Which Breville Espresso Machine is Best for You? | Buyers Guide

Breville’s lineup of at-home Espresso machines is undoubtedly some of the most popular and best value for money options out there. 

But it can be a little confusing figuring out which one is best for you, that’s why we bought all of them. That’s right, to help you make your decision, we bought one machine from each tier of the Breville Espresso lineup.

In this overview, we’ll compare and contrast our way from the bottom to the top of the Product range showing you what additional features you get each step of the way.

I won’t mention any exact prices because they vary from country to country, but I will leave each of these machines linked below so you can quickly check your local pricing. Let’s get started.

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Breville Duo Temp Pro

The Breville Duo Temp Pro is Breville’s most basic and least expensive offering in their lineup. Despite this, it still offers users the opportunity to make Espresso with the same quality as some of their higher-end machines.

Breville can offer this machine at a lower price because there is no single fluff feature.

Brewing is fully manual and controlled by a single central dia. turning to the left will start the Espresso extraction, which will run continuously until switched back off. 

Turning the dial to the right will activate the steam or hot water, depending on which one is selected. And that’s it; there are no other features or adjustments to mess around with on the Duo Temp Pro.

Despite being very simple, Breville did not sacrifice in the areas that impact Espresso quality. For example, it provides a low-pressure pre-infusion. In addition, it comes with both pressurized and non-pressurized filter baskets, so you can start making Espresso immediately, even with pre-ground coffee.

But then also have the option to upgrade your quality later on by investing in a dedicated Espresso grinder and switching over to true non-pressurized baskets.

In terms of specs, the duo temp will take 30 seconds to warm up to brewing temperature, it takes 30 seconds to switch between brewing and steaming, and it takes 58 seconds to steam milk up to a temperature of 60 degrees celsius.

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Breville Infuser

The Breville infuser takes the same functionalities as the Duo Temp Pro but adds on some nice to have features. 

Instead of using the steam wand for hot water, the infuser now has a dedicated hot water outlet, making it great for Americans and just getting hot water quickly for other things such as tea.

The Espresso extraction is now controlled by two pre-programmable single and double shot buttons so that once you hit go, you can walk away and know that it will stop at the same point every time.

The addition of an analog pressure gauge is also helpful when dialing in new coffee or evaluating the quality of each shot. 

The infuser also allows you to adjust the extraction temperature to accommodate for lighter or darker roasted beans making it slightly more capable than the Duo Temp Pro in terms of absolute Espresso performance.

If you’re on a strict budget, you might want to stick with a Duo Temp, but if your budget can stretch a little, the infuser’s added features are very nice to have.

In terms of performance, the infuser uses the same heating system, so it will also take 30 seconds to get up to temperature, 30 seconds to transition from brewing to steaming, and 58 seconds to steam milk up to a temperature of 60 degrees celsius.

Next up is hands down Breville’s most successful model to date, the Barista Express.

Barista Express

Grinding fresh coffee right before brewing is one of the easiest ways to improve quality immediately. For that reason, the Barista Express takes all the functionalities of the infuser we just looked at and incorporates a good quality burr grinder built right into the top.

Put in the portafilter, and it will grind a fresh dose of coffee right then and there. If you don’t already own a burr grinder, this is a great option to consider as it has such a good quality grinder built right in for only a small price increase over the standalone infuser.

Apart from adding a grinder, the Barista Express will have the same performance specs as the last two machines. Thirty seconds to heat, 30 to switch between brewing and steaming, and 58 seconds to steam milk up to a temperature of 60 degrees celsius.

Breville Bambino Plus

The Breville Bambino Plus is an interesting new addition to the lineup targeted primarily at latte and cappuccino drinkers. I say that because it’s the cheapest machine in the Breville lineup to offer automatic milk steaming and texturing.

Select one of three temperature levels, three levels of texture, and the Bambino Plus will take care of the rest.

Another thing you may have noticed about the Bambino Plus is that it’s extremely compact, even more so than the Duo Temp Pro. 

However, because it packs in Breville’s new thermal jet heating system, it’s not only smaller but more powerful than the Duo Temp Pro, the infuser, and the Barista Express when it comes to overall steaming performance.

The Bambino Plus can reach a brewing temperature in only three seconds and switch between brewing and steaming in a mere 13 seconds and takes only 38 seconds to steam milk up to that temperature of 60 degrees celsius. It’s also available in a variety of colors. 

It sounds like the perfect machine, but it has some drawbacks over the Barista Express and infuser.

