When looking for an espresso machine that combines practicality, design as well as advancement, look no further than Breville’s espresso machines. The Australian brand is the maker of some of home barista’s favorite machines, like the Barista Express, The Infuser or the more high-end Oracle Touch.
Another machine that has been added to their line is the Breville Bambino Plus. An espresso machine that is compact in size yet packs the features you need to make an excellent cup of coffee without a lot of trouble.
The Breville Bambino Plus falls in the same price range as the Infuser (as of the time of writing – prices may change). So if you’re someone shopping based on a budget (and who isn’t), you might get confused over these two. That’s why we’re preparing this comparison post between the two models.
Breville Bambino Plus – Features and Specifications:
- Innovative thermojet heating system allows the machine to start up in as fast as 3 seconds.
- Automatic milk texturing – select the type of texture and the temperature of milk you want and the steam wand to achieve it for you fully automatically.
- 19 grams dose – the 54mm portafilter can now hold 19 grams of coffee for the perfect coffee flavor.
- Pre-infusion feature gradually increases the water pressure over the coffee ground to ensure full saturation before extraction.
- Digital temperature control (PID) delivers water at the exact right temperature for the optimal extraction of flavor.
- Auto-purge function automatically purges the heat system after steaming to bring the machine back to the right temperature for next use.
- Water reservoir capacity: 64 oz.
- Controls: Button selection for single shot, double shot, steam, milk temperature and milk texture.
- Housing: stainless steel.
- Dimensions: 19.5 x 32 x 31 cm
- Power: 1600 Watts
54mm tamper, Razor Precision Dosing tool, stainless steel frothing jug, single and double shot filter baskets, cleaning tool and cleaning disc.
Breville Bambino vs. Bambino Plus – What’s The Difference?
Breville has released a smaller and cost effective model of its espresso machine called Bambino. How is it different than the Plus model?
- Bambino does not have any of Bambino Plus’s auto frothing and temperature features. Bambino steams at 266F and it’s up to your skill to get that microfoam texture. Will take some practice but you’ll get there.
- Bambino model is smaller with a 45 oz water reservoir.
- Bambino does not include a frothing jug. It comes with a plastic tamper instead of a metal one like the Plus model.
If you want automatic frothing as well as temperature selection, the Plus is for you. If you’re on a lower budget, want the quality that Breville can offer but can let go of the automation, you’ll like having the Bambino.
Breville The Infuser Espresso Machine – Features and Specifications:
- Prepare a single or double shot with pre-set buttons.
- You can reprogram volumes of each selection.
- Manual milk heating and texturing.
- Gauge on the front panel shows you when your machine is at its optimal temperature.
- Built-in tamper.
- Auto purge and pre-infusion functions.
- PID temperature control.
- Dedicated hot water spout.
- Water reservoir capacity: 61 oz.
- Controls: button controls for single shot, double shot, program and manual.
- Dial knob for steam.
- Dimensions: 25.7 x 31.2 x 33.4 cm
- Power: 1700 Watts.
- Housing: Stainless steel.
Razor Dose trimming tool, single and dual shot filter baskets, coffee scoop, stainless steel frothing jug, cleaning brush, tool and Allen key, water filter holder and water filter.
What Is The Difference Between Breville Bambino Plus vs. The Infuser?
First thing to notice is the automation of the steaming wand. The Bambino Plus’s automatic wand heats and textures your milk automatically to your liking while The Infuser’s wand is fully manual. Which means you’ll have to practice your texturing skills and use a thermometer to monitor the temperature of the milk.
The Bambino Plus also has a rather impressive and quick heat up time of only 3 seconds! That’s insanely fast in comparison to The Infuser which should take about a minute or two.
The Infuser has a built-in dedicated hot water dispenser. Which should come quite useful when making an Americano. The Bambino Plus doesn’t have a hot water dispenser.
When in comes to size, the Bambino Plus very compact in comparison the the Infuser or even other Breville espresso machines. So if you don’t have enough counter top space, this will make a lot of difference to you.
