Shopping for an espresso machine is a joyous occasion, and more so if it’s a Breville machine. Even while I was researching and testing these coffee makers, I thought, “maybe I need a new machine too.” However, my wife quickly shut that idea down as she pointed to the three I currently have.
If this is your first Breville, then let me save you some time and recommend you the best Breville espresso machine. It’s the Barista Pro. With its 3-second heat-up time, PID temperature control, and its in-built grinder with 30 grind settings, you can be sure to get excellent espresso.
Ironically, one of the best machines to make authentic Italian espressos originates in Australia. If you think about it, this makes sense, as it’s probably easier to build your own machine rather than get one shipped from Europe.
Started in 1932, Breville coffee makers are known for their trademark stainless steel appearance. While it does look great, it’s also perfect for durability and ease of cleaning. They also use their attention to detail to make other household appliances as well to the same high degree that they use in their coffee machines.
These days you can get Breville products all over the world, and they all carry the same distinction as being of high-grade and reliable operation.
Our Top Breville Machines
Great espresso can be attributed to attention to detail and consistency. Getting the perfect temperature should be one of the top concerns, and with this new Breville semi-automatic espresso machine, it certainly is.
While the LCD screen is not touch, it does make it easy to choose your drink. But the real technology lies in keeping your water temperature and pressure within the perfect range for excellent espresso with full aromatic flavors.
As in any Breville machine, this is done through the use of PID technology that can make adjustments on the fly while your machine is brewing. The PID system also regulates the steam temperatures of your milk so you can get the perfect amount of microfoam every time.
The Barista Pro also contains presets and programmable features so it will remember the way you prefer your drinks. Easily program your method, and you’ll never have to worry about it again with this number-one-ranked machine.
Getting delicious espresso also depends on your coffee grounds, and this machine has taken care of that with a super-automatic built-in grinder that has 30 settings. Load the hopper with your favorite beans and choose your preferred grind size. It will dispense the ground coffee right into your portafilter, ready for cafe-style coffee.
The automatic steam wand is the last piece of the puzzle. Due to the thermojet technology, it heats up fast and evenly. The wand itself has four ports to help you achieve precise microfoam. While this isn’t fully automatic, it does make frothing easier than other semi-automatic versions.
- Programmable automatic features
- Bright LCD display for easy navigation
- Conical burr grinder with 30 settings
- 3-second heat-up time with termojet technology
- Doesn’t come with cup warmer
- Might be too automated for some
If you think you’re ready for the big leagues of pulling genuine espresso shots, then check out this Breville offering. For those who enjoy the challenge of creating their own distinct flavor, there are plenty of variables at play here.
Although this is touted as semi-automatic, it’s pretty hands-on. You still have to tell the machine what coarseness you want your ground coffee. From there, the machine will dispense beans from the attached hopper and automatically grind them using its automatic built-in grinder.
The beans go directly into the sturdy portafilter, where you can do your own tamping with the magnetically attached tamper. This step is usually a joy since you get to experience the aroma of fresh ground coffee for every cup of espresso.
The stainless steel housing is a staple among Breville machines, but this one has a pressure gauge mounted front and center. This tells you how much pressure is being applied to your shot of espresso so you can ensure consistency from cup to cup.
Many machines don’t have this because they don’t want to reveal their inconsistencies. However, they are more automated than this, which takes away some of the fun.
- Related Reading: Breville Barista Express vs Pro
Even if you mess up a shot, there is a hot water tap that allows you to convert your brew to an Americano. Or, use the attached manual milk frother to enjoy a latte or cappuccino. The built-in steam wand is easy to use and has cafe performance power, so you can rescue your cup of coffee or make more than one rich espresso in a row.
- Built-in conical burr grinder
- Great for beginners
- Highly-visible analog pressure gauge
- Manual steam wand
- Magnetically attached tamper
- Not as powerful as other machines
- Slighly outdated look
Welcome to the future of automatic espresso machines. This is something the Jetsons would’ve had as it makes brewing coffee grounds as easy as possible. While it’s not quite voice-activated (yet), it makes life easy if you enjoy different kinds of coffee drinks and don’t want to put the work in.
