Sage Bambino Plus vs The Barista Express


Find out the difference between the Bambino Plus coffee machine and the Barista Express from Sage and which one is the best



If you’re in the market for a new coffee machine, then you will know that the options can be overwhelming.


With bean-to-cup coffee machines and espresso machines ranging from as little as £180 up to a staggering price of £2000 or more, it is good to know what your budget is and what that budget will get you.


There are so many different coffee machines available, as well as many other methods for brewing fresh coffee at home. Daily Barista has the mission to help filter through the endless options and find the best equipment you need for achieving barista-style coffee at home.



Sage is one of the leading manufacturers with plenty of options when it comes to bean-to-cup coffee machines!



The rest of this article will look at two coffee machines from trusted supplier, Sage. We have compared everything from features, functionality, price and even customer reviews to help you understand how coffee machines vary.


The first of the two machines we will be looking at is the Sage Bambino Plus, which is a quality espresso machine. We will be comparing this machine to the Sage Barista Express, one of their most popular bean-to-cup coffee machines.

Sage Bambino Plus overview


This Sage espresso machine is simple to use and offers some great features for creating a decent cup of coffee.


Image of the Bambino espresso machine from Sage


It is smaller in size and features a 54mm round portafilter, which holds 19g of ground coffee. With the automatic steam wand, you can create your desired temperature and texture milk to suit lattes, cappuccinos and more.


Plus, the 3-second heat up means that you shouldn’t be waiting too long for your morning brew.



It is important to note that the Bambino Plus doesn’t include a built-in grinder. You can only use pre-ground coffee with this machine – unless you buy a separate grinder.



Bambino Plus features:


  • Automatic micro-foam milk frother


  • 3-second heat up


  • Low-pressure pre-infusion


  • Digital Temperature control


  • 1.9-litre water tank


Sage Barista Express overview


This coffee machine has an authentic appearance, resembling the professional barista machines found in cafes.


Photo of Barista Express bean-to-cup coffee machine from Sage Appliances


With a built-in coffee grinder, some automated settings and a manual steam wand, the Barista Express from Sage has all you need to create an array of coffee shop beverages.



Sage claims that this machine can go from bean to espresso in less than a minute.



Although, it does take a bit longer to learn the full scope of this machine – but once you do, you can create a full range of coffee drinks and even begin to practice latte art.



Sage Barista Express features:


  • High-pressure steam wand


  • Integrated bean hopper


  • Automatic hands-free dosing – takes out the confusion of grinding coffee


  • 2-litre water tank


  • Separate hot water function


  • Digital Temperature control



To find out more, read our full review of the Sage Barista Express.


Coffee machine comparison


Image of a chart which is comparing the features and price of two Sage coffee machines

Best price Sage coffee machine


At the time of writing this article, the Barista Express can be bought on Amazon for £549, while the Bambino Plus comes in at £329.


Both of these machines have different features that reflect their price.






The Bambino Plus is an espresso machine, meaning that is doesn’t include an integrated bean grinder.


Without an integrated grinder, you can only use ground coffee for the machine. Alternatively, you could buy a separate bean grinder to get premium coffee – although a decent grinder can cost £50-£199!



The machine is smaller and cheaper, partially due to it not including a coffee bean grinder.



Users also have less control over the Bambino Plus because there are less buttons to use and the steam wand is automatic.


Having an automatic steam wand is useful for consistently heating milk to the ideal temperature and texture. The downfall to this automatic micro-foam milk texturing, is that you have less control over the pressure and temperature as the machine does it for you.






The Sage Barista Express, on the other hand, is a bean-to-cup coffee machine. It gives you full control of your drinks from start to finish.


For a higher budget, the Sage Barista Express has everything you need to create stunning drinks straight from the coffee shop menu – you’ll have to purchase the milk and coffee beans of course.



Unlike the Bambino Plus, the Barista Express DOES include an integrated grinder.



This feature makes the coffee brewing process faster and seamless as it is an all-in-one machine. There are more dials and settings on the Barista Express, but they are simple to use, plus many of them have automated functions.


The steam wand for the Express is manual, and it is one of the best we’ve seen for an affordable, at-home coffee machine. It is slim and high pressure, which offers more precision when adding texture to milk.



This stream wand adds to the high-end quality of the Barista Express. It is fun for entertainment and playing around with latte art.



Review comparisons



The Barista Express coffee machine has over 1,100 reviews on Amazon, with 82% of customers giving a 5-star rating!


Meanwhile, the Bambino Plus machine has just over 100 reviews with 77% giving it 5-stars.



Bambino Plus customer reviews on Amazon


Picture of the Bambino Plus ratings on Amazon


Barista Express customer reviews on Amazon


Picture of Barista Express ratings on Amazon

Is Sage Barista Express better?


While the Bambino Plus offers some great features for making barista-style coffee drinks, we feel that it lacks in some areas for first-time coffee machine owners.



Firstly, the Bambino espresso machine doesn’t have an integrated grinder, which limits the type of coffee you can use – unless you spend more money to buy a separate grinder.


There are also less settings on this machine, which makes it harder to customise your drink and get the exact taste you desire.



In our opinion, the Barista Express from Sage is a quality machine for the price; it offers users everything they need to start making barista-standard coffee from home.


Plus, this machine does a lot of the hard work for you (such as grinding and extracting the correct amount of coffee!).



If you are looking for a coffee machine that gives you full control, to be creative and make drinks to suit your taste preference, then the all-in-one Barista Express is the machine for you!


To read the full review of the Barista Express, click here.


Where to buy these machines?



Sage Bambino Plus


Photo of Sage Bambino Plus automatic espresso machine

Sage Barista Express


Photo of Sage bean-to-cup coffee machine

Related Content

Blog Articles:

Should I Buy a Coffee Machine?


Machine Reviews:

Barista Express Review


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