The Breville Bambino Plus is a compact yet powerful espresso machine that brews out the greatness of every coffee bean. Breville is a well-known espresso machine brand and the Bambino Plus is affordable yet produces a barista-quality espresso.
In this post, I’ll share all you need to know before buying this coffee machine.
Breville Bambino Plus
- Durable design: Its body is stainless steel with a brushed stainless steel finish.
- Compatible with other 54 mm Breville portafilter.
- Pre-infusion technology ensures all flavors are extracted.
- Fast heat-up time thanks to Thermojet heating.
- Compact size with fantastic aesthetics.
- Great value for money.
- Limited to only three levels for texture and temperature.
- Comes with only pressurized portafilters
- Not able to brew and steam simultaneously.
Breville Bambino Plus – Product information
12.5 x 7.6 x 12.2 inches
Unboxing the Breville Bambino Plus
Breville Bambino Plus Design:
The design of this machine is simple, so you might be fooled into thinking it is an entry-level expresso machine with its compact look. However, it has all the bells and whistles you need to brew a fresh cup of barista-style espresso.
The Breville Bambino Plus features a compact design with a width of 7-inches. However, it features the depth of almost every Breville machine. This makes it a perfect fit for any kitchen countertop without taking up much space, and it is easy to store after use. It is built with stainless steel for maximum durability and coated with a brushed stainless steel finish to make it anti-scratch and corrosion-resistant. The brushed stainless-steel finish also adds to the aesthetic look of the machine, and it can fit and complement the beauty of any kitchen design or style.
The plastic parts are sturdy, making the machine feel premium. Overall, this machine is aesthetically pleasing and built with close attention to detail.
The Breville Bambino Plus comes with double-shot and single-shot portafilter baskets. The portafilter is lightweight and has a somewhat cheap look and feel. Luckily enough, this espresso machine is compatible with portafilters from other 54mm Breville espresso machines.
The Bambino Plus comes with a five intuitive button interface, a large removable 64 oz water reservoir, a milk frother, and a sturdy built drip tray. The rack will keep your cups warm as you wait for your coffee to brew. All I can say is that this machine gives you all you need in a compact body.
Now let’s get to some of the bad aspects of its design:
Now don’t get me wrong – I love the compact design of the Breville Bambino plus. Still, one of its downsides is that you need to place one hand on top of the machine to stabilize it when locking in the portafilter, or it will move around.
Also, some of you might not like the fact that there isn’t any dedicated water outlet for hot water, which might be a slight disappointment for Americano lovers.
That being said, you will love the clean and exquisite look of this machine.
Breville Bambino Plus – Functionality:
Right off the bat, you will notice three main buttons: the steaming button, the single espresso shot button, and the double espresso button.
The steam button is complemented with two preset auxiliary buttons, which are used to independently control the temperature of the milk and the texture of the foam of the milk when in steaming mode.
The temperature levels range between a low 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit), a just-right 70-degree Celsius (158 Fahrenheit), and a high 90 degrees Celsius (194 Fahrenheit).
The texture button allows you to choose among a light latte texture, a moderate foam, and a heavy cappuccino foam.
That being said, each button is relatively straightforward, though you can only use them when you switch from any of the brewing modes to the steaming mode.
This is because the Breville Bambino Plus can only brew or steam at a time. It is incapable of doing both at a go, so you have to manually switch between steaming and brewing. It’s a bit annoying and less efficient than other high-end espresso machines, but definitely not a deal-breaker.
On the other hand, the Bambino Plus is f-a-s-t! The wand of this espresso machine features Breville’s innovative ThermoJet technology. It’s a top-notch four-hole steam wand that reaches optimal steaming and brewing temperatures in 3 seconds.
This makes this Breville espresso machine way faster (about 30 seconds faster) in steaming than other high-end dual-functionality espresso makers such as the Barista Express. In addition, it takes about 40 seconds to reach temperatures of 60 to 70 degrees Celsius, which is quite impressive compared to other high-end models.
The quality of milk texturized by the Breville Bambino Plus wand is quite impressive. It gives you frothed milk with the same texture quality as high-end espresso machines such as the Oracle.
When you’re done frothing, you can quickly get rid of excessive milk. Just push the steam wand backward to let the machine automatically get all residues out. Also, the Bambino Plus will alert you when it is time for you to run the cleaning cycle or descaling cycle.
The drip tray comes with a floating device that automatically pops up when the tray is full to prevent the spilling of disposed coffee.
A couple of things I didn’t like about the machine’s Breville Bambino Plus espresso machine functionality:
I didn’t like that there are only three-leveled preset buttons for adjusting the temperature and texture of milk. If your preference doesn’t fall between these preset levels, you will have to settle, which isn’t proper when purchasing a machine at this price (this isn’t a cheap espresso machine). I think Breville could have given users more control/options over the temperature and textures to satisfy each user’s unique preferences.
The Breville Bambino Plus can detect the temperature of the milk via its temperature sensor located near the drip tray. This sensor will automatically shut off when the milk reaches the preset temperature levels you selected.
The problem is that the Bambino Plus can only detect the temperature of the pitcher if there is close contact between the pitcher and the sensor. Many high-end espresso makers have their temperature sensors incorporated into the tip of the steam wand, which is much more effective.
The sensor’s location requires you to double-check that the pitcher is in close contact with the temperature sensor and that there’s no water over the sensor, which might reduce its sensitivity. Failing to do so may lead to the milk overheating or getting burnt.
What about the taste of the Breville Bambino Plus?
The portafilter of the Breville Bambino Plus espresso machine comes with two double-walled filter baskets: a pressurized single shot filter basket and a pressurized double shot filter basket. The pressurized filter baskets are a great feature, allowing you to brew coffee beans, even if they aren’t finely ground for espresso.
This is great news for beginners, making the Bambino Plus a fool-proof machine that brews a decent cup of espresso even if your coffee beans aren’t finely ground. It will come at the expense of quality, but having a portafilter containing 19 grams of ground coffee beans will improve the taste.
That being said, using the Breville Bambino Plus with finely ground coffee beans will let you enjoy high-quality espresso without compromising on rich aroma or flavor. In short, the pressurized filter basket shouldn’t be an issue. And anyway – the Breville Bambino Plus is compatible with any single-walled unpressurized 54 mm filter basket from other Breville models.
You might not like the fact that you do not have the option to manually adjust the temperature of your shot. However, the Breville Bambino automatically does this for you with its digital temperature control technology, ensuring optimal extraction by delivering water at the right temperature. You also have the option of manually deciding brewing times by pressing and holding either the single-shot or double-shot until the desired duration is reached.
The Breville also features a low-pressure pre-infusion technology, ensuring a proper water pressure is applied evenly from start to finish. This technology will get you an espresso cup with all the flavors and aromas available. The full-bodied espresso shot is delivered through the 15 bar Italian pump, ensuring a fresh brew each morning.
To sum it all up
The Breville Bambino Plus produces a perfectly balanced cup of coffee rich in flavor and subtle notes due to its pre-infusion technology and automatic digital temperature control.
The Breville Bambino produces milk that has just the microfoam you need. The high pressure from the four-hole wand ensures that you get milk with thousands of bubbles to give you an enriched velvety mouthfeel. The milk has a silky taste with an added sweetness that hits the right spot on your taste bud.