Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine Review: Is it Coffee Automation Black Gold?

Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine Review (BES880BSS)

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The cost of making espresso at home can add up to a lot of money when you get separate coffee gear such as a coffee grinder, an espresso brewer, and milk frother.

Moreover, if you’re not an experienced coffee aficionado, making the drink from scratch may not be easy and rather time-consuming to figure all of the tools out and pull off a decent shot of espresso.

In this Breville Barista Touch espresso machine review, I will show you in detail all of the good, the bad, and the compromise.

Is it true that it’s able to serve third-wave specialty at ease thanks to its automation functions and integrated parts? Can you really give the machine coffee beans and water and it can feed you barista-quality cups of Joe for years? Let’s find out.

Breville Barista Touch Espresso Maker – The Details

Bring your favorite coffee shops home in the shape of the semi-automatic Breville Barista Touch espresso machine.

The machine enables customization for users to craft phenomenal cups of coffee tailored to their individual tastes.


The Breville Barista Touch BES880XL is part of Breville’s Barista Series featuring all-in-one espresso machines that come with every tool you need to make coffee, including an integrated grinder and a steam wand. Expect to drink delicious coffee dispensed in as fast as under a minute!

The name Barista Touch comes from one of the highlights of this machine – the touch screen display which significantly simplifies the coffee-making process.

All you have to do is swiping and selecting the grinding, brewing, and milk texturing options and leave the rest to the automated operations of the stainless steel Breville Barista Touch.

Or, you can go with the 5 pre-programmed café menus which cover all of the basic espresso and espresso-based drinks that most coffee lovers gravitate to.

The machine is also equipped with advanced technologies to better manage the grind size and dose, water pressure, temperature control, and micro-foam delivery.


This treat of an espresso maker is designed similar to other espresso machines of the brand Breville. Classy, sleek, and clean, yet not at all plain.

This stainless steel device guarantees to fit right on your kitchen countertop and brighten up the room thanks to the light reflective material.

Breville Barista Touch is available in 3 shades of grays and blacks, so it can easily match the rest of your furniture and decorations:

  • Brushed Stainless Steel
  • Black Truffle
  • Black Stainless Steel

Rather than racking your brain over which color to buy, consider the below pros and cons of this espresso machine.

The Specs

  • Weighs 26.8 pounds (12.2 kg).
  • 12.7 x 15.5 x 16 inches (32.3 x 39.4 x 40.6 cm).
  • Material Stainless steel.
  • Removable water reservoir capacity: 67 oz (2 l).
  • Integrated conical burr grinder for more consistent grind size.
  • Pre-infusion function for an evener espresso extraction.
  • ThermoJet heating system for accelerating temperature build-up.
  • Digital temperature control (PID) for better temperature management.
  • Automatic steam wand for premium quality micro-foam.
  • Touch screen display for ease of navigation and personalization.
  • 15 bar pump made in Italy.
  • Comes with a set of accessories.

Best Features Of The Breville Barista Touch BES880XL

Like other products from the popular brand Breville, the Barista Touch espresso maker also offers various innovative features that can significantly improve your espresso brewing experience as well as the taste and look of the final cup.

From The Ground Up Grinder

The Barista Touch espresso maker is equipped with an integrated coffee grinder so you don’t have to spare more money and space for a separate one.

The grinder is fused with the espresso machine so that your entire brewing process is seamless from grinding coffee beans to pulling the shot.

And this isn’t just any grinder either, but a conical burr one that’s perfect for producing consistent dual-size ground coffee, optimal for making espresso.

The burr grinder provides better grind size control and precision than a blade grinder that simply cuts the beans into smaller pieces in random sizes.

And a conical grinder is more ideal than a flat one which only yields uniform size coffee grounds.

The Ground Up Grinder

Since this is a semi-automatic espresso machine, with a single touch, users can guide the device to grind coffee beans directly into the portafilter in their preferable size to enhance coffee-to-water contact time.

The Barista Touch also allows precise dose control to deliver the right amount of coffee ground to optimize coffee flavor extraction as well.

