You are an avid coffee lover. You want to get quality espresso from the comfort of your home. Breville Barista Express and Breville Bambino are two popular espresso machines, but they come with different price tags. Our Breville Barista Express vs Bambino comparison below will help you choose the best Breville unit to suit your needs and preferences.
Learn more about:
- Which Breville espresso machine is more space-friendly
- The special features of Breville Barista Express and Breville Bambino
- Why coffee connoisseurs should go with Breville Barista Express
- Why Breville Bambino is better for people who just want to get good coffee quickly and easily
- Which Breville delivers better espresso quality
Breville Barista Express vs Bambino: Dimensions
Breville Barista Express is the bigger machine of the two. This unit is 13.5 inches wide and 12.5 inches deep, and measures about 16 inches tall. To give you a better idea of the size, it is like two drip coffee makers that are commonly found in homes and offices, put side by side. So, it is not exactly the most space-friendly option. Read also: Rancilio Silvia vs Silvia Pro.
Nevertheless, Breville Barista Express comes with an excellent build quality. Its girth ensures stability during its operation, and the stainless steel chassis feels truly robust. The combination of the pressure gauge, integrated burr grinder & bean hopper, and solid steel portafilter creates such a professional look that you usually only find in a real coffee shop.
Breville Bambino, in contrast, is much more compact. It measures barely 7.7 inches wide, 12.6 inches deep, and 12.2 inches tall. As the effect, this is the espresso machine that you want if you have a small kitchen where you need to worry how to fit things neatly and conveniently. The difference, however, is not only the size.
Breville Bambino comes with a very different look. It is a lot more simplified and user-friendly. It still retains a metallic chassis, but some parts are noticeably made from plastic. The interface only holds four simple buttons, so people who want to avoid unnecessary complexity when they just want to get their morning coffee will love this unit.
|Breville Barista Express||Breville Bambino|
|Best Price||click here||click here|
|Product Dimensions||12.5 x 12.6 x 13.1 inches||12.5 x 7.6 x 12.2 inches
|Shipping Weight||23 pounds||3.1 pounds
Breville Barista Express vs Bambino: Features
Breville Barista Express is designed for coffee aficionados who want to fine-tune every part of the brewing process in order to get the best espresso at home. Placed at the center of the control panel is the old-style pressure gauge, which will tell you whether the pressure pump inside is working in the optimal pressure range to push hot water through coffee grounds. Cheaper espresso machines often lack this feature, perhaps in an effort to cut production costs and at the same time hide their inconsistent performance.
On the left and right of the pressure gauge, you can find buttons and dials for power, adjusting the filter size, and selecting single or double shots. The “Program” button will allow you to save a particular set of settings for your favorite style of espresso. A drip tray and a swiveling steaming wand with a hot water nozzle complete the package.
Life becomes a lot easier with the integrated burr grinder. The bean hopper has a maximum capacity of 0.5 pounds. You can choose between 18 grind settings from fine to coarse, and you can also adjust the grind size. The ground coffee will drop directly into the portafilter, and then you can use the included metal tamper before putting the apparatus into the brewing position. Meanwhile, the removable water tank can hold up to 67 oz of water at once.
Breville Bambino is not as feature-packed, mainly because it is designed with a different kind of user in mind. This espresso maker is made for people who appreciate simplicity and practicality, and perhaps for beginner coffee enthusiasts who are not ready yet to face a full-fledged coffee machine. The four-button interface is in line with the four-key formula for brewing coffee: correct dose, precise temperature, optimal pressure, and true micro-foam milk.
This petite unit doesn’t come with a grinder, but it has a detachable 47-oz water reservoir. It also comes with a portafilter. Unfortunately, the portafilter feels light and cheap. You can get an aftermarket portafilter if you want something of better quality.
The other special feature worth mentioning is the ThermoJet Heating System. Thanks to this technology, Breville Bambino can heat up very quickly – even quicker than Breville Barista Express! – to reach the optimum brewing temperature within 3 seconds and to get the steaming wand ready for work within less than half a minute.
Breville Barista Express vs Bambino: Pulling Espresso Shots
The bunch of controls on Breville Barista Express may look intimidating at first, but it doesn’t need to be so. The manual provides clear instructions, and you will get the hang of it after two or three practice shots. Obviously, you start by priming the unit, filling the bean hopper and water tank, and placing the filter into the portafilter basket.
Push the portafilter into the grinding cradle and release. This will hit a button back there, which will tell the grinder to fill the filter basket automatically according to the selected grind amount. Alternatively, you can grind manually by pushing the portafilter into the grinding cradle and holding it there until you are satisfied with the grind amount that you get. After that, you tamp down the ground coffee and lock the portafilter under the brew head. Choose the single-shot button or double-shot button, and watch as brown liquid starts pouring down into your cup.
Beginners may find it difficult to get a decent espresso quality at first, but practice makes perfect. With a proper technique, Breville Barista Express can give you rich, amazing espresso that leaves a heavenly taste on your palate. Nevertheless, there is a useful “hack” that can salvage even the most botched shot; whenever your shot is way too strong, all you need to do is use the hot water nozzle to create a tasty cup of Americano.
Breville Bambino is much more straight-forward. You can never get it wrong, even when you are fumbling in early morning trying to get some caffeine. Ensure that the water reservoir is filled, press any button to turn the machine on, and put some ground coffee into the portafilter. Tamp them and lock the portafilter into place.
Breville Bambino can work with pressurized and non-pressurized filter baskets. Unfortunately, there is no temperature control – the machine has been set to work at 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Since this is a small and lightweight machine, it may move around when you try to lock the portafilter in. To deal with that, just use one hand to hold the top of the machine in place while the other hand is twisting the portafilter.
After that, press the single-shot or double-shot button, and espresso will start filling your cup. You can also run it manually by holding one of the buttons down until you get the desired amount of espresso. Note that both buttons can be programmed to have custom shot lengths by doing the same thing.
Breville Barista Express vs Bambino: Steaming Performance
The steaming wand on Breville Barista Express works just fine. The boiler takes a moment to reach the optimal temperature for steaming milk, but after that you can steam milk as much as you want continuously.
Insert the steaming wand into the middle of the milk pitcher, and then tilt it so that the distance between the wand and the edge of the pitcher is about a quarter of the diameter of the pitcher. Just hold the pitcher in place until the temperature is just a bit too hot to touch. However, for frothing milk for cappuccino, you need to keep moving the pitcher around in order to get airy bubbles throughout the milk.
The steaming wand of Breville Bambino is also great. It is quite faster to heat up, taking less than half a minute, though it is not able to work continuously like the one on Breville Barista Express. Still, it is awesome for just one or two cups of coffee.
Steaming and frothing milk with Breville Bambino use pretty much the same techniques. After the pitcher becomes a bit too hot to touch, and you get the desired milk texture, press the steamer button to shut it off. Slowly remove the pitcher and pour the milk gently into your waiting cup of coffee.
Breville Barista Express vs Bambino
These two espresso machines are made for different people. Serious coffee enthusiasts who want to learn the art of brewing should go with the full-fledged Breville Barista Express. It is also an all-in-one solution due to having a built-in grinder and steaming wand. People who prefer an easy-to-use unit to get good coffee quickly may want to opt for Breville Bambino instead.