Breville Barista Pro VS Touch: What’s The Difference?
Have you ever wondered how you can make café quality coffee from the comfort of your home?
Top rated espresso machines can revolutionize your sipping experience. (You don’t even have to be a professional barista to enjoy the benefits of a good coffee machine.)
Want to up your at-home java game but don’t want to sacrifice ease of use? When purchasing a semi-automatic espresso machine, Breville espresso machines are a popular option. And for good reason.
In this article, I’ll help you make a decision: Breville barista pro vs touch.
This Australian company has reached the big time with its small home appliances.
Since 1932, Breville has offered everything from specialty blenders to time-tested toasters. I will happily slurp smoothies all summer long. But today I’m here to talk about coffee.
Breville has become a household name for producing high-quality espresso drinks in the comfort of your own, well, house.
They are a gold standard for ease of use, producing everything from macchiatos to cortados. And many of their machines can cater to instant as well as ground coffee.
Is sipping in style important to you? Don’t worry. A Breville espresso maker features an attractive brushed stainless steel exterior.
Currently, their website lists thirteen different products for producing espresso and specialty coffee. Use the Breville Barista Max+ to practice your latte art until you rival your local barista’s rosetta.
Or keep it simple with a Breville Flow Filter Coffee Machine. Whatever your morning routine, Breville has the technology. They even offer a machine designed specifically to produce iced coffee.
Purchasing your first at-home espresso machine can be overwhelming. So I’m going to look at two of Breville’s finest options. Breville Barista Pro vs Touch.
Breville Touch VS Pro Summary
At first glance, the main difference between the Breville Barista Touch and the Breville Barista Pro is price. (The Breville Touch is a higher end brewer, running approximately $200 more than the Pro.)
But a difference in price shouldn’t be your own consideration when selecting an espresso machine. A higher price point doesn’t necessarily mean a product is the best fit for your coffee needs. But, if you’re passionate about your coffee, sometimes spending the extra money is worth it.
Let me give you a quick rundown on Breville Barista Pro vs. Touch while we’re waiting for the espresso to kick in. Later on, I’ll go over a few more details for you to consider when choosing barista pro vs touch.
What’s The Same?
Both of these Breville Barista products are mid-range home espresso machines. And either of these products will produce a tasty espresso.
This quality is largely a result of the grinder both espresso makers use. I could ramble on about the influence grinding has on taste, but we’ll save that for another day. You won’t have to worry about grinding your own beans.
Both of these machines use the same in-built conical burr grinder to grind on demand. This means a built in grinder saves you precious time and beans.
Breville has equipped these two machines with a thermojet heating system. This feature is great because it means you won’t have to wait long for your espresso.
The thermojet also outpaces the heating coils found in Breville Barista Express. This means your brewing water is ready in about three seconds. (This fast heating system also benefits steaming.)
One thing to note is that the Pro and the Touch both use a single boiler. This means you won’t be able to brew espresso and steam your milk simultaneously.
You’ll notice the main difference before you even start brewing: display screens. Barista Pro relies on buttons to power its backlit LCD display. Barista Touch, as you may have guessed, has a touch screen.
Barista Pro displays information about grind size, grind time, and extraction time. You can also select whether you want to pull one or two espresso shots, allowing you to quickly make adjustments to coffee strength.
But, you can’t interact with the LCD screen directly. Instead, you navigate using old-school buttons. I really appreciate this feature. (My coffee-making hands are frequently too messy to operate a touch screen.)
The Barista Touch display offers way more coffee customization. On this full-color touch screen, you can create up to eight user profiles.
These profiles allow you to store information such as espresso strength and milk temperature. That way, you can keep everyone in the family happy with a simple tap on the screen.
The Barista Touch has an automatic steam wand, which is great if you’re new to frothing milk. The Barista Pro keeps it classic with a manual steam wand. I like having complete control over the steaming process. (This is especially true when I’m foaming for a flat white.)
But if you’re new to making lattes and don’t want the added learning curve, the automatic steam wand will be a lifesaver.
And yes, the BaristaTouch costs roughly $200 more than the Pro.
Breville Touch VS Pro: The Deep Dive
Still unsure which Breville espresso machine to buy for your brew? Now you understand the main points of comparison. So let’s go into the nitty gritty of Pro vs. Touch.
