee Flavor & Brewing System

Winner: Breville Barista Pro

Built-in Grinder

Both the Barista Express and the Barista Pro come equipped with a built-in conical burr grinder. I have to mention, though, that this grinder gets the job done, but it might not be the best out there. Still, considering the fact that you’re getting a grinder integrated into the machine, thereby saving you from the additional expense of a standalone grinder, it’s still a feature worth appreciating.

That said, it’s interesting to note that many espresso enthusiasts still opt for a separate grinder. That will mean they make a two-step investment: first in a high-quality espresso machine like the Breville Bambino Plus and then in a standalone grinder like the Breville Smart Grinder Pro.

the barista pro features 30 grind settings
The Barista Pro features 30 grind settings

The Express offers respectable 18 grind settings, while the Pro is even more impressive with 30 settings. More grind settings mean you have finer control over this crucial aspect, increasing your chances of dialing in the espresso just right. 

the barista express has an integrated burr grinder with 18 different grind sizes
The Barista Express has an integrated burr grinder with 18 different grind sizes

The “Pause Grind” function of the Barista Pro is another standout feature, easily activated by inserting the portafilter into the grinding chamber and pushing slightly further until a click is heard. This allows you to pause the grinder at any moment to evenly distribute the coffee in the portafilter, a functionality I find extremely useful.

Portafilter

Both the Express and Pro come equipped with a professional-grade 54mm portafilter and both single- and double-wall filter baskets.  The portafilter on these machines feels sturdy and well-made, a noticeable step up from some of the ones you might find with lower-end Breville models. 

both ship with single- and dual-wall filter baskets
Both ship with single- and dual-wall filter baskets

For those who might be newer to the espresso world, the double-wall baskets are particularly meant for beginners since they are quite forgiving. They feature only one hole for the espresso to pass through, compensating for grind size and tamping inconsistencies. That way, they make it easier to pull a decent shot even if your technique isn’t perfect.

But I always recommend transitioning to single-wall baskets as you become more comfortable with your espresso-making skills. 

Yes, using single-wall baskets means you’ll need to spend more time honing your technique, such as getting your grind size, tamping pressure, and extraction time just right. Still, let me tell you, the difference in taste you get from a well-pulled shot using a single-wall basket is absolutely worth the effort.

Each comes with a tamper that is genuinely usable. I mean, they are heavy enough to effectively compress the grounds in the portafilter. Even better, they attach neatly to the machine to, you know, avoid getting lost. Who wants to start their day playing hide and seek with a tamper?

Heating System 

One of the biggest differences between the Express and Pro lies in their heating systems. Barista Pro flaunts a Thermojet system, heating up in just 3 seconds – so fast that if you blink, you might just miss it!

On the other hand, the Barista Express features a thermocoil system, warming up in under a minute. It’s not as swift as the Pro, but it’s still impressively quick.

A benefit of the Express’s thermocoil system is its ability to heat the portafilter and the machine’s top cup warmer. As for the Pro, you can pull a blank shot or two directly into your mug. Just a small trick to achieve a similar effect!

Brewing System

My loyal readers know that I can’t resist a good rant about the importance of the pre-infusion stage in espresso extraction. And guess what? I’m going to dive into it again here because both the Barista Express and the Barista Pro feature this crucial step. But that’s not all. They also allow you to customize the length of the pre-infusion, which is pretty awesome.

So, what is this guy rambling about? You ask. Pre-infusion is a process where the espresso machine gently dampens the coffee grounds under low pressure before the full brewing process begins. This initial stage helps the coffee grounds to swell evenly and start releasing their flavors, setting the stage for a more even and thorough extraction.

Why does this matter? Well, pre-infusion plays a big role in enhancing the flavor of your espresso shot. It reduces the chances of over-extraction or under-extraction, which can lead to bitterness or a lackluster flavor profile. With these machines, not only do you get pre-infusion, but you also get the option to tweak its duration, giving you an extra layer of control over your espresso’s flavor.

