Are you stuck between choosing a Mr. Coffee espresso machine or a Breville one? One thing that can certainly be said about both manufacturers is that they do an excellent job of making espresso machines accessible to people on a budget. It’s understandable that you’d be torn between them.
Consider this your buying guide when it comes to Mr. Coffee vs Breville. We’ll be taking two of their most well-known and comparable espresso machines and comparing them in-detail.
Here’s what you’ll learn:
- The similarities between the Mr. Coffee and Breville machines.
- Key differences between them and how they impact you.
- What sort of considerations to think about before purchasing one.
Let’s jump right into it…
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Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista
Breville Barista Express
Water Tank Capacity
Stainless Steel Finish
Water Tank Type
Making a latte or cappuccino is beautifully simple on the Mr. Coffee Café Barista. Thanks to its one-touch operation, even total coffee novices can use it to make a delicious café-style drink. Just add the milk and your coffee grounds, then let the machine take care of the rest – including making silky, smooth milk foam.
We think the Café Barista is the one for you if you’re new to espresso and want one of the easiest ways to brew it available today.
The Breville Barista Express takes a much more traditional route when it comes to making espresso. Its semiautomatic design and manual frother will have you pulling shots just like the baristas in your favorite coffee shop. Best of all, it has a built-in grinder that ensures you get the freshest possible espresso right at home.
Get this one if you’re searching for a more traditional espresso experience and want fresh espresso without needing to buy a grinder separately.
Espresso Machine Type
Both the Mr. Coffee and Breville machines in this post could be defined as espresso machines rather than basic drip coffee makers. There are a couple differences between these machine types.
For starters, espresso machines brew at the requisite pressure to make an authentic shot of espresso. In comparison, drip coffee makers are not brewed at a higher pressure – water slowly soaks through the cake of grounds in the filter and drips into the carafe or cup below.
Another difference is that espresso machines brew single servings at a time. A traditional drip coffee maker usually makes whole carafes (although you can certainly find options that brew one cup at a time, too).
Your kitchen appliances don’t all have to be that basic gray stainless steel if you don’t want them to be. Both the machines in this comparison are proof of that, as either one is sold in at least a couple different colors.
It’s important to distinguish them slightly in this regard, though. The Mr. Coffee Café Barista is available in three colors, whereas the Breville is only available in two.
This isn’t going to impact your daily use of either machine. However, it is always nice to have the ability to customize the look of your espresso machines a little, so you can be sure they fit into your home.
You wouldn’t be able to make a cappuccino or latte without having frothed milk to top them off with. To ensure you can make these coffee shop classics at home, both the Café Barista and Barista Express have attached milk frothers.
This is kind of a standard feature for espresso machines, so it doesn’t set them apart when compared to others. It still sets them apart from your average coffee maker, though, and makes it possible to make your own cappuccinos easily yourself.
Many high-end or commercial-level espresso machines have multiple group heads. Group heads are the parts of the machine where the espresso trickles out of. Having more of them simply means you can brew more shots at one time.
Most home users won’t ever be in a situation where they need to make several shots at a time. For that reason, both these home espresso machines have a single group head that can brew single or double shots individually.
Unless you have a home coffee bar that’s always packed with friends and family, you’ll find that this is sufficient.
You can view some more home espresso machines in our Mr. Coffee vs Delonghi guide.
Pour-Over Water Tanks
Espresso is made from a combination of ground coffee and water. Hot water is an important part of the equation; without it, you can’t have espresso.
The way you can fill your espresso machine with water varies. Commercial espresso machines are often direct-connect, which means they hook up to your water line and replenish themselves automatically.
Most home models, including the Café Barista and Barista Express, have pour-over tanks. This means that you add water by hand whenever they need more.
The main reason this is beneficial to you is that it allows you to put the machine just about anywhere in your house, because you won’t have to keep them near a water line. You could even possibly take them with you while you travel, as long as you set them up somewhere with an outlet.
Stainless Steel Finish
There are plenty of people who don’t like investing in something as potentially expensive as a home espresso machine, only to find that it’s covered in plastic. It’s true that plastic is affordable, but it also looks cheap and unreliable.
Do you have these same concerns? Then you’ll appreciate that both the Mr. Coffee and Breville models have a stainless steel finish.
The stainless steel gives the machines a polished look. You won’t be embarrassed to have either one sitting out on your counter.
