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Breville BES870XL vs BES878BSS: Which Breville Barista Espresso Machine is Better?

Are you contemplating which Breville Barista espresso machine you should pick between the Breville BES870XL Barista Express and Breville BES878BSS Barista Pro? I wrote this guide to help you with your decision about which espresso machine to choose. We will extensively compare the advantages and disadvantages of these espresso machines to determine which one is better. There are a lot of factors that can affect your decision. So, I will list down all the Breville BES870XL and BES878BSS similarities and differences that will certainly matter to you and your coffee experience. Note: the Breville BES870XL and BES870BSXL are identical espresso machines only of different colors.

The Barista BES870XL Express is considered the first espresso machine of home baristas due to its built-in burr grinder. Everyone loved the taste and aroma of the coffee that this espresso machine can produce. Then, Breville introduced the world to a newer espresso machine model – the Breville BES878BSS Barista Pro. This machine shares a lot of features with the Barista BES870XL Express but added some extra bells and whistles. Let’s jump into their comparison to find what these extra features are.

Breville BES870XL Barista Express vs Breville BES878BSS Barista Pro – Similarities

All specifications and features of the Breville Barista espresso machines are in the side by side chart.

Breville BES870XL vs BES878BSS Comparison Chart

Name

Breville BES870XL Barista Express

Breville BES878BSS Barista Pro

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Available Colors Brushed Stainless Steel, Cranberry Red, Black Sesame Brushed Stainless Steel, Black Truffle, Smoked Hickory, Sea Salt
Build and Materials Stainless Steel Stainless Steel
Interface Analog Gauge & Button Control Button Control & LCD screen
Pump Pressure 15 Bar of Pump Pressure 15 Bar of Pump Pressure
Bean Hopper Capacity 1/2 pounds 1/2 pounds
Water Tank Capacity 67 ounces 67 ounces
Heating System 1600 Watts Thermocoil ThermoJet Heating System
3-Second Heat Up No Yes
Boiler Type Single Boiler Single Boiler
Café-Quality Microfoam Yes Yes
Pre-infusion Function Yes Yes
Settings Single or Double Shots, Adjustable Grind Amount & Manual over-ride Adjustable Grind Control, Intuitive LCD Interface, 1 & 2 Cup Volumetric Control
Power 1600 W 1680 W
Product Dimensions (W x D x H) 12 x 11 x 13.5 inches 13 x 12 x 13 inches
Product Weight 23 pounds 20 pounds
Included Accessories Razor Dose Trimming Tool, 54mm Stainless Steel Portafilter, 1 cup & 2 cup Single & Dual Wall Filter Baskets, Coffee Scoop, Integrated Tamper,  Stainless Steel Milk Jug, Cleaning disc and tablets, Cleaning brush, tool, and Allen Key, Water Filter Holder and Water Filter Single & Dual Wall (1 & 2 Cup), Filter Baskets, Integrated Tamper, The Razor Precision Dose Trimming Tool, 480 ml Stainless Steel Milk Jug, Cleaning Kit, Water Filter
Warranty 1 Year Limited Product Warranty 2 Year Limited Product Warranty
Price Check Price on Amazon Check Price on Amazon

Are the Breville BES870XL Barista Express and Breville BES878BSS Barista Pro quality espresso machines?

Before we start with the technical similarities between the espresso machines the Breville BES870XL and Breville BES878BSS, we must mention the similarities in the high rating given to them by users as well as sites that have always rated these two Breville Barista espresso machines with very high ratings. We will only mention the most important:

  • The Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine (black color) is the Best Selling Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine on Amazon
  • The Business Insider ranked the Breville BES878BSS Barista Pro as the best all-in-one espresso machine
  • The Home Grounds ranked the Breville BES870XL Barista Express as the best espresso machine with grinder.
  • According to CNET the Breville BES870XL Barista Express is the best espresso machine for value

What are other similarities between Breville BES870XL and BES878BSS?

Build and Materials

Breville’s espresso machines are known for their high-quality build that you can trust to use for a long time. Both the Barista Express and Barista Pro are made out of stainless steel that does not only give it its structural rigidity but also a professional look to it. Both machines are also available in other colors if you don’t like the brushed stainless-steel look. Only the Barista Express has the more playful color of red (Cranberry Red, known as Breville BES870CBXL). 

Pump Pressure

Pump pressure of an espresso machine tells you how much flavor and aroma it can squeeze out of the ground coffee beans. The Breville BES870XL Barista Express and Breville BES878BSS Barista Pro have the same pump pressure of 15 bars. You may think that having a higher pump pressure than these machines will give you more flavor and aroma. However, this is far from the truth since having more pressure than 15 bars may make your coffee bitter. An espresso machine with 15-bar pump pressure is considered by many home baristas as the best pump pressure.

Water Tank and Bean Hopper Capacity

As mentioned earlier, both the Barista BES870XL and BES878BSS use a burr grinder to grind coffee beans from their hopper. Concerning their bean hopper, both espresso machines have a similar capacity of half a pound. This capacity will last you around 30 shots of espresso before needing to refill the hopper. Of course, this number depends on the coffee strength you choose. On the other hand, the water tanks of the Barista Express and Barista Pro are also identical with a capacity of 67 ounces. 

Also read: Calphalon Temp iQ vs Breville Bambino Plus: Which Espresso Machine is Better?

Differences between Breville BES870XL and BES878BSS

Digital vs Analog Displays

Although both Breville Espresso Machines have essentially the same functionalities, the way of interacting with these machines is different.

