Breville Barista Express vs Touch Espresso Maker: What To Buy?

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The final debate between the Breville Barista Express vs Touch has made it very clear that the Breville Barista Touch takes the winner’s seat with its modern design and faster heat-up functionality.

The Barista Touch is a much more upgraded product line than the Barista Express in terms, as you can see yourself. It has a touchscreen that the Barista Express doesn’t; users can simply make any kind of coffee without having any difficulty in operating the machine.

The Barista Express has a lower price but still, it does boast of a fast-performing and sturdy grinder with a grind size dial that allows any home barista to grind your choice of beans directly. You have complete control over the grind size, and lots more, no matter what type of coffee bean you choose to buy.

Breville Barista Express vs Touch: Comparison Chart

Image
The Winner (#1)
Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES880BSS
The Runner-up (#2)
Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES870XL
Model
Breville Barista Touch BES880
Breville Barista Express BES870
Dimensions
12.7 x 15.5 x 16 Inches
12.5 x 12.6 x 13.1 Inches
Capacity
1.9 Liters
1.9 Liters
Material
Brushed Stainless Steel
Steel
Color
Stainless Steel
Stainless Steel
Weight
26.8 Pounds
23 Pounds
Power
1680 Watts
1600 Watts
Warranty
2 Year Repair Guarantee
1 Year Limited Product Warranty
Microfoam Milk Texturing
Automatic
Manual
Pre Infusion Function
Hands-Free Operation
Precise Espresso-Extraction
3 Second Heat Up
Compact Footprint
Precise Milk Temperature, Automatically
Touch Screen
What I Like
Price
$879.95
$599.95
The Winner (#1)
Image
Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES880BSS
Model
Breville Barista Touch BES880
Dimensions
12.7 x 15.5 x 16 Inches
Capacity
1.9 Liters
Material
Brushed Stainless Steel
Color
Stainless Steel
Weight
26.8 Pounds
Power
1680 Watts
Warranty
2 Year Repair Guarantee
Microfoam Milk Texturing
Automatic
Pre Infusion Function
Hands-Free Operation
Precise Espresso-Extraction
3 Second Heat Up
Compact Footprint
Precise Milk Temperature, Automatically
Touch Screen
What I Like
Price
$879.95
More Info
The Runner-up (#2)
Image
Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES870XL
Model
Breville Barista Express BES870
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
Microfoam Milk Texturing
Manual
Pre Infusion Function
Hands-Free Operation
Precise Espresso-Extraction
3 Second Heat Up
Compact Footprint
Precise Milk Temperature, Automatically
Touch Screen
What I Like
Price
$599.95
More Info

Last update on 2022-12-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Breville Barista Express vs Touch: Differences

In this debate, The Barista Touch wins 3-1 against Barista Express. Faster heat-up time, modern yet simplified touchscreen interface has helped the Barista Touch take the number-one position on the list.

However, both machines feature PID extraction technology which makes them highly efficient and durable to use in the long run.

1. Espresso Flavor

The Winner: Breville Barista Express

Breville Barista Express Espresso Flavor
Breville Barista Express Espresso Flavor

It is true that the taste of espresso depends as much on the blend and roast of coffee beans you buy as it does on the espresso extraction technology of the machine.

But things like temperature control, grinding mechanism, and consistency can make or break the flavor of espresso. So it won’t matter what coffee beans you put in. If the espresso extraction is inadequate, there will be no tempting flavor or strong aroma.

Between the Barista Express and Barista Touch, the former offers more control over key espresso variables. The analog pressure gauge in the Barista Express is more in tune with how barista-grade commercial espresso machines function.

This does not limit the automated functionality of the Barista Touch. But for a more nuanced flavor that you can experiment with, the Barista Express is a powerful and stable machine.

There is plenty of useful information about how to manually control the machine for the best possible espresso flavor. You can make everything from plain espresso shots to flavoured drinks effectively and consistently. The flavor of all your cappuccinos or lattes will be exactly the way you drink it in baristas. The Barista Express lets you control the strength and flavor and volume of the grind, and it lets you know about the exact tamping pressure which is a critical part of espresso extraction, you will get a fantastic flavor out of the espresso.

2. Dose Control

The Winner: Breville Barista Touch

Breville Barista Touch Dose Control
Breville Barista Touch Dose Control

The Breville Barista Express is a semi-automatic espresso machine. This means the machine lets you control certain aspects of the espresso extraction and micro-foaming technology. For example, you can manually adjust the fineness of the grind, grind size, and the duration of frothing the milk.

This means it will take a little longer to make espresso in the Breville Barista Express. But once you’ve used the machine a couple of times, you can easily program your ideal espresso settings and pull a shot directly without making further adjustments.

The Breville Barista Touch, however, is fully automatic. It knows how to make espresso and how to make it right. You can easily, with a press of a button, make espresso without manually adjusting the grind size, fineness, or time. 

While both espresso makers offer delicious and strong espresso, it’s all a matter of personal preference. If you prefer NOT doing the manual work of fine-tuning your shot, go for the Barista Touch.

Customizations

The Barista Express lets you adjust the basic features to get the espresso just right. This includes the filter size and grind amount. And you can also select whether you want a single or double shot of espresso in your coffee. It’s intuitive and simplified to make pulling an espresso shot as barista-like as possible. 

You get to customize the pressure on the steam wand with the control dial. This is something that serious coffee drinkers love.

In the Barista Express, however, things are made more accessible. And fun, if you want to pull espresso in the most user-friendly manner. 

You can control how hot and foam you want your milk to be. There’s no steam gauge but it’s automatically controlled so you don’t have to do the work. 

