Best Breville Espresso Machine

TL;DR: The best Breville espresso machine is the Breville Barista Pro. It is so good that I bought it for myself and I freakin’ love it.

This is my roundup of the best Breville Espresso machines.

I own the Breville Barista Pro, have used my friend’s Breville Barista Express extensively, and spent a whole day researching users’ experiences with this range of machines online to put together this roundup.

Although Breville makes excellent espresso machines across the board, they do have a knack for adding poorly thought-out features to certain machines, calling it an upgrade, and then inflating the machine’s price accordingly.

Therefore, as well as giving you my recommendations, I’ll also tell you which Breville machine to avoid so you do not waste your money.

Let’s get started.

What Are the Best Breville Espresso Machines (Top Picks)

Best Overall: Breville Barista Pro

Best Affordable: Breville Bambino

Best Without Grinder: Breville Dual Boiler

Best if Money Were No Object: Breville Oracle Touch

What do All Breville Espresso Machines Have in Common?

Before we go through the best machines individually, I’m going to quickly list the features that all Breville espresso machines have in common.

This is to show you both why Breville makes such excellent machines across the board and also to make sure that you are not sold on a specific machine due to a feature that all these machines have (coffee machine manufacturers LOVE using this technique when marketing their machines.).

Anyway, on with the features:

All Machines Come with Pressurised AND Non-pressurised Portafilter Baskets for Single and Double Espresso

All Breville espresso machines come with four portafilter baskets. They are:

  • Non-pressurised (single-walled) single espresso basket
  • Pressurised (double-walled) single espresso basket
  • Non-pressurised (single-walled) double espresso basket
  • Pressurised (double-walled) double espresso basket
Three of the four portafilter baskets come with the Breville Barista Plus (I am using the other one)

Although this may seem like a small detail, the inclusion of these different types of portafilter actually provides Breville machines with several benefits over machines that only come with one portafilter.

These benefits are:

The Machines Work Well With Both Pre Ground and Freshly Ground Coffee

In an ideal world, you want to use pressurised portafilters with pre-ground coffee, and coffee ground using a blade grinder (most grinders under $100 are blade grinders).

If you use this type of coffee with a non-pressurised portafilter, the coffee will extract unevenly resulting in a very bitter drink.

Pressurised portafilters put a lower ceiling on the quality of your espresso, meaning that you will want to use non-pressurised brewing with freshly ground coffee.

Most espresso machines only come with pressurised portafilter baskets, meaning that using high-quality, freshly ground coffee with it will be a waste.

Breville machine’s use of both types of baskets means that you can make as good as possible coffee with both pre-ground and freshly ground coffee.

You Can Make “Proper” Single and Double Espresso with Breville Machines

Breville’s inclusion of specialised single and double espresso-sized portafilter baskets means that you can make these coffees much better than machines that have a “one size fits all” portafilter basket.

Most machines just come with a portafilter basket large enough for a double espresso (usually around a 0.6 oz (18 grams) capacity).

While this is perfect for a double espresso, it means that single shots are sour because they are under-extracted. 

The extra depth of a double espresso basket means that a single dose of the espresso is so shallow that water passes through it too quickly. This creates a lack of extraction and an overly sharp-tasting espresso.

Breville machines do not have this problem as you can always use the correct portafilter basket size for your needs.

You Can Control How Much Effort You Need to Put in to Make Your Espresso

Pressurised portafilters eliminate a lot of the fine-tuning that you need to put in to make an espresso. It removes this complexity at the cost of lowering the “quality ceiling” of your espresso.

It essentially guarantees you a 7/10 quality espresso.

Using on-pressurised portafilter baskets means that you need to control your grind size, dose and tamping far more accurately. However, if you do this properly then you can make a far better espresso than a machine with only a pressurised portafilter basket will allow.

I love that Breville machines offer both types of portafilters, meaning that if you just want a quick easy espresso then you can use the pressurised portafilter, however, if you want to take the time to optimise everything then you can use the non-pressurised portafilter.

Proportional Integral Device (PID) Temperature Control

All Breville machines use a Proportional Integral Derivative (PID) to control the temperature of the brewing water.

A PID allows your machine to constantly monitor its water temperature and make fine adjustments accordingly.

