Espresso is a strong type of coffee that is enjoyed either as a shot on its own or as the base of most of coffee house drinks. Many people find it way too strong as a drink on its own, others enjoy the bitterness and intense taste of it.
How Is Espresso Made?
Traditionally, Espresso is made using a high pressure espresso machine. The pump of the machine forces water through very fine coffee grounds to create a shot of this highly concentrated coffee drink.
That said, to make Espresso, you NEED an espresso machine.
What if you want to make espresso at home but don’t want to invest in an espresso machine? Are there any alternative ways to make espresso without the use of a machine?
The short answer is – no. If you’re looking for an authentic shot of espresso, like what you’d get at a cafe, it cannot be done without a machine. However, if you’re looking to make coffee that is similar to espresso, let’s call it ‘coffee concentrate’, then there are some ways to do it.
The Easiest Way to Make Espresso at Home (Using a Machine):
I know I said I’ll find you alternatives to make espresso at home. But here’s one thing before getting to those:
Espresso machines can be intimidating to a lot of people. They require a lot of work and practice until you can get a handle of them. They also require regular clean up and maintenance.
If those are reasons you don’t want to buy an espresso machine, then you can consider a single-serve espresso maker like Nespesso. Using pre-measured coffee capsules and a single push of a button, you’ll get your Espresso fix at no time, with no special skills and certainly no clean up required.
There are many Nespresso models to choose from. They can also be bundled with an electric milk frother that will heat and froth milk to create delicious coffee drinks.
Not looking to buy an espresso machine? Read on for your best alternative for espresso-like drinks:
How To Make Espresso without a Machine:
How To Make Espresso Using a French Press:
I’ve used a french press for years before finally switching to other coffee brewing methods (I hated cleaning it with a passion). A French Press, or as some simply call it press coffee, is an immersion coffee brewing method where the coffee grounds soaks in the hot water for a few minutes before pressing the filter down to stop the brewing process and filter the coffee.
It’s a manual brewing method, so there’s no way for it to make an authentic shot of espresso. French press using coarse grounds of coffee, as opposed to espresso that uses fine ground.
- French press: Chambord French press brews a premium cup of Coffee in just 4 minutes, simply add course ground Coffee, hot water and press
- Stainless steel: 3-part stainless steel plunger has a mesh filter that helps extract your coffee's aromatic oils and subtle flavors instead of being absorbed by a paper filter. Made of plastic
- Durable design: Coffee press features Bodum Patented safety lid to keep contents from spilling and is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning
- Maximum flavor: pressed Coffee extracts the perfect amount of essentials oils and acids from the Coffee bean for maximum flavor; the preferred method for brewing for Coffee enthusiasts everywhere
- Servings: premium French press Coffee maker makes 8 cups of Coffee, 4 oz each
So, what can you do here to make “espresso” using a french press?
You can make a few changes to make something close to a shot of espresso:
- Pick an espresso coffee blend. This usually means that the coffee is a darker roast so it will give you a richer brew.
- DO NOT change your coffee grind. You can’t use fine ground coffee in a french press, it will be hard to press down, your coffee brew will turn out muddy and quite bitter.
- Use less water to create a stronger brew, and brew as usual.
This method works usually best when you want to make a coffee concentrate to mix with milk. You can use it to make iced coffee (let it cool first, obviously), or to make a cappuccino or latte – and you’ll have to froth milk for these drinks.
The Difference Between Espresso Coffee and French Press Coffee:
Espresso is a concentrated coffee shot that is made using a high pressure machine. For espresso, you use very fine, dark roasted coffee grounds. Medium coffee blends can be used to taste, too. Espresso shots are short, drank in a 1.3 oz cup for a single shot. A single shot is extracted in 20 to 30 seconds time.
French Press on the other hand, is used to make a filtered cup of coffee. It’s close to drip coffee made by a coffee maker, but a french press is a manual method perfect for anyone who doesn’t want to use a machine. To make a pot of french press coffee you will use coarsely ground coffee which will immerse in hot water for 4 minutes. After plunging down the filter, you’ll get a clean yet bold brew of coffee.
Why You Can’t Use Espresso Finely Ground Coffee in a French Press:
How you grind your coffee correlates directly to your brewing method. As a rule:
- Coarsely ground coffee produces less bitter coffee, but takes longer to brew.
- Finely ground coffee can produce a bitter cup, but it brews rather quickly.
When using a French Press, the coffee immerses in water for a few minutes to slowly release the flavor from the ground before pressing it down to stop the brewing process. Since coarse ground make larger coffee particles, it makes them easier to plunge down with the filter (water goes through them easier).
On the other hand, finely ground coffee, they longer it stays in the water, the muddier the brew gets. The result would be a cloudy and bitter cup of coffee.
How To Make Espresso Using a Stovetop Moka Pot:
Although moka pots are known as ‘stovetop espresso makers’, they still don’t make a real shot of espresso, but a concentrated cup of coffee that is just as strong.
Moka pots use fine ground just like espresso machines, so you can expect a brew that’s just as intense. However, it lacks the crema which is usually produced from the force of an espresso machine. It’s also usually drank in a larger volume than espresso.
You can read all about Moka pots, how they work and which is best to buy in these posts:
What Is Espresso Roast? Do I Have To Use It To Make Espresso?
You’ve probably come across the term ‘Espresso Roast’ when shopping for coffee beans. What does that mean exactly? And is it necessary for making espresso? Or can you use anything you like?
To start, all coffee beans are the same and will work for any brewing method. What’s going to be different is the coffee grind for each method.
Espresso roast usually refers to the fact that the coffee beans have been roasted for a longer period of time to create a dark and less acidic coffee, which works best for espresso brewing method. Does that mean you can’t use different roasts or blends for espresso? No, you’re free to use whatever blend or roast you like, as long as you grind it correctly.
If you’re familiar with Nespresso’s Vertuo machines, such as VertuoPlus and Evoluo, you’ll find the Vertuo Next machine to look similar yet more modern. But an update to the design isn’t all there is to it. Keep reading to learn more about the Vertuo Next and how it’s different from other Vertuo machines.
What Is Nespresso Vertuo?
Nespresso, makers of single-serve espresso makers have two main line of products: OriginalLine and Vertuo line.
Vertuo machines (VertuoPlus, Evoluo) are designed with a special technology patented to Nespresso that allows them to brew espresso as well as coffee. Unlike other machines, Vertuo machines don’t use a pump or drip mechanism to brew espresso/coffee, instead, it uses Cetrifusion technology, which spins the coffee capsule rapidly while saturating them with water to produce a flavorful cup.
Features of Nespresso Vertuo Next:
- New compact design.
