Breville Barista Express vs Pro Review: What You Need To Know

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Between Breville Barista Express vs Barista Pro, I have to say that there’s a tie between both machines because of their precision in grinding mechanism, speed, and the fact that they meet all the expectations of espresso drinks based on the flavour of coffee bean you choose.

The Barista Express is the more popular pick with more espresso lovers for its hands-free operation. Its dose control grinding and amazing milk frother offer the complete coffee setup for beginners and intermediates.

The Barista Pro is slightly more expensive than the Barista Express. But its key features are the bold and brightly lit LCD display provides all the descriptive information you need to make a standard cup of coffee and saves you more time in operating the coffee machine.

So between the Barista Express and Barista Pro, you’re getting user-friendly features, fast espresso extraction, and consistent temperature controls. This makes both machines suitable for any and all espresso drinkers.

Breville Barista Express vs Pro: Comparison Chart

Image
The Winner (#1)
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
The Runner-up (#2)
Breville BES878BSS Barista Pro Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Barista Express BES870XL
Breville Barista Pro BES878BSS
Dimensions
12.5 x 12.6 x 13.1 Inches
13 x 12 x 13 Inches
Capacity
1.9 Liters
1.9 Liters
Material
Steel
Stainless Steel
Color
Stainless Steel
Brushed Stainless Steel
Weight
23 Pounds
20 Pounds
Power
1600 Watts
1680 Watts
Warranty
1 Year Limited Product Warranty
2 Year Limited Product Warranty
Control Type
Button, Dial, Knob
Button, Dial
Pre Infusion Function
Purge Function
Hands-Free Operation
Intuitive Interface
Precise Espresso Extraction
Warming Plate
Removable Drip Tray
What I Like
Price
$689.95
$849.95
The Winner (#1)
Image
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Barista Express BES870XL
Dimensions
12.5 x 12.6 x 13.1 Inches
Capacity
1.9 Liters
Material
Steel
Color
Stainless Steel
Weight
23 Pounds
Power
1600 Watts
Warranty
1 Year Limited Product Warranty
Control Type
Button, Dial, Knob
Pre Infusion Function
Purge Function
Hands-Free Operation
Intuitive Interface
Precise Espresso Extraction
Warming Plate
Removable Drip Tray
What I Like
Price
$689.95
More Info
The Runner-up (#2)
Image
Breville BES878BSS Barista Pro Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Barista Pro BES878BSS
Dimensions
13 x 12 x 13 Inches
Capacity
1.9 Liters
Material
Stainless Steel
Color
Brushed Stainless Steel
Weight
20 Pounds
Power
1680 Watts
Warranty
2 Year Limited Product Warranty
Control Type
Button, Dial
Pre Infusion Function
Purge Function
Hands-Free Operation
Intuitive Interface
Precise Espresso Extraction
Warming Plate
Removable Drip Tray
What I Like
Price
$849.95
More Info

Last update on 2022-07-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Breville Barista Express vs Pro: Differences

In this comparison, Barista Express and the Barista Pro come out at the top as two of the best multi-functional espresso makers for home use. The score is a tie: 3 – 3! The Barista Pro is attractive with its LCD display and the Barista Express features the pre-infusion function which extracts stronger coffee. The convenience and ease of use of both machines are worth considering.

1. Espresso Flavor

The Winner: It’s A Tie

Breville Barista Express Coffee Quality
Breville Barista Express Coffee Quality

Coffee Grinder

The Breville Barista Express and Barista Pro offer a similar taste and aroma of espresso. The burr grinder, portafilter, and steam wand are sturdy and durable. Dialling in the fineness of the coffee beans for grinding on the Breville Pro is more intricate because of the smaller increments with which to adjust the grind. 

Let’s talk about that for a minute. The Barista Express features 1 to 18 grind settings. You can also pull a single and double shot of espresso in a single dose. The Barista Pro features 30 grind settings – so it’s 12 grind levels more than the Barista Express.

If you’re a finicky coffee drinker, like me, you’re going to love the extra grind settings. You can personalize the flavour even more for hands-free grinding directly into the portafilter. It also, like the Barista Express offers a twin brewing cycle to save time.