Slow But Sure Water Pressure

Like other espresso machines of Breville, the Barista Touch is also geared up with the pre-infusion function which gradually builds up water pressure over time.

This technology helps ensure an evener extraction. All of the favorable coffee compounds are ideally drawn out during the process of having water shoot through the coffee ground bed under pressure.


Built For Speed Temperature Oversight

Breville Barista Touch can also achieve the optimal espresso extraction temperature instantly, 3 seconds to be exact, but who’s counting when it’s so quick?

This is thanks to the ThermoJet heating system, which’s been a treasure from previous Breville espresso machines to coffee fans who have better things to do in the busy morning than waiting around for their espresso machine to preheat.

Built For Speed Temperature Oversight

So this innovative technology has been proven to be efficient and loved enough to be passed on to future espresso machine models.

No Brainer Touch Screen

As I’ve briefly mentioned above, this intuitive interface is one of the highlights of the semi-automatic machine. The specialty coffee-making process is cut down to just 3 simple steps:

  • Grind
  • Brew
  • Milk

All you have to do is swipe and touch and pick from the 5 pre-programmed Café menus consisting of common coffee beverages.

In addition, you can also customize your own settings, including coffee strength, brewing temperature, and milk texture, to create coffee drinks that suit your personal taste.

Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES880BSS

Then save up to 8 personalized coffees with dedicated unique names and images for convenient future consumption. This is an excellent feature recommendable for both individual and group usage in a household or an office.

Hands-Free Steam Wand

The incorporated automatic milk frothing wand is also here to take your job, which is a good thing if you’re not the best at manually adjusting the angle of the milk pitcher.

This expands further options to customize your cup of Joe by adding foam milk to the espresso shot to make milky espresso-based coffee drinks such as latte, cappuccino, and so on.

You also get the chance to practice your latte art pouring skills since this function isn’t covered by the espresso machine.

Hands-Free Steam Wand

But hey, having milk frothing skillfully done for you is already one step forward to making great latte art.

Ease With Accessories

The Barista Touch espresso machine doesn’t arrive on its own. Along with the stainless steel main components, your purchase also includes a bunch of accessories to help you get started with brewing coffee:

  • 54mm Full Stainless Steel Portafilter.
  • Single and Double Wall Filter Baskets.
  • 480ml Stainless Steel Jug.
  • ClaroSwiss Water Filter.
  • Razor™ Precision Dose Trimming Tool.
  • Cleaning Kit.
  • Water Hardness Test Strip.
Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES880BSS

If you need a replacement for any of these accessories or additional parts, you can find them on Amazon or Breville’s official website.

However, the majority of these are made from the durable material stainless steel, so you don’t have to worry too much about splurging money on more coffee gear any time soon as long as you’re not too clumsy.

One thing you may need to replace often is the water filter, which I will elaborate more on in the instructions for cleaning the Breville Barista Touch espresso machine.

The Downsides Of The Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine

Considering the best features of the espresso machine that I’ve explained just now, what might turn you away from this seemingly perfect semi-automatic machine?

When checking reviews for espresso machines, coffee aficionados are often curious about whether they indeed deliver barista-quality cups of Joe, how consistent that is, and how easy it is to use and clean.

So, what boxes can’t Breville Barista Touch check?

Learning Curve

At the end of the day, this is still in the semi-automatic espresso machines lineup of Breville only. It’s neither super-automatic nor fully automatic despite providing some hands-free operating features.

Therefore, to be able to pull a balanced and well-extracted shot of coffee, you do need to know a thing or two about brewing espresso and how the machine works.

While there are preprogrammed coffee menus that you can choose from, they aren’t guaranteed to suit every coffee lover’s taste. So, at some point, you will have to start doing research about the basic concepts of grinding and brewing coffee and steaming milk.

For that reason, it takes a learning curve to get used to operating Breville Barista Touch and figure out the settings that can extract tasty and pleasant coffee flavors.