- Brews 5 cup sizes: espresso (1.35 oz), double espresso (2.7 oz), gran lungo (5 oz), coffee, (7.7 oz) and Alto XL (14 oz).
- Automatically adjusts machine settings to match type of capsule you’re brewing by scanning the barcode on the rim of the capsule.
- Built-in WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity allows you to connect your machine to your smartphone or tablet to receive any software update to your machine and for capsule reordering.
- Compatible with Nespresso Vertuo capsules only.
- Water reservoir capacity: 60 oz.
- Made from 54% recycled materials and 100% sustainable packaging.
What’s New in Nespresso Vertuo Next?
- New design. Vertuo Next is the most compact Vertuo machine, followed by the VertuoPlus.
- Connectivity: Vertuo Next is the only Vertuo machine (as of the time of writing) to have WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. Another Nespresso machine with this connectivity is Essenza Mini Plus, which is an OriginalLine machine.
- Material: One great thing about the VertuoNext is the fact that it is 54% made from recycled materials.
Nespresso Vertuo Next vs. VertuoPlus and Evoluo – What Is The Difference?
For the most part, using the Vertuo Next is the same as other Vertuo machines. They are all compatible with the same capsules and programmed with the same cup sizes.
The biggest difference is its Bluetooth/WiFi connectivity which allows for future updates. This might give you machine extra time of use as Nespresso unveils new features.
Other than that, if you currently own a Vertuo machine that works just fine then keep it. There’s no need for the upgrade. However, if you’re new to Vertuo machines, Vertuo Next is the perfect machine to start with.
If you’re looking for an affordable compact super automatic coffee brewer, The Carina (1200 Series) by Philips is a great machine to consider. It’s a very simple machine that does exactly what it’s suppose with push-button operation. It has enough customization options to make a nice cup of coffee the way you like it.
Features of Philips Carina Super Automatic Espresso Machine:
- All in one, bean to cup coffee maker with built-in ceramic grinder and milk frother.
- Push-button beverages: Espresso, Coffee and Hot Water.
- Milk frothing wand allows you to heat and froth milk to create drinks like Cappuccino or Latte.
- Adjustable 12 grind settings.
- Adjustable 3 temperature settings.
- Adjustable coffee volume.
- Bypass doser for using pre-ground coffee.
- Front loading water reservoir with 1.8L capacity.
- Bean hopper capacity: 10 oz.
- Air-tight lid keeps coffee beans fresh inside the hopper.
- Compatible with Philips’ AquaClean smart sensing water filters (sold separately).
The Difference Between Brewing Coffee and Espresso:
A lot of super automatic machines only brew espresso, which is a shot that is made by extracting a strong brew using high force of water. To extract a shot of espresso, machines use a 15-bar (sometimes 19-bar) pump pressure. That’s why espresso machines operate on a totally different level than a drip coffee maker.
Espresso is either drank on its own, or with the use of frothed milk, can be used as a base for many specialty coffee drinks like Cappuccinos, Lattes or Macchiatos.
What about those times when you don’t want espresso, but would prefer a classic cup of coffee instead?
A machine like the Philips Carina can make that for you, too. Although the machine does not drip coffee the same as a classic coffee maker, it uses low pressure to replicate it and produces a long cup of coffee that’s just as good as a traditional drip machine’s.
Hot Water Option – What’s It For?
The hot water button provides you with boiling hot water instantaneously. You don’t have to heat water manually or use an electric kettle to bring water to boil, with the Philips Carina, it’s as simple as pushing a button to get hot water to use for tea, instant meals or whatever else you might need it for! The hot water goes through an independent spout, so you don’t have to worry about any coffee taste or residue in your hot water.
Philips Carina 1200-series vs. Philips 2200-series, What’s The Difference?
If you’ve seen the Philips 2200, it looks identical to the Carina. And we’re not wrong, they both have the exact same features:
Beverage options: espresso, coffee and hot water.
Temperature settings: 3
Grind settings: 12
Milk Frother: classic steam wand
They also have the same ceramic grinder and water reservoir. So, where’s the difference?
There’s just one single difference between these models: Aroma strength.
The 2200-series has a selection of 3 Aroma Strength settings, which is basically brew strength. Adjusting this setting will allow you to create regular or bold coffee depending on your choice.
Philips 1200, 2200 vs. 3200 Series, What’ the Difference?
If you want to go next level with the features, the 3200-series has the most features out of this line of machines.
- Enjoy 4 coffees at your fingertips, makes espresso, hot water, coffee, Americano, Espresso Lungo
- Intuitive touch display, frequency: 60 hertz
- Adjust aroma strength and quantity
- 12-step grinder adjustment
- Aroma seal keep your beans fresh for longer
The Philips 3200 has:
- Four preset beverages: espresso, espresso lungo, coffee and americano. It has the hot water option, too.
- It has adjustable temperature, coffee volume and aroma strength settings.
- Unlike the 1200 and 2200 series, the 3200 series has its temperature setting on the front panel so you can change it with a press of a button. The other models have the temperature settings inside of the machine that requires a bit of a tinkering.
- Design wise, the 3200 has some nice stainless steel accents like the bezel around the front panel and the stainless steel drip tray.
Philips 3200 Series vs. 3200 LatteGo Fully Automatic, What’s The Difference?
- Enjoy 5 coffees
- Intuitive touch display
- 12-step grinder adjustment
- 20,000 cups of finest coffee with durable ceramic grinders
- Keep your beans fresh for longer thanks to the aroma seal
The LatteGo is an upgraded version of the 3200-series machine offering you even more features:
- It has 5 preset beverages: espresso, coffee, americano, cappuccino and latte macchiato. As well as hot water on demand.
- The LatteGo has an integrated milk frothing jug. This type of milk frother heats, froths and pours in the milk into your cup automatically. So you don’t have to froth the milk manually using this model.
- Since the machine has an integrated milk frother, you can adjust the milk and froth volume as well as coffee volume.
- Unfortunately, this model lacks adjustable temperature settings. But instead, it uses Aroma Extract System, which is an intelligent system that works on balancing temperature and aroma to water flow settings to create the perfect cup.
- Adjustable settings are temperature, aroma, coffee and milk volume.
Which of These Should You Buy?
If you’re looking for an all in one, push button solution then the 3200 LatteGo has it all. The automatic milk frother means you only need to push the cappuccino or latte button to get your favorite beverage done for you fully automatically. The milk froth will be perfectly done every time. This is the biggest advantage the LatteGo offers you.
If you don’t mind frothing your milk manually, then your choice is between the 1200, 2200 and 3200. The 3200-series offers extra presets (lungo or americano), but I do believe you can save a bit of cash and manually create those presets on either the 1200 or 2200 models. Both models have instant hot water (so you can easily make an americano) and the espresso volume can be adjusted to create a lungo.
