The Best Breville Espresso Machines Compared
As one of the most popular espresso machine brands for home use, Breville offers an extensive selection of high-quality coffee makers.
With over 15 different models currently available, choosing the right Breville espresso machine for your needs can seem daunting.
In this comprehensive buyer’s guide, we’ll explore Breville’s product range and compare the key features of their best-selling manual, semi-automatic, and super automatic espresso machines.
Whether you’re a beginner looking for an affordable starter machine or want a top-of-the-line model with all the bells and whistles, read on to discover the perfect Breville for your home coffee bar.
A Complete Overview of Breville Espresso Machines
Breville designs espresso machines for every skill level and budget. Their line includes both manual and automated models in three main categories:
Manual Espresso Makers – Entry-level basic machines like the Breville Bambino and Bambino Plus. Require manually grinding coffee and operating the steam wand.
Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines – Mid-range models like the Barista Express and Barista Touch that include an integrated burr grinder and milk steaming wand. Often have automated features like dosing and tamping.
Super Automatic Espresso Machines – Fully automated models like the Oracle and Barista Touch that handle grinding, dosing, tamping, brewing, and milk steaming at the touch of a button.
Within each category, Breville aims to enhance the user experience through thoughtful design and innovation. Their extensive machine range lets consumers choose an espresso maker tailored exactly to their needs and budget.
Below we explore Breville’s most popular models in greater depth and compare their key features and performance.
Best Value Breville Espresso Machine: Barista Express
The Breville Barista Express is one of Breville’s most popular mid-range semi-automatic espresso machines. Its highlights include:
- Conical Burr Grinder – Integrated grinder with 16 settings allows grinding beans right before extraction for fresh flavor.
- Digital Temperature Control – Advanced PID temperature control maintains water temperature at precisely 200°F.
- Pressure Gauge – Monitor extraction and dial in the grind size based on the pressure gauge readout.
- Pre-Infusion – Pre-wets and expands the coffee grounds before extraction to enhance flavor.
- Dose Control Grinding – Precision conical burrs dose the perfect amount for single or double shots.
- Steaming Wand – Manually controlled steam wand to texture milk for cappuccinos and lattes.
For under $600, the Barista Express packs an incredible array of features. The integrated burr grinder alone is worth $200-300 as a standalone appliance.
The grind size and dose adjustments combined with the pressure gauge enable crafting café-quality espresso once you master the learning curve. It’s an excellent buy for entry-level hobbyists wanting an affordable semi-automatic machine.
While not as automated as Breville’s higher-end models, the Barista Express empowers beginners to learn the foundations of brewing artisan espresso at home. More advanced home baristas also appreciate the flexibility to manually control variables and pull authentic shots.
Read my full experience in my Breville Barista Express review.
Best Breville Espresso Machine for Beginners: Barista Express Impress
The Barista Express Impress takes Breville’s popular Barista Express design and adds automation to simplify the brewing process for beginners. Upgrades vs the standard Express include:
- Automatic Tamping – The “Puck Press” system tamps ground coffee to precisely 10kg of pressure.
- Dosing Assistant – Light indicator helps guide beginners to dose the correct amount of coffee.
- More Grind Settings – 25 grind size options instead of the regular Express’s 16.
- Faster Heat Up – Improved Thermocoil heating slashes start-up time.
By handling tamping and dosing, two of the trickiest aspects of manual brewing, the Barista Express Impress makes pulling great shots simple. Just grind, tap the tamper, and brew.
The dosing guide takes the guesswork out of how much ground coffee to use in the portafilter. The automatic tamper provides consistent 10kg of pressure for optimal flavor extraction.
While the Impress removes some user control, it makes the process more foolproof. New users don’t have to buy accessories like a stand-alone tamper and mat. The Impress reduces messy grounds and simplifies dialing in. Breville markets it as the ideal semi-automatic model for home brewing beginners.
More on this espresso machine in my Breville Barista Express Impress review.
Best High-End Breville Espresso Machine: Barista Touch Impress
Breville’s newest flagship semi-automatic espresso machine, the Barista Touch Impress takes digital convenience to the next level. Upgrades vs the Barista Express Impress include:
- Intuitive Touchscreen Interface – Easily customize settings and activate grinding, dosing, tamping, and brewing at the touch of a button.
- Automatic Milk Texturing – Auto foam milk steaming and texturing for cappuccinos and lattes.
- 30 Grind Settings – Provides more room for dialing in a precise grind size.
- Automatic Start-Up & Shutoff – Starts up in just 3 seconds thanks to the Thermocoil heating system. Automatically shuts off after 1 hour idle.
- Enhanced Low-Noise Grinder – Minimizes noise and retention of ground coffee.
With its high-resolution display and step-by-step guides, the Barista Touch Impress simplifies brewing for beginners. Users can make everything from espresso to cappuccinos at the touch of a button.
But its extensive customization and precision 30 grind settings also appeal to experienced home baristas. The Barista Touch Impress truly offers the best of both worlds – one-touch operation as well as total control over your shot.
