How Does It Compare?
No, you’re not seeing double! It’s the Breville Duo-Temp Pro and the Breville Infuser. These are Breville’s entry-level machines, but don’t let that dissuade you, these models knock our socks off! While these two semi-automatics stack up well against each other, the amount of features and customization is what distinguishes them apart. Both have a built-in PID control to monitor the boiler temperature, but the Infuser features a programmable PID, which gives you more control over your espresso. The most noticeable difference between the two, of course, is the interface. The Infuser features programmable espresso buttons and that iconic pressure gauge that shows you what’s happening in the boiler. The Duo-Temp Pro takes a different approach with a clean interface and one turn-knob to control every aspect of your espresso. We’ll say, even though there’s no programming, it’s incredibly easy to use and packed with a lot of the same features as the Infuser! Both of these machines are superb choices for entry-level or even advanced baristas. We’ll give them a once-over to find which one’s right for you.
Equipped with pressurized and non-pressurized portafilter baskets, the Breville Duo-Temp Pro and Breville Infuser make the perfect companion to anyone looking to hone their skills. If you’re just starting on your journey with espresso, the pressurized portafilter will extract espresso when it’s at the right pressure. That means for you, coffee friends, that if you’re still learning how to dial in your grind, the Breville’s got your back. Both come equipped with a 61-ounce water tank, 54mm portafilter, magnetic tamper and maintenance accessories to get you started.
The real differences emerge with the Infuser’s advanced features. The Infuser has an electronic PID that you adjust the temperature up or down two and four degrees from the factory default to increase temperature stability. Since there’s no visible temperature display, you’ll have to trust that it’s at your desired temperature. And, just to be clear, the Duo-Temp Pro has a PID! You just can’t adjust the temperature.
Another difference in the Infuser has a single and double shot programmable button. This is, of course, always a great feature to have! It helps maintain consistency when you use the same grind. That does mean, however, that when you switch beans or grind, you might need to dial in the espresso shot time again. The Duo-Temp Pro’s turn-knob offers quick and convenient coffee that you can adjust on the fly. For beginning baristas, the Duo-Temp Pro’s manual controls offer the experience of learning extraction time with every shot pulled.
Even with these differences, both semi-automatics have all the features that count. The integrated PID maintains the thermocoil for increased temperature stability and makes steaming on the fly more consistent than other machines we’ve tested. Both the Breville Duo-Temp and Infuser take a good minute or two to heat up before we can start steaming. With thermocoils and thermoblocks, it takes a while for the steam to kick into full power. So we recommend turning on the steam and letting it run for a while to get to full temperature. We appreciate the slow progression of steam power for entry-level baristas since it allows more time to learn to aerate your milk. If advanced baristas have the patience, they’ll be able to texture milk on par with most cafés.
And, both machines have a traditional steam wand and auto-purge to instantly switch from steaming to brewing. Yes—even the Duo-Temp Pro, Breville’s youngest entry-level machine, has this convenient feature! Built-in auto-purge is one of our favorite features because it means we get our cup of coffee faster. Both machines will purge after you’re finished steaming and return the selector knob to its starting position.
The Infuser also has a dedicated hot water spout for people who love an Americano or want hot water for hot chocolate. The Duo-Temp Pro has a button to switch between steam and hot water, but it comes out of the steam wand at a slow and steady stream. We don’t think it’s a deal breaker for the Duo-Temp Pro, but it’s not the quickest way to get hot water.
We find ourselves taking a double take when we have the Breville lineup altogether. Encased in brushed stainless steel, it’s a fairly common style we see in many kitchen appliances. It’s a style that appeals to everyone and transitions well if you remodel or move. The clean-cut look also complements Breville’s dedication to creating a user-friendly experience. Breville shines at developing intuitive buttons and a sleek interface. The stainless steel buttons feel sturdy under our fingers and are the exact same buttons found on their higher-end models.
The Infuser, of course, has a different look than the Duo-Temp Pro with more buttons and a pressure gauge. We sort of love the iconic pressure gauge and miss it on the Duo-Temp Pro. That said, the one style point we’re not a fan of is that the Duo-Temp Pro has the turn knob on the front, which is completely different from the rest of the Breville lineup. This style of knob is also found on the Infuser next to the steam wand, but we like it better out of sight.
If you’re currently trying to choose between Breville models, then good luck to you—Ok, we kid. Breville includes the best basics in each model and then increases the advanced features to make every machine a little more unique. The Breville Duo-Temp Pro is the newest and most basic model currently, but it’s certainly not lacking in capabilities. With some patience, we’re able to produce latte-worthy milk. The Breville Infuser is on par with steam power, but features a programmable PID and two espresso shot time buttons that allow even more control over your espresso. Between you and us, deciding between the two is difficult. So, which one would you take home? Share your thoughts in the comments below!