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Breville Barista Pro vs Breville Barista Express: Which Espresso Machine Is Best For You?

Long story short: The Express is a solid machine with a manual frother, but the Pro beats it soundly for the cost with its automatic features, including grind size & dosing, cleaning, and frothing. You can buy the Pro on Amazon.

Breville Barista Express vs Pro header

This is our comprehensive review of the Breville Barista Express espresso machine vs Pro.

Breville has established a reputation for producing high-quality coffee machines that offer the best of both worlds: professional-grade coffee-making technology and user-friendly features.

Two of the most popular coffee machines from the company are the Breville Barista Express and Breville Barista Pro.

From the moment they came out, I’ve been in love with the Barista coffee makers. As an old superfan of Breville espresso machines, these two have always been my favorite. It’s like your favorite band’s favorite album. And I bet I can get you to love at least one of these espresso machines, too. 

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at both these machines, highlighting their key features, differences, and similarities.

By the end, I hope to have helped you decide which one suits your needs best: Breville Barista Express vs Pro.

Breville Barista Express vs Breville Barista Pro – At A Glance

The Breville Barista Express and Barista Pro share many similarities but also have several differences. Here’s a quick summary of these two popular espresso machines.

Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine
WINNER
Breville Barista Pro Espresso Machine
Product
Built-in conical burr grinder
Built-in conical burr grinder
Yes
Yes with digital temperature control
Water tank capacity
Water tank capacity
67 fl. oz.
67 fl. oz.
Pump pressure
Pump pressure
15 Bar Italian Pump
15 Bar Italian Pump
Heating system
Heating system
1600W thermocoil heating system
ThermoJet heating system with 3 seconds heat-up time
Included accessories
Included accessories
54mm portafilter, single and double shot baskets, stainless steel milk jug, and cleaning kit
54mm portafilter, single and double shot baskets, stainless steel milk jug, and cleaning kit
Dimensions (inches)
Dimensions (inches)
13.25" x 12.5" x 15.75"
13" x 12" x 16"
Weight (pounds)
Weight (pounds)
23
20
Type
Type
Manual

Coffee Machine Grinder Tech – Pro and Barista Express Overview 

Both the Breville Barista Express and the Breville Barista Pro come with built-in conical burr grinders, which are known for their ability to produce a consistent and perfect espresso grind. The grinders in both machines are adjustable, allowing users to choose from different grind settings depending on their preferences.

With a high-quality grinder like this, we coffee lovers can enjoy freshly ground coffee beans for each shot, which can result in a more flavorful and aromatic cup of coffee.

While both machines have built-in grinders, there is a significant difference in the grinder technology between Breville Barista Express vs Pro. 

The Barista Pro has a digital temperature control feature that ensures the grind size and dose are consistent. This means that the Barista Pro can maintain a constant temperature during the grinding process, which leads to higher quality espresso. 

In contrast, the Express espresso maker does not have this feature, and users have to rely on their skills and experience to produce consistent grinds and espresso extraction.

Another notable difference between the grinders in the Barista Express and the Barista Pro is the grind speed.

The Barista Pro has a faster grinder that can produce an espresso shot in less time compared to the Barista Express. This can be especially useful for those who are always in a hurry and need their coffee fix quickly.

The difference in speed isn’t much, really, but grinders are noisy. Noise is part of any espresso machine with a built-in grinder. But for someone like me who cannot bear loud noises, the faster it’s over, the better.

Design Features of the Barista Pro vs Barista Express Model

Breville makes beautiful espresso machines. Both the Breville Barista Express and the Barista Pro have a sleek and modern design that would fit well in any kitchen.

The Barista Express comes in stainless steel, while the Barista Pro features a brushed stainless steel design. 

In terms of usability, both machines are simple to operate – in my opinion, one of the best things about Breville.

They both come with a clear and intuitive control panel that allows you to adjust settings easily. The Barista Pro’s slightly more advanced control panel comes with additional features like the digital temperature control for the grinder, which make this espresso machine feel a bit more sophisticated when you’re pulling espresso and steaming milk. 

Another design difference is that the Barista Pro has an LCD display screen. This screen displays shot time, water temperature, and other important brewing information, making it easier to track and adjust your coffee-making process.

The Express is less fancy, but still totally usable.

Barista Express vs Barista Pro: Milk Frothing And Steam Wands

The Barista Express and the Barista Pro both come with a stainless steel milk jug that can be used for frothing milk. The milk jug for both machines is of high quality, and its size is perfect for preparing cappuccinos or lattes.

But the Breville Barista Pro is one step ahead here. It has an automatic milk frothing feature that the Barista Express does not have. This feature allows you to set the temperature and texture of your milk to your liking and saves you the hassle of manually frothing the milk.

In terms of the quality of the frothed milk, both machines deliver excellent results.

However, the Barista Pro uses a thermojet heating mechanism, so its frothing time is faster. That means you can get your cappuccino or latte ready in no time.

On the other hand, the Breville Barista Express uses a thermocoil system that takes slightly longer to heat up the milk and froth it. I could see this getting annoying if you want to drink espresso every morning but are always running out the door.

Ease of Cleaning

Another aspect to consider that I always bring up when shopping for coffee makers is the ease of cleaning.

Both machines have a dedicated cleaning cycle for the milk frothing system, making it easy to maintain the milk jug’s hygiene.

Yet, the Barista Pro delivers an automatic milk frothing system with a self-cleaning feature. That means the Barista Pro also cleans itself after each use, making it a more convenient version of the Barista Express. It may not seem to matter now, but is one of those things that becomes more important in the long run.