The alternative to this is to just have the water temperature controlled by a thermostat that “kicks in” or switches off once the water reaches a certain temperature.

A thermostat-controlled machine creates significant fluctuations in brewing water temperature meaning that each espresso will be extracted slightly differently.

Breville’s use of a PID ensures that your espressos will be extracted in the same way shot after shot.

Some more expensive Breville machines also allow you to calibrate the machine’s “ideal” brewing temperature so their PID ensures that this temperature is always hit when brewing.

Automatic Pre-infusion

All Breville espresso machines automatically soak the ground coffee with a small amount of water prior to brewing.

This “pre-infusion” is an important part of espresso-making best practices.

Wetting the grounds makes them stick together helping to prevent channelling – namely where the brewing water finds a hole in the ground coffee and all runs through that hole, therefore not extracting properly.

This preinfusion usually takes around 6-7 seconds. 

It would be nice to have some more transparency and control over how long the machine pre-infuses.

The only way that you can “adjust” preinfusion is to hold down the brew button for the length of the preinfusion time that you want (here is a video of someone doing this). This will force the machine to pre-infuse for longer as it will not start brewing until you release this button.

Still, many espresso machines do not pre-infuse your coffee at all, so it is a nice touch.

15 Bar Italian Pump

All Breville machines use the same 15 Bar Italian-made pump to generate the pressure needed to brew espresso.

This means that all espresso made with a Breville will be brewed under the industry recommended 9 bars of pressure (2 bars of pressure during pre-infusion).

The fact that all Breville espresso machines use the same pump also means that the machines all need the same amount of “rest” time between making espressos.

An espresso machine’s pump is the limiting factor determining how fast it can make espressos in succession. 

Therefore if you are looking for a machine to make several espressos as fast as possible, all Breville machines will perform the same in this regard.

Descale Mode and Descale Warning Light

All Breville machines have a dedicated descale mode that guides you through descaling the machine and makes the process as easy as possible.

They also all have descaled warning lights that tell you when the machine needs descaling.

I really like this feature as it increases the longevity of your machine. 

Using an espresso machine that needs to be descaled can permanently damage it. Breville’s descale warning light stops this from happening.

External Build Quality

All Breville machines have the similar build quality, combining both steel and plastic elements.

You can see an example of how these materials are combined in the drip tray of my Breville Barista Pro below:

Although this design means that all Breville Machines are weighty and durable, the amount of plastic used in their interior may leave you feeling slightly underwhelmed with the build quality of their more expensive machines.

What are the Differences Between Breville Espresso Machines?

The different types of Breville espresso machines differ in the following ways:

  • Grinder: More affordable machines do not have a built-in grinder. Higher-end machines have a grinder, and the more expensive you go the more grind size settings the grinder has.
  • Heating system: More affordable machines use a Thermo coil heating system that allows you to make an espresso 30 seconds after turning the machine on. More expensive machines use a thermojet system that allows you to make an espresso within three seconds of turning the machine on.
  • Steam Wand: All Breville machines have good-quality steam wands. The most affordable of these machines has a wand with just one hole in its nozzle. More expensive machines have steam wands with four-holed nozzles. The more holes a steam wand has in its nozzle, the faster and more evenly it can steam milk.
  • Shot Timing: Some machines have a built-in visible timer that automatically times your shots for you. Timing your shots is an essential part of calibrating your espresso and is a must for people who want to optimize their espresso as much as possible.
  • User Interface: More affordable machines just use a button and dial-operated control panel. Mid-range machines have a digital display screen along with these buttons and the highest-end machines are operated by a touchscreen.
  • Preset Coffee Recipes: Some machines have preset coffee recipes that allow you to make all sorts of coffee drinks with the touch of a button. The majority of Breville machines are more manual than this, giving you buttons for just a single or double espresso and having you have to make the rest of the coffee yourself.

The table below shows how all the different Breville espresso machines compare with regard to these features:

The machines can also vary across more basic features including:

  • Dimensions
  • Wattage
  • Size of water tank
  • Warranty (this also depends on your chosen retailer)

Best Overall – Breville Barista Pro

The Breville Barista Pro is the best overall espresso machine. The core of the machine, namely its brewing unit and steam wand is second to none and its lack of superfluous features makes it excellent value for money.

