Looking to up your home coffee game and dive into the world of espresso machines? Choosing the right machine for your lifestyle can be overwhelming, but we’ve got your back! Read on to learn more about Breville and some of their most popular coffee makers, the Breville Bambino and the Breville Infuser. With a little research, you’ll be on your way to perfect cups of espresso!
Does Breville Make Good Espresso Machines?
Even though Breville has been a trusted name for decades in the coffee space, are they really all they’re cracked up to be? We say yes, but it’s important to understand what you want from your coffee brewer and not rely too heavily on brand recognition.
Everyone is looking for something different in their espresso machine, and part of what makes Breville such an impressive and trusted company is the sheer variety of its offerings. Not only is Breville known for its innovative and high-quality appliances, but they also offer a huge variety of machines of different sizes, price points, and experiences.
Another big reason to consider Breville espresso machines is their innovative designs. Breville doesn’t wait for competition pressure to improve its designs. They’re constantly tweaking and improving their machine designs to create better quality products.
What to Look For in an Espresso Machine
Whether you’re buying your first home espresso machine or looking to upgrade your current setup, there is a lot to consider when making your choice. But there are a few essential functions and features that you should put some thought into before making your final purchase.
- Budget: One of the biggest and most obvious factors when choosing your espresso machine is the budget you’re working with. While a smaller budget won’t get you a lot of fancy additional features, you can find a quality machine, even at a lower price point. On the other hand, spending hundreds upon hundreds of dollars on an espresso machine won’t guarantee a better quality build. Be sure to do your research!
- Water Storage: You should consider how many people will use the machine and how often. If it’s just you, and you only plan on having one or two cups of coffee daily, then a smaller device will be better. But if you’re in a larger household or drink several cups per day, you’ll probably want one with a much larger water reservoir.
- Ease of Use: This is an especially important consideration if you are new to the espresso world and don’t know how to work a machine. While every espresso machine will have a bit of a learning curve, some are better set up for a more hands-off brewing process, if that’s what you prefer.
- Aesthetics: How your espresso machine looks might not be the most important factor, but it should be something you consider. You want your coffee machine to look good in your kitchen setup, especially if it’s large and draws attention. Some machines come in fun colors, while others are sleek and minimal. The choice depends on your personal style.
- Size/Ease of Storage: It’s super important to consider how much space you have in your kitchen before choosing your espresso machine since a coffee maker that can’t fit on your countertop won’t be much use to you. You should also make sure you know where to place the machine and if it will fit under kitchen cabinets or on your countertops or island.
- Durability/Build Quality: Generally, cheaper coffee makers will have plastic shells or lightweight materials to save on costs, while pricier machines will have heavier and more premium finishes like stainless steel. You want a coffee maker with a more extended warranty and durable finishes, but your budget will be a significant determining factor, as well.
Who Should Purchase an Espresso Machine?
Sure, you love a good shot of espresso from your local barista as much as the next coffee fiend, but is it time to invest in a machine of your own? For some, it may make the most sense, whether it’s because of money, time, or they simply want to pursue coffee as a hobby. Here are a few reasons why you might want to have an espresso machine at home:
- If you visit coffee shops more than your budget allows, owning an espresso machine might make financial sense in the long run, even if you have to invest more upfront.
- You want more control over the result, which means handling the coffee yourself. Having an espresso machine at home will allow you to control every aspect of the brewing process.
- You want the chance to experiment with various coffee beans, roasts, and blends, rather than whatever is available at the coffee shop. Espresso machines open up a whole range of possibilities if you’re willing to invest the time and money.
- You simply want to pursue coffee as a hobby and are happy to spend the time necessary to perfect your craft, learn your machine inside and out, and work to achieve the perfect pour for its own sake.
Breville Bambino vs Infuser: A Side-By-Side Comparison
The faster way to professional results at home. Like professional machines, the Bambino can deliver third wave specialty coffee.
The Breville Bambino is a small but mighty espresso machine that’s affordable and accessible for new home espresso makers. The build quality is good for the price, and the simplicity of the design means there’s not much of a learning curve to figure out how to operate it. Whether you’re short on counter space or time, the Bambino is an excellent introductory model to get you started.
