9 Best Breville Espresso Machines (2023 Reviews)
If you’re looking for a trustworthy espresso machine, a great place to start is with a trustworthy brand. Have you heard of Breville? Established in 1932, Breville has been manufacturing some of the best small kitchen appliances on the market for nearly 100 years. They are an award winner known for creating innovative products that are both high-quality and affordable.
Let’s take a look at the best Breville espresso machines this year. With their extensive array of features and options, there’s sure to be a model that’s perfect for you.
The 9 Best Breville Espresso Machines in 2023
Breville coffee machines share the same aesthetic, with smooth curves, backlit buttons, and plenty of brushed stainless steel. This can make every model feel similar, but each packs a unique set of features. So let’s look at nine top Breville espresso machines this year and see what makes each one stand out from the crowd.
|BES878BSS Barista Pro||
|BES870XL Barista Express||
|BES888BSS Barista Touch||
|BES810BSS Duo Temp||
|BES920XL Dual Boiler||
|BES500 Bambino Plus||
|BES990BSS Oracle Touch||
|ESP8XL Cafe Roma||
The Best Breville Espresso Machines
Enough about the brand. You’re here to get the low down on the best of the best when it comes to Breville espresso machines, right? We’ve assembled reviews of seven Breville espresso machines which are consistently rated as their best on the market.
Introduced in 2019, the Barista Pro is a relatively new addition to the Breville line-up. It is very similar to everybody’s longtime favorite, the Breville Barista Express, but with a few extra bells and whistles that we think make it worthy of the top spot on our list this year.
Like the Express, the Barista Pro features a built-in, conical burr grinder with dose control, so it grinds precisely the amount of coffee grounds you need at the touch of a button. It also has the same manual steam wand with enough pressure to prepare the proper microfoam for latte art. Both the Express and the Pro have a dedicated hot water tap, but on the Pro, it has been angled so that you don’t need to move your cup to add water after pulling an espresso.
But what are the significant improvements to the Pro versus the Express? The most obvious upgrade is the LCD interface, making this model even easier to use. Clever animations show your progress during grinding and extraction, so reproducing the perfect shot is a piece of cake (1).
This new display, plus a few other aesthetic changes, gives this espresso machine a more refined look than the Express.
The Barista Pro and Express rely on advanced PID temperature control, ensuring the brewing water is at the proper temperature with minor fluctuations (2). However, the Pro uses a new Thermojet heating system to heat up and recover faster. It’s ready to brew in just 3 seconds, and you can easily pull shot after shot if you’re serving a crowd. Read our Breville Barista Pro review to learn more.
The Breville Barista Express has long been the brand’s top seller. It’s a bit more hands-on than some of the other offerings on this list, but that’s not a bad thing, especially at a price. We’ve done a full review of this espresso machine here.
Like the Pro, the Breville Barista Express espresso machine comes with an integrated conical burr grinder, meaning that once you load the bean hopper, you can dispense freshly ground coffee directly into the portafilter for maximum freshness. And if the standard settings for single and double shots aren’t quite right for you, the Grind Amount dial lets you control how much or how little you dispense for each shot.
It brews with Breville’s familiar pre-infusion and 9-bar extraction protocol. It relies on PID temperature control to keep the 1600-watt thermocoil heating system operating at the optimum temperature for the best extraction. All that means you’re going to get the best possible flavor from your coffee beans (3).
The steam wand generates Breville’s signature micro-foam milk texture for rich, creamy lattes or thick foam cappuccinos. There is also a separate hot-water tap for making Americanos or preparing a cup of tea.
Watch our video review of the Breville Barista Express for more details:
The Barista Touch demonstrates everything there is to love about a super-auto espresso machine at a very manageable price point. It simplifies making a complicated cafe-style espresso drink to pressing a few buttons, which is why it takes our award for Easiest to Use.
You select your drink from one of five cafe favorites displayed on a touchscreen. Press the Grind icon, and the integrated conical burr grinder prepares your freshly ground coffee to the perfect size. You can even customize the dose for your taste!
