How Breville Can Improve the Barista Express
The Barista Express steam control is an all or nothing affair. The Barista Express is a good machine for steaming milk, but it has also been surpassed by machines like the Bambino Plus, the Barista Pro and Barista Touch. I […]
The Barista Express is a good machine for steaming milk, but it has also been surpassed by machines like the Bambino Plus, the Barista Pro and Barista Touch.
I would still keep the Barista Express 2.0’s steam system more on the analog side (no auto steaming). It could be even quicker to transition, and have a better way to avoid all the extra liquid water it introduces to the steam pitcher at the start of steaming. If Breville can find a way to make the steam output controllable, from a scant puff to full on steaming via an adjustable knob, that would be better still.
The boiler system in the Barista Express is fantastic. Very fast to heat up. Even faster to transition to steam from brew. Equally faster to transition back to brew from steaming. I wouldn’t change it at all, and certainly would not put Breville’s “instant on” system from the Bambino Plus and Barista Touch into it.
Breville has to figure out a way to heat up the grouphead and portafilter in their new nearly tankless “instant on” thermoblock systems. If they can get it so the grouphead is nice and sizzling hot within 2 minutes of the machine being turned on, then by all means bring this instant-on system to the Barista Express 2.0. But for now, I like the brew boiler.
The Barista Express from Breville is a fantastic machine we’ve been recommending at CoffeeGeek for nearly 10 years. It still is a fantastic machine and an awesome value to this day. But it is showing its age. Breville does have more advanced technology in the other Barista machines, and the Express is meant to be their entry into super high end home espresso; it should stay that way.
That means no fancy drink builds, or advanced shot timers and volumetric volume output counters on an OLED touch screen up top. No automated frothing systems either.
What made the Express so good is it was not only class leading when it was introduced, but had a range of unique, high end features no other machine had. For the Barista Express 2.0, Breville should go the same route. Build a “entry point into high end espresso in the home”, but offer new cutting edge features not seen on other machines in its class or price range.
Barista lights, an analog shot timer, a WDT device included, volumetric controls for the shot buttons, and maybe even a tighter ability to program the brewing temperatures and preinfusion modes would further set this class leader apart from the crowd.
These things could take the Barista Express well into the 2030s.