Best Breville Espresso Machine: Which One Fits Your Lifestyle?

I'd be willing to bet you've decided to read my best Breville espresso machine review for one of three reasons.

I’d be willing to bet you’ve decided to read my best Breville espresso machine review for one of three reasons.

  • You’re a current super automatic espresso machine owner who wants greater control over the brewing process.
  • You find yourself torn between buying a semi-automatic and super automatic espresso machine.
  • You know you want a semi-automatic espresso machine, but aren’t sure which one to get.

Sound about right?

Rest easy my friend. The good news is that you’re not alone in your quest for an espresso machine that’s an ideal fit for your lifestyle.

And that is why I’ve created this resource.

The Top 10 Breville Espresso Machines

Here’s a list of the best Breville espresso machines that we’ll explore today:

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Best Performing

Breville Oracle Touch

  • Touch Screen
  • Dual Boilers
  • Automatic Tamping
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  • Touch Screen
  • Thermojet Heating System
  • 8 Customizable Drink Profiles
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  • Tiny Footprint
  • Easy to Operate
  • Good Value
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  • 45 Grind Adjustment Settings
  • Dual Boilers
  • One-touch Americano
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  • Dual Boilers
  • Optional Combo Package
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  • LCD Interface
  • 30 Grind Adjustment Settings
  • Thermojet Heating System
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  • Great Milk Froth
  • Suitable for Espresso Newbies
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  • Great Milk Foam
  • Small Footprint
  • Retro Style
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  • Small Footprint
  • Great for an RV

Spoiler Alert

Now, I know some of you are in a hurry to get to the results of this review. If that’s you, here’s what you need to know:

For the rest of you, stay tuned. This review has a whole lot more to offer!

Background on Breville

Breville was founded in Sydney in 1932 and aims to help people achieve greater things in the kitchen than they ever thought possible. You’ve probably noticed their iconic stainless steel look, reminiscent of ages past yet converging with modern design and technology.

It’s clear that the designers at Breville know what people want sitting on their countertops. You see their touch in everything from Breville coffee makers to their Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro.

Arne with the Breville Bambino Plus.

When it comes to designing dynamic coffee machines, Breville is no slouch. They’ve figured out that there’s a niche market of people who want the control portafilter machines offer, but aren’t completely comfortable walking away from the convenience of super-automatic espresso machines. I must admit, their concept is downright genius!

In years to come, I’m confident we’ll see more and more companies catching on to what Breville already knows. I’m really happy about this, as competition almost always inspires great innovation.

What’s great about Breville is that they aren’t waiting for the pressure competition brings to improve themselves. Each release they come out with is better than the one before it. I love it when self-improvement is a built-in characteristic of a company’s culture.

Best Breville Espresso Machine: $1,500-$3,500 Range

Now, I know not everyone here is out to spend upwards of $1,500 on a semi-automatic espresso machine. That said, there’s still value in fully understanding what top-tier machines can do as you make your Breville espresso machine comparison. Let’s take a look together.

Breville Oracle Touch Espresso Machine

Breville BES990BSS Oracle Touch Espresso Machine.

Available for $2,799.95 on Amazon, the Breville Oracle Touch has been selected as our “Best Performing” Breville semi-automatic espresso machine.

I go into great detail about this machine in my Breville Oracle Touch review, where I explain why this machine is ideal for those who can’t decide between a super-automatic and a portafilter machine. It’s the best of both worlds.

One thing I really like about the Breville Oracle Touch is that its touch screen walks you through how to make a variety of drinks. Simply select “Latte,” for example, and you’ll be shown the grinding step, brewing step, and frothing step. You push each button when you’re ready to complete the step, and vwa’la, you’ve just made a delicious Latte.

Breville Oracle Touch Espresso Machine Touch Screen.

The Oracle Touch also automatically tamps the coffee grinds in the portafilter, which will prevent a lot of messes. It’s hard to imagine a scenario that would be easier for an espresso machine newbie, or for a seasoned pro looking for commercial-grade features.

Yes, $2,799.95 is a pretty Penny, but to quote one of our readers:

“I was skeptical for the price but even my wife admitted after her first drink it was incredible and blew away the super-automatic and most coffee shops, frankly. I would buy the machine again without question. It’s been worth every penny and the ability to brew a perfect shot of espresso any time has greatly improved my life.”

Breville Oracle Touch Espresso Machine Cappuccino.

I guess this machine is akin to people who buy electric cars and end up with no excuse to stop at the gas station for breaks. You won’t ever need to go back to your neighborhood coffee shop again!

See Also: Breville Oracle Touch Hands-On Review 2022

PROS

  • Genuine espresso
  • Touch screen
  • 8 customizable drink profiles
  • 45 grind adjustment settings
  • Dual boilers
  • Heated group head
  • Suitable for espresso newbies
  • Automatic or manual milk frothing
  • Automatic tamping
  • One-touch Americano
  • Easy to clean

CONS

  • Steep price
  • Weighs 46 lbs
  • You might miss coffee shops

Breville Oracle Espresso Machine

Breville BES980XL Oracle Coffee Machine.

The Breville Oracle Espresso Machine was released before the BES990BSS. The big difference between these machines is that the Oracle has a LCD screen, whereas the Oracle Touch has a color touch screen.

In practical terms, the LCD screen on the Oracle doesn’t walk the user through the steps of making each drink like the Oracle Touch does. So, there’s a higher learning curve.

One positive thing I’d like to highlight on both of these machines is the one-touch approach to making Americanos. A double shot of espresso is delivered to your cup, and then a separate spout tops off the cup with hot water. Not even super automatic espresso machines do this!

