Breville BES878BSS Barista Pro Espresso Maker Reviews

We were extremely excited about this Breville Barista Pro review. Breville Barista Pro espresso machine is an upgrade to the popular Barista Express. Breville Barista Pro comes with a couple of improvements: faster water heating technology (3 seconds), more efficient steam pressure (45 seconds to froth), a more intuitive interface, and a more robust in-built grinder.

The machine is typical $200-$300 more expensive than Barista Express. While some users may say the machine is too expensive, we believe that sophisticated coffee lovers or coffee connoisseurs could truly appreciate what this machine has to offer.

This product can be perfect for

High-end quality, perfect espresso-based beverages. Great for sophisticated coffee lovers!

Breville BES878BSS Barista Pro Espresso Maker


  • Modern, sturdy, stainless-steel design
  • 3-way solenoid valve for convenience
  • Fast with 3-second start-up
  • Strong heating system (ThermoJet) & consistency (PID)
  • High-pressure steam wand


  • The shared drip tray can be messy
  • Requires regular clean-ups to maintain looks
  • Needs some time to learn
  • Can be heavy, large and expensive

Why choose Breville Barista Pro over others?

What we would like to emphasize in our Breville Barista Pro review is that the machine is an amazing entry-level semi-automatic espresso machine. It brews coffee shop-quality espresso shots. The digital temperature control function (PID) controls the temperature of the water going through the group head.

The PID in an espresso machine allows you to keep brewing temperatures at constant, perfect temperatures to brew creamy, great quality espresso.

The integrated burr grinder with the dose control function grinds the beans on-demand and saves me the trouble of buying a separate grinder.

While preparing this Breville Barista Pro espresso machine review, we found that Barista Pro is an upgrade to the popular Breville Barista Express (BES870XL) model. There are several differences between Breville Barista Pro and Breville Barista Express:

  • Faster water heating technology. Breville Barista Pro is ready to brew in 3 seconds, while Breville Barista Express takes about 30 seconds. Still, in both cases, it is better to allow the machine to heat up water for 10-15 minutes.
  •  Improved steam pressure. Breville Barista Pro takes about 45 seconds to froth a whole cup of milk. In contrast, Barista Express needs about 60 seconds. In both instances, the machines perform more poorly than heat exchange-based espresso machines.
  • More intuitive interface with easy-to-use controls. Barista Pro introduces an intuitive interface — a cleaner, minimalist control panel that has fewer buttons than the Barista Express has. Further, it comes with an LCD screen that makes the functions of the machine much easier to navigate.
  • More robust grinding options for increased flexibility. Barista Pro comes with a wider selection range of grind sizes than the Barista Express. While the Barista Express has a range of 18 sizes, the Barista Pro has 30.

Who is Breville Barista Pro perfect for?

As we were testing the product for this Breville Barista Pro review, we wanted to see who this machine can be a compelling choice for.

First, we feel that Breville Barista Pro may be appealing for individuals who want the machine to grow with them. The machine can be a great investment for beginners and intermediate users. Breville Barista Pro Espresso Machine has a lot to offer, so even intermediate and more advanced users will have a lot to do!

Second, this espresso machine might be the right fit for coffee connoisseurs. The machine is expensive, but it brews high-quality coffee.

We feel that Breville Barista Pro can be perfect for those who are looking for an espresso machine that has any or all of the following characteristics:

✓ Easier and more convenient espresso brewing (with fewer things to control)

✓ Sleek and modern design

✓ Brews delicious & high-end espresso

✓ Comes with an integrated coffee grinder with 30 grind sizes

✓ Powerful heating for creamy and rich foam

Who is Breville Barista Pro NOT perfect for?

Just like with other coffee maker reviews, we would like to remain honest in the Breville Barista Pro review.

While the machine delivers perfectly great coffee, we feel that coffee lovers with more nuanced and sophisticated tastes will find the machine to be lacking.

