Breville Bambino Vs Bambino Plus: Reasons Why You Should Opt For The Bambino Plus

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The Breville Bambino and Bambino Plus are two compact and well-designed espresso machines in the market. They are also easy to use and look stylish on the countertop. However, between the Breville Bambino vs Bambino Plus, the Bambino Plus wins my heart.

The Breville Bambino Plus stands out for its automatic milk steamer. I can get foamy and velvety milk froth by simply adjusting the milk temperature and texturing levels and letting the machine do the rest. Besides, its auto-purge function is very convenient, making cleaning less daunting. Its heating system and brewing function are excellent, producing hot and consistent shots every time.

The Breville Bambino ranks in second place because it does not have the auto-milk frother. Its steam wand is also smaller, making manual steaming relatively more difficult. However, the Bambino is a nice semi-automatic espresso maker if you are on a budget. It features the same ThermoJet heating element and PID controller as the Bambino Plus. Plus, its brewing performance is comparable to its rival’s.

Breville Bambino vs Bambino Plus: Comparison Chart

Image
The Winner (#1)
Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Machine,64 Fluid Ounces, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES500BSS
The Runner-up (#2)
Breville Bambino Espresso Machine,47 Fluid Ounces, Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Bambino Plus
Breville Bambino
Dimensions (LxWxH)
12.6 x 7.7 x 12.2 Inches
13.7 x 6.3 x 12 Inches
Weight / Power / Voltage
12 lbs / 1560 W/ 110-120 V
10.9 lbs / 1560 W / 110-120 V
Water Tank Capacity
64 oz
47 oz
Heating System
ThermoJet
ThermoJet
Pre Infusion
Pump Pressure
15 bar
15 bar
Digital Temperature Controller (PID)
Interface
Button control
Button control
Milk System
Automatic & Manual milk wand
Manual milk wand
Auto-Purge
Flexible Shot Control
Adjustable Milk Temperature
Adjustable Brewing Temperature
Water Filter
Not included
Not included
Standby Mode
What I Like
Price
$499.95
$299.95
The Winner (#1)
Image
Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Machine,64 Fluid Ounces, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES500BSS
Model
Breville Bambino Plus
Dimensions (LxWxH)
12.6 x 7.7 x 12.2 Inches
Weight / Power / Voltage
12 lbs / 1560 W/ 110-120 V
Water Tank Capacity
64 oz
Heating System
ThermoJet
Pre Infusion
Pump Pressure
15 bar
Digital Temperature Controller (PID)
Interface
Button control
Milk System
Automatic & Manual milk wand
Auto-Purge
Flexible Shot Control
Adjustable Milk Temperature
Adjustable Brewing Temperature
Water Filter
Not included
Standby Mode
What I Like
Price
$499.95
More Info
The Runner-up (#2)
Image
Breville Bambino Espresso Machine,47 Fluid Ounces, Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Bambino
Dimensions (LxWxH)
13.7 x 6.3 x 12 Inches
Weight / Power / Voltage
10.9 lbs / 1560 W / 110-120 V
Water Tank Capacity
47 oz
Heating System
ThermoJet
Pre Infusion
Pump Pressure
15 bar
Digital Temperature Controller (PID)
Interface
Button control
Milk System
Manual milk wand
Auto-Purge
Flexible Shot Control
Adjustable Milk Temperature
Adjustable Brewing Temperature
Water Filter
Not included
Standby Mode
What I Like
Price
$299.95
More Info

Last update on 2024-03-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Breville Bambino vs Bambino Plus: Differences

The Breville Bambino Plus wins 3-0 against the Bambino owing to its larger water tank, automatic milk texturing feature, and auto purge feature for easily cleaning the milk system. Apart from that, these two machines deliver comparable brewing performance.

Coffee flavor & Brewing system

Tie!

The Bambino and Bambino Plus all have low-pressure pre infusion to infuse the water into the coffee puck slowly and uniformly, contributing to extracting the full-flavor espresso. Their pre infusion duration is often about 7-8 seconds. After that, the high-pressure extraction at 15 bar is operated to pull the full-bodied shot.

However, unlike some other manual espresso machines, the Breville Bambino and Babino Plus allow me to change the pre-infusion time (or manually override the pre infusion and extraction duration). By holding down the single or double cup button, the pre-infusion is operated. Then, when you want to stop the pre-infusion to start the extraction, just release the button. 

If you do the manual pre-infusion and shot control, it is essential to keep an eye on the flow time of the pulled shot. When you have a longer pre-infusion time, the extraction duration will be shorter, and vice versa. The recommended total brewing duration is around 30 seconds to get ~60 ml of regular double shot and ~30 ml of regular single shot volumes.

Bambino Plus and Bambino have comparable brewing performance
Bambino Plus and Bambino have comparable brewing performance

They all use the ThermoJet heating system, which enables quick heat-up time within 3-5 seconds. However, they cannot brew and froth milk at the same time, but the ThermoJet technology also makes switching between brewing and steaming much faster than other heating systems. 

In addition, I can brew the espresso with good hotness shot after shot, thanks to the equipped PID temperature control. The PID plays a critical role in keeping the temperature consistent during the whole espresso extraction and milk steaming process. 

After trying out both the Bambino Plus and the Breville Bambino, I managed to craft a well-rounded espresso shot with minimal mess. Specifically, I’m able to achieve hot and consistent extraction most of the time, characterized by a syrupy body, a delightful golden crema, and a profound richness in flavor.

