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Best Breville Espresso Machine

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Last updated: December 15, 2023

Breville espresso machines range from around $300 to close to $3,000, making it tricky to know how to best spend your money.

I’ve tested several Breville espresso machines (called “Sage” espresso machines in the UK) and spoke extensively to Breville’s customer support team to rank the best ones based on their espresso brewing and milk steaming performance, ease of use, and value for money.

Overall my recommendations are:

As well as giving the lowdown on these machines, I’ll also tell you why I’d recommend avoiding the popular Breville Barista Express and Breville Infuser espresso machines.

Top Picks

Best Overall
  • Makes the best espresso of all Breville machines.
  • The most durable Breville espresso maker.
  • Can be easily serviced (unlike many Breville espresso machines).
Best Budget Option
  • Can be paired with a decent grinder for under $500.
  • No need to dial in the machine.
  • Excellent price/performance ratio.
Best for Beginners
  • Has an automated steam wand.
  • Can be paired with a decent grinder for under $650.
  • Compact design.
Easiest to Use
  • Does the puck prep for you.
  • Has a touch screen.
  • Has an automated steam wand.
Best with a Built-in Grinder
  • Grinder has 30 settings.
  • Has a digital display screen.
  • Has a built-in shot timer for easy dialing in.

How do Breville Espresso Machines Differ from Each Other?

The five most important ways that Breville models differ are:

  • Cost: Breville espresso machines range from around $300 to close to $3,000.
  • Level of automation: Some Breville models have automated tamping and/or automatic milk steaming whereas others require you to do these manually.
  • Heating system: Machines either have a thermocoil, thermojet, or double boiler heating system. All Breville espresso machines have PIDs.
  • Grinder: Some machines have a built-in conical burr grinder whereas others do not.
  • User interface: Breville machines are either operated purely by buttons, have buttons and a visible pressure gauge, a digital display screen, or a touch screen.

The table below shows all Breville espresso machines and their features:

Cost

You pay more for more automated features, an integrated grinder, a more intuitive UI, and a superior heating system.

As the difference between the most and least expensive Breville espresso makers is over $2,500, you want to think about where your money is best spent.

Personally, I think that it’s well worth paying a premium for a superior heating system as improved temperature control directly affects your espresso’s taste and shot consistency.

If you’re not interested in climbing the learning curve involved in brewing espresso and steaming milk, then assisted tamping and automatic milk steaming are also worth the money.

I think that paying a premium for a built-in grinder generally isn’t worth the money (more on why I think this later). I also think that a fancier UI is a luxury rather than a feature that really adds to a machine’s overall quality.

Heating System

Dual boiler is by far the best heating system. Thermojet is second best and thermocoil is the worst.

Breville espresso machines have one of three heating systems:

  • Dual boiler: The espresso brewing unit and the steam wand each have a dedicated internal water chamber that’s heated up to a specific temperature.
  • Thermojet: The pipe that carries your brewing water/water for steam is surrounded by a conductive membrane. This membrane heats up when you turn your machine on and this in turn heats up your brewing water.
  • Thermocoil: Similar to a thermojet except rather than a conductive membrane, the pipe that carries your brewing/steaming water is surrounded by an aluminum block which heats up.

The table below compares these three heating systems:

Thermocoil Thermojet Dual Boiler
Thermal stability
Lowest
Middle
Highest
Heat up time
40 seconds
3 seconds
6 minutes
Can you pull shots and steam milk simultaneously?
No
No
Yes
Transition time from brewing to steaming milk
0 seconds
<10 seconds
0 seconds
Do you need to pull a blank shot to get to temperature
Yes
Yes
No
Durability
Less durable
Less durable
More durable
Cost
Less expensive
Less expensive
More expensive

I’d recommend getting a Breville with a dual boiler heating system if you can afford one. 

The biggest advantage of a dual boiler system is its durability. Thermocoils and thermojets tend to deteriorate after around 4-5 years and they cannot easily be replaced.

A double-boiler espresso machine is a potential buy-it-for-life product. So if you can afford its upfront cost it will be a better value purchase in the long run.

If you can’t afford the Breville Dual Boiler then I’d recommend an espresso machine with a thermojet heating system over a thermocoil. 

