Breville Barista Pro vs Barista Express: Which One Is Best?
Do you know that the average American spends about $1,092 yearly on coffee? That’s enough to buy your coffee machine.
But the choice is more challenging when buying an espresso machine. The question often arises. Which one should a person choose?
There are many options, but the two most popular ones are Breville Barista Pro and the Breville Barista Express.
Both machines have a lot of things in common. However, they differ in plenty of options that might break or make your decision.
I have tried out these two devices on many occasions. In fact, Breville Barista Pro has been at my home for almost 9 months. So, how good are these two?
In this article, I’ll answer this question. Plus, we’ll compare and contrast Breville Barista Pro vs. Express and help you find the best option for your daily coffee dose.
So, whether you are a beginner or a pro, a minimalist or a gadget geek, I have you covered. Read on to find out more.
Breville Barista Pro vs Breville Express (At a Glance)
Breville Barista Pro
13.9 W x 13.5 D x 16 H
12.5 W x 14.8 D x 15.9 H
LCD for easier programmable settings
Analog pressure gauge
Burr grinder with 30 settings
Burr grinder with 16 settings
Four-hole wand for better quality microfoam
One hole steam wand
Thermojet: 3-second heat up
Thermocoil: 30 seconds heat up
PID temperature control*
Electronic PID for temperature stability
Electronic PID for temperature stability
Heavy steel tamper with magnetic holder
Heavy steel tamper with magnetic holder
No adjustable pre-infusion
Water tank capacity (oz)
Bean hopper capacity (oz)
8.8 (½ lb)
8.8 (½ lb)
Portafilter size (mm)
Cleaning cycle indicator on LCD display
Cleaning cycle indicator on front panel
Manual steam wand
*PID in espresso and coffee makers is a term known as the proportional-derivative controller. This feature is based on logarithms that keep every brew’s temperature stable and consistent.
What is a Breville Barista Pro
Breville Barista Pro is the one for the coffee makers who want to avoid the complicated and time-consuming process. The machine has evolved and got many features from its predecessor, the Barista Express – which we’ll get to in a while.
History-wise, the Breville company has been around since the 1930s, and they have a good reputation for producing high-quality household appliances. Alongside many other machines, they have also launched Breville Barista Pro.
It debuted in 2019 as an upgrade to its previous version, Express. This machine was made more user-friendly and efficient with its advanced features like LCD.
How does it work?
The Breville Barista Pro is not like any other espresso machine. It is a game changer as it has many features that make it superior to its competitor and its predecessor.
For example, it has a ThermoJet heating system that heats up faster – 3 seconds, to be exact. Moreover, this machine has a steam wand that can turn your milk into a velvety can with a simple touch.
Further, you get a friendly brewing system, an integrated precision conical burr grinder, digital temperature control (PID), and automatic control.
The recipe for Breville Barista Pro is quite simple. You should use freshly roasted coffee beans, grind them fresh and let the machine do its work.
To make a delicious coffee with this machine, follow these steps:
- Fill the hopper with your desired coffee beans and adjust the grind size.
- Choose 1 or 2 cups to dose the right amount of ground coffee.
- Tamp your coffee with the integrated tamper and lock the portafilter into the group head.
- Again, select the 1 or 2-cup button to start the extraction. The machine will start the process.
- To make a milk-based drink, use the powerful automatic steam wand to froth the milk. You can choose between flat white, cappuccino, or latte presets or manually adjust the steam pressure.
- Pour the milk over espresso and enjoy your beverage.
How long does a Breville Barista Pro take?
Regarding time, the Barista Pro grinds the coffee in almost 1 minute and extracts the espresso shot.
Then, it takes another 1 minute or so to steam the milk. Overall, you can have a delicious coffee in under 2 minutes.
- Sleek and modern design
- Large water capacity of 67 oz.
- Bean hopper of ½ lb. capacity
- External attachments like a dosing funnel, single and dual wall filter baskets, etc.
- Could be expensive
- Quite large and heavy
- Noisy when grinding and steaming
What is a Breville Express
Breville Express is a semi-automatic bean-to-cup coffee machine that grinds, doses, and extracts coffee in one go. It can fulfill your coffee dream at an affordable price from the comfort of your home.
