Breville Barista Pro BES878 Review: Is This People’s Champion Truly Ironclad?

Breville Barista Pro BES878 Review

If you’re looking to step up your espresso game (or really just get into the game for the first time), then there are many ways to do it.

But honestly, the simplest is to roll with the People’s Champion of espresso machines!

Breville Barista Pro BES878
Overall
9.1/10
9.1/10
  • Performance - 9.4/10
    9.4/10
  • Ease of Use/Maintenance - 8.9/10
    8.9/10
  • Build & Quality - 9.2/10
    9.2/10
  • Design & Features - 8.8/10
    8.8/10
  • User Satisfaction - 9.2/10
    9.2/10

Final Verdict

The Breville Barista Pro is a semi automatic espresso machine that gives you everything you need to make rich creamy espresso beverages without being overly complex.

From the precision built in grinder with auto dosing to high end consistent temperature and pressure features, you know you’re getting a well refined full body extraction with crema. It’s easy to use, extremely durable and fair in its maintenance.

No it doesn’t make beverages from bean to cup automatically or execute nifty tricks. And it is a bit pricey.

But it does make shots super fast, replacing your need to go to the coffee shop. Plus it looks sleek and cool on counter tops and the customer rating and satisfaction overall are extremely high. A perfect option for newby home baristas.

Enter the Breville Barista Pro.

Breville the Barista Pro Espresso Machine, Medium, Brushed Stainless Steel

The Breville Barista Pro BES878 espresso machine is an excellent addition to the home of any serious coffee drinker looking to make cafe-quality espresso drinks at home. 

The machine contains all of the features any at-home barista would need to make their favorite espresso drinks, including a built in grinder, strength control, consistent pressure and temperature, and a powerful steamer for velvety microfoam milk. 

But is it right for you?

In this quick straight to the gist Breville Barista Pro review, we answer the question and give our overall rating to help you decide.

Breville Barista Pro
With 15 bars, 30 grind settings, auto dosing, consistent temp and pressure settings, and steam wand, the Pro makes you look like...well a Pro Barista!

Last update on 2024-01-31


Breville Barista Pro Review and Rating

Build/Quality

  • What is it made of? 
    • Stainless steel
  • How durable is it?
    • Most customers can expect to see a good 5 to 8 years of dependable use with the chance of a little minor maintenance or the need to purchase a small replacement part.
    • The most common part of the machine that may need to be replaced is a felt washer in the lower burr that protects the machine from the grind fan and upper grind assembly. 

Build/Quality Rating: 9.2

Performance

  • What brew modes does it have?
    • Espressos brewed with dose control grind settings, low-pressure pre-infusions, and 15 bars of pressure.
    • Makes one or two shots of espresso automatically, or opt for manual control for customized shot volume. 
    • With the steam wand, you can also whip up cappuccinos, lattes, flat whites and frappes.
  • Pressure?
    • High-pressure 9-bar extraction process delivered through a 15-bar Italian pump.
  • Strength control?
    • To determine the strength of your espresso shots, use dose size, grind profile and amount of water used.
    • Breville recommends using somewhere between 18 and 22 grams, but many users have found that they may require more or less than the recommended dose size depending on their experimentations. 
  • Temperature control?
    • Yes, adjustable temp settings.
    • Initially, the water temperature is set to a solid 93 degrees Celcius or 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
    • To steam milk, the temperature is set to 130 degrees Celcius or 266 degrees Fahrenheit.
    • Both temperature settings are ideal for getting the most flavor from your coffee beans and for delivering silky microfoam every time.
  • How fast does it brew one cup or batch? Heat up time?
    • Fast, 3 sec heat up time
    • Espresso beverages can be made in < 2 minutes.
  • How many cups does it make?
    • You can go with a single or double shot, or use the manual mode to create your own customized shot sizes. 
  • Steam wand for frothing?
    • Yes. The steam wand releases powerful steam to create silky microfoam. 
  • How quiet is it?
    • The grinder can be quite loud for some users and the milk steamer is always going to be loud.
  • How is the taste and flavor?
    • The main thing to remember when it comes to creating the best-tasting espresso shots is that it is up to you to find the right balance of dose size, water amount, and grind setting.
    • These three factors are ultimately what determine the taste and flavor of the espresso. Along with type of coffee being used, you should experiment with different variations of these factors to find the perfect shot of espresso.
    • As a result practically everyone agrees the richness and flavor of espresso from the Barista Pro is so good, you forget that no sugar has been added, and you didn’t spend $7 waiting for it in line!

