Category Breville Barista Pro Breville Bambino Plus
Design and Build Quality
Body Material Stainless steel Stainless steel with plastic components
Durability Robust construction designed for longevity Solid for its compact size, lighter
Maintenance Easy to clean surfaces, user-replaceable parts Simplified design aids in quick cleaning
Aesthetics and Style
Design All-in-one with sleek lines and elegant finish More compact, attractive yet subtle
User Interface Intuitive LCD display Simple and easy
Colors Multiple colors available Selection of colors, attractive yet subtle
Footprint Larger Smaller, designed for tight spaces
Price Breville Barista Pro Breville Bambino Plus

The design and build quality of both machines are reflective of Breville’s reputation for creating durable appliances. However, the Barista Pro's larger footprint accommodates more features, such as a built-in grinder that adds to its value proposition, while the Bambino Plus’s smaller size makes it suitable for tighter spaces. With each machine offering a different set of features and technologies, consumers must weigh their specific preferences for espresso quality and performance against usability and convenience.

Key Takeaways

  • Breville's Barista Pro and Bambino Plus cater to different user needs with varied features and designs.
  • The Barista Pro is more feature-rich with an integrated grinder, while the Bambino Plus offers simplicity and rapid heating.
  • Assessing both usability and espresso quality is crucial when choosing between these two espresso machine options.

Design and Build Quality

When comparing the Breville Barista Pro and Bambino Plus, we recognize that both machines exhibit distinct qualities in their design and build. They cater to diverse preferences in kitchen appliances, each crafted to complement style and durability.

Materials and Durability

Breville Barista Pro:

  • Body: Stainless steel
  • Durability: Robust construction designed for longevity
  • Maintenance: Easy to clean surfaces and user-replaceable parts

Breville Bambino Plus:

  • Body: Stainless steel with plastic components
  • Durability: Solid for its compact size, yet lighter than Barista Pro
  • Maintenance: Simplified design aids in quick cleaning and upkeep

User Interface

In terms of machine interface and controls, the Breville Barista Pro and Bambino Plus present distinct user experiences. The Barista Pro features a sophisticated LCD display and user-friendly controls, providing real-time feedback on grind size, grind amount, and extraction time. This advanced interface is tailored for those seeking a more hands-on and customizable espresso-making process. On the other hand, the Bambino Plus opts for a simpler interface with fewer variables, making it an attractive choice for users who prefer a more direct and user-friendly approach. 

The Bambino Plus's straightforward design minimizes the learning curve, offering an accessible entry point for those new to home espresso making. In contrast, the Barista Pro's more complex settings cater to users looking to explore and refine their barista skills over time. Ultimately, the choice between these models hinges on individual preferences for user interface complexity and the level of control desired in the espresso-making process.

Aesthetics and Style

Breville Barista Pro:

  • Design: All-in-one design with sleek lines and an elegant finish
  • Colors: Available in multiple colors to fit various kitchen aesthetics
  • Footprint: Larger, making a statement on the countertop

Breville Bambino Plus:

  • Design: More compact, catering to space-saving without compromising on quality
  • Colors: Selection of colors that are attractive yet subtle
  • Footprint: Smaller, designed to fit into tight spaces seamlessly

In our analysis, we find both models to exhibit the high-quality design expected from Breville, with materials chosen for durability and styles that cater to different kitchen spaces and user preferences.

Key Features and Technology

In comparing the Breville Barista Pro and the Bambino Plus, it's essential to consider the distinct technological advancements and features that set them apart. We'll explore how these machines cater to various needs through their grinding capabilities, temperature control systems, and milk frothing functions.

Grinding Capabilities

Barista Pro: Our examination reveals that it boasts an integrated conical burr grinder. It offers adjustable grind control, providing numerous settings to fine-tune the coarseness, which is vital for flavor extraction. It's the synergy of a built-in grinder with precision that attracts enthusiasts.

Bambino Plus: This model does not include a grinder. However, it pairs well with a separate burr grinder, allowing for flexibility in choosing a grinder that matches one's specific grinding preferences.

Temperature Control Systems

Both models use Breville's proprietary ThermoJet heating system that achieves the optimal extraction temperature in 3 seconds. It's complemented by Digital Temperature Control (PID) technology, which ensures the water temperature is kept at a stable level throughout the extraction process.

Milk Frothing Functions

Barista Pro: Provides a manual steam wand for milk frothing, offering more control over the texture and temperature, allowing us to create microfoam necessary for latte art.

