Breville Café Roma vs Bambino Plus: Which Is Better & Why?

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The art of making café-style espresso at home has never been easier than this. All you need is a professional and user-friendly espresso machine for beginners. Today, I’ve lined 2 of the top-ranking espresso machines for you – Breville Café Roma vs Bambino Plus.

The winner Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Machine is a better-looking model. It features a polished and smooth stainless steel design. Very modern, sleek, and attractive to look at. But that’s not all. The Bambino also boasts of adjustable temperature controls, better espresso quality, and quicker heat-up time.

The runner-up Breville Café Roma Espresso Machine is a beginner’s paradise. It’s a sturdy and versatile little thing. It has a brushed stainless steel body and straightforward functions with a selector dial. From the steam wand to the portafilter, it is temperature-controlled and automatic.

Breville Café Roma vs Bambino Plus: Comparison Chart

Image
The Winner (#1)
Breville BES500BSS Bambino Plus Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
The Runner-up (#2)
Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Stainless Espresso Maker
Model
Breville Bambino Plus BES500
Breville Cafe Roma ESP8
Dimensions (LxWxH)
12.5 x 7.6 x 12.2 Inches
9.25 x 9 x 11.75 Inches
Weight
3.1 Pounds
13 Pounds
Color
Brushed Stainless Steel
Brushed Stainless
Material
Stainless Steel
Stainless Steel
Settings
Control Panel: 1 Cup, 2 Cup and Steam button
Manual control over espresso shot volume.
Water Tank Capacity
1.8 Liters
1.2 Liters
Power / Voltage
1560W / 110-120V
1000W / 110-120V
Heating System
600W ThermoJet–Integrated stainless steel water path accurately controls water temperature.
1000W Thermoblock - Automatically ajusts the water temperature between extraction and milk texturing.
3 Second Heat Up Time
15 Bar Italian Pump
Purge Function
Pre Infusion Function
Removable drip tray and grid
The professional-grade adjustable steam wand
Digital Display
What I Like
Price
$598.00
$187.99
The Winner (#1)
Image
Breville BES500BSS Bambino Plus Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Bambino Plus BES500
Dimensions (LxWxH)
12.5 x 7.6 x 12.2 Inches
Weight
3.1 Pounds
Color
Brushed Stainless Steel
Material
Stainless Steel
Settings
Control Panel: 1 Cup, 2 Cup and Steam button
Water Tank Capacity
1.8 Liters
Power / Voltage
1560W / 110-120V
Heating System
600W ThermoJet–Integrated stainless steel water path accurately controls water temperature.
3 Second Heat Up Time
15 Bar Italian Pump
Purge Function
Pre Infusion Function
Removable drip tray and grid
The professional-grade adjustable steam wand
Digital Display
What I Like
Price
$598.00
More Info
The Runner-up (#2)
Image
Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Stainless Espresso Maker
Model
Breville Cafe Roma ESP8
Dimensions (LxWxH)
9.25 x 9 x 11.75 Inches
Weight
13 Pounds
Color
Brushed Stainless
Material
Stainless Steel
Settings
Manual control over espresso shot volume.
Water Tank Capacity
1.2 Liters
Power / Voltage
1000W / 110-120V
Heating System
1000W Thermoblock - Automatically ajusts the water temperature between extraction and milk texturing.
3 Second Heat Up Time
15 Bar Italian Pump
Purge Function
Pre Infusion Function
Removable drip tray and grid
The professional-grade adjustable steam wand
Digital Display
What I Like
Price
$187.99
More Info

Last update on 2022-01-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Breville Café Roma vs Bambino Plus: Differences

Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Machine wins 4 – 1 against the Breville Cafe Roma. Every single feature of Bambino Plus is flavour-orientated, like the pre-infusion feature and precise grinding control. So if you want premium espresso quality, you can’t miss out on the Bambino Plus.

1. Espresso Taste

The Winner: Breville Bambino Plus

Breville Bambino Plus Taste Of Espresso
Breville Bambino Plus Taste Of Espresso

Portafilter

The espresso extraction between the Breville Cafe Roma and Bambino Plus is a bit unique. For starters, the Cafe Roma lets you extract a single and double shot with different doses. So yes, it does feature a double-wall filter basket with 2 filter sizes.

