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Breville Barista Pro vs Express (2021): What’s The Difference?

Getting an all-in-one espresso machine is a hefty decision, not only because of how big it is and how much you’ll be spending, but also how important it is to get right. There’s nothing quite like enjoying freshly brewed espresso you made yourself. For many home baristas, the Breville Barista Express is one of the best picks, thanks to its user-friendly features. How does the much newer Breville Barista Pro compare? Here’s a detailed comparison to help you choose your next espresso machine.

Breville Barista Pro vs Express Espresso Machine Comparison Chart

ModelBreville Barista ProBreville Barista Express
Price
Dimensions13.9 x 16.1 x 16 inches12 x 11 x 13.5 inches
Weight20 lb23 lb
Power1680 watts1600 watts
Heating SystemThermoJetThermocoil
Water Tank Capacity67 oz.67 oz.
Bean Hopper Capacity0.5 lb0.5 lb
LCD InterfaceYesNo
Grind Settings3018
Burr GrinderYesYes
PortafilterYesYes
Micro-foam Milk TexturingYesYes
Color Options72

Design

The Breville Barista Pro has a digital display and is larger than the Breville Barista Express.

The addition of an LCD display on the Breville Barista Pro (left) is a nice upgrade from the Breville Barista Express (right).

Featuring brushed stainless steel builds, the Breville Barista Pro and Express share a similar form factor. The Barista Pro has a slightly sleeker shape though all components are in the same place as the Express, including the Smart Pro Grinder and magnetic tamper. The tamper is made of heavy steel and slips neatly into its slot by the grinder so you can actually pack a shot right there. Their bean hoppers and water tanks have the same capacities, too.

The biggest noticeable difference between the Barista Pro and Express is the addition of a backlit LCD interface on the Pro. You’ll be able to see how hot the water is along the infuser and if it’s ready to go. With grinding and extracting animations showing the machine’s progress, you can get precise information to help you make the exact cup of coffee you prefer. Meanwhile, the Barista Express uses a more traditional pressure gauge which some do prefer.

As such, there are fewer buttons present on the Breville Barista Pro, giving it a less cluttered face than the Express’s numerous analog controls. The Pro’s hot water spout angles slightly closer to where your cup will be when you pull. Moreover, while the Pro’s milk wand is still manual like the one on the Express, it’s been slightly modified to be a bit more robust.

Both espresso machines are relatively compact compared to others, though you’d want more countertop space for the Barista Pro. There are also several more color options for the Pro, seven so far ranging from Black Truffle to Royal Champagne and Damson Blue. Meanwhile, the Barista Express only has Stainless Steel and Black Sesame colors.

Features

The Breville Barista Pro heats up faster than the Breville Barista Express.

The Breville Barista Pro has a new innovative ThermoJet heating system.

Just as impactful as the digital display addition is the new ThermoJet heating system on the Breville Barista Pro. This gives it a 3-second heat up time to achieve optimal extraction temperature. It’s more powerful and quieter than the Thermocoil water heating of the Barista Express, which still heats up quickly though it needs more warm up time. With the Pro, you’ll need only 20 seconds or so from turning it on to being able to pull shots. This also means almost no downtime in between coffee cups.

Both Barista Pro and Express have an integrated conical burr grinder that grinds on-demand and features dose control. You can adjust both grind size and dose, so you’ll get just the right amount of coffee delivered directly to the portafilter. Digital temperature control ensures that hot water is released at the right temperature for optimal espresso extraction. This draws out the beans’ flavor evenly with low pressure pre-infusion at the start. You’ll also be able to create latte art and enhance your coffee’s richness with the manual steam wands on both machines that enables micro-foam milk texturing.

Performance

The Breville Barista Pro can prepare coffee faster than the Breville Barista Express.

Here’s a closer look at the Breville Barista Pro and Express, respectively.

Breville’s Smart Grinder Pro can be found on both of these espresso machines, which is cost-saving since some models require a separate grinder. The Barista Pro has 30 fine grind settings compared to only 18 on the Express, and there are more internal grinder adjustments you can make especially if you’re changing beans. The same portafilters are included in both packages, along with Breville’s proprietary Razor for precise leveling.

Because of the Barista Pro’s ThermoJet heating system and LCD interface, you’ll be able to grind and time your shot more precisely with it, and at a much faster rate too. However, there’s no analog pressure gauge anymore, which will take some getting used to if you’re upgrading from a traditional espresso machine. Some like monitoring the pressure gauge while they wait to pull a shot; both machines let you select either a single or double espresso.

Frothing is easy on either Pro or Express models. You simply ensure that the steam light is on and turn the dial to steam to clean the wand, placing it over the grate or in a cup. You’ll want to tilt your milk pitcher a little while pouring for best results. The micro-foam milk you can get will be perfect for latte art creation as well as a flavor enhancer for your coffee.

Verdict

The Breville Barista Pro is a nice upgrade from the Breville Barista Express.

With new internal and external improvements, the Breville Barista Pro is a clear upgrade over its older sibling. The addition of the LCD interface and ThermoJet heating system makes preparing your favorite coffee drinks easier and faster. It can do everything the Express can and more. Meanwhile, you can save quite a bit if your opt for the Breville Barista Express, and for some, the analog pressure gauge might simply be a crucial part in coffee preparation.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the Breville Barista Pro worth it?

Yes, the Breville Barista Pro is a worthy purchase for home baristas. It provides fast heating and precise espresso extraction, and features an integrated conical burr grinder for an all-in-one espresso machine.

๐Ÿ“Œ Can you use normal coffee in an espresso machine?

You can technically do so, but using normal coffee in an espresso machine like the Breville Barista Pro and Express can result in sour-tasting coffee. It’s advised that you grind dark roasts instead for better espresso and richer crema.

๐Ÿ“Œ Does the Breville Barista Pro make regular coffee?

No, the Breville Barista Pro only makes espresso.

๐Ÿ“Œ What comes with the Breville Barista Express?

The Breville Barista Express includes the following accessories: Razor dose trimming tool, stainless steel portafilter, integrated tamper, milk jug, cleaning kit, filter baskets and water filter.

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Derick Bondoc

Managing Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, gaming and snacks.