(GUIDE) How To Use Breville Barista Express?

The Breville Barista Express is a popular espresso machine among coffee enthusiasts. It offers a range of features and functions that allow you to brew the perfect cup of espresso right in the comfort of your own home. However, using a high-performance espresso machine like the Barista Express may seem intimidating for beginners. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of using the Breville Barista Express, step-by-step, from setup to maintenance. We will also provide tips and tricks to help you achieve the perfect cup of espresso every time.

In Short: How To Use Breville Barista Express

Using the Breville Barista Express can be summarized in the following steps:

  1. Fill the water tank and ensure the machine is plugged in.
  2. Allow the machine to warm up by pressing the power button and selecting the desired temperature.
  3. Grind fresh coffee beans using the built-in grinder and dose the grounds into the portafilter.
  4. Tamp the coffee grounds using the tamper included with the machine.
  5. Lock the portafilter into the group head and place a cup underneath the spout.
  6. Start the extraction process by selecting the desired shot volume and pressure.
  7. Once the shot is complete, release any remaining pressure by switching off the machine and removing the portafilter.
  8. Steam milk using the steam wand to create froth for cappuccinos and lattes.
  9. Clean and maintain the Barista Express for optimal performance and longevity.

Now let’s dive into each step in more detail.

Key Takeaways

  • The Breville Barista Express offers a range of features and functions to make brewing espresso at home easy and enjoyable.
  • It is important to properly set up the machine before use, including filling the water tank and ensuring it is plugged into a power source.
  • Freshly grinding coffee beans is crucial for a flavorful espresso. The Barista Express has a built-in grinder that allows you to grind beans to your desired consistency.
  • Dosing and tamping the coffee grounds correctly ensures optimal extraction and flavor.
  • The extraction process can be customized by adjusting shot volume and pressure.
  • The steam wand can be used to froth milk for cappuccinos and lattes.
  • Regular cleaning and maintenance of the Barista Express is essential for optimal performance and longevity.

Step-by-Step Guide To Using The Breville Barista Express

Step 1: Preparation

Before using the Breville Barista Express, ensure that the machine is properly set up and ready for use.

  1. Place the machine on a sturdy and level surface near an electrical outlet.
  2. Remove the water tank located at the back of the machine by lifting it upwards.
  3. Rinse the water tank with clean water and fill it with fresh, cold water up to the MAX line.
  4. Push the water tank back into its position until it clicks securely.
  5. Plug the machine into a power outlet.

Step 2: Warming Up

To ensure optimal brewing temperature, it is essential to allow the Barista Express to warm up before use.

  1. Press the power button located on the right-hand side of the machine.
  2. The machine will start heating up and the temperature indicator lights above the power button will start flashing. The lights will turn solid once the desired temperature is reached.
  3. Use the temperature control dial on the front of the machine to select the desired temperature. The recommended temperature for espresso is around 200°F (93°C).
  4. Wait for the machine to reach the selected temperature before proceeding.
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Step 3: Grinding The Coffee Beans

The Breville Barista Express features a built-in conical burr grinder that allows you to grind fresh coffee beans to your desired consistency. Grinding the beans just before brewing ensures maximum flavor and aroma in your espresso.

  1. Open the bean hopper lid located on top of the machine.
  2. Fill the bean hopper with your favorite coffee beans. Avoid overfilling, as it may cause the grinder to clog.
  3. Close the bean hopper lid securely.
  4. Set the grind size using the grind size dial located on the front of the machine. Adjust it to your desired coarseness or fineness. For espresso, a fine grind is recommended.
  5. Press the grind amount button to select the amount of coffee you want to grind. The Barista Express offers options for single shot, double shot, or manual grind.
  6. Press the start button located on the right-hand side of the grinder to begin the grinding process.
  7. The grinder will automatically grind the selected amount of coffee and deposit it into the integrated portafilter cradle.

Step 4: Dosing And Tamping

Properly dosing and tamping the coffee grounds ensures even extraction and optimal flavor in your espresso shot. The Breville Barista Express provides a built-in tamper for convenience.

  1. Lift the portafilter out of the portafilter cradle.
  2. Level the coffee grounds in the portafilter using your finger or a leveling tool.
  3. Use the built-in tamper located at the back of the machine to evenly tamp the coffee grounds. Apply firm and even pressure, ensuring the coffee is compacted and level.
  4. Wipe off any excess coffee grounds from the rim of the portafilter to ensure a proper seal.

Step 5: Brewing

With the coffee grounds dosed and tamped, it’s time to brew your espresso shot.

  1. Place a preheated espresso cup or shot glass underneath the portafilter spout.
  2. Lock the portafilter into the group head by turning it clockwise until it feels secure.
  3. Press either the single shot or double shot button, depending on your desired shot volume.
  4. The extraction process will begin, and you will see the espresso shot being brewed into your cup. Pay attention to the flow rate and color of the espresso.
  5. Stop the extraction by pressing the same button again once you have reached your desired amount of espresso.

Step 6: Frothing Milk

The Breville Barista Express comes equipped with a steam wand that allows you to froth milk for making delicious cappuccinos and lattes.

