Breville Barista Express vs Pro [5 Important Differences]

By Mark •  Updated: 01/07/22 •  7 min read
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If you’re wondering whether it’s worth buying (or upgrading to) the Breville Barista Pro vs Barista Express, then this coffee machines comparison should help you decide!

Still not convinced?

Let’s take a deeper dive and look at each machine, key features, and specifications of the Breville Barista Express vs Pro coffee machine in detail.

BREVILLE BARISTA EXPRESS VS PRO
Breville Barista Express vs Pro

Breville Barista Express vs Pro Comparison Chart

Our Pick
Breville Pro Espresso Machine
$849.95$808.38
Heating system: Thermocoil (3-20 secs)
Grinder: Built-in burr grinder with 30 settings
Display: LCD
Milk Frothing: Four hole steam wand (heats faster)
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07/04/2022 02:39 pm GMT
Also Great
Breville BES870XL Barista Express
$699.95
Heating system: Thermojet (30-60 secs)
Grinder: Built-in burr grinder with 18 settings
Display: Analog
Milk Frothing: One hole steam wand
Pros:
  • 4 choices of portafilter baskets
  • Variety of grind sizes
  • Automatic espresso extraction
  • Tamper included
  • Tamper storage
Cons:
  • Small hopper
  • Vague “grind amount” dial
Buy on Amazon Our Review
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07/04/2022 09:12 am GMT

Breville Barista Pro

The Breville Barista Pro espresso machine is the later version of the bestselling Breville Barista Express. There are some noteworthy improved features in the Barista Pro.

Our Pick
Breville Pro Espresso Machine
$849.95$808.38

The Breville Barista Pro has an improved heating system, finer grind settings, LCD, better control over espresso brewing, a more stylish design, and enhanced steam wand placement.

Heating system: Thermocoil (3-20 secs)
Grinder: Built-in burr grinder with 30 settings
Display: LCD
Milk Frothing: Four hole steam wand (heats faster)
Buy on Amazon Buy on Breville
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
07/04/2022 02:39 pm GMT
BenefitsDrawbacks
Integrated conical burr grinder included
Intuitive and stylish LCD interface
1/2 pound bean hopper capacity (brews around 12 to 15 double shots of espresso)
Brushed stainless steel finish
Digital steam gauge
PID temperature control
Manual milk wand
Cannot use ground coffee beans to make espresso
Is the more expensive model of the two espresso machines

Specifically, there are five key differences between these Breville espresso machines, which you should know about before deciding on which one to buy:

  1. Thermojet heating system
  2. Burr grinder
  3. Display
  4. Brewing Performance
  5. Steam wand

Thermojet heating system

Thanks to its new thermojet system, the Breville Barista Pro machine ensures perfect brewing temperature every time. It has a three-second heat-up time and optimal espresso extraction.

Within twenty seconds or less of switching the Barista Pro machine on, you can prepare a perfect espresso!

Note that I typically need to allow around one minute of heating time for the Breville Express, which doesn’t particularly bother me except for days when I’m late for work and rushing to make my morning coffee.

Burr grinder

While both espresso machines come complete with a grinder built-in, I will concede that the 18 grind settings on the Barista Express are somewhat lacking compared to the 30 grind settings on offer with the Barista Pro.

I would say that this feature alone could be a good enough reason to justify an upgrade from the Barista Express.

Why?

Because any barista pro will tell you that minute differences in the coffee ground can make a notable impact on the quality when brewing the perfect shot of espresso.

Display

The display is noticeable between the two coffee machines in this Breville Barista Pro vs. Express comparison. The Breville pro features a gorgeous LCD interface that is intuitive and simple to use.

That said, I quite like the retro appeal of the analog display on the Breville Express machine, so this isn’t a dealbreaker for me and would depend on your personal preference.

Brewing Process

As I mentioned earlier, I quite like the analog pressure gauge display on the Breville Express. However, in terms of optimizing the brewing process, the Breville Pro has one noticeable difference: the LCD screen also displays the espresso extraction time, which is a critical metric in pulling the perfect shot of espresso.

Another advantage of the Barista Pro is achieving more consistent pressure during the brewing process.

Steam wand

Both espresso machines feature steam wands which you can use to froth milk for your favorite coffee drink. You can effortlessly make a flat white or latte with either machine.

However, there are two noticeable differences between the two machines’ steam wands:

  1. The Barista Pro features a thermojet system instead of the thermocoil system used on the Express. It is capable of producing higher pressures due to the thermojet system.
  2. The Barista Pro wand has four holes (one for the Barista Express) which means that the Barista Pro can heat up and froth milk faster.