Breville Barista Pro comes with a VERY large price tag. It typically sells for under $1,000, often hovering around $900. However, the price point is understandable given the features that it comes with. The machine is super high quality and comes with features that contribute to high-quality coffee beverages. The PID technology, a ThermoJet heating system, a 3-way solenoid valve, and a high grade steaming wand are expensive parts to incorporate in an espresso machine.

Here are some examples of users that may find Breville Barista Pro to be unsuitable:

✗ Low budget or small space (or both)

✗ Lightweight appliance

✗ Experienced users who would like a much more advanced and complex espresso machine

✗ Sophisticated users with the need for a powerful and advanced machine for the absolutely perfect coffee

Breville Barista Pro Review and Evaluation

→ Appearance

Breville Barista Pro continues to amaze coffee lovers with its elegant exterior and intuitive design. The espresso machine is available in 3 different color options (and we love stainless steel). The machine is sophisticated but can fit into a variety of different styles. We love the accentuated coffee grinder on the top of the machine.

If you are looking for contemporary yet versatile elegance, you may discover it in this Breville Barista Pro review.

Breville Barista Pro espresso machine appears very attractive with its clean and uncluttered look. Its exterior is shinier and more polished than that of the Barista Express. Breville Barista Pro is typically available in 3 different color designs:

  • Stainless Steel,
  • Black Truffle, and
  • Sea Salt.

For this Breville Barista espresso machine review, we have tested the stainless steel version.

The portafilter, the steamer, and the control panel are all located on the front of the machine. The machine has a modern-looking control panel with an LCD screen. Unlike Breville Barista Express, Breville Barista Pro does not have a pressure gauge in the front.

The burr grinder is located on top of the machine and the knob that selects the grind size is located on the side of the machine.

The water tank is at the back of the machine. Despite the location, it is easily accessible. We were able to remove it by pulling the handle upwards.

Last but not least, the Barista Pro is sturdy and it is made mostly of solid stainless steel. Therefore, with a weight of about 20 pounds, the machine can be a bit heavy.

→ Features and technical specs

Just like Breville Barista Express, Breville Barista Pro comes with an impressive number of features and technical specifications. Therefore, the machine can be an interesting choice for serious coffee enthusiasts. The machine comes with all the tools and accessories I might need (cleaning kit, filter baskets, water filter), it has a pretty good grinder, a magnetic tamper head, and is even sold with its own milk frothing pitcher.

Voltage: Breville Barista Pro is made for 120V, and can be used in Canada and the US only. However, because this machine is available internationally, there are models available for 220V-250V in the European and Asian markets. If you purchase this machine in the US or Canada, it will likely be compatible only with 120V.

Basket size:  The size of the coffee basket in Breville Barista Pro is 54 mm, and the machine comes with two pressurized and two unpressurized baskets (single and double dose).

Beverage size: Breville Barista Pro brews 1 shot and 2 shot espressos with the help of the volumetric control feature. The pre-set volumes are of about 30 ml (1 oz) for one shot and 60 ml (2 oz) for 2 shots. However, although the machine has pre-set 1 and 2 cup volumes, it is also possible to over-ride the pre-settings manually or program my own shot volumes.

Weight: Breville Barista Pro weighs about 20 pounds, which makes it a bit heavy to handle. It is not the type of coffee machine to move around too often.

Unit size: With a size of 13.77 x 16.14 x 16.14 inches, the Breville Barista Pro is quite large (a bit larger than the Barista Express).

Water reservoir: Breville Barista Pro has a 67oz removable water reservoir. We found it in the back of the machine. The water tank has a handle, which makes it easy to pull up for cleaning or refilling. The tank comes also with a replaceable water filter. The water tank can burn if you’ll use the machine while there is no water in it, so remember to refill it regularly

Additional perks: What we would like to emphasize in this Breville Barista Pro review is that the machine comes with an unparalleled amount of features to brew better coffee. Further, it upgrades certain features from Breville Barista Express, which makes it a more convenient and faster espresso machine.