Thermojets give you better temperature stability than thermocoils. Thermocoil machines really struggle with back-to-back shots or with switching from steaming milk back to brewing espresso.

The table below shows each of the machines featured in this article’s respective heating systems:

Machine Name Heating System
Breville Dual Boiler (best overall)
Dual Boiler
Breville Bambino (best budget option)
Thermojet
Breville Bambino Plus (best for beginners)
Thermojet
Breville Barista Touch Impress (easiest to use)
Thermojet
Breville Barista Pro (best with a built in grinder)
Thermojet

Automated Features

I like how Breville’s assisted tamping and automatic steam wand works and I’d recommend them to people who want to make an espresso or latte without too much effort.

Breville’s two automated features are:

  • Automated steam wand: You select a temperature and texture, put your steam wand in your milk jug and the machine steams your milk to that temperature and texture. You don’t even need to hold the milk jug while steaming milk. All of Breville’s automatic steam wands can also be used manually.
  • Assisted tamping: You lock your portafilter underneath the machine’s grinder. Once the machine has dispensed its ground coffee you just pull down a lever and the machine tamps your coffee puck for you.

You can see a video of someone reviewing the Breville Bambino Plus’s steam wand below (this is the lowest quality of Breville’s automated steam wands):

You can see a video of how Breville’s assisted tamping works below (watch from: 4:08 – 4:32):

Aside from working well in their own right, I really like how these automatic features don’t force you to use them in an automated way. You instead have the flexibility to use them manually if you want more control over your brewing.

All Breville espresso machines (with the exception of the Duo Temp Pro) have automatic shot volume dosing. This separates them from a true semi-automatic espresso machine and is why I think Breville makes the best espresso machines for beginners.

The table below shows whether each of the best Breville espresso machines has an automated steam wand or assisted tamping:

Machine Name Automatic Steam Wand Assisted Tamping
Breville Dual Boiler (best overall)
No
No
Breville Bambino (best budget option)
No
No
Breville Bambino Plus (best for beginners)
Yes
No
Breville Barista Touch Impress (easiest to use)
Yes
Yes
Breville Barista Pro (best with a built in grinder)
No
No

Built-in Grinder or No Grinder

Breville machines with a built-in conical burr grinder are easier to use, but they have lower espresso-quality ceilings than grinder-less models.

I’d generally recommend getting a Breville espresso machine and a separate grinder.

The grinder on integrated grinder Breville machines is not great. It’s barely an entry-level espresso grinder.

The first Breville espresso machine I ever owned was the Breville Barista Pro. 

One of the features that first drew me to the machine was that it had a built-in grinder – it seemed like unparalleled convenience and I didn’t have to worry about having to buy a good grinder on top of an espresso machine.

However, after owning the machine for a year I realized that if I want to brew better espresso then I need to upgrade the machine’s grinder. Annoying since I’d already paid a premium for an integrated grinder machine.

With hindsight, I should have bought a separate machine and grinder so I could have more flexibility down the line if I wanted to upgrade.

So I’d generally recommend getting a machine and a separate grinder. 

A machine with an integrated grinder has its place and may be more suitable if you’re certain you’re not going to get properly into the minutiae of espresso making or if you’re buying the machine as a gift for someone.

The table below shows whether the machines featured in this article have a grinder or not:

Machine Name Does it have an integrated grinder
Breville Dual Boiler (best overall)
No
Breville Bambino (best budget option)
No
Breville Bambino Plus (best for beginners)
No
Breville Barista Touch Impress (easiest to use)
Yes
Breville Barista Pro (best with a built in grinder)
Yes

User Interface

A fancier user interface only really helps you during the dialing-in process. While it’s nice to have, I’d recommend going with a more basic UI if you want the best bang for your buck.

Breville espresso machines have one of four user interfaces (ranging from cheapest to most expensive)

  • Buttons only
  • Buttons and pressure gauge
  • Digital display screen
  • Touch screen

While I have nothing against the display screen and touch screen UI (in fact I think they’re both wonderfully designed), I wouldn’t pay a large premium just for a better UI.

The digital display screens and touch screens only really help you when you’re dialing in your machine, and when you’re changing its high-level settings (water temperature and shot volume dosing, for example).

You don’t have to do these things too often, so I’d consider UI to be a peripheral feature, rather than a core one.

