Barista Touch Vs Bambino Plus: A Head-To-Head Comparison

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When considering the Barista Touch vs Bambino Plus, folks might choose one or the other for a variety of reasons. But if you’re asking for my personal take, I’d go with the Barista Touch all the way!

With the Barista Touch, you get a built-in grinder with 30 settings so you don’t need to spend extra money for one. It also has a one-touch drink menu and allows up to eight personalized recipes to be saved.  

If you’re on a tighter budget, you can also get good results with the Bambino Plus and a standalone grinder. Sure, you won’t have all the fancy features and the high level of adjustability that the Barista Touch offers, but you’ll definitely get your money’s worth in good, quality espresso.

Barista Touch Vs Bambino Plus: Specs & Features Comparison Chart

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine, 67 fluid ounces, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES880BSS
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Machine,64 Fluid Ounces, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES500BSS
Model
Breville Barista Touch
Breville Bambino Plus
Dimensions/Weight
16 x 12.5 x 12.7 inches/26.8 lbs
7.7 x 12.7 x 12.3 inches/12.3 lbs
Interface
Touch Display
Button-Operated Interface
One Touch Drink Options
8
1
Built-in Grinder
Stainless Steel Conical Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
30
Heating System
Single ThermoJet
Single ThermoJet
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
15 Bars
Pre-Infusion
Milk Frothing System
Auto-Frothing Wand
Auto-Frothing Wand
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/4 inches
Dual/4.5 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
2 L/0.25 Kg
1.9 L/None
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
User Profile
What I Like
Price
$999.95
Price not available
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine, 67 fluid ounces, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES880BSS
Model
Breville Barista Touch
Dimensions/Weight
16 x 12.5 x 12.7 inches/26.8 lbs
Interface
Touch Display
One Touch Drink Options
8
Built-in Grinder
Stainless Steel Conical Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
30
Heating System
Single ThermoJet
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
Pre-Infusion
Milk Frothing System
Auto-Frothing Wand
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/4 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
2 L/0.25 Kg
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
User Profile
What I Like
Price
$999.95
More Info
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Image
Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Machine,64 Fluid Ounces, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES500BSS
Model
Breville Bambino Plus
Dimensions/Weight
7.7 x 12.7 x 12.3 inches/12.3 lbs
Interface
Button-Operated Interface
One Touch Drink Options
1
Built-in Grinder
Grinding Settings
Heating System
Single ThermoJet
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
Pre-Infusion
Milk Frothing System
Auto-Frothing Wand
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/4.5 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
1.9 L/None
Filter
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
User Profile
What I Like
Price
Price not available
More Info

Last update on 2024-03-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Barista Touch Vs Bambino Plus: Differences

The Barista Touch defeated the Bambino Plus with a score of 4-2. It just goes to show, like the old saying goes, “You get what you pay for!”

Coffee Flavor & Brewing System

Winner: Breville Barista Touch

Built-in Grinder 

The Barista Touch is designed with a built-in burr coffee grinder with up to 30 grind adjustment settings. Sure, this makes it a bit tall, but at least you won’t have to worry about finding space for a separate grinder. It’s all there, integrated, and ready to go.

Overall, the Barista Touch’s grinder is incredibly responsive and churns out consistent grinds every time. And that’s a big deal, especially since a lot of hybrid machines tend to drop the ball when it comes to their built-in grinders. But not this one.

The Bambino Plus doesn’t have any built-in grinder, which totally fits with its compact design and wallet-friendly price. So, you’ll need to budget a bit extra for a standalone grinder like the Smart Grinder Pro to go with it and watch it shine.

