Breville Dual Boiler Vs Barista Pro: A Detailed Comparison

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In the debate of the Breville Dual Boiler vs Barista Pro, the former takes the lead, after all. The Breville Dual Boiler offers commercial-grade features for a serious home espresso enthusiast and allows for more control and stability in temperature and pressure. Meanwhile, the Breville Barista Pro features an integrated grinder and a more compact design, aiming to provide a quick and easy espresso brewing process.

Breville Dual Boiler Vs Barista Pro: Specs & Features Comparison Chart

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine BES920XL, Brushed Stainless Steel
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Breville Barista Pro Espresso Machine BES878BSS, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Dual Boiler
Breville Barista Pro
Dimensions/Weight
16.3 x 15 x 15 inches/30 lbs
16.9 x 8.7 x 13.3 inches/25 lbs
Interface
LCD Display & Buttons
LCD Display
One Touch Drink Options
2
2
Built-in Grinder
Stainless Steel Conical Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
30
Heating System
Dual Boilers
Single ThermoJet Boiler
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
2.5 L/None
2 L/0.25 Kg
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Yes (Optional)
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
User Profile
What I Like
Price
$1,599.95
$845.95
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine BES920XL, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Dual Boiler
Dimensions/Weight
16.3 x 15 x 15 inches/30 lbs
Interface
LCD Display & Buttons
One Touch Drink Options
2
Built-in Grinder
Grinding Settings
Heating System
Dual Boilers
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
Pre-Infusion
Milk Frothing System
Manual Steam Wand
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/4 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
2.5 L/None
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
User Profile
What I Like
Price
$1,599.95
More Info
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Image
Breville Barista Pro Espresso Machine BES878BSS, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Barista Pro
Dimensions/Weight
16.9 x 8.7 x 13.3 inches/25 lbs
Interface
LCD Display
One Touch Drink Options
2
Built-in Grinder
Stainless Steel Conical Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
30
Heating System
Single ThermoJet Boiler
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
$845.95
More Info

Last update on 2024-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Breville Dual Boiler Vs Barista Pro: Differences

The Dual Boiler outperformed the Barista Pro with a final score of 3-2. Now is the time to dig deeper into the differences and similarities between them.

Coffee Flavor & Brewing System

Winner: Breville Dual Boiler

Built-in Grinder

The Barista Pro features a built-in grinder that boasts 30 settings, saving you both counter space and cash. Changing grind settings is as easy as turning a knob on the left side of the machine while the grinder is running.

the grinding knob on the left side of the barista pro
The grinding knob on the left side of the Barista Pro

Now, let’s talk about the Breville Dual Boiler, one of the commercial-grade Brevilles. Its lack of a built-in grinder, in my view, is not a shortfall but rather a deliberate choice. 

You know, in the world of professional baristas, the choice of grinder is paramount. They are incredibly particular about their grinders, so they often prefer a separate grinder – Not just for the enhanced control and precision it offers but also because they want a grinder that’s crafted by a company specializing in just that, not an espresso machine one.

the dual boiler requires a separate grinder
The Dual Boiler requires a separate grinder

Dosing & Tamping

The Breville Barista Pro comes with a 54-millimeter stainless steel portafilter, and its build quality is quite commendable. It’s sturdy, well-made, and fits well with the overall design and functionality of the machine.

58- vs 54-millimeter portafilters
58- vs 54-millimeter portafilters

Speaking of the Breville Dual Boiler, things get a bit more interesting. This one uses a 58-millimeter portafilter, which is widely regarded as a commercial standard, and for good reason. It allows for a larger coffee puck, which means more even water distribution during extraction, typically translating to better flavor extraction and a more balanced shot.

So from a professional perspective, the 58 mm portafilter on the Dual Boiler edges out the 54 mm version on the Barista Pro, especially if you’re aiming for that high-quality, café-style espresso.

