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Bambino vs Bambino Plus – Are the Extras Worth It?

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If you are looking for an espresso machine to make café-quality espresso drinks from home, you cannot go wrong with these models from Breville.

These espresso machines are compact and will fit comfortably in any kitchen. They are sure to give you rich and consistent shots of espresso that rival those made by your favorite barista. The two espresso machines use a proprietary heating technology that heats up in record-time.

However, should you go for the Bambino or the Bambino Plus? Which of the two is better? In this bambino vs bambino plus comparison, we put the two espresso machines under the microscope. By the end, you’ll know which of the Breville models is perfect for you.

The Bambino and Bambino Plus are truly high quality espresso machines. One feature they lack in however is the ability to pour pour you a cup of coffee while – kicked off from your phone on the way home from work. to see a full range of such machines, swing by out guide to the best smart coffee makers.

Overview

Breville is an iconic global brand that has been delivering innovative kitchen appliances since 1932.

Breville announced that it will bring a micro-mini espresso machine with excellent performance to the market, and it fulfilled that promise with the launch of Bambino. While enthusiasts were still amazed by how well the small espresso machine performed, Breville launched another, the Bambino Plus.

While these micro-mini espresso machines are equally powerful, how do they compare against each other? Well the Breville Bambino Plus does have more features but it’s also a little more expensive. Here we’ll see if it’s worth it.

Differences

Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES500BSSwins choice
8.5
RATING
features
8
ease of use
8.5
durability
9
brew quality
9
value for money
8

Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Machine

  • 1/2 Shots at 9-bar
  • 3 Temperature Settings
  • Automatic Milk Foaming
  • 4 Hole Steam Wand
  • No Hot Water Only
  • 64oz Reservoir
  • Removable Reservoir
  • 2 Year Warranty
  • $499.95
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    the Bambinorunner-up
    7.8
    RATING
    features
    6.5
    ease of use
    7
    durability
    9
    brew quality
    9
    value for money
    7.5

    Breville Bambino Espresso Machine

  • 1/2 Shots at 9-bar
  • No Temperature Settings
  • Manual Milk Foaming
  • 1 Hole Steam Wand
  • Hot Water Only
  • 47oz Reservoir
  • Removable Reservoir
  • 1 Year Warranty
  • As you can see from above, the biggest differences between the Breville Bambino and Bambino Plus is the automated milk frothing and temperature adjustment – found on the Bambino Plus. The steamer on the Bambino Plus features more holes, leading to faster frothing experience plus a larger water tank. The Bambino Plus is better suited to people who prefer the automated approach.

    The Breville Bambino features a hot water only feature that the Bambino Plus doesn’t have, perfect for morning oat meal or an evening cup of tea. The Breville Bambino is better suited to people (like myself) who prefer the manual touch.

    Similarities

    • Espresso produced by both machines are top notch, on par with Breville’s more expensive machines.
    • Both the Bambino and Bambino Plus only take ground coffee. You can’t use ESE coffee pods.
    • The Breville Bambino and Bambino Plus are made from stainless steel and are durable.
    • They use Breville’s proprietary Thermojet heating technology that achieves optimum extraction temperature in 3 seconds.
    • 54mm portafilter.
    • Sturdy removable drip catchers that collect spills and overflows as you make your espresso drinks. They also come with an overflow indicator that tells you when the drip catcher should be emptied.
    • Both feature a stainless steel milk jug to froth your milk in. Neither milk jug has a temperature gauge.

    Breville Bambino vs Bambino Plus
    Feature Comparison

    The two Breville models have some interesting unique features. Let’s dive into them.

    The Bambino Plus

    Size – The Bambino Plus slightly edges the Bambino in size. However, this does not mean that it’ll need more space on your countertop. Its dimensions are almost identical to those of the standard Bambino.

    Water tank – It comes with a 64oz water tank, giving you more water to make more drinks. While the Bambino has quite a large capacity, this takes it a step further.

    Drip tray – The overflow indicator of the drip catcher is positioned on the left-hand side of the tray and not in the middle as in the Bambino.

    Tamper – The tamper of the Plus model is made of metal which is more durable than the plastic tamper of the Breville Bambino.

    Integrated temperature sensor – This feature of the Bambino Plus is absent in the Breville Bambino, and it’s one of the things that make the Bambino Plus superior.  It enables you to adjust the temperature of the steam, so it keeps you in control when making lattes and cappuccinos.

    Steam wand – The model has a 3-hole tip. The Bambino Plus steamer is clearly superior as it comes with automatic milk foam texturing. It gets milk to the perfect frothing temperature through its adjustable milk temperature.

    These features of the Bambino Plus allow you control over how light or dense you want the foam to be, and basically gives you “pro” outcomes when frothing milk. The steam wand also comes with an auto-purge feature which is absent in the Breville Bambino. This feature is the biggest difference between the two, allowing you to focus more on your latte art!

    Color – The Bambino Plus is available in the regular stainless steel color as well as several other colors. This allows you to match your espresso machine with the ambiance of your kitchen.

