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Best Settings For Breville Barista Express


Are you struggling to perfect your morning coffee with the Breville Barista Express? You’re not alone, as finetuning espresso machine settings can be complex. This article will guide you through adjusting key components like grind size, dose amount, and brew temperature to make flavorful espresso at home.

Ready for a barista-level cup of joe? Keep reading!

Quick Takeaways
  • Adjust the grind size of your Breville Barista Express to find the perfect balance for your taste. Start with a middle setting and experiment from there.
  • Set the dose amount correctly using a scale to achieve a rich and balanced flavor in your espresso shots. The recommended dose is 21 grams for the Barista Express.
  • Use the correct filter basket for your skill level and preference. The single-wall basket offers more control, while the dual-wall basket is great for beginners or those who prefer an easier brewing process.
  • Program the extraction time if necessary and follow tips like starting with fresh coffee beans, dialing in your dose, evenly distributing grounds, tamping firmly, controlling brew temperature, timing extraction, watching flow rate, cleaning regularly, and practicing to achieve optimal extractions.
  • Heat and froth milk properly by creating a whirlpool effect with the steam wand. Pour slowly into espresso shots at an angle to mix well. Practice pouring techniques for latte art designs.
  • Clean and maintain your Breville Barista Express regularly according to manufacturer’s instructions. Experiment with adjusting shot volume and temperature based on personal preference. Fine-tune grind size as needed for different coffee beans.

Setting Up the Barista Express

To set up your Barista Express, start by adjusting the grind size to achieve the perfect extraction. Then, set the dose amount to control the strength of your espresso shots. Lastly, make sure you’re using the correct filter basket for optimal brewing parameters.

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Adjusting the grind size

Fine-tuning the grind size of your Barista Express can lead to a better cup of coffee. You should start with a middle setting, like 5 or 15. This is what most coffee lovers find good for their Daily Drinker coffee.

Then feel free to make it coarser or finer based on your taste. A fine grind means stronger coffee and longer brewing time, while coarse grinds are quicker but weaker in taste. You’ll want to adjust until you find the perfect balance that suits you best.

Trying different settings is key to make the most out of this machine!

Setting the dose amount

To make the perfect espresso with your Breville Barista Express, it’s important to set the dose amount correctly. The recommended dose for the Barista Express is 21 grams. This means you’ll need to use a scale to measure out the right amount of coffee grounds before brewing.

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By using this recommended dose, you can ensure that your espresso has a rich and balanced flavor. Remember that adjusting the dose can also affect the extraction time and strength of your espresso, so feel free to experiment and find what works best for you.

Keep in mind that different types of coffee beans may require slight adjustments in dose amount to achieve optimal results.

Using the correct filter basket

To achieve the best results with your Breville Barista Express, it’s crucial to use the correct filter basket. The machine comes with two options: a single-wall and a dual-wall filter basket.

The single-wall basket is designed for experienced users who want more control over their espresso extraction. On the other hand, the dual-wall basket is suitable for beginners or those who prefer an easier brewing process.

It helps create a more forgiving extraction by regulating the flow of water through the coffee grounds. So, if you’re just starting out or want a simpler approach, go for the dual-wall filter basket.

Extracting the Perfect Espresso

To extract the perfect espresso with your Breville Barista Express, you can program the extraction time to ensure consistent results and follow these tips for achieving the best extraction.

Programming the extraction time (if necessary)

To achieve the perfect espresso with your Breville Barista Express, you may need to program the extraction time. This involves adjusting how long it takes for the machine to extract the coffee.

The optimal extraction time can vary depending on factors like grind size and personal preference. Experimenting with different extraction times can help you find the sweet spot that produces a rich and flavorful shot of espresso.

Remember to adjust other settings like grind size and dose amount as well to ensure a balanced extraction.

