The Breville Bambino Plus is the smallest home espresso machine on the market, and yet it packs a powerful punch. Brew your favorite espresso drinks in a matter of minutes without ever leaving the house. It’s inexpensive and perfect for beginners and pros alike.
Features and Functionality
- Width: 7.7 inches
- Depth: 12.6 inches
- Height: 11.8 inches
- Weight: 12lbs.
- Programmability: Milk Foam, Shot Time, Temperature
- Boiler Material: Stainless Steel-lined Aluminum
- Reservoir Size: 64 oz
- Boiler Design: Thermocoil
- Material: Stainless Steel and Plastic
- Warm Up: Brew Time: 3 seconds
The best feature about the Breville Bambino Plus is its small size. If you’ve ever seen some of the modern espresso machines out there, they are massively huge. So big that sometimes people will get a special stand just for the espresso machine, to clear up the kitchen counter for other stuff. And those large espresso makers are also massively expensive.
The compact design of the Breville Bambino Plus brings espresso-making into the home without taking up a lot of real estate in the kitchen. Simply set it up on the counter like you would a standard drip coffee machine, expect you’ll be able to now get coffeeshop-quality-espresso in minutes, without going out of the house or standing in long lines.
Regarding the price point, at just under $500 it is a little higher than other machines, but the quality and value is worth every cent.
Breville Bambino Performance
The Breville Bambino Plus makes brewing espresso at home incredibly easy. When you’re ready to make your espresso (and we’re assuming this means you’ve already ground your coffee and have it ready in your portafilter), simply press the button for the option you want: 1 Cup, 2 Cup, or Steam (if you’re steaming milk).
The machine will be ready to go in just 3 seconds, which super-fast considering most home espresso machines take much longer. It comes with two filter baskets and a 54mm portafilter, so you can easily make one or two shots of espresso.
Cleaning is also very simply, and it even comes with its own cleaning cycle. This is to be used after every 200 extractions or so, and the machine will signal when it’s time to clean by alternating flashes of the 1 Cup and 2 Cup buttons. Then just use the cleaning tablets and backlash disc that will come with your machine and start the cycle.
You also want to make sure to wipe down the steam wand after every use to prevent mold buildup and clogging issues.
Lastly, descaling the machine should be done now and then to remove mineral buildup (especially if you have hard water). The instructions included will detail how you are to do this.
Bambino Plus Design
Breville certainly didn’t skimp on design when they made this espresso machine. Not only is the machine small, but it’s also made with a gorgeous brushed stainless steel body. The minimalist feel is great for those who don’t need a whole lot of bells and whistles, but just want to simply make the best cup of espresso first thing in the morning.
Its compact size (12” x 7”) is obviously its most prominent feature, but there are a lot of other things going for it. The removable water tank holds 64 ounces (or 2 liters) of water, and removing it for cleaning and/or filling is super easy.
Once you press the button to start your espresso, there’ll be a short time of about 10 seconds. this is the pre-infusion process, where the machine begins wetting the grounds very slightly. This helps to extract the richest and most even flavor possible.
The steaming wand is automatic. Simply fill your pitcher, lift the wand and place it into the milk (making sure that the tip is completely covered), then set the pitcher on the milk temperature sensor. The wand will start instantly without you having to press any more buttons.
Ease of Use
The Bambino Plus offers a lot to at-home baristas, especially those who are new to making their own espresso coffees when it comes to ease of use. With the fast startup and heating and automatic milk steaming wand, you really can’t get much easier.
However, when compared to similar machines, including the ones that are fully automatic, it only ranks a 7 out of 10 among them.
However, unless you want to be paying a ton of money for those, the Bambino Plus is still a great espresso machine that is extremely easy to use.
The taste of the espresso you make from the Bambino Plus is going to be out of this world. Just remember to keep your machine well-cleaned and maintained. And also make sure you always used coffee that has been freshly ground.
The taste that you eventually end up with relies upon your preferences. Which types of coffees you buy, how coarsely you grind your coffee, how hard you tamp it down into the portafilter, and of course, how fresh the grounds are.
If you’re new to making your own espresso, it’s going to take some time to get it just right, so be patient and you’ll eventually get there.
Braville Bambino Plus Pros/Cons
Like anything else in this world, this grinder is not perfect.
- Coffeeshop at home – No need to head to Starbucks for the best espresso. Just walk up in your PJs and make your favorite latte in minutes.
- Small footprint – If you have a small kitchen, or prefer to keep the amount of appliances on your counters to the minimum, this isn’t going to take up a lot of space.
- Removable drip tray – With this super easy cleaning feature, you can leave your machine right where it is.
- Adjustable automatic milk texturing – The steam wand makes sure you get the right milk foam texture for your expresso.
- Auto steam purging – Cleans out the steam system quickly and cools it down so it’s ready for the next time you need to use it.
- Only uses pressurized portafilters – This is fine for beginner baristas, but those who like to experiment might find it limiting.
- Small footprint means lesser bells and whistles – Having a smaller expresso machine means you lose some of the fun bells and whistles. Things like pressure gauges or a hot water dispenser.
- Small drip tray – Though the drip tray is a great feature, it is also very small. Best practice would be to dump it out after you make each drink.
- Doesn’t come with its own grinder – Unfortunately, one of the features that got cut due to size was a built-in grinder. To grind your espresso coffee you’ll need a separate machine.
Anthony is a professional barista in the city of Chicago. He has written for many online publications on various topics related to coffee.