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Breville Bambino Or Breville Bambino Plus – Which One Is Best For Me?

Breville makes several espresso machines, including two Bambino models, the Breville Bambino and the Breville Bambino Plus.

Breville Bambino Plus

the Bambino® Plus, credit: Breville USA

Breville Bambino

__the Bambino, credit: Breville USA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We review these two models here and other Breville machines in other articles.

If you’re in a hurry and want to see purchase options for them now, you can see the Breville Bambino on Breville’s site here and the Bambino Plus on Amazon here.

New Kitchen Life is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Use the table of contents here to skip to any place you’re looking for, or read through.

What Is Breville?

Breville is a popular Australian brand that has been making quality kitchen and home appliances since 1932. One of their specialties is their range of legendary coffee and espresso machines (for more Breville espresso reviews see our review of the Breville Barista Express here and for other products like the Breville countertop oven see our review here or the Breville Super Q Blender). For lovers of quality coffee machines, we review two of their compact options and compare them, looking at the Breville Bambino and Bambino Plus.

What Is A Breville Bambino?

Bambino comes from Italian and means “small child”. It refers to the small footprint of the two machines. They certainly do fit this description as both models are compact and do not take up much space, a problem with many other models on the market.

Both the Bambino and the Bambino Plus are top-selling coffee or espresso machines that receive stellar feedback from scores of happy customers. We will help you decide which option is best for your needs. The verdict is that they are both exceptional coffee makers, the choice will come down to your needs, something we will discuss.

Detailed Description

Let us take a closer look at the Breville Bambino vs Bambino Plus, what they have in common and the difference between the two options.

Looks

Both are compact good looking espresso machines with a brushed steel finish. This looks modern and classy while also being easy to keep clean. As the name suggests, they are both compact

The Bambino Plus offers a range of other colors if the brushed stainless steel look is not your thing.

Breville Bambino Plus Red Velvet Cake Color Option

Bambino Plus Red Velvet Cake, Credit: Breville USA

The Bambino Plus comes in Brushed Stainless Steel, Black Truffle, Sea Salt, Damson Blue, Black Stainless Steel, Oyster Shell, Royal Champagne, Smoked Hickory, and Red Velvet Cake (above). You can see all of them on Breville.com and also buy directly from the site. You can also see the Bambino on Breville’s site here.

Size and Weight

Both models weigh in at 3.1 pounds. The Bambino Plus is slightly larger.

Dimensions are:

  • Bambino: 7.7in x 12.6in x 12.2in
  • Bambino Plus: 9.6in x 16.3in x 16.9in

Heating

One of the features that make these machines so effective is the ThermoJet heating system. This is super-fast and takes a mere 3 seconds to get great ground coffee to the necessary temperature. It goes up as high as 200 degrees Fahrenheit. That, combined with the precision control and the correct pressure is exactly what you need for the perfect brew.

Capacity

Both models have a coffee capacity of 19 to 22 grams which is enough to make a cup or two, depending on size.  The Bambino Plus has a 1.9L water tank while the standard model holds 1.4L. This delivers precise espresso extraction.

Pump Performance

The pump performance is what you would expect from a premium machine. Both the Bambino models deliver 9 bar pressure for precision extraction. This is achieved thanks to the Italian 15 bar pump that uses low-pressure pre-infusion.

The result is consistently good blends with minimal effort. Extraction is precise and optimizes the ingredients.

User Interface

Another feature that makes the Breville such a great option is the user-friendliness. They are simple to operate and work quickly to craft your brew of choice. The interface is basic and easy to use while still offering exceptional control and a range of options.

Breville makes use of a one-touch system and has a minimalistic control design. The buttons are clear as to what they do and a breeze to use.

Warranty

A significant difference between these models is in the warranty. The Bambino has a 1-year warranty while the Plus model has a 2-year warranty.

We recommend that you buy an extended warranty for either one of these models, for as long of a warranty period as you can manage. Small appliances like these, especially these, with a lot of moving parts tend to break, not always but if they do you want to be covered, and a 1-year or even a 2-year warranty doesn’t give you enough protection.