If you want to prepare your coffee drinks manually, The Infuser has more room for that than the Bambino.
Breville Bambino Plus vs. Barista Express, What’s The Difference?
Breville Barista Express is more comparable to the Infuser than the Bambino.
When it comes to Barista Express vs. Infuser, you’re nearly getting the same functions on both machines, except for one big difference: the Barista Express comes with a built-in conical burr grinder. This simplifies your experience by having the machine also grind your coffee right into your portafilter. However, dosing the correct amount of coffee is on you. So it is one of those machines that come with a learning curve.
Compared to the Bambino Plus, which will require you buy a grinder separately, the Barista Express is a bit harder to handle in the beginning, requires some practice – same as the Infuser. It is also larger in size than the Infuser and Bambino Plus, so you’ll need to clear some space for it.
If you want an overall solution and don’t mind the learning required to get things right, The Barista Express has it all.
Which One Do You Pick? Breville Bambino Plus or Breville The Infuser?
It all comes down to whether or not you want your machine doing things for you automatically or would you prefer the manual work. When a machine like the Bambino Plus, you will probably come up with a great latte or cappuccino at first use because of: a better dose, automatic milk texturing and heating which can’t go wrong and preset volumes. All you have to do is practice your latte art for when you’re feeling super fancy.
On the other hand, The Infuser, while it offers some automatic features, like preset volumes, and a gauge that guides you on temperature settings, milk texturing and heating is still fully manual, which is the trickiest part. You’ll have to practice getting the milk texture right and monitoring the temperature of the milk as you heat it. If that sounds like something you want to do, then The Infuser would be a great pick for you for sure.
It’s important to note the difference is size between the two machines, though. The Infuser is not a huge machine. Yet, it’s quite big in comparison to the compact Bambino Plus. So make sure you measure your space if you’re purchasing a machine with not much counterspace available in your kitchen.
Breville Bambino Plus vs. Nespresso Creatista by Breville:
There’s some confusion when it comes to Bambino Plus and Creatista machines. The are similar in design and both are made by Breville. However, they are certainly not the same.
Creatista is a Nespresso machine by Breville. Which means, it is designed and created by Breville, but it integrates Nespresso technology. This means, Creatista only uses Nespresso OriginalLine capsules to brew coffee, unlike Bambino Plus which uses ground coffee just like any classic espresso machine.
When it comes to how the machines work – that is apart from coffee extraction – both models have automatic steam wands with adjustable features. Also, both have customization options to adjust your coffee.
So, the difference is:
With the Creatista you’ll have to use Nespresso OriginalLine capsules to brew coffee. These can be from Nespresso or any Nespresso-compatible capsule brand, and there are plenty of them.
Using the Bambino Plus, you’ll use ground coffee. Either buy your favorite ground coffee or grind your own beans… which brings me to the second point:
Using a Nespresso machine in general, or the Creatista in this example, comes with the ongoing cost of buying coffee capsules. This isn’t a necessarily expensive cost, because it will depend on the brand you buy, and prices vary.
The Bambino Plus uses ground coffee. You can always buy your coffee pre-ground, but this isn’t recommended. For the best results, you are recommended to buy a grinder and grind your beans right before brewing. So now you have the cost of the machine and a grinder as an initial cost. Then you have an ongoing cost of coffee beans, which are also available at variety of prices.
Which do you go for?
Picking between an espresso machine that uses ground coffee or coffee capsules is a complicated thing. It all goes down to your usage and which way you prefer to be made:
Using capsules is the most convenient of all. You pop a capsule in and press a button. And with a machine like the Creatista, you will actually see amazing results thanks to the steam wand that no other single-serve coffee maker has (as of the time of writing this, at least). On the other hand, you’ll have to continually buy capsules and if you drink a lot of cups per day, this will translate into a big cost.
Using ground coffee requires some work on your part. The initial cost is higher (machine + grinder), however getting a cup of coffee made from freshly ground beans cannot compare to that from a capsule.