- The Bambino Plus is a beginner-friendly espresso machine that produces great-tasting espresso in under 25 seconds using medium to dark roast beans.
- It has fast water heating capabilities and its larger 54mm group head and Thermajet Thermacoil technology provides better thermal retention for consistent temperature during brewing.
- Though its thermal stability is not on par with pricier machines and the pressure gauge can be inaccurate, the steam wand works well and has automatic settings for temperature and frothing.
- Maintenance is easy but it has a small water tank, plastic parts in the portafilter and a small drip tray that fills up quickly.
- Modifications like adding a dimmer for flow control, upgrading the portafilter and tamper, and enhancing temperature and flow control during thermal testing can enhance its performance.
- Its pros include affordability, ease of use, unpressurised baskets, and an automated steam wand with temperature and froth settings, while its cons include inconsistent temperature stability, a small water tank, and a somewhat cheap build.
Discover the magic of brewing barista-level espresso right from your kitchen with this Breville Bambino Plus review! Savor perfect flavor, impress friends, and expand your coffee knowledge with ease.
Performance and Ease of Use
The Bambino Plus in our breville bambino plus review is perfect for beginners to the world of espresso. The machine lets us make tasty espresso using medium to dark roast beans in less than 25 seconds. No extra steps to adjust the machine are needed. The precise unpressurized baskets offer amazing quality, just like VST or IMS.
A great feature, this espresso machine heats water in just three seconds for fast espresso extraction. The 54mm group head and new Thermajet Thermacoil technology make this possible.
One downside we found was inconsistent thermal stability. To fix this, we flushed the machine before making espresso. This step made sure the temperature was right.
The steam wand could also use improvement, and the pressure gauge isn’t accurate. But, the machine is still easy to take care of. The water tank is small, which some people might not like.
Features and Temperature Control
The Bambino Plus is packed with features. Among them is the Thermajet Thermacoil technology. This amazing technology heats up the water in the machine fast. In just three seconds, we can start brewing espresso.
The machine also has a 54mm group head, much better than the regular Bambino. This larger head makes for a more even espresso extraction. The size also means a more substantial PortaFilter. With better thermal retention, our espresso stays at the perfect temperature.
But we must remember to flush the machine. Even with digital temperature control, this step is crucial. Flushing helps to maintain a consistent temperature during brewing. By doing this, we can brew barista-level espresso right in our kitchen.
The Bambino Plus has a few drawbacks too. Its thermal stability is not quite as good as pricier machines. The pressure gauge can be inaccurate, and the steam wand could be better. Despite these issues, we still find brewing espresso at home easy and rewarding with this machine.
Steam Wand and Milk Frothing
One highlight of the Bambino Plus is its automatic steam wand. This feature allows us to make perfect milk froth for our favorite espresso-based drinks. The steam wand has three temperature settings and three froth settings, so it’s easy for us to find the right combo for our taste.
The steam wand’s performance gets the job done well. With the right settings, we can create soft and silky milk froth, perfect for cappuccinos or lattes. If we want more control over the milk froth, there is a manual setting that can be used, too.
Frothing milk can be a little tricky for beginners, but with the Bambino Plus’s helpful settings, it becomes simple and fast. We love how easy it is to make superb milk froth for our drinks, which adds an extra touch of that barista-level quality at home.
Using the steam wand is a breeze – just fill a jug with some cold milk, place the steam wand into the milk, and select the desired temperature and froth settings. In no time, we have barista-level milk froth ready for our espresso drinks.
Since the steam wand is an essential part of an espresso machine, it’s vital that the wand works well, and the Bambino Plus does not disappoint. The quick and easy milk frothing process makes enjoying espresso drinks at home a delight.
Maintenance and Design
Taking care of our Bambino Plus is a breeze. We all love a coffee machine that’s easy to maintain. But, we should note it has a small water tank. It might be a downside for some of us who prefer a larger one.
