In this short article I will help you choose between the Breville Bambino vs Bambino Plus.
It can seem difficult to distinguish between the two machines at first, and in a lot of ways they are pretty similar. Luckily, I have finally gotten my hands on both to do a little comparison.
Beside the testing I have also checked out the reviews on amazon and other sites to make sure that my experience with the machines matches other people’s.
The short answer is that the Bambino ( Check on Amazon ) is your best all round bet. For most of us the Plus isn’t worth the price difference.
However if you are big on the milk frothing the Plus might be for you thanks to its automatic milk frothing options.
Even though these machines might seem similar there is more to cover in this comparison than you think. So keep reading to find out which one you should choose.
Check out our other articles on espresso machines to see if any others might fit you.
Table of Comparison
|Breville Bambino Plus
|Check out on Amazon
|Check out on Amazon
|D: 7.7 in, W: 12.6 in, H: 12.2 in
|D: 9.6 in, W: 16.3 in, H: 16.9 in
|PID, 3 second heat up
|PID, 3 second heat up
|Manual steam wand
|Automatic milk frothing, customizable temperature and texture
|≈ 350$, Better Value
|≈ 500$, more expensive but more features
Comparison – Who Is The Winner
You might notice that I will not mention brewing performance. That is because both machines have the same internals which means that they perform identically in terms of making the espresso.
Milk Frothing – Bambino Plus
Milk frothing is the main selling point of the Bambino Plus as well as the main difference between the two machines.
Both Machines deliver a high quality steaming capability. Switching between brewing and steaming is also a breeze thanks to the Thermojet system which removes the waiting period usually experienced in single boiler machines.
The Breville Bambino features a manual steam wand, which allows you to create professional level microfoam for you latte art enthusiasts. Although it requires a bit of practice to master, the manual steam wand offers greater control over the frothing process.
The steam wand is mounted on a ball point swivel which gives great mobility and the power of the steam is nothing to scoff at either. This is a good option if you have a bit more experience and like your milk frothing to be a bit more traditional.
In contrast, the Bambino Plus streamlines the frothing process with an automatic steam wand. This innovative feature automatically textures milk to your desired temperature and consistency, making it a convenient option for beginners or those looking for a hassle-free experience.
The steam wand on the Plus is also more powerful, frothing your milk in half the time it takes for the Bambino. The steam wand even cleans itself automatically when you are done.
All this adds up to an automatic experience where all you have to do is choose your frothing option and let the machine do the rest.
So when it comes to milk frothing I have to give the trophy to the Bambino Plus here. Because even though the Bambino holds its own quite well the simple fact is that the Plus performs better as an overall milk frothing machine. The exception to this is if you are experienced with latte art and want your machine to be as versatile as possible.
Build Quality and Design – Tie
Both the Breville Bambino and Bambino Plus exhibit sleek and compact designs, making them ideal for smaller spaces. Although the Bambino Plus is slightly larger, this size difference wont matter unless you have very limited counter space.
They share a similar aesthetic, both feature a brushed stainless steel exterior and an aesthetic control interface. However, the Bambino Plus takes it up a notch with more customisation options, offering nine different colors to choose from.
Some amazon reviews claim that the Bambino Plus has a drip tray cover that feels a bit less solid. I don’t agree. Instead believe that this has to do with the integrated temperature sensor making the cover wobble a bit and isn’t a question of quality but rather design.
The overall feel of the machines are very similar. From first impressions to general usage. I did find the upgrade to a metal tamper on the Plus to be a neat addition but nothing life changing.
In this category I wouldn’t say that there is no winner. There is a weak argument to be made for the Bambino because of the drip tray but I don’t think that is enough for a win.
Affordability – Bambino
When it comes to price the Bambino Plus comes in at about 150 dollars more than the Bambino. Breville justifies this by the automatic milk frothing system and a few more aesthetic options.
And while the increase in price is justified I don’t feel like it is worth it for most of us. Since you often buy a machine from the Bambino line up as your first or second espresso machine I would suggest putting the extra cash elsewhere. Either on a better grinder or on better beans.
It can even be a good thing to start off with a manual frother since you get to learn the process more intimately.
The obvious counter to this would be if you want a latte or cappuccino ASAP in the morning without doing as much work. If that is the case then the Plus is for you.
For this category the winner is defietly the Bambino, you can achieve the same results with a bit more work but for 150 dollars less.
Unless you really want the automatic features of the Bambino Plus, save your cash and go for the simpler Bambino.
But I also can’t deny that the Plus is great for steaming milk and certainly does make life simpler.
If we take a step back and look at the two machines as a whole, the Bambino and the Plus are essentially the same machine when it comes to making espresso. They both feature PID (automatic temperature control), 54 mm portafilter and a lot of other similarities.
There is no denying that the Plus is a more premium machine. But is it 150 dollars more premium? I don’t think so. So if you aren’t in need of a fully automatic frother get the Bambino and throw your money on a better grinder or better beans. Those will give you a much better return on investment.