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Breville Creatista Plus vs Barista Express [Major Differences]

Breville Espresso Machines, Nespresso Comparisons Mar 06, 2023
Breville Creatista Plus vs Barista Express

If you’re looking for the perfect coffee maker, then look no further than the Creatista Plus and Barista Express. Both espresso machines have their own unique features that make them great options depending on your needs.

The Main Difference Between Creaista Plus vs Barista Express

The one thing these two machines have in common is that they are made by Breville (or Sage, if you’re UK-based).

The difference between these two models is in their capabilities: while the Barista Express has more advanced features like a built-in grinder and an overall manual experience, the Creatista Plus focuses more on providing an easy-to-use machine that still produces quality results. With either model, you can be sure to get a delicious cup of espresso every time!

Creatista Plus vs Barista Express – Top Differences

Both of these espresso machines are made by Breville, so you can expect the same quality of design and build. Yet, they are entirely different in how they work and are targeted towards two different types of coffee lovers.

Type of Espresso Machine

Creatista Plus is a single-serve Nespresso machine that is made by Breville. Think of it as a collaboration that features the best of both worlds from the two brands. It gives you Breville’s great steaming technology, beautiful design and automation, but with using Nespresso OriginalLine pods instead of coffee grounds.

This type of machine is suited for anyone who wants a one-touch coffee system with results superior to other single-serve systems.

Breville Barista Express

Barista Express is more of a traditional espresso machine. It is considered to be a semi-automatic, so it has some automated features like the built-in grinder and automatic flow stop, but there’s no automatic drink preparation, you have to make everything yourself.

If you enjoy being your own barista at home, and don’t mind the work and practice it takes until you get the hang of this machine, you’ll love making your coffee drinks from scratch.

Steaming and Frothing

Both of these are Breville machines, they do have similar frothing wands. While it’s expected for a machine like the Barista Express to have a steam wand, it’s a first for a single serve machine like Creatista Plus. But here’s the real difference…

Creatista Plus

In the Creatista Plus, even though it’s a steam wand, the task is fully automated. You simply select your desired milk texture and temperature, and it’s done for you automatically, giving you the perfect steamed milk every time.

Barista Express, on the other hand, like other espresso machines, comes with a learning curve. You’ll have to manually texture the milk to your desired level and temperature. It’s not something that you get right the first time, but practice certainly makes perfect!

Coffee Preparation

As I already mentioned above, these are two different type of espresso machines. Creatista Plus is a push-button machine that uses Nespresso pods, so preparing a coffee drink consists of inserting a pod and selecting your customization options.

With the Barista Express, you’re doing a lot more work. The machine has a built-in grinder, which helps a lot. So you’ll have to select your grind settings, set the portafilter under the grinder, tamp your coffee, then place your portafilter in the group head to start extracting the espresso. You have a preset select for a single or double shot, but you can always adjust them to your liking. Next step will be steaming your milk… once it is ready, you can add ingredients together to make your recipe.

Drink Customization

Both machines gives you some control over your coffee drinks and how you can prepare them. The difference is, one is much easier than the other.

Creatista Plus has customization settings for milk texture, milk temperature, and volumes. Adjusting these settings is done by simply using the LCD display and selector button to navigate all options. Coffee strength will depend on which capsule you use, so it’s not something you adjust using the machine.

Barista Express gives you full control over your drink, too. But it’s not as straight forward as pressing a button. Adjusting coffee strength means you have to adjust grind settings to get more extraction time, and therefor, stronger coffee. Milk temperature is done manually, too. You can either learn to measure temperature by hand, or use a thermometer. So yes, you can fully control your coffee, but it’s done manually, and you have to learn the ins and outs of espresso and milk steaming.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Cleaning your espresso machine is a requirement no matter which machine you get. But some require more cleaning than others.

With the Creatista Plus, there’s no daily cleaning required. Pods are automatically ejected into a used pod drawer which you have to empty and rinse every 10 to 12 pods. When using the steam wand, it will automatically purge itself after each use to get rid of any milk residue. You do have to wipe clean the exterior of the wand though.

With the Barista Express, the steam wand is the same. It auto purges after each use and you only have to wipe it clean. But there’s the daily cleaning of the portafilter and basket, which isn’t entirely hard.

Descaling both machine is done every three to six months, depending on your usage. Each machine has a descaling alert that will let you know when it is time to clean it.

Which Is Better, Creatista Plus or Barista Express?

As both are entirely different machines, it’s hard to put them head to head and say one is better than the other. The question is, what do you need out of your Espresso machine?

  • Do you want to use pods and make coffee drinks with a press of a button?
  • Or do you want the full experience of making a coffee drink from scratch?

If you want an easy to use machine with pre-loaded settings and a lot of options, the Creatista Plus is the way to go.

