This is our comparison of the Breville Barista Pro Vs Express espresso machines.
We’re a team of passionate baristas and coffee snobs who know how to get the best out of the espresso makers.
Both espresso machines come from Breville. But Breville Barista Pro performs better, is faster and comes with an LCD display. Breville Barista Express is an older espresso machine that’s better if you’re on a limited budget.
Let’s get started with an in-depth review and discuss what are the similarities and key differences of these two amazing espresso makers.
Breville Barista Pro Vs Express: Introduction
In 1932, Breville was founded in Australia with a mission to deliver quality kitchen appliances to consumers all over the world. Today, Breville products are available in more than 70 countries. The brand is known for its innovative design and quality construction.
Their espresso machines are popular for their quality, consistent results, and delicious espresso. Also, they boast stylish design, advanced features along with a sturdy construction. These features help them last longer than most other machines.
When it comes to choosing a Breville espresso machine, there are two popular options. The Breville Barista Pro and the Breville Express. Both machines are automatic and have their pros and cons, but the Barista Pro is the best machine.
The Breville Barista Pro performs better since it heats up in 3 seconds. Also you don’t have to wait to reheat if you want to pull another shot of espresso.
The Barista Pro has more grinder settings on your grind size. This makes a big difference in quality – with the Barista Pro, you can get a much smoother espresso shot.
Another big difference is the LCD interface. The Express has a basic interface with only a few buttons, while the Barista Pro has an LCD screen. This LCD interface gives you more control over the brewing. This makes it much easier to use, even if you’re new to making espresso.
Breville Barista Pro Vs Express – Features Comparison
The Breville Barista Pro is a high-end espresso machine that boasts features that set it apart from the Express. The Express is cheaper but still offers features found on more expensive machines. So what are the main differences and which one is right for you? Read on to find out!
The most common heating systems are thermoblock, thermocoil, and boiler. All of these heating systems have some ups and downs. The Breville Barista Express comes with a thermocoil system which is much better than thermoblock.
The cheapest entry-level machines come with a thermoblock system because it’s the most affordable system.
The most important difference between these two espresso machines is their heating systems. Breville Barista Express is equipped with Thermocoil while the Pro comes with a Thermojet heating system.
Thermocoil is consistent, durable, and faster in heating up water than Thermoblocks. They’re a bit more expensive, they cool down faster and they’re prone to scaling. Thermojet sits in between thermocoil and boiler in terms of price and quality.
The Thermocoil system uses one copper tube that the water passes through and heats up to a brewing or steaming temperature. The Barista Pro with the innovative Thermojet heating system is ready at whopping in 3 seconds after you turn on the machine.
But, to experience true espresso you need to heat up all the brewing components of your machine. So, even though the Barista Pro is ready to brew in 3 seconds, you may need to pull some blank shots to heat up the portafilter and head of the machine.
Even though Breville is bragging about the Thermojet heating system, I don’t see much value for the extra money. I mean, it doesn’t affect the quality of your coffee.
If you’re planning to prepare milk-based drinks regularly or to entertain many guests with your machine, then the Thermojet of the Pro is totally worth it.
You won’t have to wait for the machine to reheat to pull another shot or for steaming milk. I would favor the Breville Barista Pro for the faster heat-up time of 3 seconds. 
Steaming performance is also related to the Thermojet upgrade.
Remember Breville Barista Express and Pro are both single-boiler espresso makers. This means they can’t do brewing and steaming at the same time.
With the Barista Express after you pull a shot of coffee, you need to wait for the thermocoil to reach steaming temperature. With the Barista Pro and the thermojet, this process happens much faster.
If steaming performance important for your buying decision, you need to figure out how much coffee you plan to prepare. If you want only a couple of espressos every day, you may stick with the Barista Express.
But, if you want to entertain many guests with your espresso machine, then you should opt for the Barista Pro. This machine will minimize the waiting time between brewing and steaming.
Also, the time for steaming is a little longer for the Barista Express. You’ll need about 1 minute to steam a full cup of milk with the Express. With the Barista Pro, you can do the same in 45 seconds. So, the point goes to Breville Barista Pro when it comes to steaming performance.
The weakest point of these all-in-one espresso makers is the built-in grinder. This is an important feature if you want to have a true espresso experience at home.
