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Breville Bambino Espresso Machine $270

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 16th, 2021 2:23 pm
Member
Oct 17, 2003
476 posts
109 upvotes
Fredericton
HugePigeon wrote: I’ve heard that manual grinders might actually be better in terms in terms of price/quality ratio in comparison with automatic ones. Is that’s something worth exploring further in your opinion or is it just bla-bla?
They can be:

Deal Expert
Jun 15, 2012
15122 posts
9538 upvotes
Southern Ontario
cn_habs wrote: What’s the best low to mid end machine that brews regular coffee and latte on occasion? Gf also likes the Starbucks white chocolate mocha so something that can do something similar would be a huge plus. Thanks!
Depends on the convenience level you want, you can make automatic drinks with a Phillips or Miele, and you are bound by the machine's output. Or you can make those drinks properly like a coffee house and use a nice grinder + semi-auto, low = Bambino, low/mid = Gaggia Classic Pro with OPV mod.

My friends have a Jura S8 but they really love when I make say a Starbucks white chocolate mocha because I'll tamp out a true double shot espresso and follow a recipe like this https://copykat.com/starbucks-white-chocolate-mocha/

Myself, if I'm rushing out in the morning, I'll just Aeropress a black cup. Latte for the wife? I'll go to the semi-auto, play around with art. The full auto makes whatever latte comes out of it. It's really how much you want to cook or chef as an analogy.

Member
Oct 17, 2003
476 posts
109 upvotes
Fredericton
Lance's video makes steaming milk seem easy!

Deal Expert
Jun 15, 2012
15122 posts
9538 upvotes
Southern Ontario
beancounter6 wrote: I bought the plus along with the smart grinder back in July on sale. Was moving so only got the chance to unbox yesterday. So far so good! I can pull a decently tasty double shot. I’ve tried the single shot portafilter, and have been less successful - nothing actually comes out. Clearly I’m doing something wrong.

Couple of questions. If I want a non pressurised portafilter, any suggestions?

Also, how hard are you supposed to tamp, practically speaking (eg what the hell is 30lbs of pressure)?
I use this:



You can get it free with the promo card inside one of these (but I asked for a 2nd portafilter instead):
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B08NDJ ... UTF8&psc=1
Deal Expert
Jun 15, 2012
15122 posts
9538 upvotes
Southern Ontario
HugePigeon wrote: I’ve heard that manual grinders might actually be better in terms in terms of price/quality ratio in comparison with automatic ones. Is that’s something worth exploring further in your opinion or is it just bla-bla?
A manual grinder is cheaper because there are no electronics but can very well have a premium burr set inside.

Fluffy espresso grinds from my $200 JX-Pro (JX-Max is out):

Image

Espresso grinds from a $900 Eureka Mignon Specialita:

Image
Newbie
Aug 24, 2021
62 posts
46 upvotes
AncasterRFD wrote: A manual grinder is cheaper because there are no electronics but can very well have a premium burr set inside.

Fluffy espresso grinds from my $200 JX-Pro (JX-Max is out):

Espresso grinds from a $900 Eureka Mignon Specialita:
Thanks for the images, very clear :)
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 26, 2006
1271 posts
216 upvotes
Toronto
I just want to add that for those who think this machine is a deal breaker because it doesn't have a built in grinder like the Barista Express, it isn't. tl;dr, the Breville grinders will limit your machine's capability to brew light roasts, and there are issues with plastic components within the Breville grinders themselves.

Long version:
I originally felt this way a few years ago when I first got my Breville Infuser on sale. I kind of just went with the RFD effect and had a minor bit of buyer's remorse. But like some others have already mentioned, I've learned that the Breville grinders (built-in one in Barista Express, as well as the Smart Grinder) are not great and will ultimately limit you when it comes to lighter roasted beans. You definitely need to grind finer when it comes to lighter beans, and that's generally where "cheaper" grinders start to lose out compared to more expensive ones. They will either not be able to grind fine enough, or the coffee grinds will be very inconsistent at the finer settings (some/most are fine enough, but many are not), leading to channeling and thus a poor-tasting shot.

