Third-wave espresso machines are the latest and greatest in espresso technology. They are designed to provide cafe-quality espresso that is both flavorful and full-bodied.
These machines feature advanced technology for precise temperature control, shot timing, and optimal extraction.
Additionally, they have higher pressure limits than traditional machines, providing a more intense extraction.
With the added features, third-wave espresso machines allow baristas to craft the perfect cup of espresso every time.
Breville is a well-known name in the espresso machine world, and their Infuser and Barista Express models are great options for creating third-wave specialty espresso drinks from the comfort of your own home.
The Infuser offers a pressure gauge, Thermo coil heating element, and PID temperature controller for optimal flavor in every cup.
At the same time, the Barista Express has a built-in grinder and a single boiler.
Both models are semi-automatic and easy to use, allowing you to enjoy your own espresso journey with various features.
With their quality and features, the Breville Infuser and Barista Express offer a great way to make cafe-style espresso drinks at home.
The main difference between the Breville Infuser and Barista Express is that the Barista Express comes with an integrated bean grinder, while the Infuser does not.
The integrated bean grinder on the Barista Express features stainless steel conical burrs for precise grinding and dosing directly into the filter basket and allows for 16 adjustments from fine to coarse to cover off most types of beans and drinks.
The other notable difference is that the Barista Express also costs around $100 more than the Breville Infuser, but is the $100 additional charge for the built-in grinder worth the money to you?
Let’s compare both of them and find out!
This article will compare the Breville Infuser vs. Barista Express in a detailed comparison to help you decide the better choice for your needs!
The Breville Infuser is an affordable semi-automatic espresso machine that provides a café experience from the comfort of your home.
It is a simple and inexpensive machine, yet it can still make high-quality coffeehouse-style espresso.
The Infuser has automatic and manual capabilities that quickly help you master your barista skills. It is perfect for individuals just starting out in the espresso world.
A great perk about this popular home espresso machine is that it provides some of the same capabilities as more costly coffee makers.
As the name suggests, the Breville Infuser features a pre-infusion function that allows you to adjust the amount of pressure used to extract espresso.
This function is designed to ensure an even extraction and help bring out more flavor from the coffee.
The Breville Infuser is an incredible espresso machine, thanks to its built-in PID temperature control technology.
This technology allows users to precisely monitor and adjust the boiler temperature in four-degree increments.
This ensures that the espresso is brewed at the perfect temperature for maximum flavor potential.
Additionally, the pressure gauge guides users to the optimal pressure setting.
Furthermore, the Hot Water Steam setting can be set to 202 degrees to ensure that the espresso is brewed at the desired temperature.
The Breville Infuser is an excellent option for espresso lovers who want the most flavor out of their coffee because of its precise PID controller.
Low-pressure espresso, usually between seven and eleven bars, results in a smoother, sweeter flavor. On the other hand, high-pressure espresso is more intense and often bitter.
Its volumetric controls offer users a tremendous amount of control over their drinks.
These controls allow users to quickly select between a single shot (30 milliliters) or a double shot (60 milliliters) of espresso, both pre-programmed into the machine.
This means you can create a perfectly balanced cup of espresso every time with a push of a button.
The Breville Infuser has a manual steam wand that offers 360-degree rotation and a control knob on the side.
Additionally, it has a 360-degree swivel-action steam wand made of stainless steel, which is ideal for frothing milk and making delicious espresso.
Overall, the steam wand on the Breville Infuser provides an impressive range of features to satisfy any coffee lover.
It has an automatic self-cleaning function that modifies the temperature of the water after steam for the best espresso extraction temperature.
Additionally, the infuser wand can be used as a hot water outlet for preheating cups or making an Americano.
The Breville Infuser is a well-built and attractive machine that will look great in any kitchen.
It has a sleek and modern design, with a stainless steel housing that gives it a sophisticated look.
The housing is made of plastic hidden by brushed stainless steel, giving it a sturdy and durable feel.