Overview of Machine

The Breville Barista Pro has an inbuilt grinder and a powerful four-holed steam wand.

Its advanced steam wand is the main feature that separates it from its predecessor, the Breville Barista Express (see my comparison of the Breville Barista Pro vs Barista Express).

You can find a table of the basic specs of the Breville Barista Pro Below:

SpecificationBreville Barista Pro
Dimensions (width x depth x height)15.9” x 13.9” x 15.9”
Available drink presetsSingle Espresso, Double Espresso
User interfaceButton-operated control panel with a digital display screen
Grinder typeStainless steel conical burr grinder with 30 grind settings
Steam wand typePinhole steam wand with four holes
Automatic coffee dosingYes – measured by time to grind
Temperature settings3 settings
Available colorsSilver, Black, Dark Blue
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Quality of Coffee

The Breville Barista Pro can make espresso that rivals the best coffee shops.

The machine’s grinder can grind your coffee finely enough for you to brew at the recommended 1:2 coffee-to-water ratio and still achieve the ideal 25-second brewing time. 

(Just beware that the machine’s grinder can clog up if you use it on a lower setting than 5 out of 30.)

This puts the machine on foot with high-end commercial machines as far as espresso quality is concerned (commercial machines can just brew this standard of coffee at a much higher volume than a domestic machine).

The kicker here, as far as coffee quality is concerned, is that the Barista Pro times each shot for you as you are brewing.

Your shot time is one of the best signifiers of any issues that might affect your espresso’s flavor so having this data point given to you really helps you squeeze every last ounce of quality out of your espresso.

Quality of Coffee Rating: 9/10

Quality of Steam Wand

The Barista Pro uses a four-hole steam wand.

The machine comes with a 16oz (480 ml) milk pitcher, and its steam wand is powerful to heat up a full pitcher of milk (enough for 3-4 large lattes) in around 30 seconds.

The steam wand’s use of four nozzles means that you can make really uniform, fine microfoam such as that which you would find at a high-end coffee shop. This is the type of steamed milk that you can make latte art with.

The steam wand is self-cleaning (just give it a couple of seconds to purge before you steam your next portion of milk. However it is not removable so you cannot clean its exterior in the sink or dishwasher, you will instead have to wipe it by hand.

Quality of Steam Wand: 9/10

Ease of Use and Cleaning

The Barista Pro has a lot of brewing variables which means that it takes a bit of practice to master.

Fortunately, the machine’s manual comes with easy-to-follow brewing recommendations. 

I started off by following this and it immediately gave me an excellent espresso. I have only tweaked these slightly to create my ideal settings.

The steam wand is really easy to use, especially considering how powerful it is (many at-home machines use weak frothers to make them easier for beginners to use)

The Breville Barista Pro can be a bit of a fiddly machine to clean.

By far the most time-consuming part of cleaning the machine is its drip tray.

The drip tray’s exterior is made out of grills with thin gaps between them. If ground coffee or milk gets in between these gaps, then the whole tray needs to be removed and rinsed.

These are hard to remove with a cloth or sponge, it needs to be rinsed

The silver version of the machine also makes any smudges really visible. I would therefore recommend getting the machine in a darker color if you do not want to have to wipe it down regularly.

Ease of Use and Cleaning Rating: 7/10

Value For Money

The Breville Barista Pro justifies its cost.

Its more powerful milk wand and built-in shot timer make it worth the additional money compared to the Breville Bambino Express.

It also blows similarly priced Delonghi machines out of the water (for more information on how these manufacturers compare please see my comparison of Breville vs Delonghi).

Value for Money Rating: 9/10

Breville Barista Plus Pros
  • Times your shots so you can calibrate your espresso to a very high degree
  • Powerful steam wand can steam large quantities of milk very quickly and easily
  • Digital display screen walks you through making an espresso
  • Comes in dark colors which hides smudges and stains easily
Breville Barista Cons
  • The machine’s grinder can clog up when it grinds on its finest settings

Best Affordable – Breville Bambino

The Breville Bambino is a really solid option if you want a machine that can do the basics well without breaking the bank.