The table below shows each machine featured in this article’s user interface:

Machine Name User Interface
Breville Dual Boiler (best overall)
Digital display screen and buttons
Breville Bambino (best budget option)
Buttons only
Breville Bambino Plus (best for beginners)
Buttons only
Breville Barista Touch Impress (easiest to use)
Touch screen
Breville Barista Pro (best with a built in grinder)
Digital display screen and buttons

What Do All Breville Espresso Machines Have in Common?

I’ll quickly run through the features common to all Breville espresso machines so you’re not accidentally sold on a premium model just because you want a feature that you can get with a cheaper model.

  • Automatic shot volume dosing (except for the Temp Duo): Every Breville espresso machine has a single and double shot volume button. These buttons are programmable and, once programmed, will dispense the same volume of water automatically every time you brew. This makes Breville machines easier to use than other semi-automatic espresso machines.
  • PID: All Breville machines have a proportional integral derivative (PID) which automatically regulates the machines’ brew temperature. This gives it better temperature control than similar machines manufactured by Gaggia (the Gaggia Classic Pro for example) and Rancilio (the Rancilio Silvia for example).
  • Hot water dispensing: All models dispense hot water for Americanos. On more compact models (like the Bambino and Bambino Plus) this hot water comes out of its steam wand. Larger models have a dedicated hot water spout…
  • One-year warranty and phone support: Breville’s customer support is really good, with a rep staying on the line with me for 40 minutes just because of a “problem” I had with my Barista Pro that turned out to just be me not understanding how to backflush the machine properly.
  • Accessories: All Breville machines come with single and double shot baskets (with almost all coming with single and double wall baskets), a steel milk jug, a dose-trimming razor, and cleaning and descaling supplies.

Best Overall: Breville Dual Boiler

At the time of writing, you can only get the Breville Dual Boiler bundled with the Breville Smart Grinder Pro from Amazon. This is sold at the same price as the standalone machine if you buy it on Breville’s website, so you essentially get the grinder for free. I’d still want to pair the machine with a superior grinder to get the most from the Dual Boiler, however.

Best Overall
Breville Dual Boiler
$1,699.95

The Breville Dual Boiler’s unmatched durability and brewing performance make it the best Breville espresso machine by a distance.

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Specification Breville Dual Boiler
Heating System
Dual Boiler
Steam Wand Type
Manual
User Interface
Digital display screen with buttons
Built-in Grinder
No
Cost
Premium

Espresso Quality

The Breville Dual Boiler’s unparalleled temperature control means it makes the best-tasting espresso of all Breville espresso machines.

The Dual Boiler’s double boiler heating system means that when it heats up the brewing unit heats up, rather than just its internal water pipes.

This means that there is no loss of temperature as you brew. Any loss in brewing temperature reduces extraction, resulting in a less flavorful espresso shot.

Only the Breville Dual Boiler, Breville Oracle, and Breville Oracle Touch have this level of thermal stability.

These three espresso machines, therefore, have a higher espresso quality ceiling than all other Breville models.

Espresso Quality Rating: 10/10

Milk Steaming Performance

The Breville Dual Boiler can steam milk quicker and to a creamier texture, than any other Breville machine.

Faster steaming means that your milk will have a thicker and creamier texture as less water has been pushed through it. This is generally what you want when frothing milk. 

Your lattes and cappuccinos will be closer to what you’d get in an artisanal cafe than with other Breville espresso machines.

Bear in mind that although the Dual Boiler is the best Breville espresso machine for steaming large portions of milk, its steam wand lacks the automation of some other models.

Milk Steaming Performance: 10/10

Ease of Use

The Breville Dual Boiler does not have the automatic features of some other Breville espresso machines.

The dual boiler only allows for manual tamping, and manual milk steaming and has a six-minute initial heat-up time – longer than any other Breville espresso machine.

It does reward this additional effort and patience with better espresso than all other Breville models.

Ease of Use Rating: 6/10

Design and Build Quality

The Breville Dual Boiler is the most durable Breville machine by a long, long way.

Breville espresso machines have a reputation for not lasting as long as similar-priced machines made by the likes of Gaggia and Rancilio. 

This is because most Brevilles use a thermocoil or thermojet heating system. While these offer great temperature control, they’re not very durable, rarely lasting longer than five years.