The machine is also remarkably compact, making it an ideal choice for those with limited counter space and weighing only 17 pounds. It comes in two color options: Black Sesame and Cranberry Red.
The Breville Barista Express features a built-in grinder, allowing you to get the freshest beans for your espresso.
It is designed to reduce heat transfer, which preserves the flavor and aroma of your beans.
The grinder is adjustable, allowing you to choose the right grind size and texture for the espresso.
The grinder also features a magnetic tamper, making it easy to pack the right amount of coffee into the Portafilter. The bean hopper also holds up to 8.1 ounces capacity.
Another thing to mention is that the grinder is made from stainless steel conical burrs and features 16 levels of fineness, giving you more than enough customizability.
Adding a built-in grinder is one of the main factors that differentiate the Breville Barista Express from the Infuser.
In addition to the built-in grinder, the Breville Barista Express is equipped with various intuitively placed buttons to make brewing a great cup of espresso as easy as possible.
There are two dials, one for selecting grind size and the other for controlling the amount of coffee in each shot.
The grinder dial ranges from 1-16, with 16 being the finest grind.
This makes it easy for users to find the perfect grinding level for their espresso beans, ensuring the best flavor and texture in each shot.
Adding a built-in grinder saves you a bit as you won’t need to spend additional money buying a separate grinder.
A coffee machine with a built-in grinder is a great way to ensure your espresso is made with the freshest beans possible.
It is essential to use quality beans when opting for a grinder-equipped coffee maker.
Quality beans will deliver the most flavor and aroma when ground, and grinders with adjustable settings can be used to achieve the desired grind size.
Freshly ground beans ensure that the espresso has maximum flavor, and the built-in grinder eliminates the need to store pre-ground coffee and risk degraded flavor.
However, just like the Infuser, the Barista is more than just a coffee grinder; similar to the Infuser, it features a PID (Proportional Integral Derivative) temperature control system that allows for precise control of the brewing temperature.
This allows for optimal extraction of the flavors and aromas of the coffee, ensuring that each cup is as flavorful and aromatic as possible.
The PID also improves the consistency of the espresso shots from cup to cup, providing a consistent flavor experience each time and helping to ensure that the temperature of the espresso remains constant, even when brewing multiple shots in succession.
The Breville Barista Express is equipped with a removable water tank with a capacity of 67 ounces, allowing users to make multiple drinks without needing to refill the tank.
This espresso machine has a high-pressure pump reaching up to 15 bars of pressure, providing the ideal espresso extraction.
Another similarity to the Infuser is that it is equipped with pre-infusion technology, allowing the user to soak the coffee grounds for up to 10 seconds before brewing.
This pre-infusion process helps to ensure a more even extraction, resulting in a richer and more flavorful cup of espresso.
Additionally, the machine has automatic pre-infusion, which wets the coffee grounds and gradually builds up to full brewing pressure for a deeper and more aromatic extraction.
The shot control settings also let you precisely control the amount of water in one or two shots.
Breville Infuser vs. Barista Express: Key Similarities
The Breville Infuser and Barista Express are part of the Barista Series that offers all the tools needed to make great-tasting espresso.
The 4 key formula combines the right dose of freshly ground beans, the right water temperature, optimal water pressure, and precise timing.
This allows the coffee to fully express its flavor and complexity, delivering barista-quality performance with every espresso shot.
This section will cover a few more similarities between the Breville Infuser and Barista Express.
The Breville 54mm Portafilter is a must-have for any home barista looking to improve their coffee-making skills.
This Portafilter is compatible with Breville’s Barista Express and Infuser espresso machines and is the perfect tool for a delicious cup of coffee.
The portafilter assembly has an upgraded tamper and distributor, allowing for precise coffee extraction.
Another similarity between these machines is they both come with pre-infusion.
Breville machines have a pre-infusion function that evenly distributes the freshly ground coffee and gradually ramps up the brewing pressure for better extraction and more aromatic espresso.
It is activated by opening a valve, allowing for a continuous flow of low-pressure water to gently wet and expand the coffee puck in the Portafilter before extraction.
