Breville first introduced the Barista Express more than a decade ago, serving delicious espressos to modern homes worldwide.
Several years later, the Australian brand decided to up the ante by offering coffee lovers the Breville Barista Pro.
People who are not familiar with the two models might assume that they are the same, except for a few design aesthetic differences.
However, is this enough to warrant ditching the Breville Barista Express for its newer cousin in the Barista series? Find out here.
Breville Barista Express
Review: Breville Barista Express
Breville Barista Pro
Review: Breville Barista Pro
Design and User Interface
It is easy to differentiate the Pro from the Express based on appearances alone. The Breville Barista Pro features a small rectangular digital display that presents valuable information to whoever uses the espresso machine.
One can easily adjust the machine’s settings without second-guessing whether the value entered is correct or not. Everything gets displayed on the bright screen, including cleaning cycle, espresso shot timing, and brew temperature.
The Barista Express does not have any digital display features, consisting mainly of knobs and dials users have to manipulate one by one. One has to memorize the manual to determine the correct buttons to press and the different actions needed to effect or change the settings.
The digital display alone already makes the Barista Pro a clear winner among people who demand perfection in their coffee-making adventures without sacrificing convenience.
The Barista Pro and Express have almost the same physical dimensions. The Barista Express measures 12.5 x 12.6 x 13.1 inches, while the Barista Pro comes in with a 13x12x13-inch measurement. Both espresso machines should sit well on a kitchen countertop.
Both the Pro and the Express heat water fast, delivering barista-quality espressos in a flash. However, they use different water heating technologies that put the Breville Barista Pro at a clear advantage over the Express.
The Breville Barista express features a Thermocoil technology, similar to the conventional heat exchangers in traditional water heaters. Cold water passes through the coil, raising its temperature to the ideal 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
While the technology is efficient, it still requires about a minute or two to heat its element before one can begin the coffee extraction process.
On the other hand, the Breville Barista Pro already comes with the more advanced Thermojet system. The machine only requires about 20 seconds to heat right after startup before it can begin delivering hot water to the coffee grounds.
In general, the Barista Express is perfect for people who only need to prepare a shot or two of espresso. If one is going to serve several shots to different guests without experiencing a significant downtime, the Breville Barista Pro is worth getting.
The Pro’s advantage also extends to its milk steaming capabilities. The Express can steam a cup of whole-fat milk in one minute, while the Pro can do it 15 seconds faster. It makes perfect sense to get the Breville Barista Pro if one will serve lattes and cappuccinos to a group of people.
Coffee Grinder Adjustment
Breville designed its Barista Express and Pro with a built-in coffee grinder. However, this is another area where the Pro has a clear advantage over its older cousin.
The 18 grind stops in the Barista Express are a bit large, making fine adjustments challenging, if not difficult. The Barista Pro offers 30 grind settings, giving seasoned coffee drinkers more control over the consistency of their coffee grounds.
The Barista Express is suitable for those who prefer analog controls and an affordable espresso machine.
On the other hand, the Barista Pro is perfect for those who need to make and serve more espressos and lattes fast, complete with a digital user interface for optimum convenience.