Overview of Machine

The Breville Bambino is an espresso machine with a steam wand. It does not have a built-in grinder.

The machine has buttons for single and double espresso which automatically doses the correct amount of water for you.

It is a simple, compact machine, ideal for people buying their first espresso machine or those with limited countertop space.

Here is a breakdown of the Bambino’s key features and specifications:

SpecificationBreville Bambino
Dimensions (width x depth x height)6.3” x 13.7” x 12.2”
Available drink presetsSingle Espresso, Double Espresso
User interfaceButton-operated control panel
Grinder typeNo in-built grinder
Steam wand typePinhole steam wand with one hole
Automatic coffee dosingNo
Temperature settings1 setting
Available colorsSilver
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Quality of Coffee

It’s hard to assess the quality of espresso that a machine without an inbuilt grinder can make, as the way that your coffee is ground makes a huge difference to the final drink.

However, assuming that you have the beans of grinding your coffee finely and dosing accurately, the machine has the requisite pump pressure and temperature control to make a very good espresso.

The fact that the machine does not time your shots for you means that you cannot do that much fine-tuning. 

You can therefore probably only achieve a maximum of an 8/10 level espresso with the Bambino. The machine’s excellent internal build quality means that you can make this standard espresso shot after shot.

Quality of Coffee Rating: 8/10

Quality of Steam Wand

The Breville Bambino uses a single-holed steam wand.

While this is more than adequate to make enough milk for one or two lattes – it can do this in about 30 seconds, it will struggle to steam milk for more than two drinks at a time.

Upgrading the steam wand was one of the biggest changes that Breville made when it released the Bambino Plus. For more information on how these two machines stack up against each other please see my comparison of Breville Bambino vs Bambino Plus.

Quality of Steam Wand: 7/10

Ease of Use and Cleaning

The Bambino’s simplicity means that it is really easy to use. Just load up the portafilter and press the button corresponding to the size of espresso that you want.

One advantage of the Bambino’s slightly less powerful steam wand is that you have more room for error when it comes to scorching your milk. 

Scorching your milk is the most common mistake that beginners make when using a steam wand, and you are very unlikely to do this with the Bambino.

The Bambino does not come with a built-in scale or timer, meaning that it is more difficult to make a 10/10 quality espresso with this machine than it is with more expensive units. 

However, it is easier to make a 7/10 or even 8/10 quality espresso with the Bambino than it is with more complicated (and expensive) machines.

The Bambino is easy to clean, with all its parts that come into direct contact with coffee, milk or water either being self-cleaning or removable.

It does, however, have the same problem with its drip tray collecting mess between its grills that the Barista Plus has. All Breville machines have this problem.

Ease of Use and Cleaning Rating: 8/10

Value For Money

The Breville Bambino offers excellent value for money. 

The machine does the basics as well as any machine and does not charge you for any peripheral features.

It is better than many more expensive espresso machines, not least it’s a direct upgrade to the Breville Bambino Plus.

Value For Money Rating: 10/10

Breville Bambino Pros
  • It has the smallest footprint of all the Breville espresso machines
  • Much faster heat up time than most similarly priced espresso machines
  • Although its steam wand is inferior to the one on more expensive Breville machines, it is still better than the steam wand on most similarly priced espresso machines
Breville Bambino Cons
  • You need a separate grinder which pushes up its total cost of ownership
  • You cannot fine tune your espresso due to a lack of timer on the machine

Best Without A Grinder – Breville Dual Boiler 

The Breville Dual Boiler’s use of *shock* two boilers makes it the only Breville machine to brew espresso and steam milk simultaneously. I’d only recommend buying this machine if you already have a good-quality burr grinder. Otherwise, you will not be able to use the machine to its full potential.

Overview of Machine

The Breville Dual boiler is an espresso machine with two boilers, one for heating up your water for coffee and one for steaming your milk.

This offers you two key benefits.

Firstly you can make an espresso and steamed milk at the same time. This makes it perfect for people who regularly will use their machine to make drinks for family and friends.

Secondly, the machine gives you finer control over milk steaming temperature, as this is not affected by the residual heat from brewing your espresso. This makes you much less likely to scorch milk and allows you to steam milk to a larger volume without scorching it.