This machine was launched in 2013 as a more affordable and compact version of the Breville Oracle, a professional-grade espresso machine.
Despite being an older model, the Breville Express is still famous for many as it makes fantastic coffee and is easy to use.
How does it work?
The Breville Express is a semi-automatic espresso machine that grinds, tamps, and extracts espresso shots. This baby can create a perfect microfoam so that you can make almost every kind of fancy drink, like cappuccinos.
And here is the kicker, this machine has 18 different grind settings. Therefore, you can fine-tune your coffee to your liking. Plus, it has a built-in burr grinder that always ensures a fresh grind.
Lastly, there is a 54mm stainless steel portafilter, a Thermo coil heating system, and a 15 bar Italian pump. An innovative dosing system is another plus feature of this old gentleman.
Interested in making a coffee and knowing the recipe of your beloved Breville Express? Here is what you need to do:
- Fill the bean hopper.
- Select the grind size and amount.
- Lock the portafilter into the grinder and press the grind button.
- Use the assisted tamp lever to compress the beans evenly.
- Insert the portafilter into the brew head.
- Choose between 1 or 2 shots, and the machine will do its work.
You can make milk-based drinks using the steam wand to froth milk as you like.
In short, Breville Express can make cappuccinos, lattes, flat whites, and more.
How long does a Breville Express take?
The time for extraction and frothing of Breville Express is almost similar to Breville Barista Pro.
It takes nearly 1 minute in the grinding and extraction process and another 1 minute in brewing.
Some of the pros of Breville Express are:
- It has an integrated grinder that adjusts to your taste
- PID temperature control to ensure consistency
- A steam wand that can create microfoam
- A smart dosing system
These are the cons of Breville Express:
- It has a large footprint that may not fit under some cabinets
- Small water tank capacity
- An initial learning curve that requires some trial and error
Pro Tip: You can choose from various coffee beans per your preferences. My favorite one is Intelligensia Black Cat Espresso. It is a dynamic blend of Arabica beans.
I tried other variants, including Lifeboost Espresso Whole Bean Coffee and Lavazza Super Crema Espresso Blend.
Related Read: Best Espresso Beans for Breville: Top 9 Picks
Breville Barista Pro Vs. Breville Express – Key Differences
Ease Of Use
Even though both coffee makers have many similarities, ease of use plays a huge role in buying decisions. So, how easy is it to use Breville Barista Pro and Breville Express?
It’ll be straightforward here. Breville Barista Pro is the clear winner in the case of customer usage. It has an LCD touchscreen that allows you to interact with the machine effortlessly. Plus, there is also an automatic grinder through which you can easily adjust your dose and grid size.
The Express, on the other hand, has a manual grinder and an analogous pressure gauge. If you are a beginner, you should go for Barista Pro. On the other corner, Breville Express is for you if you want to get the cafe-barista vibes.
Are you running late and need an immediate caffeine fix? Well, the Barista Pro is again a winner in this section. Brew time is one of the most important factors when choosing a coffee machine.
Barista Pro has a faster heat-up time of 3 seconds than Express’s 15 seconds. Simply put, you can get your espresso shots quicker and save precious time.
But here is a short caveat. The Express has better temperature control and a pressure gauge to monitor extraction. Hence, you can get a more balanced and flavorful brew.
Clean-Up & Maintenance
Cleaning espresso machines are not the most fun part of owning a coffee machine, but they are essential to keep it in good shape. Luckily, the Breville Barista Pro and Express can make this task easier for you.
Both machines have built-in cleaning systems and relatively easy-to-clean components. The cherry on top, these coffee makers come with a cleaning kit that includes tablets, brushes, and filters.
However, the Barista Pro comes on top with its automatic cleaning cycle and removable drip tray. Further, this device also has an intuitive LCD screen that guides you throughout the process. Plus, it will inform you when its drip tray is full.
Ultimately, the pro has a slight edge over the Express regarding clean-up and maintenance. However, both machines require regular care and attention for maximum output.
If you require a gallon of coffee in the morning to function correctly, then the Breville Barista Pro and Express are not for you.
Both machines have a relatively short filling capacity. The Barista Pro comes with 67 oz., and the Express has 61 oz. capacity.