Not only that, but perhaps more importantly to some, the built-in grinder from the Barista Express (as well as many other Breville grinders) has a faulty plastic impeller which gets worn out over time, essentially leading to failure, and a potentially long exposure to ingesting tiny bits of plastic (yikes). Even if you don't mind ingesting plastic, the "fix" for this is to get a 3d-printed replacement (which you may want to ensure is food-safe grade), as Breville doesn't supply their own replacement part. In hindsight, I'm glad I was forced to invest in a separate grinder.

A lot of great quality grinders have been mentioned already, but fwiw I use a Kinu M47 Phoenix (manual hand-grinder). I've read it to be a great, "affordable" hand-grinder for those just getting started into espresso, and I have no regrets. The grinds are super consistent, the grinder feels extremely well made for its price point (the burrs are the same as the regular non-Phoenix model, it instead has a plastic cup and some other exterior-facing plastic components to save on cost), and it's easy to disassemble if you want to clean it.

I'll eventually upgrade both my grinder and machine (probably when I either start getting lazy on the grinding aspect, or would like a machine that's a bit more manual and robust), but for now I'm super happy with my purchases. If I had to do it all again at this point in time with no prior exp, I think the Bambino is a great buy at this price for someone who wants to start getting into brewing espressos without necessarily breaking the bank. Be warned though, there will be a lot of wasted coffee in the beginning for noobs!

edit: spelling/grammar
Jr. Member
Jul 13, 2020
104 posts
51 upvotes
I bought this when it was on sale for $300 last week..... have been using it for a bit under a week and am very happy with it. It makes nice coffee and it's not too hard to get a nice froth on your milk. I already have a grinder, so that's not needed.

My only slight gripe is the push button on the steamer. You turn it off and there's about a 3-4 second delay while it stops. I much prefer the dial that nicer machines have.
Newbie
Sep 26, 2015
47 posts
38 upvotes
Winnipeg, MB
Thanks OP! Does anyone know if the J-MAX or J-PRO go on sale for Black Friday? Are there any alternatives to the J-PRO that people would recommend?

Also, is it worth getting this now or gambling on a better black friday/boxing day sale?
Jr. Member
Feb 23, 2010
198 posts
163 upvotes
Bummer I just bought this on Amazon for 285. Good price and would recommend the machine
Member
Sep 2, 2014
413 posts
168 upvotes
D0ntgiveajack wrote: I got the delonghi equivalent of this (dedica)

Coming from daily kcup, and my first espresso machine. Get a bottomless filter and a good grinder that gives you consistent grind size.

Making the coffee takes a bit more work every morning but it’s like having Starbucks in your house. I don’t steam milk every morning. Rather just nuke some milk and pour in. So smooth…
i have Delonghi Dedica and i would like to try bottomless filter, can you elaborate please which bottomless portafilter do you have and what accessories (distributor, tamper..) do i need to make a good espresso?
Newbie
Dec 29, 2020
96 posts
131 upvotes
Toronto
Been using this for about a month now and love it. So great.

However, I just got a bottomless portafilter that didn’t come with the filter basket. Using the filter basket from the stock portafilter, the espresso shoots out of the middle with a lot of pressure into the cup. It doesn’t bleed out of the whole bottom of the filter basket like you see professional machines doing on YouTube. I think I need a new filter basket, and was wondering if anyone can recommend me one?

Thanks!
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 13, 2009
1536 posts
1525 upvotes
catcatcat wrote: I am interested in investing in a expresso machine but still couldn’t justify for the price , would you pls share the model of delonghi you got ?
Delonghi dedica but the new one. The new one is model ec685m. Old one is ec680. I bought when it was $280 on sale when I bought it a month ago.
sammjm wrote:

i have Delonghi Dedica and i would like to try bottomless filter, can you elaborate please which bottomless portafilter do you have and what accessories (distributor, tamper..) do i need to make a good espresso?
I got a 51mm bottomless portafilter on ebay for around $20. Search for the model number and bottomless filter and compatible ones will show. Get a good tamp that isn’t the plastic one that came with the machine. Distributor is totally up to you. I just tap my grinds till they’re about even and use a finger to level it off if it is a big mound of espresso.
Wallet safe...
Newbie
User avatar
Jan 6, 2019
67 posts
94 upvotes
Doyvidlah wrote: Thanks OP! Does anyone know if the J-MAX or J-PRO go on sale for Black Friday? Are there any alternatives to the J-PRO that people would recommend?