Note: if you like to drink caffè Americano, it’s worth noting that the hot water outlet position has been optimized on the Pro, making it easier to top up your espresso shot.

Breville Barista Express

I am an expert with the Breville Barista Express espresso machine because I have used mine (almost) every day for three years!

I love my Barista Express and hadn’t considered replacing it anytime soon until I saw the Breville Barista Pro, which I must confess has some neat features and upgrades.

Also Great
Breville BES870XL Barista Express
$699.95

If you’re a home barista who enjoys tinkering with the settings on your machine in pursuit of the perfect espresso shot without breaking the bank, then the Barista Express is an ideal choice for you.

Heating system: Thermojet (30-60 secs)
Grinder: Built-in burr grinder with 18 settings
Display: Analog
Milk Frothing: One hole steam wand
Pros:
  • 4 choices of portafilter baskets
  • Variety of grind sizes
  • Automatic espresso extraction
  • Tamper included
  • Tamper storage
Cons:
  • Small hopper
  • Vague “grind amount” dial
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
07/04/2022 09:12 am GMT
BenefitsDrawbacks
Built-in grinder included
1/2 pound bean hopper capacity
Dedicated hot water spout
Brushed stainless steel finish
Analog steam gauge (which some coffee experts prefer)
Uses freshly roasted or ground coffee beans
Includes a heavy steel tamper
Does not have a digital display or pressure gauge
Lacks some of the advanced features of the Barista Pro
Built-in grinder sometimes results in spilled coffee grounds on the machine

I have previously shared a full review of the Breville Barista Express, which you can read at your leisure.

The Barista Express does still offer better value for money than the Pro and has many of the same features (such as a built-in burr grinder, 67-ounce water tank, 1/2 lb bean hopper, stainless steel construction.

For this review, I have provided a brief summary of the main features of the Barista Express above. If you want to dig deeper, please read the detailed review.

FAQ’s

Is Breville Barista Express worth it?

Is Breville Barista Express worth it

The Breville Barista Express is a legendary machine that I have personally been using every day for over two years now. I still maintain that other semi-automatic espresso machines cannot beat it for value for money. Having compared the Breville Barista Express vs. Pro, I concluded that the Breville Barista Pro espresso machine would be a worthwhile upgrade for a slightly higher budget.

Is Breville Barista Pro worth it?

Is Breville Barista Pro worth it

The Breville Barista Pro is an updated model from the legendary Barista Express. The Barista Pro machine makes a perfect cup of coffee due to its minimum heat-up time, improved steaming performance for making espresso drinks, digital display and pressure gauge, finer grind size settings, and patented technology for optimal espresso extraction.

When comparing the Breville Barista Pro vs. Express, it is worth noting that the Pro is slightly more expensive, and the additional features may not be enough to justify upgrading from the Express if you already own one.

Breville Barista Express vs Pro Verdict

When comparing the Breville Barista Pro vs. Express, I would recommend choosing the Barista Pro espresso machine because:

  1. It has a new thermojet heating system which offers a 10x faster heat-up time than the Barista Express
  2. It includes a high-quality burr grinder with thirty grind size settings (12 more than the Express)
  3. It features an LCD and pressure gauge instead of an analog-digital display
  4. The brewing process is more precise and controlled
  5. The steaming performance is superior due to improved steam wand design and pressure performance

Although, it depends on your personal preferences, budget, and whether you already own a Breville Barista Express.

The Barista Pro espresso machine is perfect for coffee enthusiasts who:

  • Don’t mind investing a little more for all the upgraded features
  • Have not already purchased a Breville Barista Express in the last few years
  • Appreciate the time-saving this machine offers by heating up in less than three seconds

The Barista Express is perfect for coffee enthusiasts who:

  • Are on a very tight budget and willing to compromise on the latest features and gadgets to spend less
  • Appreciate the retro style of analog display machines

Both Breville machines are high-quality products capable of brewing a quality espresso, and I am confident you will be satisfied with whichever one you purchase.

As I have explained above in the Barista Pro vs. Barista Express espresso machines comparison, there is a clear winner – the Barista Pro!

Mark

G'day from Australia! I'm Mark, the Chief Editor of Portafilter. I'm super passionate about everything coffee-related and love to spend endless hours mastering pulling the perfect shot on my Breville Barista Express. Follow on: Linkedin and Facebook.

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