I’m quite convinced that a tamper is a standard accessory for nearly every semi-automatic espresso machine out there, and these Barista machines are no exception to this rule. But there’s something about their tampers that deserves a special shoutout: they’re made of stainless steel, not the typical plastic one. In case you don’t know, a stainless steel tamper feels more substantial and aids in achieving a consistent tamp, which is crucial for a perfect espresso shot.

As for the Dual Boiler, I wish it came with a gold one. Of course, that’s just a bit of fun. I mean, when you’re investing in a machine as high-end and sophisticated as the Dual Boiler, it’s natural to expect that every accessory is commercial-grade.

By the way, both the Breville Barista Pro and the Dual Boiler come equipped with single and dual wall filter baskets for both single and double shots. So whether you are an espresso novice or a seasoned home barista, they have you covered.

Heating System

The Dual Boiler, true to its name, features two separate boilers. There’s a stainless steel boiler dedicated to pulling espresso shots and another solely for steaming milk. Each boiler is meticulously calibrated to the ideal temperature for its specific task. 

The beauty of the dual boiler setup? You get to pull a shot and steam milk simultaneously. Believe me, the first time you make a cappuccino without waiting between brewing and steaming, it’s going to feel like a revelation!

As for the Barista Pro, it features a ThermoJet heating system. While the Dual Boiler initially takes nearly half an hour to warm up, the ThermoJet system on the Barista Pro heats up to the perfect temperature for espresso extraction in just three seconds. Yes, you heard that right – just 3 seconds!

Sure, the Barista Pro can’t multitask like the Dual Boiler, but the ThermoJet fast-heating system more than makes up for it.

Brewing System

No matter your coffee brewing method, there’s a universal first step that’s crucial for a great cup: dampening the grounds. This initial step is vital because it lets carbon dioxide escape and allows the coffee’s delicate aromas to fully develop, leading to a more even and flavorful extraction. 

In an espresso machine, like the Dual Boiler or Barista Pro, this step is known as pre-infusion. The concept is similar – gently wetting the coffee grounds before the full extraction process of 15 bars begins.

And here’s where things get really exciting with the Dual Boiler: you can adjust the pre-infusion temperature, pressure, and duration. That’s right, you can fine-tune these settings to your heart’s content, and this matters to the brewing process.

Milk Frothing System

Winner: Breville Barista Pro

The Barista Pro features a 4-hole manual steam wand, while the Dual Boiler is equipped with a 3-hole-tip wand. With the Barista Pro, the steam distribution feels more even, resulting in better aeration and superior microfoam milk, which is essential for top-notch latte art.

both use a professional-grade steam wand
Both use a professional-grade steam wand

Both wands are generally fantastic choices for any coffee enthusiast looking to elevate their home barista skills. They can produce excellent microfoam, though it might take a few tries to nail the perfect consistency. Whether crafting a creamy cappuccino or a silky latte, they consistently deliver on milk texture and temperature.

What’s more, both boast 360° swivel action. You twist, they turn, and together, you find that perfect angle for the milk-steaming action. This kind of maneuverability is indeed a game changer, especially when you’re trying to impress your friends with your newfound barista skills.

Design & Convenience

Winner: Tie

Dimensions & User Interface

Breville Dual BoilerBreville Barista Pro
Dimensions16.3 x 15 x 15 inches16.9 x 8.7 x 13.3 inches
Weight30 lbs25 lbs

If you’re familiar with Breville’s lineup, one glance at these beauties, and you’ll instantly know they’re part of the family. It’s like they have this “Breville aura” around them. 

the dual boiler is more bulky
The Dual Boiler is more bulky

Both are available in a shiny stainless steel finish. But if you’re feeling a bit adventurous, there are other color options to match your kitchen’s vibe or your mood. No matter which color you choose, denying their attractiveness is as hard as saying no to a free cup of coffee. 