Lock the portafilter into the brew unit, and press the Brew icon (don’t forget to put a cup under the portafilter). The Touch pre-infuses your coffee before stepping up the pressure for the perfect, PID-controlled extraction.
If you selected a milk drink from the touchscreen, place the steaming pitcher under the milk frother wand and press the Frothing icon on the touch screen. Using microfoam technology, the Barista Touch froths your milk to the ideal adjustable temperature and texture for your drink.
Need to customize a drink – more coffee, hotter milk, something else? You can program up to 8 custom drinks, then name your drink to enjoy any time.
The usual Breville espresso machine features are here, with some nice upgrades like the ThermoJet system that reaches the optimum extraction temperature in three seconds. Three. Seconds. If we haven’t had any coffee yet, it takes us longer than that to twist the portafilter into place.
Read our Breville Barista Touch espresso machine review to learn more.
Breville has done a fantastic job with the Duo Temp in including just the features to create great espresso and frothed milk. By doing away with any excess bells and whistles, and you’ll need to put in a bit more elbow grease.
The Duo Temp is a semi-auto espresso machine, which means you can’t pre-program shot volumes. Instead, you need to start the shot and pay attention so you can stop it when it’s done. As long as you have a 30 second or longer attention span, you’ll be A-OK. The Duo Temp also lacks a built-in grinder or any fancy display.
Duo Temp’s name refers to the fact that steaming milk and pulling espresso should occur at two very different temperatures (4). Breville knows this well and incorporates an automatic purge function after steaming, ensuring the Duo Temp goes right back to perfect brewing temperature.
And like the expensive models, it includes automatic pre-infusion to ensure richly flavorful espresso; a 1600 W heating element and thermocoil for fast heat-up times; a manual steam wand for perfect creamy microfoam; and automatic maintenance warnings. Of course, it also sports that classic Breville aesthetic, with rounded edges and a brushed stainless finish.
The Breville Infuser espresso machine is all about balance. It incorporates features from some of Breville’s most popular espresso makers and accessories like single and dual wall filter baskets. Want to perfect your barista skills? The single-wall filter basket will help you master grinding and tamping. Just want beautiful crema? The dual-wall filter basket handles that for you.
As far as price, the Infuser falls in the middle of the range while still offering some more expensive models, especially the PID digital temperature control. You also get pre-infusion (with a name like Infuser, you’d think this would go without saying), which is an important key for consistently making the best coffee.
Some of the features unique to this model include accessories for cleaning, a steel frothing jug, and a plastic insert for the portafilter that reduces heat loss during extraction. You also get volumetric controls with preset, manual override, or programmable shot volumes; a pressure gauge designed to balance grind and water pressure; and an auto-sleep off mode that shuts off the espresso machine automatically after three hours.
The Dual Boiler is the one Breville espresso machine that even the espresso geeks who routinely drop thousands of dollars on machines have to admit is a great buy. It has all the features you’d expect from a high-end prosumer espresso machine but is packed into friendly Breville packaging and at a far lower price.
With machines with two boilers, you can pull a shot of espresso and steam milk simultaneously because each boiler maintains an independent temperature. The coffee boiler is PID controlled and includes an over-pressure valve (OPV), so the extraction is always at the ideal temperature and pressure, preventing bitter flavors in the cup (5).
The second boiler for steam means never having to wait for your espresso to finish pouring before you froth your milk. And because this espresso machine uses a genuine steam boiler rather than a thermocoil, it produces drier steam, which yields superior milk texture for your lattes and cappuccinos.
You can opt for semi-automatic operation, using the built-in shot clock to time your extraction. Or you can pre-program the single and double shot buttons to a volume of your choosing, making extraction as simple as pushing a button.
Lastly, a favorite fan feature on this machine is the auto-on timer, so you can be sure your Dual Boiler is warm and ready to brew when you get up in the morning. Inexplicably, you can find this helpful feature on nearly every cheap coffee maker but not on expensive espresso machines.