Some machines, like the Breville Barista Express and Pro, have a pre-infusion mode that allows users to soak the coffee grounds for up to 10 seconds before extraction.
Additionally, the Breville Infuser has a pre-infusion feature that can be adjusted to the user’s preferences.
In addition, the Breville Infuser and Barista Express both feature thermocoil heating systems, which provide optimal espresso flavor in every cup.
Single And Dual-Wall Filter Baskets
The Infuser and the Barista Express both come with a single-wall filter basket for freshly ground coffee and a dual-wall basket for pre-ground coffee.
Single wall baskets are a type of filter basket found in posh coffee machines.
They are great for freshly ground coffee because they provide greater control over the extraction process, allowing more of the oils and aromas of the coffee to be released due to its larger surface area.
These baskets only have one wall and multiple holes, allowing the coffee puck to build pressure for consistent extraction.
Single wall filters accept 7-12 grams of ground coffee and require a good puck for the best extraction.
Dual-wall filter baskets have an outer wall around the inner wall and are designed to be used with pre-ground coffee.
This is because the pressurized nature of the basket creates a false bottom, thus allowing the water to remain in contact with the ground coffee for a more extended period, producing a richer and more consistent flavor.
Coffee lovers will know that different coffee beans require different water temperatures to achieve optimal extraction.
Breville has considered this when manufacturing the Infuser and Express coffee machines.
The Breville Infuser and Barista Express offer adjustable temperature settings, allowing you to get the perfect water temperature for espresso—between 195-205°F.
In addition, their advanced temperature mode enables you to adjust the water temperature by 4 F increments at a time, allowing you a bit of flexibility.
Milk Frothing Wand
The Breville Infuser and Barista Express come with a high-quality milk frothing wand to make your coffee-making experience as smooth as possible.
The wand is easy to use and can adjust the milk’s temperature and texture, making it simple to create microfoam for cappuccinos, lattes, and other specialty drinks.
On top of this, the steam wand is detachable, making it easier to clean.
Hot Water Dispenser
The Breville Infuser and Barista Express offer a hot water dispenser, perfect for making Americanos, tea, and hot chocolate.
This also saves cost, as you won’t need to buy a kettle or tea strainer.
Both models feature pre-infusion and a pressure gauge, making it easier to monitor the pressure during extraction and allowing you to make a tastier espresso.
The pressure gauge allows you to adjust the grind size and pre-infusion settings to get the perfect cup of coffee.
Programmability is another crucial similarity between the Breville Infuser and Barista Express.
Both machines offer programmability, allowing you to customize the settings to create your perfect cup of espresso.
With programmability, you can adjust the strength, temperature, and other settings to ensure you get the flavor you desire.
In addition to the key features mentioned above, the Breville Infuser and Barista Express include the following additional features:
Key Features of the Breville Barista Express:
- Both are easy to use
- Stylish design with high-quality stainless steel build
- 15 bar pressure pump
- Semi-automatic functionality
- Buttons and dials
- Large water tanks with replaceable filters
- 2 cup function
Along with the features mentioned above, both machines also come with the following accessories:
- User Manual
- Coffee scoop
- Water filter holder
- Stainless steel jug
- Cleaning supplies
- Filter baskets
- Integrated tamper
- Trimming tool
Breville Infuser vs. Barista Express: Key Differences
Now that we’ve gone over their similarities.
Let’s now look at some design, specifications, and feature differences.
If you’re torn between the Breville Infuser vs. Barista Express, this section might help you make up your mind.
The Barista Express offers a better espresso flavor than the Breville Infuser.
It has a pre-infusion technology that slowly heats up the water for better extraction, creating a denser and more flavorful body of espresso.
Additionally, the dose-control grinding and PID digital temperature help to further enhance its flavor.
The Infuser does have pre-infusion technology but does not have the same programmable features as the Barista Express.
This makes it less capable of producing high-quality espresso with a great flavor.
The magnetic tamper of the Barista Express ensures that you won’t over-extract the grounds by brewing directly into the Portafilter.