What We Like:
- The Breville Bambino espresso machine has a super compact footprint, making it a perfect option for those who are short on counter space or want a lightweight machine.
- It’s at a great price point for espresso lovers looking for a starter machine to give them delicious espresso shots at home without breaking the bank.
- The automatic milk frother is convenient, and the steam wand can double as a hot water dispenser.
- There’s an option to make either a single or double shot, making it a good choice for heavy espresso drinkers or serving more than one person.
What We Don’t Like:
- The Bambino doesn’t have a built-in grinder, which is inconvenient and adds an extra expense to your purchase.
- It’s a more hands-off design, so those who want more control over their pour or enjoy the manual process of brewing might want to look elsewhere.
- The automatic milk frother is convenient, but you’ll still have to steam the milk manually.
- It doesn’t have a milk pitcher, which is frustrating since you’ll have to buy it separately.
- The one-year warranty doesn’t inspire much confidence in the machine’s longevity.
The Bottom Line
The Breville Bambino is a small, affordable, and relatively unassuming little espresso machine. It doesn’t look like much, has few extra features, and is missing a few essential accessories. But for some, its simplicity may be its best feature.
If you’ve already got a milk pitcher and espresso grinder, or you don’t mind buying them, this small and compact machine may be the right machine for you. It’s the ultimate choice for an espresso newbie who doesn’t want to learn how to work a more complicated machine.
If you’re willing to shell out for a more premium espresso machine and a whole menu of additional features, then the Breville Infuser is worth a look. The more hands-on brewing system is balanced by a host of features that help make brewing quality espresso easier and more convenient. With a classic design and intuitive control panel, this machine perfectly balances tradition and innovation.
What We Like:
- If you prefer a more hands-on approach to espresso brewing, the manual overrides on this machine will allow you more control.
- The 61-ounce water tank capacity makes this machine an excellent choice for heavy espresso drinkers or larger households.
- The handy dry puck feature makes coffee ground disposal a breeze.
- While there is a bit of a learning curve to the Breville Infuser, it’s very newbie-friendly and a great option if you want a more manual espresso machine but don’t have any previous experience.
- The Thermocoil Heating System and Electric PID help you control the extraction temperature.
- Performance-wise, it easily stands up to competing machines at the same or higher price points.
- The Breville Infuser has a wide range of additional automatic features like a water dispenser, auto-purge function, volumetric control, and storage sections, making it an excellent value for its price point.
- The control panel and display are easy to use and intuitive, giving you a quick look at your brewing process and tasks.
What We Don’t Like:
- There’s a steeper learning curve with this machine, and operating it can take a bit of trial and error when you’re first getting started. It requires a lot of experimentation to get that perfect espresso to suit you.
- Breville provides instructions on how to clean it, but the process is much more difficult than other machines.
- The build quality of the machine is a little underwhelming, considering the price point and the impressive performance of the machine.
- For this machine’s price point and performance, a one-year warranty doesn’t seem like enough.
The Bottom Line
The Breville Infuser has an impressive array of features that you won’t find in a more affordable machine, and the performance quality is undeniable. With digital temperature control, a 61-ounce water reservoir, and an easy-to-use button control interface, the Breville Infuser is full of features and functions you’re bound to love if you want to control the brewing process.
While it’s a bit pricier, and the build quality is a little disappointing for the cost, there is a lot to love about this espresso machine, especially if you’re new to the espresso world and don’t mind a bit of a learning curve.
Choosing the right espresso machine can be tough, especially if this is your first machine. If you don’t know which features are important to you or how much automation you’d like, it can be challenging to pick the right machine, no matter how much information is out there.
So which machine is the better choice? That all depends on what you’re looking for in your brewer. If you want a small, simple, no-fuss espresso machine that doesn’t require much learning or skill, then the Bambino is the right option for you.
However, if you want a bit more hands-on control over your shots of espresso and don’t mind paying a premium for more features, the Breville Infuser espresso machine is worth a look.
Still not convinced and want to check out other options? Be sure to read up on our favorite Breville espresso machines. And, if both machines are a bit out of your price range, check out some of the best budget-friendly devices.