Breville Infuser Vs Bambino: Should You Choose The Compact Or The Big Espresso Machine?

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These are the good espresso machines for beginners, Breville Infuser vs Bambino. In this comparison, the espresso shot quality is quite the same for both machines, but the Infuser offers better overall performance than the Bambino does.

The Breville Infuser allows me to have more control over the brewing process with the adjustable temperature function. Besides, it has the auto-purge feature for convenient steam wand maintenance and quick cool down of the boiler after steaming. It also has a bigger water reservoir and a water filter to improve the quality of the espresso flavor.

The Breville Bambino is a more compact machine but delivers comparable espresso brewing quality, compared to the Infuser. It has a faster heat-up time and milk-steaming time owing to the ThermoJet heating technology. It is also equipped with PID temperature control and the pre-infusion function like the Infuser, giving more consistent and rich-body espresso shots. So, the Bambino is a great option if you have less time to dial in a nice espresso cup.

Breville Infuser vs Bambino: Comparison Chart

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
Breville Infuser Espresso Machine BES840XL, Brushed Stainless Steel
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Breville Bambino Espresso Machine BES450BSS, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Infuser BES840XL
Breville Bambino
Dimensions (LxWxH)
10.1 x 12.3 x 13.1 Inches
13.7 x 6.3 x 12 Inches
Weight / Power
17 Pounds / 1650 W
12 Pounds / 1560 W
Water Tank Capacity
61 oz
47 oz
Water Filter
Heating System
Thermocoil
ThermoJet
Adjustable Brewing Temperature
Heat-up Time
~5-10 minutes
3 seconds
PID Temperature Control
Pre-Infusion
Preprogramed Espresso Shots
1 and 2 shots
1 and 2 shots
Flexible Shot Control
Separate Hot Water Spout
Separate Cleaning Indicator
Auto-Purge
Standby Mode
What I like
Price
$599.95
$299.95
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
Breville Infuser Espresso Machine BES840XL, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Infuser BES840XL
Dimensions (LxWxH)
10.1 x 12.3 x 13.1 Inches
Weight / Power
17 Pounds / 1650 W
Water Tank Capacity
61 oz
Water Filter
Heating System
Thermocoil
Adjustable Brewing Temperature
Heat-up Time
~5-10 minutes
PID Temperature Control
Pre-Infusion
Preprogramed Espresso Shots
1 and 2 shots
Flexible Shot Control
Separate Hot Water Spout
Separate Cleaning Indicator
Auto-Purge
Standby Mode
What I like
Price
$599.95
More info
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Image
Breville Bambino Espresso Machine BES450BSS, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Bambino
Dimensions (LxWxH)
13.7 x 6.3 x 12 Inches
Weight / Power
12 Pounds / 1560 W
Water Tank Capacity
47 oz
Water Filter
Heating System
ThermoJet
Adjustable Brewing Temperature
Heat-up Time
3 seconds
PID Temperature Control
Pre-Infusion
Preprogramed Espresso Shots
1 and 2 shots
Flexible Shot Control
Separate Hot Water Spout
Separate Cleaning Indicator
Auto-Purge
Standby Mode
What I like
Price
$299.95
More info

Last update on 2024-04-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Breville Infuser vs Bambino: Differences

The Breville Infuser wins 3-0 against the Bambino because it has adjustable brewing temperature, better features for learning and using convenience, and a more convenient cleaning and descaling function. They tie in terms of the milk steaming system. 

Coffee flavor & Brewing system

Winner: Breville Infuser

Heating system

The Breville Infuser and Bambino feature a single boiler heating system and PID temperature control. Because they are single boilers, they cannot do coffee brewing and milk steaming at the same time as the dual-boiler type. However, with PID control, the water temperature is controlled and more consistent during the brewing and steaming processes.

The difference here is that Bambino’s heating system features the ThermoJet technology, and the brewing temperature is fixed. Meanwhile, that of the Infuser does not have the ThermoJet technology but allows me to adjust the brewing temperature by 4 ⁰F increments.

With the ThermoJet technology, the Bambino has a faster heat-up time than the Infuser. It takes about 3-5 seconds to get to the ready-to-use temperature. With the Infuser, it often takes about 10 mins to get to the best temperature for me.

However, I cannot adjust the brewing temperature when using the Bambino. With the Infuser, I can adjust this temperature. Though it is not a significant change, it does give me a little more control over my espresso shot. Sometimes, I do need my cup a bit hotter, for example, on a cold morning, and so the Infuser turns out to be my better option. 

