It’s time to choose your (espresso) fighter: Breville Infuser vs Duo-Temp Pro. These are beginner semi-automatic espresso machines. But don’t let the similarities fool you. There are some crucial differences you should consider before making your choice.
I’ve tested and used dozens of espresso machines, and my vote in this match goes to Breville Infuser. It has programmable one and two-shot buttons to make espresso and you can also modify the water temperature. This means you’ll have more control over your espresso with the Infuser, and it’s easier to get the perfect espresso you want every time.
I’ll talk about all the similarities and differences between the Breville Infuser and Breville Duo-Temp Pro, and explain why I think the Breville Infuser is worth the slightly higher price.
Feature Comaprison: Breville Infuser vs Duo-Temp Pro
I’ll go through the main features of each machine and highlight the key differences.
Espresso Quality and Heating System
Both the Breville Infuser and Duo-Temp Pro heating systems have a thermocoil integrated stainless steel water path, which allows accurate water temperature control. Because these coffee units have thermoblocks and thermocoils, they need three minutes to produce a full drink:
- 30 seconds to get the machine temperature up
- 30 seconds to brew espresso
- 30 seconds to transition from brewing to steaming modes
- One minute to steam milk at 140 degrees F (60 degrees C).
You’re going to get solid espresso from both machines. Breville makes excellent heating elements that last, and the pumps produce up to 15-bar of pressure. It delivers consistent espresso extraction.
Keep in mind, these are both single-boiler machines. That means you can’t brew and use the steam simultaneously.
Note: Breville has a newer heating system, Thermojet, which starts faster and has a more consistent water temperature.
We recommend considering the Bambino line, which is also beginner-level and features the new heating system.
Adding to the espresso quality is a PID sensor on both machines. PID stands for a proportional integral derivative controller that gives a control loop feedback mechanism.
Essentially, PID monitors and ensures a consistent water temperature, which is important for achieving the best extraction. You can read more about PID systems here. It’s an upgrade to find this on consumer machines and a nice touch for Breville to include this on both models.
You don’t have to learn temperature surfing on these espresso machines, as the heating systems will be stable at the proper 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Interface and Programming
The main difference between the two espresso machines is the brewing process. The Infuser has automatic buttons while the Duo-Temp Pro is a manual with a knob.
Both coffee machines look similar in design. They have the recognizable Breville brushed stainless steel look, although the Infuser comes in more colors (if you buy directly from Breville). However, the interface differs significantly between the two.
You’ll notice the Infuser has multiple buttons while the Duo-Temp has one knob to control the machine.
The extra buttons on the Breville Infuser are for volumetric control, which allows you to program the amount of espresso from each button. You can customize each button to pull the same volume of espresso every time you run the machine.
Coffee connoisseurs and beginners will appreciate the control. Connoisseurs will like that you can make the perfect espresso according to your exact preferences. Make a long pour for roasty bitterness. Make a shorter pour for a sweeter, more acidic espresso with less caffeine per volume. Meanwhile, beginners will like the ease: push a button.
Breville Duo-Temp Pro has a simpler interface with only a knob to turn for either steaming or brewing. Turn the knob to the left to brew, and the thermocoil will run until you switch the knob back to the middle. You’ll need a coffee scale to control the shot volume, and some quick hands to quickly change the knob within a second of reaching your desired volume.
Note: Make sure to re-calibrate the shot volume settings when changing the grind size. The volumetric control isn’t perfect, and a finer grind will absorb some more of the water volume.
Another small, yet important, feature favoring the Infuser is additional temperature programming. I’ve talked about how both of these machines have a PID controller. However, Breville Infuser has an electronic PID controller. This allows the coffee machine users to change the temperature themselves: +/- 4 in 2-degree increments from the start temperature.
This feature gives you more control to improve your espresso. If you find your shots are a little too sour, try increasing the temperature. This is often an issue if you are running one shot a day (it can take some extra shots to heat up the group head).
On the other hand, Breville Duo-Temp Pro doesn’t allow users to use the PID controller to change the temperature.
Breville Infuser has a “clean me” indicator, which automatically lights up when it’s time to clean the machine. This happens over time as residual grinds and oils build up around the brew head.
This may seem like a minor advantage, but I found it really comes in handy. Even great coffee machines have to be cleaned periodically to work efficiently.
Breville Duo-Temp Pro doesn’t have an automatic cleaning indicator. You will have to remember to clean the machine the old-fashioned way – by memory.
Hot Water Spout
Breville Infuser has a hot water spout that produces water in a robust stream. If you’re into making Americanos, the Infuser makes it really easy. The hot water spout is convenient for making any other drinks with hot water, like hot chocolate or tea. It’s a nice option rather than waiting to heat the kettle.