But if you’re looking for full control over your coffee drinks, and don’t mind the learning curve that comes with it, then the Barista Express is your best bet.

It really just depends on what you are looking for in an espresso machine. Both machines have something unique and different to offer. It’s up to you to decide which one suits your needs best!

Related Comparisons

Common Questions and Answers

Can I Use Nespresso Pods in a Breville Barista Express?

No, Barista Express does not use any type of pods, Nespresso or other. You can either use the integrated grinder or use pre-ground coffee (which you’ll have to correctly measure using a scale).

Is Barista Express Better than Nespresso? Or In This Case, the Creatista Plus?

When it comes to coffee quality, the Barista Express can in fact make better espresso. But it doesn’t come out of the box. You’ll need to experiment until you get to the right consistency and taste that suits you.
Nespresso is a great option for anyone who wants great coffee out of the box. Some might argue that ‘it’s not real espresso’… mostly because Nespresso uses less grounds that you would use in a portafilter. But Nespresso OriginalLine machines, Creatista or others, use pressure to extract espresso, just like any other espresso machine. It’s up to you to find the best tasting pod for your recipes.

Can You Use Oat Milk, Almond Milk or any Non-Dairy Milk in a Creatista or Barista Express?

Yes, you can use any non-dairy milk in both machines. But the results of foam level and texture will vary depending on the fat content of your milk of choice.

Features of Breville Creatista Plus

The Breville Creatista Plus is an espresso machine that provides the convenience of automated coffee preparation with the quality and customization of a professional barista.

With its stainless steel housing, automatic steam wand, integrated milk frother, and programmable coffee settings, this Nespresso capsule-operated machine allows users to craft their own perfect cup of espresso or latte art at home.

The Creatista Plus also features an energy saving automatic shut off mode after 9 minutes and a removable 50 oz water tank for easy refilling.

Whether you’re looking for bold or mild flavors in hot or iced drinks, the 30 plus permanent capsules offered through Nespresso provide endless possibilities for exploration and enjoyment. And the fact that it’s an OriginalLine machine, that means you can actually purchase 3rd party pods, too.

Automatic Steam Wand Milk Texturing

Choose from 11 milk temperature settings and 8 milk texture levels

Espresso Volume

3 programmable cup sizes (0.84, 1.35, 3.72 oz)

Automatic Coffee Preparation

Ristretto, Espresso, Lungo, Caffe Latte, Cappuccino, Latte Macchiato


Colored display with rotary dial for selection

Material and Dimensions

Stainless Steel finish, with available color options.

8.9″(W) x 18.7″ (D) x 15.7″(H)

Water Tank Capacity: 50 oz

Features of Breville Barista Express

The Breville Barista Express is an excellent choice for those looking to make barista-level coffee at home.

This feature-packed espresso machine offers users the convenience of automated coffee preparation with the customization and quality of a professional barista. It includes integrated precision conical burr grinder to grind your choice of coffee beans, low pressure pre-infusion that helps extract all the flavors from the beans, digital temperature control (PID) for optimal extraction, along with manual microfoam milk texturing and 16 precision grind settings to tailor each cup just the way you like it.

The Barista Express also comes with an array of accessories including a Razor Dose Trimming Tool, 54mm Stainless Steel Portafilter, 1 & 2 cup Single & Dual Wall Filter Baskets, Coffee Scoop, Integrated Tamper, Stainless Steel Milk Jug, Cleaning disc, tablets, brush tool & Allen Key, Water Filter & Filter Holder.

This machine is incredibly easy to use; anyone can become a home barista in minutes by following its simple instructions. Whether you prefer bold or mild tasting drinks hot or cold, this espresso maker has everything you need to bring out your inner barista and craft perfect cups of espresso and latte art.

Milk Frothing

Manual steaming wand

Espresso Volume

Preset volumes for espresso and double espresso + both can be reprogrammed

Coffee Preparation

Espresso and milk based espresso drinks are prepared manually. The machine offers automatic flow stop of espresso and auto dosing of coffee grounds. Everything else is done by you.


Buttons for espresso, dial for ground amount selection and pressure gauge.

Materials and Dimensions

  • Stainless steel with some plastic parts.
  • 12.5″ x 13.8″ x 15.9″ (WxDxH)

Water Tank Capacity: 67 oz

Bean Hopper Capacity: 1/2 lbs

Portafilter size: 54mm

Included Accessories:

Breville barista express accessories
  • Dosing Funnel™ Attachment
  • Razor Dose Trimming Tool
  • 54mm Stainless Steel Portafilter
  • 1 cup & 2cup Single & Dual Wall Filter Baskets
  • Coffee Scoop
  • Integrated Tamper
  • Stainless Steel Milk Jug
  • Cleaning disc and tablets
  • Cleaning brush, tool and Allen Key
  • Water Filter Holder and Water Filter