Philips 3200 Vs Breville Barista Pro: Which Machine Brews More Exquisite Espressos, Has Better Automation And Is Easier To Clean?

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Philips 3200 vs Breville Barista Pro, which espresso machine is worth purchasing more? I have been testing these models for a while now, and my champion is Philips 3200.

Philips 3200 is a super-automatic model so that you can expect a convenient beans-to-cup experience. The espresso and milk quality is very impressive as well. What I like the most is that it has various cleaning cycles that help the maintenance much easier. This is a well-rounded model at a great price.

Breville Barista Pro is a big machine designed to serve users who look for a simple machine. The espresso quality is excellent, and the milk foam is one of the best in this price range that I have seen. However, this model is semi-automatic only, which means some steps require our intervention. And it has very few additional features. Check out my verdict below.

Philips 3200 vs Breville Barista Pro: Specs & Features Comparison Chart

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
PHILIPS 3200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine, Classic Milk Frother, 4 Coffee Varieties, Intuitive Touch Display, 100% Ceramic Grinder, AquaClean Filter, Aroma Seal, Black (EP3221/44)
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Breville Barista Pro Espresso Machine BES878BSS, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Philips 3200 EP3221/44
Breville Barista Pro
Dimensions (LxWxH)
9.8 x 17 x 14.6 inches
13.9 x 16.1 x 16 inches
Color / Material
Black / Plastic
Brushed Stainless Steel / Stainless Steel
Weight / Power / Voltage
16.5 Pounds / 1500W / 120V
20 pounds / 1680W / 120V
Water Tank Capacity
60.85 oz
67 oz
Bean Hopper Size
9.6 oz
8 oz
Grind Settings
12 settings
30 settings
Coffee Grinder Type
Ceramic burr grinder
Steel conical burr grinder
Descale alert
Adjustable brewing temperature
Cup warmer
Spout with adjustable height
Heat-up time
3 seconds
1 minute
Water tank position
Frontal
Side
Programmable Drinks
9 Drinks
2 Drinks
Interface
Touchscreen
Buttons
What I Like
Price
$858.76
$845.95
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
PHILIPS 3200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine, Classic Milk Frother, 4 Coffee Varieties, Intuitive Touch Display, 100% Ceramic Grinder, AquaClean Filter, Aroma Seal, Black (EP3221/44)
Model
Philips 3200 EP3221/44
Dimensions (LxWxH)
9.8 x 17 x 14.6 inches
Color / Material
Black / Plastic
Weight / Power / Voltage
16.5 Pounds / 1500W / 120V
Water Tank Capacity
60.85 oz
Bean Hopper Size
9.6 oz
Grind Settings
12 settings
Coffee Grinder Type
Ceramic burr grinder
Descale alert
Adjustable brewing temperature
Cup warmer
Spout with adjustable height
Heat-up time
3 seconds
Water tank position
Frontal
Programmable Drinks
9 Drinks
Interface
Touchscreen
What I Like
Price
$858.76
More Info
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Image
Breville Barista Pro Espresso Machine BES878BSS, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Barista Pro
Dimensions (LxWxH)
13.9 x 16.1 x 16 inches
Color / Material
Brushed Stainless Steel / Stainless Steel
Weight / Power / Voltage
20 pounds / 1680W / 120V
Water Tank Capacity
67 oz
Bean Hopper Size
8 oz
Grind Settings
30 settings
Coffee Grinder Type
Steel conical burr grinder
Descale alert
Adjustable brewing temperature
Cup warmer
Spout with adjustable height
Heat-up time
1 minute
Water tank position
Side
Programmable Drinks
2 Drinks
Interface
Buttons
What I Like
Price
$845.95
More Info

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

Philips 3200 vs Breville Barista Pro: Differences

Philips 3200 wins 3 – 2 against Breville Barista Pro thanks to its rich espresso, variable milk texture, and convenient additional features. You can find out how these machines perform from my experience below.  