The Bambino Plus makes beautiful latte drinks
The Bambino Plus makes beautiful latte drinks

Design & Convenience

Winner: Breville Bambino Plus

The Bambino Plus and the standard Bambino version have small footprints, are lightweight, and do not make much noise while operating. They also have a sleek and stylish appearance, very pleasing to the eyes. If you are looking for a lightweight and compact machine, either the Bambino Plus or the original Bambino is a good appliance.

Because they are lightweight, I have to hold them down with the other hand when inserting the portafilter into the group head. During the brewing time, I also noticed a little vibration with the Bambino, making my small espresso glass move slowly on the drip tray. This issue is not observed on the Bambino Plus.

However, if I have to choose one between both, I will go for the Bambino Plus for its larger water reservoir. Its water reservoir capacity is 64 oz (~1.9 liters), 17 oz bigger than that of the Bambino. Though having such a larger water container, the Plus version still boasts a compact dimension, quite similar to the parameters of the original Bambino.

They all use the intuitive button control interface. You can easily pull double or single-shot espresso with a touch of a button. Besides, they have the hot water function, delivering the hot water out from the steam wand. I often use this hot-water function to warm the cup and make americano.

The interface between Bambino Plus (above) vs Bambino (below)
The interface between Bambino Plus (above) vs Bambino (below)

Milk system

Winner: Breville Bambino Plus

One of the significant differences between the Bambino Plus and the Breville Bambino is the automatic milk steam wand. So far, this auto milk texturing function is worth the extra cost when comparing the Bambino Plus and the Bambino. The Bambino only has the manual mode for steaming and frothing milk.

The automatic milk system of the Bambino Plus offers adjustable settings of milk temperature (3 levels) and milk texture (3 levels). The automation and adjustment I get from the Bambino Plus’s milk system make frothing and steaming milk much easier. It does not require me any prior experience to produce decent milk microfoam or creamy milk texture for my cappuccino or latte.

In addition, I can bypass the automatic milk function and use the steam wand in manual mode like the original Bambino model. Moreover, the steam wand tip of the Bambino Plus features 4 holes instead of 1 hole, making steaming milk quicker and easier to get more microfoam.

The steam wand of Breville bambino vs Bambino Plus
The steam wand of Breville bambino vs Bambino Plus

On the other hand, the steam wand of the Bambino is a bit shorter and has only one hole at the tip. This makes steaming a little more difficult in finding the right angle and leverage to infuse the air into the milk. So, it takes a while to texture the milk, which I find longer than when steaming with the frother of the Bambino Plus model.

However, there is one crucial note when using the steam wand of either the Bambino or Bambino Plus: to get the proper milk texturing quality with both machines, purging before starting to steam is essential because it allows me to get dry steam and avoid watering down my milk texture. 

Cleaning & Maintenance

Winner: Breville Bambino Plus

Another convenient feature I love about the Bambino Plus is the auto-purge function, which is not on the lower-price Bambino. After levering down the steam wand, the machine releases all excess steam into the drip tray automatically. This means the steam wand helps clean itself right after you finish your froth, helping reduce the residue buildup and clogging issues if you forget to purge it manually.

However, the auto-purge action of the Bambino Plus is quite aggressive for me. The water splashes and makes quite a mess on the countertop. So, I have to use a soft cloth to put under or wrap around the steam wand to avoid splashes.

With the Breville Baminio original verison, you have to remind yourself to purge the steam wand manually. So, it has more things you need to remember. Apart from that, all two machines are easy to clean. They also have removable drip trays with an indicator so you don’t overflow it. Additionally, they signal you when you need to descale to maintain their optimal performance.

The auto-purge of Bambino Plus is quite aggressive
The auto-purge of Bambino Plus is quite aggressive

Quick Rundown of Breville Bambino Plus BES500

Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Machine,64 Fluid Ounces, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES500BSS
  • Item Package Dimension: 17.64L x 16.99W x 10.24H inches
  • Item Package Weight - 15.74 Pounds
  • Item Package Quantity - 1
  • Product Type - COFFEE MAKER

Last update on 2024-03-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Heat up in 3 seconds
  • Intuitive button control
  • Nice appearance and low noise
  • Automatic milk system that produces good-quality milk froth
  • The auto-purge function helps the steamer clean itself
Cons
  • Some can have leaking issue (but rare)

Quick Rundown of Breville Bambino BES450

Breville Bambino Espresso Machine,47 Fluid Ounces, Stainless Steel
  • Please refer to user guide or user manual or user guide (provided below in PDF) before first use
  • Low pressure pre infusion: Low pressure pre infusion gradually increases pressure at the start and helps ensure all the flavors are drawn out evenly during the extraction for a balanced tasting cup
  • Automatic Microfoam Milk Texturing: The automatic steam wand allows you to adjust the milk temperature and texture to suit your taste; Delivering Barista quality microfoam that enhances flavor and enables creation of latte art
  • Espresso Machine with precise extraction: Digital temperature control (PID) delivers water at precisely the right temperature ensuring optimal Espresso extraction

Last update on 2024-03-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Does not make much noise
  • ThermoJet heating system with PID temperature control
Cons
  • Relatively difficult to nail the proper milk texturing

Product Videos

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References

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