The Best Breville Espresso Machines: The Ultimate Guide
Guides

The Best Breville Espresso Machines: The Ultimate Guide

Let’s take a closer look at the finest Breville espresso machines in the market and find the one that’s best for you.

Photo of author

Asser Christensen

Licensed Q Arabica Grader, M.A. Journalism

Breville makes some excellent espresso machines.

Unfortunately, they also make some that are more mediocre.

In this comparison/review, we’ll take a close look at the best Breville espresso machines, so you can find the correct model for your needs.

I have previously reviewed some of the espresso makers on this list (but not all), so I’ll do my best to give you my advice and guidance here based on both experience and common coffee sense.

Breville has launched a bunch of models, so it can be a bit confusing at first glance.

About Breville

Breville was founded in Australia back in 1932, and since then, they have grown into a global brand.

Their range of products includes grills, slow cookers, rice cookers, breadmakers, ovens, kettles, juicers, and much more. But it is coffee appliances (and especially espresso machines) that are the main focus today. This was also demonstrated with the company’s recent acquisition of the well-known coffee grinder brand, Baratza.

💡 Bonus info: Due to trademark reasons, the brand is known as “Sage” in Europe.

Breville’s reputation for producing potent espresso makers is well deserved. While many traditional Italian coffee brands haven’t innovated much during the last 50 years, Breville has added a bunch of exciting technology to their machines.

The Best Breville Espresso Makers of 2022

Breville Bambino

The Breville Bambino is a relatively new model on the market. However, it’s the most basic model that Breville produces.

Bambino means “child” in Italian, and this model is aimed at newbies. The size and form factor also makes it an excellent option if you’re looking for a compact machine.

In my opinion, this is an excellent beginner model since it has a few built-in features that other entry-level models don’t have. For example, this machine has a PID temperature control system that ensures the correct temperature for brewing every time. It’s also set to brew at the ideal 9 bars of pressure.

This feature is essential if you care about consistency, and it’s usually only available on much more expensive devices. 

The machine only comes with an unpressurized basket, but you can easily find a regular one if you want to have more control over your extraction. There are also plenty of 3rd party accessories available, such as tampers, levelers, and bottomless portafilters.

The steaming has to be controlled manually, so this machine is for people who want to learn the barista craft. However, if you’re a bit lazier and are looking for a hassle-free latte, then you should consider the big brother (the Bambino Plus) instead. 

The Bambino has adjustable volumetric controls, so you don’t necessarily have to use a scale or eyeball when brewing.

My verdict: The Breville Bambino is perfect if you start with espresso-making and have a tight budget. It beats the cheap Delonghis and offers a more modern experience than entry-level Italian single-boiler machines.

Breville Bambino Plus

Breville BES500BSS Bambino...

The Bambino Plus is like the Bambino, except it’s a bit bigger and more advanced. 

It has all the same benefits but will also offer you auto-steaming and a slightly bigger water tank. 

The auto-steaming is something that works surprisingly well! Adjust the milk temperature and foam level, put in the pitcher, and let the machine do the work. I have been impressed with this feature! But, is the milk quality as good as what the best barista on a professional device produces? No, it’s not quite as silky and malleable if you’re making latte art. But I think it will be better than what you’ll make with most entry-level espresso machines. 

Plus, it’s consistent and hands-free, meaning you can do other things in the morning while the machine is working. 

Of course, you can also use the manual mode, and then you can take the milk to that latte art level. 

The Bambino Plus will also remind you about regular cleaning. 

The device only comes with a pressurized portafilter in the US, so you have to buy a non-pressurized one if you want to get the best out of the machine. In Europe, both pressurized and non-pressurized are included.

My verdict: I’m a big fan of the Breville Bambino Plus. It can make an excellent cup of coffee. People just getting into espresso has a lot going for it. Check out my full review here.

Breville Duo Temp Pro

Breville BES810BSS Duo Temp...

The Breville DuoTemp Pro is the previous entry-level model from Breville.

