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The Breville Express vs. Impress: What's the Difference?

The Breville Barista Express has been on the market since 2009 while the Breville Barista Express Impress was only released in 2022. Both boast solid design and high quality that we know and love but the Breville Barista Express Impress comes loaded with new technology, but is it worth the extra $200?

 Design and Features

 Very similar in build, the Breville Impress has a slightly larger footprint. The Impress is about a half an inch higher and wider so be mindful when purchasing for under your top cabinets and counters. Both have the high quality Breville conical burr grinder that we know and love. The machines are almost identical in interface, steam wand, bean hopper and water reservoir. However, the Impress includes a "smiley face" gauge on the left hand side which allows users to see where they are at with dosing levels. This new technology is something that helps users perfect their espresso shot, something that the Breville Barista Express does not include.

The Dosing scale on the Breville Barista Express Impress

Both machines come equipped with a very dependable thermocoil heating system and identical conical burr grinders with 25 settings.

These machines are almost identical in many ways but the addition of the automatic technology, dosing control and Impress Puck System in the Breville Barista Express Impress is the biggest difference.

Brewing and Taste

Both machines (and your well-chosen coffee bean) will give you a great taste, but only if your dose and tamp are correct. While the Express allows customization of your dose and the portafilter is to be hand tamped, you are left on your own when it comes to troubleshooting your shot. Dose too much? Not only do you need to figure that out yourself, but you are now left wiping up coffee grinds from your drip tray and counter. The Impress help you with dose control, while adjusting to the correct dose for the next time. Not a consistent tamper? Don’t worry this machine will tamp perfectly for you. With its smiley face dose gauge on the left-hand side and the portafilter attachment this machine leaves little room for error.

Comparing the Breville Barista Express vs Impress

 

 

Express Impress

Express

Dimensions (WxDxH) 

33cm x 38cm x 41cm

31.8 x 35.1 x 40.4 cm

Dose Control

On demand, freshest beans, automatically adjusts based on last grind

On demand, freshest beans, no recommendations for more or less in terms of dose

Tamp

Assisted tamping with 7 degree barista twist finish

By hand

Other Features

Conical burr grinder with 25 settings, manual steam wand, built in dosing funnel, 1/2lb capcaity bean hopper, thermocoil heating system

Conical burr grinder with 25 settings, manual steam wand, dosing funnel attachment included, 1/2lb capacity bean hopper, thermocoil heating system

 

The Verdict

Both machines are long lasting and high quality. The Breville Barista Express Impress has the upper hand. A machine that makes picture perfect espresso every-time and continues to adjust with you and your bean. No mess from an overfilled portafilter and or sloppy puck thanks to consistent tamps and precise, automatic dosing. If you're newer to espresso brewing, or just want great espresso without the extra fuss, this machine is great for beginners and experienced users alike.

The Breville Barista Express has the same high quality build and great grinder, but requires more manual use and therefore more room for error. The Express is better suited to someone who prefers the manual art of espresso and those with existing espresso experience. If you are a long term manual espresso machine user, you will enjoy the manual aspects of this machine after a few tweaks. 

The dosing funnel attachment attached to a portafilter under the machine.

Bought the Barista Express and now wishing that you had waited for the Impress? The Express comes with a dosing funnel which acts a-lot like the Impress automatic doser and helps to mitigate issues with mess and dosing. This inexpensive part (under $25) can be added to your 24mm portafilter and make the manual machine more user friendly for those who are just beginning or those who are in a rush to get their morning caffeine!

 Learn More

Want to learn more? Our YouTube is full of full reviews of both of these machines, along with a comparison video. Check those links out below! 

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