Breville is a relative newcomer to the world of home coffee appliances, but they’ve quickly established a reputation over the last decade. Breville’s coffee and espresso machines are among the best options for people who want to make great coffee at home quickly and easily. The Barista Express is one of Breville’s higher-end models, and it’s best suited to serious espresso connoisseurs only, as the price will make less committed customers look twice.
It used to be that getting your favorite drink from a local cafe couldn’t compare to making it yourself. However, with the right equipment and modern technology, you can now make espresso beverages at home. Breville’s Barista Express, an espresso and cappuccino machine with an integrated conical burr grinder and steaming wand, is one example.
If you’re serious about making authentic coffee shop-quality espresso at home, the Barista Express is a very impressive and capable machine that can help you step up your espresso game.
So sit in tight while I give you an in-depth review of The Breville Barista Express.
Is Breville Barista Express Discontinued?
Yes, the Breville Barista Express BES860 has been discontinued by the company. However, it has been replaced by an exceptional Breville Barista Express BES870.
Design and Features
The Breville Barista Express is roughly the size of a standard drip coffee maker but about twice as wide, measuring 16 inches tall by 13.5 inches wide and reaching a depth of 12.5 inches.
The pressure gauge best communicates Breville’s brewing prowess. The circular dial, located in the center of the control panel, indicates whether the internal pump is pushing hot water through your coffee grounds at the optimal pressure range.
Too little force and the water will flow too quickly through the grounds, removing much of the potential flavor and resulting in under-extracted and sour-tasting espresso. A lack of hot water flow under high pressure will most likely result in bitter espresso liquid. Cheaper espresso machines frequently lack pressure gauges, either to save money or to conceal inconsistent performance.
There’re large circular buttons to the left and right of the dial for “Power,” “Filter Size,” and “Program,” as well as two for selecting single or double espresso shots. There’s also a knob here for adjusting the number of coffee grounds the grinder will automatically produce for single or double-sized espresso filters.
Ground coffee is dropped directly into the steel portafilter of the Barista Express to make life easier. From there, simply press the contents of the portafilter down and twist the entire apparatus (handle, filter, and all) into position under the machine’s single brew head.
To the right of the brew head, a swivel-joint mounted steam wand and a hot water nozzle are activated by a large knob on the machine’s right side. A grind size selector on the far left of the unit has 16 settings, including coarse on one end and fine on the other. Other thoughtful features include an easy-to-clean drip tray and a removable water tank with its sturdy handle.
Here’s a video explaining how you can descale your Breville Barista Express:
Now let’s look into the specifications of the Breville barista express.
Below are the specifications of Breville Barista Express:
|Brewing System||15 Bar Italian Pump|
|Bean Hopper Capacity||1/2 lb|
|Water Tank Capacity||67 oz|
The built-in grinder is at the top of the list of things we like about the Barista Express. I don’t think I could go back to using a separate grinder because it saves us so much time and effort. The dose is calculated automatically when you grind coffee beans with the Barista Express, and the machine grinds the correct amount of coffee without any user input. Because the coffee’s loaded directly into the portafilter, it’s even more convenient and simple to use.
To save money, machines may include cheaper or lower-quality grinders. It’s impressive and consistent, and it takes the guesswork out of the sometimes difficult process of espresso grinding.
If you’re looking for a grinder, here’s a buyer’s guide.
PID Control System
Espresso is the most difficult way to make coffee. If you don’t get everything just right, your coffee won’t taste as good as it could, and the difference between an excellent, smooth shot and a mediocre, unimpressive one is incredibly small. Because standard kitchen thermometers are inaccurate and many machines heat water inconsistently, water temperature is one of the most difficult parameters to get right when brewing espresso. The Barista Express solves these issues by continuously heating and cooling water behind the scenes with a digital thermometer and PID control system, ensuring the perfect temperature every time.
You might be surprised at how much of a difference a temperature control system makes if you’ve never used one before. Water temperature can vary greatly between brews without a smart control system, making it nearly impossible to make consistently great espresso.
Thermocoils are aluminum blocks that contain intricate stainless steel piping. Water enters one end, travels through the piping system, and exits heated at the other. Thermocoils are commonly found in home espresso machines, but the difference is in how quickly they heat water.
The Thermo coil system in the Barista Express heats up in about 30 seconds. That time beats most other espresso machines, but it’s an extra 30 seconds without espresso every morning.
The Breville Barista Express still gives you a lot of options when it comes to grinding coffee beans. The 16 grind levels cover the majority of the options for optimal espresso extraction. It’s just not as precise, which means the espresso won’t be as good over time.
Is Breville Barista Express Good For Coffee Shop?
It’s a good option to go for if you’re planning on opening a coffee shop in your area.
The semi-automatic Breville Barista Express produces superior espresso compared to more expensive models. It’s relatively simple to use and clean, and it has an appealing stainless-steel design. It also includes a built-in burr grinder for easy coffee ground dosing.
If you’re looking for automatic espresso machines, you can check them out here.
What Is Better Barista Pro or Barista Express?
The better machine is the Barista Pro. The ThermoJet system, finer grind sizes, and display produce better espresso and make it easier to use than the Barista Express.
The Breville Barista Pro features a digital LCD screen and a more sophisticated ThermoJet heating system. The Breville Barista Express espresso machine, which costs $100 less than the Pro, has an analog display, a steam gauge, and a Thermo coil heating system.
For Breville’s best heating system, better milk steaming, and ease of use, the Pro is well worth the price. The ThermoJet system from Barista Pro produces excellent espresso and is simple to use at a reasonable price.
How Long Does the Breville Barista Express Last?
With proper descaling and cleaning, a Breville Barista Express can last for no less than 5 to 10 years. Although it may need some service in case of troubleshooting, you can always look up the company’s service number in the manual or online.
Who Should Buy Breville Barista Express?
A beginner espresso drinker could use this machine on automatic settings and make excellent espresso right away, but I recommend that most beginners first purchase a lower-priced, entry-level machine.
The Barista Express is quite expensive, and using the more involved manual operation mode requires some experience.
- The Barista Express is an all-in-one espresso machine that can produce espresso of café quality
- It includes an in-built grinder, a digital temperature control system, and a steam wand
- It also has a variety of brewing options, ranging from automatic to fully manual, giving you the freedom to expand your knowledge as you learn the art of espresso
- The Barista Express is not the machine for you if you need to churn out large amounts of espresso for entertaining guests. Despite its high price, there are some features that it lacks when compared to similarly priced espresso machines