Breville Bambino Plus Vs Gaggia Classic Pro: Which One Is Better?

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Breville Bambino Plus vs Gaggia Classic Pro are both appealing options for those on a budget. But if I had to choose between the two, the Bambino Plus would be better in my eyes.

The Breville Bambino Plus is compact, lightweight, and easy to use. Its biggest selling point is its automatic steam wand with 3 levels of milk foam’s temperature and texture, so you can get a cappuccino or latte macchiato with as little effort as possible.

On the other hand, the Gaggia Classic Pro might not be a good choice for newbies. It has no PID controller, requiring the user to be proficient in temperature surfing for optimal use. The manual wand is ideal for practicing latte art, but it comes with a learning curve as well.

Breville Bambino Plus Vs Gaggia Classic Pro: Specs & Features Comparison Chart

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Machine BES500BSS, Brushed Stainless Steel
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Gaggia RI9380/47 Classic Pro Espresso Machine,1.3liters, Cherry Red
Model
Breville Bambino Plus
Gaggia Classic Pro
Dimensions/Weight
7.7 x 12.7 x 12.3 inches/12.3 lbs
14.2 x 9.5 x 8 inches/18.7 lbs
Interface
Button-Operated Interface
Button-Operated Interface
One Touch Drink Options
1
2
Built-in Grinder
Grinding Settings
Heating System
Single ThermoJet
Single Aluminum Boiler
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
15 Bars
Pre-Infusion
Milk Frothing System
Auto-Frothing Wand
Manual Steam Wand
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/4.5 inches
Dual/3.3 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
1.9 L/None
2.1 L/None
Filter
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
User Profile
What I Like
Price
$499.95
$499.00
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Machine BES500BSS, Brushed Stainless Steel
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
$499.95
More Info
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Image
Gaggia RI9380/47 Classic Pro Espresso Machine,1.3liters, Cherry Red
Model
Gaggia Classic Pro
Dimensions/Weight
14.2 x 9.5 x 8 inches/18.7 lbs
Interface
Button-Operated Interface
One Touch Drink Options
2
Built-in Grinder
Grinding Settings
Heating System
Single Aluminum Boiler
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
Pre-Infusion
Milk Frothing System
Manual Steam Wand
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/3.3 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
2.1 L/None
Filter
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
User Profile
What I Like
Price
$499.00
More Info

Last update on 2024-04-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Breville Bambino Plus Vs Gaggia Classic Pro: Differences

The Bambino Plus outperformed the Classic Pro, winning with a score of 4-1.  Just continue reading for a detailed comparison of the two.

Coffee Flavor & Brewing System

Winner: Breville Bambino Plus

Built-in Grinder 

These machines lack built-in grinders. So you need to buy one separately to see them shine. Indeed, I know a lot of people will give up too early on these machines because they are pairing them with a low-quality grinder.

I like the flexibility of having a separate grinder all the time. Why? I don’t have to use a grinder made by an espresso company, and upgrading individual components is also very easy. 

However, if you’re tight on kitchen space, you might lean towards a model that includes a grinder to keep things compact and convenient. Breville itself has many such models in its arsenal, such as the Barista Pro and Barista Express.

Dosing & Tamping

The Classic Pro comes with a nice 58mm portafilter, while the Bambino Plus uses a smaller 54mm one. The Bambino Plus’s portafilter doesn’t have the most premium feel to it and can be a bit tricky to lock into place.

the classic pro uses a larger 58mm portafilter
The Classic Pro uses a larger 58mm portafilter

Yes, you really need to have a firm grip on the Bambino Plus when you’re twisting the portafilter in and out, or you might find the machine sliding around on your counter. All because it’s very lightweight.

The Classic Pro comes with both single-wall and double-wall filter baskets, while the Bambino Plus only comes with double-wall baskets. You can buy separate single-wall baskets to go with the Bambino Plus anytime and they’re pretty cheap, but it’s a bit disappointing that Breville doesn’t deliver.

Heating System

The Bambino Plus uses a ThermoJet heating system to heat up the water in under a minute, whereas the Classic Pro is all set to brew in about two minutes with its improved aluminum boiler. Neither can handle making espresso and steaming milk simultaneously because, you know, they only have one heating system.

The Bambino Plus has a PID controller to maintain a stable temperature, which is very helpful when switching from brewing to milk frothing or vice versa. The Classic Pro does not have PID, requiring you to master temperature surfing or mod it using a PID Upgrade Kit to get the best result.

Brewing System 

An espresso machine should have a pre-infusion function. This initial brewing step gently soaks the puck under low pressure before the full power of the pump kicks in. Not only does it let the coffee bloom a bit, but it also smooths out any unevenness from tamping. That way, this helps prevent channeling and leads to a more uniform extraction.

The Bambino Plus has the pre-infusion function and allows you to adjust the duration. That way, you can play around with different roast profiles and single-origin beans.