Inconsistent Micro-Foam

Though Breville Barista Touch isn’t a super-automatic espresso machine, it’s equipped with an automatic milk texturing wand, as I’ve walked you through above.

However, the machine isn’t the best at producing consistent quality milk foam. You might enjoy it today but that might not be the case tomorrow. So another thing that you should take into your own hand is manually steaming milk. 

Set the appropriate milk temperature and hold and angle the milk pitcher during the process to make sure the result is even and perfect for making latte art and espresso-based drinks such as flat white. Another problem with the automatic milk-steaming system is the mess it can possibly make as well.

To sum up, you need to understand that this is not one of the fully automatic espresso machines, so don’t get Breville Barista Touch expecting that the machine is going to do everything every time.

Not Hot Enough

The last notable con of this espresso machine is the water temperature not being hot enough. The ideal brewing temperature for coffee is between 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit (91 to 96 degrees Celsius).

The temperature of this machine is around the lower end, so it can be hotter, but it’s not the biggest deal-breaker.

If you’re dissatisfied with the heat, one way to keep the cup of espresso hot and heavy for longer is by preheating it in advance.

How To Clean The Breville Barista Touch

Generally, Breville machines aren’t super fussy. They are easy to clean and can last a long time if you follow the instructions below.

General Maintenance

Aside from the thorough cleaning cycles, if you use the espresso machine often, you need to build a habit of cleaning after yourself after each use, each day, and each week.

Below is how to clean for different components of the machine:

1. Water filter:

Along with Barista Touch, a water filter is also sent as part of the accessories. The filter helps reduce scale build-ups and filter out impurities that might affect the taste of your espresso brew.

So, around every three months or 1,353 oz (40 l) of water, you need to get a new filter to replace the old one.

Here are the steps to insert the filter into the machine:

  • Set the current month.
  • Soak the filter for around 5 minutes.
  • Assemble the water filter parts.
  • Install the filter into the water tank and install the tank into place.

2. Burr grinder:

Not all ground coffee makes it into the filter basket as some pieces may stick in the grinder, which over time can diminish the machine’s performance.

In addition, during the grinding process, coffee oils can ooze out and build up inside this component which can also be an impediment.

Therefore, remember to keep the blades clean so you can always start with a clean slate by doing this once in a while:

  • Empty the bean hopper before putting it back in place in the locking state.
  • Run the grinder empty with no beans whatsoever.
  • Remove each part of the grinder to clean them with a dedicated brush.

3. Steam wand:

If you’re not the only one using this espresso machine, it’s common courtesy to clean up after yourself. After each session of milk frothing to make milk foam for your flat white or latte art, remember to use a damp cloth to wipe the wand.

Moreover, if you don’t clean the wand right away, it can lead to unwanted blocking, which inevitably affects the foam quality and the taste of your cup of Joe.

What you need to do then is navigate to Settings and find the Steam wand cleaning function. Then follow the instructions to revive your wand into its tip-top shape.

4. Filter baskets and portafilter:

Similar to the steam wand, the filter baskets and portafilter needs taking care of immediately post-use.

You can do a simple rinse under water, hot preferably, to remove any residual coffee particles and oil build-ups. If that doesn’t unblock the holes on the filter baskets, take the pin on the Breville cleaning tool to poke them out.

Otherwise, soak both of these pieces of equipment in a solution containing hot water and a cleaning tablet for 20 minutes. Then rinse them both thoroughly afterward to prevent flavor carry-overs.

5. Group head:

At the end of the day, wipe the group head and shower screen with a soft damp cloth to remove leftover coffee particles and oils.

Periodically, you should also purge the machine by running an empty brew cycle with no coffee to rinse out any of the stuck-up residuals.

6. Drip and storage tray:

Unlike certain complicated beings, the espresso machine is set to call out for help and tell you its needs when necessary.

You have to empty and clean the drip tray with a non-abrasive sponge, warm water, and soap whenever it signals to EMPTY ME! Do the same thing with the storage tray which is located behind the drip tray.