Performance Rating: 9.4

YouTube video

Ease of use/Maintenance

  • How big is it?
    • At 13.5″long x 13.9″ wide x 15.98″ tall, the Barista Pro is a decent size; fairly compact for a semi automatic
  • How heavy? Portable?
    • Weighs 23 lbs. So quite heavy and not portable
  • LCD display or push buttons or both?
    • Contains push button controls with a convenient LCD display.
  • How easy is it to use?
    • Overall, the Breville Barista Pro is simple to use and doesn’t take much practice to hone in on the perfect shot of espresso to your preference.
    • Compared to other machines, this Breville is easier to use because of its intuitive interface and volumetric shot control. With a simple push of a button, you can view the LCD screen to select either a single or double shot, or to switch the machine into manual mode where you can control how much water you would like to release for a customized shot size.
    • It’s not super complicated to grind your beans, tamp, switch porta-filter to brew station, pull your shot and use the milk steamer.
    • The main complaint that users had about the machine’s ease of use was related to trouble shooting problems if machine didn’t work properly.
    • Namely that the accompanying documentation that is supposed to help users address minor issues on their own is unclear and confusing. Good news is that Breville customer support was able to guide them through addressing their issues. 
  • Maintenance reminders?
    • Yes, reminders like extra cleaning and descaling are built in.
  • How easy is it to clean?
    • Not overly difficult to maintain but does require some regular maintenance. You just need to remember to:
      • Always wipe down the milk steamer wand after using it and even purge it before and after using it. 
      • Clean out the drip tray after each use.
      • Flush the group head before each use. 
      • Do a full backflush on a weekly basis by scrubbing the group heads and using coffee machine detergent or white vinegar and water to flush through the machine. 
      • Clean the steam wand with warm water and coffee machine detergent or white vinegar. Let it soak overnight if possible. This can be done weekly as well.
      • Clean the draining hose weekly.

Ease of Use/Maintenance Rating: 8.9

Design & Features

  • Does it use pods or ground coffee or both?
    • Whole beans only. Be sure its fresh!
    • Consider a coffee subscription so you never unexpectedly run out.
  • Heating mechanism?
    • Thermocoil thermojet heating system with PID temperature control
  • Built-in grinder?
    • Built-in steel conical burr grinder with 30 different settings.
    • Bean hopper capacity 8 oz.
  • Permanent coffee filter included?
    • 54 mm stainless steel portafilter with dual and single wall filters.
  • Auto shut off, energy saving mode?
    • No
  • Any other notable tech features?
    • Pre-infusion: great for saturating the beans and getting even extractions thus better flavors
    • Dose grinding funnel: keeps your grinding and tamping cleaner and more streamlined
  • Removable water reservoir? How big?
    • Yes, 67 ounces. 
  • Comes with accessories?
    • Yes, including a dosing funnel attachment
    • Single & dual wall (1 & 2 Cup) filter baskets
    • Razor Trimming Tool
    • 480 ml stainless steel milk jug
    • Cleaning kit
    • and water filter
  • Can it dispense hot water?
    • Yes, perfect for tea or hot cocoa
  • Come in different colors?
    • Brushed stainless steel
    • Black truffle
    • Sea salt
    • Damson Blue
    • Black stainless steel
    • Oyster shell
    • Royal champagne
    • Smoked hickory
    • Red velvet cake
  • Pricing
    • Retails at $849.95

Design & Features Rating: 8.8

User Satisfaction

  • Warranty?
    • 2 Year Limited Product Warranty
  • Specific customer feedback
    • Overall, the Breville Barista Pro is highly rated among all of its users. Once users are able to find the perfect combination of dose size, water amount, and grind size, they find that the machine is capable of producing their ideal shot of espresso every time. 
    • Also, the machine is built to last with its sturdy stainless steel construction. Alot of coffee drinkers appreciated that if they are going to spend $850 bucks on a machine, they can get a minimum of 5 years of everyday use, and if they take care of it, up to 8 to 10 total years from their machine.  