- Adjustable steam wand gives complete control over milk texture
- Easy to operate physical buttons
- Traditional LCD screen display and functionality
- A steeper learning curve for beginning baristas
- LCD screen is not touch reactive
The Barista Pro is an excellent at-home espresso machine for experienced baristas. The burr grinder gives you espresso with a fresh, strong flavor.
The Breville Barista Pro includes an LCD screen and a manual steam wand. The manual steam wand is a great feature for people who want complete control as they create latte art.
- Five pre-programmed drinks
- Full-color touch screen
- Automatic steam wand
- No ability to steam milk manually
- More expensive of the two machines
The Breville Barista Touch is a modernized approach to at-home espresso making. Like the Pro, it has a built-in burr grinder, which is great because you get freshly ground beans without the mess.
The Barista Touch features a touch screen display. You can use this display to choose pre-programmed beverages or store your own creations.
Ease of Use
I personally like to keep things simple. So I’ll always choose buttons over a touch screen. (Plus, I’ve had too many touch screens stop working long before it’s time to retire the entire machine.)
But if customizable technology is your jam, consider the Barista Touch. This machine will allow you to pre-program drinks. This feature can shave precious seconds off your morning routine.
Plus, the Barista Touch automates a variety of coffee preferences. So when your mother-in-law asks for a macchiato, you don’t have to waste time googling coffee recipes.
And the Breville Barista Touch includes an automated milk steamer. This feature makes it a much easier option for entry-level at-home baristas.
In terms of overall convenience and automation, the Barista Touch wins this round.
There’s a reason Breville has been around for over 90 years. The company produces quality products, built to last. Its espresso machines are no exception.
The machines are pretty much the same in terms of counter space. The Barista Pro measures 13.9” x 16.1” x 16” and weighs 20 pounds. The Barista Touch measures 12.5” x 12.7” x 16” and weighs 26.8 pounds.
Breville constructs both machines using brushed stainless steel with a BPA-free water tank. They’ll also both come with a cleaning kit to keep your espresso machine in top condition.
Fortunately, when you’re deciding between these two machines, you can’t make a wrong choice when it comes to espresso quality.
Both the Barista Touch and the Barista Pro consistently produce flavorful shots. The only thing missing? The hassle of cleaning up coffee grounds.
This quality is thanks to a few shared features. I’ve talked about the in-built conical burr grinder already. So let’s talk quickly about digital temperature control.
In addition to thermojet technology, both machines use a PID for digital temperature control. (PID stands for Proportional Integral Derivative.) Basically, the PID is a sensor that ensures water temperature stays consistent. And consistency of water temperature contributes to consistency of brew extraction.
The tasty espresso can also thank the machines’ low-pressure pre-infusion. Pre-infusion moistens ground coffee at a low pressure. Then, high-pressure water forces its way through the coffee.
Getting overwhelmed by the technicalities? The only thing you need to remember is that pre-infusion helps produce an even extraction. And even extraction produces a more robust espresso flavor.
If you stick to americanos, espressos or cold coffees you can skip this section. But keep reading if you enjoy beverages with steamed, or even simply warmed, milk.
The Barista Touch offers automatic steaming. You can move the automatic steam wand up or down, but not otherwise rotate it. This lack of rotation makes manual steaming on the Barista Touch basically impossible.
The Barista Pro requires manual milk steaming. On this machine, the steam wand operates on a ball joint. This feature allows you to rotate the wand as needed to get that perfect froth angle. This gives you more control over milk texture and milk temperature.
You can create latte art using milk steamed automatically or manually. But even a tulip with perfect petals will only taste as good as the milk itself. And since milk is a latte’s largest ingredient, you want to get that right.
Not confident in your coffee-making abilities? The Barista Touch will provide consistently tasty results without the learning curve.
But if you’re not worried about the learning curve and want more control, go for the Barista Pro.
First, let’s remember that value does not always equate directly to price.
But if price is your primary concern, the Barista Pro will cost about $850. The Barista Touch is about $1,100. (You can find cheaper options. These prices reflect what’s listed on Breville’s website.)
This difference isn’t insignificant for those of us on a budget. But don’t let upfront costs get in the way of buying the perfect coffee machine.
