Breville Bambino Espresso Machine, Stainless Steel

Published on Sept. 6, 2023, 3:32 p.m.

A Brief History of Espresso

Espresso, meaning “pressed out” in Italian, refers to the method of brewing coffee under high pressure, which was perfected in early 20th-century Italy. This technique involves forcing hot water through finely-ground coffee beans, resulting in a concentrated and flavorful shot of coffee topped with a creamy foam known as crema. The invention of the espresso machine not only revolutionized the way coffee was consumed in Italy but also spread across the globe, influencing coffee culture profoundly. Today, espresso forms the foundation of popular drinks like lattes, cappuccinos, and Americanos, and continues to be celebrated for its rich taste and quick brewing time.

The Breville Bambino is a compact, entry-level semi-automatic espresso machine that allows you to make café-quality espresso drinks at home. With its quick heat-up time, automatic milk steaming, and easy-to-use controls, the Bambino removes much of the guesswork from making espresso, making it a great choice for beginners. In this review, we’ll take an in-depth look at the Bambino’s design, features, performance, and real-world usability to help you determine if it’s the right espresso machine for your needs.

 Breville Bambino Espresso Machine


The Breville Bambino Espresso Machine is designed with the espresso novice in mind. Its user-friendly interface and automated features simplify the espresso-making process, allowing beginners to craft cafe-quality beverages at home. The machine’s compact design is perfect for smaller kitchens, while its stainless steel finish adds a touch of elegance to any countertop.

Key Features

  • ThermoJet Heating System: Achieves optimal espresso extraction temperature in 3 seconds.
  • PID Temperature Control: Ensures precise water temperature for balanced flavor.
  • Pre-Infusion Function: Gently soaks coffee grounds for even extraction.
  • Microfoam Milk Texturing: Creates velvety microfoam for latte art.
  • 54mm Portafilter: Professional-grade portafilter for full flavor extraction.
  • 15 Bar Italian Pump: Delivers optimal pressure for rich, creamy espresso.
  • Programmable Settings: Customize your coffee volume and temperature.
  • Compact Design: Space-saving design for smaller kitchens.
  • Easy to Clean: Removable parts and automatic cleaning cycle.

 Breville Bambino Espresso Machine

Design and Build Quality

The Breville Bambino has an attractive brushed stainless steel exterior that will look elegant in most kitchens. The construction feels solid and durable, with metal used for the portafilter, drip tray, and cup warming tray. The water tank, however, is made of plastic.

The compact footprint takes up minimal counter space but still allows room for cups and accessories. The attached 47oz water tank can easily be refilled from the top. Buttons control power, auto-steam, and shot volume. Indicator lights clearly display the machine’s status, whether it’s heating up, ready to brew, or steaming milk.

While not as robust as prosumer models, the Bambino’s build quality is impressive for the price point. The majority of the interior is plastic but Breville has smartly put metal where it matters most.

The Breville Bambino excels in design and build quality, featuring a stylish appearance and a robust construction. According to user feedback, despite the use of plastic in a significant portion of the interior, critical components such as the drip tray and the cup warming tray are made of metal, ensuring durability and stability during use. Additionally, its compact dimensions make it particularly suitable for kitchens with limited space.

Ease of Use

The Bambino keeps the espresso process simple with its intuitive controls and smart automation:

  • Power on the machine and it heats in 3 seconds, no waiting required.

  • Grind beans into the portafilter then tamp with 30 lbs of pressure. The 54mm size gives ample workspace.

  • Click the 1 cup or 2 cup button and it pulls the shot automatically, no manual toggling required.

  • For milk drinks, insert the steam wand, click auto steam, and it froths the milk. The milk temperature is automatically controlled for optimal results.

Cleaning and maintenance of the Bambino are remarkably straightforward, and regular cleaning can significantly extend the machine’s lifespan and maintain coffee quality. It is recommended to perform a deep clean weekly and descale periodically based on usage frequency.

