I’ve Become My Own Barista (and you can too!)

It’s no surprise to anyone that I love coffee (hello, logo reference). But what you may not know is that I did not drink coffee until after my twins were born, sometime after I stopped nursing them. Before that, drinking coffee bothered my stomach. And that included years living in Italy!

When I did start drinking coffee, I enjoyed flavoured coffees such as hazelnut and mocha. That was short lived after I realized how many additives were in them to give that taste. I tried pod coffees since I was the only one in the home drinking coffee and believed it to be less wasteful of the coffee. However, there was the waste of the pods that got me down, so I switched to reusable pods, but was never completely satisfied with the process or the taste. I ended up going back to the standard coffee carafe and would make a small pot of coffee for myself in the morning. For a while, I enjoyed pre-programming my pot, so it would be ready first thing as I came down the stairs. But, with my mama life, the pot would usually sit and wait for me to remember it. Like most mamas can attest, I would have the first sip, and then forget about it.

As much as I love a good cup of coffee, I will very rarely spend money on a cup of anything at a café. It just isn’t in me to go out and spend way more on a coffee than necessary. And truthfully, I want a really, really good cup of coffee first thing in the morning, at home.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I found the solution. I searched high and low for one and I found it. Breville has a compact espresso maker called the Bambino Plus and mamas, my coffee lifestyle has been upgraded! When they suggested I review the Bambino Plus, I was thrilled, but I wanted to give it a full two-week run before giving my review. I mean, as you can see in my coffee life above, I have been on a search for the best coffee for some time, so I had to be sure this was worth a switch.

Making a Coffee Maker Switch

First things first, just how much of a switch is it? Does having an espresso maker mean you have to start drinking espresso coffee? No. If you have a coffee blend you love, you can simply grind it to the right consistency to work with the Breville Bambino Plus. Good thing, too, because espresso coffee is darker and stronger in taste, while I prefer a medium blend. Espresso coffees come in small amounts and use a lot of wrapping for an air-tight seal. Right now, I am enjoying a Fairtrade coffee I fell upon and I grind it to the ‘espresso’ consistency for the espresso maker.

Now that you know you can use the coffee you already like, why would you consider making the switch? I have a lot of reasons. The first and main reason is that an espresso maker is an at-home zero waste coffee solution. While the individual pods are wasteful during production, and after use, and carafes generally need a filter of some kind, the espresso machine needs nothing. And that makes me really happy. Second, it can brew one or two cups at the same time, and no more. For me, this is perfect because no coffee will go to waste this way. Over the two-week testing period, I learned that I enjoyed a two-cup brew for myself, making a perfect amount of coffee for a latte.

Unparalleled Taste

I want to let you in on a little secret. I stopped adding sugar to my coffee a couple of years ago. I never thought it was possible, in fact, if you told me I would ever have coffee without sugar, I would not have believed you! But I started putting less sugar each time and now I have no sugar at all. However, there are times when coffee is just too acidic, or too dark and then it isn’t as delicious without a sweet taste. So, you want to know the secret to a sweeter coffee? It’s this: if you froth your milk into a latte, the coffee becomes sweet and delicious. No sugar needed! I used to wonder how a cappuccino in Italy was perfect every time without any sugar, even when they used a dark roast. Now I know. After experimenting with the temperature and froth levels on the Breville Bambino Plus, I know that I like a latte with a maximum amount of milk frothed to the max. This latte I make at home now can easily win a challenge against a restaurant or coffee shop latte. And the best part? I get to stay at home in my comfy clothes and pay nothing extra.

Breville Bambino Plus Features

  • Compact footprint – The Breville Bambino Plus is 11.8” (w) x 7.7” (d) x 12.6” (h) and fits perfectly in any nook in the kitchen.
  • Reserve – the water tank holds 1.9L of water so you don’t have to worry about filling it up for a while.
  • Fast – in just three seconds, your machine is ready and heated up. Perfect for me, because when I want a coffee, I want it right away.
  • Water temperature and pressure – options are available for your own likes in a coffee, giving you variety.
  • Magic wand – I know this is a standard to many espresso machines, however it is important to note that the wand is a way better option than a milk container area on the machine. It is a much easier cleanup and the microfoam milk texturing give that quality finish. The wand also self-cleans after each use, making sure that no milk is built up in the nozzle.
  • The Bambino Plus comes with a tamper, a precision razor, a 480 ml stainless steel milk jug, one and two cup dual wall filter baskets, a cleaning tool and a cleaning disk.

Change Is Good

My coffee routine has changed very easily while I was reviewing the Breville Bambino Plus. Now, I start my day with a small glass of water (healthy start), get my boys ready for school and then once they are ready, I help myself to a coffee. It takes little time and as soon as that milk froth is poured into my cup, I am so happy to sit and enjoy it! Having coffee has now become a luxurious pleasure instead of an automatic and clumsy go-to. I appreciate my coffee more, and I make more out of that moment.

The milk frother wand has become a favourite for my boys as well, because in seconds, they can have a warm milk or hot cocoa in the morning, and they can do it themselves.  My husband and I have even enjoyed a coffee together, as it has now because an experience.

While it took a little getting used to prepping my coffee grounds and cleaning up after myself, because it is so easy and more so, because it is less wasteful, I don’t mind it in the least.

If you have ever considered getting an espresso machine for your home, I highly recommend this Breville Bambino Plus. It retails for $699 and it is available on Amazon Canada for $549 right now. It would be an amazing high-end holiday gift! I am really pleased with this espresso machine and I’m really happy for this coffee upgrade.

Disclosure: I was compensated by Breville Canada for this review. However, all opinions are honest and my own. 

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