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

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Choosing between 2 espresso machines of the same brand can be confusing. However, the debate between Breville Barista Express vs Touch is not only a matter of which is better. But it’s also about the price which separates the 2 exceptional espresso machines for home use.

I have been a dedicated Breville geek for years now. So I want to share my thoughts on the key takeaways and differences of the Breville Barista Express vs Touch

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Best semi-automatic espresso machine
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, Large
Best fully-automatic espresso machine
Breville Maker Barista Touch Espresso Machine, Stainless Steel, 12.7 x 15.5 x 16 inches
Model
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, Large
Breville Maker Barista Touch Espresso Machine, Stainless Steel, 12.7 x 15.5 x 16 inches
Dimensions
12.5 x 12.6 x 13.1 Inches
12.7 x 15.5 x 16 Inches
Capacity
1.9 Liters
1.9 Liters
Material
Steel
Brushed Stainless Steel
Color
Stainless Steel
Stainless Steel
Weight
23 Pounds
26.8 Pounds
What I Like
Price
$699.95
$999.95
Best semi-automatic espresso machine
Image
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, Large
Model
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, Large
Dimensions
12.5 x 12.6 x 13.1 Inches
Capacity
1.9 Liters
Material
Steel
Color
Stainless Steel
Weight
23 Pounds
What I Like
Price
$699.95
More Info
Best fully-automatic espresso machine
Image
Breville Maker Barista Touch Espresso Machine, Stainless Steel, 12.7 x 15.5 x 16 inches
Model
Breville Maker Barista Touch Espresso Machine, Stainless Steel, 12.7 x 15.5 x 16 inches
Dimensions
12.7 x 15.5 x 16 Inches
Capacity
1.9 Liters
Material
Brushed Stainless Steel
Color
Stainless Steel
Weight
26.8 Pounds
What I Like
Price
$999.95
More Info

Last update on 2021-07-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Breville Barista Express vs Touch – Key Considerations

Instead of just focusing on the overall performance of these machines, I thought it’d be easier to walk you through the key features of Breville. And what differences there are in the Breville Barista vs Touch that you can evaluate to buy the right product.

See also:

  1. Breville Barista Express vs Pro Review: What You Need To Know
  2. Breville Bambino Plus vs Barista Express: The Ultimate Comparison Review
  3. Breville Cafe Roma vs Barista Express – What Is The Best?

1. Type of Espresso Maker

Type of Breville Espresso Maker
Type of Breville Espresso Maker

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.

2. Touch Screen Display

Touch Screen Display Of Breville Barista Touch
Touch Screen Display Of Breville Barista Touch

Another noticeable difference is the touch screen display. The Breville Barista Express runs on an analog 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 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.

3. Customization

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 control 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 want always 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!

Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine – Best Semi-automatic Espresso Machine

Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, Large
  • 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 2021-07-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Fast and efficient built-in burr grinder.
  • Each button/analog interface for making adjustments.
  • Automatic and manual milk frothing settings.
  • High and consistent heat-up time.
Cons
  • Hands-on operation so a bit it has a learning curve.
  • Avoid using hard water if you can help it.
  • Needs to be cleaned/de-scaled often to prevent clogging.

Breville Maker Barista Touch Espresso Machine – Best Fully-automatic Espresso Machine

Sale
Breville Maker Barista Touch Espresso Machine, Stainless Steel, 12.7 x 15.5 x 16 inches
  • The Breville Barista Touch 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
  • PRECISE ESPRESSO EXTRACTION: Digital temperature control (PID) delivers water at precisely the right temperature, ensuring optimal espresso extraction

Last update on 2021-07-29 / 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.
  • 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.

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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.