The Best Breville Espresso Machine | Buyer’s Guide | Espresso Perfecto

The Best Breville Espresso Machine | Buyer’s Guide for 2019

best breville espresso machine

When you’re getting serious about quality espresso at home there are a few trusted brands you turn to. Breville is one of my favorites.

Breville is sort of the nerdy, but stylish newbie on the scene that’s really shaking up what’s possible and what users should expect from their coffee experience.

All of their machines are well-made, intuitive and offer a stronger selection of features than most of their price-point counterparts. Even more than the established Italian brands that practically invented espresso.


The Final Shot:If budget isn’t a concern, the Oracle is the top pick for the best Breville espresso machine. The built-in burr grinder, simultaneous extraction and steaming capability and grind/tamping automation set it apart. The Barista Express is a solid alternative if you’re looking to spend under $1,000 and is the machine I currently own and use everyday.

I love that Breville doesn’t scrimp when it comes to construction and all of their machines feel durable and long lasting using a lot of metal over plastic parts.

All of their offerings feel like there is a commercial-grade experience packed into a smaller, kitchen countertop-friendly package.

If you’re new to home brewing, I also think the Breville is a great starting point. All of their machines come with a fair amount of automation, with just enough user involvement to satisfy, without being overwhelming to master.

My breville Barista

Me setting up to brew a shot on my Breville Barista Express. I don’t know what I would do in the morning without it!

With Breville, there’s a lot to choose from, so I’ve put together a list of my top three models at varying price points to help you understand the differences between them and pick the best Breville for your coffee routine.

Top Breville Espresso Machine

  • Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso Machine
    Product Name
  • 4.5Rating
  • $$$$$Price
  • Semi AutomaticMachine Type
  • Breville BES980XL Oracle Espresso Machine
    Product Name
  • 4.5Rating
  • $$$$$Price
  • AutomaticMachine Type
  • Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine
    Product Name
  • 4.5Rating
  • $$$Price
  • Semi AutomaticMachine Type

#1 Choice – Breville BES980XL Oracle Espresso Machine

For a home espresso machine, the Oracle delivers a premier user experience.

This model has so many features that it’s hard to compare with others even within the Breville brand.  It is a smooth, intuitive and superbly engineered and claimed by Breville to be the first “manual automatic” machine.

It is loaded with features, so let’s dive right in the deep-end:

The Oracle has hands-free milk texturing and automatic purging. It packs dual boilers and dual Italian pumps with PID that can be descaled by the user. This allows for simultaneous espresso extraction and milk steaming, which is one of those features that you should really look for in a high-end model.

That smooth super experience I mentioned? The Oracle goes so far as to grind, dose, and tamp for you – you’ll literally transfer the prepped portafilter to the brewgroup. That’s it.

The programmable customization features on this machine are also noteworthy. The Oracle allows users to control shot duration and volume, the length of pre-infusion, and water temperature to cater to whatever bean is the current favorite. It is also possible to set grind size and tamp force.

I also appreciate that on this machine you can adjust the milk temperature (between 130 and 150 degrees f) AND texture (either latte or cappuccino) for a more personalized beverage.

Not a fan of steamed milk? The Oracle also has a one-touch Americano feature where after extracting a single or double shot of espresso, the machine will immediately deliver hot water into the same cup.

This model is a big one and comes in at a hefty 35 lbs with small wheels for easy mobility. It comes in several colors for those of you thinking about the sleek design of your kitchen.

Some users have experienced trouble when descaling the unit, but this can be a tricky process on any complex machine. Breville’s customer service is some of the best out there.

If your machine is broken in anyway they will pay to fix the machine, and they won’t hesitate to reimburse you the shipping costs. Their consistent desire to meet their customers problems head on through online forums and communication is really great.

The Oracle also boasts a stellar 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon from almost 100 reviewers.