Dosing & Tamping

The Barista Touch includes a solid 54mm portafilter and both single-wall and double-wall filter baskets. Double-wall baskets are a good choice to start with because they are pretty forgiving, but over time, you’ll want to switch to the single-wall baskets for that top-notch, barista-level coffee.

the barista touch includes both single-wall and double-wall filter baskets
The Barista Touch includes both single-wall and double-wall filter baskets

The Bambino Plus is also equipped with a standard-size 54mm portafilter, but it feels a bit less premium, kind of amateurish. But only single-wall baskets are included, so you’ll have to grab some dual-wall baskets separately to use pre-ground coffee.

the bambino plus only comes with single-wall baskets
The Bambino Plus only comes with single-wall baskets

The Barista Touch has an automatic dosing function. So you just need to attach the portafilter to the grinder station, and the machine grinds and doses the exact amount you’ve “timed” on the screen. The whole process is not as sealed as the Oracle, but the included portafilter collar ensures it is super clean, leaving hardly any stray coffee grounds on the counter.

the portafilter collar
The portafilter collar

Heating System

Both the Barista Touch and the Bambino Plus come equipped with a single ThermoJet heating system that’s seriously speedy, taking just three seconds to heat up. That means they heat up a lot faster than driving to your local coffee shop for a cup.

So even though they can’t multitask, I don’t think their lonely boiler is going to bother you. In addition, they also have a PID controller that’s so precise to fret about cross-contamination.

The Achilles heel of the ThermoJet system is that it doesn’t heat up the group head during the first heating cycle. So, you will need to pull a blank shot or two with the portafilter mounted in the group head to bring them up to the proper temperature.

Brewing System

Pre-infusion is a cool feature that both machines share, and trust me, it’s a solid starting point. If you’re just dipping your toes into the world of espresso machines, you might be scratching your head about what pre-infusion is. Well, let me break it down for you!

Pre-infusion is where the coffee grounds get gently moistened under low pressure. This step is key for letting the carbon dioxide escape and for the rich, complex aromas to start unfolding. Then, after just a few seconds, the 15-bar pump jumps into action, ramping up the pressure for the actual extraction.

The Breville Barista Touch Impress comes with an automatic pre-infusion function, meaning you don’t get to tweak the duration of this step, but the Bambino Plus does. This probably won’t be a big deal to most folks, but more seasoned baristas love having the ability to play around and experiment with their brews.

Design & Convenience

Winner: Tie

Dimensions & User Interface

Barista TouchBambino Plus
Dimensions16 x 12.5 x 12.7 inches7.7 x 12.7 x 12.3 inches
Weight26.8 lbs12.3 lbs

The Bambino Plus is one of the most compact and light Breville machines, and that is how it got its name – “Bambino” means “child” in Italian. But because it is so compact and light, you need to give it a firm hold while attaching the portafilter. In addition, you also need to prepare extra space for an independent grinder. 

The Barista Touch is a bit larger but still not too bulky. If you’re thinking of tucking it under your upper cupboards, just ensure there’s some space above since you’ll need easy access to its bean hopper and water tank pretty regularly.

the barista touch's touchscreen
The Barista Touch’s touchscreen

The exterior of both is stainless steel, and they’re also available in Breville-style classic brushed stainless or several other color options. The Barista Touch features a touchscreen, giving it a more premium look than the Bambino Plus with its simple button-operated interface.

the bambino plus's interface
The Bambino Plus’s interface

Spout Type & Cup Clearance

Barista TouchBambino Plus
Spout TypeDualDual
Cup Clearance4 inches4.5 inches

Both machines offer a good amount of space under the portafilter, so you won’t have any trouble fitting in an espresso cup or a regular mug there. But if you’re thinking about brewing directly into a taller travel mug or a latte macchiato glass, sliding out the drip tray will do the trick.

Water Reservoir & Bean Hopper

Barista TouchBambino Plus
Water Reservoir2 liter1.9 liters
Bean Hopper0.25 kilogramN/A

Their tanks are well-built, removable, and quite spacious, so the only thing I don’t like about them is the rear placement. If you’ve ever used machines where the tank slides out from the front, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

The Barista Touch has the option to install a water filter in their tank. It’s a game changer if you brew with tap water, especially if you live in a hard-water area. This helps in keeping your coffee tasting its best and your machine running smoothly.