The single-shot measures exactly 7g of coffee powder and the double is 14g. And you can use coffee pods as well as it comes with a 3rd filter which is for pods only. 

The dual-walled filter basket on the Bambino Plus, on the other hand, does not feature a pod filter. It has a stainless steel portafilter with a double shot filter with a dosage of 18 to 22g. So no single shot either. 

 This might limit your ability to use only pre-ground coffee in the Bambino Plus. But the dose is just right. 18 to 22g extracts maximum flavour and for that, Breville Bambino Plus is a better choice for delicious espresso flavour than the Cafe Roma.

But speaking of espresso quality in the Cafe Roma, the fact that the machine offers 3 filters for espresso extraction is impressive. The espresso comes out perfectly heated, rich, and aromatic. So in taste tests, this is a dependable choice.

Moving on to Bambino Plus, because of the precise control grinding feature, it delivers rich and delicious espresso. Bambino Plus infuses the coffee grounds with hot water just a bit longer to maintain a smooth and crema-infused flavor. I’d buy the Bambino over and over again just for this feature alone!

Pre-Infusion

Breville Bambino Plus boasts of its pre-infusion feature. And in case you aren’t familiar with this term, as the pressure of the water increases, grinds are gently expanded for even extraction. This is the point of pre-infusion. And Cafe Aroma doesn’t share this function with Bambino Plus.

The Breville Café Roma, even though it boasts of basic features, it is superbly accurate and smooth. It’s the ideal touch-and-go kind of espresso machine. Ideal for someone who doesn’t know a lot about espresso machines and doesn’t want to.  So all you can think about is a rich cup of espresso.

Heating System

I’m sure you’re thinking: But don’t both machines offer Thermo heating system? Yes, but their functionalities are different and worth considering.

For starters, the Cafe Roma uses 1000W Thermoblock which is automatic. It will navigate the hot water temperature between espresso extraction and milk texturing. It makes no promises in rapid heat-up time. This is where the Bambino Plus comes in.

The Bambino Plus features a 600W ThermoJet heating system with a stainless steel build quality. It not only automatically heats up the water to the right temperature but it contains the maintained temperature for longer between espresso extraction and milk steaming.

In layman’s terms, what this means is that the water is going to heat up a lot faster in the Bambino Plus than the Cafe Roma. And it’ll stay hot between 2 cups so you won’t lose flavor while brewing the second espresso. 

This also means that with the ThermoJet, you can also control the temperature. You cannot do this with the Cafe Roma. 

2. Dose Control

The Winner: Breville Bambino Plus

Breville Bambino Plus Dose Control
Breville Bambino Plus Dose Control

Let’s talks about the manual control feature on both machines. The Cafe Roma lets you control the volume of coffee with its dual-wall filters. You can pick from a single and double shot of espresso. 

The dual-action dial on it moves from left to right as you make adjustments to what you want the espresso maker to do. You slide it to the left to start the steam wand and the right to extract rich espresso. It’s quick, simple, and makes no mess.

The control panel of the Bambino Plus is a bit different. You can select from 1 cup and 2 cup with the steam button right next to it. 

You can adjust the temperature on the steam wand to stretch and heat the milk just like they do in baristas. Instead of the dial, this machine features buttons that are easier to access. Allowing you to increase/decrease the temperature and speed of the steam wand.

3. Milk System / Steam Wand

The Winner: Breville Bambino Plus

Breville Bambino Plus Milk System
Breville Bambino Plus Milk System

On the Breville Cafe Roma, you can adjust the angle of the steam wand, not the milk temperature and texture settings. The Bambino Plus lets you control the milk temperature and texture easily which gives it a one-up against the Cafe Roma.

Both the steam wands are made of stainless steel with precise automatic milk texturing features. But the Cafe Roma does not feature steam volume control. Only the Bambino Plus allows you to do that.

Speaking of which, the Bambino Plus has 3 heat settings and 3 milk texture settings. This is enough flexibility to move forward with, even for a beginner. 

4. Design

The Winner: Breville Cafe Roma

Breville Cafe Roma Design
Breville Cafe Roma Design

To my surprise, the Breville Cafe Roma has a more compact water tank capacity which makes it easier to refill and take out to clean.

