Breville Barista Pro vs Touch — In-Depth Comparison

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breville barista pro vs touch

Breville, the Australian conglomerate coffee company, is now in its fourth generation of coffee-making excellence and is a beloved brand that continues to make exceptional coffee machines.

This time, we had a close look at two very popular espresso machines in their repertoire. The Barista Pro and the Barista Touch. Which machine pushes the envelope and takes the Breville name to new heights? Some say the Breville Barista Touch. Are they right? Let’s find out. 

More Hand-On
More Convenient
Pros:
  • 3-second heat-up time
  • Manual steam wand for more control
  • For espresso lovers with at least some experience
  • More affordable option
Pros:
  • 3-second heat-up time
  • User-friendly LCD touchscreen interface
  • Wide range of brewing options
  • For beginners or those who love automation
Description:

The Barista Pro is a powerful semi-automatic espresso machine. Its 3-second heat-up time, PID temperature control, and integrated grinder guarantee high-quality espresso. It's more hands-on than the Touch and is for those who prefer to have more control over their drinks.

Description:

Just as powerful as the Barista Pro, the Touch offers more customizability and automation with its touchscreen and pre-set drink recipes. Its automatic steam wand makes this a perfect choice for those new to the world of espresso. More automation justifies the higher price tag.

More Hand-On
Pros:
  • 3-second heat-up time
  • Manual steam wand for more control
  • For espresso lovers with at least some experience
  • More affordable option
Description:

The Barista Pro is a powerful semi-automatic espresso machine. Its 3-second heat-up time, PID temperature control, and integrated grinder guarantee high-quality espresso. It's more hands-on than the Touch and is for those who prefer to have more control over their drinks.

More Convenient
Pros:
  • 3-second heat-up time
  • User-friendly LCD touchscreen interface
  • Wide range of brewing options
  • For beginners or those who love automation
Description:

Just as powerful as the Barista Pro, the Touch offers more customizability and automation with its touchscreen and pre-set drink recipes. Its automatic steam wand makes this a perfect choice for those new to the world of espresso. More automation justifies the higher price tag.

Lasso Brag

At A Glance

Now, what exactly differentiates the two machines? Let’s cut right to the most important part and point out the differences and similarities between the Barista Pro vs Touch.

Key Differences

  • Display — The Touch features a color touchscreen display, whereas the Pro works with button controls.
  • Steam Wand — The Barista Pro’s steam wand is operated manually, while the Touch offers an automated, hands-free experience.
  • Drink Options — The Barista Touch comes with 8 custom drink settings with 5 pre-set recipes. The Pro doesn’t have this option.
  • Price — Automatic steam wand, touchscreen, and customizability come with a higher price tag. Be prepared to shell out around $250 more for the Barista Touch.

Key Similarities

  • Internals and Power — 3-second heat-up time and digital temperature control with PID; fast and delicious coffee can be had with both machines
  • Built-In Grinder — Both feature a conical burr grinder with 30 grind settings for absolute control and precision.
  • Design — As usual with Breville, both come with an elegant brushed stainless steel design and multiple color options.
  • Water Tank — Both Breville models feature a removable water reservoir. The Touch’s is slightly bigger, though.
  • Easy Maintenance — Automatic clean cycles, descaling, and steam wand cleaning make maintenance a breeze in both machines.

Breville Barista Pro 

The Breville Barista Pro is a step above the Breville Barista Express that gives you advanced brewing technology with high performance. 

The integrated steel conical burr grinder allows you to grind however coarse or fine you prefer, all at the single touch of a button. The grinder has 30 possible settings to choose from, matching any and all coffee preferences; this is shared by both the Pro and the Touch. 

The four-hole steam wand has a throughput of high pressurized steam that delivers micro-foam milk at the perfect frothy texture. The downside to this highly pressurized milk frother is that it shoots out hot water first, which may water down your milk taste. 