 Breville Bambino Espresso Machine

Performance and Espresso Quality

Considering its small size and price, the espresso from the Bambino is impressive. The pre-infusion and 15 bar pressure extract shots with a nice crema layer and balanced, nuanced flavor even when using pre-ground coffee. Steaming performance is excellent, with the automatic wand creating silky microfoam quickly.

The pressurized portafilter baskets do limit grind size flexibility somewhat. However, this is a common feature in entry-level machines, and the Bambino still produces impressive results, especially when using freshly roasted beans. Experimenting with different beans and grind settings can further enhance the flavor profile of your espresso. You’ll get the most flavor using a quality burr grinder with a fine espresso grind. The non-pressurized single wall baskets allow you to further refine and experiment with grind size, dose, and tamp to influence flavor.

While not at the level of commercial machines costing thousands, the Bambino makes cafe-quality espresso that beats cheaper machines. The convenience and simplicity of the automated features make it easy for novices to achieve excellent results.

The Breville Bambino is equipped with a ThermoJet heating system, which allows it to rapidly heat up to the optimal temperature for espresso within just 3 seconds, significantly reducing preparation time. This feature has received widespread praise among users, as it meets the need for speed in a fast-paced lifestyle.

Programmable Settings

The Breville Bambino allows you to personalize your espresso experience with its programmable settings. You can adjust the volume of your espresso shots, choosing between preset 1 and 2 cup volumes or customizing them to your liking. This feature is particularly useful for those who prefer a stronger or weaker espresso.

In addition to volume, you can also program the milk temperature for your lattes and cappuccinos. This allows you to tailor the temperature to your preference, whether you like it extra hot or slightly cooler.

The programmable settings give you greater control over your coffee, ensuring that every cup is brewed to your exact specifications. This level of customization is a valuable feature for coffee enthusiasts who want to fine-tune their espresso experience.

15 Bar Italian Pump

The Breville Bambino is equipped with a 15 bar Italian pump, a key component in creating high-quality espresso. This pump generates the pressure needed to force hot water through the finely-ground coffee beans, resulting in a rich and concentrated espresso shot.

The 15 bar pressure is considered the industry standard for espresso extraction. It ensures that the water passes through the coffee at the optimal rate, extracting the full range of flavors and aromas while avoiding over-extraction or under-extraction.

The Italian pump is known for its durability and reliability, ensuring that your Bambino will continue to produce delicious espresso for years to come. It also operates quietly, minimizing noise during the brewing process.

ThermoJet Heating System

The Breville Bambino’s innovative ThermoJet heating system is a game-changer for home espresso brewing. Unlike traditional boilers that can take several minutes to heat up, the ThermoJet system reaches the optimal extraction temperature in a mere 3 seconds. This means you can enjoy your espresso almost instantly, without sacrificing quality.

The ThermoJet system utilizes a powerful heating element and a precisely controlled thermal block to rapidly heat the water to the ideal temperature range of 190-196°F (88-91°C). This consistency ensures that every shot of espresso is brewed at the perfect temperature, extracting the full flavor and aroma from your coffee beans.

PID Temperature Control

PID (Proportional-Integral-Derivative) temperature control is another key feature of the Breville Bambino. This technology ensures precise and consistent water temperature throughout the brewing process, a critical factor in extracting the best flavor from your coffee beans.

The PID controller constantly monitors the water temperature and makes micro-adjustments to the heating element as needed. This results in a stable brewing temperature, preventing fluctuations that can lead to over-extraction or under-extraction of the coffee.

With PID temperature control, you can expect a more balanced and flavorful espresso shot every time. The coffee’s sweetness, acidity, and bitterness are all harmonized, resulting in a truly enjoyable coffee experience.

Pre-Infusion Function

The Breville Bambino features a low-pressure pre-infusion function that gently soaks the coffee grounds before the full extraction pressure is applied. This process allows the coffee to “bloom,” releasing trapped gases and ensuring a more even extraction.