The water reservoir capacity of the Cafe Roma is 41 fluid ounces and the Bambino Plus is 64 ounces. This makes the Cafe Roma more portable than the Bambino Plus. But it does also mean that you have to refill the Cafe Roma more often. 

5. Cleaning & Maintenance

The Winner: Breville Bambino Plus

Breville Bambino Plus Maintenance
Breville Bambino Plus Maintenance

The first thing you always look at when you or anyone else sees an espresso machine is a design. How many removable parts does an espresso machine have? 

The Breville Café Roma is a slightly toned-down version of the Bambino Plus. It has a stainless steel design, just like the Bambino Plus. But its steam wand, based on customer feedback, is a bit tricky to clean. But make sure you use the steam function to get rid of tough milk stains from the inside of the wand.

You can remove the drip tray, reservoir, and they’re easy to put back in too. What the Bambino Plus does not have that is present in the Cafe Roma is the warming tray. The Cafe Roma can hold up to 6 espresso cups easily on its aluminium warming tray. 

Unfortunately, the top of the Bambino Plus does not get hot enough to keep cups warm.

Breville Cafe Roma vs Bambino Plus: Similarities

Here’s the first thing that Breville Cafe Roma and Bambino Plus have in common: both use pre-ground coffee via portafilter. Both espresso machines also adopt a 15-bar pump mechanism so that espresso tastes balanced and smooth every time.

Both steam wands have a finger-loop that lets you control the wand easily for accurate milk texturing. 

Additional accessories like the cleaning tool, tamper, and drip tray indicator are also included.

Both offer all the right features that you need to make espresso perfectly and keep the machine happy and clean for longer. The stainless steel body, flexible steam wand, removable drip tray, and warming plate for espresso cups.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Bambino Plus BES500

Breville BES500BSS Bambino Plus Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • The Breville Bambino Plus delivers third wave specialty coffee at home using the 4 keys formula and is part of the Bambino Series that offers the faster way to professional results at home in a compact footprint: serious espresso, serious value
  • DOSE CONTROL GRINDING: Achieve a consistent and balanced espresso using the right amount of ground coffee; The 54mm porta-filter with 19 grams is the key for full flavor and cafe quality coffee
  • OPTIMAL WATER PRESSURE: Low pressure pre-infusion gradually increases pressure at the start and helps ensure all the flavors are drawn out evenly during the extraction for a balanced tasting cup
  • FASTER HEAT UP TIME: Innovative ThermoJet heating system achieves the optimum extraction temperature in 3 seconds
  • PRECISE ESPRESSO EXTRACTION: Digital temperature control (PID) delivers water at precisely the right temperature, ensuring optimal espresso extraction

Last update on 2022-01-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Better customization for milk texturing.
  • Adjustable 3 milk temperature and 3 texture settings.
  • High-quality espresso extraction with a rich aroma.
  • It does feature a manual dial-in feature for better control.
  • Quick heat-up time and no lagging.
Cons
  • No warming tray like the Cafe Roma.
  • Not compatible with coffee pods.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Café Roma ESP8

Sale
Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Stainless Espresso Maker
  • Stainless-steel espresso machine with 15-bar thermoblock pump
  • Dual-wall filter system for excellent crema; froth enhancer, cup-warming plate
  • Accesories: Stainless steel frothing pitcher Tamping tool/measuring spoon/cleaning tool
  • Removable drip tray and grid; Frothing jug included
  • Measures 9 x 9 x 12 inches; 1-year limited warranty

Last update on 2022-01-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Accurate temperature range for espresso extraction.
  • Durable stainless steel build and parts.
  • Versatile portafilter dosage for full-bodied espresso shots.
  • The reasonable price range with low maintenance.
  • It can brew a single, double, and coffee pod shot.
Cons
  • It can only fit short espresso cups.
  • The tamper might need to be replaced soon.
  • No cleaning indicators for water, drip tray, etc.

Product Videos

Final Verdict

You can easily decide between the two once you know what you’re looking for:

The Breville Café Roma Espresso Machine is for the lazy coffee drinker. The machine is equipped with everything to brew delicious espresso right off the bat. It’s powerful and versatile. The Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Machine is the faster alternative with a few extra features that you will love to use once you know how. For barista-like espresso results every step of the way, you have to try this one.

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References

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