Breville Oracle Hot Features:
  • Dual stainless steel boilers
  • Dual Italian pumps with pre-infusion
  • Conical burr grinder and hopper
  • Automatically grinds, doses & tamps
  • Programmable hands-free milk texturing with automatic purge
  • One-touch Americano
  • 3 preset & 6 customizable settings
  • Programmable shot temperature from 190-205 degrees
  • Size: 16¼” x 15″ x 18″ Weight : 35lbs

#2 Choice – Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso Machine

The BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso Machine is another fine offering from Breville with many of the same features as the Oracle, at a slightly lower price tag.

While the Oracle is billed as a “manual automatic,” the Dual Boiler is more of a true semi-automatic, requiring more involvement by the user, but just enough programmability to make the process feel seamless.

Brew temperature and pre-infusion pressure as well as duration are all programmable options. This machine also allows you to program an auto-start time so it begins the day before you do and is ready to go when your morning routine starts.

In this case, you will need a separate grinder (my only gripe with this machine!) and will need to grind and tamp the beans yourself – the Oracle does this inclusively.

Like the Oracle, it offers dual stainless steel boilers and dual Italian pumps for simultaneous espresso extraction and steaming. It has a digital display that notifies you of the water temp and shot time. There’s also am over-pressure valve that limits the shot extraction pressure to ensure a great pull of espresso.

The water tank is also generous – 84 ounces, and easy to remove for a quick refilling. My own Breville Barista Express has a smaller water tank that I only find myself refilling about twice a week.

This machine is an upgrade from Breville’s earlier 900XL model and is very similar. Users of the 900XL will find it intuitive and easy to transition to.

The BES920XL has a wonderful 4.5 out of 5 star rating on Amazon from almost 100 reviews.


Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Hot Features:
  • Dual stainless steel boilers
  • Dual Italian pumps for simultaneous espresso extraction and steaming
  • 84 ounce water tank
  • Over-Pressure Valve (OPV)
  • Electronic PID temperature control for precise water temperature
  • Backlit LCD displays brew temperature, shot clock or time
  • Programmable start
  • Size: 16.2” x 15” x15” Weight: 30 lbs.
  • Includes water hardness test strip, descale alert and LCD assisted descale procedure

#3 Choice – Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine

Last on my list is a smaller and lighter version of our Breville powerhouse espresso machines. The Barista Express is the machine I have owned and used at least once a day for the past two years and I’m a huge fan.

It turns out great quality espresso and is offered at a more reasonable price point than the Oracle and Dual-Boiler models.

It features a 15 Bar Italian Pump and 1600W Thermo coil heating system. Like the other two models, the auto-purge function automatically adjusts the water temperature after steaming for continued extraction.

For added convenience, the Barista Express has a bean hopper and conical burr grinder with adjustment settings for coarseness and volume. This is a huge plus and one of the determining factors in my decision to purchase. A lot of other similarly priced models from other brands don’t offer the integrated grinder.

This machine is ideal for a newer user who enjoys having hand in the brewing process and exerting some control, but without acquiring pro-level barista skills and knowledge. It is intuitive to use and unfailingly consistent, which I love.

The Barista Express also has a solid at a 4.4 out of 5 star rating, coming from a hefty 989 reviews.


Breville BES870XL Barista Hot Features:
  • Size: 12.5” x 13.25” x 15.75” Weight: 23 lbs
  • 15 Bar Italian Pump
  • 1600W Thermo coil heating system
  • Auto-purge function
  • Stainless steel conical burr grinder with 1/2 lb. sealed bean hopper
  • 67 fl.oz (2L) removable water tank with handle
  • Newer model of the Breville BES860XL Barista Express

I hope you found this look at the best of the Breville line up helpful! Enjoy pulling those shots and happy brewing!


Questions? Leave a comment below!

Chatting about coffee is my passion! Leave me a question in the comments, I answer each and every one and would love to get to know you better.

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About the Author Michael York

I am a die-hard espresso fan. I love every form of the drink from straight espresso shots to lattes and cappuccinos. I currently use a Breville BES870XL Barista, it is an awesome machine. BUT, my dream machine is definitely an Italian Quickmill Andreja. Those bad boys make badass espresso. I love answering your questions, leave a comment or question below!

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