Buying Guides

Breville Bambino vs Barista Express: Espresso Showdown

The Breville Bambino and Barista Express are two great espresso machines with slightly different features for different coffee needs.

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You’re probably here because you’ve heard the name Breville be passed around in coffee talk, you’re in the market for a good quality espresso machine, or you’re trying to understand the difference between a few of Breville’s products.

Whatever the reason, we’re here to tell you everything you need to know about two of Breville’s well-known espresso machines, how they’re different, and which one might be better for your coffee needs.

Breville Bambino vs Barista Express

A Little Background on Breville

Before we get into the machines themselves, let’s talk a little bit about what Breville is as a company. The Australian brand of Breville actually got its start as a radio manufacturer in the 1930s and soon grew into the big-name home and kitchen business that they are now.

They have a long list of good-quality espresso machines in their range of products, varying in price. Even their lower-priced ones are some of the best choices when it comes to getting your home barista hobby going.

Breville Bambino

The first espresso machine we’ll cover is the Breville Bambino, which is a more budget-friendly option. It’s compact and still a bit pricier than some, but as far as good quality on a low budget, this machine will get you there.

If you’re just getting started in your home brewing, the Bambino is a great starter machine that’s not too hard to handle. It’s the perfect size for smaller kitchen spaces and works as a rather simplistic machine while still producing delicious espresso.

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This appliance has a ThermoJet heating system, which allows brewing to start in just seconds. With a low-pressure pre-infusion time and a high-pressure extraction, the perfect espresso can be crafted with a 15-bar Italian pump.

The Bambino also comes with a 54mm portafilter, single and dual wall filter baskets, a tamper, steam wand cleaner, and descaling powder.

What We Like

It’s a stainless steel masterpiece that has PID temperature control, can perform excellent milk steaming to get smooth and well-textured milk, and has a simplistic compact design.

Overall, this is an excellent machine that’s durable and easy to use while maintaining the ability to produce some delicious shots of espresso.

What We Don’t Like

The steam wand is a manual one, which can take a bit longer to use than an automatic one. Unlike what it advertises, the machine doesn’t actually come with a milk jug and it must be purchased separately.

You don’t get the handiness of a built-in grinder, but this is only an issue for those who don’t have a separate grinder on hand.

  • Capacity: 47 fl. oz
  • Dimensions: 6.3″ x 13.7″ x 12″
  • Weight: 10.9 pounds

Breville Barista Express

On Sale

The second Breville machine we’ll look at is the BES870XL, also known as the Barista Express. This is a semi-automatic espresso machine that has a built-in coffee grinder and easy-to-use controls.

Breville BES870XL Barista Express Dose Control Grinding

It’s practically hands-free, giving way to a great entry-level espresso machine that can produce a quality cup of coffee without any extra work.

The integrated conical burr grinder produces the right amount of espresso grounds every time, ensuring consistency. It has 16 different precision grind settings that you can choose from, which allows you to adjust the grind size as needed.

Breville BES870XL Barista Express Micro-Foam Milk Texturing

This brushed stainless steel machine also has a digital temperature control system to ensure optimal espresso extraction. Moreover, the manual steam wand works wonders in creating creamy milk with perfect microfoam for lattes and cappuccinos.

The Barista Express comes with a 54 mm stainless steel portafilter, an integrated tamper, a Razor Dose trimming tool, single and dual wall filter baskets, a stainless steel milk jug, a water filter and holder, a brush tool, a coffee scoop, and a cleaning disc.

Breville BES870XL Barista Express OPTIMAL WATER PRESSURE

What We Like

It’s easy to clean, with a removable water tank and an integral cleaning process by the use of machine cleaning tablets. The design of the machine is compact and stylish, it’s easy to brew, has an integrated grinder and tamper, and has digital temperature controls.

The built-in coffee bean hopper for grinding can hold up to 1/2 a pound of your favorite coffee beans for a truly fresh coffee experience and an even easier brewing process.

What We Don’t Like

While the cleaning process is made easy, the cost of the cleaning tablets can be a bit pricey, especially since you’ll need to perform frequent cleanings in order to keep up with the machine.

It can take a bit to learn how to brew a perfect shot with this advanced machine and it does only have a single boiler, so users can’t brew espresso and steam milk at the same time.

  • Capacity: 4 pounds
  • Dimensions: 12″D x 11″W x 13.5″H
  • Weight: 23 pounds

Breville Bambino vs Barista Express: How Are They Similar

Apart from being manufactured by the same company, the Breville Bambino and Breville Barista Express are both great options for beginner baristas who want machines that are compact and easy to use.

The machines come with 54mm stainless steel portafilters and each has the ability to control its own temperatures for ultimate performance stability and a beautiful extraction process.

How Are They Different

Of course, while they can provide mostly the same features, they are different machines. The Breville Bambino doesn’t have an integrated coffee bean grinder or tamper as the Breville Barista Express does and the Bambino’s temperature control comes from a PID while the Barista Express has a digital system.

Though still on the compact side, the Barista Express is a bit bigger than the Bambino and therefore has a few more additional features than the Bambino does. Cleaning for the Barista Express is easier than the manual cleaning for the Bambino, but that means the tablets are a more expensive investment.

Which Breville is the Right Espresso Machine for You?

Hopefully, with a bit of a rundown on the Breville Bambino Espresso Machine and Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine, you’re able to see what all you can get with a Breville coffee maker at different price points.

Whether you’re a coffee lover looking for something a bit more compact and simple or something that works as an all-in-one powerhouse, Breville offers coffee machines that can work wonders to produce beautiful shots of espresso.

Happy Caffeinating!

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