After the pre-infusion stage, these machines ramp up to the full 15 bars of pressure to ensure the espresso is properly extracted. By the way, both have a PID controller, which is responsible for maintaining a stable temperature at the brew head. We all agree that a consistent temperature is key to achieving consistently high-quality espresso shots, right?

Design & Convenience

Winner: Tie

Dimensions & User Interface

Breville Barista ExpressBreville Barista Pro
Dimensions12.5 x 12.7 x 16.2 inches13.5 x 16.1 x 16 inches
Weight26.4 lbs27.5 lbs

When it comes to design and build quality, these models are real head-turners, sporting sleek and rounded edges that make them look like they’re ready for a photo shoot at any moment. They may not be what you’d call compact, but they will fit comfortably in most kitchen spaces.

Both are available in a stainless steel finish, which is the most popular. Still, Breville offers a range of color options to spice things up, so there’s always an option to suit your kitchen.

the barista pro's lcd panel
The Barista Pro’s LCD panel

Their control panels also look very different. To my mind, the Pro is easier to adjust all the settings with its updated button-controlled LCD screen, whereas the Breville Barista Pro is more straightforward to dial in your shot with its button-operated panel and visible pressure gauge.

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

Spout Type & Cup Clearance

Breville Barista ExpressBreville Barista Pro
Spout TypeDualDual
Cup Clearance4 inches4 inches

I’m glad that both offer a generous amount of headroom under the portafilter spouts to fit all the espresso cups, even some travel mugs. And if you’re planning to use an insulated coffee mug, you’ll need to remove the drip tray to accommodate the extra height. A handy feature of their drip trays is a pop-up indicator that reminds you to “empty me” when they’re full.

Water Reservoir & Bean Hopper

Breville Barista ExpressBreville Barista Pro
Water Reservoir2 liter2 liter
Bean Hopper0.25 kilogram0.25 kilogram

Both the Barista Pro and Barista Express boast tanks that are remarkably spacious and capable of holding enough water to last a couple of days. Still, I’d advise against letting water sit in there for too long because freshness is the key to a heavenly shot. You should fill the tank with fresh water daily, and trust me, your taste buds will thank you for that. Breville includes a water filter with both to ensure that your freshly ground beans are brewed with high-quality water.

Milk Frothing System

Winner: Breville Barista Pro

When I first laid eyes on the milk-steaming wands of both the Barista Express and the Barista Pro, I’ll admit, I was almost fooled into thinking they were identical twins.

they use manual steam wands
They use manual steam wands

But, as with many things in life, the devil is in the details, and upon closer inspection, I discovered a key difference: the Pro’s wand is more powerful and features a four-hole tip, in contrast to the Express’s wand, which has a single-hole design.

the barista pro's wand features a 4-hole tip
The Barista Pro’s wand features a 4-hole tip

This difference gives the Pro an edge in terms of efficiency. In fact, the Pro steams milk in around 45 seconds, whereas the Express clocks in at around 75 seconds to achieve a similar result.

But just let’s put that difference on the back burner for a moment. Both wands are attached to a ball-shaped joint, offering flexible rotation. This design makes it easy to angle the wand just right for steaming milk, allowing you to easily experiment with latte art designs like a tulip, a heart, or an ever-elusive rosetta.

their wands can rotate freely thanks to a ball joint
Their wands can rotate freely thanks to a ball joint

By the way, Breville throws in a high-quality stainless steel milk jug with both machines. That is great, considering many other brands would have you buy the jug separately, but not Breville. 

Drink Options & Programmability

Winner: Tie

Drink Options

Breville Barista ExpressBreville Barista Pro
Espresso
Hot Water
Espresso
Hot Water

I understand the allure of a machine boasting a myriad of one-touch drink options, but, my friends, they only brew one-touch espresso. You’d need to look at a more upscale investment, like the Delonghi Dinamica Plus, to get this ability. 