Milk Frothing System

Winner: Tie

Now is when things get interesting. They are equipped with automatic steam wands to froth milk without the need for babysitting. Right here, I also give a big shoutout to Breville for equipping a stainless steel milk jug instead of selling it separately like some brands.

automatic steam wands
Automatic steam wands

Their wands automatically introduce air into your milk to froth it, and you even get to choose the temperature and texture beforehand. Both have a temperature sensor on the drip tray to monitor the frothing process closely and pause automatically once the milk foam hits your set temperature.

The results are reliably delicious and frothy for milky drinks and even latte art. But if you’re feeling like a pro and want to take control, their wands can switch to manual mode too. By the way, they can also clean themselves after each milk-steaming cycle. Convenience and quality in one package!

Drink Options & Programmability

Winner: Breville Barista Touch

Drink Options

Barista TouchBambino Plus
Espresso
Latte
Flat White
Cappuccino
Americano
Hot Chocolate
Tea
Milk
Espresso

The Barista Touch comes with a menu of several one-touch drinks. Yes, you’ll need to put in a bit of effort, like pouring the drink yourself, since it straddles that fine line between fully automatic and semi-automatic machines. Plus, it comes with a separate hot water tap and eight slots to save your personal drink creations.

the barista touch has a hot water outlet
The Barista Touch has a hot water outlet

The Bambino Plus, on the other hand, offers nothing more than one-touch espresso. It doesn’t even have a hot water function like the Bambino original version. See? There are always trade-offs here and there when sticking with a budget-oriented model.

Programmability

Adjustable SettingsBarista TouchBambino Plus
Coffee StrengthYesNo
Coffee TemperatureYesNo
Milk Foam TemperatureYesYes
Milk Foam TextureYesYes

Both the Barista Touch and Bambino Plus allow you to play around with the temperature and texture of milk foam. The Bambino Plus is limited to only 3 levels for each setting, while the Barista Touch offers a broader range with a couple of sliders on the touchscreen.

the bambino plus has 3 levels of milk foam's temperature and texture
The Bambino Plus has 3 levels of milk foam’s temperature and texture

What’s more, the Barista Touch allows you to time the dose, time the shot, and adjust the brewing temperature. I’m not really a fan of its dose-timing function and I highly recommend buying a coffee scale to make things more convenient and accurate.

the barista touch allows you to change the dose by seconds
The Barista Touch allows you to change the dose by seconds

Quick Rundown Of Breville Barista Touch

Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine, 67 fluid ounces, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES880BSS
  • Item Package Dimension: 17.39L x 16.19W x 16.19H inches
  • Item Package Weight - 28.25 Pounds
  • Item Package Quantity - 1
  • Product Type - COFFEE MAKER

Last update on 2024-03-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Built-in burr grinder with 30 grind settings.
  • ThermoJet quick heating system.
  • Easy-to-use and intuitive touchscreen.
  • Automatic steam wand.
  • Budget-friendly.
Cons
  • Only one boiler.
  • No automattic tamping system.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Bambino Plus

Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Machine,64 Fluid Ounces, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES500BSS
1,795 Reviews
Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Machine,64 Fluid Ounces, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES500BSS
  • Item Package Dimension: 17.64L x 16.99W x 10.24H inches
  • Item Package Weight - 15.74 Pounds
  • Item Package Quantity - 1
  • Product Type - COFFEE MAKER

Last update on 2024-03-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Tiny footprint and lightweight.
  • Temperature sensor for milk frothing.
  • ThermoJet fast-heating system.
  • Adjustable pre-infusion.
  • Very easy to use.
Cons
  • Cheap portafilter.
  • No single-wall basket.
  • No brewing temperature control.

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References

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