If Aroma Strength (brew strength) is important to you, then you can go for either 2200 or 3200.
If you want the most affordable option that still does most tasks, the 1200 is your choice.
Fully automatic bean to cup espresso machines have always been a great option that deliver convenience and high quality. However, at some point, they were limited to making espresso drinks only.
DeLonghi’s Dinamica does not limit you to espresso drinks only. In fact, it can make drip-style coffee as well as iced coffee, all with a push of a button.
Features of DeLonghi Dinamica Fully Automatic Coffee and Espresso Machine:
- Bean to cup coffee maker with built-in steel conical burr grinder and push button recipes.
- Italian 15 bar pump with fast 40 seconds heat up time.
- TrueBrew process for delivering smooth iced coffee that’s not watered down.
- Coffee brewed using low pressure to produce drip-style long coffee.
- Choose from 5 coffee strength and 13 grind settings.
- Integrated adjustable milk frother allows you to adjust the foam level.
- Simple to clean machine with removable brew unit and dishwasher safe drip tray.
- Bean container capacity: 10.6 oz
- Water reservoir capacity: 60 oz.
What Is TrueBrew Process and What Does It Do?
TrueBrew is what sets this machine from other fully automatic models. TrueBrew makes your iced coffee strong enough that it doesn’t take watered down once the ice starts melting.
What it does is it grinds a higher dosage of coffee, it pre-infuses the coffee for a longer time so you get a more concentrated cup, it brews a longer shot of espresso and it does it at a lower temperature.
DeLonghi Dinamica vs. Magnifica, What’s The Difference?
Magnifica is one of DeLonghi’s most popular lines of automatic espresso machines. It’s hard to compare it to Dinamica as the Magnifica line has a lot of machines that vary greatly in features and price.
But I tried finding the most comparable Magnifica to the Dinamica, in price range at least, and the Magnifica Smart seems to be it. So here’s how they compare:
The biggest difference between these two machine are:
The Magnifica Smart does not have TrueBrew over-ice setting. Does that mean you can’t make iced coffee using it? No, of course not. You can make your iced coffee using any machine. The difference would be that you’ll have to balance a good shot that would still taste good even when your ice starts melting. And since the Magnifica does not have TrueBrew to use lower temperature for brewing over ice, your ice will probably start melting quicker if you choose to brew over ice using a regular brewing option.
If you drink a lot of iced coffee, I highly recommend you go for the Dinamica instead of Magnifica.
The second difference is the frother style. This model of Magnifica uses a built-in milk frothing dispenser, which means the machine will automatically froth and dispense the right amount of milk for your selected recipe. And since the machine does that, you’ll find a recipe button for milk based drinks like Cappuccino and Latte Macchiato. On the other hand, the Dinamica has a steam wand, so you’ll be frothing the milk manually.
After the release of Lattissima One machine, the single-serve machine with single serve frother, too, Nespresso has now released a larger version of the machine called Gran Lattissima.
Gran Lattissima, a Nespresso by DeLonghi machine, is an OriginalLine machine with built-in milk frother. Unlike the Lattissima One, the milk frother is rather large, but that’s not the only thing that’s different… Read on to learn more about the Gran Lattissima features and how it compares to other Nespresso machines.
Features of Nespresso Gran Lattissima Espresso Machine:
- One-touch system: prepare your favorite espresso drink with a push of a button.
- Enjoy 9 preset options: Ristretto, Espresso, Lungo, Cappuccino, Latte Macchiato, Caffe Latte, Flat White, Hot Milk and Hot Foam.
- Sliding drip tray allows you to accommodate cups of all sizes, tall or short.
- Milk frother features a self-rinsing feature to keep the frother clean after each use.
- Detachable milk frother allows you to store leftover milk in the fridge.
- Milk container is top rack dishwasher safe.
- Start up time: 25 seconds, extra 15 seconds for milk beverages.
- Milk jug capacity: 16.9 oz
- Water container capacity: 33.8 oz
- Capsule Compatibility: Compatible with all OriginalLine capsules for Nespresso.
Nespresso Gran Lattissima vs. Lattissima One, What’s The Difference?
- Simple single serve system: The Lattissima one is a simple and easy to operate single-serve system. Simply fill the milk jug with the desired amount of milk, then use the machine to froth directly into your coffee drink for the perfect coffee & milk drink.
- Powerful coffee maker: Nespresso Lattissima One Espresso maker has a 19 bar high-pressure pump that allows for a barista-style result, unlocking the delicate flavor of each coffee capsule. Automatic power off after 9 mins
- Features: The Lattissima one has a 33.8 ounce water tank, a great size so refilling is not as frequent as other single-serve machines. This machine also has a fast heat-up time of only 25 seconds for espressos and 40 seconds for milk beverages.
- Versatile automatic coffee maker: Brew different single-serve coffee cup sizes at the touch of a button depending on your coffee needs - Espresso (1.35 ounce), lungo (5 ounce), and froth the perfect milk to create the perfect cappuccino or latte in the comfort of your own home. Pour over ice to create your favorite iced coffee drinks.
- Complimentary gift: Each espresso machine includes a Nespresso original capsule welcome kit with a range of capsules with unique aroma profiles. Folding drip tray
Gran Lattissima and Lattissima One share the same premium design. Apart from their different sizes, they look quite identical. But looks aside, how are they different features wise?
The main difference here is:
- Lattissima One is a small machine with a small milk frother (4.2 oz capacity). Its frother is designed to hold enough milk for a single use only, so you’ll fill the exact amount you need and refill at each use.
- On the other hand, Gran Lattissima has a full size milk frother (16.9 oz) that holds milk for multiple uses.
The other difference is the preset milk recipes:
- Lattissima One has 4 presets only: Espresso, Lungo, Cappuccino and Latte Macchiato.
- Gran Lattissima has 9 presets: ristretto, espresso, lungo, cappuccino, latte macchiato, caffe latte, flat white, hot milk and hot foam.
Nespresso Gran Lattissima vs. Nespresso Lattissima Pro, What’s The Difference?
- It's all about the foam: The De’Longhi Automatic Cappuccino System creates perfectly layered espresso beverages, with dense, rich, long-lasting foam in every cup from start to finish.
- Nespresso capsule system: The ultimate convenience. The recyclable aluminum capsules contain the finest espressos for authentic taste without measuring or cleanup. Milk carafe capacity (l)- 16 ounce (.5 liter)
- Brings out more flavor: De’Longhi’s patented espresso extraction system creates the ideal flow of water with 19 bars of pressure – the ultimate amount for drawing the most flavor and desired temperature in each cup.