During pre-infusion, a small amount of water is slowly introduced to the coffee grounds at a lower pressure. This allows the grounds to expand and saturate evenly, preventing channeling (where water finds the path of least resistance through the coffee) and ensuring that all the flavors are extracted uniformly.

The result is a more balanced and flavorful espresso shot with reduced bitterness and a smoother mouthfeel. Pre-infusion is a feature often found in high-end espresso machines, and its inclusion in the Bambino is a testament to Breville’s commitment to quality.

54mm Portafilter

The Breville Bambino is equipped with a 54mm portafilter, a size often found in commercial espresso machines. This larger size allows for a greater amount of coffee grounds to be used, resulting in a richer and more flavorful espresso.

The portafilter is made of stainless steel, which is durable and helps to maintain the optimal temperature during extraction. It also comes with both single and double shot filter baskets, giving you the flexibility to brew different sizes of espresso.

The 54mm portafilter is a key feature for those who want to experiment with different coffee doses and grind sizes. It provides more surface area for the water to interact with the coffee, leading to a more even extraction and a more nuanced flavor profile.

Auto Purge

The Breville Bambino’s auto purge feature is a convenient addition that simplifies maintenance. After steaming milk, the machine automatically releases a short burst of steam to clear the steam wand of any residual milk. This helps prevent milk buildup and clogging, ensuring consistent steaming performance and reducing the need for manual cleaning.

This feature not only saves you time and effort but also contributes to the longevity of the steam wand. By keeping it clean and free of milk residue, you can avoid potential blockages that could affect the machine’s performance.

Cup Warmer

The top of the Breville Bambino doubles as a cup warmer, a feature that might seem minor but plays a significant role in the overall espresso experience. By preheating your cups, you ensure that your espresso stays hotter for longer, preserving its flavor and aroma.

The cup warmer is made of stainless steel, which efficiently conducts heat. Simply place your cups upside down on the top of the machine while it’s heating up or brewing your espresso. The warmth will help maintain the optimal temperature of your espresso, enhancing its taste and aroma.

This feature is particularly beneficial for those who enjoy milk-based espresso drinks like lattes and cappuccinos, as it helps prevent the milk from cooling down too quickly.

Removable Drip Tray

The Breville Bambino features a removable drip tray that makes cleaning up spills and drips a breeze. The drip tray is designed to collect excess water and coffee grounds, keeping your countertop clean and tidy.

The tray is made of durable plastic and features a stainless steel grid that can be easily removed for cleaning. It also has a “full” indicator that pops up when the tray needs to be emptied, ensuring that you never have to deal with an overflowing mess.

The removable drip tray is a practical feature that adds to the Bambino’s overall convenience and ease of use. It’s a small detail that makes a big difference in keeping your espresso station clean and organized.

Water Filter Compatibility

The Breville Bambino is compatible with Breville water filters, which can significantly improve the taste of your espresso. These filters remove impurities and chlorine from tap water, resulting in a cleaner and purer flavor profile for your coffee.

The filters are easy to install and replace, and they can last for several months before needing to be changed. Using filtered water not only enhances the taste of your espresso but also helps to protect the machine from mineral buildup, extending its lifespan.

While not essential, using a water filter is a worthwhile investment for those who want to maximize the flavor of their espresso and ensure the longevity of their machine.

Energy Saving Mode

The Breville Bambino is designed with energy efficiency in mind. It automatically enters standby mode after 10 minutes of inactivity, reducing power consumption and saving energy. This feature not only helps you reduce your electricity bill but also contributes to a more sustainable lifestyle.

When in standby mode, the machine consumes minimal power, yet it’s still ready to brew your next espresso in just 3 seconds thanks to the ThermoJet heating system. This combination of energy efficiency and quick responsiveness makes the Bambino a practical and eco-friendly choice for your kitchen.

Over-Pressure Protection

Safety is a top priority in the Breville Bambino’s design. The machine is equipped with an over-pressure protection valve that prevents excessive pressure buildup during the brewing process. This safety feature ensures that the machine operates within safe parameters, protecting both the user and the machine itself.