It rivals the quality of professional machines costing thousands more. For coffee aficionados wanting semi-automatic performance with push-button convenience, the Barista Touch Impress delivers. It’s the pinnacle of Breville engineering and innovation.
More on the new flagship in my Breville Barista Touch Impress review.
Best Breville Super Automatic Machine: Oracle Touch
For maximum convenience and premium café-style drinks with complete automation, Breville’s Oracle Touch super automatic espresso machine is unmatched. Highlights include:
- Touchscreen Interface – Select from over 20 coffee drink options with visual guides. Easily customize milk texture, temperature, coffee strength and more to your preferences.
- Automatic Steam Wand – Automatically steams and textures milk at the ideal temperature. Microfoam quality on par with a trained barista.
- Automatic Grinding – Integrated conical burr grinder with 37 settings grinds beans immediately before brewing to preserve freshness.
- Hands-Free Operation – Grinds, doses, tamps, and brews espresso completely automatically. Also cleans itself automatically.
- Dual Boiler Heating – Separate boilers for brewing and steaming optimize temperature and pressure. No waiting between espresso and milk steaming.
- Commercial 58mm Portafilter – Enhances extraction and allows using precision commercial tampers and filters.
With its self-cleaning operation and extensive drink menu, the Oracle Touch brings one-touch café-quality espresso drinks home. Breville packs it with customizable settings controllable through the full-color touchscreen.
Its commercial-grade components like the 58mm portafilter, 1600 watt dual boiler system, and conical burr grinder offer incredible precision. Backed by Breville’s thoughtful automation, the Oracle Touch consistently delivers time after time.
For those desiring the quality of a top-tier semi-automatic machine with complete automation, the Oracle Touch hits the mark. It’s the pinnacle of convenience from an engineering perspective. No other home super automatic espresso machine rivals the Oracle Touch’s features and performance. It’s the ultimate option for hands-free café beverages on demand.
Best Breville Manual Espresso Machine: Bambino Plus
The Breville Bambino Plus is among the brand’s most affordable and compact manual espresso makers. It’s an ideal starter machine for beginners exploring brewing espresso at home on a budget.
Despite its low price tag, the Bambino Plus delivers excellent shot quality rivaling far more expensive espresso machines. Its highlights include:
Compact Footprint – At just 9.5” x 12” x 12.2″, the Bambino Plus takes up minimal counter space perfect for small kitchens.
ThermoJet Heating – Rapid 3 second heat up time thanks to an efficient thermoblock heating element. Ready to pull shots faster than models costing twice as much.
Pre-Infusion Function – Pre-wets the ground coffee at lower pressure before extraction for enhanced flavor.
Automatic Microfoam Steaming – Automatically textures milk to create microfoam essential for cappuccinos and lattes. Newer models have a dedicated hot water outlet for Americanos too.
Single & Double Wall Filters – Includes pressurized and non-pressurized filter baskets to accommodate pre-ground coffee or fresh grounds from a separate burr grinder.
High Pump Pressure – 15 bars of pressure for rich, full-bodied espresso.
The Bambino Plus punches above its weight for an entry-level machine. It combines Breville’s excellent ThermoJet heating and well-designed steaming wand into an compact, affordable package perfect for beginners. More experienced home baristas may eventually want to upgrade to a machine with a built-in grinder, but the Bambino Plus is tough to beat as an initial foray into crafting café espresso at home.
Comparison: Breville Barista Express vs Impress
The Barista Express Impress takes Breville’s beloved original Barista Express design and adds thoughtful automation to enhance convenience. Here’s how the Impress model improves upon the standard Express:
The Impress introduces Breville’s “Puck Press” system to automatically tamp ground coffee in the portafilter.
Tamping pressure is consistently 10kg for optimal flavor extraction.
This saves beginners from buying accessories like a stand-alone tamper and mat.
It also prevents you from making a mess in the kitchen. I’ve often experienced a ground coffee-mess in the kitchen with the Barista Express.
A light indicator guides beginners on dosing the proper amount of coffee for a good shot. If under-dosed, the “Dose” button can add more grounds with one press.
More Grind Settings
With 25 size options instead of the Express’s 16, the Impress provides more room to precisely dial in the grind particle size.
Faster Heat Up
An enhanced Thermojet heating system slashes the Impress’s start-up time. The Express takes over 30 seconds to begin brewing while the Impress is ready in just 10-15 seconds.
Upgraded Steam Wand
The Impress’s steam wand reaches latte/cappuccino temperatures 6 seconds faster than the Express. Both wands produce excellent milk texture when mastered.
Aside from these automation upgrades, the Express and Impress share a similar overall design. They have the same stainless steel housing, conical burr grinder, PID temperature control, and pressure gauge.
The added conveniences of the Impress make it ideal for beginners. But experienced baristas may prefer the Express for its larger water tank and more tactile experience tamping, dosing, and steaming milk themselves.
Impress Comparison: Barista Express vs Barista Touch
The Barista Touch Impress includes everything that makes the Barista Express Impress great and takes it a step further with an intuitive touchscreen interface. Upgrades include:
Easily customize settings like grind size, brew temperature, and milk texture via the high-resolution display. One-touch operation for grinding, dosing, tamping, and brewing.