The current price on Amazon is $2,199.95.

PROS

  • Genuine espresso
  • 45 grind adjustment settings
  • Dual boilers
  • Heated group head
  • Automatic or manual milk frothing
  • One-touch Americano
  • Easy to clean

CONS

  • No personalized drink profiles
  • LCD screen
  • Weighs 34.5 lbs
  • Difficult to find

Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine

Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso Machine.

Like the Oracle machines, the Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine offers two independent boilers for $1,595.00. One is for heating water to pull shots of espresso. The other is for steaming milk.

Why would anyone want two? Well, because you won’t have to wait for the water to heat back up before you can steam your milk. This can save you a lot of time, especially if you are making multiple drinks at once.

That said, this machine takes a step away from the self-contained design of the Breville BES990BSS Oracle Touch in that it does not have a built-in grinder.

Breville, knowing that users will need a separate grinder, has put together the Breville Dynamic Duo Dual Boiler Espresso Machine and Smart Grinder Pro Package that includes both the Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso Machine and the Breville Smart Grinder Pro.

The combination package is available for $1,699.95 on Amazon. That’s $100.00 less than buying the two units separately at the time of writing.

I talk more about this grinder in my best coffee grinder 2021 review, where I named it the best affordable espresso grinder. The upside to having the separate grinder is 60 separate grind settings for maximum control over the coarseness of the grind. The downside is that it will take up more counter space.

See Also: Breville Dual Boiler Review 2022

PROS

  • Genuine espresso
  • Dual boilers
  • Option to purchase with a grinder in combo package

CONS

  • No built-in grinder

  • Weighs 30 lbs
  • Additional expense of a grinder

A Comparison of the Best Breville Espresso Machines in the $1,500-$3,500 Range

Breville Oracle TouchBreville OracleBreville Dual Boiler
Manufacturer

Breville

Breville

Breville

Model number

BES990BST1BUS1/BES990DBL1BUS1/BES990BTR1BUS1/BES990BSS1BUS1

BES980XL

BES920BSXL/BES920XL

Product category

Hybrid espresso machine

Hybrid espresso machine

Hybrid espresso machine

Housing material

Stainless steel

Stainless steel

Stainless steel

Color options

Black Stainless Steel, Black Truffle, Brushed Stainless Steel, Damson Blue

Brushed Stainless Steel

Black Sesame, Brushed Stainless Steel

Milk frother

Steam wand

Steam wand

Steam wand

User interface

Touchscreen

Monochromatic LCD with buttons and dials

Monochromatic LCD with buttons

App

User profiles

Memo function only

Memo function only

Memo function only

Portafilter size

58 mm

58 mm

58 mm

Tamping

Automatic

Automatic

Manual

Removable water reservoir

Water reservoir capacity

84.5 fl oz / 2.5 l

84.5 fl oz / 2.5 l

84.5 fl oz / 2.5 l

Number of boilers

2

2

2

Pump pressure

15 bar

15 bar

15 bar

Maximum cup height

4.0 in / 10.2 cm

4.5 in / 11.4 cm

4.0 in / 10.2 cm

Grinder

Stainless steel conical burr grinder

Stainless steel conical burr grinder

N/A

Grind adjustment levels

45

45

N/A

Bean hopper capacity

8.1 oz / 230.0 g

8.1 oz / 230.0 g

N/A

Specialty drinks

5

1

1

Pre-infusion

Adjustable coffee temperature

Adjustable milk foam temperature

2-cup function

Yes

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

Hot water function

Hot milk function

Milk foam only option

Water filter

Power consumption

1800 W

1800 W

1700 W

Weight

37.2 lb / 16.9 kg

34.5 lb / 15.6 kg

30.0 lb / 13.6 kg

Dimensions

17.8 x 15.4 x 14.7 in
45.2 x 39.1 x 37.3 cm

17.6 x 14.5 x 14.7 in
44.7 x 36.8 x 37.3 cm

20.1 x 17.4 x 17.4 in
51.1 x 44.2 x 44.2 cm

Warranty

2 years

2 years

2 years

Notes

Included Accessories: Instruction booklet, Mini grinds bin, Stainless steel milk jug, Steam wand spare parts, Cleaning kit, Water filter and holder.

Included Accessories: Stainless steel milk jug, Water filter holder, Filter basket, Mini grinds bin, Cleaning supplies, Allen key, Steam wand spare parts, User manual.

Included Accessories: Dosing tool, Filter baskets (1 and 2 cups), 16 ounce stainless steel milk jug, Cleaning Kit, Water filter holder, Instruction manual.

Current price on Amazon

$2,799.95

$2,199.95

$1,595.00

BUY NOW ON AMAZONBUY NOW ON AMAZONBUY NOW ON AMAZON
Breville Oracle TouchBreville OracleBreville Dual Boiler
Manufacturer

