Breville Bambino vs Gaggia Classic: Which Is The Better Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine?

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If you are waiting for the verdict of the debate between Breville Bambino vs Gaggia Classic, this article is my own opinion. For a quick conclusion, the winner is the Breville, and the Gaggia is the runner-up.

Despite sharing many similar points as any semi-automatic espresso machine, the Bambino has impressed me more with its heating system and utilities (auto shut-off and auto purge), as well as its reasonable price. And, if you are looking for a basic one, I highly recommend this model to you.

Meanwhile, Gaggia Classic is still a serious opponent due to its wonderful espresso extraction, giant tank size, and user-friendliness.

Breville Bambino vs Gaggia Classic: Comparison Chart

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THE WINNER (#1)
Breville Bambino Espresso Machine, Stainless Steel
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Gaggia 14101 Classic Semi-Automatic Espresso Maker. Pannarello Wand for Latte and Cappuccino Frothing. Brews for Both Single and Double Shots.
Model
Breville Bambino BES450
Gaggia 14101 Classic
Dimensions (WxDxH)
6.3" x 13.7" x 12"
8.0" x 9.5" x 14.2"
Material
Stainless Steel
Stainless Steel
Weight
12 Pounds
20 Pounds
Voltage
110-120 V
110-120 V
Wattage
1560 W
1425 W
Water Tank Capacity
1.4 L / 47 oz
2.1 L / 71 oz
Pump Pressure
9 bars
15 bars
Human Interface Input
Buttons
Buttons
Heating System
Thermojet
Single Boiler
Milk System
Manual/ Steam Wand
Manual/ Steam Wand
Removable water reservoir
PID Temperature Control
Hot water
Auto Shut-off
Auto Purge
What I Like
Price
$347.99
Price not available
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
Breville Bambino Espresso Machine, Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Bambino BES450
Dimensions (WxDxH)
6.3" x 13.7" x 12"
Material
Stainless Steel
Weight
12 Pounds
Voltage
110-120 V
Wattage
1560 W
Water Tank Capacity
1.4 L / 47 oz
Pump Pressure
9 bars
Human Interface Input
Buttons
Heating System
Thermojet
Milk System
Manual/ Steam Wand
Removable water reservoir
PID Temperature Control
Hot water
Auto Shut-off
Auto Purge
What I Like
Price
$347.99
More Info
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Image
Gaggia 14101 Classic Semi-Automatic Espresso Maker. Pannarello Wand for Latte and Cappuccino Frothing. Brews for Both Single and Double Shots.
Model
Gaggia 14101 Classic
Dimensions (WxDxH)
8.0" x 9.5" x 14.2"
Material
Stainless Steel
Weight
20 Pounds
Voltage
110-120 V
Wattage
1425 W
Water Tank Capacity
2.1 L / 71 oz
Pump Pressure
15 bars
Human Interface Input
Buttons
Heating System
Single Boiler
Milk System
Manual/ Steam Wand
Removable water reservoir
PID Temperature Control
Hot water
Auto Shut-off
Auto Purge
What I Like
Price
Price not available
More Info

Last update on 2023-02-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Breville Bambino vs Gaggia Classic: Differences

After examining these two machines, I concluded that Breville Bambino wins 2-0 and ties 2 times against Gaggia Classic. To learn more about the details, read the breakdown below.

BREWING TECHNIQUE & Coffee Flavor

Tie

Brewing technique

As you may likely know, to make a great espresso, you need at least 9 bars of pressure, and with 15 bars, you will receive all the power and pressure to get “premium” espresso with every use of the machine.

With this pair, while Gaggia Classic uses a 15-bar pump pressure system to extract every ounce of espresso, Breville Bambino pulls around 9 bars only. Hence, it points out that Gaggia has the upper hand.

In case you are an espresso nerd, I highly recommend you choose the Gaggia line since each espresso shot of this machine comes out with a darker color, a greater crema, and a stronger flavor. In contrast, if you enjoy a balanced espresso flavor with a pleasant aroma and subtle sweetness, the Breville line is for you.

The espresso flows from the Breville Bambino
The espresso flows from the Breville Bambino

Dosing & Tamping

Given the semi-automatic nature of these two machines, several steps in the brewing process require users to do it manually, including grinding, dosing, tamping, and so on. With grinding, you need an external grinder to grind the beans, or you can also choose to use other types of pre-ground coffee or pods for brewing. For dosing, the size of the baskets that come with the portafilter determines how much coffee to use. Every basket has a line that indicates when it’s time to stop pouring in more ground.

In general, both Gaggia Classic and Breville Bambino follow the same procedures. However, there are some details that make Breville the better one in this aspect.