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    The Breville Bambino

    Size – The Bambino is smaller than the Bambino Plus but only slightly. The only noticeable thing is that this model is narrower at the top.

    Water Tank – This Bambino has a water tank with a capacity of 47oz. That’s more than enough to have many great cups of Joe before needing to be topped up.  

    Drip tray – There is a small red button sitting inside the drip catcher that lets you know when the drip catcher is full and should be emptied. The Bambino has this overflow indicator at the center of the drip catcher. This helps to keep you on top of maintenance.

    Tamper – The Bambino tamper is made of plastic, which does feel a little cheap. It does feel durable and it doesn’t appear that long-term users have an issue with it.

    Steam wand – This model has a one-hole steam wand. It is solid and easy to use for creaming fine latte art. You can also get clean hot water from the steam wand.

    Color – The Bambino is available in only stainless-steel colors. 

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    Breville Bambino vs Bambino Plus
    Ease of Use

    Make no mistake, both the Bambino and the Bambino Plus models are easy to use. However, being that they are unique, small differences exist. Let’s look at them.

    The Bambino Plus

    Interface – The Bambino Plus also features one-touch buttons that make it straightforward to use. It features five buttons, the four you’ll find in the Bambino, and a temperature control button.

    To make things even easier, in addition to its 5 buttons, the interface of the Bambino Plus also features two little scales. One displays the temperature of the espresso, and the other displays the foam density of milk froth.

    Removable drip Catcher – The drip catcher in both models has a sleek design that makes emptying its content easy when it’s full. However, in the Bambino Plus model, the overflow indicator in the tray is positioned where it can be seen all the time, so you can always tell when it is full and should be emptied.

    The Breville Bambino

    Interface – The Bambino has four simple one-touch buttons at the front. These allow you to control everything. The buttons have light indicators, so you won’t be lost.

    The four buttons are single and double espresso shot button, hot water button, and steam button. This means that there is no power button. It is the single-shot button that turns the espresso machine on.

    Removable Drip Catcher – The drip catcher easily slides in and out of the espresso machine. So, it’s easy to take it out and empty it when it’s full.

    Breville Bambino vs Bambino Plus
    Brew Quality

    With the Breville models, you can brew single and double quality espresso shots with the touch of a button, and the results are fantastic.

    To be inventive, you can opt against the quicker one-touch brewing process and choose to control the espresso shot pulling time. This is done by pressing down the button and releasing it at the right time.

    Both Breville Bambino espresso machine models have low-pressure pre-infusion and 9 bar pressure extraction. This means you have the ideal pressure for espresso, and water passes evenly through the coffee during the extraction process to give you a rich experence.

    Breville Bambino vs Bambino Plus
    Cleaning and Maintenance

    Both the Bambino and the Bambino Plus espresso machine models are easy to clean and maintain.

    The brushed stainless-steel surface can be easily wiped clean. The removable drip catcher is there to catch spills and overflow of water or milk. Also, this can easily be removed and cleaned in a sink.

    The steam wands on both espresso makers cleans up automatically. The auto-purge feature of the steam wand from the Bambino Plus makes cleaning it up even easier when setting up for another cup.

    One downside of the compact espresso machine is that they are too difficult to clean and eventually people get bored of needing to do that after each use. You’re not going to have that issue here and you’ll love using it time and time again.

    Bambino vs Bambino Plus
    Overall Value

    Either Bambino espresso maker offers precise espresso extraction and delicious espresso drinks. They are sturdy and compact, easy for traveling, and will not take up much space on your countertop.

    Importantly, they heat up in rapid time and offer low-pressure pre-infusion that ensures a good-quality brew. Also, they come with a simple interface, so they are easy to operate.

    The Bambino seems to offer only one thing that the Bambino Plus does not, and that is a hot water outlet. You can get clean hot water from the steam wand of the Bambino. Given that the machines heat up in 3 seconds, this is a fine way to quickly get hot water for tea.

    The Bambino Plus has a little more functionality than the Bambino, especially with the milk texturing system that firmly puts it in front of the Bambino.

    As you can expect, the Bambino Plus is more expensive due to those extra features. While both are a significant investment, there is no doubt that they provide value with their long list of features.

    Breville Bambino vs Bambino Plus
    Final Thoughts

    If you are looking for a great machine to make delicious espressos or Americano-style drinks, you cannot go wrong with either the Bambino or the Bambino Plus. However, the Bambino Plus integrates a great auto frothing feature for more value.

    If you love learning to manually froth milk to bring it to the right texture is too much for you, the Bambino Plus will be perfect for you. If you want a simpler and more affordable machine, you’ll love the Bambino.

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    Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Machine

    Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Machine

    • 1/2 Shots at 9-bar
    • Automatic Milk Foaming
    • 64 oz Removable Reservoir
    $499.95
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    the Bambino

    the Bambino

    • 1/2 Shots at 9-bar
    • Manual Milk Foaming
    • 47 oz Removable Reservoir
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    Evelyn J Stafford

    Evelyn is a Coffee enthusiast and writer for Wins Coffee Bar. Her work has appeared in Bean Scene, The Home Kitchen and other publications.

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