Breville

Breville

Breville

Model number

BES990BST1BUS1/BES990DBL1BUS1/BES990BTR1BUS1/BES990BSS1BUS1

BES980XL

BES920BSXL/BES920XL

Product category

Hybrid espresso machine

Hybrid espresso machine

Hybrid espresso machine

Housing material

Stainless steel

Stainless steel

Stainless steel

Color options

Black Stainless Steel, Black Truffle, Brushed Stainless Steel, Damson Blue

Brushed Stainless Steel

Black Sesame, Brushed Stainless Steel

Milk frother

Steam wand

Steam wand

Steam wand

User interface

Touchscreen

Monochromatic LCD with buttons and dials

Monochromatic LCD with buttons

App

User profiles

Memo function only

Memo function only

Memo function only

Portafilter size

58 mm

58 mm

58 mm

Tamping

Automatic

Automatic

Manual

Removable water reservoir

Water reservoir capacity

84.5 fl oz / 2.5 l

84.5 fl oz / 2.5 l

84.5 fl oz / 2.5 l

Number of boilers

2

2

2

Pump pressure

15 bar

15 bar

15 bar

Maximum cup height

4.0 in / 10.2 cm

4.5 in / 11.4 cm

4.0 in / 10.2 cm

Grinder

Stainless steel conical burr grinder

Stainless steel conical burr grinder

N/A

Grind adjustment levels

45

45

N/A

Bean hopper capacity

8.1 oz / 230.0 g

8.1 oz / 230.0 g

N/A

Specialty drinks

5

1

1

Pre-infusion

Adjustable coffee temperature

Adjustable milk foam temperature

2-cup function

Yes

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

Hot water function

Hot milk function

Milk foam only option

Water filter

Power consumption

1800 W

1800 W

1700 W

Weight

37.2 lb / 16.9 kg

34.5 lb / 15.6 kg

30.0 lb / 13.6 kg

Dimensions

17.8 x 15.4 x 14.7 in
45.2 x 39.1 x 37.3 cm

17.6 x 14.5 x 14.7 in
44.7 x 36.8 x 37.3 cm

20.1 x 17.4 x 17.4 in
51.1 x 44.2 x 44.2 cm

Warranty

2 years

2 years

2 years

Notes

Included Accessories: Instruction booklet, Mini grinds bin, Stainless steel milk jug, Steam wand spare parts, Cleaning kit, Water filter and holder.

Included Accessories: Stainless steel milk jug, Water filter holder, Filter basket, Mini grinds bin, Cleaning supplies, Allen key, Steam wand spare parts, User manual.

Included Accessories: Dosing tool, Filter baskets (1 and 2 cups), 16 ounce stainless steel milk jug, Cleaning Kit, Water filter holder, Instruction manual.

Current price on Amazon

$2,799.95

$2,199.95

$1,595.00

BUY NOW ON AMAZONBUY NOW ON AMAZONBUY NOW ON AMAZON

Best Breville Espresso Machine in the $500-$1,000 Range

Now that you’ve seen what top-tier machines can do, let’s take a closer look at mid-range Breville semi-automatic espresso machines.

Users who are considering the purchase of a top-tier machine should also read this section. That way you’ll have peace of mind about what you’re paying additional money for, or perhaps even decide that a mid-range machine would meet your needs for less money.

If you’ve been doing your research on Breville semi-automatic espresso machines, you’ve likely noticed that several different sites claim the Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine is their top pick. For its current price of $729.50, I can understand why they’d recommend it.

However, I’ve conducted an in-depth review of the Breville Barista Express, and while it has its merits, I’m not sold on the machine myself. It was first released in 2010, which is light-years ago in terms of development.

The Breville BES880BSS Barista Touch Espresso Machine came out in 2018, and like one would expect, reflects more recent trends in espresso machine technology. For this reason, I’m going to break away from the crowd and stand alone in stating:

The Breville Barista Touch kicks the Breville Barista Express’s butt!

I just can’t, with a good conscience, say otherwise, as it would mar my reputation as a professional barista and espresso machine reviewer.

Now, more on the champion in the mid-range category.

Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine

Breville BES880BSS Barista Touch Coffee Machine.

The Breville BES880BSS Barista Touch Espresso Machine has a lot going for it. It is, in essence, a light version of the Breville BES990BSS Oracle Touch Espresso Machine.

One big difference between the two machines is that the Barista Touch only has one boiler, whereas the Oracle Touch has two. However, Breville somewhat makes up for this by providing a ThermoJet heating system that will heat water in three seconds.

Another difference is that the Oracle Touch has automatic tamping. On the Barista Touch, you have to tamp the coffee yourself. While slightly less convenient, it’s definitely not a deal-breaker. It’s also not uncommon to have manual tamping on a mid-range semi-automatic espresso machine.

Many of you are comparing the Breville Barista Touch with the Breville Barista Express.  There are five significant upgrades to consider.

Breville Barista Touch Screen.

First and foremost is the touchscreen display that will walk users through the process of making a drink, just like it does on the more expensive Oracle Touch.

Breville Barista Touch Automatic Steam Wand.

Second, there’s now an automatic steam wand with a built-in thermometer, also like you see on the Oracle Touch. This allows you to achieve your ideal microfoam texture and temperature at the touch of a button.

Third, the addition of the ThermoJet heating system will make it possible to pull shots of espresso and use steam after three seconds. That’s a lot better than the 30-second wait on the Barista Express.

Fourth, there are five preprogrammed drink recipes.

Fifth, there are eight customizable drink profiles, which is enough for everyone to pre-program their favorite drink in a home or small office.

When you take into consideration the similarities the Barista Touch has with the Oracle Touch, combined with the upgrades in comparison to the Barista Express, you’ll quickly see why I’ve named the Breville Barista Touch the Best Overall” Breville semi-automatic espresso machine.

For $879.95 on Amazon, you’ll get a machine that reflects a lot of the good things about the Oracle Touch for a lot less money, while also getting a machine that is significantly better and more enjoyable to use than the Barista Express.

Do note that you can also get this Breville espresso machine refurbished. However, if you check out the list price versus the current price of a non-refurbished unit, I think you’ll see the Breville espresso machine sale everyone has been looking for!