Coffee Flavuor

Winner: Breville Barista Pro

BUILT-IN GRINDER

Grinding stands as the initial phase, kicking off the bean-to-cup process. Most espresso machines, including the Philips 3200 vs Breville Barista Pro, have a built-in grinder, saving you the hassle and cost of buying a standalone one. The Philips 3200 features a ceramic flat burr grinder, while the Breville Barista Pro sports an integrated steel conical burr grinder.

the breville barista pro’s steel conical burr grinder
The Breville Barista Pro’s steel conical burr grinder

One major advantage that a ceramic grinder has over a steel one is its ability to remain cool during the grinding process. So it avoids scorching the coffee grounds and ruining their fragile aroma. Consequently, you are rewarded with an espresso with the fullest possible aroma and flavor.

Moreover, the ceramic grinder enjoys a reputation for quiet operation. I found the noise level of the Philips 3200 not annoying at all and quieter than most espresso machines I’ve ever touched. Many people have complained that this one is noisy, which makes me question their definition of the term “quiet.” As for the Barista Pro, if you’re going to use it in the wee hours of the morning, be prepared for a symphony of grumbles and complaints.

Let’s talk about the grind settings on these machines. I don’t remember how many times higher-end models from Jura let me down a bit since they typically only offer about 5-6 settings, and sometimes I find my ideal flavor stuck between two grind sizes. But this issue is non-existent with these machines: the Philips 3200 carries 12 grind settings, and the Breville Barista Pro stands out with its impressive 30 settings, from super fine to coarse grindThere are many settings for you to trial and error to find the right fineness of the grounds for your recipe.

philips 3200 vs breville barista pro's grind settings
Philips 3200 vs Breville Barista Pro’s grind settings

Remember not to switch between grind sizes when the grinder is off. Moreover, Philips recommends refraining from changing the grinder settings during the first 100 to 150 espresso cups. Although my own impatience didn’t lead to any problems, it’s always best to adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

The Barista Pro comes out of the box with a 54 mm stainless steel portafilter and four filter baskets, including pressurized and non-pressurized options for single and double shots. 

the breville barista pro's attachments
The Breville Barista Pro’s attachments

A non-pressurized basket requires a precise grind size for the water passing through the coffee puck to pull gorgeous and flavorful espresso shots. If the grind size is inaccurate, it can lead to under-extraction or over-extraction of the coffee, resulting in sour or bitter-tasting espresso. 

Meanwhile, a pressurized basket can create artificial pressure during extraction, compensating for inconsistencies in grind size. Thanks to that, beginners, even with an unpolished grinding technique, can manage to brew a decent espresso shot. It is also an ideal option to use with pre-ground coffee.

I was so happy to get a robust stainless steel tamper instead of the cheap-feeling plastic one that comes with many Gaggia machines.

tamping
Tamping

HEATING SYSTEM

Both are single-boiler machines, meaning they can brew espresso and prepare milk foam simultaneously. Still, that’s not a bad thing for these machines since they can quickly heat up to the right temperature. 

Thermoblock technology allows the Philips 3200 to reach the proper temperature in about 20 seconds, while the Breville Barista Pro’s thermojet heating system can heat up in just 3 seconds and switch between brewing coffee and steaming milk in under 10 seconds. So your espresso doesn’t have enough time to cool down before the milk foam is ready. You can also further reduce heat loss by putting your cups on top of the machine (called a cup warmer) to preheat them.

The Barista Pro, no doubt, heats up very rapidly, but the portafilter needs to be preheated separately for precise espresso extraction. My recommendation is to run a blank shot (a shot without any ground coffee in the portafilter) and wipe the filter basket before grinding.

BREWING SYSTEM

The pre-infusion process feels like a standard feature in most modern espresso machines, including both the Philips 3200 vs Breville Barista Pro. Why? It is the key to achieving a better-tasting espresso shot. 

Pre-infusion involves saturating the coffee grounds with a small amount of hot water before applying full pressure for extraction. It allows the coffee grounds to bloom, reducing the risk of channeling and enhancing the overall quality of the espresso.