The machine does not have a grinder. 

Given the quality of the machine, I would recommend only buying it if you already have a high-quality burr grinder so you can squeeze every bit of quality from this (admittedly, pricey) machine.

Below is a table with the key specifications and features of the machine:

SpecificationBreville Dual Boiler
Dimensions (width x depth x height)15.9″ x 14.7″ x 14.9″
Available drink presetsSingle Espresso, Double Espresso
User interfaceButton-operated control panel
Grinder typeNo in-built grinder
Steam wand typePinhole steam wand with four holes
Automatic coffee dosingNo
Temperature settings3 settings
Available colorsSilver
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Quality of Coffee

The Breville Dual Boiler makes the best espresso of all the Breville espresso machines (assuming you use it with a good grinder).

This is because the Dual Boiler offers you more control over your brewing than any other machine.

Not only does it time your shot (just like the Barista Pro), but it also has a fully manual mode which gives you complete control over how much liquid ends up in your cup.

This means that you can adjust your espresso size by weight (you’ll need to put a scale under your cup). 

This is how baristas optimize their espresso and raises the ceiling of how good espresso can be to as high as it can physically go.

Quality of Coffee Rating: 10/10

Quality of Milk Wand

The Dual Boiler also has the best steam wand of all the Breville machines.

It is the only Breville machine with a dedicated heating system for its steam wand. This gives you ultimate control over steaming temperature, meaning that you can make milk as frothy as your heart desires without any risk of scorching it.

The Dual Boiler is the only Breville machine that allows you to make espresso and steam milk at the same time. It is the best Breville machine for pleasing families or large groups of latte lovers.

Quality of Steam Wand: 10/10

Ease of Use and Cleaning

Although you can easily make a basic espresso with the Dual Boiler, it is only worth buying if you specifically want to tinker around with all its settings.

It’s a machine designed for those who want espresso-making to be a hobby, not just a small part of their routine.

Its large footprint and bigger elements (drip tray, water tank etc) mean that it will take slightly longer to clean than other Breville machines, however, this difference should not be a deal breaker.

Ease of Use and Cleaning Rating: 7/10

Value For Money

The Breville Dual Boiler is not cheap, especially given the fact that you need a separate high-quality grinder to use it to its full potential.

It is a machine designed for people who are “into” espresso and are willing to pay top dollar to have as much control over their brewing as possible.

Value for Money Rating: 6/10

Breville Dual Boiler Pros
  • Makes the best coffee of all Breville machines
  • Has the best milk wand of all Breville machines
  • It is the only Breville machine that can brew espresso and steam milk at the same time
  • It is the only Breville machine that allows you to fine tune the amount of water it brews with in each shot
Breville Dual Boiler Cons
  • Has a large footprint. It will dominate your kitchen counter.
  • You are paying extra for features that ultimately only make a small difference to the quality of your espresso

Best if Money Were No Object – Breville Oracle Touch

The Breville Oracle Touch allows you to make all the common espresso drinks (latte, cappuccino, flat white etc) with just the touch of a button. It is essentially a super-automatic espresso machine, and one of the best on the market, in my opinion.

Overview of Machine

The Breville Oracle Touch is different from most Breville espresso machines as it has preset coffee recipes for both black and milk-based espresso drinks.

This means that all you need to do is press a button and the machine will make the coffee of your choice. It has an automatic steam wand which steams and textures the milk according to the type of coffee you select.

The machine is similar to a super-automatic espresso machine, except you still use a portafilter which needs to be attached to the brew head. The machine doses and tamps the coffee for you. You also need to pour the milk into your coffee if you are making a milk-based drink.

You can find a table with the key features and specifications of the Breville Oracle Touch below:

SpecificationBreville Oracle Touch
Dimensions (width x depth x height)15.4″ x 14.7″ x 17.8″
Available drink presetsSingle Espresso, Double Espresso, Latte, Flat White, Cappuccino, Long Black
User interfaceTouchscreen
Grinder typeStainless steel conical burr grinder with 45 settings
Steam wand typeAutomatic pinhole steam wand with four holes
Automatic coffee dosingYes – doses by weight
Temperature settings3 settings
Available colorsFive available colors
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Quality of Coffee

While the Breville Oracle Touch has a good enough internal build quality (grinder, pump and heating mechanism) to make excellent espresso, it does sacrifice some of the control you have over brewing in favor of automation.