Shortly, I prefer the Breville Infuser to the Bambino owing to its adjustable temperature feature. Its slower heat-up time is not a big matter to me. However, if you want a quick espresso shot for your busy morning, the Bambino, with the ability to heat up in less than 10 seconds, turns out to be a more suitable selection. 

Breville Infuser comes with adjustable brewing temperature feature
Breville Infuser comes with an adjustable brewing temperature feature

Brewing performance

The brewing system and performance of the Infuser and Bambino have no big difference for me. Both of them give me enough options for volumetric and shot control. I can make a single-shot or double-shot cup at a simple touch of a button. The pre-infusion feature and 15-bar pump pressure deliver a precise 9-bar extraction and a tasty cup of Joe.

Their espresso shots have good flavors and beautiful textures. The quality can vary depending on many factors, such as the skills, the coffee-bean quality, the grind sizes, and the tamping pressure. Yet, with the excellently equipped brewing technologies, I can get consistent pulls with decent hotness, a nice syrupy body, great golden crema, and rich flavor after several trials and failures. Moreover, the coffee pucks are fairly dry and firm, a sign for nice espresso shots!

In addition, I want to mention the portafilter of the Bambino and Infuser. They all have 54mm portafilters for dosing amounts of about 18g coffee powders. Such an amount is ideal for having a quality double-shot espresso. If you want single-shot cups, they can also meet your demand because they come with single-shot filter baskets.

It is worth mentioning that the Breville Infuser and Bambino include both single-wall and dual-wall filter baskets, a.k.a non-pressurized and pressurized filters, respectively. In my experience, the single-wall filter baskets give smoother and creamier crema with a rich espresso body.

Meanwhile, the obtained espresso shot using the dual-wall filter basket lacks body and has more foamy crema. So, I often use the single-wall filter basket to make my espresso and enjoy the process.

Design & Convenience

Winner: Breville Infuser

Pressure gauge & hot water spout

In this round, the Breville Infuser is the winner because it has the pressure gauge and a separate hot water spout to help me learn to make beautiful espresso cups.

As you may know, different grind sizes and tamping pressure can alter the extraction pressure levels, leading to under-extracted or over-extracted shots. The pressure gauge is useful for tracking every change in the extraction pressure as it responds to such changes precisely. Therefore, I believe this gauge can reduce the learning curve for a beginner.

They all have the hot-water feature, but I’m more interested in the separate hot-water spout of the Infuser. Well, I find it quick and convenient to make long black or pre-heating cups.

Though the Bambino has a hot-water feature, the water comes out from the steam wands, which is sometimes inconvenient for making two different espresso types. Besides, the water flow from the steam wand is weak and small, taking me more time to get the desired amount.

The Breville Infuser's pressure gauge and separate hot water spout
The Breville Infuser’s pressure gauge and separate hot water spout

Water reservoir

The water reservoir of the Infuser is 61 oz (1.7 L), larger than that of the Bambino (47 oz/ 1.4 L). And with that bigger water capacity, the Breville Infuser has a huger footprint than the Bambino. Thus, the Infuser may not fit well on small kitchen pantries. If you want to look for a good quality and compact espresso machine, the Breville Bambino is worth considering.

Programmable shot control

Besides, one thing that I really like about these two Breville espresso machines is that they offer flexible shot control. This means, apart from the preprogrammed 1 and 2 shots, I can customize the volume of each shot in my cup. 

On the Infuser and the Bambino, the default volume for the double shot is 60 millimeters, and for the single shot is 30 millimeters. However, I can get more or less than such amounts by stopping the extraction process on the fly.

Particularly, I just simply press the shot control button for about 3 seconds until it flashes, and then let the extraction operate. When getting the desired espresso amount, I touch the button again to stop the extraction, and the machine will save that setting for the next use.

Milk system

Tie!

Steaming

When comparing the milk steaming and frothing of the Breville Bambino and Infuser, I found out that the Bambino steams milk faster than the Insfuser, about 35 seconds faster. With the quicker milk steaming time, the Bambino can be a better machine for latte and cappuccino lovers.

On the other hand, the Infuser takes a bit longer to steam the milk, about 3-4 minutes. However, the slower steaming time is better for learning the milk texturing technique, so if I will go for the Infuser if I am a beginner tipping my toe into the world of milk-based espresso drinks.

