web analytics

Breville Barista Express vs Pro vs Touch – Your Comprehensive Guide

Breville Espresso Machines, Semi-automatic Espresso Machines Apr 17, 2023

Breville espresso machines have been ahead of the competition for quite some time now. Apart from having one of the best designs, 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 complications.

In this post, you’ll find:

  • The difference between Breville models: Pro vs. Touch vs Express and Oracle
  • How to choose the right model for you

Here’s a quick rundown of everything you need to know…

– the Barista Touch has a touch-colored screen with the full menu of drinks it can prepare. It is also automated grinding, dosing, and milk texturing.

– The Barista Pro has an LCD display that will show you all the customizations of your espresso, but it is not automated, and it does not have any drink presets like the Barista

Barista Express is the entry-level machine, while the Barista Pro is the higher-level model. What you get with the Pro is a ThermoJet heating system that is ready in 3 seconds, versus Barista Express’s ThermoCoil heating system that takes 30 seconds to get ready. Also, the Pro model has an LCD display, while the Barista Express doesn’t.

How To Choose Between Breville Barista Models?

Choosing the right model is not as simple as looking at specs. Price and budget come into play. And when it comes to Barista machines, the price range is huge.

It goes from $600 or so to over $2000. So what I always like to ask first, is how much is your budget? And not just what you need in a machine.

Overall, the budget-friendly pick between these machines is the Barista Express. While Barista Pro and Barista Touch are the mid-range models… the higher price tag on the Barista Touch is mostly for automation.

Breville Barista Pro BES878 vs Barista Express BES870XL

Breville Barista Express vs Pro vs Touch - Your Comprehensive Guide

The Breville Barista Express has been a bestseller for years now. It’s the most loved by my 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?

FeatureBreville Barista ProBreville Barista Express
Grind SizeManual control with 30 settingsManual control with 16 settings
GrindingAuto grind and doseAuto Grind and dose
Portafilter Size54mm54mm
Heating SystemThermoJet heating system with 3 second heat-up timeThermocoil heating system with 60 second heat-up time
Water Tank Capacity67 oz67 oz
DisplayLCD display with an intuitive interfaceBasic analog gauges
PriceMore expensiveLess expensive

Overall, the Breville Barista Pro offers more advanced features and technology for a higher price, while the Barista Express offers a more affordable option with manual controls.

The Barista Pro has a faster heating system, more precise grind settings, and customizable presets, while the Barista Express has a simpler analog interface.

Both machines have similar water tank capacities and produce high-quality espresso shots.

LCD Display

Breville Barista Express vs Pro vs Touch - Your Comprehensive Guide
Barista Pro display. (source)

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.

Breville Barista Express vs Pro vs Touch - Your Comprehensive Guide

On the Barista Express, you have the same options for setting your grind size, filter size, number of 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.

Heating Systems

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.

Built-in Grinder Settings

The Barista Pro also has a more advanced grinder that offers 30 grind settings, this allows you to dial and tweak your grind even further for the perfect shot.

Apart from that, both models have the same capacity in water reservoir and bean hopper. There are some differences in design, but nothing that affects the function of the machines.

Design and Dimensions

Breville Barista Express12.5″ x 13.8″ x 15.9″ (WxDxH)
Brevilla Barista Pro13.9″ x 13.5″ x 16″ (WxDxH)
When it comes to dimensions, there are hardly any differences between Barista Pro vs Express. The materials used for the machines build are the same too.

Apart from the obvious design differences, like the digital screen on the Pro vs analogue gauge on the Barista Express, the machines offer the same usability and quality of materials.

Is Breville Barista Express Discontinued?

Since Barista Express has been around for ages. In fact, it’s the first espresso machine with built in grinder by Breville, many wonder if the Barista Express is considered outdated or discontinued?

No, the Barista Express is still in production and fully supported by Breville.

Which Do You Pick?

If you have the budget for the Barista Pro, which is around $100 more than the Barista Express, then definitely go for it.

The Barista Pro, although slightly more intimidating to start with, gives you a lot of room to grow as a home barista.

You get automated and manual features, and the help of the LCD display is great. The additional grind settings give you more control over your espresso shot.

So with the Barista Pro, you won’t feel the need to upgrade your espresso machine soon because you get intermediate and entry-level features.

Learn more about the Barista Express:

Breville Barista Pro BES878 vs Barista Touch BES880

Barista Touch vs Pro

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.

Barista ProBarista Touch
Touch Display NoYes
Preset recipesNoYes
Customized recipesNoYes
Automatic Steam WandNoYes
Reservoir capacity67 oz67 oz
Bean hopper capacity1/2 pound1/2 pound
Heating SystemThermojetThermojet

Ease of Use

Barista Touch is a fully automatic machine, from brewing to milk texturing. It is best for someone who wants professionally made espresso and milk based drinks, but without the learning curve that comes with it.

The Barista Touch 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.

With the Barista Pro, there are no presets. You’re making your espresso drink from scratch. There’s of course automatic grinding and dosing, which all of Breville’s machines have, but everything else is up to you.

Breville Barista Express vs Pro vs Touch - Your Comprehensive Guide

Milk Steaming

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.

When using the Barista Pro, you’ll texture the milk manually. This, of course, requires a lot of practice until you get it right.

Coffee Customization

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.

Heating Systems and Grinder

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.

Is the Barista Pro Better than the Barista Touch?

It all comes down to what you want out of your Breville espresso machine. Both Barista Pro and Barista Touch have the same ‘core’ from the heating system to grinder settings. So you’re getting the same quality in terms of machine build and design.

The biggest difference is how these espresso machines operate:

Barista Pro – has an intuitive display that helps you understand the process of your espresso shot, but it’s still very much a semi-automatic machine. You have to be involved in every step. You will need to learn to steam and texture milk, and get the proper ratios for each milk recipe.

Barista Touch – mostly automatic that you can’t go wrong with any step. The display screen will ask you which recipe you want to make, ask you for your grind preferences, milk texture and temperature. Then, it will walk you through every step. Steps you’ll be involved with is placing the jug under the steam wand, locking the portafilter into place. Then, adding the milk to your espresso.

So it’s quite simple – choose how much automation you want in your espresso machine.

Features of Breville Barista Pro

Breville Barista Pro

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:

Breville Barista Express vs Pro vs Touch - Your Comprehensive Guide

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:

Breville Barista Express vs Pro vs Touch - Your Comprehensive Guide

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.

54mm porta-filter:

Breville Barista Express vs Pro vs Touch - Your Comprehensive Guide

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

Related: Comparison between Breville Barista Pro vs DeLonghi La Specialista Prestigio