Temperature Settings

The Barista Pro is an upgraded version of the Barista Express in many ways. It features a newer and faster Thermojet system. It heats up the water and is ready to go in about 20 seconds. The Barista Express takes 1 to 2 minutes to warm up completely. 

Although this doesn’t make the Barista Express any less competent. It does have something that the Barista Pro doesn’t which is the analog steam gauge. Some picky espresso drinkers prefer the steam gauge because it does a better job of consistently improving how full-bodied or watery your espresso is. 

The Barista Pro also features an adjustable temperature feature which is not present in the Barista Express. So with the Barista Pro, you can adjust the temperature of the espresso by 2-degree increments. Shot temperature control for espresso helps keep all your espresso needs met.

Brewing Technology

The Barista Pro is a semi-automatic espresso machine. This means you need to know a few basic things about using an espresso maker to improve the flavour of espresso and consistency.

In comparison, the Barista Express is easier to use even for novices because grinding and brewing functions are convenient and automatic. So even for those who are not familiar with how an espresso machine works, the dialling in process, the fineness of the coffee, the time of the shot, and the milk frothing process, the Barista Express is less challenging to use.

2. Dose Control

The Winner: Breville Barista Express

Breville Barista Express Dose Control
Breville Barista Express Dose Control

With the Barista Express, you do have a sense of control over all the key variables of pulling an espresso shot and steaming milk. You can do a lot more experimentation with the Barista Express’s pressure gauge than the Barista Pro.

How to froth the milk perfectly for a creamy texture? How to pull a strong espresso shot without oversaturating its flavor or making it too bland and dull? How to accurately tamp the coffee grounds to intensify the strength of coffee without using too many coffee grounds?

If you’re interested in finding the answers to all these questions (and more) – the Barista Express is the choice for you.

It comes with a single and double filter basket, tamper, razor trimming tool, and lots more useful accessories. You can also manually override the shot control to produce your length and strength of espresso time and again.

3. Steam Wand / Milk System

The Winner: Breville Barista Pro

Breville Barista Pro Steam Wand
Breville Barista Pro Steam Wand

Another great thing about the Barista Pro that one might find lacking or incompatible in the Barista Express is the frothing device. The Barista Pro’s steam wand is faster, quieter, and more adjustable than the Barista Express.

Even so, the Barista Express features a single hole steam wand. And the Barista Pro feature a four-hole steam wand. For latte art, having more holes in the steam wand is a good thing. It reduces the foam density, making the milk hot and the texture creamier, not specifically thicker.

I also found that the Barista Pro heats up the milk faster than the Express. The similarity however is that both steam wands are easy to clean. A simple wipe down with a clean cloth will do.  

4. Utilities

The Winner: Barista Pro

Breville Barista Pro Utilities
Breville Barista Pro Utilities

Interface

There are a few slight differences between the Barista Express and Pro. The Barista Express has an analog interface with a dial-button system. While the Barista Pro features an LCD display with a dial button system.

The digital display of the Barista Pro is backlit and minimal. Even the buttons are organized in the same fashion. They do not take up too much which is a good thing. And the screen that sits on top gives you good access to the right features while you pull a shot or steam your milk.

Hot Water

In the Breville Barista Pro, the hot water spout is angled slightly away from the main body. This makes it easier for you to fill your cup with hot water. There’ll be less splatter and you don’t have to hold the cup in your wants for the hot water to flow inside. 

Cup Warmer

One disadvantage to using the Barista Pro is that its top does not get warm. The top surface, or plate, on the Barista Express, stays warm which is hot enough to keep any espresso cup warm for long. It doesn’t get excessively hot but hot enough for the cups to heat up before you pull an espresso shot in it.

5. Value For Money

The Winner: Breville Barista Express

To understand why the Barista Express has a better value for money, look at the main feature that it offers and the Pro doesn’t. Even though the Barista Express is $100 less than the Barista Pro.

Pressure Gauge

While both machines, the Barista Express and Pro, offer great material quality and durability. The Express features a powerful espresso extraction with the pressure gauge which most users say is better because it allows intricate and customized adjustment of pressure.