It will consistently make an 8/10 espresso, however, it does not quite reach the heights of the Barista Pro or Double Boiler in this regard as you cannot time your shots and make micro-adjustments accordingly.

Quality of Coffee Rating: 8/10

Quality of Steam Wand

Much like with its espresso brewing, the Oracle Touch sacrifices some control over milk steaming in favor of automation.

The Oracle Touch’s steam wand is powerful to steam large quantities of milk quickly, and its four holes mean that milk is steamed evenly, however, the texture of your milk is set by the drink you select and you cannot fine-tune this manually.

Quality of Steam Wand Rating: 8/10

Ease of Use and Cleaning

The Oracle Touch is by far the easiest Breville machine to use, allowing you to make all the fancy espresso drinks with just the touch of a button.

It is the best machine for people who want to replace their coffee shop habit with a machine as it allows you to make excellent cappuccino and flat white – two coffee shop stables.

Although its use of a portafilter means that it needs more cleaning than a super-automatic espresso machine, it does not need more cleaning than any other Breville machine.

Ease of Use and Cleaning: 10/10

Value For Money

The Oracle Touch offers excellent value for money.

Although it is the most expensive Breville machine, it should really be compared in price to a super-automatic machine. 

It is similar in functionality to a super-automatic machine in that it allows you to make drinks with just the touch of a button. 

However, the Oracle Touch makes better coffee than these types of machines as its use of a portafilter allows you to dose your coffee correctly (super-automatic machines never dose with enough ground coffee for the amount of liquid used).

Therefore, the fact that it is cheaper than many premium super-automatic machines means that it offers excellent value, in my book.

Value For Money Rating: 9/10

Breville Oracle Touch Pros
  • It is the easiest Breville machine to use as you can make any common espresso drink with the touch of a button.
  • It is the only Breville machine that tamps your coffee for you. This reduces the amount of mess you make after every espresso.
  • Comes in dark colors which hides stains and smudges
  • Cheaper than comparable superautomatic machines
Breville Oracle Touch Cons
  • You lose some control over the finer points of your brewing process, but that is an inevitable consequence of increasing automation.

One to Avoid: Breville Bambino Plus

You shouldn’t buy the Breville Bambino Plus. Breville attempted to upgrade the Bambino by adding an automatic milk frother.

This automatic milk frother performs far worse than the Bambino’s manual milk frother and can scorch your milk in its medium or high-temperature setting.

Many users of this machine say that they turn off the milk frother’s automatic mode and use it manually, thereby rendering the extra money that you spend on this machine vs the Bambino pointless.

What Should I Ask Myself Before Buying A Breville Machine?

Below are the key questions that you should ask yourself in order to get the best possible value for money from your purchase of a Breville espresso machine.

How Much Money Am I Willing To Pay?

Breville machines are at the more premium (read: expensive) end of the domestic espresso machine market.

There are huge differences in cost between the most affordable and most expensive Breville espresso machines.

The most affordable Breville machine, the Breville Bambino, retails at roughly $350.

The most expensive machine, the Breville Oracle Touch, retails at over $2,000.

Prices will vary depending on the retailer you use.

Below is a table listing all the currently available Breville espresso machines

Key:

$ = $350-$500

$$= $501-$900

$$$= $901-$1600

$$$$ = $1601+

Machine NamePrice
Breville Bambino$
Breville Bambino Plus$
Breville Duo Temp Pro$
Breville Infuser$$
Breville Barista Express$$
Breville Barista Pro$$
Breville Barista Touch$$$
Breville Dual Boiler$$$
Breville Oracle$$$$
Breville Oracle Touch$$$$

Do You Have Your Own Grinder?

Some Breville machines have built-in grinders, whereas others do not.

With these latter types of machines, you will either need a separate grinder or use pre-ground coffee.

Breville machines have high-quality built-in grinders. Buying one of these grinders as a standalone will likely set you back at least $200.

Unless you are willing to buy a (relatively expensive) burr grinder, you will want to only use your Breville machine with its pressurised portafilter. 