In the unlikely event of a malfunction or blockage that could lead to a pressure surge, the over-pressure valve will release the excess pressure, preventing any damage to the machine. This gives you peace of mind knowing that your Bambino is designed with safety in mind.

Microfoam Milk Texturing

The Breville Bambino’s automatic steam wand is designed to create the perfect microfoam for your lattes and cappuccinos. Microfoam is the key to latte art, as its velvety texture and glossy sheen allow for intricate designs to be poured on top of your espresso.

The steam wand operates at a high pressure and temperature, creating thousands of tiny air bubbles in the milk. This results in a smooth, creamy microfoam that complements the espresso’s flavor and enhances the overall drinking experience.

The automatic function simplifies the milk frothing process, making it easy for beginners to achieve professional-quality results. With a little practice, you’ll be able to create beautiful latte art at home.

Noise Level

The Bambino operates at about the same noise level as a typical drip coffee maker. The average noise level during brewing is around 75 decibels. Users report the pump and steaming sound is noticeable but not intrusive. The automatic steaming is slightly louder but overall the noise is comparable to other home espresso machines. The brewing process itself is relatively quiet. The Bambino would not disturb most conversations or sleeping areas.


Cleaning the Bambino is straightforward with both manual and automated options:

  • The drip tray, water tank, portafilter, and baskets can be hand washed or placed in the dishwasher.

  • An integrated cleaning cycle runs hot water through the interior to flush out coffee oils and residue.

  • Backflushing with tablets periodically cleans inside the group head.

  • Descaling solution should be used every few months to remove mineral buildup. The machine will notify you when it’s time to descale. Depending on your water hardness, this could be anywhere from 1-3 months. Regular descaling ensures optimal performance and longevity of your machine.

The removable parts and cleaning programs make home maintenance easy. Proper cleaning is important for any espresso machine and the Bambino makes the process simple for beginners.

Use Cases

The Breville Bambino is ideal for:
- Beginner home baristas looking for an easy semi-automatic machine
- Making cafe-style espresso, lattes and cappuccinos
- Small kitchens or limited counter space
- Quick morning coffees with fast heat up time
- Milk-based coffee drink lovers who want automatic frothing

User Feedback Analysis

The Breville Bambino receives overwhelmingly positive feedback from owners. In over 600 Amazon reviews, it earns a 4.3 out of 5 star average rating.

The vast majority of users praise how easy the Bambino is to use right out of the box. The intuitive buttons and smart automation make it simple for complete beginners to start making high-quality espresso drinks. Many mention they were able to make delicious lattes and cappuccinos with velvety microfoam their first time using the machine.

Owners also regularly comment on the fast heat up time, with some noting they can go from bean to cup in under 5 minutes. The rapid heating makes it convenient for brewing a quick espresso whenever you want.

Some users did note the plastic components and wish it had a full metal build at this price point. A few mentioned leaking from the water tank after time. But overall most found the construction solid and reliable with daily use.

Users seeking maximum customization and control did wish for adjustable temperature and pressure settings. But most appreciated the automation and consistency for beginners.

Considering the affordable price and compact size, reviewers felt the Bambino punched far above its class in performance and quality. The ease of use combined with cafe-level drinks makes it an excellent value for budding home baristas.

Pros and Cons


  • Fast heat up time
  • Excellent espresso extraction
  • Easy automatic milk frothing
  • Programmable shot volumes
  • Straightforward controls
  • Solid build quality and metal components


  • Containerized milk frothing
  • Less grind flexibility with pressurized baskets
  • Mostly plastic interior
  • No PID temperature control

 Breville Bambino Espresso Machine


With prices ranging from $300 to $500, the Breville Bambino provides outstanding value. Its combination of fast heat up, excellent extraction, automatic frothing, and ease of use makes cafe-quality espresso accessible for beginners seeking an entry-level machine.

The thoughtful features like pre-infusion and programmable shot volumes help extract nuanced espresso far beyond cheaper machines. It can produce restaurant-level drinks at a fraction of the cost of commercial equipment. While lacking the full metal build and customization of higher-end machines, it outperforms other semi-automatics at this accessible price point.

