We’re going from one extreme to the other here from the likes of the Classic & the Silvia to the Bambino Plus. If these were cars, this would be similar to comparing the Land Rover Defender to an ultra hi tech Tesla. Classic & Silvia are closer to other prosumer espresso machines, in that they’re made in a fairly standard way, with similar, easy to replace parts, which anyone with a bit of DIY competency (not me then…) would be able to maintain and repair. Machines like this (including much more expensive Heat Exchanger machines and Dual boiler machines) can be maintained and repaired for several years or even decades.
The Sage Bambino Plus, and the other Sage machines, are about as modern and as high tech as espresso machines get. They’re not made using standard parts, in fact Sage/Breville (they’re designed in Australia by Breville, known as Sage only in Europe) tend to invent quite a lot of the components they use in their espresso coffee maker machine 2020.
The plus side of this, as with driving a Tesla, is you end up with some really clever and helpful features. The negative side of this is that, as with Tesla cars, Sage machines don’t particularly lend themselves to being tinkered with by the owner to be cheaply maintained and repaired over the years. If there’s a problem with a Sage machine, they have to go back to the manufacturer, and if it’s out of warranty, it may be a problem costly enough to make repairing the machine false economy over replacing it.
But with that said, Sage really do make some clever machines, and the Bambino Plus is no exception to this. The Bambino Plus from Sage, is a really compact little machine. I think it looks great, and for such a tiny machine they’ve managed to give it a really decent sized 1.9L water tank, which has a filter, and which is very easy to remove and fill.
It’s heated up in a crazy 3 seconds, and this is real, not the usual exaggerated marketing. OK, you’ll want to pull some hot water through the group head and portafilter to get everything else warmed up, but the machine does really only take 3 seconds to heat up. Steam is ready in about the same number of seconds after pulling the shot, too.
This little inexpensive machine, had a PID, as to do all of the Sage machines, and this means brew temperature stability. This is something you won’t get with the popular Gaggia Classic or Rancilio Silvia unless you mod them with a PID, which you can do for around £100.
As long as you once again frisbee the pressured (or dual walled, but they basically do the same thing) baskets and use the single wall baskets, this machine is capable of some pretty decent espresso. If you’re buying directly from Sage Appliances, or buying the newest stock from a supplier such as a seller on Amazon UK, you should get the standard baskets as well as dual walled. They used to ship with only dual walled, so if you’re not buying directly from Sage, double check with your supplier that you’re going to get the standard baskets.
The Bambino features the newer Thermojet system which is why it heats up so quickly, and this is the same system as with the new Barista Pro & Barista Touch.