See Also: Breville Barista Touch Review 2022

PROS

  • Genuine espresso
  • Touch Screen
  • 30 grind adjustment settings
  • ThermoJet heating system
  • Automatic or manual milk frothing
  • 5 pre-programmed drink recipes
  • 8 customizable drink profiles
  • Suitable for espresso newbies
  • Stainless steel burr grinder

CONS

  • Manual tamping

  • Weighs 23 lbs

Breville BES878BSS Barista Pro Espresso Machine

Breville BES878BSS Barista Pro Espresso Machine.

A lot of people won’t consider the Breville BES878BSS Barista Pro Espresso Machine because of the availability of the Barista Touch and Barista Express. That’s unfortunate, as the Barista Pro offers a lot of control over the espresso making process that many people are looking for.

This model doesn’t have the pre-programmed drink recipes or the customizable drink profiles that the Barista Touch espresso machine has. However, it does offer 30 grind adjustment settings like the Barista Touch.

The Breville Barista Pro espresso machine also has the addition of the ThermoJet heating system, which provides a 3-second heat-up time.

Available for $0.00, the Breville Barista Pro won’t disappoint.

See Also: Breville Barista Pro Review 2022

PROS

  • Excellent espresso
  • LCD interface
  • 30 grind adjustment settings
  • ThermoJet heating system

CONS

  • Steps away from the retro look
  • Weighs 20 lbs

Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine

Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine.

Primarily based on a price of $729.50, many reviewers are in love with what the Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine can do.

In all honesty, it’s a great beginner espresso machine. Like I mentioned in my review of the Breville Barista Express espresso machine though, I fear you’ll outgrow this machine quickly. You could easily find yourself wishing you had purchased the Barista Touch.

If it were a decade ago, I’d likely encourage you to gift all of your loved ones with a Barista Express. However, nowadays people are used to interacting with technology via a touch screen. The Breville Barista Express is a fantastic little machine, but the Breville Barista Touch will feel more intuitive to use.

See Also: Breville Barista Express Review 2022

PROS

  • Excellent espresso
  • Great milk froth
  • Price
  • Suitable for espresso newbies
  • Stylish design

CONS

  • The grinder could be better
  • There's no touch screen
  • No ThermoJet heating system
  • You don't get automatic milk frothing
  • There aren't any pre-programmed drink recipes
  • No customizable drink profiles
  • Weighs 23 lbs

Breville BES840XL Infuser Espresso Machine

Breville BES840XL Infuser Espresso Machine.

While slightly newer than the Breville Barista Express, the Breville Infuser Espresso Machine is still over a decade old. Available for $579.95, the main reason to get this machine is its small countertop footprint.

Even still, a savings of a couple of inches really isn’t justification for purchasing this machine over the Barista Express. If your budget tops out at this price, go with the Barista Express.

See Also: Breville Infuser Hands-On Review 2022

PROS

  • Excellent espresso
  • Small footprint
  • Weighs 17 lbs

CONS

  • Costs the same as the Barista Express

A Comparison of the Best Breville Espresso Machines in the $500-$1,500 Range

Breville Barista TouchBreville Barista ProBreville Barista ExpressBreville Infuser
Manufacturer

Breville

Breville

Breville

Breville

Model number

BES880BSS1BUS1/BES880BTR1BUS1/BES880DBL1BUS1/BES880BST1BUS1

BES878

BES870XL/BES870BSXL

BES840XL

Product category

Hybrid espresso machine

Hybrid espresso machine

Hybrid espresso machine

Hybrid espresso machine

Housing material

Stainless steel

Stainless steel

Stainless steel

Stainless steel

Color options

Black Stainless Steel, Black Truffle, Brushed Stainless Steel, Damson Blue

Black Stainless Steel, Black Truffle, Brushed Stainless Steel, Damson Blue, Oyster Shell, Royal Champagne, Sea Salt, Smoked Hickory

Black Sesame, Brushed Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel

Milk frother

Steam wand

Steam wand

Steam wand

Steam wand

User interface

Touchscreen

Monochromatic LCD with buttons and dials

Buttons and dials

Buttons and dials

App

User profiles

Memo function only

Memo function only

Memo function only

Memo function only

Portafilter size

54 mm

54 mm

54 mm

54 mm

Tamping

Manual

Manual

Manual

Manual

Removable water reservoir

Water reservoir capacity

67.6 fl oz / 2.0 l

67.6 fl oz / 2.0 l

67.6 fl oz / 2.0 l

60.9 fl oz / 1.8 l

Number of boilers

1

1

1

1

Pump pressure

15 bar

15 bar

15 bar

15 bar

Maximum cup height

3.9 in / 9.9 cm

4.0 in / 10.2 cm

4.0 in / 10.2 cm

4.5 in / 11.4 cm

Grinder

Stainless steel conical burr grinder

Stainless steel conical burr grinder

Stainless steel conical burr grinder

N/A

Grind adjustment levels

30

30

16

N/A

Bean hopper capacity

8.1 oz / 230.0 g

8.1 oz / 230.0 g

8.1 oz / 230.0 g

N/A

Specialty drinks

8

2

2

1

Pre-infusion

Adjustable coffee temperature

Adjustable milk foam temperature

2-cup function

Yes

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

Yes

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

Hot water function

Hot milk function

Milk foam only option

Water filter

Power consumption

1680 W

1680 W

1600 W

1650 W

Weight

26.8 lb / 12.2 kg

20.0 lb / 9.1 kg

23.0 lb / 10.4 kg

17.0 lb / 7.7 kg

Dimensions

16.0 x 12.5 x 12.7 in
40.6 x 31.8 x 32.3 cm

16.0 x 13.9 x 13.5 in
40.6 x 35.3 x 34.3 cm

15.9 x 12.5 x 13.8 in
40.4 x 31.8 x 35.1 cm

13.1 x 12.3 x 10.1 in
33.3 x 31.2 x 25.7 cm

Warranty

2 years

2 years

1 year

1 year

Notes

Included Accessories: Instruction booklet, Milk jug, Cleaning supplies, Cleaning brush, Trimming tool.

