Breville is one of the most well-known brands in the espresso machine market. Their machines can go from a couple hundred of dollars to a couple thousand. And in the mid-range of the spectrum we have the Breville Barista Pro and the Breville Barista Touch
If you have been in the search for a new espresso machine and are now trying to decide between these two, you are in the right place.
We have owned and tested many espresso machines over the years and these two machines are some of the best you can get in this price range. Honestly, we don’t think there is a clear winner between these two machines. It is going to come down to personal preference and what you want your espresso brewing experience to be.
In this article, we will compare the similarities and differences to help you make a good decision.
Breville Barista Pro vs Barista Touch: Comparison Table
If you are looking for a quick comparison, this table shows the main similarities and differences.
Both the Barista Pro and Barista Touch use Breville’s signature ThermoJet technology. The ThemoJet heating system can heat-up the machine to the ideal brewing temperature in only 3 seconds.
After you turn the machine on, we recommend you still pull a blank shot first to also heat up the portafilter. The machine can heat up in 3 seconds but the portafilter is still cold and you do not want that to mess up your espresso shot.
The fast heat-up time applies to both brewing and steaming. In other machines, you have to wait a few seconds after extraction for the machine to be ready to steam. Both the Breville Barista Pro and Barista Touch can switch to steaming almost immediately after brewing.
Finally, keep in mind that these machines cannot brew and steam simultaneously as they both use single boilers.
Apart from thermojet technology, both the Barista Pro and Barista Touch have two features that make them capable of producing top quality espresso. Both machines have PID temperature control and low pressure pre-infusion. What does this mean?
First, the PID temperature control makes sure water temperature is consistent for optimal extraction. Machines that do not have this technology struggle keeping the temperature stable. Then, your second espresso shot can end up tasting different to the first one even if you did not change any settings. With the PID temperature control, you will have consistent results.
Another factor that helps improve espresso quality is the low-pressure pre-infusion. This means that the espresso machine will wet the coffee ground right before extraction. This helps avoid channeling which results in better espresso flavor and texture.
What is channeling? When the water finds the easier narrow path through the puck of coffee instead of flowing evenly through the entire bed. This results in some grounds being under extracted and others over extracted and can ruin your espresso shot.
Both the Barista Pro and Barista Touch feature a conical burr grinder with 30 grind settings. Burr grinders are the type of grinder you want to use for espresso brewing and coffee brewing in general because they create consistent grind size for optimal extraction.
The 30 grind settings should give you enough flexibility to make very fine adjustments to your espresso shot. Both machines also have a dose control function for the grinding process. You can choose how long you want the machine to grind for and the grinding will automatically stop after that time.
The biggest difference when it comes to design is that Breville Barista Touch has a touchscreen while the Barista Pro features an LCD display.
Both machines have brushed stainless steel exteriors and very elegant designs. However, there are few details in the design of the Barista Pro that make it look more modern. This was unexpected considering that the Barista Touch is the more expensive machine and even has a touchscreen. The reason for this is because the Barista Touch was built based on the design of the original Barista Express while Breville decided to redesign the Barista Pro.
Both machines are similar in size. The Breville Barista Pro dimensions are 13.9 x 16.1 x 16 inches while the Breville Barista Touch dimensions are 12.7 x 15.5 x 16 inches. These machines are pretty compact considering that they include a built-in grinder.
Display and Ease of Use
The most visible difference between the two machines is that the Barista Touch, like the name says, has a touchscreen. On the other hand, the Barista Pro uses an LCD display.
Some people really like the user experience that the touch screen in the Barista Touch provides. Others think the touch screen takes away from the traditional espresso brewing experience.
Honestly, the touchscreen makes the machine more beginner friendly. It can be your first time using this espresso machine and you can know what to do just by following the steps on the touchscreen. Also, the cleaning process in the Barista Touch is simpler as you can just follow the instructions on the screen.
The Barista Pro uses an LCD digital display. This display is pretty helpful too as it shows information like grind size, grinding time, and brewing temperature. To adjust the different settings, you have to use the knob and buttons but you can still see the adjustments you are making on the LCD screen.
Overall, both machines have a great user interface but the Barista Touch is going to be more intuitive to use thanks to the touch screen.
Steam Wand and Milk Frothing
The main difference when it comes to milk frothing is that the Barista Touch can steam milk automatically while the process is fully manual in the Barista Pro. Both machines have very advanced steam wands capable of creating both thick foam for a cappuccinos or microfoam for lattes.