Both the Pro and the Touch brew use a 15-bar Italian pump with a 9-bar extraction rate, while the Thermojet heating system allows both brewers to heat up and make delicious coffee drinks in under 30 seconds. To brew, simply monitor your settings on the LCD display screen and push the one or two-shot button for double shots. 

The Pro doesn’t include the extra feature of a cup warming tray but is ultimately a friendlier price for the average coffee lover looking to up their at-home coffee game. And keep in mind, average, as finding your preferred settings and the perfect cup for you may take a bit of trial and error for beginners. 

Pros
  • Customizable coffee experience  
  • Thermojet fast heating
  • LCD display with button controls. 
  • High steam pressure with four-hole manual steam wand 
  • Precision grinder with 30 settings
Cons
  • Steep learning curve depending on your experience level
  • Steam wand shoots out hot water first before steaming
  • No cup warming tray

Breville Barista Touch

The Breville Barista Touch allows you to make coffee intuitively and with an entirely user-friendly, state-of-the-art experience. 

The LCD interface with swipe and select technology allows you to select your favorite coffee drink and make it with 3-step brewing all at a single touch: grind, brew, and milk. This technology is perfect for beginners as it adds the convenience of hands-free, automatic coffee. 

The Touch features 8 custom drink settings with 5 pre-set recipes: flat white, cappuccino, latte, espresso, long black, and/or by creating your own custom drink that you can program and save for later. Your coffee your way and all automatically. 

Plus, the built-in, conical burr grinder pushes your ground coffee directly into the portafilter; no mess and no stress. The downside is that the tamp is uneven and will require you to tamp yourself for a precise coffee extraction (you may also use a grind distribution tool or WDT). 

The steam wand operates hands-free, with quality, automatic microfoam milk texturing. You are able to customize the temperature of your water and microfoam by following along with the thermometer located in the steam wand. 

This is a slightly bigger brewer than the Breville Pro and will require a little more clearance when it comes to fitting under the cupboards and on top of the kitchen counter.

Pros
  • LCD touchscreen interface for hands-free, 3-step brewing
  • Built-in grinder directs coffee grounds directly into portafilter
  • Customizable water temperature and microfoam froth 
  • User-friendly steam wand 
  • 8 custom drink settings and 5 pre-set recipes 
Cons
  • Less compact than the Pro
  • Doesn’t provide an even tamp automatically

Features Compared

Breville Barista ProBreville Barista Touch
Dimensions13.9″W x 13.5″D x 16″H12.5″W x 12.7″D x 16″H
Weight20 lbs.26 lbs.
Heat Up TimeThermojet fast heating in 3 secondsThermojet fast heating in 3 seconds
Brewing TimeUnder 30 secondsUnder 30 seconds
Water Reservoir61 oz.67 oz.
Removable Water ReservoirYesYes
DisplayLCD display with button controlLCD touchscreen
Bars of Pressure15-bar Italian pump with 9-bar extraction15-bar Italian pump with 9-bar extraction
Steam WandManual, four-holeAutomatic, one-hole
Drink OptionsNone (drinks made by hand)8 custom drink settings with 5 pre-set recipes

Performance 

Both the Breville Barista Pro and the Barista Touch utilize thermojet engineering paired with P.I.D temperature control, ensuring your water is always heated to the optimal temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit every time. With this fast heating and speedy brew time, you’ll be ready for your first sip in under 30 seconds. 

Where the two differentiate is just how tailored to you, you’re able to make your coffee machine.  

Winner: Tie

Programmability 

With the Breville Barista Touch, you can select up to 5 different drink recipes with 8 setting profiles. This is especially useful for workplaces and households with multiple coffee lovers that want a cafe-quality cup in less time than coffee experts trust. 

Barista Touch touchscreen
Breville Barista Touch’s easy-to-use touchscreen

To program, simply enter the drink selections menu and tap the “add new” icon, where you can riff off of already-made recipes or get creative and make one entirely your own. You can easily replace or reset your drink profiles by resetting them in the same menu. 