Read our Breville Dual Boiler review to learn more.
The Breville Bambino Plus offers many advanced features in a remarkably affordable and easy-to-use package. If you’re just getting into your espresso journey but don’t necessarily want to start with a genuinely entry-level machine, this compact machine is a fantastic choice. It has many options as the Barista Touch but only half the price tag and in a tiny footprint. The Bambino Plus is one of Breville’s most minor options, measuring under 8 inches wide!
The Breville Bambino Plus is an automatic espresso machine with programmable volumetric dosing. Once you’ve set your desired volume for a single or double shot, pulling an espresso is as easy as pressing a button and walking away. You can even program a specific pre-infusion time.
Even more impressive is the automatic milk frothing, which uses a temperature sensor built into the drip tray. No less a figure than coffee legend James Hoffmann had this to say about it:
If you don’t want to get into how to steam milk and you want some good results, that’s kind of impressive to me.”
You can select three levels of milk texture, from lightly creamy to an airy froth, as well as three different milk temperatures. Then just insert the steam wand into the included stainless steel frothing pitcher and let the magic happen.
One of the nicest things about the Breville Bambino Plus is that it can grow with you as you become more skilled. Milk frothing and shot pulling can be done manually, including a manual pre-infusion. However, unlike some other models, it only comes with a pressurized filter basket, so be sure to upgrade to an unpressurized option (a very cheap add-on) when you’re ready to get more serious.
If you’re looking for an espresso machine that is essentially a personal barista in your kitchen, this is the one. Yes, it costs nearly $1000 more than any other machine on this list, but in this case, you’re getting what you pay for in the form of advanced technology and easy operation.
The Oracle Touch takes the very popular Breville Oracle espresso machine and adds a massive 4-inch color touchscreen, making it far more intuitive to use. Because we all know there’s nothing worse than using a complicated coffee machine before you’ve even had a coffee!
Not a fan of touchscreens? Then you can read our Breville Oracle review here.
With the screen, you can easily swipe to select your preset drink of choice, with options including espresso, latte, cappuccino, flat white, and Americano. It’s then just as easy to customize any drink, setting your preferences for temperature, strength, and milk texture. Once you’ve designed your perfect drink, you can even give it a name and save it for the future.
Like the Oracle, the Oracle Touch includes many features often found on more expensive prosumer espresso machines, including PID temperature control, dedicated brewing and steaming boilers, and a heated group head. At the same time, it also borrows from super-auto espresso makers. Grinding, dosing, tamping, pre-infusion, extraction, and milk frothing is automated. It’s this combination of automation and technology that makes this a “best of both worlds” espresso machine!
The Breville Cafe Roma is a great semi-automatic espresso maker if you want to take your first step into the world of Breville without spending a fortune. Its 15-bar pump has plenty of pressure for proper extraction, yielding a rich layer of crema. It comes with a dual-wall portafilter, which is great for espresso beginners, especially if you don’t yet have a burr grinder. Even pre-ground coffee will come out looking beautiful.
The built-in steam wand means you can make cappuccinos, lattes, and other milk-based espresso drinks with ease. It even includes a stainless steel frothing pitcher. Some users report that the wand spits a bit of hot water before developing a good head of steam; the best way around this is to begin steaming into an empty cup, then switch to the milk jug once the steam is consistent.
This compact machine is perfect for small households with limited counter space. The 40.6 oz water reservoir isn’t huge, but it’s plenty large enough to last a couple of people a couple of days. And like the drip tray, it’s removable, so it’s easy to refill.
If you’re a coffee lover of simple needs and modest means, the Cafe Roma could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Read our full Breville Cafe Roma review.
How to Choose the Right Breville Espresso Machine
How do you choose the suitable Breville espresso machine for you with so many models? It’s easier than you think! In fact, by the time you’ve read through this buyer’s guide, you’ll probably know exactly what you’re looking for.