Out of all the outstanding features, the only one you need to get used to is the touchscreen. The color icons make it easy to select your drink of choice from a menu. You can also save custom drinks you’ve made and recall them later at the push of a button, like coffee on speed dial.
Once you select your drink, you only have to move the portafilter and then position your milk cup.
Automatic milk steaming is done via controlled temperature with the second boiler that this machine has. It allows you to preheat the built-in milk frother while your coffee is brewing. The machine does the rest. You can then practice your latte art since the steamed milk has the perfect microfoam for it.
The automation is nice, but it means nothing unless it’s producing delicious coffee. To do that, this machine has an over-pressure valve that is more commonly seen on commercial coffee makers. This prevents bitter cups of espresso.
The integrated grinder also feeds into an automated tamping system, so each shot is compacted with consistent pressure.
- Fully automatic features from bean to mug
- Color touchscreen
- Automatic milk frothing
- Dual boiler system
- Commercial-use over-pressure valve
- Takes all the fun out of pulling espresso shots yourself
If you were reading about the Oracle Touch espresso machine and thought, “this is too much machine for me,” then you can focus your attention on the Barista Touch espresso machine. This is the cheaper model that still looks and functions as one of the expensive models.
The touch screen is the first thing you notice here, and it’s just as easy to use as the Oracle Touch. Easily scroll to select from an array of features, including your drink preference that offers well beyond average lattes and cappuccinos.
You will notice a difference in the preparation process. The Barista Touch is a little more hands-on once your coffee beans are ground. While this machine does have a built-in burr grinder, you must do your own tamping and then move the portafilter to the brewing spot.
The other big difference is the heating process. This semi-automatic espresso machine uses thermojet technology instead of the Breville dual boiler that the Oracle has. This means you cannot steam your milk and brew coffee at the same time. However, you won’t lose much time because the thermojet heating works a lot faster than the double boilers.
Lastly, this machine is much smaller than the Oracle, so you can enjoy barista-style performance without having to move your toaster, blender, or microwave. The water tank capacity is most noticeable when you go to fill it.
- Digital temperature control with the touch screen
- Fast thermojet heating
- Integrated grinder with 30 grinder settings
- More compact machine than the Oracle Touch
- Cannot steam milk and brew coffee at the same time
- More hands-on than Oracle Touch
If countertop real estate is your number one concern, then the Bambino Plus is worth taking a look at. It’s the smallest out of all Breville espresso machines as it measures only 8″ wide and 12″ tall.
This is perfect for apartment or condo dwellers who want to save their money and stop going to coffee shops every time they want the rich flavor that only a shot of espresso can provide.
Although small, it’s quite mighty because it’s fitted with the same thermojet heating element as the more expensive models. This is a great compliment to the volumetric dosing system that carefully measures the water, so you avoid over-saturation.
You can even program your own preferences to re-create that perfect cup of coffee every time.
Create your own latte art with the built-in steaming wand. Due to the 3-second heat, the machine produces excellent microfoam at different levels. This is done by a sophisticated temperature control system that keeps steam from getting too hot.
You will have to make a couple of sacrifices due to the size of the Breville Bambino Plus. The first of which is that you’ll need a separate grinder to produce coffee grinds. There’s simply not enough room to install any type of built-in dosing grinder.
The other downfall is that because of the size; it’s easy to splash milk when you’re steaming. The wand and drip tray will get dirty, but if you wipe them down after each use, you won’t have a problem. Stainless steel construction makes this easy to do and looks great after a quick wipe.
- Compact size for any kitchen
- Modern technology provides heat in 3 seconds
- Built-in steam wand
- Pre-infusion system for even extraction
- Affordable price
- No integrated grinder
- Smaller water tank capacity
If you’re new to the espresso-pulling world, then this machine should suit you just fine. For those who want to learn but don’t want a fully hands-on machine, this toes the line perfectly.
The visible analog pressure gauge on the front is not there for decoration. You can manually set the pressure and choose exactly when to pull your shot based on the grind size of your coffee. If you’re not feeling up to it on any day, there is an automatic setting that will monitor pressure for you so you can take the day off.
This semi-automatic espresso maker is a smaller version of the Barista Express as it has a lot of similarities, such as the analog manual control. However, one huge difference is its heating method. The Infuser uses a thermo-coil design which does heat up fast, but not as fast as a dual-boiler type or thermojet technology.