Automatic Milk Texturing
The Barista Touch Impress automatically steams and textures milk to your specifications. Consistently crafts microfoam worthy of a cafe.
30 Grind Settings
Wider range of grind adjustments than the Impress’s 25 for more precision dialing in optimal particle size.
3 Second Start-Up
Impressive 3 seconds from power on to espresso brewing temperature thanks to an enhanced Thermocoil heating system.
Lower Noise Grinder
Quieter operation while grinding beans due to optimized burr calibration.
Improved Water Tank
Higher 2 liter capacity water tank that’s easier to fill thanks to the hinged lid.
Both machines share excellent build quality including stainless steel construction, solid pressure gauge and portafilter, and helpful accessories like cleaning tools.
The Barista Touch Impress’s digital touchscreen makes the brew process incredibly intuitive. But espresso purists may still prefer the hands-on experience and larger drip tray of the Barista Express Impress. For most home baristas, the Touch’s one-touch automation makes it worth the extra investment.
Performance & Espresso Quality Comparison
Here’s how they compare in real-world testing Breville espresso machines:
Dialing in precise grind size is crucial for flavorful espresso. The 30 settings of the Barista Touch (Impress) and Oracle (Touch) make this easiest. The Barista Express’s 16 increments trail behind, while the Impress has a good grinder with 25 settings.
The Thermocoil system allows all Breville espresso machines to reach the optimal 200°F in rapid time. Temperature stability is excellent across the board.
The pre-wetting phase before full extraction helps enhance espresso body and crema. While the Barista Touch has a slightly high pre-infusion time of around 10 seconds, Barista Touch Impress has a nice 5 seconds pre-infusion time. I find 5 seconds way better!
The Express and Impress have a manually operated steam wand that textures milk quite well once mastered.
The Barista Touch (Impress) and Oracle (Touch) version produces exceptionally velvety, café-quality foam automatically every time.
The Touch Impress excels with the fastest 3 second heat-up thanks to its Thermocoil upgrades. At 10-15 seconds, the Impress isn’t far behind. The original Express takes about 30 seconds to reach brewing temperature.
For beginners, the Barista Touch Impress is the clear winner. Its intuitive touchscreen provides helpful brew guides and one-touch operation. The Impress takes second place with useful dosing assists. The manual controls of the original Express involve the steepest learning curve.
Thanks to precision components like its 30 grind settings and automatic tamping, the Barista Touch Impress delivers the most consistency and repeatability.
The Impress follows closely behind. The original Express shows more variability shot-to-shot due to its manual workflow. Just as the Bambino (Plus), because there’s no build-in grinder.
All Breville coffee machines produce delicious café-caliber espresso. The Barista Touch Impress wins for its stunning touchscreen automation combined with incredible shot quality. For maximizing hands-on control at a great value, the original Express comes recommended. The Impress hits the sweet spot between convenience and customization.
For most home baristas, the Barista Touch Impress represents the gold standard in terms of features, convenience, and espresso perfection. But the original Express and Impress still stand as excellent options at their respective price points for brewing artisan-level espresso.
How To Pick the Best Breville Espresso Machine for YOU
With numerous models across a wide price spectrum, Breville has an espresso machine suitable for every need. Here are some key considerations as you zero in on your ideal Breville coffee maker:
Manual models like the Bambino Plus offer incredible value from about $300-$500. Mid-range semi-automatics such as the Barista Express and Impress provide more convenience and consistency in the $500-$800 range. Top-tier semi-automatics like the Barista Touch and super automatics such as the Oracle Touch span from $1000-$2500+ for maximum quality and features.
Beginners do well starting with an affordable manual like the Bambino or an approachable semi-automatic such as the Barista Express. The Barista Express Impress adds automation good for easing beginners into brewing excellent espresso. Experienced home baristas may desire the enhanced control of a machine like the Barista Touch.
Manual frothing wands allow learning the art of steaming but require practice. Automatic milk steaming offers convenience but some prefer the taste of manually frothed milk.
Super automatics self-clean but require descaling. Manual models involve more cleaning of parts like the steam wand and portafilter. All Breville espresso machines feature programs to guide descaling.
Conclusion: the best Breville espresso machine
The best overall Breville espresso machine is the Barista Touch Impress, with high scores on usability, espresso- and milk foam plus a great design which fits in every kitchen.
Once you consider your skill level, how much time you want to spend on brewing basics like grinding and milk texturing, and your budget, one Breville model will shine as the ideal choice for your home coffee needs.
For beginners, we highly recommend the Barista Express Impress for its approachable brewing automation combined with café-level shot quality. Those wanting maximum convenience will love the Barista Touch’s intuitive touchscreen brewing. And if you desire delicious coffee drinks at the push of a button, consider the Oracle Touch super automatic.
Within each price class, Breville espresso machines consistently rise to the top for their quality, performance, and ease of use. Rest assured through research on the models above, you’ll soon be brewing incredible espresso drinks tailored exactly to your taste – whichever Breville you choose!