Another stand-out, advanced feature of the Touch’s personalized performance is how you’re able to program and save your desired coffee strength settings. 

The Breville Pro offers no such customizable brewing performance when it comes to drink recipes. The Pro maker allows you to change your pre-infusion time, shot volume, and water temperature but requires a lengthy combination of buttons. 

The Barista Pro is more or less designed for creatures of habit who love the classics. You can still make a wide variety of drinks, but like most traditional semi-automatic espresso machines, you’ll be doing it by hand. 

Winner: Barista Touch

Grinder 

While the selling feature of the Breville Pro is its grinder, with 30 varietal settings, the Breville Touch also features the same grinder; we have ourselves a tie.

The Pro and the Touch’s 30 adjustable grinder settings allow for absolute control over your coffee beans.

Burr grinders create consistent grind sizes, which play a huge part in achieving the best extraction that produces powerful aromatics and memorable flavor. 

And with the Pro or the Touch, you’re able to grind directly into the portafilter for a clean coffee experience without ashy coffee grounds spilling everywhere. Both machines also come with dual filter baskets for simultaneous, two-drink brewing. 

Winner: Tie

Steam Wand/ Milk Frothing 

Ultimately, steam wand and milk frothing come down to how much control and convenience you’d like to find in your micro-foam milk. The Breville Touch takes leaps in this category for its automation, while the Breville Pro gives you a hands-on experience that may produce some bumps along the road. 

Barista Pro manual steam wand
Breville Barista Pro’s manual steam wand

The Breville Pro features a powerful, four-hole steam wand that requires manual operation to deliver that sweet, sweet microfoam. While not the most convenient way to make a cappuccino, and certainly with a bigger margin for error, manually frothing your milk puts you in the driver’s seat. 

The highly pressurized steam pressure is favored in the Breville Pro for microfoam and latte art alike as it injects more air pockets into the milk, creating those light, sought-after dollops. The downside here is that the high pressure dispenses hot water first before the steam, which may not give you the A-grade taste you’d expect. 

Meanwhile, the Breville Touch features a one-hole steam wand that operates automatically. This style of operation is a foolproof way of achieving the perfect consistency with automatic milk texturing. 

You’re still able to follow along and perfect the automatic cycle by reading the auto steam wand’s built-in thermometer. You can then control the process later via the Touch’s digital temperature control for a temp and milk consistency that’s right for you. 

Winner: Tie; depends on how much automation you want

Ease of Use

The hands-down winner here is the Breville Touch, which is exactly that, readily-made coffee right at your fingertips. 

The Touch falls under the super-automatic machine category for Breville, where the reliable, sure-fire touch screen makes your coffee almost instantaneously. This is a machine for both novices as well as advanced coffee lovers. 

And with more customization options and pre-programmed drink recipes, you’ll be able to ask more of your machine without asking more of yourself. 

The Breville Pro is a semi-automatic machine, and while it operates off of the same speed and promise of cafe-quality coffee, it requires a little more elbow grease on your part. The LCD display with button selections may also be a little intimidating for new brewers, especially within the grinder settings

Winner: Barista Touch

Budget

The obvious winner here, by default, is the Barista Pro. With difference of around $250, you’ll be saving money that can be used for buying delicious, premium coffee beans.

On the other hand, that extra cash you pay for the Touch can get you a more beginner-friendly, automated, hands-off coffee experience. Is it worth it? That’s entirely up to you to decide.

You’re getting what you pay for, and if you’d prefer a more tactile coffee experience without the need for customizable coffee settings or added convenience, the Barista Pro is the way to go. 

Winner: Barista Pro

Design

Both the Pro and the Touch have a gorgeous, brushed stainless steel exterior. They look as good as the coffee they make; stainless steel makes both brewers from Breville tough and durable. 

The Barista Pro offers 9 different color options, like sea salt, royal champagne, or red velvet cake, while the Barista Touch comes in 5 different colors, including stainless steel or black.

