Breville Barista Express vs Pro: The Ultimate Espresso Showdown

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

The Barista Express is a solid machine, but the Breville Barista Pro offers a much better brewing experience. Keep reading for more details.

Overall winner: Breville Barista Pro

Breville the Barista Pro Espresso Machine, Medium, Brushed Stainless Steel

Barista Pro

Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES870XL, Large

Barista Express

Performance

4.5/5

3.5/5

Ease of use

4.5/5

3/5

Features

4.5/5

3.5/5

Design

4.5/5

4/5

Value for money

4/5

4/5

We spent hours using the Breville Barista Express and Barista Pro coffee makers and researching both machines online. Our aim is to give you an accurate and detailed overview of each model. 

And after you’ve read through this comparison you’ll be able to decide which one is right for you.

Our pick is the Barista Pro. But let’s talk about both in more detail.

Breville Barista Express vs Pro: At a Glance

Breville the Barista Pro Espresso Machine, Medium, Brushed Stainless Steel
Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES870XL, Large


First, we’ll describe both machines separately. In the next section, we’ll give you a side-by-side comparison using our five criteria for reviewing coffee makers.

Breville Barista Pro

The Breville Barista Pro is a professional-quality espresso machine praised in many online reviews.

And our own personal experience with the machine lives up to the hype.

Its standout feature is the integrated conical burr grinder, allowing for fresh, on-demand bean grinding with adjustable size and quantity.

The machine also has a cool ThermoJet heating system that heats water in just three seconds, enabling quick brewing and seamless switching to steaming.

Precise temperature control and pre-infusion enhance coffee flavor extraction.

The user-friendly LCD display (which is not present on the Barista Express) provides all necessary settings, including customizable options and presets.

The powerful steam wand, equipped with a four-hole tip and swivel ball joint, creates a terrific microfoam for lattes and cappuccinos.

Also, its ease of cleaning and maintenance, along with included accessories like a tamper, milk jug, and cleaning kit, add to its appeal.

Despite being pricey, the Breville Barista Pro is an excellent choice for espresso lovers seeking consistent, high-quality results at home.

Here’s our scorecard:

  1. Performance: 4.5/5 – The ThermoJet heating system provides quick heat-up times and more consistent espresso shots.
  2. Ease of Use: 4.5/5 – The LCD display and intuitive interface make it user-friendly, especially for adjusting settings and cleaning modes.
  3. Features: 4.5/5 – It comes with a more precise grinder, quicker steam wand, and overall more advanced features than the Express.
  4. Design: 4.5/5 – The modern, sleek design with rounded edges and a brushed stainless steel finish gives it a contemporary look.
  5. Value for Money: 4/5 – Although more expensive, the Pro’s advanced features and improved performance justify the higher price for serious coffee enthusiasts.

Breville Barista Express

The Barista Express espresso machine is an excellent choice for home baristas seeking café-style beverages without a hefty price tag or steep learning curve.

The machine features an integrated conical burr grinder for fresh bean grinding and dose control. You can adjust the grind size and quantity or rely on preset buttons. The grinder is efficient and relatively quiet, with a bean hopper capacity of 8 oz.

Its thermocoil heating system heats water in about 30 seconds, offering five brew temperature settings (196°F to 204°F) for optimal coffee extraction. The pre-infusion function gives you an enhanced espresso flavor and crema.

Four filter baskets are included (two single-wall for fresh coffee and two double-wall for pre-ground coffee), catering to varying skill levels. A pressure gauge assists in fine-tuning extraction pressure.

Featuring a powerful steam wand with a four-hole tip and swivel joint, it effortlessly creates microfoam for lattes and cappuccinos and includes a purge function for easy cleaning.

Maintenance is straightforward, with removable components and included cleaning tools and accessories like a tamper and milk jug.

Overall, the Breville Barista Express is a robust, semi-automatic machine offering significant control and customization. It strikes a balance between automatic convenience and manual skill, making it a great value for consistently delicious coffee.

Here’s our scorecard:

  1. Performance: 3.5/5 – While it delivers good espresso, it can be a bit inconsistent compared to the Pro, especially in temperature stability.
  2. Ease of Use: 3/5 – The analog gauge and manual adjustments require more effort and learning, making it less intuitive than the Pro.
  3. Features: 3.5/5 – It has solid features like an integrated grinder and customizable settings, but lacks the advanced features of the Pro.
  4. Design: 4/5 – The Barista Express has a stylish design with a classic espresso machine appearance, but the analog gauge might not appeal to everyone.
  5. Value for Money: 4/5 – Given its lower price point compared to the Pro, it offers good value for those new to home espresso brewing.