Included Accessories: Filter baskets (1 and 2 cup), Dose trimming tool, 16 ounce milk jug, Cleaning kit, Instruction booklet.

Included Accessories: Instruction booklet, Magnetic tamper, Trimming tool, Coffee scoop, Milk jug, Water filter and holder, Cleaning supplies.

Included Accessories: FIlter baskets, Coffee scoop. Stainless steel jug, Cleaning tools, Water filter holder, Instruction manual.

Current price on Amazon

$890.00

$838.99

$729.50

$579.99

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Breville Barista TouchBreville Barista ProBreville Barista ExpressBreville Infuser
Manufacturer

Breville

Breville

Breville

Breville

Model number

BES880BSS1BUS1/BES880BTR1BUS1/BES880DBL1BUS1/BES880BST1BUS1

BES878

BES870XL/BES870BSXL

BES840XL

Product category

Hybrid espresso machine

Hybrid espresso machine

Hybrid espresso machine

Hybrid espresso machine

Housing material

Stainless steel

Stainless steel

Stainless steel

Stainless steel

Color options

Black Stainless Steel, Black Truffle, Brushed Stainless Steel, Damson Blue

Black Stainless Steel, Black Truffle, Brushed Stainless Steel, Damson Blue, Oyster Shell, Royal Champagne, Sea Salt, Smoked Hickory

Black Sesame, Brushed Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel

Milk frother

Steam wand

Steam wand

Steam wand

Steam wand

User interface

Touchscreen

Monochromatic LCD with buttons and dials

Buttons and dials

Buttons and dials

App

User profiles

Memo function only

Memo function only

Memo function only

Memo function only

Portafilter size

54 mm

54 mm

54 mm

54 mm

Tamping

Manual

Manual

Manual

Manual

Removable water reservoir

Water reservoir capacity

67.6 fl oz / 2.0 l

67.6 fl oz / 2.0 l

67.6 fl oz / 2.0 l

60.9 fl oz / 1.8 l

Number of boilers

1

1

1

1

Pump pressure

15 bar

15 bar

15 bar

15 bar

Maximum cup height

3.9 in / 9.9 cm

4.0 in / 10.2 cm

4.0 in / 10.2 cm

4.5 in / 11.4 cm

Grinder

Stainless steel conical burr grinder

Stainless steel conical burr grinder

Stainless steel conical burr grinder

N/A

Grind adjustment levels

30

30

16

N/A

Bean hopper capacity

8.1 oz / 230.0 g

8.1 oz / 230.0 g

8.1 oz / 230.0 g

N/A

Specialty drinks

8

2

2

1

Pre-infusion

Adjustable coffee temperature

Adjustable milk foam temperature

2-cup function

Yes

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

Yes

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

Hot water function

Hot milk function

Milk foam only option

Water filter

Power consumption

1680 W

1680 W

1600 W

1650 W

Weight

26.8 lb / 12.2 kg

20.0 lb / 9.1 kg

23.0 lb / 10.4 kg

17.0 lb / 7.7 kg

Dimensions

16.0 x 12.5 x 12.7 in
40.6 x 31.8 x 32.3 cm

16.0 x 13.9 x 13.5 in
40.6 x 35.3 x 34.3 cm

15.9 x 12.5 x 13.8 in
40.4 x 31.8 x 35.1 cm

13.1 x 12.3 x 10.1 in
33.3 x 31.2 x 25.7 cm

Warranty

2 years

2 years

1 year

1 year

Notes

Included Accessories: Instruction booklet, Milk jug, Cleaning supplies, Cleaning brush, Trimming tool.

Included Accessories: Filter baskets (1 and 2 cup), Dose trimming tool, 16 ounce milk jug, Cleaning kit, Instruction booklet.

Included Accessories: Instruction booklet, Magnetic tamper, Trimming tool, Coffee scoop, Milk jug, Water filter and holder, Cleaning supplies.

Included Accessories: FIlter baskets, Coffee scoop. Stainless steel jug, Cleaning tools, Water filter holder, Instruction manual.

Current price on Amazon

$890.00

$838.99

$729.50

$579.99

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Best Breville Espresso Machine for $500 or Less

I wouldn’t feel like we had done our due diligence if we only provided machines in the mid and upper price ranges. Coffee is meant for everyone’s enjoyment.

Honestly, who you drink your coffee with is just as important as how it’s made. I’ve had amazing shots of espresso soured by poor choices in company, as well as average cups of espresso made amazing by who I enjoyed them with.

I’ve also seen top-tier machines produce less than impressive espresso because of user error, and low-end machines produce amazing espresso because of proper settings choices. I guess the saying “high tech low know-how” has some truth to it.

Breville BES500BSS Bambino Plus Espresso Machine

Breville BES500BSS Bambino Plus Espresso Machine.

In my full review of the Breville BES500BSS Bambino Plus Espresso Machine, I dubbed it the Mini-Me of espresso machines. You can read more about it in my Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Machine review, but I’ll offer a few highlights here.

Basically, the Breville Bambino Plus is a great machine for those who don’t have a lot of space or are on a tightly fixed budget. That’s why I’ve named it the “Best Budget” Breville semi-automatic espresso machine in this comparative review.