The Breville Barista Touch has an automatic milk frothing system. You only need to put the milk in the pitcher and place it on the drip tray. There is a built-in thermometer on the drip tray so the machine will stop steaming when the milk has reached the right temperature. The Barista Touch comes with default milk temperature and texture settings for each drink but you can always adjust them using the touch screen.
The Barista Pro features an advanced steam wand with four holes that can generate enough pressure to create ideal microfoam for latte art. But the process is still fully manual so there will be a learning curve if you have never tried steaming milk before.
The Barista Touch comes with five pre-programmed drink options: espresso, americano, latte, cappuccino, and flat white, and it also lets you save additional drink recipes. On the touch screen, you can see all the saved drinks and select the one you want to make. Then, the Barista Touch will guide you through every step and use the pre-programmed settings. You also have the option to adjust every part of the drink making process from grind time/dose to milk frothing temperature and texture.
The Barista Pro does not have this feature. This does not mean that you cannot make all these different drinks with the Barista Pro. Of course, you can. But, you will have to remember the steps and settings for each drink.
We had previously said that both the Barista Pro and Barista Touch have a low pressure pre-infusion function. But, the Barista Pro lets you adjust the pre-infusion time while the Barista Touch does not have this option.
If you are looking to have more control over the extraction process, being able to adjust the pre-infusion time is a great feature to have. This can be another setting that you tweak to improve your resulting espresso shot.
Price and Value
In terms of price alone, the Barista Pro is the more affordable option. Although, none of these machines are cheap. A good espresso machine is usually a significant investment.
In terms of value, we could not find an absolute winner. Both machines have the same built-in grinder with 30 settings, fast heating technology and high quality steam wands. Is the additional investment for the Barita Touch worth it? It depends on whether you find the additional features the Barista Touch offers valuable enough.
With the Barita Touch you will get the touchscreen, the pre-programmed drink recipes feature and the automatic milk frothing. All these features are nice to have but if you do not think they are going to make a big difference in your coffee making experience then, the Barista Pro may be better for you. Personally, we really like having to touchscreen so we prefer the Barista Touch.
Barista Pro vs Barista Touch: The Winner
Overall, we could not find a winner between the Barista Pro and Barista Touch. But, we can help you decide which one is best for you.
Get the Barista Touch if:
- You do not want to froth milk manually and/or have no interest in learning.
- You want a very intuitive use experience and really value the addition of the touch screen
- You want to make life easier by saving your favorite drinks with your preferred settings
Get the Barista Pro if:
- You do not mind frothing milk manually and/or actually very excited to learn a new skill
- You want to have adjustable pre-infusion for more control over the brewing process
- You do not really see the value of having a touchscreen interface vs. an LCD display.
So, have you decided which one is the best machine for you? If you are still on the fence and want to learn more about these machines, we have a dedicated review of the Barista Pro and one of the Barista Touch.
Interested in learning about other Breville machines? Read our review on the best Breville espresso machine.
Which one is better: the Barista Pro or the Barista Touch?
The Breville Barista Pro and the Breville Barista Touch are both espresso machines made by the Breville company, but they have some key differences.
The Barista Pro is a more traditional espresso machine, designed for those who want to manually control every aspect of the espresso-making process. It features a 15 bar Italian pump, a stainless steel steam wand, and a large water tank. This machine is best for experienced baristas or those who want to develop their skills.
The Barista Touch, on the other hand, is a more automated machine. It features a user-friendly interface with a touch screen display and pre-programmed espresso settings. It also has a built-in grinder, so you can grind fresh beans for each shot. This machine is ideal for those who want a consistent, high-quality espresso experience with less effort.
In summary, the Barista Pro is better suited for experienced baristas who want control over every aspect of the espresso-making process, while the Barista Touch is designed for those who want a more automated and user-friendly experience.
Is the Barista Touch worth the extra cost?
Whether or not the Breville Barista Touch is worth the extra cost compared to the Breville Barista Pro depends on your individual needs and preferences.
The Barista Touch is a more automated machine with a touch screen display and pre-programmed espresso settings, so it may be more convenient for those who want a quick, consistent, and high-quality espresso experience without having to manually control every aspect of the process. It also has a built-in grinder, which can be a convenient feature for those who want fresh-ground beans for each shot.
However, the Barista Pro is a more traditional espresso machine that gives you manual control over every aspect of the espresso-making process. If you are an experienced barista or want to develop your skills, the Barista Pro may be a better choice for you. Additionally, if you are on a budget and don’t need the extra convenience of the touch screen and built-in grinder, the Barista Pro may be a more affordable option.
Ultimately, the choice between the Barista Touch and the Barista Pro will depend on your personal preferences and needs. I would suggest considering what features are most important to you, as well as your budget, before making a decision