- The perfect amount of milk: During the extraction process, the integrated carafe dispenses milk in adjustable levels for taste. Simply remove from the unit to keep freshly refrigerated. The unit is also designed so no milk comes in contact with the machine – and is dishwasher safe.
- Rapid heat-up time: No need to wait for a delicious espresso. The Thermoblock heating system speeds cold-start heating time to seconds. Used capsule container: 15 capsules
The Lattissima Pro is another Nespresso by DeLonghi machine with features that are quite similar to Gran Lattissima. But similar as they may seem, there’s always a difference that we can spot:
- Lattissima Pro has 7 presets: Ristretto, espresso, lungo, cappuccino, latte macchiato, warm milk and hot water.
- So it’s missing the caffe latte, flat white and hot foam options that Gran Lattissima has, but on the plus side, it has hot water on demand which is perfect for Americanos (espresso + hot water) or for preparing tea or instant meals.
- Milk jugs of both machine have the same capacity: 16.9oz
- Water reservoir capacity of the Lattissima Pro is about 44 oz and Gran Lattissima is 33.8 oz.
- The milk frother on the Lattissima Pro allows you to adjust the density of the foam. Gran Lattissima’s frother doesn’t have this option.
- Lattissima Pro has a really sleek design with brushed aluminum finish, LCD display, touch buttons and backlight indicators.
- Gran Lattissima has an elegant design that combines gloss and matte finishes along with some stainless steel accents and a glass touch panel. It’s available in black or white.
Gran Lattissima vs. Lattissima Touch:
- The perfect creamy latte: One button and one capsule - that's all it takes to enjoy a barista-style latte in seconds. Only by De'longhi
- 6 one-touch recipes: Simple one-touch button for Coffee and milk lovers to prepare creamy latte, latte macchiato, cappuccino, warm milk, perfect Espresso or Coffee
- Made in Italy: The lattissima touch's sleek Italian craftsmanship looks fantastic in any kitchen
- Advanced milk frother by De'longhi: An automatic frother creates rich, long-lasting, creamy foam
- Practical design: Sliding drip tray for different cup or glass sizes, removable milk container with rinsing function, illuminated buttons. Input power (W): 1400
Lattissima Touch is another popular option for a Nespresso machine with a built-in milk frother. Much like other Lattissima models, it includes several presets for preparing your favorite coffee drinks with a push of a button:
- Lattissima Touch has 6 presets: espresso, lungo, cappuccino, latte macchiato, caffe latte and hot foam. So no flat white, ristretto or hot milk presets that are in the Gran Lattissima.
- Milk jug capacity in Lattissima Touch is about 11 oz (vs. 16.9oz of Gran Lattissima)
- Water reservoir capacity in Lattissima Touch is 50oz compares to Gran Lattissima’s 33.8 oz.
- Lattissima Touch has a milk frother similar to Lattissima Pro’s which features a knob to adjust milk foam density.
Barista Recipe Maker is Nespresso’s state of the art milk frother that does a lot more than just froth milk. For years, Nespresso had Aeroccino as its built-in or stand-alone frother. Aeroccino does a good job of frothing milk for cappuccino, latte or macchiato. But you want to create more specialized recipes, Barista Recipe Maker might be for you.
What Is Nespresso Barista Recipe Maker?
Barista Recipe Maker is a connected milk frother that allows you to create a lot of recipes that involve milk. Either with or without coffee, hot or cold.
You can pair your Barista Recipe Maker to your phone or tablet over Bluetooth and using the app, you can either follow existing recipes or create your own. The app has step by step guide for a lot of hot or cold recipes.
Features of Nespresso Barista Recipe Maker:
- Nespresso’s first connected milk frother.
- Induction system allows for better, uniform heating.
- Stainless steel jug that is fully removable and dishwasher safe.
- Includes one whisk for all foam types, hot or iced.
- Touch interface allows you to scroll through recipes with ease.
- You can add any ingredients to your milk as it whisks, including syrups, sauces, flavored powders or even ice cubes.
How Does It Work?
Using the touch interface, you can browse preset recipes like Cappuccino, Latte Macchiato, Latte Art, Mocha, Iced Nitro and more. Each of these recipes use different foam consistency and milk volume. So once you pick your recipe, you’ll get instructions through the app on the amount of milk to add and best program to select. All you have to do after that is press start.
Iced Nitro is one of the programs that many users are excited about. Using that recipe, you’ll add coffee with ice cubes and the Barista Recipe Maker will turn it into a nice iced concoction similar to nitro iced coffee you get as specialty coffee houses.
Hot Chocolate is another great recipe that the Barista Recipe Maker prepares wonderfully by whisking milk with chocolate together.
You can buy the Barista Recipe Maker frother from Nespresso.com
Barista Recipe Maker vs. Aeroccino 4, What’s The Difference?
There’s actually a huge difference between Aeroccino and Barista Recipe Maker:
To start, Aeroccino makes hot or cold froth only. You cannot add any ingredients to your milk as it whisks. Aeroccino 4 gives you some control over the density of the froth, but not any previous Aeroccino models. Also, the heating element of the Aeroccino is different than the Barista Recipe Maker’s.
When it comes to clean up, the Aeroccino has teflon coating and can only be rinsed by hand. Except for Aeroccino 4 which has ceramic coating, and is detachable from the base and can be submerged in water, so it’s dishwasher safe.
The Barista Recipe Maker, on the other hand, operates on a whole other level. Out of the box, it can prepare about 20 recipes, and you can customize your own recipes. It’s bluetooth connected, which is new to Nespresso’s milk frother. Being connected means that the frother can always be updated with new recipes and it can also be monitored for maintenance.
The great thing about Barista Recipe Maker is it’s induction heating system. This means that the jug of the frother (which is fully stainless steel, including on the inside) does not have any electrical parts, instead it sits on the heating element in the base of the frother. This means that the jug is fully removable, and can be fully washed either by hand or a dishwasher. This also means better heat distribution.
The Barista Recipe Maker also allows you to add any ingredients you want to your milk as it whisks. Which means better integration of flavor and more recipes to make!
The Barista Recipe Maker sounds wonderful so far. But are there any downsides to it?
The price can be a problem to some people as it costs nearly double the price of an Aeroccino. Is it worth it though? That’s entirely for you to decide to be honest. If you feel like you need this much customization and you’ll be enjoying different recipes, it could be well worth your money. But if a cup of cappuccino or latte is all you need, an Aeroccino will be just great.
The Barista Recipe Maker is also slower than the Aeroccino. That’s not a huge issue, but something worth mentioning for sure.
A Less Expensive Alternative to Nespresso Barista Recipe Maker – Breville Milk Cafe Frother:
If you like what the Barista Recipe Maker has to offer, have a look at the Breville Milk Cafe frother before making your final decision.