Breville Duo-Temp Pro doesn’t come with this feature. Instead, it uses the steam wand to produce hot water. You have to switch manually between steam and hot water. This is done by pressing the dedicated button. However, the steam wand doesn’t dispense water nearly as fast as the Infuser’s hot water spout.
Both espresso machines come with a commercial-style steam wand. This means you can steam or froth the milk to create drinks that have an espresso base, such as a latte and a cappuccino.
I found the steam wand on both machines takes about 15 seconds to reach full power and 60-90 seconds to steam milk. It’s slower than average, but the nice thing is it gives you more time to aerate the milk. That’s helpful for beginner baristas!
The manual steam wand takes some time to master the art of frothing milk. But, once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll be able to make a nice microfoam and improve your latte art skills at home.
Both Breville espresso machines have an auto-purge, which means they can switch from steaming to brewing, so you’ll get your shot of espresso faster. The ability to switch between steaming and brewing is especially useful when you’re in a hurry.
Both of these machines heat water by circulating it around the 1600W heating block (the thermocoil heating system). When they transition from steaming to pulling a shot, the water is too hot for brewing. The machines will “auto purge” some extra hot water into the drip tray. This makes sure the thermocoil is at the optimal extraction temperature.
Auto purge means there’s no need for temperature surfing, and the transition between steaming and brewing is 15 to 30 seconds.
Accessories and Design
Both Breville Infuser and Duo-Temp Pro have pressurized and non-pressurized portafilter baskets. Pressurized baskets (aka dual wall) are great for people just starting to make their espresso at home, as this portafilter adds pressure and is more forgiving to grind size. If you’re struggling to dial in the grind, i.e., find the ideal grind setting for a particular coffee, Breville has you covered with pressurized baskets.
More advanced baristas will like the non-pressurized baskets (aka single wall filters), as they give you greater control, allow you to grind finer, and produce a better espresso overall.
The espresso machines also come with a 54mm magnetic tamper, which packs the coffee grounds evenly to ensure a quality shot.
The Duo-Temp Pro and Breville Infuser both have the same water tank. Both tanks are removable, which is convenient for cleaning and refilling, and have the same water tank capacity — 61 ounces. It takes about two ounces of water to make a double shot and another two to steam milk. That means you’ll be able to make over a dozen lattes and won’t have to refill the water tank more than once or twice a week.
Price and Value
The Duo-Temp is the winner when it comes to the price because it’s the cheaper option. But, if you look at the value, Infuser wins because you get more for a somewhat higher price.
Both machines will do the job well. Both of them have a large-capacity water tank, auto-purge option, high-quality portafilters, and magnetic tempers. The thermoblock system ensures both machines heat the water quickly.
However, for a little more than $100, Infuser will come with more accessories (cleaning tablets, cleaning disc, brush, and coffee scoop). More importantly, it offers more control and the buttons make brewing espresso easier. Which leads to our winner…
Breville Infuser vs. Duo Temp Pro: The Winner
The Infuser wins the Breville Infuser vs. Duo Temp Pro showdown. While the Infuser has a slightly higher price, it’s equipped with features that justify it. The Infuser is an excellent choice for beginners as well as an advanced barista coffee maker.
The dedicated hot water spout quickly pumps out water for beverages. The two programmable buttons — single and double shot — as well as PID temperature control contribute to better overall drink quality and make this machine more customizable. The pressure gauge also makes it easier to measure your espresso shot.
Breville Infuser is a good entry-level espresso machine. It has two programmable buttons for a single and double shot and PID temperature control. The steam wand is commercial-grade. Extra perks include a dedicated hot water spout, clean-me indicator, and a pressure gauge. You can dial in the perfect espresso shot every time at an affordable price.
Duo Temp Pro is also a solid Breville espresso machine. It’s a great choice if you don’t need a ton of programmable features. While the Infuser is my #1 choice, think about your specific needs. If you’re fine with a steam wand doubling as a hot water outlet and are looking for something at a lower price point, Duo Temp Pro is a good option.
Breville Duo-Temp Pro is a good entry-level espresso machine. Affordable price in exchange for manual brewing knob and fewer programmable options. The steam wand doubles as a hot water dispenser. It makes quality espresso using Breville’s advanced thermocoil and has a 30-second heat-up.
Duo Temp Pro vs. Infuser: Final Thoughts
I would choose the Infuser because it offers more features at a slightly higher price. The programmable single and double shot buttons, PID temperature control, and Infuser’s hot water spout give the user more control and variety when brewing the coffee.
If you’d like a coffee machine that’s even easier to use and comes at a lower price point, check out our Breville Bambino vs. Bambino Plus comparison.