As you can tell, the design language is more reminiscent of the older machines in the brands’ line-up. 

It features preinfusion and a relatively fast heat-up time. 

Breville’s newer offerings have cannibalized this machine.

The DuoTemp is still a solid entry-level machine, but unless you see it at a significant discount, I won’t go for it. 

When searching online, it retails for about the same price as the Bambino Plus, which has a faster heat-up time, more powerful steaming, and additional advanced features. 

In the price range just a bit higher, you’ll often see the Barista Express, which has the same features, plus a built-in grinder and a pressure gauge. 

My verdict: There’s not much point in going for the DuoTemp Pro in 2022 unless you can find a massive discount somewhere. 

See more reviews

Breville BESXL the Infuser

Breville BES840XL Infuser...

The Infuser is the big brother of the Duo Temp Pro. It’s a classic semi-automatic espresso machine.

It had a long run as one of the most exciting options in Breville’s line-up. It was their competitor to the Gaggia Classic and Rancilio Silvia. However, compared to those machines, it did provide better temperature stability and preinfusion.

There are also a couple of things that separate this machine from the models in the famous Bambino line:

  • You can adjust the brewing temperature on this machine.
  • It has a pressure gauge.

The Infuser might still be an exciting alternative to Breville’s newer machines for those reasons. If you’re more on the espresso spectrum (as opposed to the milk spectrum), then it’s worth considering. 

However, if you’re planning to make a lot of cappuccinos, the Bambino still offers better steaming power and away faster start-up time. 

My verdict: The Infuser was previously a popular option, but I guess that Breville is trying to phase it out of their line-up. However, if you can get a good deal on it, it would make a great first espresso machine for someone.

See more reviews

Breville Barista Express

Breville BES870XL Barista...

The Barista Express has been one of Breville’s top sellers for years. And for a good reason, it’s just a convenient entry-level espresso maker. 

On the brew side of things, it works almost exactly like the Infuser. 

The apparent difference is that the Barista Express has a grinder built-in. This is both good and bad. 

If you’re starting, then it’s practical to have both devices in one unit. Then you don’t have to enter the bewildering jungle of espresso grinders

But if you get into the espresso hobby, you may outgrow the grinder. The built-in, conical grinder isn’t that consistent. It also lacks some fine-tuning capabilities. 

The grinder also uses a hopper that is not created for single dosing. Instead, it’s designed to be used with a hopper full of coffee beans.

While the grinder is going to be alright if you’re drowning the shot in a lot of steamed milk, it will hold you back if you want to experience the upper limits of espresso as a hobby. 

My verdict: The Breville Barista Express, however, is a practical solution and a great beginner option. For the many people who don’t want to be too obsessive about coffee as a hobby, I think it’s a good compromise between price, performance, and convenience.

See more reviews

Breville BESXL Barista Pro

Breville BES878BSS Barista Pro...

This is the newest model in the “Barista” series. Aesthetically speaking, it’s by far the nicest. 

All the models in the Barista series have built-in grinders. However, since this is the newest model, it has a slightly different grinder system. The grinder uses the same steel conical burrs, but it’s more precise now. This means that you get timer-based dosing down to half a second instead of the more rough analog dial on the Barista Express to adjust the dose size. The grinder is also stepless, making it possible to make micrometric adjustments to your grind size. Those are some substantial upgrades!

You also get the option to adjust the brew temperature easily on the excellent-looking display. It’s also possible to control the preinfusion time, but unfortunately, only up to 10 seconds. 

The last big selling point of this machine is that it has Breville’s new ThermoJet heating system, which allows it to heat up in only 3 seconds and to switch between brew and steam almost instantaneously. I can’t describe how nice that feature is! 

However, this is also available in the Breville Bambino Plus. So what do you get that is not available in the Bambino? Well, not much. Only the temperature control. And you lose the automatic milk frothing feature that the Bambino Plus has. So unless you find an outstanding deal on the Barista Pro, getting the Bambino Plus and a superb separate grinder might make more sense.