Also, is it worth getting this now or gambling on a better black friday/boxing day sale?
I’m personally holding off because I’m torn between a Bambino and Barista Express, and both of these were cheaper in recent deals (Bambino $250 in summer and BE $550 or so a few weeks ago). Sounds like Breville has made the built in grinder impeller more durable in recent years. Plus I’ll probably be using double walled porta-filters anyway and the grind isn’t as important in that use case, so I really believe the Breville grinder will be suitable for me.

I’m gambling and waiting to see what ends up being cheaper, but following along with these threads to pick up some knowledge on grinders in case I go the Bambino/JX-Pro (or similar) route .
Deal Expert
Jun 15, 2012
15122 posts
9538 upvotes
Southern Ontario
Doyvidlah wrote: Thanks OP! Does anyone know if the J-MAX or J-PRO go on sale for Black Friday? Are there any alternatives to the JX-PRO that people would recommend?

Also, is it worth getting this now or gambling on a better black friday/boxing day sale?
J-Max was just released and I don't see the JX-Pro go on sale in Canada, but you can get it pretty fast from Rogue (next day for me). Or get it cheaper and take longer from overseas. There are alternatives but they cost more, like Kinu and Comandante, watch some youtube comparisons.

Note J-Max is ideally for espresso only, its clicks are very small adjustments so dialing down and up to filtered coffee settings will be cumbersome.



I bring a JX-Pro camping and I know where to set it fast between Aeropress and espresso.

Image
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 13, 2009
1536 posts
1525 upvotes
AncasterRFD wrote:
Note J-Max is ideally for espresso only, its clicks are very small adjustments so dialing down and up to filtered coffee settings will be cumbersome.
I just got the j-max from rogue and mainly use it for espresso at the moment. However if i were to switch to a filter grind, it’s only a matter of turning the grind setting an extra 2-3 rotations. And there’s a little diagram on the grinder which tells you how many rotations you’re at.
Wallet safe...
Newbie
Sep 26, 2015
47 posts
38 upvotes
Winnipeg, MB
AncasterRFD wrote: J-Max was just released and I don't see the JX-Pro go on sale in Canada, but you can get it pretty fast from Rogue (next day for me). Or get it cheaper and take longer from overseas. There are alternatives but they cost more, like Kinu and Comandante, watch some youtube comparisons.

Note J-Max is ideally for espresso only, its clicks are very small adjustments so dialing down and up to filtered coffee settings will be cumbersome.



I bring a JX-Pro camping and I know where to set it fast between Aeropress and espresso.

Image
It's funny you say that. I'm looking at buying an Aeropress as well (I currently own zero coffee equipment). I was planning on getting a Baratza Encore for the Aeropress. Do you think it's worth picking that up, or just using the J-Max for both?
Deal Expert
Jun 15, 2012
15122 posts
9538 upvotes
Southern Ontario
D0ntgiveajack wrote: I just got the j-max from rogue and mainly use it for espresso at the moment. However if i were to switch to a filter grind, it’s only a matter of turning the grind setting an extra 2-3 rotations. And there’s a little diagram on the grinder which tells you how many rotations you’re at.
40 clicks per rotation vs 90 clicks per rotation, I'm sure someone can get used to dialing it back down to exactly where they had it for espresso on the JMax, let us know.

I'm at 1.3.5 on the JX-Pro so getting back there is pretty easy.
Deal Expert
Jun 15, 2012
15122 posts
9538 upvotes
Southern Ontario
Doyvidlah wrote: It's funny you say that. I'm looking at buying an Aeropress as well (I currently own zero coffee equipment). I was planning on getting a Baratza Encore for the Aeropress. Do you think it's worth picking that up, or just using the J-Max for both?
Definitely get a Baratza Encore for Aeropress, it's miles ahead in convenience vs hand grinding and dialing back and forth on the J-Max, or a JX-Pro. Multi-task waiting for the kettle, electric grinding beans, and setting up the Aeropress so there's time savings too.

In fact, even though I can ghetto together a JX with a cordless drill, I'm probably getting a single doser, maybe a Eureka for the counter, just for espresso.

Some people are wary of the Aeropress but it's really a sleeper of a great product and been around since 2005, this guy is using a $4000 grinder with it lol. The ultimate sweetest brew method from Reddit...

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