For me, the milk textures created by these two machines are quite similar. The milk froth is more on the creamy side than foamy. So, I think they are better for a latte than a cappuccino. Yet, frothing milk is complicated, and it takes time and practice to get nice-quality microfoams. Enjoy the learning journey, and you will be satisfied with the results!

However, there is one small thing I do not like about Bambino’s milk wand: it gives a substantial amount of water in the cup before starting to steam. Such an amount of water can make my drinks watery and loose milk texture. To avoid this, I often wait for the milk wand to release all the water into the drip tray before putting it into the milk frothing jug.

It is a little extra work when using the Bambino’s steam wand. However, this may cause some inconvenience for some people, so I think I should mention it here to let you know before purchasing.

The Bambino's steam wand gives extra water before steaming
The Bambino’s steam wand gives extra water before steaming

Auto purge

Like many semi-automatic espresso machines out there, the Bambino needs manual cooling down after steaming because the steaming temperature is higher than the brewing temperature. However, the Infuser with an auto-purge function makes this easier and more convenient

Particularly, the Infuser automatically purges the excessive steam into the drip tray. This allows the boiler to be automatically cooled down and ready for the next brew. I believe the auto purge is an essential feature for single-boiler semi-automatic espresso machines because it helps reduce the work and learning curves for better convenience, especially for beginners.

Cleaning & Maintenance

Winner: Breville Infuser

In this round, the Breville Infuser is the winner because it has a separate cleaning indicator and a filter for the water reservoir. The cleaning indicator lets me know when to clean my brewing head group. The water filter is very useful for getting good espresso flavors and reducing the tediousness of cleaning and descaling cycles.

The water filter included in the Breville Infuser box
The water filter included in the Breville Infuser box

Meanwhile, the Bambino does not include a separate cleaning indicator and water filter. Instead, you will know it’s time to perform the cleaning and descaling cycles when the 2-cup button flashes constantly.

The Bambino includes the descaling powder, and you have to purchase extra cleaning tables for the group-head cleaning cycles. In contrast, the Infuser does not come with the descaling powder but the cleaning tablets. I think you should get both to perform the machine’s thorough cleaning and descaling cycles.

For me, the cleaning and descaling cycles are easy to perform on the Infuser and Bambino. By following the manual instructions, I can do it after one try. They all have a removable drip tray with an indicator so you don’t overflow it. I recommend emptying the drip tray after every use to avoid residue buildup and bacteria.

However, the Infuser has more components for cleaning than the Bambino. So I need to do a few more actions, like twisting the knob to the left and right to clean the steam wand and hot water spout, respectively. On the other hand, I can do the descaling of the Bambino’s brewing and steam components at the same time by pressing the 2-cup button and steam button simultaneously.

The milk wand is also easy to clean. I often use damp microfiber to wipe out the milk residue on the wand. Besides, you should purge the steam wand after every use to avoid the milk clogged up. In terms of this, the Infuser is more convenient thanks to its auto-purge feature. Conversely, the Bambino requires you to do the steam wand purging manually.

Using the damp microfiber to wipe the steam wand
Using the damp microfiber to wipe the steam wand

Quick Rundown Of Breville Infuser

Breville Infuser Espresso Machine BES840XL, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • Pre-infusion function applies low water pressure at the start of the extraction to gently expand grinds for an even extraction
  • 1600w thermocoil heating system with integrated stainless steel water coil accurately controls water temperature
  • Auto purge function automatically adjusts water temperature after steam for optimal espresso extraction temperature.15 bar Italian pump provides complete volumetric control - preset, manual over-ride or re-programmable volumes
  • Accessories: single & dual wall filter baskets, coffee scoop, stainless steel jug, cleaning disc & tablets, cleaning tool, water filter with holder. Please note: There is a "Black Plastic" insert inside the stainless steel bowl of the portafilter, th
  • Please review the trouble shooting steps under product details for remedies for common faced for hustle free of the product

Last update on 2024-04-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Using thermocoil and PID temperature control
  • Adjustable brewing temperature
  • Pressure gauge useful to track pressure changes
  • Has a separate hot water spout for a long black
  • Having a cleaning & descaling indicator
Cons
  • Slow milk frother

Quick Rundown Of Breville Bambino

Breville Bambino Espresso Machine BES450BSS, Brushed 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 2024-04-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Easy brewing features
  • Small footprint
  • Fast heatup time (3 seconds)
  • Pre infusion and 9 bar extraction
  • ThermoJet heating system with PID control for faster heat-up time
Cons
  • Smaller capacity water tank
  • No auto-purge options to speed up heating

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Rating 5/5 - (3 votes)