Breville is a well-known and respected brand in the world of espresso machines, and for good reason. Their products are reliable, well-designed, and produce high-quality espresso shots. Two of their most popular models are the Breville Barista Pro and the Breville Barista Express. The Breville Barista Express was the first Barista machine and has been a bestseller for years. The Breville Barista Pro was launched later and at a higher price point. These two semi automatic machines share many similarities but there are some specific features that, in our opinion, make the Barista Pro superior.
If you are trying to decide which one will be the best machine for you, you are in the right place. In this article, we’ll be comparing these two machines to help you determine which one is the best choice for your home espresso setup. We’ll be looking at factors such as ease of use, features, and of course, the quality of the espresso they produce. Whether you’re a seasoned barista or just starting out on your espresso journey, this comparison will provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision.
- Breville Barista Pro vs Express: Comparison Table
- Breville Barista Pro vs Express: How are they different?
- Barista Pro vs Barista Express: The Winner
- Barista Pro vs Barista Express: Which one is best for you?
Breville Barista Pro vs Express: Comparison Table
If you are looking for a quick answer, the Barista Pro is our winner. This table shows the main similarities and differences.
| || || |
|Automatic milk frothing|
|Grind Dose Control|
|Grinder||16 settings||30 settings|
|Heating system||Thermocoil: 30 second heat up time||ThermoJet: 3 second heat up time|
|Steam Wand||Singler-hole wand||Four-hole steam wand: faster milk steaming|
|Summary||Solid machine. It offers all the basics for high quality espresso||Better grinder and heating system are worth the extra investment.|
Breville Barista Pro vs Express: How are they different?
The main differences between the Barista Pro and Barista Express are the grinder, the heating system and the addition of an LCD display in the Barista Pro. We will talk about these and other factors that set these two machines apart.
Heating system and Espresso brewing
The main difference between the Barista Pro and the Barista Express is that they use different heating systems. The Barista Express uses a thermocoil heating system while the Barista Pro features the more advanced thermojet system. The difference between the two systems lies in how fast they can heat the water.
The Thermojet system in the Barista Pro can heat up the machine in only 3 seconds. The Barista Pro can also switch from brewing to steaming and viceversa with the same speed.
The Barista Express uses a thermocoil system that heats in less than a minute. This is still fast compared to other espresso machines but sometimes you just cannot wait for your coffee.
Also, even though both machines can heat up really fast, it is still recommended that you pull a blank shot before pulling the first espresso shot. This is how you preheat the portafilter so that it is also at the ideal brewing temperature.
Both machines have two features that bring the espresso quality to the next level. First, they have a pre-infusion function that soaks the grounds right before brewing to reduce the risk of channeling. Also, both machines use a PID temperature control system that helps keep temperature stable during brewing.
Overall, both machines can heat up relatively fast and are capable of producing top quality espresso. The difference is that the Barista Pro can do it faster.
Winner: Barista Pro
Both machines have a built-in conical burr grinder but the Barista Pro has 30 grind settings vs. the 16 grind settings in the Barista Express.
One factor that determines the final taste and texture of the espresso shot is the grind size. Sometimes it is necessary to make really small adjustments to the grind size and having a wider range of grind settings can be helpful. The Barista Pro will let you be more precise when dialing in your shot.
Both grinders have a dose control function but the Barista Pro also has a pause grind option. This is helpful when the grounds in your portafilter are about to spill over and you want to pause the grinding to rearrange them before finishing up.
To summarize, both machines have a built-in grinder with dose control function. But, the Barista Pro offers a higher number of grind settings and the option to pause the grinding process at any time.
Winner: Barista Pro
Both the Breville Barista Pro and the Barista Express are made of stainless steel and have sleek designs. The Barista Express has a more retro look while the Barista Pro looks more modern and also comes in more colors.
We like that both machines come with multiple high quality accessories such as a 54mm portafilter with 4 baskets, a metal tamper and a nice pitcher.
But the Breville Barista Pro has one additional feature that we love. The water tank is removable which makes it a lot easier to refill and clean.
Both machines are high quality and the aesthetics come down to personal preference. However, the Barista Pro has the upper hand with the removable water tank.
Winner: Barista Pro
Display and Ease of Use
The most visible difference between the two machines is that the Barista Pro has an LCD display. Meanwhile, the Breville Barista Express uses buttons and a pressure gauge.
The LCD display in the Barista Pro makes it easier to navigate specially for beginners. You can see the adjustments you are making on the LCD screen. Also, the display will guide you through the drink making process by showing what step you are in. The Barista Pro will show information like grind size, grinding time, brewing temperature and extraction time. When you are pulling the espresso shot, you will know when you are getting close to the ideal brewing duration.
We are not saying that the Barista Express is hard to use. The knobs and buttons are actually very clearly labeled and very intuitive to use. The unique feature in the Barista Express is the pressure gauge in the center of the control panel. This shows the pressure at which the internal pump is pushing hot water through the coffee grounds. This can be helpful to keep track of the pre-infusion time but generally it is not as useful for espresso dialing purposes.