Semi Automatic vs. Automatic vs. Super Automatic
Let’s briefly summarize these three modes of espresso machine operation and then decide which is right for you.
- With a semi-auto espresso machine, you do all the work to prepare the shot. You grind, dose, and tamp to prepare the portafilter. Then you start and stop the espresso shot at the appropriate time. You’ll also need to froth the milk if you’re making a milky drink.
- An automatic espresso machine is very similar, except that the shot is pre-programmed to stop after a particular time or volume of water. You don’t need to stop it. With these espresso machines, milk frothing might or might not be automatic.
- A super-auto espresso machine, also sometimes called a fully automatic machine, does all the work for you. It typically grinds, doses, and tamps, then starts and stops the shot at the correct time – all based on your programmed preferences. These machines usually include automatic milk frothing as well.
As a general rule, more automation means an espresso machine is easier to use. But at the same time, it can’t prepare a coffee and a skilled barista using an espresso machine with less automation. Less automated machines take practice, but you can make a tastier drink once you know what you’re doing. So deciding which is right for you depends on how much effort you want to put into your morning brew.
According to expert Aurimas Vainauskas, CEO of Coffee Friend, a home espresso machine is an ideal way to learn more about coffee, and in this respect, the more control you have the better (6).
It will help baristas to develop and improve and increase the variety of drinks they can prepare. You can truly experiment, and it allows you to adjust and control so many parameters up close.
You should also factor in that more automation also tends to make machines more expensive. You are paying for convenience and the technology required to deliver that convenience.
Lastly, consider that you can also use the typical automatic Breville espresso machine in a semi-automatic manner, which can be useful if different members of your household have different coffee goals.
Do you have a grinder?
If you don’t already have a burr grinder, buying a Breville espresso machine with a built-in conical burr grinder is a great option. Not only will the two-in-one system make your espresso preparation much more efficient, but it will also save you cash and counter space.
Plus, when compared with using a blade grinder or buying pre-ground coffee beans, you’re guaranteed to make far better espresso.
If you don’t have the budget for a grinder or a Breville espresso machine with a built-in grinder, pre-ground coffee is a viable option. Consider having a local coffee shop grind it to the correct size for espresso for you, or make sure you are using a pressurized filter basket, which is designed to yield a delicious espresso with a rich crema even when your grind size isn’t ideal.
That said, if you’re getting serious about espresso, it is worth mentioning that the quality of a Breville espresso machine always surpasses the quality of its grinder. I mean that if you spend a bit more money on a separate grinder, you will be able to make a better espresso using the same espresso machine. That’s while you’ll often see people with a Barista Express paired with a Baratza or Eureka grinder, for example.
If you foresee wanting to make this upgrade in your future, I’d advise buying a Breville espresso machine without a grinder to save money in the short term. But this advice only applies to those planning on getting very nerdy about espresso.
Speaking of getting nerdy about espresso, let’s talk about burrs for a second. All Breville built-in grinders feature stainless steel conical burrs. There are several advantages to conical burrs, particularly for espresso. They retain less coffee grounds, so you get a more reliable dose, and they yield more fines, which can give your espresso a richer mouthfeel (7).
However, some people prefer flat burr grinders, which are more consistent and produce a clean and balanced cup. If you want a flat burr grinder, then opt for a Breville espresso machine without a grinder and budget for something like the Eureka Mignon.
Heating systems: boiler versus thermocoil
Some machines like Krups espresso machines use a thermoblock heating systems, which are generally inexpensive. Breville, on the other hand, relies on two main heating systems in their espresso machines: a thermocoil (or the slightly faster variation, the thermojet) or boiler. Both types have pros and cons, so your priorities can help decide which espresso machine heater system suits you best.
Like prosumer and commercial machines, high-end espresso machines all use boilers, which might lead you to believe that they are always the better choice. When it comes to it, they yield better espresso and steamed milk. A brew boiler has a more stable brew temperature, which improves extraction and yields a more flavorful espresso. A steam boiler produces more powerful and drier steam, making for better milk texture.