The Dual Boiler uses a double boiler heating system. This makes the espresso machine a potential buy-it-for-life product. It also makes the machine far easier for a technician to repair than thermocoil/thermojet models.

This extra durability makes the Dual Boiler one of the best-value Breville models, despite being one of the pricier ones.

Design and Build Quality Rating: 10/10

Value for Money

The Breville Dual Boiler is one of the most affordable dual boiler machines on the market.

Although the Breville Dual Boiler is one of the more expensive Breville models, it is fundamentally superior to any Breville machine with a thermocoil/thermojet heating system.

You should therefore compare it against other dual boiler machines when evaluating its cost. 

If you do this then the Breville Dual Boiler represents excellent value for money, being pretty much the cheapest dual boiler espresso machine on the market, as well as one of the best ones.

Value for Money Rating: 9/10

Breville Dual Boiler Pros

  • A potential buy-it-for-life product.
  • Can control the temperature to the nearest degree Fahrenheit.
  • Creates creamier milk froth than other Breville machines.

Breville Dual Boiler Cons

  • Will cost more than $2,000 to pair it with a good grinder.

Best Budget Option: Breville Bambino

Best Budget Option
Breville Bambino
$299.95 $284.99
The Breville Bambino is the best espresso machine that can be paired with a decent grinder for under $500.
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02/27/2024 05:32 pm GMT
Specification Breville Bambino
Heating System
Thermojet
Steam Wand Type
Manual
User Interface
Button only
Built-in Grinder
No
Cost
Affordable

Espresso Quality

The Breville Bambino can make a good espresso, but you’ll want to buy non-pressurized baskets with it if you’re brewing with freshly ground coffee.

The best evidence of the Bambino’s high espresso quality ceiling is shown in this video where a barista makes a better espresso with the Bambino than a non-barista with a $30,000 commercial machine.

The Breville Bambino only comes with pressurized portafilter baskets. While this will make a decent espresso with ground coffee, if you want to get the best espresso from the machine then you’ll have to buy 54mm non pressurized baskets to use with it.

The machine brews at slightly under 9 Bars of pressure.

While this makes it easy for beginners to work with, it means that it will struggle to get a good extraction with lighter roasts.

Espresso Quality Rating: 7/10

Milk Steaming Performance

The Bambino can steam milk to a nice texture. It steams more slowly than most espresso machines (Breville or otherwise).

This slower steaming makes it a good machine for a beginner to learn to steam milk on.

It does also mean that your milk foam will have a slightly thinner, wetter texture than steamed milk from the Breville Dual Boiler.


Still, the Bambino can create milk froth to a fine and uniform enough texture to make latte art with. I don’t think you’ll have any complaints about its steam wand if you buy this machine.

Milk Steaming Performance: 8/10

Ease of Use

The Breville Bambino Plus is one of the more difficult-to-use Breville machines.

This is because of its lack of a visible pressure gauge or shot timer. This makes the machine tricky to dial in as you need to weigh your dose and time your shot at the same time.

The machine also doesn’t give you any assistance with puck prep or milk frothing, unlike the Bambino Plus or Barista Touch Impress.

Ease of Use Rating: 5/10

Design and Build Quality

The Breville Bambino Plus should last you 4-5 years. Its no-frills design means that there are fewer points of failure than machines with greater automation.

Its weakest point (from a durability perspective at least) is its thermojet heating system. This will likely burn out once it gets past five years of regular use.

Design and Build Quality Rating: 6/10

Value For Money

The Breville Bambino is the best espresso machine you can get for under $350.

It makes better espresso and has superior milk frothing to the Delonghi Dedica and is significantly more user-friendly than the Gaggia Classic Pro.

This makes it one of the best-value espresso makers on the market.

Value for Money Rating: 10/10

Breville Bambino Pros

  • Best espresso machine (Breville or otherwise) for under $350.
  • Very compact; good for a crowded counter.
  • Three-second heat up time.