My verdict: I love the design of the Barista Pro, and in many ways, it’s an excellent package. However, if you’re planning to get into the espresso hobby, I think you’ll be better served with a Bambino or Bambino Plus combined with a standalone grinder.

See more reviews

Breville BESXL Barista Touch

Breville BES880BSS Barista...

Breville Barista Touch is a Barista Express with training wheels. 

It uses the same built-in grinder, same 15 bar pump, and thermo-coil heating system. 

The big difference is that you both have automatic milk steaming and a display to choose different coffee drinks compared to the cheaper Express.

This feature is quite impressive and valuable if you don’t have much experience with coffee. 

However, one could argue that it’s a bit too automatized. I mean, if you’re just a little bit serious about coffee, you don’t need a machine to help you add water to your americano or tell you how foamy the milk should be. You learn those things! And then it’s easy to adjust your brewing accordingly. 

Of course, automatic milk steaming is a rather nice feature. I have to admit that! But some of Breville’s cheaper machines offer that as well.

I would probably instead get a Breville Bambino Plus and a standalone grinder than this combo. That would give me more flexibility in the future in case I wanted to upgrade. At the same time, I would also have room in my budget to splurge on a flat burr grinder from Eureka or an efficient Baratza Sette grinder. 

My verdict: I think the problems they are trying to solve here are not real problems. At the same time, having so much technology in the machine might make it more prone to trouble down the line.

See more reviews

Breville Dual Boiler

Breville BES920BSXL Dual...

If you talk to true coffee snobs about Breville machines, you’ll quickly realize that this is where it’s at.

It’s easy to see why. This machine has everything that the advanced machines in the coffee shops have. And then some. 

It uses a real industry-standard 58 mm portafilter and two big boilers, so you don’t have to worry about waiting time or having enough steam power. The drip tray is big and spacious. You can pull hot water for tea from a separate pipe. 

You can control everything from brew temperature to preinfusion time and amount on the display. There’s also an analog pressure gauge for that extra feedback. 

Breville has created this machine with temperature stability in mind, and it’s probably the most stable of all prosumer espresso machines in its price class. It has several PIDs to get the temperature entirely right. 

I love this machine. Some of the most perfect shots I have experienced in my life were pulled on this machine. The steam is super powerful, making it easy to froth milk for latte art.

The only thing I would change is the aesthetics. I’d like to see an upgraded 2022 version with the same curves and design language as the Barista Pro. 

My verdict: End-game espresso machine and great value for the money. You’ll get excellent espresso with this machine. Check out my full review for all the details.

See more reviews

Breville The Oracle

Breville BES980XL Oracle...

Think about all the great things I said about the Breville Dual Boiler. Well, they all apply to the Oracle. 

Except, Breville also has a built-in grinder that can tamp automatically. 

And there’s also an automatic/intelligent steam wand.

So overall, this is probably the ultimate automatic espresso machine. You don’t have to do much work to get great shots. But, on the other hand, you have the option to geek out and adjust the small details if you want to. 

Overall, however, I find it a bit strange to spend so much money on an espresso setup and then remain stuck with Breville’s built-in grinder. 

You have to try to believe it, but the grinder can make the difference. Even Eureka’s most affordable flat burr grinder would take the espresso flavors to a new level compared to the built-in grinder here. 

But I understand that some people have a lot of money and not much time or patience. And if that’s the case, this is a better solution than all the other super-automatic options you see. 

My verdict: A bit of a brute force solution. But if you want technology to solve all your problems, this is the way to do it. However, my advice would be to get the Dual Boiler and then learn more about grinding and milk steaming.

See more reviews

The Oracle Touch

Breville BES990BSS Oracle...

So this is everything I said about the cheaper (but still relatively expensive) Oracle machine, except there is a touch screen. 

So that means that the pros and cons are more or less the same. 

Yes, it’s very advanced. Yes, it takes the learning curve to make a great shot of espresso and milk drinks. 

But it’s still an issue that the grinder is a rather basic conical grinder that you don’t have much control over. 