Tips for achieving the best extraction

To achieve the best extraction with your Breville Barista Express, here are some tips:

  1. Start with fresh coffee beans: Use freshly roasted beans for the best flavor and aroma in your espresso.
  2. Grind size matters: Experiment with different grind sizes to find the one that produces the optimal extraction. The recommended starting point is a grind size of 18.
  3. Dial in your dose: Adjust the dose amount based on personal preference. A recommended starting point is 21 grams for a double shot.
  4. Even distribution: Ensure that the coffee grounds are evenly distributed in the portafilter before tamping. This helps to ensure an even extraction.
  5. Tamp evenly and firmly: Apply consistent pressure when tamping the coffee grounds to create a level surface for water to flow through during extraction.
  6. Brew temperature control: Set the brew temperature to 192 degrees Fahrenheit for a balanced extraction and optimal flavor.
  7. Time your extraction: Use a timer or programmable feature to ensure consistent extraction time, which typically ranges from 25-30 seconds.
  8. Watch the flow: Aim for a steady, honey-like flow of espresso during extraction. If it flows too quickly or too slowly, adjust the grind size accordingly.
  9. Clean equipment regularly: Regularly clean and maintain your Barista Express machine to ensure it operates at its best and produces high-quality espresso every time.
  10. Practice makes perfect: Keep experimenting with different variables such as grind size, dose amount, and brew temperature until you find your preferred settings for achieving the best extraction with your Breville Barista Express machine.

Making Milk-Based Drinks

To make milk-based drinks with the Breville Barista Express, start by heating and frothing the milk to your desired temperature and texture. Once the milk is ready, carefully pour it into the espresso shot, holding back any foam until you’ve achieved a desired level of crema.

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Use your newfound latte art skills to create beautiful designs on top of your drink.

Heating and frothing the milk

To create delicious milk-based drinks with your Breville Barista Express, it’s important to know how to heat and froth the milk properly. Start by pouring cold milk into a stainless steel pitcher.

Place the steam wand of the Barista Express just below the surface of the milk, then turn on the steam function. As you do this, make sure to position the wand at an angle so that it creates a whirlpool effect in the milk.

This will help produce smooth and creamy microfoam. Keep steaming until the temperature reaches around 150°F-160°F for a latte or cappuccino.

When pouring your frothed milk, start by gently swirling it to mix in any remaining bubbles. Then slowly pour from a height of about 6 inches above your cup while moving side to side in a zigzag motion.

This will allow both foam and liquid to come out together, giving you that perfect velvety texture for latte art if desired.

Pouring the milk correctly and creating latte art

To create the perfect milk-based drinks with your Breville Barista Express, you need to master the art of pouring milk correctly and creating beautiful latte art. Here are some tips for achieving success in this aspect:

  1. Start by frothing the milk properly. Use a stainless steel pitcher and fill it with cold milk up to one-third full. Place the steam wand into the milk, just below the surface, and turn on the steam. Keep the tip of the wand slightly off-center to create a whirlpool effect.
  2. Once you have achieved creamy, velvety microfoam, it’s time to pour. Hold the pitcher at an angle and position it slightly above your espresso cup.
  3. Begin pouring slowly and steadily while gradually straightening your pitcher’s angle. This will allow the milk to mix with the espresso for a balanced taste.
  4. As you pour, try different techniques to create latte art designs. For example, gently move your hand side to side while pouring for a simple heart shape or experiment with more intricate patterns like rosettas or tulips.
  5. Practice makes perfect! Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get it right immediately. Take your time, experiment with different techniques, and soon you’ll be able to create impressive latte art that adds a touch of elegance to your coffee creations.

Tips and Tricks for Using the Breville Barista Express

To ensure optimal performance of your Breville Barista Express, regularly clean and maintain the machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Additionally, you can experiment with adjusting shot volume and temperature to find your preferred brewing parameters.

Discovering the perfect grind size for espresso is crucial in achieving the best extraction, so make sure to fine-tune this setting as needed. Lastly, don’t be afraid to try different coffee beans and explore their compatibility with the Barista Express settings for a truly personalized coffee experience.

Cleaning and maintenance tips

To keep your Breville Barista Express in tip-top shape, regular cleaning and maintenance are essential. After each use, make sure to clean the portafilter, filter baskets, and steam wand with warm water and a soft cloth.

To remove any stubborn coffee residue or milk buildup, use a small brush or toothpick. Once a week, descale the machine using a descaling solution recommended by Breville to remove mineral deposits.