Breville Bambino Cons

  • Hard to dial in because of its lack of shot feedback
  • Struggles to extract lighter roast coffee beans

Best For Beginners: Breville Bambino Plus

Best for Beginners
Breville Bambino Plus
$499.95
The Breville Bambino Plus has an automated steam wand so you can steam milk hands-free.
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02/27/2024 09:11 pm GMT
Specification Breville Bambino Plus
Heating System
Thermojet
Steam Wand Type
Automated (can be used manually)
User Interface
Button Only
Built-in Grinder
No
Cost
Affordable

Espresso Quality

The Breville Bambino Plus can make a good espresso with dark and medium roast beans but struggles with lighter roasts.

The Bambino Plus has an identical espresso to the Bambino. 

It’s set to brew at slightly under 9 Bars, making it forgiving for beginners but also meaning that it will struggle to get a good extraction with lighter roast coffee.

The Bambino Plus sometimes comes with non-pressurized baskets. You might have to buy these baskets separately if you want to maximize the machine’s espresso brewing potential.

Espresso Quality Rating: 7/10

Milk Steaming Performance

The Breville Bambino Plus can make decent steamed milk in automatic mode and good steamed milk in manual mode.

Like the Bambino, the Bambino Plus’s steam wand steams milk slowly, giving you the time to roll your milk around to your desired texture before it scorches even if you have little experience frothing milk.

The Bambino Plus’s steam wand also has an automatic mode that will steam your milk hands-free to one of three preset temperatures and textures. You’ll struggle to get latte art with this, but it’s still passable especially given how little effort it is to use.

Milk Steaming Performance Rating: 8/10

Ease of Use

The Breville Bambino Plus’s automatic milk frother makes it the easiest-to-use entry-level espresso machine.

I love how its automated steam wand also lets you manually steam milk so you can climb the milk frothing learning curve slowly.

Like the Bambino, its lack of shot feedback makes it a little bit tricky to dial in, but once you have sorted that out it’s a breeze to use.

Ease of Use Rating: 9/10

Design and Build Quality

The Breville Bambino Plus should last you 4-5 years. It has lower durability than many espresso machines with its price tag.

The Bambino Plus (like many Breville coffee makers) sacrifices a bit of build quality and durability in favor of additional features.

So while no other espresso machine at the Bambino Plus’s price point has automatic milk frothing, the Bambino Plus probably won’t maintain peak performance for as long as the Gaggia Classic Pro or Rancilio Silvia.

Design and Build Quality Rating: 6/10

Value For Money

The Breville Bambino Plus only offers good value for money if you’re going to make use of its automatic milk frothing.

The next cheapest espresso machine with this feature is the Breville Barista Touch which costs around double what the Bambino costs.

However, if you won’t use this feature then you’d get better value from the Breville Bambino.

For more on how these two models compare, please see my comparison of the Breville Bambino vs Bambino Plus.

Value for Money Rating: 7/10

Breville Bambino Plus Pros

  • Hands-free milk frothing.
  • Can be paired with a good grinder for less than $800.

Breville Bambino Plus Cons

  • Worse value than the Bambino if you won’t use its automatic steam wand.

Easiest to Use: Breville Barista Touch Impress

Easiest To Use
Breville Barista Touch Impress
$1,499.95

The Breville Barista Touch Impress automates dosing, tamping, and milk steaming, allowing you to pull a good shot without any learning curve.

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02/28/2024 06:28 pm GMT
Specification Breville Barista Touch Impress
Heating System
Thermojet
Steam Wand Type
Automated (can be used manually)
User Interface
Touch Screen
Built-in Grinder
Yes – 30 settings with assisted tamping
Cost
Premium

Espresso Quality

The Breville Barista Touch Impress’s espresso quality ceiling is capped by its grinder.

While the Breville Barista Touch Impress has the same brewing system as the Breville Bambino, Bambino Plus, and Barista Pro, its integrated grinder is barely of the standard of an entry-level espresso grinder.

This puts a cap on how much control you have over your espresso brewing. You just don’t have enough control over your grind size to dial in precisely. 

Grinder quality is generally considered to be a bigger determining factor in how well you brew your espresso compared to your machine’s quality.

The Breville Barista Touch Impress will therefore make an inferior espresso compared to the Bambino paired with a mid-priced grinder.

Espresso Quality Rating: 7/10

Milk Steaming Performance

The Breville Barista Touch Impress can steam milk quickly due to its four-hole steam wand.

This fast steaming allows it to make creamier foamed milk than the Barista and Barista Express.