Steam Wand

As you would expect, both the Bambino options have a steam wand. They are, however, quite different. They are user-friendly and deliver good power. This gives you speed and precision while also allowing for latte art on your favorite brews.

Bambino Plus milk temperate and texture control

Breville Bambino Plus Adjustable milk temp & texture, credit: Breville USA

The Bambino Plus also allows you to adjust your heat settings to three different temperatures and to three different milk textures.

Both models deliver steam at ideal temperatures, up to 266 degrees Fahrenheit.

Breville hands free steam wand

Bambino Plus Hands-free automatic steam wand, credit: Breville USA

The primary difference is that the Bambino Plus option makes life a bit easier as the texture and temperature can be adjusted according to your needs and the foaming is automatic. Making latte art has never been easier.

Power Rating

For those that want to know, there is a voltage and wattage difference between the two models. The Bambino is 110/120 Volts and delivers 1560 watts. The Plus is 240 volts with 1600 watts.

Temperature Control

The Plus model features PID which is a digital temperature control. It has an integrated temperature sensor. This makes the process easier and more consistent. You can achieve the same results with the standard Breville Bambino, but you will have to put in a bit more effort and concentration. The Plus makes the process easier for optimal temperature.

Auto Purge

This feature is only on the Bambino Plus model and allows the machine to clear the system so that is ready to make the next beverage. It saves a bit of time and hassle.

The Drip Tray

Naturally, both machines have this feature, and they are well-designed and decent quality. The drip tray on both models sports an indicator to tell you when it is full.

This makes it a bit easier to maintain and will prevent overflow. You will find this feature especially handy if you are making coffee on a regular basis or multiple people make use of the espresso maker.

Durability

Both models are well made from quality materials. The workmanship is good. Some of the more expensive models use less plastic so tend to last a bit longer. That being said, if looked after, you can expect many happy years of brewing from a Breville machine.

The advantage is that the materials and design make the unit lighter and more compact. There is always a trade-off. In this case, it is not a major issue.

Accessories

Another significant difference to note is the accessories that come with each model.

The Bambino comes with:

  • A portafilter
  • One milk jug
  • 1 or 2 Cup filter baskets (dual wall)
  • A tamper
  • Descaling powder
  • Steam wand tip cleaning tool

The Bambino Plus comes with:

  • All of the above, plus
  • A cleaning kit
  • Razor tool
  • Milk texturing jug

Road Test

Our findings are that both machines make top-quality espresso. The Bambino Plus gives you greater precision and control while being a bit easier to use but both can deliver exceptional hot drinks. This finding is backed up by the many positive reviews from the buying public.

They certainly are compact and look amazing. They are easy to use. Both use low-pressure pre-infusion which is what makes the results so great Optimal water pressure is essential for a good brew. The ThermoJet system heats quickly, consistently, and professionally for top results.

What Is It Like to Use The Bambino Machines?

It is hard to beat the Breville experience. The Breville Bambino vs Bambino Plus will cater to all your espresso requirements but there are a few key differences. These two options are both great, but it is important to note the difference we have explained. This will allow you to invest in the one that works best for your needs.

The main thing is that they are reliable and easy to use. The experience is what you would expect from a seasoned barrister at a leading coffee shop. It might take a small amount of practice but soon the machines will allow you to make espresso, cappuccino, and other tasty aromatic blends as if you had been doing it for years.

The water tank is easy to operate, and the buttons and controls are user-friendly. Both machines are easy to clean. They will even remind you when it is time to clean and come with equipment and descaling powder. Keeping the unit clean will ensure pure results and enhance the life of the device.

Based on our experience as well as the feedback from happy customers, the Breville Bambino range makes aromatic and tasty beverages quickly, easily, and with a dash of style. The flavors are exceptional.