The Classic Pro, unfortunately, lacks this feature, but once again, I’ve got a workaround. If you slightly open the steam knob before hitting the brew button, it’ll slow down the flow rate at the group head. That way, you can moisten the coffee puck for a few seconds and then just close the steam wand and start your full extraction.

Design & Convenience

Winner: Breville Bambino Plus

Dimensions & User Interface

Breville Bambino PlusGaggia Classic Pro
Dimensions7.7 x 12.7 x 12.3 inches14.2 x 9.5 x 8 inches
Weight12.3 lbs18.7 lbs

Both machines boast stainless steel bodies, a feature that’s pretty rare in this price range. They’re compact too, so they’ll snugly fit on any kitchen counter. Fun fact: “Bambino” is Italian for “child,” which is quite fitting given its small footprint.

Unlike the Classic Pro, the Bambino Plus is notably lightweight, which is both a blessing and a curse. On the plus side, moving it around your kitchen is a breeze. But as I mentioned earlier, this lightness means you’ll need a firm grip when inserting or removing the portafilter from the brew head.

the gaggia classic pro's user interface
The Gaggia Classic Pro’s user interface

The control panels on these machines are the epitome of simplicity, featuring just a few buttons. This means you can get your cup of Joe as quickly as possible without any fuss.

the bambino plus's control panel
The Bambino Plus’s control panel

Spout Type & Cup Clearance

Breville Bambino PlusGaggia Classic Pro
Spout TypeDualDual
Cup Clearance4.5 inches3.3 inches

Unlike super-automatic espresso machines, you won’t be able to adjust their spout height. Of course, that won’t be an issue when you’re brewing into espresso cups, but you might need to remove the drip tray if you want to brew into a travel mug.

Water Reservoir & Bean Hopper

Breville Bambino PlusGaggia Classic Pro
Water Reservoir1.9 liters2.1 liters
Bean HopperN/AN/A 

Their water tanks are surprisingly large for such compact machines. Both are removable, so just detach, fill, reattach, and enjoy your caffeinated beverages. Just one thing to keep in mind is that if you have overhead cabinets, they might get in the way a bit when you’re removing these tanks.

Milk Frothing System

Winner: Breville Bambino Plus

The Bambino Plus, with its outstanding automatic steam wand, makes your espresso drink creations, like a cappuccino or espresso macchiato, almost effortless.

the bambino plus uses an automatic steam wand
The Bambino Plus uses an automatic steam wand

All you need to do is pour milk into the pitcher, pick from three temperature settings and three texture options, place the jug under the wand, and hit the button. There is a small sensor under the wand that monitors the entire process on your behalf.

The Bambino Plus’s wand might not pack the same punch as a commercial steam wand, but it will definitely still help you create some pretty impressive latte art. And if you’re feeling confident, you can switch to manual mode and take full control of the steaming process.

On the other hand, the Classic Pro sports a commercial manual steam wand, perfect for those who love to create heaps of microfoam for latte art. It is really powerful, and there is a rotating dial nearby that gives you a lot of control over the frothing system.

the classic pro's wand can't rotate 360 degrees
The Classic Pro’s wand can’t rotate 360 degrees

Still, the Classic Pro’s wand isn’t mounted on a ball joint, so its range of movement is somewhat restricted. Also, it tends to feel a bit flimsy and, worth noting, it doesn’t come with a milk jug.

Drink Options & Programmability

Winner: Tie

Drink Options

Breville Bambino PlusGaggia Classic Pro
EspressoEspresso
Hot Water

Not much to elaborate on here, but it’s worth noting that the Classic Pro features a dedicated hot water outlet, something the Bambino Plus lacks entirely. Personally, I’m a fan of having a separate outlet for hot water. You see, many models dispense hot water through their steam wands, which can lead to a mix-up between hot water and milk residues.

the classic pro has a separate outlet for hot water
The Classic Pro has a separate outlet for hot water

Programmability

Adjustable SettingsBreville Bambino PlusGaggia Classic Pro
Coffee StrengthNoNo
Coffee TemperatureNoNo
Milk Foam TemperatureYesNo
Milk Foam TextureYesNo

On the right of the Bambino Plus, there are two buttons with scale indicators that allow you to adjust the milk’s temperature and texture – and that is all! As for the Classic Pro, there’s no fiddling with settings or parameters, so just let the machine do its thing.

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

Quick Rundown Of Breville Bambino Plus

Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Machine BES500BSS, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • 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 2024-04-20 / 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.

Quick Rundown Of Gaggia Classic Pro

Gaggia RI9380/47 Classic Pro Espresso Machine,1.3liters, Cherry Red
  • Solid Steel Housing, Made in Italy
  • 9 Bar Espresso Extractions
  • Stainless Steel 58mm Commercial Portafilter
  • Commercial Three Way Solenoid Valve
  • Commercial Steam Wand

Last update on 2024-04-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Solid stainless steel construction
  • Easy to use and clean.
  • Compact footprint.
  • Both single- and double-wall baskets are included.
  • Hot water function.
Cons
  • No PID control.
  • Not good steam wand.

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References

5/5 - (4 votes)