Both machines have the exact same grinder but the Barista Pro has more adjustment settings. The Barista Express has 18 settings and the Pro comes with 30 different settings.
Sure, the more settings the better for making finer coffee grounds. But, we would expect the Barista Pro to upgrade the components of the grinder to give even better quality in grinding.
Both semi-automatic espresso machines are entry-level and good enough if you’re a beginner who wants to dive a little deeper into the world of espresso. So, the quality of the grinder won’t affect your experience in the first place.
But, as you get more experienced and want even better coffee, you’ll need either to upgrade both machines or buy a separate grinder.
So I would give another point to Breville Barista Pro for increasing the number of settings.
The change to the interface is the most obvious one. The Breville Barista Express has an analog gauge with buttons to control the brewing. The Barista Pro has an LCD interface that gives all the brewing options at the tips of your fingers.
It’s nice to have a feature that makes the Pro much easier to handle than the Express. The adjustments are almost the same between these two espresso makers. To handle the Barista Express you’ll have to refer to the user’s manual to read which buttons you have to press and hold to adjust your brewing.
When it comes to how much style this adds to the Pro, I would say the following. Some will love the LCD of the Pro and some others would want the traditional look of the Barista Express with the analog gauge.
We need to admit that the LCD interface makes it easier to use the Barista Pro when compared to the Express. Especially if you’re a beginner in the world of espresso. So, another point goes to Breville Barista Pro for improved usability.
What’s Missing From The Breville Barista Pro
We’ve discussed the upgrades and differences between the Breville Barista Express and Pro. You know now that the Pro is a little better in performance, steaming power, and usability.
However, there are a few things that we would like to see on the upgraded model of Breville.
In my opinion, the grinder should have been improved in terms of quality along with more settings. This upgrade would improve the quality of coffee and thus it would be important.
Even though the steaming performance of the Barista Pro is a little better than of the Express, we would like to have even faster steaming.
An espresso machine that includes the word “Pro” should have a professional portafilter of 56mm. The 54mm that comes with the Pro is justified by the poor quality of the grinder since deeper and narrower filters aren’t so prone to channeling.
But with an improved grinder and a professional portafilter of 56mm, the espresso quality would have been improved dramatically.
If you want barista-grade espresso at home you should go with the Oracle or Dual Boiler by Breville. These espresso machines include a 56mm portafilter and a better grinder.
Now, when it comes to the analog gauge, I would like Breville to keep it on the Pro too.
Here below you may read a few happy customer reviews for Breville Barista Express:
I love this thing. I’ve been using it multiple times a day for almost a year I think. Every day it makes amazing espresso, and as long as I keep it clean it preforms beautifully. This thing is also easier to maintain and requires less cleaning than other cheaper espresso machines I’ve tried.Read More Reviews
This Breville machine is far beyond the functioning of any that I have had. As I learned about espresso, I mostly drink latte, and my taste has refined, the cheaper machines would not satisfy. This Breville machine makes amazingly great latte and espresso.Read More Reviews
Also some reviews here below for Breville Barista Pro:
I’ve had a few different espresso machines over the last decade, and have tried and returned a couple as well. This one is, by far, my favorite machine for several reasons.Read More Reviews
Perfect for any beginners. It’s very simple to set up. Quick and easy clean up. Does require other purchases but it’s worth investing when you’re no longer buying $5-6 coffees at coffee shops.Read More Reviews
The Winner Is Breville Barista Pro
Are you looking for a new semi-automatic espresso machine to start making good espresso at home? If yes, the Breville Barista Pro is worth every penny of its price tag.
But, if you’re having the Breville Barista Express and thinking of upgrading to a Pro, then think again. I don’t think that the Barista Pro is an upgrade to your espresso experience.
I’m not saying that the Barista Pro isn’t a better machine than the Express. The Barista Express has an innovative Thermojet heating system that heats up the machine in 3 seconds. Also, the steaming power is better, the LCD makes the machine easier to use, and you’ll get more grinding settings.
All these features are worth it if you’re thinking about whether to buy the Barista Pro or the Express. But, if you’re thinking to upgrade from the Barista Express and want to stick with a Breville, then you should consider the Oracle Touch or the Dual Boiler.
These two machines will help you elevate your coffee experience at home.