Don’t forget to wipe down the exterior of the machine regularly to keep it looking shiny and new. By following these simple cleaning and maintenance tips, you’ll ensure that your Barista Express continues brewing delicious espresso for years to come!

Adjusting shot volume and temperature

To achieve the best espresso with your Breville Barista Express, you can adjust the shot volume and temperature. Here are some tips to help you fine-tune these settings:

  1. Shot Volume: Experiment with different volumes to find the right amount for your taste. Start by using the default setting and gradually increase or decrease it as needed.
  2. Brew Temperature: The optimal brew temperature for espresso is around 192 degrees Fahrenheit (89 degrees Celsius). Adjust the temperature on your Barista Express to achieve this range for a balanced and flavorful shot.
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Finding the best grind size for espresso

To achieve the best espresso with your Breville Barista Express, it’s important to find the perfect grind size. The recommended starting point is a grind size of 5 on the machine, but you can adjust it based on your personal preference and the type of coffee you’re using.

Experimenting with different settings will help optimize the flavor and quality of your espresso. Keep in mind that position 5 is often considered ideal when using Daily Drinker coffee, but other brands may have specific recommendations too.

So, don’t be afraid to play around with the grind size until you find what works best for you.

Recommended settings for the Barista Express

The Breville Barista Express is a highly customizable machine, allowing users to craft their perfect cup. Here are the recommended settings you can use as a starting point to find your ideal brew.

SettingRecommended Value
Grind Size5 (on a scale of 1-30) is often deemed ideal. However, the optimal grind size might be 18, depending on the coffee used. Experimenting with different settings and adjusting based on personal preferences and coffee type is suggested.
Dose AmountA dose of 21 grams is commonly used. Adjusting the dose can influence the strength and flavor of your espresso. More coffee can result in a stronger brew.
Brew Temperature192 degrees Fahrenheit is a recommended starting point. Some coffee aficionados might tweak the temperature to bring out specific flavor profiles in different coffee beans.
Extraction TimeThis can be programmed based on your preference. The goal is to achieve the optimal balance between under-extraction and over-extraction.

Remember, these are just recommendations and the perfect settings often depend on individual taste, bean type, and roast level. For example, Starbucks, Stumptown, Peace Coffee, and Intelligentsia might have specific grind settings for espresso. You can also find a wealth of information on discussions and forums like Reddit where other Breville Barista Express users share their settings. Happy brewing!


In conclusion, finding the best settings for your Breville Barista Express can make a big difference in the quality of your coffee. By adjusting the grind size, dose amount, and brew temperature to suit your preference and the type of coffee you’re using, you can achieve the perfect extraction and flavor.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different settings until you find what works best for you. With a little practice and fine-tuning, you’ll be brewing barista-quality espresso at home in no time.

How Can I Troubleshoot Programming Issues with My Breville Barista Express Machine?

Having breville barista express programming issues with your machine? Troubleshooting can be a breeze! Firstly, ensure proper power supply and connection. Check the programming settings, such as time, volume, and temperature. Clean and descale the machine regularly. If problems persist, consult the user manual or contact Breville customer support for expert assistance.


1. What are the best settings for Breville Barista Express?

The best settings for Breville Barista Express involve adjusting grind size, dialing in espresso shot settings, and setting the coffee brewing temperature.

2. How can I adjust the grind size on my Breville coffee machine?

You can adjust the grind size on your Breville coffee machine by using the coffee grinder settings to achieve either fine grind or coarse grind depending on your preference.

3. Can I experiment with different coffee bean types on my Breville Barista Express?

Yes! With your Breville Espresso Machine’s optimal settings, you can try different coffee beans and finetune according to their compatibility.

4. How do I find perfect espresso brewing with my Breville Barista Express?

By adjusting dose recommendations, experimenting with espresso extraction tips;you could explore achieving a perfect brew that suits your taste buds!

5. Are there any barista techniques required when using my barista express machine?

With easy to use features like milk frothing and simple adjustments such as changing espresso shot sizes`, you don’t need special barista skills to get great tasting cups of joy from your machine!

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About the author


Samuel is a coffee lover and a writer. He's travelled extensively throughout Southeast Asia and has soaked up the sun, the culture, and of course - the coffee. He loves to write about his experiences, and he hopes to travel even more in the future.

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