Another improvement on the Breville Barista Pro is the hot water outlet. In the Barista Express, the hot water outlet is a little too far away behind the portafilter. When you are making an americano, you have to make sure to move the cup from the water outlet to under the portafilter. The Barista Pro does not have this problem as the water outlet is right under the portafilter.
Overall, both machines have similar programming ability, but the LCD display on the Barista Pro makes the process easier. While the pressure gauge in the Barista Express is a cool feature, we would rather see the brewing time and brewing temperature on the LCD screen of the Barista Pro.
Winner: Barista Pro
Steam Wand and Milk Frothing
When it comes to steaming, we have to start by saying that none of these machines offer automatic milk frothing. However, the steaming systems they offer are different.
First of all, the Barista Pro has a more powerful four-hole steam vs the single-hole wand on the Barista Express. The four-hole wand on the Barista Pro can deliver steam faster and finish frothing in about 30 seconds. The wand in the Barista Express can still deliver good microfoam but it is going to take about twice as long.
Another difference we should bring up is that thanks to the more advanced thermojet heating system in the Barista Pro, the switch from brewing to steaming happens almost immediately. On the other hand, in the Barista Express, you have to wait a few seconds for the machine to heat up to a steaming temperature.
Winner: Barista Pro
Price and Value
If we only look at the price, the Barista Express is the clear winner. However, if we are talking about value, we think the extra investment for the Barista Pro is worth it. The price difference is not that big compared to the additional features you will be getting.
The two main upgrades that you get with the Barista Pro are the ThermoJet system and a grinder with a higher number of grind settings. Both machines are comparable when it comes to espresso and milk frothing quality. But thanks to the thermojet system, the Barista Pro is just faster. The grinder in the Breville Barista Pro with its 30 grind settings will give you more control and flexibility to dial in your shot.
If you have a limited budget, the Barista Express is still a solid choice. We are just saying that considering that the price difference is just about $100, the Barista Pro offers the best value.
Winner: Barista Pro
Barista Pro vs Barista Express: The Winner
The Breville Barista Pro is our winner. Both machines are capable of producing high quality espresso and of making nice microfoam but the Barista Pro can do this faster.
The Barista Pro also has the superior grinder with 30 settings. In comparison, the Barista Express only has 16 settings. This is still good but there are going to be some situations when you are going to need to make very fine adjustments to the grind size. That will not be possible with the Barista Express.
If both machines are in your budget, we recommend getting the Barista Pro.
Barista Pro vs Barista Express: Which one is best for you?
Get the Barista Express if you want a budget-friendly espresso machine that can still deliver high quality espresso.
- Grinder: 16 settings
- Milk frothing: Manual
- Heating system: Thermocoil
- Display: Buttons
Get the Barista Pro if you find value in having a better grinder, faster heat up time and the LCD display.
- Grinder: 30 settings
- Milk frothing: Manual
- Heating system: Thermojet
- Display: Buttons and LCD display
Hopefully, by now you have found out which one is the best machine for you. If you are still indecisive and want to learn more about these machines, we have a dedicated review of the Barista Pro and one of the Barista Express.
Interested in learning about other Breville machines? Read our review on the best Breville espresso machine.
What’s the difference between the Breville Barista Pro and Express?
The main difference between the two is that the Barista Pro is a more advanced and feature-rich machine, while the Barista Express is more beginner-friendly and budget-friendly.
The Barista Pro has a digital display, programmable shot volumes, and a steam wand with 360-degree rotation for more control over milk frothing. It also has a higher-end design with a brushed stainless steel finish. On the other hand, the Barista Express has a simpler interface, with manual controls and a steam wand with a single-position nozzle.
Both machines have similar brewing capabilities, but the Barista Pro is more versatile, with more options for customization and control. The Barista Express is a great choice for those just starting out with espresso or for those who want a more budget-friendly option, while the Barista Pro is a better choice for more experienced baristas or those looking for more advanced features.
Which is better: the Barista Pro or Barista Express?
Both the Breville Barista Pro and the Breville Barista Express are great espresso machines. The decision between the two ultimately comes down to your personal needs and preferences.
If you’re looking for a machine with more advanced features and customization options, the Barista Pro might be the better choice. It has a digital display, programmable shot volumes, and a steam wand with 360-degree rotation for more control over milk frothing. It’s also designed with a more high-end look, with a brushed stainless steel finish.
On the other hand, if you’re a beginner or looking for a budget-friendly option, the Barista Express might be the way to go. It has a simpler interface, with manual controls and a steam wand with a single-position nozzle. It’s also more affordable compared to the Barista Pro.
Both machines are well-built and produce high-quality espresso shots, so you can’t go wrong with either choice.
Is the Breville Barista Pro worth the price?
Whether the Breville Barista Pro is worth the price depends on individual needs and preferences.
The Barista Pro is a high-end espresso machine with advanced features and a more premium design. If you’re looking for a machine with more control over your espresso-making process and customization options, the Barista Pro might be worth the investment. It has a digital display, programmable shot volumes, and a steam wand with 360-degree rotation for more control over milk frothing.
However, if you’re on a budget or don’t require the extra features and customization options, the Barista Pro might not be worth the extra cost compared to other options. In that case, a more budget-friendly option like the Breville Barista Express might be a better choice.