However, if you aren’t an espresso fan, you might not even be able to taste these differences, in which case the cons of relying on boilers might seem more important.
The significant advantage to a thermocoil is how fast it can heat up, and it’s ready to go in just 25 seconds. And Breville’s new thermojet technology is even faster, hitting brew temperature in just 3 seconds. In comparison, a big dual boiler espresso machine might take 10 or 20 minutes to heat up and reach a stable temperature. However, Breville does include a handy auto-on timing function on some models to mediate this issue a bit.
The other advantage of the thermocoil is that it is small. There is no such thing as a “compact” double-boiler espresso machine, whereas the thermocoil facilitates small footprint models like the Bambino Plus and Cafe Roma.
The hallmark of the Breville espresso machine family is quality construction for a consistently delicious espresso. Whether you choose the entry-level Cafe Roma, the luxurious Oracle, or something in between, there’s something here for everyone looking beyond the ordinary coffee maker.
But if we had to choose just one, the new Breville Barista Pro espresso machine strikes an almost ideal balance between features and cost and between automatic and control. The upgraded LCD makes extraction intuitive, and the built-in grinder and ultra-fast ThermoJet heating system streamline the process. Most of the cost seems to have gone into technology that makes your coffee taste better. PID digital temperature control, micro-foam milk frothing, and the grind size dial all promise – and deliver – great-tasting espresso and cafe drinks.
Breville is an Australian brand, founded in 1932 and based in Sydney. But like many consumer products these days, espresso machines are manufactured in China (8).
Nespresso has contracted Breville to make some of their products, so there are Breville/Nespresso branded products designed to brew with Nespresso capsules. It’s a testament to Breville’s reputation and expertise that Nespresso trusts them as a partner (9).
Every Breville espresso machine comes with a 1-year warranty, but if appropriately treated with regular cleaning, you should expect it to last well beyond its warranty. Don’t forget to descale your Breville espresso machine every few months, too, so the espresso it produces doesn’t taste like crap. Plan on enjoying your espresso machine for at least 3 to 5 years, but don’t expect the same longevity you get from the all-stainless-steel prosumer machines.
- Rogers, A. (2020, January 22). The Science Behind Crafting a Perfect Espresso. Retrieved from https://www.wired.com/story/the-science-behind-crafting-a-perfect-espresso/
- La Marzocco. (2015, October 15). A Brief History of the PID. Retrieved from https://home.lamarzoccousa.com/history-of-the-pid/
- Joseph, H. (2019, December 10). Longtime Espresso Pro Michael Teahan on Pre-Infusion, the Problem with SO, and Much More. Retrieved from https://dailycoffeenews.com/2019/12/10/longtime-espresso-pro-michael-teahan-on-pre-infusion-the-problem-with-so-and-much-more/
- Jayson, C. (2015, July 21). The Science of Steamed Milk: Understanding Your Latte Art. Retrieved from https://www.discovermagazine.com/health/the-science-of-steamed-milk-understanding-your-latte-art
- Kilbride, D. (2017, June 8). How Does Pressure Affect Espresso Quality? Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2017/06/how-does-pressure-affect-espresso-quality/
- Grant, T. (2020, October 2). Which Type Of Home Coffee Machine Is Right For You? Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2020/10/which-type-of-home-coffee-machine-is-right-for-you/
- Schomer, D. (2019, August 30). A Call to Action on Espresso Grinders, by David Schomer. Retrieved from https://dailycoffeenews.com/2019/08/30/a-call-to-action-on-espresso-grinders-by-david-schomer/
- Charis, D. (2016, January 18). A Domestic History: The Breville Company from 1932 to Present. Retrieved from https://www.jcount.com/a-domestic-history-the-breville-company-from-1932-to-present/
- Specialty Food Association. (2016, June 14). Nespresso Expands Distribution Partnership. Retrieved from https://www.specialtyfood.com/news/article/nespresso-expands-distribution-partnership/