Breville Milk Cafe has been around for years, and it does most of the things the Barista Recipe Maker does, if not better.
Breville Milk Cafe vs. Nespresso Barista Recipe Maker:
- the Milk Cafe frother is not bluetooth connected like the Nespresso Barista Recipe Maker, but this is not as important it Nespresso makes it sound. It’s a cool feature, but not important.
- It has the same induction heating system, as well as a stainless steel just that is also dishwasher safe.
- The Milk Cafe includes two frothing discs, one for latte and another for cappuccino.
- You can add any ingredient to the milk as it whisks: syrup, chocolate shavings, powders… whatever suits your taste.
- The Milk Cafe frother actually allows you to adjust the temperature of your milk. You can choose from variable temperatures, including cold froth.
So using the Breville Milk Cafe you get:
- Induction heating/stainless steel jug.
- Add any ingredients,
- Variable temperature settings (which Nespresso’s frother does not have).
What you don’t get:
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Pre-set recipes
- Recipe app.
So by going for the Breville Milk Cafe frother, you’ll be basically giving up on the ‘techy part’ for actual usable features.
Frothing Plant Based Milks and Other Milk Variations:
This is a question that pops up a lot whenever we talk about milk frothers. Can these frothers froth plant based milks and milks other than whole milk?
In theory, yes, they can frother whatever milk you add into them. However, the consistency of the froth changes based on the type of milk you use.
As a rule, the amount of fat the milk contains effects the result of the froth you get:
- Whole milk creates the best creamy foam.
- low fat milk makes very stiff foam
When it comes to plant based milk, it will depend on the type of milk and brand. So all types of milk will froth, just don’t expect the same results from each kind.
Last Updated: February 2020
If you’ve been looking for a mid-range semi automatic espresso machine for home use, you’ve done right by considering La Specialista by DeLonghi. This machine comes as a direct competitor to the beloved Barista Express by Breville, and is the first of its kind by DeLonghi, a brand that usually excelled in making smaller Espresso machines (like the Dedica) or super automatic espresso machines.
In this post, you’ll read about the features of the DeLonghi La Specialista, how it compares to the Breville Barista Express as well as the more compact choice Dedica espresso machine.
Features of La Specialista Espresso Machine:
- Built-in coffee grinder with adjustable settings and smart sensor to deliver consistent grind and optimal dose every time.
- Built-in smart tamping station: just as your beans have been filled in the portafilter, pull a lever down for the built in tamper to tamp your coffee perfectly and evenly.
- Active temperature control helps keep your machine’s temperature optimal and stable for espresso extraction and steaming.
- Incredibly fast one second start up time.
- Dual heating system, so you don’t have to wait between coffee extraction and milk frothing.
- Pannarello steam wand style allows you to create professional textured milk for cappuccino or latte without any work on your part. Simply adjust the steam wand to the type of texture you want to create.
- Built-in hot water dispenser for Americanos or tea.
- Pre-set buttons for espresso, americano or coffee. You also have a ‘My’ button to program your own recipe.
- Rinse button rinses the group head and portafilter to heat it or clean it.
- Gauge allows you to see what temperature your machine is operating on and when it has reached optimal temperature.
- 2 liter water reservoir capacity.
- 250gr hopper capacity.
- Includes: 2 filter baskets, dual-wall single and dual-wall double baskets.
- Also includes a stainless steel frothing jug.
Video Review of DeLonghi La Specialista:
DeLonghi La Specialista vs. Breville Barista Express, How Are They Different?
As I already mentioned, the DeLonghi La Specialista comes as a direct competitor of the popular Barista Express. As the time I write this post, the DeLonghi La Specialista is higher in price than the Barista Express, so there’s a price difference to start with. But performance and features wise, which machine do you choose?
Now, both machines have quite similar features:
Built-in grinder, hot water on demand, temperature gauge, button controls, hands-free grinding directly into portafilter.
So at this point, it would be easier to see what differences these two machines have:
Grind Settings: the Barista Express has 18 grind settings giving you a variety of options when it comes to grinding different coffee beans and how it can turn out. The La Specialista only goes from 1 to 6 in grind settings, so it’s less options when it comes to coffee ground.
Included Filter Baskets: the La Specialista comes with two filter baskets, a single shot dual wall basket and a double shot dual basket. The Barista Express includes four baskets in total, a single and double shot baskets, single and dual walled. Dual wall baskets are usually a better choice for someone who is still not advanced in dosing and extracting espresso, as it controls pressure better.
Steaming Wands: DeLonghi has been known for its Cappuccino system on their espresso machines for a long time. They use pannarello wands that require no work on your part to get the right texture either for cappuccino or latte. You simply have to set a selector and let it do the work. This is a great choice for a beginner or anyone who is not keen on practicing the art of milk texturing. On the other hand, the Barista Express has a more traditional frothing wand, which will require some practice to get the milk to the right texture, so it’s not as straight forward as a pannarello wand, but it is a better choice for someone who wants to learn the professional way of texturing milk.
Built-in Tamper: The DeLonghi La Specialista has a smart tamper. The built-in tamper, smartly located inside the same head where the portafilter goes to collect the coffee grind from the grinder, requires one single pull of a level (located on the side of the machine) to tamp the coffee perfectly. You don’t have to worry about any mess or any uneven tamping, this built-in tamper does it just right, every single time! The Barista Express has a tamper that is magnetically attached to the machine, but tamping is done manually. And just like milk texturing, tamping is an acquired skill.
Pre-sets: La Specialista has three pre set drinks, espresso, coffee and americano. Upon selecting coffee or Americano, hot water is added to your espresso shot (in different volumes according to recipe). Water pours in automatically and you don’t have to even move your mug, as the hot water nozzle is conveniently located right by the portafilter. On the Barista Express, the hot water nozzle is slightly behind the portafilter, so you do have to relocate your mug slightly and you have to manually start the hot water.
Dimensions: La Specialista is slightly larger than the Barista Express. One noticeable difference is the height of the bean hopper on the La Specialista vs. the hopper on the Barista Express. This might be a problem for someone who is limited on space or cabinet height, so do check the dimensions and compare them to your available space.
Should You Buy the DeLonghi La Specialista or Breville Barista Express?
As you can see, there’s really not much difference in these two machines. However, one wins over the other in terms on advancement:
If you want the manual experience, but do not want to work on learning skills like milk texturing, playing with coffee grind or tamping, the La Specialista would make a better choice. Having less grind settings is not necessarily a bad thing, not everyone wants to get experimental with grind fineness. So, initially, you’ll need to try out from a limited number of settings to get your shot right, then you’ll be good to go. The automatic tamping is great, too. You don’t have to worry about an uneven tamp, which leads to a bad shot, or the mess that comes along with tamping. Last but not least, the Pannarello wand makes milk texturing such a breeze.