Bambino Plus: Features an automatic milk frothing function, which simplifies the process of achieving consistent microfoam. The convenience of this feature appeals to those of us not experienced with manual frothing techniques.

Feature

Barista Pro

Bambino Plus

Steam Wand

Manual

Automatic

Microfoam Capability

Advanced Users

Convenient for Beginners

Milk Temperature Sensor

Not specified

Usually Standard in Automatic

Through these subsections we've distilled the core technological differentiators between the Breville Barista Pro and the Bambino Plus that will steer us towards the right choice based on individual preferences and expertise.

Espresso Quality and Performance

In the comparison between the Breville Barista Pro and the Bambino Plus, we acknowledge that both machines are capable of delivering high-quality espresso. The distinction lies in their design and functionality affecting consistency and the extraction process, which we will explore in more detail.

Consistency of Espresso Shots

With the Barista Pro, we find its integrated grinder offers convenience and contributes to the consistency of espresso shots due to the elimination of variables associated with using separate grinders. In contrast, the Bambino Plus does not have a built-in grinder, which means we must rely on an external grinder. Consistency can be achieved with a meticulous approach to grinding. We advise using a precise tamper and the Razor precision dosing tool to ensure uniform tamping and a level bed of coffee for consistent water pressure.

  • Barista Pro: Integrated grinder assists in consistent dosing.
  • Bambino Plus: Requires careful use of external grinder and tamper.

Crema and Flavor Extraction

The quality of crema and flavor extraction is contingent upon the machines' ability to maintain optimal pressure during the espresso pull. The Barista Pro leads with its pre-infusion feature that gradually increases the water pressure to gently expand the grounds for even extraction. Dual-wall filter baskets are also utilized, which help novices in creating a stable crema.

Both models are equipped with an impressive heat-up time, also has a pre-infusion function and is capable of delivering rich crema and full flavor. Single-wall filter baskets necessitate a precise grind size and level tamping for best results. It's important for us to clean the basket after each use to maintain consistency.

Usability and User Experience

In evaluating the Breville Bambino Plus and Barista Pro, we emphasize their usability and user experience, which are vital for both novice and experienced baristas. By dissecting their machine interfaces and controls as well as the ease of learning and operation, we can guide you through what you might expect when using these espresso machines.

Machine Interface and Controls

The Breville Barista Pro boasts a clear and informative LCD display, which provides real-time feedback on grind size, grind amount, and extraction time. This level of feedback supports an intuitive user experience, allowing you to make adjustments easily. The control panel is user-friendly, with volumetric control over shot volume and a hands-on grinding and tamping experience.

On the other hand, the Breville Bambino Plus does not feature an LCD but operates with a straightforward interface that simplifies the brewing process to a few buttons. This design can be less daunting for users who prefer a more direct approach with fewer variables to manage.

Ease of Learning and Operation

For beginners, the Breville Bambino Plus is often praised for its user-friendly design. It has a minimal learning curve, and new users can quickly produce quality espresso shots and frothed milk. The Bambino Plus also comes with an automatic milk frothing feature, reducing the skill needed to create milk-based drinks.

The Barista Pro provides more room for growth with its manual milk texturing wand and grind size customization, making it more suitable for those looking to advance their skills as home baristas. It might take longer to master due to the more complex settings but offers instructional support, often with a detailed instruction manual and sometimes video tutorials.

Both machines require practice to use confidently, reflecting our focus on user experience that caters to different user skill levels and preferences in espresso making.

Maintenance and Cleaning

When we discuss maintenance and cleaning of the Breville Barista Pro and Bambino Plus, we're focusing on ensuring longevity and consistent coffee quality. Regular upkeep involves cleaning removable components and running cleaning cycles as indicated by the machines.

Cleaning Routines

Barista Pro: For our Barista Pro, it's essential to start with the portafilter and drip tray — both require regular rinsing and occasional deep cleans. To maintain peak performance, we use cleaning tablets according to the alert system, which signals when a cleaning cycle is necessary.

  • Daily: Rinse the portafilter after each use to remove coffee grounds and oils.
  • Weekly: Wash the drip tray with warm soapy water to prevent buildup.
  • Monthly: Insert a cleaning tablet and run the cleaning cycle to clean the machine's internal components.

Bambino Plus: Maintenance for our Bambino Plus is user-friendly. The design is simpler, making routine maintenance tasks less time-consuming. The cleaning alerts are handy, notifying us when it’s time to perform a cleaning cycle.

