Breville Infuser vs Bambino Review: What Is The Right Choice?

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When it comes to beginner-friendly espresso machines, both the Breville Infuser vs Bambino make the cut. In this comparison, I’ve found that both machines deliver similar quality espresso shots, but the Infuser edges ahead with its overall performance.

What sets the Breville Infuser apart for me is its adjustable temperature function, giving me more control over the brewing process. Plus, the auto-purge feature makes maintaining the steam wand a breeze and ensures a quick cooldown of the boiler after steaming. And let’s not forget the larger water reservoir, which means fewer refills and more time enjoying my coffee.

On the other hand, the Bambino may be more compact, but it still packs a punch in terms of espresso quality. With its ThermoJet heating technology, it heats up faster and steams milk quicker, perfect for those mornings when every minute counts. Plus, it shares features like PID temperature control and pre-infusion with the Infuser, resulting in consistently rich and flavorful espresso shots.

Breville Infuser vs Bambino: Comparison Chart

Image
The Winner (#1)
Breville Infuser Espresso Machine BES840XL, Brushed Stainless Steel
The Runner-up (#2)
Model
Breville Infuser BES840XL
Breville Bambino BES450
Dimensions (LxWxH)
11.5 x 13.7 x 13.25 Inches
12.5 x 7.6 x 12.2 Inches
Weight
17 Pounds
12 Pounds
Color
Stainless Steel
Stainless Steel
Power / Voltage
1650W / 110-120V
1560W / 110-120V
Material
Brushed Stainless Steel
Brushed Stainless Steel
Water Tank Capacity
61 Ounces
47 Ounces
Auto Shut-Off
Auto-Purge
Separate Hot Water Dispenser
Programmability
Manual
Manual + Automated
Bar Pump System
15 Bar
9 Bar
Interface
Analog Gauge, Button Control
Analog Gauge, Button Control
Warranty
1 Year
1 Year
Heating System
Thermocoil
ThermoJet
Automatic Milk Texturing
What I Like
Price
$599.95
$299.95
The Winner (#1)
Image
Breville Infuser Espresso Machine BES840XL, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Infuser BES840XL
Dimensions (LxWxH)
11.5 x 13.7 x 13.25 Inches
Weight
17 Pounds
Color
Stainless Steel
Power / Voltage
1650W / 110-120V
Material
Brushed Stainless Steel
Water Tank Capacity
61 Ounces
Auto Shut-Off
Auto-Purge
Separate Hot Water Dispenser
Programmability
Manual
Bar Pump System
15 Bar
Interface
Analog Gauge, Button Control
Warranty
1 Year
Heating System
Thermocoil
Automatic Milk Texturing
What I Like
Price
$599.95
More Info
The Runner-up (#2)
Image
Model
Breville Bambino BES450
Dimensions (LxWxH)
12.5 x 7.6 x 12.2 Inches
Weight
12 Pounds
Color
Stainless Steel
Power / Voltage
1560W / 110-120V
Material
Brushed Stainless Steel
Water Tank Capacity
47 Ounces
Auto Shut-Off
Auto-Purge
Separate Hot Water Dispenser
Programmability
Manual + Automated
Bar Pump System
9 Bar
Interface
Analog Gauge, Button Control
Warranty
1 Year
Heating System
ThermoJet
Automatic Milk Texturing
What I Like
Price
$299.95

Last update on 2024-05-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Breville Infuser vs Bambino: Differences

Breville Infuser takes the lead with 2 wins and 2 draws against the Bambino. Stay tuned for further details!

Coffee Flavor & Brewing System

The Winner: Tie

Heating System

The Breville Bambino uses the ThermoJet heating system. I must say, it is like magic! Within a mere three seconds, my machine is ready to brew.

The Breville Infuser’s thermocoil heating system operates at a slightly slower pace. Waiting around for a minute or two might not seem like much, but in the hustle and bustle of daily life, every moment counts. That said, once the Infuser is up and running, it maintains a steady temperature thanks to its PID control.

Ah, speaking of PID control, both machines are equipped with this feature, but the Infuser takes it a step further with the digital PID controller. This allows for greater temperature customization. I will talk in more detail later.

Brewing Performance

When it comes to comparing the heating systems of the Breville Infuser and Bambino, I find both to be quite impressive. They offer a range of options for volumetric and shot control, allowing us to effortlessly brew either a single-shot or double-shot espresso with just the touch of a button.

The pre-infusion feature coupled with the 15-bar pump pressure ensures a precise 9-bar extraction, resulting in a delicious cup of coffee every time. I’ve experimented with different variables like grind size, tamping pressure, and coffee bean quality, and regardless of the variations, both machines consistently deliver flavorful and textured espresso shots.

What’s also great is their 54mm portafilters, which allow for dosing amounts of approximately 18g of coffee powder. This is perfect for achieving a quality double-shot espresso, but if I’m in the mood for a single-shot cup, I can easily switch to the single-shot filter baskets that come with both machines.