It’s worth noting that the Breville Barista Pro allows you to control the length of the pre-infusion stage, while the Philips 3200 doesn’t. So if you are unsatisfied with the factory-set interval, you can step in and fine-tune it to suit your preferences better.

Then, both extract espresso at 15 bars of pressure, while the standard pressure for espresso extraction is just 9 bars. For those unfamiliar, unlike drip coffee makers that rely on gravity, espresso machines use pressure for extraction.

In my testing, the Breville Barista Pro produced rich, aromatic espresso shots bursting with flavor that tasted similar to something you’d get at your local coffee house. On the flip side, the espresso that came out from the Philips 3200 was pretty weak, topped with a really thin crema. I  surmise that the crux of the issue lies in the extraction being faster than it should be: it takes only 20 seconds, while espresso shots typically take 30 seconds.

MILK FROTHING SYSTEM

This is the biggest difference between the Philips 3200 vs Breville Barista Pro. The Philips 3200 has a fully automatic milk frother, enabling you to produce milk foam and steamed milk with a simple button press. In contrast, the Breville Barista Pro utilizes a manual steam wand, which necessitates a bit of a learning curve

philips 3200's lattego system and breville barista pro's steam wand
Philips 3200’s LatteGo system and Breville Barista Pro’s steam wand

As a novice, you might find it hard to resist the allure of brewing a milk-based beverage with just a single touch. But with perseverance, you’ll soon find the steam wand a gem since it gives you greater control over the milk’s texture and temperature. Also, it can help you craft latte art that an automated system never achieves. That said, you will have an extra skill to impress your loved ones and make every coffee moment feel special!

Let’s kick things off with the Philips 3200’s automated frothing milk system (also known as the LatteGo system). It is worth noting that there’s another variant of the Philips 3200 that sports a traditional frothing wand and is slightly more affordable.

The clever LatteGo system comprises three components: a transparent milk pitcher, a black plastic clip, and a top cover for the pitcher. The milk carafe can be refrigerated when not in use and washed under the tap for a deep clean. Before freezing milk, ensure the container is firmly clipped in to avoid a potential mess. The top lid simply rests on the pitcher, and I wish this one had a hinge to secure it.

Making milk foam with the LatteGo system is a breeze: fill the pitcher with milk, clip it to the machine, choose the milk froth quantity, and the machine handles the rest. The milk gets mixed with air at a high velocity in the frothing chamber, and then the machine seamlessly dispenses the milk foam into your cup.

On the flip side, the Breville Barista Pro features a 4-hole steam wand rather than the standard 1-hole one for home espresso machines. It delivers a more even steam distribution and better aeration, resulting in better microfoam milk. The wand has a rubber grip and can rotate freely, simplifying the positioning of the milk pitcher.

Fill the included metal jug with your cold milk, dip the wand in the milk, switch on the steam dial, and you will see the milk spin clockwise. Just keep going until you find the pitcher is too hot to hold. Mastering latte art is not an overnight job, so you’ll need a few attempts and perhaps a few errors, to ultimately get it right.

My test showed that the Philips 3200 produced consistently thick foam that is good for making a nice cappuccino instead of smooth, silky steamed milk for lattes. It is impossible to adjust the foam texture – the only aspect you can tweak is the quantity. Conversely, I found the Breville Barista Pro to excel at both – I could whip up a pretty awesome cappuccino and latte. So, if you aspire to practice your latte art skills, the Breville Barista Pro is, no doubt, your best bet.

Design & Usability

Winner: Philips 3200

DIMENSIONS, FOOTPRINT, & WEIGHT

Philips 3200Breville Barista Pro
Dimensions9.7 x 14.6 x 17 inches13.5 x 13.9 x 16 inches
Weight17.7 lbs20 lbs

The Philips 3200 features a simple but classy design with a sleek black casing and attractive chrome accents, giving it a luxurious aesthetic. This one is made mostly of plastic, but it emanates a sense of sturdiness rather than fragility. The entire operation is controlled via a large, non-touch control panel situated on top.