User Satisfaction Rating: 9.2

Overall Rating: 9.1

Pros and Cons

You already know when the name Breville is mentioned, you’re dealing with high quality and sophistication. But what stands out the most to us about the Barista Pro?

  • Things we like
    • Engineered and designed to extract espresso with fine tuned dosing, pressure, and temp.
    • Ready to use in as little as 3 seconds
    • Built in grinder has 30+ settings! Perfect for really dialing in your perfect flavor.
    • Comes with a dosing funnel to minimize the mess of grinding and tamping into your portafilter
    • Decent manual steam wand for practicing latte art skills
    • Extremely durable and built to last
    • Perfect for new at-home baristas
    • Comes in a ton of cool vibrant colors to match your personal style or kitchen decor
  • Things we don’t like
    • More expensive than comparable machines
    • Unclear user manual
    • A bit of learning curve
    • Porta-filter basket may require some muscle to get off
    • Moisture can collect in the storage tray

How Does it Compare?

To get an idea of where the Breville Barista Pro stands in the market, we compared it to an equally high quality machine, the De’Longhi La Specialista Arte.

Breville Barista Pro vs De’Longhi La Specialista Arte

De'Longhi La Specialista Espresso Machine with Grinder, Milk Frother, 1450W, Barista Kit - Bean to Cup Coffee & Cappuccino Maker

  • In terms of similarities, both machines: 
    • Are high quality semi automatic espresso makers that pull tasty shots
    • Have built in grinders, temperature control features, and a steam wand for milk foaming
    • Are highly rated by many users.
    • Are easy to use for beginners. 
  • But the differences:
    • The La Specialista Arte comes with 8 grind settings vs the Barista Pro’s 30
    • The De’Longhi La Specialista only takes 1 second to start up compared to 3 for the Breville, although both are extremely fast
    • The La Specialista Arte has no LCD display.
    • The La Specialista Arte is a bit cheaper compared to the Barista Pro by ~150 bucks
  • The winner?
    • When comparing the Breville machine with the De’Longhi, both are quite comparable and in the same price bracket. They both are fairly easy to use and are good for beginners. Honestly you cant go wrong with either and choosing will come down to personal preference
    • If you want quality but something more affordable, then consider the DeLonghi La Specialista Arte.
    • If you want the style and robust grind settings, then opt for the Barista Pro.

Final Verdict

Breville the Barista Pro Espresso Machine, Medium, Brushed Stainless Steel

The Breville Barista Pro really is a professionals machine designed for a beginner. This semi automatic espresso machine gives you everything you need to make rich creamy espresso beverages without being overly complex.

From the precision built in grinder with auto dosing to high end consistent temperature and pressure features, you know you’re getting a well refined full body extraction with crema when you pull shots with the Pro. Its easy to use and fair in its maintenance.

No it doesn’t make beverages from bean to cup automatically or execute nifty tricks. And it is a bit pricey.

But it does make shots super fast, replacing your need to go to the coffee shop. Plus it looks sleek and cool on counter tops and the customer rating and satisfaction overall are extremely high.

The machine is built to last a long time and many customers have stated that that is the case. If you’re just starting out into the espresso drinking world, the Breville Barista Pro is a great option for you as an at home barista to make perfect espresso in the morning. 

Honestly you won’t be looking back anytime soon if you do!

Breville Barista Pro
With 15 bars, 30 grind settings, auto dosing, consistent temp and pressure settings, and steam wand, the Pro makes you look like...well a Pro Barista!

Last update on 2024-01-31

For more quality Breville machines to consider, check out our favorites here:

FAQ

Whats the difference between the Breville Barista Express and Barista Pro?

Both machines are high quality semi automatic espresso makers and will get the job done. But for an extra $100, the Barista Pro comes with twice as many grind settings, pulls shots much faster, and is available in more distinct color options to match your style and kitchen decor.

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