The portafilter on our Bambino Plus has plastic parts inside. We know that’s not what we expect from our favorite espresso machine. A notable feature is the small drip tray that fills up pretty fast. We understand that we may need to empty it more often than usual.
Our Breville machine is a charming addition to our home, letting us brew barista-level espresso right in our kitchen. It’s a reminder of the small joy-filled moments that surround our love for coffee.
Comparisons and Modifications
Comparison with Gaggia Classic Pro
The Bambino Plus shines as the best sub $500 espresso machine on the market out of the box. However, it faces stiff competition from the Gaggia Classic Pro. With some modifications, the Bambino Plus could rival its competitor.
To improve the Bambino Plus, we can modify it with a dimmer to allow for flow control and lower temperatures. This is ideal for making a Sprover, a fusion of espresso and pour-over. Purging before every shot is a must with the Bambino Plus.
Portafilter and Tamper Upgrades
We disliked the portafilter’s plastic design and the tamper that comes with the Bambino Plus. For better results, we recommend a naked portafilter and a LH tamper from artpresso, as well as a port-a-keeper accessory. Adding a shower screen from IMS and a funnel from Swartz Design could also enhance the machine’s performance.
Thermal Testing and Temperature Measurements
Thermal testing methodology
In our review, we conducted a thorough thermal testing on Bambino Plus espresso machine to analyze its temperature performance. We used a Bluetooth thermometer and a pressurized basket with a drilled hole to measure water temperature, as well as the TPD measurement tool from Posado.
Importance of purging the machine
Before using the Bambino Plus, it’s crucial to purge the device, as it can superheat the water in the thermal coil and create steam. This preheats the machine’s thermacoil system and ensures espresso extraction occurs at a consistent temperature.
Temperature and flow control with a dimmer modification
We discovered that we could modify the Bambino Plus with a dimmer, providing better control over temperature and flow rates. This is particularly useful for brewing espresso at different temperatures or making a Sprover – this modification allows for lower temperatures and gentler flow rates.
During our findings, the Bambino Plus quickly raised water temperature to around 90 degrees Celsius within 20-25 seconds and continued to rise until it reached 97 degrees Celsius. We also observed that the puck temperature remained consistent at approximately 88-89 degrees Celsius for about 30 seconds, with the temperature dipping four degrees Celsius after full infusion.
However, there were some caveats. The pre-infusion feature is not efficiently implemented and pump kicks only at full force once the button is released. The device can hit 9 bar but the pressure gauge isn’t very accurate.
Overall, the Bambino Plus isn’t perfect in regards to temperature stability, but with its accessible price tag, easy-to-use design, and the possibility of modifications, it’s an excellent choice for those looking for a barista-level espresso experience at home.
Pros and Cons Summary
As coffee lovers, we want the best espresso at home. Our Breville Bambino Plus review can now weigh its pros with its cons.
- The Bambino Plus is affordable and perfect for beginners.
- This espresso machine is easy to use, and the espresso tastes great.
- Fine, unpressurized baskets come with the coffee machine.
- Enjoy an automated steam wand with settings for temperature and froth.
- Temperature stability is not always constant.
- This machine has a small water tank and an inaccurate pressure gauge.
- The build of the Bambino Plus is somewhat cheap.
While it’s true that this machine has some flaws, it still offers a good bang for your buck. If you seek a budget entry-level espresso machine, the Breville Bambino Plus might be the right choice for you. Once you gain more experience, you might want to invest in a higher-quality espresso machine to see even better results when brewing your favorite cup of coffee.
Don’t get discouraged by the cons! The Breville Bambino Plus is an amazing machine that delivers quality coffee with ease. With the quick extraction time and precise unpressurized baskets, you’ll definitely have better coffee at home. And let’s not forget the automatic steam wand that makes milk frothing so easy. Remember to maintain the machine and go for potential upgrades if you want to take things up a notch. Overall, this espresso machine is a great option for home baristas who want a quality machine at an affordable price. Keep following Espresso and Machine for more advice on making better coffee.