The Breville Barista Pro, on the other hand, appears captivating and robust with an all-metal exterior, but don’t be deceived by its outward appearance – this model is mostly made of plastic as well. Its text-only LCD screen is there just to make navigating the machine easy instead of giving it the modern, science-fiction feel found in some high-end counterparts.

philips 3200 vs breville barista pro’s control panel
Philips 3200 vs Breville Barista Pro’s control panel

These kitchen appliances have a compact construction and will fit nicely on most kitchen countertops. The only problem is that they are quite heavy, so you might have to flex your muscles and break a sweat to get them perfectly positioned.

PRE-PROGRAMMED COFFEE OPTIONS

Philips 3200Breville Barista Pro
Espresso
Black Coffee
Americano
Cappuccino
Latte Macchiato
Hot Water
Espresso
Hot Water

The Philips 3200 facilitates the preparation of several milk-based drinks with one touch, whereas the Barista Pro requires you to roll up your sleeves and do it yourself with its built-in steam wand.

I love their hot water function. Instead of waiting tens of minutes for a traditional kettle to boil, you can quickly get hot water for brewing tea in under one minute. But while the Breville Barista Pro has a separate hot water dispenser, the Philips 3200 requires removing the milk carafe to use this function, which may be slightly bothersome for some.

Regarding customization, the Philips 3200 offers 3 levels of coffee strength, brew temperatures, shot length, and volume of milk. The Breville Barista Pro has up to 5 brew temperatures and offers a wider range of coffee volume and shot length. Any alterations will be saved as defaults until further changes are made.

Pre-ground coffee isn’t really used often, but it is a lifesaver in some emergencies, such as when you run out of coffee beans or your guest has a caffeine intolerance. The Philips 3200 has a bypass dose chute for that purpose. As for the Breville Barista Pro, just put your pre-ground coffee into the pressurized filter basket and pull a shot of decaf.

SPOUT & CUP CLEARANCE

Philips 3200Breville Barista Pro
Spout TypeDualDual
Cup Clearance3.3–6.9 inches4 inches

The Philips 3200’s coffee dispensing spout can be lifted up to nearly 7 inches to fit those jumbo-sized mugs. It can also move down too low to prevent unwanted splashes and ensure the crema looks as good as possible. The Barista Pro doesn’t offer adjustable cup clearance, but it should be adequate unless you attempt to use a travel mug or thermos. If you really need extra space, just pull out its drip tray as a reluctant solution.

Both have a double shot function, preparing two cups of espresso simultaneously. This is really a boon,  as no one enjoys forming a queue during those rush mornings just for their much-needed caffeine drink, right?

both features a 2-shot function
Both feature a 2-shot function

The milk spout of the Philips 3200’s LatteGo system is a bit too high, especially if you want to prepare smaller drinks like a cappuccino. The milk has to descend a considerable distance before reaching your cup. So if you miscalculate your cup position, you can end up with a white mess on your countertop, resulting in extra cleaning.

WATER RESERVOIR & BEAN HOPPER

Philips 3200Breville Barista Pro
Water Reservoir1.8 liter2 liter
Bean Hopper0.28 liter0.24 liter

Unless you place these espresso machines in busy settings or high-traffic areas, they don’t need to be refilled too often. For home use, one refill per day is more than enough. The Barista Pro’s reservoir is positioned at the back, making it somewhat harder to access than the front-located tank of the Philips 3200, particularly if the machine is nestled under a fixture such as kitchen cabinets.

Oh, you should know their water reservoirs are designed to accommodate the included water filters. The use of the filter is optional, and it requires a monthly charge. So before you settle on whether to use it, let’s delve into its function.

breville filter & aquaclean water filter
Breville Filter & AquaClean Water Filter

Unless you use bottled or distilled water, your input water contains some impurities. During the heating process, these impurities can cause scaling (a familiar issue if you’ve ever used a conventional kettle). Over time, this can degrade the machine’s performance, necessitate regular descaling, and negatively affect the quality of your espresso’s flavor.