And if you have a coffee preference, you can even program a personal coffee drink. And the machine saves it so you will always want to use that option to brew delicious coffee. 

Meanwhile, all the other intricate customizations that Breville is famously known for. Such as the grind dial, built-in grinder settings, and hot water dispenser. All these the Breville Barista Express and the Breville Barista Touch have in common!

3. Milk System

The Winner: Breville Barista Touch

Breville Barista Touch Milk System
Breville Barista Touch Milk System

The Barista Express is a manual and automatic steam wand for barista-quality milk texturing. What’s manual about the steam wand is that you have to control the time of steaming milk. The automatic feature on it is the stream pressure and milk texture and temperature.

The Barista Touch, on the other hand, features adjustable milk texture and temperature settings. It has an automatic milk texturing wand which is better at producing creamy and rich and hot milk – the perfect blend needed for performing latte art.

The fact that you can quickly select the milk texture and temperature (not present in the Barista Express) is a big relief for beginners. And the personalization allows you to make different milk recipes based on the drink you select – and save them if you like for the future.

4. Utilities

The Winner: Breville Barista Touch

Breville Barista Touch Other Ultilities
Breville Barista Touch Other Ultilities

Interface / Control Panel

Another noticeable difference is the touchscreen display. The Breville Barista Express runs on an analogue display. While it’s still a good choice and works accurately, it’s not as intuitive as Barista Touch’s touchscreen display.

Barista Touch offers customized coffee selections that you can choose from. Instead of figuring out how much espresso goes into a latte or a flat white. You can directly choose the drink you want and the Barista Touch will make it for you. 

Simply said, the Barista Touch is the Barista Express’s next-generation model. To it does improve upon some of the customizations that are absent in Barista Express.

With the help of the display, you can tweak the coffee to suit your taste. While in the Barista Express, you can do the same things but with its analog display that is button- and dial-controlled. The touchscreen just makes everything quicker and streamlined.

Saved Profiles

You can save up to 8 custom coffee profiles on the Barista Touch. Save them by your name and choose any one of the tempting coffee icons that the machine has for cappuccino, flat white, latte, etc. All these coffee icons have beautiful latte art which looks aesthetic to save your customized drinks.

In each personalized coffee drink, you can adjustable the coffee strength, milk texture, and temperature. So each time you start the machine, just press on your coffee icon and you have your favourite drink brewing.

Not starting from scratch which is something that you will need to do with the Barista Express.

The Barista Express favors a hands-on authentic and barista-like experience for espresso drinks. The Barista Touch is more user-friendly and intuitive in that it takes charge via its swipe-and-select functionality.

Breville Barista Express vs Touch: Similarities

Apart from the notable distinctions, the Barista Express vs Touch has a built-in burr grinder in common with adjustable grind levels. The grind dial, hot water setting, and dose are all the same too.

You can also brew 2 espresso shots in a single brewing cycle. There’s a sturdy and easy-to-clean steam wand for frothing and steaming milk – just like a barista does. And a removable drip tray with a polished surface for preventing splatters or overflowing.

If you enjoy the consistency of using a quick and efficient espresso machine with everything from a bean grinder to a steam wand, both the Breville Barista Express and Touch are your picks.

Both machines take up less space in the kitchen. The water reservoir is easy to fill. There is a manual for any and all instructions you need to get started. And both machines come with a few extra accessories such as the razor trimming tool, milk jug, filter baskets, etc. to make your espresso brewing experience more authentic and less confusing.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Barista Touch BES880

Sale
Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES880BSS
2,013 Reviews
Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES880BSS
  • The Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine helps you create third wave specialty coffee with ease with intuitive touch screen display with pre-programmed cafe drinks in 3 easy steps Grind Brew and Milk; You can easily adjust the coffee strength, milk texture and temperature to suit your taste.
  • Precise Espresso Extraction: Digital Temperature Control (PID) delivers water at precisely the right temperature ensuring optimal espresso extraction
  • Faster Heat Up Time: Innovative ThermoJet heating system achieves the optimum extraction temperature in 3 seconds; Ready to make your best coffee without the wait
  • Automatic Micro Foam Milk Texturing: Auto steam wand allows you to adjust the milk temperature and texture to suit your taste; Delivering barista quality micro foam that enhances the flavor of the coffee and is essential for creating latte art
  • Integrated Coffee Grinder: With a single touch the integrated conical burr grinder with dose control delivers the right amount of coffee on demand, for maximum flavor

Last update on 2022-12-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Superior and advanced build quality.
  • Fast heat-up time with no delay.
  • Automatic and self-cleaning steam wand.
  • You can save up to 8 customized coffee drinks.
  • Ideal for cup after cup espresso brewing.
  • It can make any espresso-based drink easily.
Cons
  • The drip tray needs to be emptied often.
  • Small water reservoir at the back of the machine.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Barista Express BES870

Sale
Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES870XL
  • 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. Grind Settings: 16 precision grind settings
  • 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 2022-12-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Fast and efficient built-in burr grinder.
  • The analog button interface is straightforward to adjust.
  • Automatic and manual milk frothing settings.
  • High and consistent heat-up time.
Cons
  • Hands-on operation does take some time to learn.
  • Avoid using hard water if you can help it.
  • Needs to be cleaned/de-scaled often to prevent clogging.

Product Videos

Final Verdict

Even though there is no final winner, the Barista Express is an affordable pick. It has some features that for a coffee person will take some getting used to. And if you’re not okay with that, you’ll have to pay extra for the Barista Touch. 

I’m doing this not because I don’t think you’ll be able to make that comparison on your own. It’s just that when I first started looking for the best Breville espresso machine, I didn’t have the right in-depth understanding of what I was getting into. So I’m here to help you out.

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References

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