If you are short on counter space but still want to enjoy the comfort of a latte at home, the Breville Bambino Plus may be just the machine for you. This machine produces good espresso and excellent milk. In this article we are going to review the Breville Bambino Plus to see if it is worth investing in.
Breville Bambino Plus Review
Quality of Espresso
Probably the most important question worth asking when buying an espresso machine is how good is the espresso shot it pulls? Buy once, buy well is our philosophy. You don’t want to sink a heap of money into a machine only to find it brews terrible coffee! So how does the Breville Bambino Plus fare? Overall it does pretty well in that it produces consistent, quality shots of espresso. Breville has invested a lot of money into features so it has a lot of extras that you won’t find in other machines at this price point.
Some of the highlights include a pre-infusion function which slowly increases the water pressure of the shot, promoting even extraction. It also has PID temperature control, ensuring your espresso is brewed at the ideal temperature, which is a rarity in machines at this price point. The Bambino has both pre-programmed single and double shot buttons for the newbie as well as an option to manually program them for the veteran.
The Bambino comes with a 54mm portafilter, however it only comes with dual wall single and double filter baskets. While these are very forgiving to use if you are a beginner, they are rather frustrating if you are using freshly ground coffee. We recommend investing in a single walled basket if this is the case, which will allow you to pull a lot better shot.
The next point worth mentioning is that the Breville Bambino Plus comes with an excellent milk frother. This is one of the main selling points. Breville has automated the milk frothing process, requiring you to simply place your pitcher of milk under the steam wand and select your milk temperature and texture and it does all the rest for you. This is a great wee feature especially if you are a beginner wanting to produce a cafe quality drink with ease. The milk frother can also be used manually if you are wanting to develop your own skills. While the frother does not have as much steam power as a commercial steam wand, it does provide an easy learning curve for the beginner and still produces silky microfoam- it just takes a bit longer. The milk frother allows you to customize the milk temperature and texture.
Ease of Use
So overall we would say the Breville Bambino Plus is very easy to use and is a great machine for a beginner. The machine has a grand total of five buttons (1 or 2 shot button, Steam Wand, Milk Temp and Level of Froth). Unfortunately there is no power button but the machine can be turned on by pushing the single shot and steam button simultaneously. Another great aspect of the machine is that it has a super quick heat up time- taking only 3 seconds until it’s ready to brew. This is a great feature particularly for those busy mornings.
Ease of Cleaning
The Breville Bambino Plus is pretty standard when it comes to the level of upkeep required. The portafilter and drip tray need to be cleaned regularly after every use and the milk wand needs to be wiped down. The milk wand automatically purges itself after each use which is a handy feature. However some users have found that with the small drip tray, this purge does sometimes cause liquid to spray on the bench. The long term upkeep is also pretty simple, the machine requires descaling, however this process is straightforward and only takes around 30 minutes.
The Breville Bambino Plus has a sleek design, with a brushed stainless steel casing. It is also extremely compact- this really is the machine to get if you have limited space. However, it has got a lot of plastic in the design and you will notice it is quite light. This all goes to show that Breville has chosen to spend money on features rather than build quality.
Value for Money
The Breville Bambino Plus has a very reasonable price tag. If you love espresso and milk based drinks it is definitely a machine to consider. The only issue is that it doesn’t come with a grinder or coffee scale- both of which are indispensable if you are wanting to really get into espresso. However this extra gear does push the initial investment price up a fair bit. If you are going to have to invest in a coffee grinder on top of the espresso machine, you might want to consider the Barista Express or Oracle Touch, both of which come with built in grinders.
Who’s The Breville Bambino Plus For?
The Breville Bambino Plus has really been designed for the person who wants good espresso but doesn’t want to spend too much time investing in their own skill set. The automated milk frother makes it very simple to produce high quality drinks with minimal effort. The small footprint also means this machine is a good option if counter space is at a premium.
Breville Bambino Plus- The Final Verdict
Overall the Breville Bambino Plus is a good option if you are looking at buying an entry level espresso machine. The automated milk frother, quick start up time and compact footprint are all alluring features.