7. Outer housing:

Don’t forget to take care of its outside in addition to the inside. Wipe down the exterior with a soft damp cloth to keep the machine shiny and pretty. Whatever you do, do not use abrasive materials that can scratch and damage the components of the espresso machine.


The machine is also set to show a message prompt when a cleaning cycle needs to be run. All you have to do is follow the instructions displayed on the intuitive touch screen to perform this back-flushing cycle.


Aside from cleaning, all machines need to go through a descaling cycle once in a while as well to rid the machine clean of mineral build-ups from water and oil build-ups from beans.

This helps revive the machine performance and improve the taste of the espresso cup. Even if you use a water filter, it only lengthens the time you can go without descaling. 

You will still have to run the cycle sooner or later. So if you see scale build-up in the water container, go to Settings and select Descale cycle and follow the guides.

Main Competitors – How Does It Compare To Other Espresso Machines?

Breville Barista Touch Vs Breville Barista Express

Breville Barista Touch Vs Breville Barista Express

This is another semi-automatic espresso machine from the same brand Breville. As they both share the same name “Barista”, Barista Express is for the most part similar to the Barista Touch in terms of functions.

Here are 2 major differences though:

Steam wand

While both are semi-automatic machines, Barista Touch is a bit more automatic than its sibling. The milk texturing wand on the Barista Express only enables manual milk frothing action.

So while you can rely on the Barista Touch’s machine-made micro-foam in case you’re not very skillful, you don’t get to pick and choose with the Barista Express.

Nevertheless, this isn’t that big of a deal. As I’ve explained in the potential downsides section, Barista Touch isn’t the best at producing consistent quality froths. So, coffee connoisseurs, take note of the following second difference.


Have you realized why Barista Touch has the word “touch” in its name? Ding, ding, ding! It’s because of the intuitive touch panel that simplifies your coffee-making experience into just touching and swiping.

Moreover, Barista Touch gives users pre-programmed to-go espresso menus and customization options to create their own personalized menus as well.

The Barista Express is more similar to a traditional semi-automatic, with which you have to manually work with the dials, levers, and buttons to adjust the grind size, grind amount, and milk texture.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that one is less than the other, however. Some coffee aficionados are simply more familiar with working with espresso machines like Barista Express, which allows them to observe the pressure gauge to evaluate the espresso extraction.

On the other hand, Barista Touch provides more convenience and ease of use for coffee lovers who aren’t as experienced in brewing.

In other words, each machine has its own uniqueness meeting the different needs of coffee fanatics. And your preference for whichever is completely valid.

Breville Barista Touch Vs Breville Oracle Touch

Breville Barista Touch Vs Breville Oracle Touch

I have been going on and on about semi- and super-automatic espresso machines throughout this article. So how are they different?

Breville Oracle Touch is a super-automatic espresso maker with a built-in grinder. The machine is also equipped with a touch screen through which you interact with and direct the machine.

Unlike Barista Touch, Oracle Touch can take care of everything for you from start to finish as it has automation at every stage. Just select from the pre-programmed menus the drink you want and move the portafilter to the group head to start brewing and you got a barista-quality cup of espresso at home.

If you want some control over your brew, you can switch to manual mode as well or simply adjust the coffee strength, milk texture, and temperature to create your own personalized menus, a similar feature to that of Barista Touch.

Another difference is Oracle Touch utilizes a Dual Boiler construction and the Over Pressure Valve for better temperature and pressure control and simultaneous extraction and milk steaming actions.

Nevertheless, Barista Touch still retains Barista Express’s ThermoJet technology, allowing it to speedily heat up in no time. This feature is removed on the Oracle Touch.

Overall, Oracle Touch provides more convenience with its entirely automatic process, but Barista Touch offers a better value for money with its flexibility and just-as-automatic features.

Our Final Verdict

To conclude, Breville Barista Touch is an espresso machine worth the investment for:

  • Those who need speed and convenience yet don’t want to drop quality.
  • Those who aren’t super knowledgeable about pulling espresso shots but appreciate the learning curve.
  • Those who drink coffee often or are in an environment with more than one coffee drinker (household or office).
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