On the other hand, the Barista Express gives you more room to experiment and practice. If you’re new to semi automatic machines, you’ll most likely need to make a few shots before you get it right. Same goes for tamping and milk texturing. Since it’s somewhat manual, you’ll have to practice until you get things right. So if you feel like you want to acquire some barista skills, and don’t mind the practice and experimenting part of it, you’ll certainly enjoy using the Barista Express.
You can learn more about the Barista Express on the following links:
Comparing DeLonghi La Specialista to Other Breville Machines:
Although the Barista Express is the most comparable to the La Specialista, we see a lot of questions about comparing it to other machines by Breville. So here are some more comparisons…
DeLonghi La Specialista vs. Breville Barista Touch:
Now you’ve learned the difference between La Specialista and Barista Express, you can now learn about how it compared to the upgraded version of the barista express, which is the Barista Touch. You can read about the difference between the Barista Express vs. Barista Touch here. But let’s compare it to the La Specialista…
The Barista Touch has a lot of features that the La Specialista lacks that makes it easier for a beginner to make an excellent cup at first try. It has a lot of automated settings that make it a breeze, but it also has many overrides to make you customize your drinks.
The Touch Screen:
This nice touch screen gives you access to so many options to customize your drinks. But to start, you’ll find a lot of preset recipes: espresso, latte, cappuccino, flat white and more. Click on the image of your preferred drink, and choose to either brew to current recipe or customize your own. Things you can customize are: coffee strength, milk temperature and texture as well as volumes.
La Specialista does have three presets: espresso, coffee and americano.
Save your Customization:
The Barista Touch also allows you to save up to 8 customized recipes and name them so you don’t have to play with the settings each time you brew.
Automatic milk temperature and texturing:
The Breville Touch has a great steam wand that does the work for you. It allows you to adjust the milk temperature and texture to suit your taste. You can expect professional micro-foam quality that you can use to create beautiful latte art.
La Specialista vs. Breville Barista Pro:
- New intuitive interface lets you be the barista at home
- brbrMake café-quality beverages right at home with the Breville Barista Pro
- Its new intuitive LCD interface guides you through every step so you can easily make all your favorite coffee and espresso drinks at home in no time
- It only takes three seconds to heat up, and quickly transitions to steam milk so you can create flavorful micro-foam milk for impressive latte art
- The integrated conical burr grinder lets you adjust grind size and dose with precision, and the included porta-filter provides maximum flavor doses
Breville Barista Pro falls somewhere between the Barista Express and Barista Touch. Unlike the Barista Express, the Pro version has a screen that displays information and guides you through every step. However, the screen isn’t as sophisticated as the Breville Barista Touch’s.
The Breville Barista Pro does not have pre-sets and can’t save customized recipes. Also, it doesn’t have automatic milk heating and texturing. So it’s up to par with the La Specialista.
How do they compare, though?
The biggest difference here is the LCD display. This display shows you the progress of the grinding, extraction and all other precise information in animations. This helps you understand exactly what’s happening during the brewing process and makes it easier to take notes for your next brew.
Other than that, the La Specialista excels in features like the automatic tamping, the pre-set drinks and the Pannarello steam wand which makes a better choice for a beginner.
La Specialista vs. Breville Oracle:
- Automatically grinds, doses & tamps the required amount of Coffee for mess Free, barista Quality Espresso
- Programmable hands Free milk texturing with automatic purge; Water tank Capacity : 84 ounce;Voltage: 110 to 120 Volts
- Dual stainless steel boilers & dual Italian pumps with PID; Boilers can be descaled by user; Power:1800 Watts; Not compatible with capsules
- One Touch Americano delivers Water directly into the cup after extraction; 3 preset & 6 customizable settings
- Programmable shot temperature from 190 Degree 205 Degree; Displays in either Degree Fahrenheit or Degree C; over Pressure Valve: This commercial feature limits the 15 bar Italian pump pressure throughout the extraction, preventing bitter flavours in the shot; Bean Hopper Capacity:1/2 pounds
The Breville Oracle in on another level compared to all previously mentioned machines. However, surprisingly, the La Specialista has two features in common with the Oracle:
First is the automatic tamping, the other is the long black or coffee preset.
So kudos to DeLonghi for including great features in the La Specialista for a relatively affordable price.
Other than that, the Oracle features:
- Automatic milk texturing and temperature settings.
- Dual boilers, so you can extract and steam at the same time.
- LCD display.
- 58mm portafilter.
- Triple heat system with a dedicated steam boiler and dedicated espresso boiler and a heated group head.
If you’d like more detailed information on the Breville Oracle, click here.
There’s currently three electric automatic milk frothers that are dominating the best seller lists, these are: Breville’s Milk Cafe, Secura Electric Milk Frother and Nespresso’s Aerroccino Plus. Each frother has its own pros and cons, so we’re here to compare these frothers and help you decide which one to buy.
Top 3 Automatic Electric Milk Frothers:
Secura Automatic Electric Milk Frother:
- Best value of all frothers, with its largest capacity priced less than both other frothers.
- Available in two capacities: 250ml and 500ml.
- Heats and frothers milk, hot or cold
- Different whisks for heating and frothing.
- Stainless steel exterior, vacuum insulation, detachable base.
- 2 years warranty.
Breville BMF600XL Milk Café Milk Frother:
- Two frothing discs, one for Cappuccino froth and another for Latte froth.
- Ability to prepare hot or cold froth.
- You can make frothy hot chocolate by adding chocolate shavings or syrup directly into it.
- Disc storage.
- Uses induction heating.
- Jug is dishwasher safe.
Nespresso Aeroccino Plus:
- 250ml capacity for hot milk, 130ml for milk froth.
- Prepares hot or cold froth.
- Different whisks available for latte or cappuccino froth.
- 70 sec. froth preparation.
- Detachable base.
Nespresso Aeroccino 3 vs Aeroccino Plus:
Since the Aeroccino Plus has been discontinued by Nespresso, it’s been replaced with the Aeroccino 3. For the most part, it does the exact same thing and has the same capacity (4 oz for hot or cold froth or 8 oz for hot milk). The difference is that the design has been totally revamped. There’s no more handle, but the body of the Aeroccino 3 remains cool to touch. Another difference is that the Aeroccino 3 only includes one whisk which can be used for both frothing or heating milk, so you don’t have to worry about losing or storing whisks.
Final Verdict – Which Of These Milk Frothers Should You Get?
