Breville the Barista Pro Review

Breville the Barista Pro is one of the most popular mid-range coffee machines on the market. With features like its built-in grinder and Thermojet heating system, it offers users a sampling of higher-end espresso machine features.

It does, however, come with a sizeable price tag. In the review below, we cover the pros and cons of the Barista Pro to help you decide if this is the right machine for you. We also list our top alternatives so you can compare this with similar products on the market.

RELATED:

Who is the Barista Pro for?

The Breville Barista Pro is a machine for those willing to take on the steep learning curve of at-home espresso making. While this coffee machine does offer an all-encompassing brewing experience, it does require more than entry-level knowledge when it comes to grinding coffee and brewing. Experienced coffee brewers have voiced their need for time with this machine to figure out the grind size needed to achieve their preferred flavour profile and consistency.

Despite the learning curve required, many users consider this coffee machine a worthwhile investment after working with an entry-level espresso machine. The Barista Pro isn’t suitable for users looking for a fully automated espresso machine, since it requires users to grind, tamp, and pull espresso manually.

While this machine has more automated elements than other espresso machines in its price range (such as dose trimming and volumetric control), users cannot operate this machine without knowledge of manual brewing.

For users looking to begin their at-home espresso journey, the Breville Barista Pro may be too large an investment. Entry-level users may want to invest in a less expensive machine to gain brewing experience and knowledge prior to purchasing this coffee machine.

Getting started with the Barista Pro

For users looking for a machine that is great value for money, the build quality of this semi-automatic espresso machine provides a healthy sampling of commercial-grade features. This device is constructed entirely of brushed stainless steel and includes several integrated features such as a conical burr grinder, tamper, and adjustable steam wand. The Barista Pro includes a hot water feature as well, for users looking to make long blacks, or substitute coffee for a cup of tea.

The Breville Barista Pro is designed for efficient navigation between each step of the brewing process. Users find the grinder and tamper at the machine’s left centre, the group head at the machine’s right centre and the manual steam wand to the far right.

This Breville coffee machine pairs the integrated grinder with a 250 -gram bean hopper, and includes a 2-litre water tank. The machine also includes a cup warmer atop the machine to heat and store espresso cups. 

Along with the coffee machine, the Barista Pro includes single and dual wall filter baskets in single and double shot sizes, a Razor precision dose trimming tool, and a 480ml stainless steel milk jug.

With a removable drip tray, included cleaning kit, and water filter, the Breville Barista Pro makes the machine as easy to clean as it is to use. It even includes cleaning notifications, as well as a signal when the removable drip tray needs to be emptied.

The intuitive interface with the LCD display makes it easy to operate the grinder and program the machine to brew the perfect cup of coffee every time. Users can easily operate the manual milk frother by controlling the steam dial on the right side of the machine.

Like other espresso machines on the market, the Barista Pro includes an auto-off feature that powers down the device after 30 minutes of inactivity.

Noteworthy Features

Intuitive Interface

The Barista Pro features a modern LCD screen display with grinding and extracting progress animations. Users can easily control the grinder and espresso machine from the same screen. With the LCD interface and corresponding buttons, users can easily access the 1 & 2-cup volumetric control, grind size, and pour speed. The volumetric control setting allows users to select a single or double shot size, and the machine will automatically calibrate the correct amount of water for the serving size.

The LCD display also allows users to time their espresso shots. Instead of basing optimum extraction by analyzing a pressure gauge, the Barista Pro uses time to measure coffee extraction. Breville recommends 20 seconds for a single shot and the 20-25 range for a double shot.

The interface is designed with ease of use in mind and provides the necessary information to make coffee exactly the way you like it.

Thermojet Heating System

Breville the Barista Pro comes equipped with an innovative ThermoJet heating system that allows for a faster heat-up time. This machine can achieve the optimum temperature for espresso extraction in just 3 seconds. Like a dual boiler system, the ThermoJet system allows users to transition right from brewing espresso to steaming milk without additional heat up time for the steamer. 

When comparing the Breville Barista Pro to alternatives like the Breville Barista Express, the addition of the ThermoJet system allows for users to shave up to five minutes off the total brewing process.

Likewise, the Barista Pro doesn’t need time between espresso shots to regroup, allowing users to brew several cups of coffee without overheating.

Integrated Conical Burr Grinder

Like other Breville coffee machines, the Barista Pro includes a conical burr grinder built into its machine.  Through the display interface, The Barista Pro provides users access to adjustable grind size and dose.