For $N/A on Amazon, you get a stylish machine that takes up the same amount of space as the Breville Grind Control Coffee Maker that I mention in my Best Coffee Maker With Grinder review, but with more functionality.

This is a great entry-level machine for those who are just getting into espresso.

See Also: Breville Bambino Plus Hands-On Review 2022

PROS

  • Good espresso
  • Beautiful design with a tiny footprint
  • Automatic milk frothing with temperature sensor
  • Very easy to operate
  • Good value for money
  • Weighs 14.4 lbs

CONS

  • Espresso needs improvement
  • Material quality is less than ideal

Breville BES810BSS Duo Temp Pro Espresso Machine

Breville BES810BSS Duo Temp Pro Espresso Machine.

First available in 2014, the Breville Duo Temp Pro Espresso Machine enjoys popularity among many users. There are also users who aren’t crazy about its performance.

The reality is if you have never owned a semi-automatic espresso machine, you’ll find a lot of things to enjoy about this one. And if you’re used to a more feature-rich professional machine, you’ll wish you had made a different choice.

For the difference in price, if I was considering this machine and had a similar budget to work with, I’d skip a few meals to swing the Bambino Plus. I might even sell a few things I’m not using in order to step up to a Barista Express or Barista Touch. You might also try searching on Amazon for refurbished Breville espresso machines.

The current price on Amazon for the Breville Duo Temp espresso machine is $448.45.

See Also: Breville Duo Temp Pro Hands-On Review 2022

PROS

  • Good espresso
  • Great milk foam
  • Small footprint
  • Retro style
  • Weighs 18.9 lbs

CONS

  • Slow to heat up
  • Lacks the features of similarly priced Breville machines

Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Espresso Machine

Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Espresso Machine.

When talking about the Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Espresso Machine, I want to be clear. I do not recommend this machine as something you’d use regularly in your home.

I do, however, know many users do on their path to bigger and better espresso machines. The place where I see real application for this machine is dorm rooms and RV’s. The only things this machine has going for it are size and price.

The Breville Cafe Roma Espresso Machine sells for $179.99 on Amazon.

See Also: Breville Cafe Roma Review 2022

PROS

  • Okay espresso
  • Price
  • Small footprint
  • Weighs 13 lbs

CONS

  • Features are rather meh

A Comparison of the Best Breville Espresso Machines for $500 or Less

Breville Bambino PlusBreville Duo Temp ProBreville Cafe Roma
Manufacturer

Breville

Breville

Breville

Model number

BES500BSS1BUS1

BES810BSS

ESP8BSS1BCA1

Product category

Hybrid espresso machine

Hybrid espresso machine

Manual espresso machine

Housing material

Stainless steel

Stainless steel

Stainless steel

Color options

Brushed Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel

Silver

Milk frother

Steam wand

Steam wand

Steam wand

User interface

Buttons and dials

Buttons and dials

Buttons and dials

App

User profiles

Memo function only

Memo function only

Memo function only

Portafilter size

54 mm

54 mm

50 mm

Tamping

Manual

Manual

Manual

Removable water reservoir

Water reservoir capacity

64.2 fl oz / 1.9 l

60.9 fl oz / 1.8 l

40.6 fl oz / 1.2 l

Number of boilers

1

1

1

Pump pressure

15 bar

15 bar

15 bar

Maximum cup height

4.5 in / 11.4 cm

4.5 in / 11.4 cm

4.0 in / 10.2 cm

Grinder

N/A

N/A

N/A

Grind adjustment levels

N/A

N/A

N/A

Bean hopper capacity

N/A

N/A

N/A

Specialty drinks

1

1

1

Pre-infusion

Adjustable coffee temperature

Adjustable milk foam temperature

2-cup function

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

No

No

Hot water function

Hot milk function

Milk foam only option

Water filter

Power consumption

1560 W

1600 W

1000 W

Weight

3.1 lb / 1.4 kg

18.9 lb / 8.6 kg

13.0 lb / 5.9 kg

Dimensions

12.2 x 7.7 x 12.6 in
31.0 x 19.6 x 32.0 cm

12.6 x 12.6 x 10.1 in
32.0 x 32.0 x 25.7 cm

11.8 x 8.6 x 8.7 in
30.0 x 21.8 x 22.1 cm

Warranty

2 years

1 year

1 year

Notes

Included Accessories: Tamper, Dosing tool, Stainless steel milk jug, filter baskets, Cleaning supplies, User manual.

Included Accessories: Trimming tool, Filter baskets, Stainless steel milk jug, Allen key, Cleaning tools, Water filter holder, Instruction booklet.

Included Accessories: Stainless steel milk jug, Tamping tool/measuring spoon/cleaning tool, Instruction booklet.

Current price on Amazon

$499.00

$399.96

$237.70

BUY NOW ON AMAZONBUY NOW ON AMAZONBUY NOW ON AMAZON
Breville Bambino PlusBreville Duo Temp ProBreville Cafe Roma
Manufacturer