Out of these frothers, Nespresso is the most popular brand, which is why you’ll find it is the most reviewed frother. However, personally, I don’t believe it offers the best value for your money. If you’re on a budget of under $100, you’ll find the Secura Milk Frother to be the best bang for your buck. If you can go a little over $100, the Breville is your best choice, even though we can’t confirm its capacity, it offers you more features like hot chocolate preparation and allows you to adjust the temperature of the milk manually. And while the Nespresso Aeroccino works just as advertised, it’s pricier than the Secura, offers less capacity, and does not give you the temp. customization and hot chocolate option of the Breville.
Please note that prices are always subject to change by vendors. So it’s best to check the price of each product at the time of purchase to decide which has the best deal at the time.
A Nespresso machine is the ultimate convenient automatic espresso machine that uses Capsules to create the perfect cup of espresso every time. Not only is it compact in size, very quick and convenient, it only requires you to insert a capsule and push a button and you’ve got yourself an espresso cup within seconds.
Which Nespresso Machine Is Best To Buy?
Here’s the gist of it…
– If you want the best manufactured machine (but smallest water tank, on the down side), the Pixie is the only machine made in Switzerland. (some newer models may not be though, kindly check before buying).
– If you want the largest water reservoir, and an option to have an integrated Aeroccino milk frother, the CitiZ is your machine!
Read on for more details…
Features of Nespresso Pixie:
- 24 ounce water reservoir.
- 2 reprogrammable cup sizes for espresso or lungo.
- Drip tray folds up to hold different cup sizes.
- Capsules container holds up to 12 used capsules.
- Backlight indicators for empty water tank or full used capsule drawer.
- Power cord storage.
- The Nespresso Pixie is the only Nespresso machine made in Switzerland.
- Measurement: 12.83-Inch length by 4.33-Inch width by 9-1/4-Inch height
- Available in Electric Titan (pictured above), Aluminum or Titan.
Pixie C60 vs. D60, Is There a Difference?
You might notice that some Pixie machines are labeled C60 and other D60, is there a difference between them? No, not at all. These numbers only reference slight model differences and colors, and does not affect the quality or performance of the machine at all. Simply choose the one that looks best to you.
Pixie by DeLonghi or Pixie by Breville? What’s The Difference?
Another variation you might find is that some Pixie (or even other Nespresso models) are sold under the Breville brand and others under the DeLonghi brand. There are no actual difference between them. Nespresso partnered with these brands to help them with distribution of their machines, and these labels are only to let you know which brand made your machine. But you’re still getting the same Nespresso no matter what.
Features of Nespresso CitiZ:
- 33 3/4 ounce water reservoir. The largest on a Nespresso OriginalLine machine.
- 2 reprogrammable cup sizes: espresso and lungo.
- Folding drip tray.
- Used capsules container.
- Available in Red, black, silver, white.
- measurement: 8-Inches by 13-1/2 inches by 10 inches
What Is The Difference Between Pixie and Citiz?
Pixie has a 24 oz water reservoir, CitiZ has a 33 oz reservoir.
There’s difference in design of both machines that won’t affect the actual performance of it, but might make a difference to you or your kitchen decor. The difference is in the colors, side panels and the bar in which the machine opens/closes the lid.
The Pixie has metal side panels which gives it a more premium feel. It’s also the only machine with backlight indicators for empty water reservoir and full capsule drawer. It will turn from blue to red to let you know it’s time to check up on these two things.
On the other hand, the CitiZ has a nice design, but it lacks the premium materials of the Pixie as it’s mostly made of plastic. But it does have a larger water reservoir which is quite a useful thing.
Country of Origin:
CitiZ is made in China, Pixie is made in Switzerland.
Nespresso Aeroccino Milk Frother:
Aeroccino is Nespresso’s electric milk frother that heats and froths milk for making Cappuccino or Latte. It includes two whisks for creating different density of milk froth and it can make hot or cold froth. When buying a Nespresso machine, you have the option to buy it as a stand alone or bundled with this milk frother. If you’re planning on making milk based drinks, then we highly recommend that you include it with your purchase.
Common Questions About Nespresso Machines:
Can I Use Any Other type of Coffee Capsules with Nespresso Machines? (K-Cups, Starbucks Verismo… etc.)
No, you can’t. Nespresso machines are compatible with their own capsules/pods only.
Can I use the Same Capsules For More Than Once?
Each Nespresso capsules is pre-measured with the exact amount of coffee ground you need for a perfect cup of Espresso or Lungo. Technically, You can hit the brew button twice on the same pod before you’ve ejected it, but that won’t be a good idea. The coffee will not taste good as you’ve already spent the coffee ground inside the capsule on the first shot. So we really don’t recommend doing this.
Can I use My Own Coffee Ground with Nespresso Machines?
There are non-official refillable Nespresso capsules that you can use to brew your own coffee ground, however, they’re not recommended. These capsules, manufactured by companies other than Nespresso, can actually harm your machine. Also, chances are, you won’t get the measurements or coffee ground right or as good as Nespresso makes them, which can negatively affect your experience.
Can I Make Tea with Nespresso?
Surprisingly, you can! Not officially though. There’s a company that makes tea pods that are available for Nespresso machines, which you can learn more about here.
Where Will I Buy Nespresso Pods From?
There’s available online at Nespresso or Amazon. They’re slightly more expensive on Amazon, but you’re not restricted to buying in quantities of 10 like at Nespresso’s website. They’re also available at Nespresso Boutiques available worldwide. Learn more about buying the capsules here.
Is There a Difference Between the Pixie C60 and D60? Or the U D50 and C50?
Not in the way the machines function. The names refer to slight aesthetic differences in the coffee spout or available color only. For example, the C60 is available in Titanium and Chrome, and the side panels look differently than the D60 which has a smooth side panel and is available in colors like red, green and blue.
Breville espresso machines have been ahead of the competition for quite some time now. Apart from having one of the best design, Breville uses advanced technology to ensure that you end up with the most delicious brew. Its compact size and stainless steel surface are part of its appeal. It is just the right espresso machine to have in your home if you want barista style coffee without a lot of complication.
Features of Breville Barista Pro Espresso Machine:
This machine comes with some incredible features that are designed to transform your beans to a delectable cup of coffee within minutes. Every single component functions optimally, and the result is nothing but a bold brew that is hot enough to welcome you to a new day. With the Barista Pro in your home, you will be enjoying every single cup of coffee just the way you like it and without compromise.
Here’s what makes the Barista Pro a great machine:
An interactive display:
You will no longer have to make your coffee blindly. This is because this machine has a nice LCD display. The display is designed to enable you to see the whole coffee making process. Through it, you can set and see the grind size, amount of coffee grounds and the temperature of the water you are using among many others. The details are boldly written and it also comes with backlight to amplify its visibility further. The display shows you all elements you need to pull the perfect shot of espresso.