Breville BES870XL Barista Express

The Barista Express sports several buttons that correspond to different functions and an analog pressure gauge. When you look at these espresso machines side-by-side, both are fairly similar, but the Barista Express has more buttons placed on its interface. It may seem like the Barista Express has more functions due to this cluster of buttons, but it is not the case. It just makes the interface of the Barista Express more cluttered, in my opinion.

Breville BES878BSS Barista Pro

While the Barista Express has an analog gauge, the Barista Pro has a digital display. It features an LCD panel with a bright backlit. Its buttons are smaller, however, compared with the Breville Barista Express. While some enthusiasts prefer analog gauges, digital displays like on the Barista Pro is more consumer-friendly. One advantage of having a digital screen is the deep controls you get from it while having its interface not littered with unnecessary buttons.

The Winner Is Breville BES878BSS Barista Pro

 

Heating System

Looking at these espresso machines from afar, their difference in size, design, and interface is the first thing you will certainly notice. However, the most important parts of an espresso machine are in its internals.

ThermoJet heating system
Image Source: breville.com


Breville BES870XL Barista Express

Barista Express uses Breville’s Thermocoil heating system. It can heat the water to attain the perfect brewing temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit. It is a single boiler system, however. Therefore, heat up time may take you longer compared with the Barista Pro. You’d want to flip the switch on early and give it a minute (maybe two) for it to heat up properly.

Breville BES878BSS Barista Pro

The Barista Pro is also a single boiler machine. However, it uses Breville’s newer ThermoJet heating system instead. This newer technology can heat the machine in just 3 seconds after turning it on. Moreover, you can enjoy your shot of espresso in just 20 seconds. Therefore, if you are always in a hurry, the Breville BES878BSS Barista Pro is best suited for you. The heating system of the Barista Pro is undoubtedly the better one.

The Winner Is Breville BES878BSS Barista Pro

 

Included Accessories


An espresso machine cannot function properly without its supporting accessories. You may have these accessories. However, if you are a new home barista, having these accessories is certainly an advantage.

Breville Barista Express

The Breville Barista Express seems to have a wider selection of accessories included out of the box. The most important accessory, of course, is the portafilter with a single or double-wall filter basket. Moreover, it comes with the Razor dose trimmer tool and an integrated tamper that is used to level and compress the ground coffee. Creating milk-based coffees are also possible since the Barista Express includes stainless steel milk jug that you can froth milk with the steam wand. Additionally, it comes with a coffee scoop, a cleaning kit, and a water filter.

Breville Barista Pro

On the other hand, the Breville Barista Pro includes the necessary accessories like Barista Express. It has the filter baskets you can use with its portafilter. You can tamp and level the ground coffee with the Razor Precision Dose Trimming tool and the integrated tamper. A cleaning kit and water filter are also included out of the box. You can add a touch of milk froth on top of your coffee creations using the steam wand and the included 480-mL stainless steel milk jug.

The Winner Is- Breville Barista Express

 

Pros and Cons

The pros and cons of the Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine and the Breville BES878BSS Barista Pro Espresso Machine will help us to determine which is the better option.

Breville BES870XL Barista Express

Pros:
  • The Breville Barista Express is ideal for experienced home baristas since it has an analog pressure gauge.
  • Included accessories are plentiful considering the cheaper price the Barista Express has.
  • The quality of espresso shots you can produce with the Barista Express is on par with the newer and expensive Barista Pro.

 
Cons:

  • It is ironic how the Barista Express has slower heat up time, but it has the word ‘express’ in its name.

 

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Breville BES878BSS Barista Pro

Pros:
  • The Breville Barista Pro is perfect for people who are looking for their first espresso machine due to its easier interface.
  • Its heat up time takes only 3 seconds which is significantly faster than the Barista Express.
  • Breville gives you a longer limited warranty with the Barista Pro.

 
Cons:

  • All the additional features you get with the Breville Barista Pro will cost you more money.

 

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The Final Verdict

I strongly suggest getting the Breville BES878BSS Barista Pro since it will give you more features for the additional price. However, if you are just looking to get the best coffee experience for the price, then picking the Breville BES870XL Barista Express is the best way to go.


 

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    FAQ

    Do the espresso machines Breville BES870XL Barista Express and Breville BES878BSS Barista Pro make regular coffee?

    With the Breville BES870XL Barista Express and Breville BES878BSS Barista Pro espresso machines, it is not possible to make the regular coffee that drip coffee makers make.

    Where are the Breville BES870XL and BES878BSS espresso machines made?

    All Breville espresso machines are manufactured in China.

    What comes with Breville Barista Express?

    The Barista Express comes with Razor Dose Trimming Tool, 54mm Stainless Steel Portafilter, 1 cup & 2 cup Single & Dual Wall Filter Baskets, Coffee Scoop, Integrated Tamper,  Stainless Steel Milk Jug, Cleaning disc and tablets, Cleaning brush, tool, and Allen Key, Water Filter Holder and Water Filter.

    What comes with Breville Barista Pro?

    The Barista Pro comes with Single & Dual Wall (1 & 2 Cup), Filter Baskets, Integrated Tamper, The Razor Precision Dose Trimming Tool, 480 ml Stainless Steel Milk Jug, Cleaning Kit, Water Filter.

    What are the differences between Breville BES870XL and BES870BSXL?

    The Breville BES870BSXL differs from BES870XL in color. In the Breville BES870XL the color is stainless steel while the color BES870BSXL is black (black sesame). Also BES870BSXL is more expensive than BES870XL because of its more attractive appearance due to color. In terms of functionality, features and specifications there are no differences between the Breville BES870XL and the BES870BSXL.