Speaking of the user interface, the Dual Boiler features a pressure gauge, which isn’t just a pretty face on the machine but also lets you monitor the pressure applied to your coffee grounds. But wait, there’s more! The digital LCD on the left is where all the action happens, giving you real-time updates on your espresso shots.

the dual boiler's control panel
The Dual Boiler’s control panel

Now, let’s swing over to the Barista Pro. It misses the gauge, but it compensates with its comprehensive and user-friendly LCD interface, displaying all the vital stats: grind size, grinding time, temperature readings, and a brewing timer. It’s so informative that you might feel like a coffee scientist in a lab.

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

Water Reservoir & Bean Hopper

Breville Dual BoilerBreville Barista Pro
Water Reservoir2.5 liter2 liter
Bean HopperNone0.25 kilogram

Their tanks are large, meaning more espresso and less time spent refilling. I always recommend changing water at least once a day since, you know, fresh water is always best for espresso.

The Dual Boiler has a top-loading feature that enables you to refill the tank from the top of the machine instead of having to move the entire coffee machine. It’s also much easier to remove it from the back of the machine and take it over to the sink, thanks to a set of wheels that allow you to spin all of the machine’s bulk around with ease.

the top-loading slot on the dual boiler
The top-loading slot on the Dual Boiler

Other Features

Winner: Breville Dual Boiler

Auto On

The Breville Dual Boiler is equipped with a timer and can be programmed to turn on automatically at precisely the right time. This is perfect for those mornings when every minute of sleep counts. You can set the Dual Boiler the night before, and by the time you shuffle into the kitchen, it’s all set for your morning espresso ritual.

Breville Dual Boiler Vs Barista Pro: Similarities

Spout & Cup Clearance

Breville Dual BoilerBreville Barista Pro
Spigot TypeDualDual
Cup Clearance4 inches4 inches

Neither the Dual Boiler nor the Barista Pro come with an adjustable spout, but there’s still plenty of room to snugly fit most espresso cups under there. So unless you’re trying to fill a travel mug or a hefty coffee thermos directly under the spout, you’re not going to run into any issues. If you do find yourself in need of more space, just whip out the drip tray. 

remove the drip tray to make more clearance for cups
Remove the drip tray to make more clearance for cups

Pre-programmed Coffee Options  & Programmability

Breville Dual BoilerBreville Barista Pro
Espresso
Hot Water
Espresso
Hot Water

These machines don’t come with a menu of pre-programmed specialty drinks. This means if you’re craving a specialty drink, you’ll need to channel your inner barista and get creative the old-fashioned way. It’s all about playing around with the steam wand and making adjustments regarding shot length, shot volume, and brewing temperature.

So if you’re the kind of person who dreams of a machine that knows your favorite drink and makes it with the touch of a button, then the Barista Touch or Oracle Touch might be more your style. These models come with the convenience of eight customizable drink recipes.

Other Features

Built-in Cup Warmer

A built-in cup warmer might not be the flashiest feature on an espresso machine, but let me tell you, this little addition is a game changer in the world of coffee.

So, why get excited about a cup warmer? Well, it’s all about starting your coffee experience on the right note. A pre-warmed cup ensures that your coffee stays at the perfect temperature for longer. 

the dual boiler has a larger cup warmer since it doesn't have a bean holder
The dual boiler has a larger cup warmer since it doesn’t have a bean holder

Water Filter

The most noticeable perk of having a water filter is the improved taste of your coffee. Water filters remove impurities and chlorine from tap water, which can significantly affect the flavor of your espresso. It also plays a crucial role in protecting your machine. They reduce limescale buildup, which is the arch-nemesis of any espresso machine.

Just remember that there’s the ongoing cost of replacement filters. While not exorbitantly expensive, it’s an added expense in your coffee journey. Think of it as a small tax for great-tasting coffee.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Dual Boiler

Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine BES920XL, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • Please refer to user guide or user manual or user guide (provided below in PDF) before first use

Last update on 2024-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Dual boilers.
  • The water tank is large and easy to refill.
  • Powerful steam wand.
  • Comes with a professional-grade portafilter.
  • Intuitive control panel.
Cons
  • No built-in grinder.
  • Bulky.

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 2024-05-19 / 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.

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References

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