Breville Bambino Plus BES500 Review

Breville Bambino Plus BES500
Overall Rating
88
Coffee Quality (40%)
88
Design & Features (20%)
85
Durability (20%)
88
Ease of Use (10%)
95
Brand Reputation (10%)
90
The Bottom Line
An entry-level, semi-automatic espresso machine equipped with a powerful Thermocoil heating element that goes from cold start to 200°F in a just 3 seconds, the Breville Bambino Plus is no-fuss espresso at its finest.
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Key Features of the Breville Bambino Plus BES500

Key Features of Breville Bambino Plus BES500

FeatureSpecification
Machine typeSemi-automatic
Integrated grinderNone
Bean hopperNone
Bypass doserNone
Water Reservoir64 oz
Portafilter size54mm
Portafilters included2 dual-wall pressurized filter baskets (1 cup and 2 cups)
Boiler typeThermocoil
FrotherSteam wand
Brew sizesYour choice
Pre-infusionYes
Specialty beverage buttonsNone
Adjustable exit valvesNo
Dose size selectorNo
Temperature controlPID temp control at 200F for extraction plus 3 heat settings for frother
Strength controlVia dose size
Auto-offYes
Spent puck drawerNone
Drip trayYes
Warranty2 years
Case materialStainless steel, plastic
Dimensions7.7"W x 12.6"D x 11.8"H
Weight12 lbs
Power1560W

Breville Bambino Plus BES500 Overview

The Breville Bambino Plus BES550 is a compact yet powerful semi-automatic espresso machine ("Bambino" means "child" in Italian) from an industry-leading in kitchen appliances. This model is an entry-level, semi-automatic espresso machine that takes all of the guesswork out of pro-quality espresso-based beverages

Breville's proprietary ThermoJet heating system goes from cold start to extraction temperature in just 3 seconds (a serious wow-factor) thanks to the Thermocoil heating element, and PID temperature control maintains the optimal 200°F temperature throughout the brew process. Automatic pre-infusion ensures complete extraction for a rich, aromatic shot.

The Bambino Plus comes with 2 commercial-style, 54mm double-walled, pressurized portafilters (1-cup and 2-cup portions), which are great for beginner home baristas but limit how great your espresso can be compared to non-pressurized portafilter baskets. You can purchase compatible 54mm non-pressurized portafilter baskets, but the lack of a pressure gauge or and inability to change extraction temps make the Bambino Plus less than ideal for this type of use.

For milk-based beverages, the Bambino Plus also has an integrated frothing wand with both automatic and manual frothing modes, and you can choose one of 3 frothing temperatures and 3 texture settings to dial in milk foam to your liking.

Other accessories included with the Breville Bambino Plus are as follows: 54mm stainless steel tamper, The Razor (a precision portafilter trimming tool), a cleaning disc, a steam wand cleaning tool, espresso cleaning tablets, and descaling powder.

Pros
  • Compact yet powerful with a lightning-fast, 3-second warm-up time from cold start thanks to Thermocoil heating element (faster than Thermoblock)
  • PID temperature control and pre-infusion yield a consistently well-extracted shot
  • Large 64 oz water reservoir, especially for an espresso machine this size
  • Frothing wand has both automatic and manual modes
  • Stainless steel-lined thermocoil and circuit elements resist limescale build-up
Cons
  • Doesn't come with non-pressurized portafilter baskets
  • Compact, lightweight build makes it more challenging to secure and remove portafilter without tilting the whole machine
  • Can't change extraction temperature
  • Water tank isn't compatible with any type of water filter

Is the Breville Bambino Plus BES500 for you?

Are Breville Bambino Plus BES500 for you?

The Breville Bambino Plus is an entry-level, semi-automatic espresso machine geared towards two types of coffee connoisseurs:

  • Aspiring home baristas just getting their feet wet with extraction and frothing but who plan to graduate to a more advanced espresso machine with more control over the final product
  • Convenience-minded coffee drinkers who want a simple way to cut down on going to Starbucks but need something better than pod-based espresso machines like Nespresso

If either of those sounds like you, then you'd be hard-pressed to find a better, more reliable, easier-to-use espresso machine in this price range.

If you're looking for a more advanced machine that affords greater control over the process, you have a few options from Breville (listed below in general order of least to most expensive):

I'll also throw the Ascaso Dream PID in the mix, which has a similarly-compact design as the Bambino Plus but also includes 1°F temperature control and a better-quality frothing wand. Plus, the Dream PID's aesthetic is hard to beat, including a wood-handled portafilter and modern, fingerprint-resistant matte black design on some models.

But circling back to Breville (this is a Bambino Plus review, after all) I find little reason for convenience-minded consumers to look beyond the Bambino, which I think is Breville's best entry-level, semi-automatic espresso machine.

Breville Bambino Plus BES500 Review: An In-Depth Look

Check out the Breville Bambino Plus BES500!

Check out Breville Bambino Plus BES500!

Breville Bambino Plus BES500
An entry-level, semi-automatic espresso machine equipped with a powerful Thermocoil heating element that goes from cold start to 200°F in a just 3 seconds, the Breville Bambino Plus is no-fuss espresso at its finest.

More Breville Reviews From The Coffee Maven

Breville Dual Boiler BES920

Breville Dual Boiler BES920
Overall Rating: 92
Breville's least expensive machine with dual boilers, the aptly-named Dual Boiler with PID temp control lets you extract/steam simultaneously for faster milk-based beverages but lacks the HX steam boiler of the Oracles.

Breville Barista Express BES870

Breville Barista Express BES870
Overall Rating: 90
An excellent machine for both novices and intermediates, the Breville Barista Express BES870 has everything a home barista needs: integrated grinder, 360º swivel frother, Temp Control, and more. All it needs...is you.

Breville Duo-Temp 800ESXL

Breville Duo-Temp 800ESXL
Overall Rating: 84
An entry-level, semi-automatic machine, the Breville 800ESXL features a Triple-Prime Pump for pre-infusion and a Thermoblock heating element, but it doesn't include a grinder. For that, check out the Breville BES870XL.
About The Coffee Maven
bryan de luca
Bryan De Luca

I'm Bryan but most people know me as The Coffee Maven. I grew up outside Boston, Massachusetts and received my Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry from Providence College. My first introduction to coffee was during my college days, when I used it as a source of caffeine to fuel late-night study sessions, but soon I became obsessed with the chemistry of coffee. How did changes to water temperature or contact time affect its taste? Why do beans from Africa taste fruity while beans from Indonesia taste spicy? I launched The Coffee Maven in February 2017 to explore these questions and help others brew their perfect cup. Welcome to my site, and thanks for reading!

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