In my opinion, there are a couple of features that make this espresso machine very attractive. They are as follows:

✓ Breville Barista Pro comes with a 3-way solenoid valve for better coffee results and cleaning convenience. The three-way solenoid valve is typically present in commercial machines. Its function is to relieve pressure off the coffee for a dry, easily discarded puck.

✓ Breville Barista Pro features a ThermoJet heating system for faster results. This innovative heating system achieves the optimum extraction temperature in 3 seconds with an instantaneous transition from espresso to steam. This is something that can usually be achieved only by espresso machines that use a double boiler heater, so it makes the Barista Pro quite impressive. This means that we can always brew the best coffee, faster.

Control over brew temperature (PID) for more consistent temperatures, and thus more evenly extracted (and better) coffee. The PID delivers water at the right temperature, ensuring optimal espresso extraction. Low-pressure pre-infusion gradually increases pressure at the start of the brew and ensures that all the flavors are drawn out evenly during the extraction for a balanced tasting cup.

✓ Microfoam texturing for perfect milk froth. The powerful steam wand performs at the level that allows us to achieve texture micro-foam milk. It, therefore, enhances the flavor of the espresso and enables the creation of latté art.

✓ In-built grinder with more flexibility and variety for any coffee. With a single touch, the integrated conical burr grinder with dose control delivers the right amount of coffee on demand, for maximum flavor. The grind size and dose are both adjustable. The Barista Pro comes with a range of 30 grind sizes to choose from.

✓ Hot water dispenser for tea, americano, and pre-heating. Breville Barista Pro comes with a dedicated hot water dispenser for tea, americano, and pre-heating. This is designed to direct the water directly in the cup, without having to move the cup from under the portafilter

In addition to the larger features that we mentioned above, Breville Barista Pro came with several other items for this review:

  • Single and dual wall baskets (1 and 2 shots)
  • Filter baskets
  • Integrated magnetic tamper
  • The Razor™ — precision dose trimming tool
  • 16oz stainless steel milk jug
  • Cleaning kit
  • Water filter

→ Performance

We were so pumped for the Breville Barista Pro. The machine delivers delicious, rich, and flavorful espresso (and other espresso-based coffee drinks). Further, the machine delivers coffee quickly and effortlessly, always fresh and aromatic. Breville Barista Pro requires regular cleaning after each brewing.

Brewing time: Thanks to the ThermoJet heating system, the machine is ready to brew in 3 seconds. This significantly shortens the time to brew coffee. However, we still recommend leaving the machine on for 5-10 minutes before brewing. This ensures more evenness in brewing temperatures.

The actual brewing time depends on whether I selected one shot or two shots. Either way, the brewing time is very short, and the espresso is ready in 15-20 seconds.

Flavor: No matter the cup size, expect rich, flavorful coffee. Both the Barista Express and the Barista Pro espresso machines deliver high-quality espresso thanks to the PID technology (digital temperature control). The steam wand creates smooth, creamy micro-foam that blends perfectly with the coffee, enhancing its taste.

Temperature: Digital temperature control (PID) delivers water at precisely the right temperature, ensuring optimal espresso extraction. Digital temperature control (PID) technology detects and minimizes any fluctuation during extraction, ensuring the temperature is kept at its optimum range, every time.

Milk frother: The 360 degrees swivel action steam wand delivers beautiful, rich milk micro-foam that adds an extra layer of delicious taste to the coffee. The Barista Pro comes with an improved steam wand that applies increased steam pressure on the milk, which shortens the frothing time for one cup of milk from around 60 seconds (with the barista Express) to about 45 seconds.

Pressure/pressure gauge: Breville Barista Pro works on a low-pressure pre-infusion, and on a 9 bar extraction pressure, which delivers rich and creamy coffee in every cup. The pre-infusion soaks the ground coffee and helps it expand for amazing espresso results.