Side-By-Side Comparison

breville barista express vs pro


The chart above shows the 5 criteria we use to review our coffee makers. You can see our review guidelines here.

These are:

  • Performance
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Design
  • Value for money

Let’s talk about these one at a time, starting with performance.

Performance

The Breville Barista Express stands out for its impressive blend of manual and automatic features. With its efficient thermocoil heating system and integrated grinder, it offers good temperature control and consistently high-quality espresso, making it an excellent choice for those who enjoy a hands-on approach to brewing.

In contrast, the Pro model takes performance to the next level with its rapid ThermoJet heating and more precise grinder, ensuring quick and consistent espresso shots.

The addition of a user-friendly LCD interface further enhances its appeal, making it ideal for anyone seeking both efficiency and quality in their espresso experience.

Winner: Barista Pro

Ease of use

The Barista Pro’s LCD screen provides a more intuitive and easy-to-use interface. You can easily customize settings and access cleaning modes. In contrast, the Express, with its analog gauge, needs frequent manual adjustments.

Winner: Barista Pro

Features

Next, we have the features.

Espresso Quality & Heating System

The heart of any espresso machine is its heating system. The Barista Pro boasts Breville’s latest ThermoJet heating system, contrasting with the Thermal Coil of the Express.

The ThermoJet’s efficient design heats up in a mere three seconds, compared to 30-45 seconds for the Express. The Pro’s consistent temperature provides smoother, balanced espresso shots time after time, while the Express can be a bit hit or miss.

Milk Frothing & Steam Wand

Moving on to milk frothing, the Pro again takes the lead with its Four Hole steam wand tip and faster heating, thanks to the ThermoJet. It froths milk in about 45 seconds, while the Express takes roughly a minute and a half.

Grinder

Both machines feature a conical stainless steel burr grinder, but the Pro offers more precision with about 30 settings, compared to 16 on the Express. This difference allows for more finely tuned espresso extraction.

Winner: Barista Pro

Design

Next up is the design. The Barista Pro, with its modern, futuristic look, brushed stainless steel, and rounded edges, stands out. It replaces the analog pressure gauge of the Express with a sleek LCD screen. Both models have integrated burr grinders and similar dosing for the portafilter. A notable functional change in the Pro is the angled water spout, perfect for Americanos, and a low water sensor.

Winner: It’s a tie!

Value for money

Given the lower price point of the Express compared to the Pro, it offers good value for those new to home espresso brewing. Although more expensive, the Pro’s advanced features and improved performance justify the higher price for serious coffee enthusiasts.

Winner: It’s a tie!

Overall Winner

So, where do we stand?

The Breville Barista Pro is our top pick, mainly due to its superior ThermoJet heating system, which ensures more consistent espresso and faster, efficient milk steaming.

Its user-friendly display is a bonus.

If you already own the Barista Express, it’s still a solid machine, especially for those new to home brewing.

But if you’re in the market for your first machine, or looking to upgrade, the Barista Pro, despite being slightly more expensive, is an investment worth considering for its long-term usability and superior performance.

Overall winner: The Barista Pro

Conclusion

Whether you’re a seasoned barista or a newbie, the Breville Barista Pro offers an unparalleled brewing experience. The Barista Express is still a solid machine though, so if you want to save money and still get a great espresso maker, by all means, go with this model.

You can buy either on Amazon by clicking the buttons below. Happy brewing!


FAQ

What is the difference between Breville Barista Pro and Express

The main difference between the Breville Barista Pro and the Express is the Pro’s faster ThermoJet heating system, more precise grinder settings, and user-friendly LCD interface, compared to the Express’s thermocoil heating and more manual controls.

Is the Breville Barista Pro good for beginners?

Yes, the Breville Barista Pro is suitable for beginners due to its intuitive LCD display and user-friendly controls, which simplify the espresso-making process.

What is the difference between Barista Pro and Impress?

Both machines are crafted for ease of use, but the Barista Pro enhances the brewing process with its efficient LCD screen and quicker heating capabilities. In terms of producing premium coffee, the Barista Pro potentially surpasses the Express Impress, thanks to its finer temperature regulation and advanced steam wand.

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AUTHOR

My name is Colm O’Regan. I’m a self-confessed coffee nut who probably drinks a little too much of the stuff every morning. And I founded Moderno Coffee with the goal of providing the best coffee guides and reviews on the web.