The Ultimate Guide to Breville Espresso Machines (and Which Is Best for You!)

published Apr 16, 2024
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Woman making coffee at home
Credit: Duygu Coban / Getty Images

Chances are, if you’re scrolling through any social media platform, you’ve stumbled upon Breville’s popular espresso machines and coffee makers. It seems like every influencer has one, and it’s not hard to see why — even Oprah has featured it on her annual favorite things list multiple times! These machines appeal to both coffee newbies and connoisseurs alike, boasting fancy tech with temperature control features, customizable flavor profiles, and adjustable brew strengths. Some models even come equipped with built-in grinders and automatic milk frothers. Essentially, they bring the café experience right into your home, and who wouldn’t want that?

How to Use a Breville Espresso Machine

Using a Breville espresso machine is a breeze — they’re super intuitive. While each machine may have its unique quirks, the basics remain the same: Simply turn it on and wait for it to heat up (the machine will let you know when it’s ready), then insert your coffee into the portafilter, tamp it down firmly, and brew! You can then pour steamed milk over your freshly brewed espresso, and voila! You’re in for a delicious treat.

Do you have a Breville espresso machine you adore? We want to hear all about it! Tell us about your favorite gifts in the comments below. 

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Securing a place on our Best List for espresso machines, the Barista Touch stands out as one of Breville’s original and timeless offerings. It features customizable settings for shot volume, temperature, and extraction time, while its steam wand textures milk for lattes and cappuccinos just like you'd get at your local café. Additionally, it has an integrated grinder, eliminating the annoyance of purchasing pre-ground coffee and saving you money in the process.

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It doesn’t matter if you’re a total beginner or a coffee guru, the Barista Touch Impress is easy to use, with a touchscreen interface that offers step-by-step guidance. It's similar to the Touch but has a fancier design and more customization options. “It wasn’t long before I traded my regular morning cup of Joe for an Americano,” says contributing food editor Kelli Foster, who tested the machine herself. ”After using this machine every day for several months, I can attest that it’s great. I just wish that I took the plunge sooner.” It brews one to two cups at a time and offers customizable settings for espresso and milk texturing, among other things.

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Unlike the other Breville machines featured on this list, the Bambino is small, making it a great contender for city apartments with tiny kitchens. “I loved that I was easily able to move the Bambino around, which is such a plus when it comes to cleaning countertops or just clearing space for meal prep,” noted former Commerce Editor Sholeen Damarwala in her review. Overall, this machine has a more straightforward design and includes fewer features than Breville’s other machines (which is reflected in the price). However, it's still quite the espresso maker, considering how compact it is!

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If you're willing to spend a bit more money, the Bambino Plus is a step up from the Bambino. Why? Because it offers some enhanced features, like automated milk frothing and a pre-infusion filter, which gently expands the coffee grounds for a more even extraction.

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If you're someone who's very precise about the taste of your espresso, the Infuser is a great machine to consider. Its pre-infusion function infuses coffee at a low and steady water pressure, gently expanding the grinds. The result is a more evenly balanced brew that consistently tastes delicious.

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If you’re not a coffee aficionado, you might not notice the subtleties of this machine, but for those who are, pay attention! It has a quicker heat-up time and steam time compared to other models. Plus, its LCD display provides real-time feedback, making it easier to fine-tune your coffee. Sometimes, it's the little details that really make a difference.

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If the name didn't give it away, this machine is all about temperature control. With its PID temperature control, it ensures your espresso extraction is top-notch every time. Plus, it has many of the same fantastic features as other models on this list but comes with a much friendlier price tag. It’s perfect for those who want great espresso without breaking the bank!

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This coffee machine might look intimidating, but don’t worry — it’s super easy to use. “Ever since I picked up the Breville Barista Express espresso machine, I have been able to enjoy a huge variety of cafe-style brews right at home — and I couldn’t be happier,” says former Commerce Editor Sholeen Damarwala. “I really love that it has a built-in water heater so I can simply top my espresso shot with piping-hot water for a cup of black coffee or make a cup of tea without using a kettle.” The machine’s super-easy to use and includes a bean hopper and grinder, a tamper, four filter baskets, a steel milk jug, a coffee scoop, a razor dose trimming tool, and even cleaning supplies for when it’s time to descale it.

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The differences between this machine and the Express are not huge, but they're worth mentioning. This one has a slightly larger footprint than the Express, but the biggest difference is that the Impress is more automated due to its Impress Puck System, which assists with dosing and tamping the ground coffee. Because of this, there's less room for error and a higher chance of achieving the perfect café-style brew. It's likely better for newcomers, as it requires less manual tampering. “I truly didn’t think they could improve on their flawless espresso machine until I tried this new iteration, and now I am completely hooked,” says former Senior Contributing Food Editor Sheila Prakash, who owns the machine herself.

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Unlike the other Breville espresso machines, which feature a single boiler system, this one has two boilers. This allows the machine to brew and steam simultaneously, ultimately speeding up the preparation of your drinks when you're heading out the door. This machine is ideal for serious at-home baristas who expect precision and consistency every time. Hey, can you blame them?

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If you want a completely automated coffee-making experience, the Breville Oracle is the one for you. Compared to other Breville espresso machines, it features automatic grinding, dosing, and tamping of coffee, as well as automatic milk frothing. In other words, it automatically streamlines the espresso-making process, making it easier for you to achieve a consistently delicious cup of Joe.

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The main difference between the Oracle and the Oracle Touch is exactly what it sounds like: a touchscreen. Rather than using knobs and buttons for adjusting the settings of your coffee, this machine offers a more user-friendly interface. It also features more customization options so that you can adjust shot volume, milk texture, and all the nitty-gritty stuff.