Breville Barista Express vs Pro: What's The Difference? [2023 Update]

Breville Barista Express vs Pro — what's the difference?

If you're looking for a mid-range, semi-automatic espresso machine, Breville's "Barista" models are a great place to start.

  • They're simple enough for beginners.
  • They're powerful enough for seasoned home baristas.

Breville makes 3 machines in their Barista product line:

  • Barista Express (good)
  • Barista Pro (better)
  • Barista Touch (best)

This comparison looks at the Barista Express vs Pro, both of which are more budget-friendly than the high-end Barista Touch.

How are the Barista Express and Barista Pro similar and where do they differ?

Let's get started.


At first glance, the Breville Barista Express and Pro obviously look different. The Pro has several upgrades that make it more — well — professional, but the two espresso machines still have a ton in common:

Feature Barista Express BES870 Barista Pro BES878
Machine type Semi-automatic Semi-automatic
Pump pressure 15 bars 15 bars
Water reservoir 67 oz 67 oz
Integrated grinder Stainless steel, conical burrs Stainless steel, conical burrs
Bean hopper 8 oz 8 oz
Integrated tamper Yes Yes
Bypass doser No No
Portafilter size 54mm 54mm
Pressurized portafilter baskets 1 cup, 2 cups 1 cup, 2 cups
Non-pressurized portafilter baskets 1 cup, 2 cups 1 cup, 2 cups
Pre-infusion Yes Yes
Variable brew temp 5 settings 5 settings
PID temp control Yes Yes
Frother 360 degree wand 360 degree wand
Cup clearance 4" 4"
Auto-off 3 hours 3 hours

And now for the heart of this comparison: Barista Express vs Pro differences.


The Barista Pro's digital display is the most obvious difference, but its just one of many key distinctions you should know before buying.

Feature Barista Express BES870 Barista Pro BES878
Grind sizes 18 sizes 30 sizes
Digital display No Yes
Pressure gauge Yes No
Boiler type Thermocoil ThermoJet
Power 1600W 1680W
Heat-up time 30 seconds 3 seconds
Dimensions 12.5"W x 13.2"D x 15.8"H 13.9"W x 16.1"D x 16.0"H
Weight 23 lbs 20 lbs
Warranty 1 year limited 2 years limited

The Breville Barista Express has 4 advantages over the more feature-rich Barista Pro:

  • Pressure Gauge: The Express's pressure gauge, absent on the Pro, is both functional and, in my opinion, a great industrial, stylistic touch.
  • Size: The Express is slightly more compact than the Pro, measuring about 1.5" narrower and almost 3" longer (less deep).
  • Weight: Despite its smaller size, the Express weighs 23 lbs vs the Pro at 20 lbs. The 3 lbs isn't much, but the extra weight helps anchor the machine when using the integrated tamper and locking/removing the portafilter.
  • Price: As the more basic model, the Express is less expensive than the Pro (usually around $100 cheaper).

Every other difference swings in favor of the Barista Pro:

  • Grind Sizes: The Pro lets you choose from 30 different grind size settings compared to 18 grind sizes on the Express.
  • Display: The Pro's blue backlit LCD display provides a stylish digital interface to monitor and change your brew parameters.
  • Boiler: The Pro's ThermoJet boiler is an advanced version of the Express's Thermocoil-integrated heating element.
  • Power: The Pro's 1680W heating element beats the Express's 1600W element.
  • Heat-Up Time: The Pro's better ThermoJet boiler and greater power draw combine for an insanely-fast 3-second start-up time compared to 30 seconds on the Express.
  • Warranty: The Pro comes with a 2-year limited manufacturer's warranty compared to a 1-year limited warranty with the Express.

Now, the most important question to cover in our Breville Barista Express vs Pro comparison...

Breville Barista Express vs Pro: Which Is Right For You?

Both the Barista Express and Pro have the same general brewing system, minus the Pro's more powerful 1680W ThermoJet boiler that still reaches your desired extraction temp — it just takes a little longer.

For my money, the Pro's extra features are worth the about $100 price difference — especially the digital LCD display and additional year of warranty — but those aren't must-haves on a mid-range home espresso machine. The Express has the same shot-pulling and milk-frothing capabilities as the pricier Pro. The only real brewing-related limitation is the 18 grind sizes vs the Pro's 30, but most entry and mid-level home baristas aren't dialing-in their grind size so precisely.

  • If you want a proven, budget-friendly espresso machine, the Breville Barista Express is a tried-and-true stalwart in the entry-level, semi-automatic category.
  • If you want more power, quicker start-up, and a stylish digital interface, the Breville Barista Pro has your name on it.

Curious about Breville's other models? Check out our list of the Best Breville Espresso Machines for our complete roundup.

Breville Barista Express vs Pro

The Coffee Maven's Official Comparison
Breville Barista Express BES870

Breville Barista Express BES870

All You Need, Entry-Level Model
An excellent machine for both novices and intermediates, the Breville Barista Express BES870 has everything a home barista needs: integrated grinder, 360º swivel frother, Temp Control, and more. All it you.
Breville Barista Pro BES878

Breville Barista Pro BES878

Digital Display + Rapid Heating
A step down from the Barista Touch, the Barista Pro costs 20% less but still features Breville's ThermoJet heating element with an impossibly-quick 3-second start-up. The sacrifice? The touch display and programmed recipes.


About The Coffee Maven
bryan de luca
Bryan De Luca

I'm Bryan but most people know me as The Coffee Maven. I grew up outside Boston, Massachusetts and received my Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry from Providence College. My first introduction to coffee was during my college days, when I used it as a source of caffeine to fuel late-night study sessions, but soon I became obsessed with the chemistry of coffee. How did changes to water temperature or contact time affect its taste? Why do beans from Africa taste fruity while beans from Indonesia taste spicy? I launched The Coffee Maven in February 2017 to explore these questions and help others brew their perfect cup. Welcome to my site, and thanks for reading!