However, for the average coffee lover, this would give you more than a few shots of espresso or a latte or two. Simply put, both machines have enough capacity to meet your needs.
A quick question: do you like a coarse or fine grind? Confused? Never mind, whatever your preference is, the Breville Barista Pro and Express can cater to your taste buds.
In fact, the Pro model has a slightly larger capacity for its hopper. This gives you the flexibility to add more beans for grinding. Plus, the digital display facility that shows you the grind settings works wonders.
Overall, both machines offer excellent grind control. Hence, they make it easy for you to experiment with different beans and brewing methods.
If you are a true coffee enthusiast, you know that taste is everything. Both machines make delicious espresso, but there are some differences in terms of flavor.
Since Barista Pro is the latest among both, it allows you to customize the brewing process and gives you more control over the taste. On the other hand, Express’s pre-set options do produce consistently good results.
Both machines have pros and cons when it comes to taste and flavor. The best way to decide is to try them out and see which suits you.
Making an Espresso
Making espresso with both machines is neither easy nor difficult. Initially, you may need help with either device, like the difficult choice of the right equipment or the right beans.
Both machines use pre-infusion to smoothly ensure the saturation of grounds and ensure a consistent extraction.
Here is how you can make espresso with either machine:
- Fill the water tank and turn on the machine
- Grind your beans and tamp them into the portafilter
- Lock it in the group head and place a cup under the spout
- You can add milk to make your espresso latte or cappuccino
You’re mistaken if you think only a machine is enough to make you a cup of espresso. Accessories like tampers, milk frother, and scales can make a huge difference.
The Barista Pro has a razor dosing trimming tool, a stainless steel milk jug, and a cleaning kit. Meanwhile, the Express has a single- and double-shot filter basket, a tamper, and a milk-frothing pitch.
In short, whatever machine you buy, weigh the benefits of these extra goodies when making your decisions.
Value for Money
You must first examine your requirements when it comes to value for money. Both machines give you a cafe-like experience at home. However, they do have some differences.
The Barista Pro is the newer and more advanced version of the Barista Express. It is a faster and more consistent heating system. Plus, a giant, more precise grinder and a sleeker LCD screen exist. These features make the Pro model easy to use, versatile, and reliable. Moreover, this model offers some more durability with its stainless steel construction.
On the other hand, the Express is a slightly older version. Although it is not slow, this machine takes more time than the Pro model. However, Express is cheaper, so you’ll save some money for the extra effort and compromise.
For me, the Breville Pro takes the cake. It may be expensive, but it offers easy access, works smoothly, and has many advanced features. Plus, it is much more beginner friendly and can handle your daily coffee routine.
Conclusion – What to Buy?
The final words are that both machines are excellent options for espresso lovers. While the Pro model has more advanced features and a fantastic design, the Express is a great entry-level machine for those on a budget.
So which one should you buy? Well, it depends on your budget and preferences. If you want speed, convenience, customization, and control, you should go for Breville Pro.
In contrast, the Barista Express may be more of a cup of tea for the person seeking simplicity, affordability, and feedback. Either way, if you are a seasoned barista or a beginner looking to make quality coffee at home, Breville has got you covered.
Related Read: Breville Bambino vs Bambino Plus: Comparison And Review
How does the ThermoJet heating system on the Barista Pro compare to the Thermocoil system on the Barista Express?
The ThermoJet heating system on the Barista Pro heats up faster in almost 3 seconds. Plus, it maintains a more consistent temperature than the Thermocoil system on the Barista Express.
How does the LCD on the Barista Pro help with programming and customizing espresso settings?
The LCD screen on the Barista Pro shows the grind time, shot volume, extraction time, grind size, and temperature for easy programming.
Which machine has a better design and aesthetics for your kitchen?
The Barista Pro has a better design as it has a sleek and modern look. However, the Express has a classy and elegant look. So, the aesthetics of any machine depends on your kitchen look and personal preferences.
Is the Breville Barista Pro suitable for beginners?
Yes, the Breville Barista Pro is suitable for beginners to a large extent. It has an easy-to-use touch interface, a fast heating system, and a built-in grinder.