Built-in Conical Burr Grinder:
Any coffee lover will tell you how important a burr grinder is when it comes to brewing coffee or espresso. Having a built-in grinder saves you from buying one separately. It allows you to choose the exact grind size you want as well as the dose of coffee. The correct choice of these two is significant and often determines the kind of brew you will end up with.
The consistency of the coffee you get is dependent on the kind of porta-filter incorporated in the machine. For absolute consistency and balanced coffee, Breville espresso maker comes with a 54mm porta-filter which will ensure that you get a smooth cup of full-flavored barista quality brew.
Digital temperature control (PID):
Most espresso machines fail to produce quality coffee due to the temperature of the water used. This is where Breville Barista Pro shines. Its digital temperature control feature allows you to get just the right temperature of water required to extract full flavor from the coffee grounds. When the water trickles through the coffee grounds, the machine makes sure it is hot enough to extract ever flavor from the coffee grounds, this makes your espresso shot bold, flavorful and with an incredible aroma.
A powerful steam wand:
The steam wand is a big part of the espresso machine you own. Its incredible functionality enables it to have micro-foam milk texturing capabilities which is what you need for creating latte art. This part will require some practice from you, especially if it’s your first time using an espresso machine. But once you get it right, you’ll love the delicious creamy coffee drinks you’ll be able to make.
Some other great features that you will find in the Barista Pro are: 2L capacity water reservoir, 250g bean hopper, and 1 and 2 cups volumetric control.
Your Barista Pro will include:
- Single and Dual filter basket
- The Razor Precision Dose Trimming Tool
- 480 ml stainless steel frothing jug
- Built-in magnetic tamper.
- Cleaning Kit
- Water filter
Breville Barista Pro vs. Barista Express, What’s The Difference?
The Breville Barista Express has been a best seller on our site for years now. It’s the most loved by our readers, and I can’t blame them! It is reasonably priced while packed with so many features that deliver a fantastic at home barista experience. But how does the Barista Pro compare to it? And should you go for the newer model or go for the Barista Express?
The Barista Pro and Barista Express are somewhat similar and can offer you similar results, but one sure offers a more intuitive experience than the other:
Starting with the controls, the Barista Pro has an LCD screen and the Barista Express doesn’t. The LCD display gives you precise measures of everything you’re doing: the grind size, shot timer, options for customizing your shot and other information you need to create your shot as you want it. On the Barista Express, you have the same options for setting your grind size, filter size, number fo shots and volumes, but you’ll have to do it sort of “blindly” without exact numbers but only using button controls. On the other hand, the Barista Express has an important feature on its control panel that the Barista Pro lacks, and that is the gauge. A lot of user find the gauge to be extremely useful in letting them know the temperature of the machine and the best time to switch between brewing and steaming.
Another difference is the machines heating systems. The Barista Pro has a ThermoJet heating system that heats up in as little as 3 seconds and can switch between espresso and steam almost instantly. The Barista Express has a Thermocoil heating system that takes about a minute or two to heat up and requires a bit of a wait to switch from brewing to steaming. And that’s why the gauge is needed on the Barista Express but not the Barista Pro.
Apart from that, both models have the same capacity in water reservoir and bean hopper. There are some difference in design, but nothing that affects the function of the machines.
Learn more about the Barista Express:
- Is the Barista Express Worth It?
- Breville Barista Express vs. The Infuser vs. Duo Temp Pro
- Breville Barista Express vs. Barista Touch
Breville Barista Pro vs. Barista Touch, What’s The Difference?
The Barista Touch is another great variation of the Barista Express, featuring similar functions but more upgrades that might or might not be useful to you. I would say that the Barista Touch ranks highest among these three models, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best. If it has more features than you need, then go for something else. That’s the great thing about having similar models with some variations.
So how is the Barista Touch different than the Barista Pro?
The Barista Touch is more automated, even easier to use and puts all popular coffee recipes at your finger tips. This model is equipped with an impressive colored touchscreen where all coffee recipes are already programmed and ready for you to enjoy. And of course, there’s always room for customization where you can control the volume of the coffee, the coffee strength and milk texture and temperature.
And how do you control milk texture and temperature? Well, that’s another automated step in the Barista Touch. The machine uses a special milk jug and automatic steam wand that will heat and texture your milk to your desired temperature and foam/texture level.
Another great thing about the Barista Touch is, since it allows you to customize your recipes, it also allows you to save them under unique names for later use. You can create and save up to 8 recipes.
The Barista Touch has the same ThermoJet boiler as the Barista Pro, so heat up time is just as quick.
When it comes to the built-in grinder, bean hopper and water reservoir capacity, all three models have the same capacities: 1/2 lbs bean hopper capacity, 67oz water reservoir and adjustable conical burr grinder.
Breville Barista Pro vs. Oracle, What’s The Difference?
The Oracle is on the higher end when compared to the Barista Pro, or other Breville machines.
To start, the Oracle has dual boilers. Which means it can extract espresso and froth milk at the same time, all while being regulated with PID for precise temperature.
In addition to auto grinding, which both machines have, the Oracle has auto tamping, too. The machine will automatically grind and tamp 22 grams of coffee straight into the portafilter.
The Oracle includes a 58mm portafilter and has a 84 oz water tank capacity. Barista Pro has a 54mm portafilter and 67 oz water tank capacity.
Overall, the Oracle is a more advanced machine. It’s targeted at an advanced home user, or if you’re a beginner, then expect some learning and training until you get things right.
Which One Do You Buy?
Now you’ve read everything you need to know about the Barista Pro, Barista Express and Barista Touch, it’s time to decide which one to buy.
First thing you need to know is that all of these models should give you similar results if used correctly. But here are some pointers to help you with your decision:
- Budget: these models are priced differently, and the price difference can affect your decision. So make sure to check the prices at your time you’re ready to purchase your machine as prices can vary from time to time.
- Controls and Automation: Like I previously mentioned, the difference between these machines should give you the same coffee results, but what will change is your experience in making these coffee drinks…
The Barista Express is a semi-automatic with nearly no guidance from the machine other than the steam gauge, which should help you know when the machine is to switch between extracting or steaming. The grind size is set by hand using a dial (with no numbers assigned) and your espresso shots are presets and can be reset either by pressing the buttons longer to going fully manual.
The Barista Pro offers you guidance using the LCD display where you can see everything that has to do with your shot. Grind size, shot timer, single/double and other customizations that help you in making a shot exactly how you want.
Last but certainly not least, the Barista Touch, which is fully automatic. If you don’t want to deal with all the details, this model has all recipes set and ready to go at your fingertips. Simply scroll through the recipes and pick what whichever drink you’re in the mood for. And if you’re feeling quite particular, you still have to option to customize your drink and save them as new recipes, too!