  1. Ensure the steam wand is in the off position and fully inserted into the machine.
  2. Purge any condensation from the wand by turning the steam wand on for a few seconds.
  3. Fill a stainless steel milk pitcher with cold milk. The pitcher should be no more than 1/3 full to allow room for frothing.
  4. Immerse the steam wand into the milk, positioning it just below the surface.
  5. Turn the steam wand on by rotating the steam dial located on the front of the machine.
  6. Slowly lower the pitcher, allowing the steam wand to create a whirlpool effect in the milk, resulting in creamy, velvety microfoam.
  7. Pay attention to the temperature of the milk by touching the bottom of the pitcher. Once it reaches your desired temperature, turn off the steam wand by rotating the steam dial back to the off position.
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Step 7: Cleaning And Maintenance

To ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your Breville Barista Express, regular cleaning and maintenance are essential.

  1. After each use, remove the portafilter and tap out the used coffee grounds into a knock box or garbage bin.
  2. Rinse the portafilter, filter basket, and steam wand with warm water to remove any residual coffee or milk.
  3. Use a cleaning brush to scrub the group head, removing any coffee residue.
  4. Wipe the exterior of the machine with a clean, damp cloth.
  5. Periodically descale the machine to remove mineral deposits. Follow the instructions provided by Breville for descaling the Barista Express.
  6. Replace the water filter cartridge as recommended by the manufacturer to ensure the best-tasting espresso.

Tips And Tricks For Achieving The Perfect Espresso With The Breville Barista Express

  • Experiment with different coffee beans and grind settings to find the perfect combination that suits your taste preferences.
  • Preheat your espresso cup by running hot water through it before brewing the shot.
  • Ensure the portafilter is properly locked into the group head to prevent any leaks during extraction.
  • Keep your milk pitcher cold before frothing, as cold milk froths better.
  • When frothing milk, position the steam wand just below the surface to create microfoam without large bubbles.
  • If your espresso shot extraction is too fast, try using a finer grind size or increasing the coffee dose. If it is too slow, try using a coarser grind size or decreasing the coffee dose.
  • Experiment with different brewing temperatures to find the ideal temperature for your desired flavor profile.
  • Regularly clean and maintain the machine to prevent any build-up of coffee residue or mineral deposits that can affect the taste of your espresso.

Troubleshooting Common Issues With The Breville Barista Express

  1. If the machine is not turning on, check the power connection and ensure the machine is properly plugged into an outlet.
  2. If the grinder is not working or the grind size is not adjusting, check if the bean hopper lid is securely closed and no beans are jamming the grinder.
  3. If the espresso shot is too weak or watery, try increasing the coffee dose or using a finer grind size.
  4. If the espresso shot is too bitter or over-extracted, try decreasing the coffee dose or using a coarser grind size.
  5. If the steam wand is not producing steam, check if it is properly inserted and purge any condensation from the wand.
  6. If the milk is not frothing properly, ensure the steam wand is properly positioned just below the surface of the milk and the pitcher is not overfilled.
  7. If the machine is producing an unpleasant odor or taste, it may be time to descale the machine to remove mineral deposits.
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If you encounter any persistent issues or have specific questions about your Breville Barista Express, it is recommended to refer to the user manual or contact Breville customer support for further assistance.


The Breville Barista Express provides an excellent opportunity for coffee enthusiasts to brew their favorite espresso right at home. By following the step-by-step guide, understanding the machine’s features and functions, and implementing the tips and tricks provided, you will be able to master the art of brewing the perfect cup of espresso with the Breville Barista Express. Remember to take care of your machine by cleaning and maintaining it regularly to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Enjoy your journey into the world of espresso brewing!


What Are The Basic Steps For Using Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine?

First, fill the water tank and make sure the water filter is in place. Then, grind the coffee beans and tamp them firmly into the portafilter. Secure the portafilter onto the machine and select your desired shot size and brewing temperature. Finally, turn the machine on and wait for it to heat up before pulling the shot.

How Do I Adjust The Grind Size On The Breville Barista Express?

First, make sure the machine is turned off. Then, use the dial located on the top left of the machine to adjust the grind size. Turn the dial to the left for a coarser grind and to the right for a finer grind.

How Do I Clean The Breville Barista Express?

Start by regularly emptying the drip tray and cleaning the steam wand after each use. Also, periodically remove the portafilter, group head, and shower screen for a thorough cleaning. Use a cleaning tablet to remove any oils and residues from the machine’s internals and follow the descaling instructions as needed.

What Type Of Milk Should I Use With The Breville Barista Express?

The best milk for foaming and steaming is whole milk, although you can use any type of milk you prefer. Non-dairy alternatives like almond or soy milk may require some experimentation to achieve the desired texture.

How Can I Troubleshoot Problems With My Breville Barista Express?

If the machine is not working properly, refer to the troubleshooting section of the user manual. If you’re still having issues, try cleaning the machine or adjust the grind size and tamping pressure. You can also contact Breville customer support for assistance.

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