Their bean hoppers are top loading, and you can leave leftover beans there for a long time without worrying about a quick loss of their aromatic quality. The linchpin is that their lids have a rubber seal that effectively blocks out air and sunlight, ensuring the beans remain untouched when closed.

philips 3200 vs breville barista pro’s bean hoppers
Philips 3200 vs Breville Barista Pro’s bean hoppers

Cleaning & Maintenance

Winner: Philips 3200

Now I’ll talk about the elephant in the room – cleaning, and maintenance of the machine. I know this part is not as enjoyable as sipping on a heavenly espresso, but it plays a crucial role in maintaining the machine’s longevity and optimal operation.

Speaking of descaling, the machine will tell you when it needs to be descaled. The process is automatic, and all you need to do is use the recommended descaling solution to remove the build-up limescale. And if you use the included filter or pre-filtered water, the machine could potentially stretch for years without demanding a descale.

Once you’re done using the Breville Barista Pro, be sure to purge steam through its wand and subsequently wipe it clean using a damp rag. For the LatteGo milk system of the Philips 3200, a simple rinse of the container and lid under the faucet or a dishwasher cycle will suffice for an extensive clean-up.

Regarding day-to-day maintenance tasks, there is little to do: drain the drip tray, empty the coffee grounds basket, wipe down the machine’s casing, clean the portafilter under the tap, etc. I give the winning ticket to the Philips 3200 this round since its brew group is removable – Although it demands manual cleaning and lubrication, in my view, this approach is more trustworthy than a purely automatic process.

the philips 3200's brew unit is detachable
The Philips 3200’s brew unit is detachable

Utilities & Other Features

Winner: Philips 3200

AUTO OFF

Both come with an automatic shut-off function to conserve energy. But while the Breville Barista Pro will automatically turn off after 30 minutes of inactivity, the Philips 3200 allows for configuring the stand-by interval to 15, 30, 60, or 180 minutes.

Quick Rundown of Philips 3200

PHILIPS 3200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine, Classic Milk Frother, 4 Coffee Varieties, Intuitive Touch Display, 100% Ceramic Grinder, AquaClean Filter, Aroma Seal, Black (EP3221/44)
  • With Philips 3200 Series easily make up to 5 black and milk-based coffee varieties at the touch of a button! Enjoy the delicious taste and aroma of coffee from fresh beans at the perfect temperature
  • Classic Milk Frother System: Dispenses steam, allowing you to easily prepare silky smooth milk froth for your cappuccino
  • Intuitive Touch Display: Select the perfect coffee for your mood with just one touch
  • My Coffee Choice Menu: Adjust the strength and quantity of your beverage and choose from three different settings to suit your preferences. The Aroma Extract system intelligently strikes the optimum balance between brewing temperature and aroma extraction
  • Powerful Filter and Easy Maintenance: Thanks to the AquaClean, enjoy clear and purified water - by changing the filter after being prompted by the machine, you will not need to descale your machine for up to 5000 cups

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

Pros
  • Stable and consistent espresso extraction
  • Good drink temperature, the coffees come out hot
  • Easy and convenient to use with variable options for customization
  • Smart interface with easy control over the brew system
  • Authentic espresso flavor with good crema
  • One-touch Americano
Cons
  • Drink temperature isn’t very hot, just warm enough for drinking right away
  • No cup warmer

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
  • Quick heat-up time in 3 seconds
  • Strong heating system (ThermoJet) & consistency (PID)
  • Features a separate hot water dispenser
  • High pressure steam wand that can froth microfoam
  • Quiet smooth and silent grinder
  • The machine has a warming tray
  • Very good water temperature for hot coffees
Cons
  • Manual tamping
  • Not many convenient extra features

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5/5 - (1 vote)