With Breville Bambino, this machine is featured to control the espresso volume for you. Press and hold the “1-cup” and “2-cup” buttons for two seconds, then press the desired “Cup” button within three seconds to start extraction, and press the same cup button again to stop the extraction. Afterward, the modified volume will be saved. Be assured that these operations are easy to follow, even if you are a newcomer. Also, the official Breville Youtube channel has many instructional videos for customers’ reference.

In the case of the Gaggia Classic, it is a bit inconvenient since you have to control the coffee volume manually. To illustrate, you need to find a cup that you know the size of, then put it under the spouts and fill it with the amount of espresso you want.

Heating system

To begin with, the proprietary ThermoJet heating system with PID temperature control of the Breville Bambino really impressed me. The water temperature is fixed at exactly 200 degrees F for perfectly balanced flavors, and you just need 3 seconds for the machine to heat up and get ready to make espresso shots. Actually, this is an amazing feature that outperforms many dual-temp infusers out there. If you are a coffee drinker who prefers quickness, convenience, and a reasonable deal, I highly recommend this Breville model.

As for the Gaggia Classic, you will have to wait a moment for the machine to get ready. This one uses a single boiler for heating, and it takes about 5 minutes to heat up. Nevertheless, in return, its giant 71 oz water tank is a big advantage. Let’s say you set this machine up at your office, and with only 3 minutes of heat-up time, you can get a large number of servings. Thus, this machine will be a reasonable choice for crowded places.

Milk system

Tie

The milk foam is better for latte art than a cappuccino
The milk foam is better for latte art than a cappuccino

After testing, I found that the milk system of these two semi-automatic espresso machines does not differ greatly. Both of them are equipped with a manual steam wand that is easy to use and can also be used to get hot water as well.

About the quality of the froth, it is nice, fine, and creamy. However, I realized that the milk foam is better for latte art than a cappuccino. But, by and large, at their prices, both Gaggia Classic and Breville Bambino are still affordable choices for milk frothing.

Cleaning & Maintain

The winner: Breville Bambino

Overall, both machines are quite easy to clean and maintain. However, in terms of cleaning, Breville Bambino is somewhat easier.

As you know, after each use, you will have to wipe the steam wand as well as cleanse the milk and coffee lines regularly to avoid deposits and bad taste. No matter whether the espresso machine has an auto-clean feature or not, this work is essential. With the Breville line, thanks to the purge feature, cleaning the milk path is much easier.

Utilities

The winner: Breville Bambino

With Breville Bambino, this machine provides users with two more great utilities, auto-off and auto-purge, which the Gaggia Classic does not have.

In fact, there aren’t many espresso machines at Breville’s price point equipped with the auto-purge function. With this feature, every time you switch between brewing and steaming, the device pushes the extra steam and hot water out of the boiler automatically. Besides, after the machine finishes the steaming process, it will help bring the water temperature back higher, thereby ensuring the temperature for the next coffee extraction.

As for the auto-off feature, over time, you will save a significant amount of energy and help increase the machine’s lifespan.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Bambino

Breville Bambino Espresso Machine, Stainless Steel
  • Note: 1)Too coarse a grind, too little coffee, or insufficiently tamping the grounds before brewing can all lead to inadequate pressure for a proper brew. 2)It is important to note that the amount of espresso extracted will vary depending on the grind size and amount and reprogramming may be needed when the size and amount are adjusted
  • The Breville Bambino does not compromise on third wave specialty coffee by delivering barista quality performance using a 54mm portafilter with 19 grams for full flavor and an automatic steam wand for milk texturing that delivers true handsfree microfoam at the right temperature
  • 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.
  • Faster Heat Up Time: Innovative thermojet heating system achieves the optimum extraction temperature in 3 seconds; Ready to make your best coffee without the wait.
  • 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

Last update on 2023-02-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Auto shut-off
  • Auto-purge
  • Noise levels are low
  • Compact design
  • Heating up quickly
Cons
  • Small drip tray

Quick Rundown Of Gaggia Classic

Gaggia 14101 Classic Semi-Automatic Espresso Maker. Pannarello Wand for Latte and Cappuccino Frothing. Brews for Both Single and Double Shots.
  • Rugged brushed stainless steel housing
  • Commercial three-way solenoid valve
  • Commercial-style 58mm chrome-plated brass portafilter and Brew Group
  • Easy-to-use Turbo-Frother steam wand attachment
  • Easy-to-use Turbo-Frother steam wand attachment

Last update on 2023-02-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • The pump with 15 bars of pressure
  • Great for commercial purposes
  • Amazing espresso quality
  • An impressive 72 oz water reservoir
Cons
  • The water tank is not removable

Product Videos

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  8. Top 7 Best Breville Espresso Machine Reviews

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