Brewing quality espresso at home is a tricky task. Some would even argue that it’s an unpractical approach. Espresso requires more precision and care than a regular cup of drip coffee. And it’s a quick, high-pressure brew procedure that highlights flaws more dramatically than other conventional home methods too! This means, you’d need a reliable espresso maker at home, and Breville presents you with such a machine.
Breville has cracked the home espresso code with their Oracle and Barista models, and now they’ve added the Bambino series too. Today we’ll see in our Breville Bambino Plus review how it’s a solid mid-range machine capable of delivering quality espresso and cappuccinos in our home comfort.
Breville Bambino Plus: Technical Specifications
- Achieve a consistent and balanced espresso with dose-control grinding.
- Optimal water pressure for extraction of all flavors.
- Faster heat-up time than traditional espresso machines.
- Precise espresso extraction with digital temperature control.
- Automatic microfoam milk texturing for barista-quality foam.
- A compact footprint takes up minimal counter space.
The Bambino Plus is a cute-sized machine for kitchen counters that packs some serious punches. Thus, it has a small footprint (WxDxH) of 7.7 x 12.6 x 12.2 inches while weighing just 14.4 lbs. Breville mixed both plastic and stainless steel to construct this machine.
It has a transparent 64 oz. water tank at its back. Upfront, it has 1-CUP, 2-CUP, and STEAM buttons. These buttons are preset, but you can reprogram them for shot durations and volumes also. Then you’ll see the milk temperature button with warm, ideal, and hot selectors. Similarly, you’ll see the hands-free milk foam button with low, medium, and high settings.
Its 1560 watts and 110-120 volts power a 15-bar Italian pump and a ThermoJet system. The thermojet system heats up the machine in just 3 seconds after switching it on. In addition to this, it comes with Breville’s patented PID temperature control for quality extraction. It has a standard 2-year limited product warranty.
The Bambino Plus comes with a 54mm tamper for a 54mm portafilter, a razor-precision dosing tool, a 16 fl. oz. (480ml) stainless steel-made milk jug, single-wall, and dual-wall filter baskets (1 and 2 cups), a cleaning tool, and a cleaning disc.
Pros And Cons
- It’s simple to keep clean.
- 3 seconds of fast heat-up time.
- Lots of customizable settings for a small machine.
- Makes quality espresso that looks like warm honey.
- Capable of making rich and velvety microfoam with the steam wand.
- Doesn’t have an integrated grinder.
- Doesn’t have an auto-switch-off mode.
Breville Bambino Plus Review: Key Features
The Bambino Plus specializes in delivering 3rd-wave specialty coffee to your home. It uses Breville’s iconic 4-key formula and offers the fastest way to barista-grade results in a compact size. Like a commercial-grade machine, the Bambino Plus does not compromise on the coffee quality and delivers barista-quality performance with a 54mm portafilter to extract 19g of espresso. With a 3-second heat-up time and precise espresso extraction, this is a truly bean-to-cup setup for your home.
It makes full-bodied, rich coffee with complex flavors by always using the correct dose of 17–22g of fresh coffee grounds. This controlled dosage allows the coffee to be fully extracted with an incredible aroma, intense flavors, and distinctive character.
Bambino ensures sweet, luscious, and nuanced flavor notes from its extraction with the precise control of its water temperature. It does this by utilizing its Digital Temperature Control (PID) technology. It allows for precise temperature control over the water for perfectly balanced extraction, resulting in consistently delicious coffee every time.
An opulent, creamy, and caramel-colored espresso is achieved by the low-pressure pre-infusion system by Bambino. It soaks the ground and allows the water to pass evenly through the coffee. The high-pressure (9 bar) extraction process is delivered through a 15-bar Italian pump. As a result, each shot has rich, sweet, and viscous characteristics. One of the underrated features that you should be aware of in this Breville Bambino Plus espresso machine review.