The dose control feature allows the machine to deliver the right amount of coffee for optimal extraction and flavour. With a total of 30 grind settings to chose from, the Barista Pro gives users the freedom to use the ground coffee consistency that fits their beans and taste.

Microfoam Milk Texturing System

The Breville Barista Pro includes a powerful steam wand for users to operate manually. Users are able to begin texturing milk immediately after pulling espresso shots with the Thermojet heating technology. You can easily hand texture milk with the turn dial on the machine’s side. 

Whether creating micro foam for your flat white or steaming to create barista-quality latte art, this milk frother makes it easy to reach the desired consistency.

Helpful Additions

A 250-gram coffee bean hopper minimizes the need to refill coffee beans between brews. Likewise, an integrated tamper allows users to grind, tamp, and brew espresso from the same device.

This coffee machine includes a 54mm porta-filter with programmed dosing. This setting is designed to achieve a balanced, quality espresso by measuring the perfect amount of ground coffee every time.

What do users say about the Barista Pro?

Positives

Many reviewers of this coffee machine love the addition of the Thermojet heating feature. Users appreciate the three-second heat-up time, and its ability to keep hot water ready from pulling shots to steaming milk.

Likewise, this advanced heating system does make easy work of brewing consecutive espresso shots without the device overheating. The Barista Pro is also quieter than its predecessor (the Barista Express), which makes the brewing experience more pleasant. 

Users have also found the updated LCD digital display makes the grinder and coffee machine easy to use. While there is a learning curve for figuring out the brewing time and grind that works best, the interface makes fine-tuning your brewing specifications seamless. The backlit display also compliments the stainless steel appearance of the Barista Pro, making it a sleek and modern addition to any kitchen space. 

Furthermore, one of the most comment points of praise for the Breville Barista Pro is the convenience behind its all-in-one brewing design. With the purchase of this coffee machine, users also gain access to a quality burr grinder and refined milk frother.

The build quality and thoughtful engineering of all features on this device not only make it great value but also allow for it to last for years if well-maintained.

Inherently, this machine is a big improvement from the Barista Express. The thermal coil has been updated, the LCD screen lets you time your shot and grind time more accurately, and you’ll get your morning shot a good bit faster than you would with the Express.

Business Insider

Negatives

One of the primary flaws cited with the Barista Pro is its lack of a pressure gauge. For many reviewers of this coffee maker, the shift from a pressure-based brewing system to a time-focused system was a struggle. Many users found it difficult to time their shot for a quality cup of coffee. While many reviews voiced some difficulty in adjusting to a time-based brewing system, many mentioned finding success after some practice. 

Likewise, users have found that the extraction level to be inconsistent when brewing consecutive cups of coffee. So while this device excels once you lock in the timing, under-extracted coffee is common after multiple shots. Users have found that between shots, they need to alter the grind of the coffee or the brewing time in order to achieve a more consistent extraction rate.

One final quirk that is common in Barista Pro reviews is the steam wand can be difficult to clean. Some of this has to do with the temperature level of the milk frother while it’s heating. Many users have mentioned the milk frother gets so hot that the milk dries on the wand, making it difficult to clean. Likewise, this can cause the milk frother to clog. Regular cleaning, and soaking the steam wand with hot water can help with this issue.

Is Breville the Barista Pro right for you?

When looking at mid-range espresso machines, some users are looking for more automated features, while others are looking for refined settings to expand their brewing knowledge and consistently produce great coffee.

The Breville Barista Pro offers users a quick and efficient brewing experience, along with a sub-set of features found on commercial machines. For those looking to fine-tune their manual brewing skills, this machine is a worthwhile investment.

Pros:

  • 2-litre water tank capacity
  • Thermojet heating technology
  • Powerful steam wand for micro foam and latte art
  • Conical burr grinder with 30 grind settings
  • 2-year warranty

Cons:

  • No pressure gauge
  • Potential for inconsistent extraction after multiple shots
  • Steam wand can be difficult to clean

Alternatives

How does Breville the Barista Pro compare to its competition?  We’ve lined it up against some of the best comparable coffee machines below.

Breville the Barista Express

This semi-automatic espresso machine is one of Breville’s most well-known models. While there are many similarities between the Barista Express and the Barista Pro, there are a few modifications made to distinguish these espresso machines in performance and price. 

The Breville Barista Express is a great mid-range espresso machine and was the design foundation for the Barista Pro model. While the Barista Pro includes an LCD display screen, the Barista Express features an analogue display.

