Which Breville Machine is Right for Me? - Watch&Puck

Which Breville Machine is Right for Me?

The Breville Barista Pro and Barista Express are two highly sought-after machines. We are going to explore the differences and strength of each machine, but first, let's look at the price. The Barista Pro is currently going for $1399 while the Barista Express is going for $1199. At a $200 difference, what are we missing out?

Heating Element 

The Barista Pro comes with the thermojet heating system which rapidly heats water up to the brewing temperature in around 3 seconds. This rapid heating is possible because a tiny amount of water is being heated while it flows around the thermojet coil. In the image below, look at the tiny amount of water heating up as it goes around the coil and exiting as hot water at the exhaust. The heating element heats up extremely fast and you can start brewing in less than 10 seconds.

The Barista Express on the other hand, comes with the thermblock heating system. It works on the same principle of heating a small amount of water on the fly, but the thermoblock takes about 20 minutes to warm up to brewing temperature. However, this 20 minute also heats up the entire machine and the brew head to give you a more consistent shot, which the Barista Pro is unable to, unless you run a blind shot prior to brewing. 

Interface Display

The Barista Pro comes with an LCD display which is very useful to know exactly what settings you are at. It also comes with a built-in timer to time each grind and extraction. You can also find useful features like "flush" and "descale" warning as well as a PID temperature display. 

The Barista Express comes with an analog display but with a very useful pressure gauge which the Barista Pro does not. The pressure gauge gives you a instant feedback on the quality of your shot and would be very helpful if you are just starting out. 

Built-in Grinder

The built-in grinder might look the same on the outside, but the Barista Pro does come with a slight advantage. It has a total of 30 steps on the grinder, as compared to the Barista Express which has a total of 18 steps. It might seem like a small difference but when it comes to dialling in that perfect shot, you might just need a step between that step 10 and step 11 of the Barista Express, which the Barista Pro is able to, due to its near to twice the amount of granularity

Milk Steamer

Similar to the grinder, the milk steamer might look the same out the outside but there is a slightly almost unnoticeable difference. The Barista Express's milk steam wand only comes with 1 hole, while the Barista Pro's steam wand comes with 4 holes. The 4 holes on the Barista Pro gives a stronger steam wand performance compared to the Barista Express.


You will not go wrong with either machine. If you have the luxury of time to power up the Barista Express every morning while you go about your routine, it is a great machine. The Barista Express will heat up the entire machine and produce a very consistent shot. However, if time is of a constrain, the Barista Pro is a no-brainer option. It heats up in 3 seconds and gives much more improvement at only $200 more.