Think of it this way: $200 would barely buy you 50 lattes. So if you’re sipping that milky goodness every day, you’ll make up the extra cost for a Barista Touch in under two months.
I’m not trying to upsell you. (I’ll defend my much-cheaper AeroPress to the last drop.) Just trying to offer some perspective for my fellow bean counters.
This evaluation comes down, in some part, to personal preference.
Both the Pro and the Touch include a built in grinder. I really appreciate this feature considering the amount of times I have scattered fresh coffee grounds across my entire kitchen. (A drip tray also helps catch espresso mess.)
But mess isn’t the only consideration when appreciating the burr grinder. These two machines both let you adjust grind size. Properly ground coffee can offer huge advantages in taste. And with 30 available grind sizes, you won’t be sacrificing flavor for ease of use.
The Barista Touch features an automatic milk steamer. This component allows for hands-free frothing. Plus, you can save time adjusting levels by pre-programming your eight coffee drinks.
Elegant brushed stainless steel exteriors not your aesthetic? No problem.
In addition to brushed or black stainless steel, you can buy the Barista Touch in a variety of colors: Damson Blue, Black Truffle, Brushed Stainless Steel, or Black Stainless Steel.
The Barista Pro actually adds to these color options. You can purchase this product in extra colors like Oyster Shell, Sea Salt, Royal Champagne, Smoked Hickory, or Red Velvet Cake.
The steam wand on the Barista Pro contains a rubber loop to protect your fingers. I really appreciate this feature considering the number of times I’ve burnt my fingers adjusting a steam wand.
Both the Barista Pro and the Touch feature a drip tray alert. This feature is great because it notifies you when you need to empty your drip tray.
Which Is For You?
Unfortunately, there’s not a clear winner when comparing Pro vs. Touch. The flip side to this dilemma?
Either mid-range machine will produce high-quality espresso for coffee enthusiasts. So you’re not going to make ‘the wrong’ choice.
Don’t Get Either Of These Brewers If…
You Simply Want a Statement Piece
If reading about grind size or a thermojet heating system makes your eyes glaze over…. maybe you don’t need to buy an expensive semi automatic espresso machine.
Listen, you don’t have to sell me on the inherent beauty of an espresso machine. So I won’t judge you if you’re primarily interested in purchasing a feature piece for your kitchen.
Yes, you can buy more expensive espresso machines than the Breville Barista Pro or the Barista Touch.
But you can also purchase cheaper options that will achieve your aesthetic needs. If a basic matte black bores you, check out the Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine by Swan Nordic.
This machine lacks an in-built grinder, and I can’t speak to its extracting abilities. But it is absolutely adorable, under $200, and available in many beautiful colors.
You Make a Large Amount of Milky Drinks
Both the Pro and the Touch operate on single boilers. This means you can’t pull espresso and steam milk simultaneously.
Maybe you’re a bookshop with a secret coffee corner or an office filled with aficionados. Do you need to produce milky drinks in rapid succession? If so, you’ll want to look at espresso machines with a double boiler.
Want to stick with a Breville espresso machine? Check out the Breville Dual Boiler. It’s nearly double the price of the Pro, but worth it if the machine is going to be used continuously.
You Don’t Drink Milky Espresso Drinks Often
It can be easy to get caught up in the bells and whistles of espresso machines.
Take a look at your coffee-drinking habits. Do you make milky drinks on a regular basis? Or are you drinking black americanos three times a day?
Die-hards might disagree with me. But I don’t think you need an espresso machine to produce excellent coffee.
Do you start your days with a succession of americanos?
The AeroPress is a much cheaper option that will meet your coffee strength needs. Then, you can spend those extra dollars on quality coffee beans (and a good burr grinder if you don’t have one of those).
The Final Verdict: Breville Barista Pro VS Breville Barista Touch
Barista Pro is best for people who want classic coffee control. A manual steam wand lets you manipulate milk for latte art. Physical buttons let you program coffee even when your hands are covered in frothy milk.
Barista Touch is best for people who prefer convenience. The Touch offers pre-programmed drinks, from flat white to espresso shots. Plus, its advanced display stores eight coffee customizations.
No matter which of these two machines you choose, Breville espresso machines produce excellent at-home coffee.
Ready to brew? Click to boxes above to compare the Barista Pro VS the Barista Touch for yourself.