I also like that both the Breville Infuser and Bambino come with both single-wall and dual-wall filter baskets, giving me the option to choose between non-pressurized and pressurized filters. I always recommend using single-wall filter baskets to produce a smoother and creamier crema with a rich espresso body.

Design & Convenience

The Winner: Breville Infuser

Dimensions & Capacity

Breville Infuser vs Bambino: Water tank
Breville Infuser vs Bambino: Water tank

First off, let’s talk size. The Bambino is definitely the winner if you’re tight on space. I mean, seriously, it’s compact enough to squeeze into the smallest of kitchen nooks. I was amazed at how effortlessly it nestled into my already cluttered countertop.

Now, onto capacity. The Infuser has a 61 oz water reservoir, while the Bambino trails a bit behind with 47 oz. Sure, it’s not as much, but it’s still enough to whip up a fair few shots before needing a refill. Plus, that smaller size means it’s not taking up as much kitchen real estate. In a cozy kitchen, every inch counts!

That bigger capacity of the Breville Infuser comes with a trade-off. It takes up a bit more space. Like, it’s not huge or anything, but if your kitchen is more cozy than cavernous, you might find yourself playing a bit of countertop Tetris to make it work.

User Interface

The Infuser’s got a sleek layout that just screams “pro barista at your service”. You’ve got your power button, program button, and single/double shot buttons all neatly lined up. And right in the middle is a pressure gauge. Plus, the steam and cleaning lights are right underneath, so I’m always in the know about what’s happening.

I like that pressure gauge on the Breville Infuser. Seriously, being able to keep an eye on the extraction pressure is like having x-ray vision for your espresso. I can spot over-extraction or under-extraction a mile away and swoop in to save the day.

The Bambino is more simple and straightforward. It has a single shot button, a double shot button, a steaming button, and a hot water button. That’s it. No frills, no fuss, just pure espresso goodness at the push of a button.

Hot Water Spout

Breville Infuser vs Bambino: Dispense hot water
Breville Infuser vs Bambino: Dispense hot water

Hot water spout is one of my favorite little features on any espresso machine.

So, the Breville Infuser, bless its heart, comes equipped with this nifty dedicated hot water spout right next to the steam wand. Whenever I crave an americano, instead of fumbling around for a kettle, I just flick that switch and voila! Hot water, ready to mingle with my espresso. Plus, it’s not just for americanos. I’ve used it to whip up hot chocolate and steep some tea.

Now, onto the Bambino. It’s a bit of a different story. Sure, it can dispense hot water too, but the hot water doesn’t come from a dedicated spout like on the Infuser. Nope, it flows through the steam wand. And while that might not sound like a big deal at first, trust me, it can be a bit of a pain. You see, when you’re using the steam wand for frothing milk, there’s inevitably some residue left behind. So when you go to dispense hot water, well, let’s just say it’s not exactly pristine. You sometimes end up with a weird milk-water concoction that’s not exactly what you had in mind.

Programmability

The Winner: Breville Infuser 

Shot & Volumetric Control

Both the Infuser and the Bambino have got you covered with two buttons right there on the front. I mentioned this before.

Now, here’s where things get interesting. By default, both machines pump out a double shot of around 60 milliliters or a single shot of 30 milliliters. But you’re not stuck with those amounts.

With the Infuser, you hit the “Program” button, select your desired shot size, and you’re off to the races. Just give that button a tap to stop the flow, and you’ve got yourself a custom-made shot tailored to your liking.

With the Bambino, just press and hold the one-shot button for a few seconds until it starts flashing. When you’ve got the perfect amount in your cup, just tap that button again to halt the extraction. And  more convenient, the Bambino remembers your preference for next time.

How to control the shot volume on the Breville Bambino
How to control the shot volume on the Breville Bambino

Adjustable Temperature

Both of these machines come equipped with a PID controller, but the Infuser boasts a digital PID controller. It gives you the power to tweak the temperature to your heart’s content: plus or minus 4 degrees, in 2-degree increments, from the start temperature. 

It might not sound like much, but trust me, in the world of espresso, those few degrees can make all the difference. Adjusting the temperature just a smidge can take your espresso from meh to magnificent in no time. Plus, it’s all about personal preference, right? Some folks like it a little hotter, some prefer it a touch cooler – and with the Infuser, you’re in the driver’s seat.

Meanwhile, the Bambino doesn’t offers the same level of temperature control as its counterpart. It’s fixed at a standard temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit. And while that might sound a bit limiting compared to the Infuser, don’t count it out just yet.

For beginners or those who prefer to keep things simple, the Bambino’s fixed temperature is actually a blessing in disguise. It takes the guesswork out of the equation and ensures that you’re getting consistently great espresso every time. Plus, let’s be real, the default temperature is pretty spot-on in my experience.