For beginners looking to explore making espresso drinks at home without a huge investment, the Bambino represents an ideal first machine that won’t leave your wallet over-extracted. Its balance of automation, performance, and price make it one of the best values on the market.


With its fast heat-up, excellent extraction, easy milk frothing, and simple operation, the Breville Bambino removes much of the hassle from making great espresso drinks at home. Beginners will find it unintimidating while still allowing room to grow your skills. While it can’t match commercial machines, it makes cafe-quality espresso at a fraction of the price. If you’re looking to effortlessly make lattes, cappuccinos, and more, the Breville Bambino is a smart choice that outperforms other options in its price range. It earns our recommendation as one of the best home espresso machines for beginners.

Compared to other coffee machines in the same price range, the Breville Bambino offers significant advantages in terms of performance and convenience. Its rapid heating function and one-touch automatic milk frothing capability make it one of the few models on the market that can deliver a high-quality coffee experience in a short amount of time. Therefore, the Bambino is a recommendable choice for both coffee beginners and enthusiasts with some experience.


  • Dimensions - 13.7 x 6.3 x 12 inches
  • Weight - 10.9 pounds
  • Housing Materials - Brushed stainless steel, plastic
  • Boiler - ThermoJet heating system
  • Pump - 15 bar Italian pump
  • Portafilter - 54mm stainless steel
  • Water Tank Capacity - 47 oz (1.4 liters)
  • Electrical - 120V, 60Hz, 1560W

Box Includes

  • Espresso machine
  • Single wall filter basket
  • Double wall filter basket
  • 54mm portafilter
  • Tamper
  • Stainless steel milk jug
  • Cleaning accessories
  • Water filter

Breville Bambino Espresso Machine - Quick User Guide

Initial Setup
1. Unpack and Inspect: Remove the espresso machine from the packaging and check for any visible damage. Ensure all parts are included as per the manual.
2. Position Your Machine: Place it on a stable, level surface near a power outlet and away from water sources.
3. Clean Before Use: Wash the removable parts, such as the water tank and portafilter, with warm soapy water. Rinse and dry thoroughly.

Filling the Water Tank
- Access: Lift the water tank lid and remove it from the machine.
- Fill: Use cold, preferably filtered water to fill the tank up to the maximum indicator line.
- Replace: Place the water tank back into the machine, ensuring it sits flush and securely.

Daily Operation
1. Turn On: Press the power button; the machine will heat up in approximately 3 seconds thanks to the ThermoJet heating system.
2. Grinding Coffee: For optimal results, use freshly ground coffee. Fill the portafilter with the desired amount of coffee and tamp down firmly.
3. Brewing Espresso:
- Attach the portafilter to the group head.
- Place one or two cups under the portafilter.
- Press the 1 CUP or 2 CUP button to start brewing.
- The machine will stop automatically when the pre-set volume is achieved.
4. Steaming Milk:
- Fill a milk jug up to one-third with fresh cold milk.
- Submerge the steam wand into the milk, just below the surface.
- Press the STEAM button. Move the jug as needed to create a creamy, fine microfoam.
- Wipe and purge the steam wand after every use.

Cleaning and Maintenance
1. Daily Cleaning:
- Remove the portafilter and knock out the coffee grounds.
- Rinse under hot water to remove residual coffee oils.
- Wipe down the machine exterior with a damp cloth.
2. Deep Cleaning and Descaling:
- Use the provided descaling solution or a suitable descaler as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Run the descaling program as outlined in the manual to remove any mineral build-up.
- It’s recommended to descale the machine every 2-3 months, depending on water hardness and machine usage.

- Refer to the troubleshooting guide in the manual for common issues such as no water flow, poor espresso extraction, or steam wand problems. If the issue persists, contact Breville customer support for assistance.

Note: Always refer to the Breville Bambino’s full user manual for detailed instructions and safety information.