This does put a lower quality ceiling on your espresso compared to using freshly ground coffee and a non-pressurised portafilter.

Below is a table showing which Breville espresso machines have an in-build grinder and which ones do not:

Machine NameDoes it have a grinder?
Breville BambinoNo
Breville Bambino PlusNo
Breville Duo Temp ProNo
Breville InfuserNo
Breville Barista ExpressYes
Breville Barista ProYes
Breville Barista TouchYes
Breville Dual BoilerNo
Breville OracleYes
Breville Oracle TouchYes

How Often Will You Need to Steam Milk for More than One Drink at a Time?

All Breville machines have high-quality milk wands that are more than adequate for a single latte or cappuccino.

Higher-end Breville machines have more powerful steam wands with more holes for air to come out of.

While this only makes a marginal difference for single portions of milk, steam wands with more holes and a higher wattage will steam larger portions of milk faster and more evenly.

Therefore if you think you will regularly make multiple portions of milk-based coffee with your Breville machine, you may want to opt for one with a more powerful steam wand with more holes.

The table below shows the power and number of holes that each Breville machine’s steam wand has:

Machine NameSteam wand power (Watts)Number of holes in the steam wand
Breville Bambino1560 1
Breville Bambino Plus15604
Breville Duo Temp Pro16001
Breville Infuser16501
Breville Barista Express16001
Breville Barista Pro16804
Breville Barista Touch16804
Breville Dual Boiler17004
Breville Oracle18004
Breville Oracle Touch18004

How Much Do You Care About Fine Tuning Your Espresso?

Breville machines vary a lot on how far they allow you to make the slight adjustments that allow you to fine-tune your espresso’s flavor.

Breville often uses this greater capacity for control as a “key benefit” that justifies the additional cost of their more premium machines.

Therefore, if you just want to make as good espresso as possible, you’re often best off going for the more affordable machines.

Breville espresso machines allow you to fine-tune your espresso in the following three ways:

  • Adjusting the grind size of your coffee
  • Adjusting your coffee dose
  • Timing your brew length (so you can calibrate easily)

The table below shows how far each machine allows you to fine-tune your espresso in these ways:

Machine NameGrind size settingsCoffee dose settingsDoes it measure your brewing length?
Breville BambinoN/AN/ANo
Breville Bambino PlusN/AN/ANo
Breville Duo Temp ProN/AN/ANo
Breville InfuserN/AN/ANo
Breville Barista Express16 settings8 preset settingsNo
Breville Barista Pro30 settingsMeasured by time to grindNo
Breville Barista Touch30 settingsMeasured by time to grindYes
Breville Dual BoilerN/AN/AYes
Breville Oracle45 settingsMeasured by time to grindYes
Breville Oracle Touch45 settingsMeasured by time to grindYes

In my opinion, anything more than the Barista Pro’s 30-grind settings offers you diminishing returns as far as fine-tuning your espresso goes.

Do You Want Preset Coffee Types or Are You Happy to Make These Manually?

A couple of Breville Machines, namely the Breville Barista Touch and the Breville Oracle Touch, has presets for the common types of espresso drinks. 

This allows you to make these drinks with at the touch of a button, turning the machine into something that resembles a super-automatic espresso machine. You still need to use a portafilter and tamp the coffee grounds, however.

I actually prefer the Breville Barista Touch/Breville Oracle Touch to traditional super-automatic machines.

A universal problem with super automatic machines is that their brew unit (their equivalent of a portafilter) does not hold enough ground coffee for a good double espresso.

Since the Breville Barista Touch/Breville Oracle Touch uses a portafilter you can dose it up with the necessary amount of ground coffee to make a full-bodied drink. 

This is well worth the extra work and gives you the best of both worlds between an automatic and super-automatic espresso machine.

These machines are two of the most expensive Brevilles out there, so if you do not mind experimenting with making types of coffee yourself then you may want to stick to a more manual machine and save yourself the money.

Final Verdict

The best Breville espresso machine is the Breville Barista Pro.

It’s hard to find a fault with this espresso machine (apart from the occasional grinder jam) and although it’s not cheap its undeniable quality still means that it offers excellent value for money.