If you are a beginner, then you won’t notice much of a difference because you’ll be busy preparing your beans and milk. Speaking of beans, there is no integrated grinder here, so you will have to buy your own separately.
There is a milk frother, though, and it works very well. This is not automated, so you will need a bit of practice, but the thermo-coil provides the perfect temperature to help you learn fast.
Thankfully, if you make a mess with your first couple of milk frothing attempts, this brewing machine is easy to clean and even has indicators to let you know when it’s time to descale.
- Automatic or manual mode selection
- Pre-programmed drink recipes
- Pre-infusion feature for even extraction
- Falls into an affordable price range
- No grinder
- Doesn’t heat up as fast as other machines
Before buying your Breville machine, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Let’s go over the most important aspects.
Types of Espresso Machines
While it’s hard to keep up with all the espresso machines that are constantly released, there are three main types that all machines fall into. This will be your first decision to make before pulling the trigger and will have an impact on the price. Your decision will mostly come down to how hands-on vs. automatic you want the process to be.
- Water pressure and temperature is automated
- Water flow is stopped manually
- Grinding is manual
- Frothing is manual
- Water pressure and temperature is automated
- Water flow is stopped automatically
- Grinding is manual (typically)
- Frothing is manual (typically)
- Water pressure and temperature is automated
- Water flow is stopped automatically
- Grinding is automated
- Tamping is automated
- Frothing is automated
Types Of Drinks
With all Breville espresso machines, you can make any kind of cafe-style coffee you can think of. These are great for;
- Flat white
You can also adjust the strength control to make iced versions of all of the above. These machines aren’t just for the morning rush; they can be a source of enjoyment throughout the entire day and different seasons.
The biggest deterrent for any buyer will be the current price of espresso machines. When compared to drip-style machines, they are in a different league.
But comparing the two is impossible because they do very different things. The only thing they have in common is that they you can use them with the same coffee, but the results will be much different. You must compare espresso machines to espresso machines. Roughly, the machines here can be divided into three price categories:
- Breville Oracle Touch Espresso Machine
- Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine
- Breville Barista Pro Espresso Machine
- Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine
- Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Machine
- Breville Infuser Espresso Machine
The technology that goes into these advanced machines is the reason they demand a higher price. They are built with durability in mind as well. So you can take comfort in the fact that even though you’re paying a higher current price than you’d like, you’ll have it for a very long time.
Durability and Quality
This will rarely be a problem with any kind of Breville machine. They take pride in their reputation of creating top-quality products that stand the test of time.
To maintain this high level of craftsmanship, we recommend you always wipe down your machine directly after use. This is very beneficial when the machine is hot because not only will it be easier for you, but it won’t give water or milk a chance to seep into the machine’s inner workings.
Ease of Use
Breville offers a wide range of machines to appease all types of coffee lovers. This will be something to take note of before selecting a machine for purchase.
Choose a level of automation that is comfortable for you and produces the best-tasting cup of coffee you can get. If you’re on the fence, you can get the Breville Infuser. It allows the user to toggle back and forth between automated and semi-automatic.
This is great to have if you fancy yourself a budding barista. You can always switch it back to automated if you’re not feeling up to it at any time.
If you’re looking for a compact size, then an all-in-one espresso machine won’t be the best one for you. Breville does make the Bambino Plus which is their smallest, but it’s not as small as some of the other models out there.
Making delicious espresso requires certain mechanics that are tough to reduce in size. The best machines will be a double boiler type which is hard to shrink in size.
If you want a genuine espresso maker but are conscience of size, then look for one with a smaller water tank capacity. This will reduce the size and overall weight. It won’t make it travel-worthy, but it could be enough to fit into smaller spaces, so you still get rich espresso.
The truth is, Breville is at the top of its class when it comes to construction and producing a cafe-quality beverage. This makes it hard to select the best Breville espresso machine. Still, I have a favorite: The Barista Pro.
I love the LCD screen and the high-quality burr grinder with 30 grind settings. The size is not too big but not too small either. If you’re not a barista, get one of these, and everyone will be convinced you are.