Sage SES500BSS Bambino Plus Espresso Maker Review

Sage SES500BSS Bambino Plus Review
  • Performance
  • Comfort
  • Noise
  • Maintenance
  • Ease of Use


While it is more expensive than a standard espresso coffee machine, I think, and most customers agree, that the Sage Bambino Plus is well worth the money. It makes consistency good coffee and gives you enough control to tweak the taste of your cuppa the way you want.

The Sage SES500BSS Bambino Plus is one of the best espresso coffee makers. It is a bit pricey compared to other espresso coffee machines but the quality of coffee is unmatched.

It also comes with innovative features including 3-second rapid heating technology, an automatic milk steaming wand and digital temperature control to ensure the perfect flavour and richness.

If you are looking for a high quality espresso coffee maker from a trusted brand, I highly recommend the Sage Bambino Plus. Read my full Sage SES500BSS Bambino Plus review.

Sage SES500BSS Bambino Plus review

What I like

  • High quality coffee
  • Easy to use for beginners
  • A lot of adjustable settings
  • Rapid heating

What I don’t like

  • Price
  • No cup warmer

What are you buying?

1. Premium espresso coffee machine

The Bambino Plus is thoughtfully designed to look good and make Barista-quality Espresso. (Note: Sage is a premium brand by the Breville Group, which the group uses in the UK.  The machine is sold under the name Breville Bambino Plus on some other markets.)

The stainless steel finish gives it a beautiful modern look that makes a statement on your kitchen counter.

The machine uses high quality parts that are guaranteed to last long.

Size-wise, the Bambino Plus has a smaller footprint than most coffee machines. It measures 20” wide, 32” deep and 31” high.

Though not the most compact coffee maker, it won’t take up much space on your counter.

2. Automatic steam wand

The Bambino Plus is an espresso machine but you can use it to make many more varieties of delicious coffee.

Thanks to the automatic steam wand, you can prepare just about any milk coffee you’d like.

This is one of the most advanced steam nozzle we’ve seen in any espresso coffee machine. It’s super easy to use and produces perfectly textured milk.

Unlike other espresso machines where you just insert the nozzle and release the steam, the Bambino Plus allows you to select the milk temperature – warm, ideal and hot.

A temperature sensor near the tip of the wand monitors the milk temperature. Once the milk reaches the set temperature, the nozzle automatically turns off.

It’s not just the milk temperature you can adjust; there are also foam settings ranging between low and high. If you love your cappuccino foamy, just press a button.

This takes the guesswork out of the process, ensuring you get the right texture and froth every time.

The steam wand even purges itself. Once you remove it out of the milk and lower it down, it will automatically release some steam to self-clean.

Note that the Bambino Plus comes with its own milk jug. Do not use any other jug or container when steaming milk.

3. Rapid heating

This is the fastest heating espresso machine I’ve ever reviewed.

From a cold start – when you insert a full jug, switch it on and select your coffee settings – it takes just 3 seconds for coffee or steam to dispense.

This no-delay preparation is especially convenient in the mornings when you are in a hurry to get to work.

4. Full flavour coffee

The Sage Bambino Plus has three important features to make sure you get the best quality coffee that’s rich in flavour.

  • 19g filter: The main filter holds about 19-22g of ground coffee, which is significantly more than what most other filters hold. The added amount produces richer and more intensely flavoured espresso. Use the included tamper and razor tool to improve flavour extraction.
  • Low pressure pre-infusion: The water passes through the filter with around 9 bars of pressure. But the Bambino Plus doesn’t exert this pressure instantly. Instead, it starts small and gradually increases pressure. This gives water enough contact time with the ground coffee to enhance infusion and produce richer coffee.
  • Precise temperature control: Temperature affects the quality and taste of coffee. Uneven water temperature can be especially bad for taste. The Bambino Plus uses precise temperature control technology to ensure the water is at the right temperature.

5. Two filters

Like most espresso coffee machines, the Bambino Plus comes with a set of two filter baskets.

The smaller one holds just enough coffee for a single shot of espresso. Use this one when you are making one cup of coffee.

The larger one holds enough coffee for double shots. Use this when you are making two cups of coffee, preparing a large mug of coffee or want stronger coffee.

6. Adjustable settings

While the Bambino Plus has many automated features and pre-sets, there’s still a lot you can control. This allows you to brew the coffee to your liking.

Here are some of the adjustable settings.

  • Manual pre-infusion and quantity: You can have the water infuse the ground coffee for longer to create a more intense flavour. Press and hold the 1 or 2-cup button to activate this feature. Hold for as long as you’d like and then release to begin dispensing. In this mode, the volume dispensed is also manually controlled. The machine will stop dispensing coffee only after you press the button again.
  • Shot volume: The default volume settings for a single shot and double shot are 30ml and 60ml respectively. Buy you can set your own volume for each type of shot.
  • Milk temperature and foam: Select how hot you want your milk to get depending on what kind of milk coffee you are making. You can also adjust the amount of foam you want.

Another automated feature that has a manual option is milk steaming. Normally, you just insert the wand in the milk, select temperature and the machine will do the rest.

But if you know exactly how you like your milk, you can steam it manually.

How easy is it to use?

Don’t let all the features scare you. The Sage Bambino Plus is easy to use, even for a coffee making amateur.

There are automated features for those who want a good cup of coffee without much hassle and manual alternatives for those who want a bit more control over their coffee.

The control panel is well laid out with only five buttons.

Three are for 1-cup, 2-cup and steam. The other two are for milk temperature and foam.

Other settings such as shot volume and manual pre-infusion are easy to access using these buttons.

You’ll love how easy the steam wand is to use. Steaming the milk is usually the challenging part of using an espresso coffee machine.

With the Bambino Plus, you can achieve the perfect cappuccino or latte on your first try.

Maintenance is also straightforward.

The coffee machine comes with a cleaning kit containing a steam nozzle cleaning tool, a cleaning disc and cleaning tablets.

Lights on the control panel will alert you when it’s time to clean or descale the machine.

What accessories are included?

  • A tamper to compact the ground coffee for better flavour extraction.
  • A milk jug (only use this jug when steaming milk).
  • A razor tool to level off coffee in the filter basket. This ensures even extraction.
  • 1-cup and 2-cup filters.
  • Cleaning kit.

Sage SES500BSS Bambino Plus key features


  • Produces high quality coffee.
  • Easy to use even for beginners.
  • Plenty of adjustable settings for those who want more control.
  • Large 1.9L water tank.
  • Rapid heating.


  • More expensive than most espresso coffee machines.
  • No built-in cup warmer.

Anything else you should know?

Most espresso coffee machines, including the Bambino Plus, come with a tamper. You use to compact the ground coffee into a puck for better flavour extraction.

The Bambino Plus comes with an extra tool they call the Razor tool.

You use this one to trim off excess ground coffee from the filter basket. This ensures you use the exact dose for the best flavour – strong without turning bitter.

Use the razor tool after you’ve tamped down the coffee.


While it is more expensive than a standard espresso coffee machine, I think, and most customers agree, that the Sage Bambino Plus is well worth the money as you could see in this Sage SES500BSS Bambino Plus review.

It makes consistency good coffee and gives you enough control to tweak the taste of your cuppa the way you want.

Where to buy?

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