  • Daily: The portafilter should be rinsed after every shot pulled to prevent residue.
  • Weekly: The drip tray needs to be emptied and cleaned to keep the area tidy.
  • As Indicated by Machine: We follow the Bambino Plus alerts for cleaning cycles, ensuring that every cup of coffee tastes fresh.

Cost and Value Proposition

When comparing the Breville Barista Pro and Bambino Plus, we focus on what you get for your money and how each machine might fit into your budget and espresso-making needs.

Price Comparison

The Breville Barista Pro typically commands a higher price point due to its integrated grinder and more advanced features. On the other hand, the Breville Bambino Plus is a more budget-friendly option, but keep in mind that you may need to purchase a separate grinder if you prefer fresh grounds. Here's a succinct price overview:

Espresso Machine

Price Range

Breville Barista Pro

Higher-end

Breville Bambino Plus

More Affordable

Accessories and Add-ons

  • Breville Barista Pro:

    • Comes with all the necessary accessories to start making espresso right away.
    • Includes a built-in grinder and dosing funnel, reducing the need for additional purchases.
  • Breville Bambino Plus:

    • May require separate purchase of a high-quality grinder to achieve the best espresso.
    • It's important to factor in the cost of any add-ons when considering the total value proposition.

Coffee Making Capabilities

In our comparison of the Breville Barista Pro and Bambino Plus, we consider how each machine caters to the needs of coffee aficionados. Let's explore their beverage variety and milk texturing and heating features to understand their capabilities in crafting a perfect cup.

Beverage Variety

The Breville Barista Pro offers a broad spectrum of coffee experiences, including espresso, cappuccinos, and lattes. Its integrated grinder provides the convenience of grinding on-demand, which is essential for freshness and flavor. The machine has pre-programmed settings, but also allows for fine-tuning, enabling experienced users to tailor their beverages to their exact preferences.

The Breville Bambino Plus, while slightly more limited due to the lack of an integrated grinder, still delivers exceptional espresso shots that serve as the base for a range of beverages. To enjoy a similar variety as the Barista Pro offers, users may couple it with a high-quality separate grinder. It’s an ideal option for those who appreciate simplicity without sacrificing the ability to produce a wide array of coffee types.

Milk Texturing and Heating

Regarding milk frothing, the Barista Pro is equipped with a powerful steam wand capable of creating a rich microfoam. This is perfect for latte art and ensures a creamy texture in cappuccinos and lattes. With its precise temperature control, the Pro model stands out for those who want to have more influence over their milk preparation.

The Bambino Plus streamlines the milk texturing process with an automatic steam wand, which heats the milk to the desired temperature and creates quality foam. This feature makes it an excellent choice for those seeking convenience while still wanting to achieve a barista-level milk froth with minimal effort.

Features

Breville Barista Pro

Breville Bambino Plus

Integrated Grinder

Yes

No

Customizable Settings

Yes

Limited

Milk Frothing

Manual Steam Wand

Automatic Steam Wand

Temperature Control

Excellent

Good

In our analysis, we find that both machines demonstrate considerable coffee-making capabilities. Each has unique attributes that appeal to different preferences and skill levels in the art of coffee making.

Comparison With Other Models

When considering the Breville Barista Pro, it's important to look at how this machine stacks up against the Barista Express and others in its class, not just in terms of features but also regarding user experience and value. We'll also examine the Gaggia Classic Pro to discern how it compares as a high-end competitor.

Breville Barista Pro vs. Barista Express

Build & Design: The Barista Pro and Barista Express are both revered for their robust build and sleek design. The Barista Pro offers a faster heat-up time and a more sophisticated interface compared to the Barista Express.

Grinder: A key difference is the integrated grinder. While both models sport an all-in-one design, the Barista Pro's grinder is deemed more consistent, offering better grind quality which is a significant factor for espresso extraction.

Customization: In terms of customization, both the Barista Express and Barista Pro provide ample settings to tweak your espresso shot. However, the Barista Pro edges ahead with a more advanced interface that streamlines the process.

Feature

Barista Pro

Barista Express

Heat-up Time

About 3 seconds (ThermoJet heating system)

30 seconds

Grinder

Integrated, conical burr

Integrated, conical burr (less advanced)

User Interface

LCD with real-time feedback

Analog pressure gauge

Customization

More precise settings

Standard settings

Milk Texturing

Enhanced steam performance

Suitable for entry-level milk texturing

Winner

Barista Pro

Runner-up

While both machines are top-notch semi-automatic espresso machines, we find the Barista Pro to be the winner here for the more demanding home barista due to its refined features and faster operation.