Water Tank Capacity
Earlier on in this post, we discussed how water is a vital part to brewing espresso. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to make a single shot.
Another way to look at it is the more water you have at hand, the more shots you can make. This is why the size of your espresso machine’s water tank matters.
The Café Barista’s water tank can hold up to 54 oz of water. In comparison, the Barista Express holds 67 oz. That means the Barista Express can brew just a little bit more before you need to stop for a refill.
Read Also: Mr. Coffee vs Keurig
Mr. Coffee Café Barista Automatic Milk Frother
It’s true that both the Mr. Coffee and Breville have milk frothers, but how these frothers operate differs.
The Breville Barista Express has a manual frother. You’ll need to hold a milk pitcher up so the frother is partially submerged to aerate your milk. This is the setup most professional baristas use, as it gives them control over how much milk foam they generate.
However, this leaves a sizable margin for error. If you’re a beginner, you might not know how to properly foam your milk, resulting in too much, too little, or even potentially scorched milk.
The Café Barista takes this potential for error out of the mix. Its automatic milk frother takes care of steaming milk for you, even pouring it into your cup through an adjustable nozzle.
Breville Barista Express Built-In Grinder
Any espresso enthusiast will tell you that fresh is best. This means grinding your beans shortly before brewing with them – immediately before brewing, if possible.
Through a process called oxidation, coffee grounds rapidly grow stale once they’re exposed to the air. If you use your grounds right away, the amount of oxidation that has occurred is minimal.
The Barista Express takes advantage of this fact with its built-in grinder. You’ll be able to grind and brew right on the same machine, which guarantees each shot is as fresh as can be.
Mr. Coffee Café Barista Adjustable Drip Tray
The drip tray on your espresso machine does more than catch espresso and water drips – it functions as a shelf for your cup during brewing. If you’re using taller or shorter cups, you’ll probably want to be able to adjust the drip tray to accommodate for that size.
With the Mr. Coffee, you can. It has a unique retractable attachment for your drip trap. If you’re using a smaller cup, you can slide out an extension from beneath the milk frother that raises your cup.
But if you’re brewing into a larger cup, you can just slide the extension back beneath the milk frother to make more room. It’s an ingenious and easy design.
Breville Barista Express Integrated Tamper Storage
Tamping occurs right after you put coffee grounds in your portafilter. You need to press down on the grounds to level them out, so you can be sure the water reaches all of them at the appropriate speed during extraction.
Both these machines include tampers. However, the Breville’s tamper has a convenient storage magnet built right into the machine. This allows you to store it when not in use, saving space elsewhere.
Mr. Coffee Café Barista One-Touch Operation
The Mr. Coffee Café Barista is clearly the better choice for beginners. It has one-touch operation, which means that controlling it is as effortless as pushing a button.
Just fill your portafilter with grounds, tamp, put it in the machine, add milk, and choose your settings. Then all you need to do is wait while the machine basically makes the drink for you.
The Breville Barista Express is much more traditional. You will need to foam the milk and program the duration for single and double shots into the machine so you can choose the right buttons accordingly in the future.
Breville Barista Express PID
One feature that makes the Breville especially advanced for beginners is its PID temperature controller. This controller regulates the temperature of the water in the machine through an algorithm.
Ultimately, control of the temperature falls to you. You’ll be able to adjust the brewing temperature to your preferences.
Which One is Best for You?
Either the Mr. Coffee Café Barista or the Breville Barista Express are fairly accessible machines for beginners. Since they’re each great options, you’ll need to look at your personal circumstances to determine which one is the best fit for you.
Although these are both entry-level espresso machines, we think the greatest distinction between them comes down to how easy they are. If you’re looking for an effortless espresso, then you’ll probably want to consider the Mr. Coffee, because of its one-touch operation and automated frother.
The Breville Barista Express is more suitable for prosumers looking to imitate a professional barista experience. You’ll get a fresher shot of espresso each time due to the built-in grinder, you’ll have control over the temperature, and you’ll be able to froth the milk yourself.
All this control, however, generally leads to a higher price. For that reason, the Barista Express can sometimes be more costly.
This is our suggestion:
Buy the Mr. Coffee Café Barista if you have no experience with espresso machines. Its automatic frother will save you a lot of time, effort, and potentially even messes.
If you’re up for a challenge, though, or want more control over the espresso-making experience, the Breville Barista Express is the better choice. You’ll be able to control the brewing temperature and milk froth, as well as grind your own beans.