The machine is also capable of automatic milk frothing, where you can set its milk temperature to the nearest 10 Fahrenheit and to one of ten textures.

This is also a big step up in milk frothing control compared to the Bambino Plus.

Milk Steaming Performance: 10/10

Ease of Use

The Breville Barista Touch Impress requires no skill or espresso-making experience to use.

The Barista Touch Impress automates grinding, tamping, and milk frothing. All you need to do is move its portafilter from the grinder to the brew head and select the drink you want from its touch screen.

It’s the easiest-to-use espresso machine currently available for under $2,000 (the Oracle Touch is equally as easy to use but costs way over $2,000).

Ease of Use Rating: 10/10

Design and Build Quality

While all the Breville Barista Touch Impress’s automated features are well-built, its heating system still puts a lifespan of around five years on the machine.

The Breville Barista Touch Impress feels sturdy and its touch screen is responsive without being jumpy.

It’s a well-built machine. 

Unfortunately, its thermojet heating system does put a lower lifespan on the machine compared to espresso makers with a boiler heating system.

Design and Build Quality Rating: 8/10

Value for Money

I think the Breville Barista Touch Impress is a bit of a bargain considering its automation.

It combines the zero-effort workflow of a super-automatic espresso machine with the higher quality of a good semi-automatic machine.

Given that it costs about the same as many mid-priced super-automatic espresso machines, I think you’ve got a bit of a bargain on your hands with this model.

Value for Money Rating: 8/10

Breville Barista Touch Impress Pros

  • You can make an espresso or milk drink with no prior experience or effort.
  • Superb milk temperature and texture control.
  • Touch-screen is a joy to use.

Breville Barista Touch Impress Cons

  • Its built-in grinder puts a ceiling on its espresso quality.

Best With a Built-In Grinder: Breville Barista Pro

Best With A Built In Grinder
Breville Barista Pro
The Breville Barista Pro has a digital display screen in addition to a built-in grinder which makes dialling in the machine relatively easy.
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Specification Breville Barista Pro
Heating System
Thermojet
Steam Wand Type
Manual
User Interface
Digital display screen with buttons
Built-in grinder
Yes – 30 settings
Cost
Mid price

Espresso Quality

While the Breville Barista Pro can make a good espresso, its espresso ceiling is capped by its built-in grinder.

The Breville Barista Pro has, like all the best Breville espresso machines in this article, an excellent heating and brewing system, allowing it to pull consistently good espresso shots.

The Barista Pro’s limiting factor, as far as espresso quality is concerned, is its grinder.

The steps between each grind size are not all that small, meaning that there is a limit on how much control you have over your brewing.

I tried pairing my Barista Pro with a far better grinder (the Baratza Sette 270WI) and my level of brewing control (and hence espresso quality) went up considerably.

Espresso Quality Rating: 7/10

Steamed Milk Performance

The Breville Barista Pro has a four-hole steam wand, allowing it to steam milk faster than the Bambino and Bambino Plus.

This faster steaming allows you to create a creamier milk foam because less steam (and hence water) has been pushed through the milk.

The Barista Pro’s milk foam is slightly more watery than the Dual Boiler, but noticeably creamier than what you’d get with the Bambino/Bambino Plus.

Milk Steaming Performance: 9/10

Ease of Use

The Breville Barista Pro’s integrated grinder and shot timer makes it easy to dial in and pull shots.

An integrated grinder means there’s less fiddling around with moving your ground coffee-filled portafilter around (and more importantly less chance of making a mess).

This, combined with a digital display screen that tells you your coffee dose, grind size, and brewing time, makes the Breville Barista Pro significantly easier to use than the Bambino, and Dual Boiler.

Ease of Use Rating: 8/10

Design and Build Quality

Like with all thermojet/thermocoil Breville espresso machines, the Breville Barista Pro probably won’t last you more than five years.

Again, it’s the machine’s heating system that will likely give up on you first.

The Breville Barista Pro is a noticeable step up in build quality compared to Delonghi’s integrated grinder machines – for more information on this please see my comparison of the Breville Barista Pro vs Delonghi La Specialista.

Design and Build Quality Rating: 7/10

Value For Money

I don’t think that the Breville Barista Pro offers amazing value for money because it’s more expensive than the Breville Bambino paired with the Breville Smart Grinder Pro.