Breville Barista Pro color options
Some of the color option the Barista Pro has to offer

Meanwhile, Barista Touch’s LCD color screen really adds to the aesthetic of an overall impressive brewer. Traditional coffee lovers don’t require the bells and whistles or a swipe select brewing system, but the color display and appeal of convenience really add to the modernized look of the Barista Touch. 

The Barista Pro comes in at a slightly smaller size than the Touch, with a weight difference of just 6 lbs. While that doesn’t sound like a lot, for some coffee addicts in tight quarters, the 2-3 inch allowance will make a tremendous difference in how you store your machine. 

Both machines also feature a removable water tank, making cleaning that much easier than that of fixed water tank makers. 

Winner: Tie

Cleaning and Maintenance

Both brewers take the effort out of cleaning with automated maintenance and alerts. You’ll have more time to enjoy your coffee rather than sweat over the sink. 

You can perform a clean cycle, descaling, or steam wand cleaning automatically after some disassembly and pre-cleaning. 

The drip tray on the Barista Touch has an automated alert that flashes “empty me” when it’s time for cleaning. 

These automated cleaning efforts from Breville far surpass any other manual, or for that matter, semi-automatic coffee machines. You’re getting a delicious cup of coffee without the tiresome maintenance. 

Winner: Tie

Online Reviews

On Amazon, both espresso machines have well over a thousand verified, overwhelmingly positive, reviews.

Generally, people agree with what’s been highlighted above, with the Barista Pro being more of a traditional maker without the frills, while the Barista Touch is for convenience and brewing options. 

Mongo, on the Breville Touch Amazon page, writes: 

“The machine lets you customize your espresso drinks to your individual taste. This machine has been the perfect combination of ‘push button convenience’ for my wife and ‘do it exactly the way you like it’ for me.”

The blend of convenient automation with having a say in how your coffee is delivered is exactly why customers everywhere love the Breville Touch. 

P The Critic, on the Pro Amazon review page, points out the steeper learning curve of the Pro compared to the Touch. However, it’s no rocket science either: 

Pulling shots is rather straight forward as well, but does take time getting things right. As far as getting it right, that’s more dependent on the size and dosing of the grinds as well as the tamping force, but you see the results during the shot pull.

To be fair, some online reviewers have claimed faulty cleaning cycles in their Pro machine, with Ben writing:

“Started the flush cycle, and the machine started a countdown, but instead of counting down a minute, it lasted only 2 seconds. Then it stalled out and flashed “flush” without stopping.”

This is certainly something to be aware of. However, these comments are few and far between. Should you have any problems with your machine, be sure to make use of Breville’s two-year product warranty.

Winner: Tie

The Verdict 

We set out to determine which Breville espresso machine is better: the Barista Pro or the Barista Touch. They are both great machines with the latest Thermojet technology, a high-quality burr grinder, and PID temperature control for optimal extraction. In the end, it’s hard to make a definite recommendation because it depends on what you’re looking for out of your espresso machine.

The Pro is for those who prefer a more hands-on coffee experience, while the Touch is an espresso machine built for convenience. In either case, both will be great additions to your at-home coffee journey. 

More Hands-On
Breville Barista Pro

The Barista Pro offers a more hands-on coffee experience than the Touch. With its manual steam wand, we recommend it for those who prefer to have more control over their drinks and have at least some experience pulling espresso shots.

Check on Amazon Check on Breville
More Convenient
Breville Barista Touch

An excellent alternative to the Pro, the Barista Touch offers more customization and automation. With its automatic steam wand, touchscreen, and pre-programmed drinks, it's a perfect choice for beginners and seasoned at-home baristas alike.

Check on Amazon Check on Breville
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Author
Clint's skills as a barista have made it easy for him to transition into writing about coffee. With so much personal experience and passion, he is able to shed light on all aspects of coffee to ensure you can enjoy this delicious beverage as much as he does.

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