The Barista Express also includes several additional buttons and an analogue pressure gauge. Instead of Thermojet heating, the Barista Express uses a Thermoblock heating system, which requires a slightly longer heat-up time. Like the Pro, the Breville Barista Express includes an integrated coffee grinder.

For users looking for a more affordable semi-automatic espresso machine, the Barista Express may be a suitable fit for you. While it doesn’t offer some of the bells and whistles the Barista Pro includes, it is an easy-to-use and reliable machine for users to gain experience.

DeLonghi La Specialista Pump Coffee Machine

The Delonghi La Specialista pump coffee machine offers similar features to the Breville Barista Pro for a more affordable price. This machine includes a built-in burr grinder, smart dosing control, and two independent heating systems for coffee and milk preparation. 

The La Specialista also includes some automated features to make the brewing process more efficient. This includes a smart tamping station to improve tamping effectiveness and consistency. Users can tamp directly into the filter holder by pushing a lever down on the machine. The tamping will stop when the correct pressure is delivered to the coffee grounds in the porta-filter.

Unique to the Specialista is an advanced latte system. Users are able to select between “flat” for hot milk or “foam” for milk frothing on the steam wand selector. Afterwards, users just place their milk jug under the steam wand and wait until the desired result is reached. 

Along with a few automated features, the Delonghi La Specialista includes three pre-set recipes for users to select an automatic brewing option. Users can also use the “My Function” to customize and save recipes for later uses.

Breville the Barista Touch

The Breville Barista Touch is great for users looking for the same high quality build as other Breville devices. While this coffee machine includes many features similar to the Barista Express and Pro, it integrates a touch screen display into the mix. 

Along with the integrated burr grinder, Thermojet heating, and a powerful steam wand, the Barista Touch includes an intuitive touch screen display that allows users to control every aspect of the brewing process from grinding to steaming.

Likewise, users can take ease of use to a new level by using the touch screen menu to adjust the coffee strength, milk texture, and temperature to suit their taste. This innovative device even allows users to save their brewing preferences for quicker coffee making.

The Barista Touch is more of an investment than the Barista Express or Barista Pro. For users looking for a machine that begins to bridge the gap between semi-automatic and fully automatic brewing, this device may be a good fit for you.

To Wrap Up

Whether you’re looking for a reliable mid-range espresso machine to advance your coffee routine, or are looking for an efficient model that creates cafe-quality beverages in half the time as its competitors, the Breville Barista Pro is a device that stands out among others for its build quality, and value for money.

Barista Pro FAQ

What is the difference between Breville Barista Express and Pro?

While there are many similarities between these two coffee machines, three primary differences distinguish the two. The biggest difference between the Barista Express and Pro is the display systems. The Express includes an analogue display system with a pressure gauge, while the pro has a digital backlit display and uses brew time to measure extraction. With the transition to the digital display, the Pro has fewer buttons on the interface. 

The Barista Pro also provides upgrades to the burr grinder and milk wand. The milk frother on the Barista Pro offers users more power to achieve latte are and microfoam for specialty drinks. One final difference between the two devices is in the product warranty. While the Barista Express has a 1-year product warranty, the Barista Pro has a 2-year warranty.

How do you descale the Breville Barista Pro?

Separate from your daily cleaning routine, descaling your Breville Barista Pro every 1-3 months ensures the machine continues running smoothly. 
Deep cleaning of your coffee maker starts with your water filter. Remove the water filter from the filter holder, and soak it in water for approximately five minutes. Rinse thoroughly and return it to the filter holder.

To clean the grinder, give the bean hopper a rinse out, and give the burrs a brush through to dislodge any coffee grounds built up in the blades. The machine itself has a “clean me” light that will come up when descaling is needed. 

Run an empty cycle to flush out the machine. Put the one cup filter in the portafilter and add the cleaning disc. Put a cleaning tablet in the middle of the disc and attach the unit to the group head. Press and hold the power button, and then hold the 1 and 2 shot buttons at the same time until the cleaning light flashes to run the cycle. 

Wait for the backflow cycles to complete. A small amount of water will come out as the cleaning disc forces water back through the system. Once this completes, run one final empty cycle to flush out any remaining cleaning products.

Review Summary

the Barista Pro

Breville the Barista Pro is one of the most popular mid-range coffee machines on the market. With features like its built-in grinder and Thermojet heating system, it offers users a sampling of higher-end espresso machine features.

Product SKU: BES878BSS4JAN1

Product Brand: Breville

Product Currency: AUD

Product Price: $1,299

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
4.5