  1. There’s no built-in grinder
  2. There’s no dedicated hot water outlet
  3. There’s no control over the extraction temperature

Again, this confirms that this machine is more targeted at latte lovers and less so at Espresso purists.

However, if you want the best elements of all the machines we’ve looked at so far, you might be interested in the Barista Pro.

Barista Pro

The Breville Barista Pro is another recent addition to the lineup that uses that same powerful thermojet heating found on the Bambino Plus but offers it in a package very similar to the Barista Express.

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A built-in grinder on top offers smaller grind steps for more accurate dialing-in than on the Barista Express. In addition, it has an improved 4-hole steam wand for better milk texturing, a digital display for easier operation and settings adjustment, and an overall facelifted appearance that is again offered in a variety of beautiful new colors.

The Barista Pro does away with the automatic milk steaming found on the Bambino Plus but still retains the excellent steaming power from the thermo jet.

It will also take only 3 seconds to get up to brewing temperature, 13 seconds to switch between brewing and steaming, and 38 seconds to steam milk up to a temperature of 60 degrees celsius.

If you’re on a tight budget, you do not need to upgrade to the Barista Pro over the Barista Express as the upgrades do not impact the overall drink quality.

However, if you can find the spare change, the much faster steaming, finer grind resolution, and updated display and build quality are very nice to have.

Breville Dual Boiler

Up until this point, I’ve been giving you the specification for how long each machine takes to switch between brewing and steaming. For example, the Breville Dual Boiler gets its name because it has a separate brewing and steaming boiler. 

This means that you can pull your shots of Espresso and steam your milk at the same time leading to a greatly improved latte and cappuccino-making capacity.

If you’re regularly making more than three or four milk-based drinks in a row, this starts to become a major time saver. 

In addition to separate boilers, the Dual Boiler also includes a wide range of brew parameter customization and quality advantages for the discerning Espresso enthusiast.

For example, a full-size 58-millimeter portafilter, adjustable steam, and brew temperatures with programmable pre-infusion. 

It also has a host of other convenience features such as auto-on and auto-off timers so that you can be sure the machine is piping hot the second you wake up in the morning.

This machine is for those looking for the absolute best in Espresso quality out of the Breville range or for those who are planning on regularly serving more than three or four milk-based drinks at a time.

Just remember that on top of the sticker price, you’ll also need to factor in the cost of an equally capable Espresso grinder to pair with it. 

If you’re not planning on serving drinks in high quantities or aren’t the type of person, who’s interested in playing around with an endless array of brew settings, you’ll be better off sticking with one of the lower-end models.

The Oracle

The Oracle tops Breville’s Espresso range in terms of both feature set and price. It takes the already stellar performance of the Dual Boiler and includes a built-in burr grinder and a full suite of automated brewing features.

The Oracle will automatically grind, tamp and brew at the same time that it’s automatically steaming the milk to the temperature and texture of your choice.

Because of the automated nature of this machine, it requires very little touch time to produce very high-quality drinks. It strikes an impressive balance between a super-automatic system and a prosumer-level dual boiler Espresso Machine.

It’s important to recognize that the price difference over the Dual Boiler does not buy you any other drink quality. Instead, you are strictly paying for the convenience of a built-in grinder and hands-free brewing performance.

In a previous test, the user only needed to be working for 50 seconds to make a latte on the Oracle versus a minute and 45 seconds to make the same latte on the Dual Boiler.

This combination of convenience and quality is currently unmatched anywhere else in the market and is the reason it demands such a high price tag.

Now you may have noticed that I’ve not included any of the touch variants in this overview. This is because I’m a strong believer that they offer poor value for money compared to their non-touch counterparts.

If you already know the recipes for creating basic drinks such as lattes, cappuccinos, cafe mistos, etc., and are willing to take a day to learn how to steam milk properly, then you can save yourself hundreds of dollars by passing up on the touch screen option.

Where To Buy

Amazone is one of the biggest relates and our recommended retailers. As prices do change we won’t be listing the prices here, just a link to the correct page on Amazon.com

ModelBuy Here
Duo Temp ProClick Here To Get The Latest Price
Breville Infuser Click Here To Get The Latest Price
Barista Express Click Here To Get The Latest Price
Bambino Plus Click Here To Get The Latest Price
Barista Pro Click Here To Get The Latest Price
Breville Dual Boiler Click Here To Get The Latest Price
The Oracle Click Here To Get The Latest Price

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