Velvety Microfoam Milk
Savor the silky taste and velvety feel of microfoam milk, which is steamed under pressure with Bambino’s steam wand. You can use either auto or manual milk steaming with this machine. Either way, you’ll end up with enhanced, sweet-flavored tiny bubbles of milky happiness that’ll guarantee to excite your palate.
The Bambino Plus always performs an auto-purge of its heat system after each steam session. As a result, this espresso machine ensures each of your next shots of espresso is extracted at the right temperature.
How To Use The Breville Bambino Plus
Setting The Machine Up
- Detach the water tank first, fill it up with fresh water to the MAX line, and finally reattach the tank to the machine.
- Check and recheck whether the drip tray is correctly positioned on the machine.
- Plug the power cord into the main power outlet. The “1 Cup” button will illuminate.
- Press the “1 CUP” button for 2 seconds and the machine will start its first use cycle.
- Once it finishes, the machine will go into ready mode and all notification lights will be illuminated.
Grinds To Use
The Bambino Plus doesn’t have an integrated grinder. When grinding coffee beans for this machine, the grind size should be fine but not too fine.
If the grind is too fine (powder-like and feels like flour in between fingers), the water will NOT flow through the grind when under pressure. Meaning that it’ll create an over-extracted shot of espresso which will be dark in color and bitter in flavor.
If the grind is too coarse, the water will flow through (ground coffee) too quickly. As a result, the shot of espresso will be under-extracted and will be lacking in color and flavor.
Switching The Machine Off
The Breville Bambino Plus doesn’t have a dedicated or auto switch-off button, which is a shame indeed. So, to switch it off, you simply need to hold down the 1 CUP button and the STEAM button at once.
Making The Espresso
- First, use the razor precision dose trimming tool to trim the puck (full of ground coffee) to the right level for ideally consistent extraction.
- Before placing the 54mm portafilter into the group head, run a short flow of water by pressing the 1 CUP button. This flow of water through the group head will stabilize the temperature prior to your extraction.
- Place the portafilter beneath the group head. Make sure to align the handle with the INSERT position. Now, insert the portafilter into the group head and rotate the handle until you feel the resistance. Place your favorite cup or mug under the coffee spout.
- Press the 1 or 2 CUP buttons. The selected button will flash, indicating that the cup size has been selected. A preset single espresso volume is approximately 30ml, and a preset double espresso will have a volume of 60ml of espresso. The machine will automatically stop pouring once the preset volume has been extracted.
- Ideally, the espresso will start to flow after 8–12 seconds (with the pre-infusion time). Please note that the drips will have the consistency of warm honey. If the flow starts between 1–6 seconds, then it’s a sign of under-extraction. If the flow begins after 12 seconds, then it’s a sign of over-extraction.
Reasons To Buy The Breville Bambino Plus…
If you want to purchase an espresso machine that can froth milk as well, then it’s a good bet. As we’ve already stated, this machine does a fantastic job of making rich, velvety milk froth while giving you 3 choices of milk texture. Not only that, you can perform both auto and manual frothing with this machine.
If you desire an espresso machine that makes 3rd wave specialty coffee, the Breville Bambino should be on your wish list. This machine makes smooth espresso that has a thick crema. Its thermojet and PID technology control the water flow and temperature to get the perfect shot every time.
Lastly, the Breville Bambino Plus auto-purges its steam wand after each session of milk heating. The drip tray and the water tank are easy to remove and reattach when they need cleaning and refilling.
Reasons Not To Go For…
If you want a full-automatic espresso machine, the Bambino is not the one for you. This machine is a mix of automatic and manual functionalities that matches its price range and targeted consumer class.
The Bambino Plus is a cheap machine when compared to some other espresso machines with steam wands. But there are cheaper alternatives too, such as the Nespresso Vertuo Plus. For that price, you can have some pretty good pod machines for your home or office setup.