The function of the pressure gauge is to show you the exact tamping pressure of the coffee grounds and the ideal pressure point. Once you learn how much pressure is required to tamp the coffee, you can truly optimize the strength and aroma of espresso – just as a barista does in a coffee shop.

Now, there is no pressure gauge in the Barista Pro which reduces some value for serious espresso enthusiasts and drinkers. With the Pro, however, you do have the shot timer and pre-infusion feature. It doesn’t have a pressure indicator. So it doesn’t give you an accurate reading of how much to tamp and the optimal pressure for extracting rich and delicious espresso.

Breville Barista Express vs Pro: Similarities

Both machines have the same water capacity, bean hopper, drip tray design, and portafilter. But the built-in coffee grinder of Barista Express makes users feel easier to grind directly for the perfect espresso.

The built-in burr grinder and hot water spout are also present in both machines. All packed together beautifully in a stainless steel body. The hot water spout allows you to make hot Americanos right after you pull an espresso shot. So you don’t have to make water hot separately in the microwave.

Both the Barista Pro and Express feature the same burr grinder for professional results. The same applies to their manual milk texturing micro-foaming technology for producing rich and creamy lattes, mochas, and cappuccinos. 

With just a few simple steps, you can grind an appropriate amount of coffee without having to install or adjust too much in the buttons to operate the grinding function, the quality of the ground coffee always guarantees the taste.

The digital temperature control delivers water at the right temperature that assures optimal espresso extraction. This function ensures the pressure and regulates the precise temperatures required to extract each type of coffee. Therefore, the taste of each coffee is kept intact and up to the standard after extraction.

Both machines come with a removable tray. It catches water droplets and residue espresso released during the brewing of coffee and steaming of the milk. This keeps the coffee machine and the surrounding surface clean and dry, keeping the user safe while using.

Besides, the tray can also be detached, which is extremely convenient for users in the cleaning step of the coffee machine after use, helping to keep the durability of the machine more user-friendly and quick.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Barista Express BES870

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 2022-07-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Intricate and professional-grade analog pressure gauge.
  • The grinder works perfectly and is easy to clean.
  • Ideal for more control over shot volume and strength.
  • Automatic cleaning cycle with some manual controls.
  • It includes a tamper and dosing tool.
  • Sturdy parts with a stainless steel top warming plate.
Cons
  • Some parts of the machine are plastic.
  • The drip tray needs to be emptied often.
  • No temperature settings like the Barista Pro.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Barista Pro BES878

Breville BES878BSS Barista Pro Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
1,449 Reviews
Breville BES878BSS Barista Pro Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • The Breville Barista Pro 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: With a single touch, the integrated precision conical burr grinder with dose control delivers the right amount of coffee on demand, for maximum flavor
  • 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
  • FASTER HEAT UP TIME: Innovative ThermoJet heating system achieves the optimum extraction temperature in 3 seconds with the instantaneous transition from espresso to steam
  • PRECISE ESPRESSO EXTRACTION: Digital temperature control (PID) delivers water at the right temperature +/- 2°C, ensuring optimal espresso extraction

Last update on 2022-07-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • It produces rich and strong espresso.
  • Intuitive and accurate LCD display.
  • Streamlined design and faster performance.
  • 30 grind settings with accurate temperature control.
  • Blazing fast heat-up time for espresso/milk steaming.
  • The steam wand has 4-holes which produces richer foam.
Cons
  • Certain replacement parts are very expensive.
  • The steam pressure is not as powerful as analog pressure gauge.

Product Videos

Final Verdict

Using an espresso maker is no child’s play, right? There is a lot at work here that you should know about. So you want a machine that can match up to its accuracy and precision like a pro. 

Based on everything I’ve discussed here, you must have already figured that both machines – the Barista Express and the Barista Pro are streamlined and speedy picks. They boast of features that every espresso drinker will love to know more about. 

However, the fast heating up time and the user-friendly LCD display of the Barista Pro are its most notable advantages. But this doesn’t mean that the Barista Express isn’t a flattering choice. If you’re someone who appreciates control and precision over everything else, that’s when you’ll need the Barista Express. Having said that, both are tempting espresso makers to buy for their less-than-extravagant price point. 

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References

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