In a Nutshell:

The Breville Bambino Plus is a great-looking espresso maker, offered by one of the big names in the industry.
Recommended For: Anyone.

Brew Quality
Reservoir Size
Customization options
Ease of Use

Overall Rating



  • Well-Designed
  • User-Friendly
  • Easy to Clean
  • Rapid Heating
  • Compact Size
  • Intuitive and Easy to Master


  • No Built-in Grinder

Do you love a great shot of espresso or a specialty coffee drink to help jumpstart your day in the mornings? Do you find yourself spending more money than you’d care to admit at your local coffee shop to get your fix? Would you like to save that money and gain the ability to make your favorite coffee drinks from the comfort of your home?

If you answered yes to those questions, then you’re going to love what you read in this—our Breville Bambino plus review.

Breville is one of the big names in the American coffee industry. They make a broad range of products priced for the masses. While it’s true that you can find more expensive and feature-rich models on the market, the Breville Bambino espresso machine offers a spectacular mix of features at a price that will leave you smiling.

In the sections that follow, we’ll take a closer look at this machine, highlighting everything it gets right and pointing out its potential weaknesses, so you’ll have all the details at your fingertips and can make an informed purchasing decision. If that sounds good to you, read on, and let’s take a closer look!

An Overview of the Breville BES500BSS Bambino Plus Espresso Machine

Before we get into the particulars of the Bambino Plus, we should point out that Breville also makes a Bambino (without the Plus). This slightly older model is a bit less expensive but essentially the same machine, and there are a couple of important differences to make a note of.

Front of stainless steel Bambino Plus

First, the Bambino has a slightly smaller water tank (1.4 liters vs. 1.9 for the Bambino Plus) and a slightly smaller overall footprint. 

The size difference in the water tank is scant and won’t make much of a difference for most people, especially if you don’t drink a ton of coffee anyway, but if space is at a premium in your kitchen or if money’s tight, then the Bambino might be the better option for you.

The other difference is purely an aesthetic one. The Bambino Plus is available in a few different color options, whereas the “regular” Bambino is only available in stainless steel. Again, if you’re specifically looking for a stainless steel model and you want to save a bit of money, the Bambino might be a better fit for you.

Form Factor, Footprint, & Aesthetic

We feel that this is quite a strong component of our Breville Bambino Plus review because the footprint of the machine is delightfully small. Overall, the unit measures 7.7” W x 12.6” D x 12.2” H. 

In most home kitchens, that means you can slide it under your cabinetry without issue. It also weighs just 3.1 pounds, so if you need to move it around to use it, doing so is easy.

You can get your Bambino Plus in brushed stainless steel, but if you want to color coordinate your espresso machine with the prevailing color you’re using in your kitchen, you can do that too, opting for any of the following accent color options:

  • Black Truffle
  • Sea Salt
  • Damson Blue
  • Black Stainless Steel
  • Oyster Shell
  • Royal Champagne
  • Smoked Hickory
  • Or Red Velvet Cake

Even before taking the color options into account, this is a sharp-looking machine, but having a fair number of options to choose from makes it even better. We love it, and we think you will too!

Bambino Espresso Machine with a glass of coffee and croissant in front

Reservoir Size of the Breville Espresso Machine Bambino

The water tank of the Bambino is 1.9 liters or 64.25 ounces. Given that a typical shot of espresso uses about 30 ml (a little over an ounce) of water, that’s a lot of shots before you’ll have to refill. Even if you live in a busy household with lots of coffee lovers, you shouldn’t find yourself having to refill the Bambino’s water tank too often.

The Boiler System of the Bambino Plus Compact Automatic Espresso Machine

This is probably our favorite aspect of this design and the strongest component of our Breville Bambino Plus review. Breville’s Thermojet technology allows the boiler to come to temp incredibly fast, minimizing your wait time. It takes only three seconds for the boiler to reach optimal temperature—that’s impressive!

Milk being poured to a cup of coffee from the Bambino Plus Espresso Machine

Most modern espresso machines heat up fairly quickly, but we’ve never seen a system quite as fast as this. And it really matters because first thing in the morning, the last thing you want is to waste time waiting for your machine to come up to temp so you can have your morning go-juice.

The Control System of the Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Maker

The Breville Bambino Plus BES500 espresso machine approaches the issue of controls from a delightfully old-school perspective.  

Simple buttons are the order of the day here, not fancy digital controls. Even better, there are only a handful of buttons to contend with, so learning to use the machine is a simple matter, and it will only take you a few minutes and a quick consultation with the user manual to master the basics.

There are buttons to select brewing one cup or two, another button for steam, a milk temperature selector (warm, ideal, or hot), and a milk foam setting selector (low, medium, or high).  