What We Like Best About The Bambino Machines

What we like about the Breville Bambino

  • Value for money
  • Compact
  • Steam wand can be used to dispense water
  • User-friendly control panel

What we like about the Breville Bambino Plus

  • Automatic texture control
  • Milk texture and temperature can be adjusted
  • Automatic milk frothing
  • Multiple color options
  • Generous water reservoir
  • A wide range of accessories
  • Precise temperature control
  • Milk frother has auto-purge for fast and easy cleaning

Breville gives you more details in this video.

What We Like Least About The Bambino Machines

What We Did Not Like About The Breville Bambino

  • Milk must be manually steamed
  • Only has a 1-year warranty – buy an extended warranty
  • The milk pitcher is an additional expense
  • No built-in grinder is included

What we did not like about the Breville Bambino Plus

  • The additional features come at a higher price
  • No hot water dispenser
  • While still compact, it is slightly larger

What Would Be Better About These Machines?

As we have discussed above, the Plus model does have some additional features but comes at a higher price. If these features are important to you, it is worth the additional investment.

Some coffee drinkers might argue that plastic parts are less durable than other espresso machines. While this might be true, they are still good quality, and you can expect many years of service from a Breville appliance. The build quality is good, and the workmanship on this compact espresso machine is impressive.

One issue is that many people state that parts are hard to come by and that repairs to Breville machines are difficult. They do, according to most reports, have exceptional customer service. This is a large and well-established brand with a good reputation. They are not likely to let you down.

Neither machine has a display so you will have to get to know the appliance and understand the lights and feedback that it gives you. This is not rocket science but some of the more advanced machines are easier to understand.

Some people stated that a larger drip tray would be preferable. This depends on how much you use the machine and how often you empty it out and clean it. It need not be a major issue.

The main pain point with these models is that they are somewhat more expensive than the average small espresso machine. This puts a lot of people off. The truth is that you are getting quality, convenience, and efficiency.

They look great, perform well, and are easy to use. Both options make the art of brewing a perfect espresso or coffee painless and easy. Getting the optimal espresso temperature is a breeze.

FAQs

Are the Breville Bambino Plus or Barista Express programmable?

Both the Breville Bambino and the Plus machines use volumetric control in conjunction with the 54mm portafilter. You just need to get your coffee beans allocation correct (19g) and you can look forward to perfect barista-style coffee every time. The setting can be programmed, or you can preset it. It can also be used manually if you wish to do something different.

The double shot button is a great convenience.

What’s the difference between Breville Bambino and Bambino Plus?

There are a few key differences to note. The Breville Bambino is the more basic and budget-friendly of the two options. It still has the signature Breville quality and performance but lacks a few of the more sophisticated features and benefits of the Plus model.

Key Differences:
  • Compact design
  • Brushed steel finish
  • 3 Drink options (espresso, cappuccino, macchiato)
  • Limited accessories
  • The Bambino Plus is a bit more advanced and gives your more flexibility
  • and a wider range of options.
  • Slightly larger
  • More expensive
  • More drink options (including chai tea and Turkish blends
  • Customizable milk texture and milk temperature
  • Quality stainless steel milk jug
  • More accessory options included
  • PID digital temperature control
  • Auto purge feature

If you are a big cappuccino fan, it is worth the extra investment for the Bambino Plus. It has more options and an easier setting for the perfect brew with minimal effort. The digital temperature and auto-purge on the Plus option also make it easier to operate.

So, which is better the Breville Bambino or the Bambino Plus?

There are many quality espresso or coffee machines on the market. Breville stands out as they have decades of experience and deliver quality at a fair price. The best one for you is the one that works best for your needs. You need to decide on your needs and requirements.

The bottom line is that you are unlikely to go wrong with a Breville espresso machine. For a slightly larger investment at a great price, the Breville Bambino Plus offers more versatility and convenience. The Breville Bambino espresso machine is still a great option.

Breville Bambino on Breville’s site here and the Bambino Plus on Amazon here. And we recommend getting an extended warranty for as long as you can.

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