The Bambino Plus doesn’t have its own integrated grinder. So, if you’re looking for such a thing, you’d have to avoid Bambino Plus.
Customers And Critic’s Feedback…
The most glowing part from the various critical Breville Bambino Plus espresso machine review was its capability to extract superior quality espresso from the get-go. Very few machines in this price range are capable of doing it like the Bambino Plus.
Most consumers have highlighted the fact that it comes with a good steam wand. A steam wand that’s capable of making rich, velvety microfoam.
One of the surprising experiences with this machine for consumers was its auto and manual preset functionalities. It makes the machine suitable for both new and experienced users.
Customers and critics both underlined the fact that the Bambino should have offered a bigger and better drip tray system. Its small drip tray caused all the maintenance-related hazards so far.
Finally, both the critics and customers are in awe of this machine as it has no lag time between pulling an espresso shot and steaming milk. Breville’s thermojet technology is the secret behind this power.
Comparing Bambino With Bambino Plus
|Dimension (WxDxH inches)||6.3 x 13.7 x 12||7.7 x 12.6 x 12.2|
|Water Tank (oz.)||47||64|
|Razor Precision Dosing Tool||No||Yes|
|Temperature Options||N/A||Yes (3)|
|Milk Texture Options||N/A||Yes (3)|
|Frothing||Manual w/ 360 Rotation||Manual And Auto|
|1-Cup & 2-Cup Single-Wall Filter Baskets||No||Yes|
|1-Cup & 2-Cup Dual-Wall Filter Baskets||Yes||Yes|
- The Bambino Plus has the upper hand as it includes features like temperature options, automatic milk steaming, and a few other presets. It means you’ll get more precise results from the Plus version.
- The original Bambino puts more control in the users’ hands with its manual milk wand and fewer automatic functions.
- The Bambino’s drip tray is a little more solid than the Bambino Plus’s because the Bambino Plus features an integrated temperature sensor in the base. It leaves less room for the drip tray.
- The water reservoir on the Bambino Plus is bigger than the Bambino Plus, so you’d still be able to make a dozen espressos with both of them.
- The steam wand is slightly bigger than the Bambino Plus, and its wand has 4 more holes. This means that the Bambino Plus can steam milk in about 30 seconds. It’s 20 seconds faster than the Bambino’s wand.
- Another key difference between these two is that the Bambino has a direct hot water button. To do the same with the Bambino Plus, you have to push the 1-CUP button and the Milk Texture button simultaneously.
- The Bambino offers better value at a lower price, whereas the Bambino Plus has a higher price for easy milk frothing, better maintenance, and extra accessories.
Is Breville Bambino Plus Better Than Bambino Standard?
Yes, if you prefer more auto-functionalities and fewer maintenance standards.
Is Bambino Plus Good?
Yes. In fact, it’s one of the best middle-range semi-automatic machines that you can go for.
Does Breville Bambino Plus Come With A Grinder?
No, both the Bambino nor Bambino Plus don’t come with an integrated grinder.
Does Bambino Plus Have A Cup Warmer?
Yes, the Bambino series machines come with a top cup warmer tray.
Is The Bambino Plus Better Than The Bambino?
Yes, as the Plus model has more functionalities and a bigger water tank.
Is Breville Bambino Plus BPA Free?
All the plastic parts of the Bambino Plus machine that come into contact with water, coffee, and milk are made of BPA-free plastic.
Overall, Bambino Plus offers a pleasantly efficient user experience. Even though it can be viewed as a beginner espresso machine for cappuccino drinkers, from our Breville Bambino Plus review, you can clearly see that it’s not the case entirely. It’s a budget semi-automatic espresso machine that’s very hard to beat. It’s on our best espresso machine under $500 list!
This little machine is so powerful that you’ll only need 3 seconds for it to heat up. Additionally, there is no waiting time between brewing and steaming. Just pair it up with a capable coffee grinder and you’ll be set for extremely tasty coffee for the foreseeable future.