The Breville Infuser and Barista Express differ significantly in their integrated grinder.
The Barista Express has an integrated grinder made of stainless steel conical burrs that grind and feed beans directly into the filter basket.
This feature is unavailable on the Breville Infuser, making the Barista Express a more customizable and advanced espresso machine.
Additionally, the Barista Express features a built-in, conical burr grinder with 16 settings, giving users more control over the strength and flavor of their espresso.
The Breville Infuser, on the other hand, requires a dedicated coffee grinder to be used separately.
Size And Dimensions
The Breville Infuser espresso machine is smaller than the Barista Express, measuring 17 pounds and 23 pounds in weight, respectively.
The Infuser also has a more compact 61-ounce tank than the Barista Express’s larger water tank capacity of 67 ounces.
In terms of size, the Infuser is 51mm shorter, 33mm narrower, and has a 23.59% lower body volume than the Barista Express.
Although the Barista Express is slightly taller due to its protruding bean hopper and built-in grinder, the Infuser is still the better choice if compactness is your main priority.
The Breville Infuser is a more affordable option when compared to the Breville Barista Express.
The Infuser has a more accessible price tag, while the Barista Express is slightly more expensive due to its built-in bean grinder.
Nonetheless, both machines are high-quality and long-lasting espresso machines that can provide a great cafe experience from home.
The Barista Express has a price tag of around $600, while the Infuser is considerably cheaper with a price tag that is usually around $100 less.
Here are some of the key reasons you may want to spend the additional $100 to get the Barista Express:
- The Barista Express has an integrated bean grinder that the Infuser lacks, eliminating the need to buy a separate grinder and giving you the freshest possible coffee.
- The Barista Express has 16 grind settings, so you can find the perfect setting for your type of coffee and preferred drink.
- You don’t own a grinder and don’t have the space for a grinder and coffee maker together, so you need a machine that does both
- If the grinder needs repairing, you don’t mind sending the whole unit for servicing.
Breville Infuser vs. Barista Express: The Verdict
Now that you are fully informed about these coffee makers, let’s quickly go over which grinder is best suited to which type of person.
In this section, we give you our verdict on this Breville Infuser vs. Barista Express comparison and which machine is better suited to which type of consumer.
Who Should Choose The Breville Infuser?
The Breville Infuser is perfect for those looking to flex their barista skills and enjoy the craft espresso experience in their home.
The Infuser offers features that rival more expensive machines, such as a pre-infusion function to extract maximum flavor from coffee grounds and a pressure gauge to monitor the water pressure delivered to the Portafilter during extraction.
It also has automated convenience with programmable water volume settings for one and two shots and a commercial-grade steam wand for microform.
With its compact size, rugged stainless steel construction, and available finishes in brushed stainless steel, cranberry red, or black, the Breville Infuser is the perfect choice for anyone looking to enjoy craft espresso in the comfort of their own home.
The Breville Infuser does not have a built-in grinder.
Users must purchase their own grinder to manually grind their beans before brewing.
If you don’t require the built-in grinder functionality, then the Breville Infuser is a great option.
Who Should Choose The Barista Express?
The Breville Barista Express is best suited for espresso lovers looking for a high-quality, semi-automatic machine with an integrated bean grinder.
The built-in grinder allows you to get the freshest coffee possible and eliminates the need for storing ground coffee and suffering from a degraded flavor.
The Barista Express also features pre-infusion for optimal flavor extraction, a steam wand for creating art-worthy microfoam, and a hot water dispenser for crafting tall drinks and warming cups.
The Barista Express is excellent for those looking for a more complex espresso-making experience.
With its built-in bean grinder, you get the authentic bean-to-cup experience that you don’t get with the Infuser.
The Barista Express also gives you the convenience of grinding your own beans and the precision of dose-controlled grinding.
This makes it perfect for those who want to perfect their espresso-making skills and create cafe-quality drinks at home.
We hope you enjoyed this Breville Infuser vs. Barista Express comparison and please do let us know if you have any questions!