Programmability

Adjustable SettingsBreville Barista ExpressBreville Barista Pro
Coffee StrengthYesYes
Coffee TemperatureYesYes
Milk Foam TemperatureNoNo
Milk Foam TextureNoNo

Both machines basically allow you to change everything about espresso brewing, including the grind size, brew time, pre-infusion time, and water temperature.

The Barista Pro simplifies the process with a dedicated menu for adjusting settings. Meanwhile, the Barista Express involves pressing and holding various combinations of buttons to tweak settings, and you’ll likely find yourself consulting the manual to understand how to operate it.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Barista Pro

Breville Barista Pro Espresso Machine BES878BSS, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • Item Package Dimension: 17.39L x 16.59W x 16.09H inches
  • Item Package Weight - 27.20 Pounds
  • Item Package Quantity - 1
  • Product Type - COFFEE MAKER

Last update on 2024-05-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Built-in burr grinder with 30 different settings.
  • Adjustable pre-infusion.
  • ThermoJet fast heating system.
  • Affordable price.
  • Ease to use.
Cons
  • On the heavy side.
  • One boiler.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Barista Express 

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 2024-05-20 / 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.

Product Videos

Related Articles to Breville Barista Pro

  1. Breville Barista Pro Vs Rancilio Silvia: A Head-To-Head Comparison
  2. Philips 3200 Vs Breville Barista Pro: Which Machine Brews More Exquisite Espressos, Has Better Automation And Is Easier To Clean?
  3. Breville Oracle Touch Vs Barista Pro Review: Which Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine Is Better?
  4. Delonghi La Specialista Vs Breville Barista Pro: Comparing Two Semi-Automatic Machines
  5. Breville Barista Pro vs Oracle: A Head-To–Head Comparison
  6. Breville Barista Pro Vs Touch: All the Differences & Similarities Between These Two Brevilles
  7. Breville Dual Boiler Vs Barista Pro: A Detailed Comparison
  8. Breville Bambino Plus Vs Barista Pro: Let’s Reveal the Overall Winner!

Related Articles to Breville Barista Express

  1. Breville Barista Express vs Oscar 2: Compare Two Top-notch Semi-Auto Machines
  2. Breville Barista Express 870 Vs 875: Are There Any Significant Upgrades?
  3. Breville Barista Express Vs Barista Touch: A Comprehensive Comparison
  4. Saeco Incanto vs Breville Barista Express: Which Has Better Value For Price?
  5. Breville Barista Express vs Philips 3200: Which Automatic Coffee Maker Is A Better Fit?
  6. Delonghi La Specialista vs Breville Barista Express: Which Is The Best Entry-level Espresso Machine For The Money?
  7. A Detailed Comparison Of Gaggia Brera Vs Breville Barista Express
  8. Gaggia Anima vs Breville Barista Express: Which More Friendly To Home-Barista?
  9. Breville Barista Express vs Gaggia Classic Pro: Which Is Better Innovation?
  10. Breville Barista Express vs Bambino Review: What You Need To Know About Their Programmability & Ease of Use For Daily Brewing
  11. Choosing Between Nespresso Creatista Plus Vs Breville Barista Express: Which One Is Better?
  12. Breville Oracle Vs Barista Express: Which One Is The Better?
  13. Breville Oracle Touch Vs Barista Express: Which Is The Better Semi-Automatic Machine?
  14. Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus vs Barista Express – Best Espresso Machine
  15. Breville Infuser vs Barista Express: Is A Built-in Grinder Worth It?
  16. Breville Duo Temp Pro vs Barista Express: Which Is Better Breville Espresso Machine?
  17. Breville Dual Boiler Vs Barista Express: Which One Ends Up As The Winner?
  18. Breville Barista Express vs Touch Espresso Maker: What To Buy?
  19. Breville Bambino Plus Vs Barista Express: Breville Semi-automatic Machine Showdown
  20. Breville Cafe Roma vs Barista Express – What Is The Best?

References

5/5 - (3 votes)