Breville

Breville

Breville

Model number

BES500BSS1BUS1

BES810BSS

ESP8BSS1BCA1

Product category

Hybrid espresso machine

Hybrid espresso machine

Manual espresso machine

Housing material

Stainless steel

Stainless steel

Stainless steel

Color options

Brushed Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel

Silver

Milk frother

Steam wand

Steam wand

Steam wand

User interface

Buttons and dials

Buttons and dials

Buttons and dials

App

User profiles

Memo function only

Memo function only

Memo function only

Portafilter size

54 mm

54 mm

50 mm

Tamping

Manual

Manual

Manual

Removable water reservoir

Water reservoir capacity

64.2 fl oz / 1.9 l

60.9 fl oz / 1.8 l

40.6 fl oz / 1.2 l

Number of boilers

1

1

1

Pump pressure

15 bar

15 bar

15 bar

Maximum cup height

4.5 in / 11.4 cm

4.5 in / 11.4 cm

4.0 in / 10.2 cm

Grinder

N/A

N/A

N/A

Grind adjustment levels

N/A

N/A

N/A

Bean hopper capacity

N/A

N/A

N/A

Specialty drinks

1

1

1

Pre-infusion

Adjustable coffee temperature

Adjustable milk foam temperature

2-cup function

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

No

No

Hot water function

Hot milk function

Milk foam only option

Water filter

Power consumption

1560 W

1600 W

1000 W

Weight

3.1 lb / 1.4 kg

18.9 lb / 8.6 kg

13.0 lb / 5.9 kg

Dimensions

12.2 x 7.7 x 12.6 in
31.0 x 19.6 x 32.0 cm

12.6 x 12.6 x 10.1 in
32.0 x 32.0 x 25.7 cm

11.8 x 8.6 x 8.7 in
30.0 x 21.8 x 22.1 cm

Warranty

2 years

1 year

1 year

Notes

Included Accessories: Tamper, Dosing tool, Stainless steel milk jug, filter baskets, Cleaning supplies, User manual.

Included Accessories: Trimming tool, Filter baskets, Stainless steel milk jug, Allen key, Cleaning tools, Water filter holder, Instruction booklet.

Included Accessories: Stainless steel milk jug, Tamping tool/measuring spoon/cleaning tool, Instruction booklet.

Current price on Amazon

$499.00

$399.96

$237.70

BUY NOW ON AMAZONBUY NOW ON AMAZONBUY NOW ON AMAZON

Portafilter vs Semi-Automatic vs Super-Automatic

Portafilter vs Semi-Automatic vs Super-Automatic.

A big question a lot of consumers have is whether they should purchase a fully manual portafilter machine, a semi-automatic espresso machine or a super-automatic espresso machine. That’s a very personalized question with an answer that is relative to each user.

What I can tell is is that each style of machine has its own learning curve and that over the course of your life, you may own one or more of each. That is to say that your enjoyment of espresso is a journey. Where you start is not where you’ll end up.

Super Automatics

At the beginning of this post, I mentioned that many people who start off with super-automatic espresso machines later decided that they want more control over the brewing process. However, they aren’t quite ready to dive headfirst into learning the ins and outs of a portafilter machine.

Does that mean they were foolish to sink money into a super-automatic machine like the DeLonghi Dinamica Plus or Philips LatteGo 3200? Absolutely not!

That would be like saying someone was foolish to get their bachelor’s degree before going for their master’s degree. Learning is a process that takes time and an adventure in and of itself.

Manual Espresso Machines

In a similar fashion, learning to use a fully manual portafilter machine is a bit like earning a Ph.D. in coffee! The learning curve is steep, and the lessons along the way using one style of machine will help you master another.

That’s not to say someone has to start with something automatic. Plenty of professional baristas have historically started off on manual machines. Though, in recent years, many of the big coffee chains have switched to semi-automatic style espresso machines to increase efficiency.

What Does That Mean for You?

Well, start with what you are comfortable with and recognize that you will get better at brewing espresso as you grow. For me personally, if I did not know all that I do now as a professional barista, but knew I wanted a combination of convenience and functionality, I’d go for a semi-automatic espresso machine. Why? Because it’s the best of both worlds.

If you are constantly on the go though and have little time to spare, a super-automatic espresso machine would be a better fit.

What Should I Look For in a Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine?

I explore this question quite thoroughly in my post about the best home espresso machines 2022. Here’s a quick primer:

A Quick Primer

  • Boilers: if everyone in your house or office drinks their espresso black, you only need one boiler. The second boiler is all about milk.
  • Recovery Time: the amount of time required for the machine to be ready to pull a shot of espresso or steam milk matters. If you are in a hurry or making a lot of drinks for a group of friends, 30 seconds on a Barista Express between steps will add up quickly, while the 3 seconds required on a Barista Touch will seem like non-stop action.
  • Bars of pressure: don’t be fooled by manufacturers claiming their machines can produce 19 bars of pressure. You only need 9 bars to make an espresso. In this case, more is not better.
  • PID: machines like the Oracle Touch, Barista Touch and even the Barista Express use digital temperature control technology to ensure water is at an optimal temperature. Even a 2º F variation can make or break an espresso.
  • Single or double-walled baskets: starting off you’ll want the double-walled baskets, but eventually, you’ll want to upgrade to single-walled for better results.
  • Water reservoir size: refilling the water reservoir all the time sucks.
  • Water filter: pay attention as to whether or not an espresso machine has a built-in water filter. If it does not, you’ll need to filter the water before adding it to the machine to prevent mineral buildup and reduce the frequency of descaling. The convenience of purchasing a Breville espresso machine water filter on Amazon will keep your machine operating smoothly.
  • Grinders: the more control over the coarseness of the grind, the better. Do you want a Breville espresso machine with grinder, or would you prefer the control afforded in a combo like the Breville Dynamic Duo Dual Boiler Espresso Machine and Smart Grinder Pro Package?
  • Spout height and cup raisers: the distance from the nozzle to the cup will affect the temperature of your coffee. The greater the distance, the greater the amount of surface area of the liquid that will come into contact with cool air. so, if your cup has room too much clearance above it, find something to set it on to close that distance.
  • Drink profiles: having customizable drink profiles will allow you to save personalized settings.
  • Workspace: keep in mind that a cramped operating space will prevent you from moving the milk container around when frothing. You need to be able to move it.
  • Cleaning: the easier a machine is to clean, the more often you’ll do it. Hygiene is important for your life and the life of your machine.
  • Weight: a heavy machine will be hard to move for cleaning and maintenance.
  • Style: I love the retro style of the Breville semi-automatic espresso machine lineup. For most of us, our espresso machine will be one of the first things we see each day. Let it be inspiring!
  • Warranty and Repair: the Breville espresso machine parts required to repair Breville espresso machines are covered under warranty for the first 1 to 2 years you own the machine. The length of the warranty is determined by the model you choose to purchase.