While not represented as a button, another handy indicator built into the machine is the drip tray fill indicator. Just keep an eye on that and empty and wipe down as needed to minimize mess.

Coffee dripping from the Bambino Espresso machine into a glass

In other words, the Bambino’s design team opted to keep it simple, and we really appreciate that.

The Milk Frothing System of the Breville BES500 Bambino Plus

Where milk frothing is concerned, espresso machines basically have two options. They can either go with an auto-frother or with a steam wand.

Auto-frothers are more hands-free and easier to use since all the magic happens automatically. 

Steam wands take a bit of practice but ultimately allow you to let your inner barista express itself. Mastering the use of a steam wand is a skill well worth putting time into.  Once you’ve done it, you can impress and amaze your friends with your spectacular coffee creations, and that’s always fun.

One other difference you’ll note between the Bambino and the Bambino Plus is the fact that the Plus model has a slightly modified steam wand that allows you to texture the milk automatically (the aforementioned milk foam setting selector).  

This reduces the slope of the learning curve somewhat and is incredibly convenient as it will give you better, more consistent results.

The Breville Bambino Plus Stainless Steel Espresso Maker is Easy to Clean

As with any machine, regular cleaning and maintenance is a must. Fortunately, Breville makes this aspect of owning the unit as easy as the rest.

Milk jug being held under the Breville Espresso Machine Bambino's steam wand

The basics are about what you’d expect. After each use, you’ll want to wipe down the drip tray and empty it as needed. Keep the steam wand clean, and give the filter basket and portafilter a good rinse under hot water.

Clean the group head interior and shower screen with a damp cloth, and at periodic intervals, run plain hot water through the machine with the filter basket and portafilter in place to rinse any residual coffee through the system.

In addition to that, keep an eye on the descaling indicator. Your unit needs descaling when you see the one-cup and steam buttons, and two-cup button flashing in an alternating sequence for approximately fifteen seconds.  

When it’s time, complete the descaling sequence as outlined in the user manual before you pull your next shot and you’re all set.

Extras on Offer

The Breville Bambino Plus automatic espresso machine comes with everything you need to start using it right away. 

In addition to the machine itself, you get a 54mm tamper, a 54mm Razor dosing tool, a 16-ounce frothing jug for milk frothing, a cleaning tool and cleaning disc, and both one-cup and two-cup dual wall filter baskets.

Armed with those tools, you can not only create all your favorite specialty coffee drinks, but you can also help ensure that your espresso maker stays clean and ready for service any time you need a fix.

The one thing to point out here is that this unit does not come with a built-in grinder, so you’ll either need to purchase pre-ground coffee or buy a grinder separately. 

That’s certainly not the end of the world, but it is something to be mindful of.

Variants of Breville Bambino Espresso

Pros & Cons of Breville Bambino Espresso Machine

We really like the Breville Bambino espresso machine. It is well-designed, easy to use, and easy to keep clean. The control system only takes minutes to master, and the rapid heating action of the boiler means that your next cup of coffee is only a few seconds away. 

That’s awfully hard to top in our book.

The only drawback we can find with this design is that it doesn’t come with a built-in grinder, so if you have your heart set on using beans and grinding your own caffeinated goodness every morning, you will need to invest in a separate grinder.

As we said before, that’s not the end of the world, but it will amount to an additional expense, so be sure to budget accordingly.

Breville Bambino Plus Review Conclusion

We will close our Breville Bambino Plus review by saying that the machine is a rock-solid design that will provide you with years of faithful service with proper care and maintenance. We absolutely recommend it.

Other Options to Consider

If you’ve reached the end of our Breville Bambino Plus review and aren’t convinced that the Bambino is right for you, here are a couple of other options to consider:

Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine

Recommended for: This is an especially newbie-friendly machine and a great model to learn Barista skills on. Great for power drinkers and large households.

Check Latest Price Read Detailed Review

Yes, it’s more expensive than the Bambino, but you’d spend extra on the grinder in any case, and here, you have the convenience of having everything included in a single unit.  Another solid design by Breville!

If you like the design we just talked about but have your heart set on a machine that features a bean hopper and a built-in grinder too, then this one is well worth a look.  

De’Longhi ECAM35020B Dinamica Espresso Machine

Recommended For: Anyone who loves both coffee and convenience, and can afford it.

Check Latest Price Read Detailed Review

If you have a bigger budget and you want to get away from analog controls and maximize convenience, you can’t go wrong with this unit. It’s a fully automatic wonder that will make your favorite coffee drinks with minimal input from you. If you’re after convenience, give this one serious consideration.

Official Manufacturer Support

Reference & Resources