Milk System 

The Winner: Tie

Both of these machines come equipped with a manual steam wand – no fancy automatic systems here. It’s 360-degree rotation gives you the power to craft the perfect milk foam with your own hands.

With the manual steam wand at your disposal, I can complete control over the frothing process. Want a velvety microfoam for my latte art masterpiece? No problem. Craving a cloud-like froth for my cappuccino? I got it. The possibilities are endless, my friends.

Speed

Breville Bambino, with its fancy Thermojet heating system, is like the speed demon of the espresso world. I’m talking about lightning-fast steaming. Compared to the Infuser, the Bambino is a whole 35 seconds faster at churning out the silky-smooth foam for my latte.

Now, you might be thinking, “But wait, isn’t faster always better?” Well, not necessarily. You see, there’s a hidden benefit to the Infuser’s slightly slower steaming time – it’s actually a blessing in disguise for beginners. Trust me, I’ve been there – trying to wrangle a super-speedy steam wand when you’re just starting out can be a recipe for disaster. It’s like trying to tame a wild beast!

With the Infuser, that extra bit of waiting time gives you a chance to hone your milk texturing technique without feeling like you’re racing against the clock.

Milk Texture

In my experience, both of these machines deliver a similar milk texture – creamy and indulgent. It’s perfect for crafting the latte than the cappuccino.

You know that mastering the art of milk frothing isn’t exactly a walk in the park, right? It takes time, patience, and a whole lot of practice to nail the perfect microfoam.

There is one thing I don’t like about the Bambino’s milk wand. Don’t get me wrong, it gets the job done – but there’s a little quirk that I can’t help but mention. Before it starts steaming, it has this tendency to release a substantial amount of water into the cup. And trust me, nothing kills the mood quite like a watery latte.

To avoid this, I wait for the milk wand to do its thing and release all that excess water into the drip tray before diving into my frothing jug. It’s a small inconvenience, sure, but it’s worth mentioning for those who crave that perfect milk texture without any unwanted dilution.

Auto Purge

When you’ve just finished steaming milk for your perfect latte, and now it’s time to switch gears and pull other espresso shot. Now, if you’re using the Bambino, you’ll need to manually cool down the machine before you can brew. Because the steaming temperature is higher than the brewing temperature.

Here’s where the Infuser swoops in and saves the day with its auto-purge function. How I love that little feature! As soon as you’re done steaming, the Infuser kicks into action, automatically purging any excess steam into the drip tray. It’s like a cool-down session for your espresso machine, getting it ready and raring to go for the next brew.

I can’t tell you how many times that auto purge has come to my rescue, especially on those days when my guests come around.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Infuser

Breville Infuser Espresso Machine BES840XL, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • Earn up to $200 cashback with a Beanz coffee subscription when you purchase a selected Breville espresso machine. Visit earn-cashback.breville.com purchase to claim. Valid Aug 1, 2023 until Jun 30, 2024
  • The Breville Infuser delivers optimal flavor in every cup creating third wave specialty coffee at home using the 4 keys formula, ensuring the right dose of beans, optimal water pressure, precise temperature control and microfoam milk for latte art
  • VOLUMETRIC AND SHOT CONTROL: Control the volume of each pour at the touch of a button and choose 1 shot, 2 shot or manually control over how much espresso ends up in your cup for the perfect dose every time
  • 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
  • PRECISE ESPRESSO EXTRACTION: Maximize flavor potential with low pressure pre-infusion, digital PID temperature control, adjustable in 4 ?F increments complete with pressure gauge that guides you to the right extraction every time

Last update on 2024-05-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • It provides volumetric control, allowing you to program shot volumes.
  • The pressure gauge offers real-time feedback during the extraction process.
  • Manual steam wand for professional milk texturing.
  • Its temperature is adjustable.
  • The auto-purge feature ensures that the machine is ready for the next brew quickly.
  • It has a separate hot water spout.
Cons
  • It is more expensive.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Bambino

Breville Bambino Espresso Machine BES450BSS, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • Please refer to user guide or user manual or user guide (provided below in PDF) before first use
  • Low pressure pre infusion: 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
  • Automatic Microfoam Milk Texturing: The automatic steam wand allows you to adjust the milk temperature and texture to suit your taste; Delivering Barista quality microfoam that enhances flavor and enables creation of latte art
  • Espresso Machine with precise extraction: Digital temperature control (PID) delivers water at precisely the right temperature ensuring optimal Espresso extraction

Last update on 2024-05-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • It consistently produces high-quality espresso with rich flavor and crema.
  • Its ThermoJet heating system heats up incredibly quickly.
  • Its compact design makes it ideal for kitchens with limited counter space.
  • It is more affordable.
Cons
  • The temperature is not adjustable.
  • Don’t have the auto-purge function.

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References

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