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Philips 3200 vs Breville Barista Express (2022): Which Coffee Machine Should You Buy?

There are two types of coffee drinkers in the world. Those who want control over every aspect of their coffee and those who just want to sit back and enjoy it. The Breville Barista Express is the better pick for those who fall under the first category while the Philips 3200 is more ideal for the latter. But if you’re not sure which group you belong to just yet and which automatic coffee machine you should buy, here’s an in-depth Breville Barista Express vs Philips 3200 comparison to help you decide. We cover their grinder, heating system, preset drinks, and overall quality of the coffee and milk they produce.

Philips 3200 vs Breville Barista Express Comparison Chart

NamePhilips 3200Breville Barista Express
 Philips 3200 chartBreville Barista Express chart
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
TypeFully automaticSemi-automatic
Grind Settings12 settings15 settings
GrinderConical grinderCeramic flat burr grinder
Heating SystemThermoblock systemThermocoil system
PID TechnologyNoYes
Preset DrinksEspresso, Americano, Latte, Macchiato, CappuccinoNone
Milk FrotherLatteGo systemManual steam wand
Dimensions20.75 x 18.75 x 17 inches12.5 x 12.6 x 13.1 inches
Weight20.3 lbs23 lbs

Grinding

The Philips 3200 can produce more consistent coffee grinds than the Breville Barista Express.

Breville Barista Express vs Philips 3200 grinder
The Breville Barista Express (left) has 15 grind settings while the Philips 3200 (right) has 12.

Grind quality plays a big role in the taste of your coffee and surprisingly, the Philips 3200 performs better in this department. Equipped with a ceramic flat burr grinder, it’s able to produce more consistent coffee grinds than the Breville Barista Express’ conical grinder. Thanks to uniform particles, you have a better shot at getting a more even extraction and tastier coffee with the Philips 3200.

It’s worth noting though that the Breville Barista Express has a 15-step grinder adjustment while the Philips only has 12 grind settings. This means that with the former, you can play around more with grind size which should come as good news for those who like to regularly switch up their beans. As for noise, flat burr grinders are supposed to be a lot quieter but the Philips 3200 seems to be just as loud as the Breville Barista Express.

Heating System

The Breville Barista Express has a more effective heating system than the Philips 3200.

Breville Barista Express vs Philips 3200 heating system
The Breville Barista Express (left) makes use of the Thermocoil system while the Philips 3200 (right) has the Thermoblock system.

Temperature control is another huge factor in making delicious coffee and this time, the Breville Barista Express has the upper hand. It makes use of the Thermocoil heating system which works by sucking water through copper heating tubes. Because the water is being consistently passed through the coils, the system is able to keep the temperature stable throughout the brewing process. Also, Thermocoils are known for their durability so you can expect to get plenty of use out of the Breville Barista Express. To top things off, it makes use of the new PID technology which allows you to be precise with water temperature as you make your espresso.

As for the Philips 3200, it uses the Thermoblock system which is less consistent than Thermocoil. The water is heated in a similar way but instead of being pulled through heated coils, a heated metal block is used instead. Not only is the temperature of the water less consistent this way, but Thermoblocks are also not as long-lasting.

Preset Drinks

The Philips 3200 comes with five preset drinks while the Breville Barista Express has none.

Breville Barista Express vs Philips 3200 presets
The Philips 3200 has presets for Americano, Cappuccino, Espresso, Latte, and Macchiato.

If you don’t want to lift a finger in the morning and just want your coffee to be instantly ready for you, the Philips 3200 can make that happen. All you have to do is choose any of the preset drink options, press the button, and you’re good to go. You get five presets to choose from, namely Americano, Cappuccino, Espresso, Latte, and Macchiato, all of which can be customized by adjusting the shot volume and temperature.

As for the Breville Barista Express, it’s a semi-automatic model so it requires a bit of work and know-how on the user’s part. After grinding, you have to move the portafilter to the water dispenser yourself, plus there’s a bit of learning curve involved to be able to pull the shots perfectly. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with any preset drinks so it’s up to you to experiment with grind size and water temperature to achieve different results. It’s really meant for those who want to learn more about coffee and potentially go fully manual in the future.

Coffee and Milk Quality

The Breville Barista Express makes it possible to brew high-quality coffee.

Breville Barista Express vs Philips 3200 coffee quality
The Breville Barista Express gives you control over water temperature, grind size, and coffee-to-water ratio.

The Breville Barista Express may not be as convenient to use as the Philips 3200 but the extra work actually pays off because you get to enjoy higher-quality coffee. With the choice to go for automatic settings or manual mode, you can take full control of water temperature, grind size, coffee-to-water ratio, and ultimately the taste and strength of your coffee. As for milk quality, it features a manual steam wand which allows you to create textured milk like a pro barista. While it does take some practice, it’ll be worth it once you’re able to froth your milk perfectly.

With the Philips 3200, on the other hand, there’s not much you can tweak because the drinks are already pre-programmed for you. While the coffee tastes decent, those with a more sophisticated palate will probably find themselves wanting to make adjustments to flavor, strength, and body. You don’t get any control when it comes to your milk either as the LatteGo system will do all the work for you.

Verdict

The Breville Barista Express wins against the Philips 3200.

Breville Barista Express

Breville Barista Express verdict

Philips 3200

Philips 3200 verdict

The Breville Barista Express is the clear winner of this comparison because it offers the best of both worlds. Being a semi-automatic model, you can use its automatic settings when you’re feeling lazy but you can also go into manual mode on days when you want to have the best possible cup of coffee. In the same way, it can cater to both beginners who don’t know much about brewing coffee yet and advanced coffee drinkers who want control over all parameters.

That’s not to say that the Philips 3200 is a bad coffee machine. It’ll make for a good purchase if you simply want coffee in the morning without having to think about anything. But you might find it limiting once you want to take a deeper dive into the complex world of coffee.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the Breville Barista Express manual or automatic?

The Breville Barista Express is a semi-automatic model that allows you to switch between automatic and manual mode.

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

Yes. The Breville Barista Express is an affordable coffee machine that gives you full control of all parameters so that you can make coffee according to your preferences.

๐Ÿ“Œ What kinds of coffee does the Philips 3200 make?

The Philips 3200 gives you five presets to choose from, namely Americano, Cappuccino, Espresso, Latte, and Macchiato, all of which can be customized by adjusting the shot volume and temperature.

๐Ÿ“Œ How do you use the Philips 3200?

The Philips 3200 is an easy-to-use automatic coffee machine. All you have to do is choose any of the preset drink options, press the button, and you’re good to go.

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Denise Jose

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Researcher and yoga teacher passionate about article writing, photography, wellness, and mindfulness.