Comparing Steam Wands

We cannot talk about frothing milk without talking about steam wands, which both the Breville Barista Pro and the Breville Barista Express have!

The Barista Express features a steam wand with a manual control knob that allows you to adjust the steam pressure and temperature, giving you more control over the frothing process. 

On the other hand, the steam wand on the Breville Pro has an automatic milk-frothing feature that can produce microfoam with a touch of a button.

This feature is useful for beginners or those who want to make drinks quickly and easily. But even though the Barista Pro allows for ultra convenience, the automatic frothing just doesn’t give you the same level of control as the manual steam wand on the Barista Express.

Ultimately, the choice between a manual and automatic steam wand depends on your preference and skill level in making espresso drinks. It’s a big differentiating factor between Breville Barista Express and Pro.

If you’re keen on tinkering, you might prefer that the Barista Express espresso machine uses a manual wand. But if you’re not aiming on becoming an experienced barista and care more about do-it-for-me consistency with your home espresso, Barista Pro espresso machines are the way to go.

Breville Barista Pro vs Barista Express: Which Espresso Machine is Worth the Price?

Both the Breville Barista Express and the Breville Barista Pro are excellent coffee machines that offer a range of features to make barista-quality coffee at home. 

But, after considering all the factors between Breville Barista Pro and Express, the Breville Barista Pro is better in terms of its advanced features, faster heating system, and overall ease of use.

WINNER
10
Breville Barista Pro Espresso Machine

For coffee lovers who value ease of use and affordability, the Breville Barista Express is a great option. The Express is slightly more compact than the Pro and has all the essential features to make excellent coffee—including a built-in grinder and a range of customizable settings. 

While the Breville Barista Express offers a solid and reliable coffee machine at its price point, the Barista Pro offers a more advanced coffee-making experience that is worth the higher price tag.

Whether you’re a coffee enthusiast or just looking for a reliable coffee machine for your home, both the Breville Barista Pro and Barista Express are outstanding options that will provide you with delicious and fun espresso brewing every time.

Comparison of the Breville Barista Pro vs Express – FAQs

Can the grinders be adjusted for different types of coffee beans? 

Yes, both machines have adjustable grinders that can be calibrated to suit different types of coffee beans and brewing preferences.

How often should I clean and maintain my espresso machine?

It’s important to clean and maintain your espresso machine regularly to ensure that it continues to function properly and produce high-quality espresso. 

The frequency of cleaning and maintenance will depend on how often you use the machine, but as a general rule, you should aim to clean it every week and perform a deep clean every month. This includes cleaning the portafilter, showerhead, and steam wand, as well as descaling the machine to remove mineral buildup. 

Be sure to follow Breville’s instructions for cleaning and maintenance to ensure that you don’t damage the machine. There are slight differences in how to clean Barista Pro and the Barista Express.

Which of the two Breville machines is easiest to clean? 

Both the Barista Express and Barista Pro have removable components that are easy to clean, including the water tank, drip tray, and portafilter. The Pro model is easier because its steaming wand is self-cleaning.

Can the machines be used with pre-ground coffee? 

Yes, both machines have a bypass doser that allows you to use pre-ground coffee instead of grinding fresh beans if you ever wanted to. 

Can these machines make other types of drinks besides espresso, like cappuccinos or lattes?

Yes, both the Breville Barista Express and Barista Pro can make a variety of espresso-based drinks, including cappuccinos, lattes, and Americanos. If it calls for a shot of espresso, you can make it with either machine.

The machines come with a milk frothing wand, which you can use to steam and froth milk for a variety of drinks.

The Barista Pro has a more advanced steam wand with more precise temperature control, which can make it easier to create latte art and achieve consistent results. However, with practice, you can create great milk-based drinks with either machine.

Are the machines loud? 

Both machines produce some noise during the grinding and brewing process, but it is not excessively loud.

Do both machines come with a warranty? 

Yes, but with different time spans. The Barista Express espresso machine comes with a 1-year warranty. But the Barista Pro comes with a 2-year limited product warranty from Breville.

Is it difficult to learn how to use an espresso machine like the Barista Express vs Pro?

Learning to use an espresso machine can take some time and practice, but it’s not overly difficult. Both the Barista Express and Barista Pro are designed for home use and come with detailed instructions and tutorials to help you get started. 

I’ll say the obvious: it’s important to start with the basics, such as properly dosing and tamping the coffee, and then work on mastering the milk frothing and latte art. 

With practice and patience, you can become a home barista brewing the perfect cup of espresso in no time!

Can you give an overview of the Breville Barista Express?

The Breville Barista Express is an espresso machine that allows you to grind fresh coffee beans, extract espresso shots, and steam milk to create delicious coffee beverages.

What is the Barista Touch?

The Barista Touch is another espresso machine from Breville. It offers similar features to the Barista Pro but that machine also has a built-in touchscreen interface for easy customization of your coffee preferences. If you’re leaning towards the Pro, check out our in-depth review of the Breville Barista Touch and Breville Barista Pro Espresso machine.

Is the Breville Barista Pro worth the price difference compared to the Barista Express?

The best espresso machine for you between these two really depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you value faster heat-up time, a larger water reservoir, and an advanced display, then the Barista Pro may be worth the extra cost.

However, if those features are not important to you, the Barista Express can still produce excellent espresso shots. The Barista Express is still a fantastic espresso machine, but if you want the additional features, the Pro model is worth considering.

Does the Breville Barista Express come with a thermocoil system?

Yes, the Breville Barista Express uses a thermocoil heating system to heat the water for brewing espresso. Heating with the Breville Express thermocoil is not as fast as with the Pro’s thermojet, though.

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