My verdict: I get what Breville is trying to achieve with this model. But if you’re the kind of person who values convenience enough to get this machine, I wonder if you can appreciate the small details and nuances of coffee? Why not just use the much cheaper Barista-touch? I’m sure this is better in theory than the Barista Touch, but all the small details add up in coffee. Such things as having a freshly specialty roasted coffee, getting the correct yield, and using the proper milk for steaming. 

If you don’t put effort into those things, all that lovely technology of the Oracle Touch is wasted.

See more reviews

How to Choose the Right Breville Espresso Machine?

There are so many models in Breville’s line-up. However, the big question you need to ask yourself is whether you want a built-in grinder.

If you think that coffee might become a serious hobby for you, then you should consider buying a separate grinder. It will give you an excellent base to build upon.

Fortunately, this is also going to make the rest of the decisions more straightforward for you, since you only have to choose between: 

  • Bambino 
  • Bambino Plus 
  • Dual Boiler

I think that these machines are different enough when it comes to price and features that the decision should be easy for you to make. 

You could, of course, also consider the DuoTemp or Infuser, but at the moment, they are a bit aged, and I don’t think Breville will continue producing them once the current stocks have been sold out. 

Choosing a model with a Built-in Grinder

If you decide to go against my advice and get a model with a built-in grinder, then it must mean that you value convenience and having a tidy kitchen. If that’s you, then that’s fine. But it also tells me that you don’t go into that obsessive geek mode that some coffee people get to. You’re probably not going to be pulling light roast turbo shots on esoteric coffee beans from the Boquete province of Panama. 

Instead, you’re probably delighted with a nice cappuccino made on a blend from your supermarket. 

If that’s you, go for the Barista Express, which has a long track record. 

You can, of course, also consider the new Barista Pro. It looks great and has some wonderful features. With a little bit of luck, you can find a good deal on it. 

The Oracle and Oracle Touch are fascinating machines, but I don’t quite understand who they are made for. Maybe they are ideal for a tiny office or a big family of coffee drinkers? However, the idea of spending thousands of dollars on a machine with a subpar grinder is something I can’t fully endorse. Pairing the Dual Boiler with a flat burr grinder would make way better coffee.

Conclusion

There’s no doubt that the Breville espresso machines are very well designed. They offer a lot of functionality, and it’s a pleasure to work with them. 

There is a model out there for everybody. The Bambino is perfect for someone looking for something simple and functional. The Bambino Plus offers more options, but it’s a bit more expensive. And the Dual Boiler is an absolute beast. It’s a real powerhouse.

The models with built-in grinders are also great for the right people, but be warned; many people end up regretting that decision at a later point.


FAQ

Should you buy a Breville espresso machine?

I would say yes. Breville makes excellent espresso machines. They are among the few manufacturers that listen to their customers and improve their products based on feedback. Their devices are ideal for beginners.

How to Choose the Right Breville Espresso Machine?

Read this article first, and then most of your questions should be answered. The most important thing is to set your budget and then decide whether you should go for a machine with a built-in grinder or not.

Are Breville espresso machines any good?

Yes, Breville machines can be excellent. The Breville Dual Boiler is one of the most respected machines out there. If you choose wisely, you’ll have a device that will last you years. But, of course, all machines are different. Some are better than others. So if you want to know which ones are best, read the reviews here.

How long will a Breville espresso maker last?

Breville machines are built pretty well. However, since they are so advanced on a technological level, you’ll need to keep up with maintenance. That means cleaning, backflushing, descaling, etc. However, with the right level of care, you can expect a Breville machine to last several years and even up to a decade in some instances.

Photo of author
Asser Christensen

Hello, and welcome! I'm the editor & founder of this site.
I have been a coffee geek since I started home roasting more than a decade ago. Since then, coffee has taken me on countless adventures: From ancient coffee ceremonies in Ethiopia to the volcanos of Sumatra.
My background is in journalism, and today I'm also a licensed Q Grader under the Coffee Quality Institute.