The Breville Barista Pro is essentially an amalgamation of the Breville Bambino and the Smart Grinder Pro.

It leaves a bit of a bad taste in the mouth that the Barista Pro is around $250 more than this machine and grinder pairing.

Value for Money Rating: 5/10

Breville Barista Pro Pros

  • High-quality four hole steam wand.
  • No need to buy a separate grinder with the machine.

Breville Barista Pro Cons

  • No room to upgrade its grinder.
  • More expensive than a separate machine and grinder of equivalent quality.

See more: Breville Barista Pro review

Two Models to Avoid: Breville Barista Express and Breville Infuser

I recommend avoiding the Breville Barista Express and Breville Infuser for the same reason: they use a thermocoil heating system.

This gives the machines poorer temperature control than thermojet systems, meaning that they are less capable of pulling consistent espresso shots.

Breville should lower the price of these machines to reflect this outdated technology, but they haven’t. I’d also recommend avoiding the Breville Barista Express Impress and Breville Temp Duo for the same reason.

What to Ask Yourself When Buying a Breville Espresso Machine?

Here are the questions you should ask yourself if you’re not sure which Breville espresso machine to buy.

How Much Money Should I Spend?

Here are your options broken down by budget:

  • <$400: Breville Bambino and brewing with pre-ground coffee: Use the Bambino’s pressurized portafilter baskets for now. You’ll likely want to save up for a grinder once you learn the basics of espresso brewing.
  • ~$800: Breville Barista Pro or Breville Bambino with the Baratza Viruoso+: Your options increase at this price point. You can either get the Breville Barista Pro if you want an integrated grinder or pair the Bambino with a superior grinder (I recommend the Baratza Virtuoso+)

What Drinks Do I Want To Make?

If you aren’t interested in milk drinks then don’t bother getting a machine with an automated steam wand.

This particularly applies to Breville’s entry-level machines (Bambino and Bambino Plus).

If you aren’t going to make milk drinks then getting the Bambino Plus instead of the Bambino is a waste of money as the only difference between the machines is that the Bambino Plus has an automated milk steaming.

Can I Be Bothered Dialling in My Machine?

If you can’t be bothered dialing in your machine then I’d recommend the Breville Bambino or the Barista Touch Impress.

If you’re not sure what dialing in your espresso machine means, then watch the video below:

If this looks like too much effort then either get the Breville Bambino or Breville Barista Touch Impress.

  • Breville Bambino uses pressurized portafilter baskets which will give you a decent espresso without dialing in.
  • Breville Barista Touch Impress: Assists with tamping and lets you pre-program dose, yield, and brewing time with its touch screen which essentially automates the dialing-in process.

All other machines featured in this article will require you to dial in with the thoroughness shown in the above video if you brew with non-pressurized portafilter baskets.

Am I an Espresso Snob?

If the finer details of espresso brewing matter to you, or the idea of trying to get a good extraction with lighter roasts excites you then you should get the Breville Dual Boiler.

The Dual Boiler has significantly better thermal stability than machines with thermocoil/thermojet heating systems. 

If fine margins matter to you when brewing espresso then it’s by far your best option.

Final Verdict

The best Breville espresso machine is the Breville Dual Boiler as it can brew the tastiest espresso and is the most durable of all Breville machines.

Best Overall
Breville Dual Boiler
$1,699.95

The Breville Dual Boiler’s unmatched durability and brewing performance make it the best Breville espresso machine by a distance.

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02/28/2024 06:15 pm GMT

If the Breville Dual Boiler is beyond your budget then you might want to look at my roundup of the best espresso machines under $1,000.

Best Breville Espresso Machine: FAQs

Here are some questions that people often ask when looking for the best Breville Espresso machines.

Is Breville a Good Espresso Brand?

Yes. Breville produces some of the best espresso machines for the money. The Breville Dual Boiler is the best price/performance espresso machine on the market in my opinion, and the Breville Bambino is the best low-cost espresso machine currently available.

What is the Best Grind Size For a Breville Coffee Machine?

I find that grind size 8 works best on my Breville Barista Pro. Breville recommends that you start in the middle of its grind settings and then work your way finer until your espresso is over-extracted and then go back to one grind coarser.

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