Noise levels: The machine makes a buzzing sound specific to espresso machines while brewing. This noise, as well as the noise of the grinder, can be considered a bit high by some people, but the noise levels are lower in the Barista Pro comparing to the Barista Express.

Cleaning: The Barista Express model features a “Clean me” light that illuminates whenever the machine needs cleaning. The Barista Pro, however, has two types of cleaning: the descaling and the flush cleaning.

When the machine requires a flush cleaning cycle, the LCD will display a FLUSH alert. When that happens, we need to insert a cleaning disk with a cleaning tablet on top of it in the filter inside the portafilter and run a 1 cup brewing cycle following the instructions described in the machine’s care manual.

After regular use, hard water can cause mineral build-up in and on many of the inner functioning components, reducing the brewing flow, brewing temperature, power of the machine, and the taste of the espresso. The LCD will display a DESCALE alert when a descaling cycle is required. Descaling should be done by using the recommended descaling agent only.

Apart from that, the exterior of the machine should be cleaned regularly with a clean wet cloth, and the steam wand should be cleaned and purged after each use in order to avoid clogging. The water tank, the portafilter, the filter baskets, the milk jug, and the drip tray can be cleaned using warm water and a gentle dishwashing liquid.

Customer-reported technical issues

We did not experience any mishaps or defects for this Breville Barista Pro review. Likewise, the vast majority of users report awesome experience with the espresso machine.

There are very few users who reported problems. It appears that the brewing temperature was the most consistently re-appearing problem.

Make sure that you purchase your Breville Barista Pro from an authorized seller. If you do so, you will be able to reach out to Breville for a warranty resolution.

→ Health and safety

The machine is made mainly of stainless steel. There are very few (if any) plastic parts that come in contact with hot water.

Breville Barista Pro has a solid stainless steel body with a few plastic parts (like the burr of the grinder, the water tank, the top and the bottom of the machine).

The manufacturer claims that the machine is BPA free and that all the parts that come into contact with coffee and water are BPA free.

However, as you might be aware by now, we are particularly concerned about coffee makers and espresso machines where the plastic comes in contact with hot water. Though the machine may be BPA-free, there are other potentially toxic plastics that may or may not be used in the manufacturing process.

→ Price to value: is Breville Barista Pro worth the money?

We love Breville Barista Pro. The price tag is expensive (typically under $1,000), and we find the value in the added benefits. The machine offers super-fast heating, PID technology for more even extraction, canonical burr grinder, and increased steam pressure for delicious espresso drinks. However, at this price, we think only sophisticated and dedicated espresso lovers should consider getting this machine.

Breville Barista Pro comes at a high $$$$$ price tag, typically under $1,000. And, we believe that this machine offers a very strong price-to-value ratio.

The machine brews truly exceptional espresso. With all the in-built technology, such as a super-fast heating system, canonical burr grinder, low-pressure brewing, increased steam pressure, and PID, espresso is rich, creamy, and delicious.

Last but not least, we love that the machine is easy to use. With an intuitive LCD screen, the espresso maker is simple and easy.

With all these considerations, we really feel good about this espresso machine! We feel like it can be such a powerful machine that yields truly delicious coffee.

Should I buy the Breville Barista Pro espresso machine? Owly’s verdict!

Breville Barista Pro is not just a great machine to use. It is a great conversation starter!

The features of this machine are worthy of praise, and Breville machines proved themselves to be innovative as well as durable.

If you are an espresso lover or someone who cares about drinking quality coffee, investing in such a machine might be a good choice for you.

Of course, Barista Express is always a choice if you want to save $200 and buy a machine that is similar to the Barista Pro. The Barista Express may be an older model, and it may take a few more seconds to heat up, brew your coffee, and steam your milk, but the quality of the coffee is practically the same.

What do you think?

Do you like your Breville Barista Pro espresso machine? Did you enjoy our Breville Barista Pro review? Do you have any questions?

Let us know in the comments under our Breville Barista Pro review!

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