Gaggia Classic Pro and Other Competitors

The Gaggia Classic Pro stands out as a high-end competitor with its professional-grade build and classic approach to espresso-making. It's one of the few semi-automatic machines that cater to traditionalists who prefer a hands-on approach, with minimalistic design and manual frothing.

Technology: The Gaggia Classic Pro, in contrast to the more technologically advanced Breville models, does not feature an integrated grinder. For this reason, we recommend pairing it with a separate high-quality grinder to get the most out of your beans.

Performance: Both Breville machines possess more modern user interfaces and automated features, whereas the Gaggia Classic Pro is more manual and straightforward, which could be seen as a plus or a minus, depending on your perspective and espresso making skills.

Feature

Gaggia Classic Pro

Breville Barista Pro

Build Quality

Professional, stainless steel body

High-quality, durable stainless steel

Grinder Availability

None (separate grinder needed)

Integrated conical burr grinder

Milk Frothing

Manual steaming wand

Automated froth with manual option

User Experience

Hands-on, traditional

User-friendly, digital interface

Ideal for

Traditionalist baristas

Users wanting convenience and speed

Our analysis reveals that for those seeking technological convenience, the Barista Pro is the preferred choice. However, for those who appreciate the craft and hands-on control of espresso-making, the Gaggia Classic Pro may appeal more despite its need for a separate grinder to optimize the espresso process.

Final Thoughts

When deciding between the Breville Barista Pro and the Bambino Plus, the selection largely hinges on individual requirements and preferences. We've assessed various aspects, from size to efficiency to guide your choice.

Size: If space is scarce, the Bambino Plus is notably more compact.

Efficiency and Speed: The Bambino Plus boasts a swift heat-up time, which is perfect for those mornings when every second counts.

Feature

Barista Pro

Bambino Plus

Heat-up Time

Standard

Fast

Grinder

Built-in

Separate purchase

Spout

Multiple shots

Single shot

Cost

Higher

More affordable

Grinder: The Barista Pro comes with an integrated grinder, streamlining the coffee-making process, while for the Bambino Plus, you would need to invest in a separate grinder. However, this can be an advantage if you already own a high-quality grinder or plan to upgrade.

Usability: For novices, simpler machines can be more inviting, but for those looking for advanced features, the Barista Pro stands out.

In our discussion, we refrain from endorsing one machine over the other. Instead, we stress the importance of considering your environment, desire for convenience, budget, and how these factors align with what each machine offers. We encourage a thoughtful choice that resonates with your daily routine and coffee-making aspirations.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, we answer the most common questions regarding the Breville Bambino Plus and Barista Pro to help you make an informed decision.

What distinguishes the Breville Bambino Plus from the Bambino?

The Breville Bambino Plus includes features such as automatic milk texturing and a faster heat-up time, compared to the original Bambino model.

Can the Breville Barista Pro be recommended for novice users?

Yes, the Breville Barista Pro is suitable for beginners, as it offers user-friendly controls and an integrated grinder for a straightforward espresso-making process.

How does the Breville Barista Pro compare to the Barista Express in terms of performance and features?

The Barista Pro offers a faster heat-up time and an enhanced LCD interface compared to the Barista Express, which provides a more intuitive experience and quicker beverage preparation.

What are the main differences between the Breville Bambino Plus and the Barista Pro?

The main differences are size, with the Bambino Plus being more compact, and the Barista Pro featuring a built-in grinder, a more powerful heating system, and a larger water tank.

Which espresso machine offers a better value for home users: the Bambino Plus or the Barista Touch?

The value for home users depends on individual preferences; the Bambino Plus is more affordable and compact, while the Barista Touch offers advanced features like touchscreen control and automated milk texturing.

Does the addition of the Breville Smart Grinder Pro enhance the coffee-making experience with the Bambino Plus?

Using the Breville Smart Grinder Pro with the Bambino Plus greatly improves the coffee-making experience by providing precise and consistent grinding, which is crucial for high-quality espresso.

Tony Barlow

Tony Barlow

Majesty Coffee Technical Sales Expert - Meet the Team

Tony Barlow, with over a decade of experience in the coffee industry, is the go-to technical sales expert at Majesty Coffee. He's passionate about helping businesses find the right espresso equipment for their needs.