How Do I Set Up a Breville Espresso Machine?

First, since you’ve been watching your Amazon Prime app all day anticipating the arrival of your new toy, go ahead and do a happy dance when the Prime van pulls away. I might wait until I shut the door behind me, but that’s just me.

Second, as you unbox the machine, collect all of the parts you’ll need to wash and wipe down. It’s critical that you remove all dust from the factory or packaging materials.

Be sure to inspect the machine as you go to ensure there are no dings, scratches or cracks from shipping. Once everything is dry, assemble the parts and familiarize yourself with everything.

Third, adjust the coarseness of the grind to its finest setting and work backward from there. The finer the better, but sometimes you have to dial it back a notch or two to find the sweet spot.

A good rule of thumb is that if any residue is showing up in the bottom of your coffee cup, the setting is too fine. Go ahead and add some coffee beans.

Fourth, it’s time to pull your first shot of espresso. If you went with one of the Breville Touch espresso machine models, the screen will walk you through the steps. As necessary, refer to your Breville coffee machine manual for model-specific instructions.

Fifth, enjoy your first cup and make adjustments from there.

Sixth, and I can’t say this enough, establish a plan for regular cleaning of your Breville espresso machine so it will provide you with optimal performance.

How Do I Clean a Breville Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine?

How to Clean a Breville Espresso Machine?

I could sum up this section in one word: diligently!

From time to time I read through comments on Amazon from people who’ve purchased machines I recommend. One theme I see is a category of people who claim a machine is a piece of junk because it clogged and is no longer working.

Were I in direct contact with these individuals, I’d inquire about their cleaning prowess. My educated and informed opinion is that most issues can be avoided by having a regular cleaning regime. A clean Breville espresso machine is a working Breville automatic espresso machine.

So, what’s involved in regular cleaning? Let’s break this down into two parts: daily cleaning and deep cleaning.

Daily Cleaning

I often recommend that people allow a machine’s water reservoir to dry out at the end of each day. This is to avoid the growth of microalgae in the machine. If you’ve ever felt the inside of a water reservoir or fish tank that isn’t regularly cleaned, you’ll know what I’m talking about. It’s disgusting!

The steam wand is frequently submerged in milk, which can sour and build up bacteria. It should be wiped down after each use. If there is any buildup, wrap the steam wand in a thick wet towel and run steam through it for 30 seconds. Mind your hands to avoid accidental burns.

Do not clean the steam wand by submerging it in a glass of water. This can allow old milk to be sucked back up into the machine.

It’s okay to wash removable parts with gentle dishwashing liquid, but avoid putting parts in the dishwasher.

You’ll also want to empty the drip tray and wipe down the unit.

Deep Cleaning

Change your Breville espresso machine water filter at regular intervals. The frequency will depend upon the machine model, the characteristics of your water and frequency of use.

Like all espresso machines, descaling Breville espresso machines on a regular basis is a necessity. If you see any buildup of minerals, that’s a definite sign you need to descale Breville espresso machine parts. Breville makes their own solution, but many people use a universal descaling solution.

The machine will prompt you when you need to run a cleaning cycle. Note that this is separate from the descaling operation in that it back-flushes the machine.

Breville also makes Breville Espresso Machine Cleaning Tablets that will remove coffee oils and residues from the filter baskets and shower screen.

The better you take of your machine, the longer it will last. Thankfully, Breville espresso machine cleaning is quite easy.

Decision Time: Which Breville Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine Are You Going to Buy?

You’re the one who will be using this machine, so the choice is yours. Will you go with our Best Performing, Best Overall, Best Budget or one of the other great machines listed here?

Below are some questions you might want to ask yourself:

  • What’s my budget?
  • Are there any space limitations I need to consider? (Consider both your counter space and the cabinet height above.)
  • Do I need one boiler or two?
  • Do customizable drink profiles matter to me?
  • Would I prefer a built-in grinder or stand-alone grinder?
  • Would a super-automatic espresso machine be a better fit?
  • In light of global supply chain issues, will the machine I want still be available if I wait?

Breville Espresso Machine FAQ

The Breville Oracle Touch is the best machine available in the Breville line. However, they offer several other amazing espresso machines, such as the Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Coffee Machine, Breville Barista Touch and Breville Barista Pro. Even the Breville BES870XL deserves an honorable mention here.

If you only have one boiler, you’ll have to wait for the machine to heat back up once you’ve pulled a shot of espresso so you can froth your milk. The second boiler allows you to perform both operations simultaneously. In all honesty, this is kind of a George Jetson issue. That to say, should we really complain if we have to wait 10-20 seconds for anything in life?

Breville espresso machines are very easy to use. In fact, the on-screen displays walk you through the process of making your favorite coffee drinks.

The Breville BES870XL is an ideal espresso machine for newbie home baristas.

What do you think about Breville espresso machines? Which model did you buy? Leave me a comment below! Thanks for reading!

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