Coffee grinders and blenders are two of the most common food processors in modern kitchens today.
Both help us grind coffee beans at varying consistency levels so we can enjoy our espressos, cappuccinos, and lattes. Coffee grinders and blenders are good for processing a variety of other ingredients such as herbs, sugars, etc. However, they’re different: hence the need for this coffee grinder vs blender debate.
To help you know which of these appliances will yield the best coffee you desire, we’ve delved in-depth into the blender vs coffee grinder debate.
Let’s find out the differences between a coffee grinder and a blender.
Differences between A Coffee Grinder and A Blender
The major difference between a coffee grinder and a blender is in their functionality.
Coffee grinders are designed for grinding coffee beans and other hard, dry items such as teas, herbs, and spices. Blenders are better suited for blending and mixing items such as fruits and vegetables into thick pastes or smoothie-like substances – blenders can grind coffee beans too.
The second main difference between a coffee grinder and a blender is in the quality of their coffee grind.
A coffee grinder mostly uses burrs to crush coffee beans into a more consistent and uniform coffee powder while a blender uses blades to produce a rough medium grind that is not as fine as a coffee grind.
To better understand how these appliances differ in the way they process coffee, we’ll explore these appliances individually.
What is a coffee grinder? A coffee grinder is a small kitchen tool designed to crush coffee beans into fine, even powder for extracting tasteful and flavorful cups of coffee. Coffee grinders can grind solid ingredients and spices such as peppers and cinnamon.
Coffee grinders don’t require adding water to make it easier to crush the grounds. They have the appropriate-sized apparatus and grinding mechanism to hold coffee beans in place and grind. This makes coffee grinders best for grinding coffee.
Coffee grinders mostly use burrs to crush coffee beans; however, some grinders use blades – blade grinders don’t produce coffee that is as fine and consistent as burr grinders. Although a French press prefers coarse coffee grounds for a better extraction process and to make the perfect brew.
In essence, use a coffee grinder when you want your ingredients to come out powdery.
What is a blender? A blender is a versatile kitchen appliance for performing a range of kitchen tasks such as blending and mixing (and sometimes, juicing) fruits and vegetables.
Blenders come with blades for chopping and slicing through produce (that drip of soup) so they can become smooth mixtures like smoothies.
The blades of blenders are not adapted to cracking nuts and coffee beans are too dry and small for them to process. Instead of the blades crushing the beans in a controlled manner, they break them. This makes blending coffee beans yield inconsistent results for extraction by coffee makers: which in turn could result in bitter or sour coffee.
However, what blenders are good for is making healthy smoothies, soups, cocktails, purees, and dips. They’re able to extract both the juice and pulp which are rich in nutrients and fibers to make healthy drinks.
Use a blender when you want your ingredients to come out as paste.
Superiorities of a coffee grinder to a blender
The benefits of using a coffee grinder over a blender are its affordability, grinding capability and size. A coffee grinder is cheaper than a blender. It produces a finer and more uniform ground as compared to a blender. And the coffee grinder is easier to store because of its compact size.
Great for grinding coffee beans
The size of your coffee grounds makes a lot of difference in the taste and flavor of your brew. Uneven chunks of grounds will result in a bitter and sour taste as some smaller grind sizes will result in over-extraction and larger grind sizes will result in under-extraction.
First, coffee grinders have burrs or blades that are designed to crush roasted coffee beans into fine, uniform, and consistent powder. This way, your coffee maker can extract the coffee to yield a brew with a balanced taste and flavor. On the other hand, the blades of blenders are designed for cutting through fruits and vegetables: hence, they yield coarse grounds when used to grind coffee beans.
Secondly, the blades of blenders spin faster than those of both blade and burr coffee grinders. This faster speed generates heat and adversely impacts the taste of the coffee.
So when comparing grinding coffee beans with a coffee grinder to a blender, a coffee grinder is the best option.
Great for grinding spices
At some point, you may want to grind rice, meat, some nuts, and spices such as peppers and cinnamon. Even though a spice grinder is better suited to preparing these ingredients, your coffee grinder can also grind these and other herbs with hard and dry skins. Blenders can also grind these ingredients but aren’t as efficient as your coffee grinder or spice grinder.
Coffee grinders are used to make powders of ingredients while blenders are used to make a paste out of ingredients. Here are more use cases of coffee grinders.
Easy to store
Coffee grinders are usually smaller and weigh less than blenders: this makes them easy to store after use, while blenders are larger and take up more storage space.
When compared to a blender, a coffee grinder is a more affordable option.
Coffee grinders for making homebrew cost between $20 and $80 while the price for blenders ranges between $20 and $600.
Superiorities of a blender to a coffee grinder
The benefits of owning a blender over a coffee grinder are that it’s a versatile appliance with a large container for making smoothies, juices, and pastes out of fruits and veggies.
When compared to a coffee grinder, a blender can perform a wider range of tasks.
Blenders are used for pulverizing fruits, vegetables, and other ingredients into emulsions, paste, or smoothies. They’re used for making healthy smoothies, soups, sauces, dips, and juices. The juices that they make are very nutritious and rich in fibers.
They can also be used in grinding coffee beans and nuts: making them almost indispensable in a kitchen. But they won’t give you great results like those ground using a coffee grinder.
Coffee grinders can perform fewer tasks like grinding coffee beans and spices. Other appliances can process these ingredients, albeit, not as efficiently as coffee grinders.
Blenders are larger than coffee grinders: hence they can grind more roasted coffee beans in one batch than coffee grinders. However, it’s advised you add a little amount of coffee to your blender.
Food Differences between A Coffee Grinder and A Blender
A coffee grinder and a blender can both be used in grinding coffee beans as well as other ingredients. However, a coffee grinder is more suitable for processing some foods while a blender is more suitable for processing other foods. Let’s find out the foods these kitchen tools are good for.
What foods can be used with a coffee grinder?
You can use your coffee grinder to process the following foods;
- Tea herbs
- Bread crumbs
- Paper confetti
- Spices: peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom pods, etc.
- Chopped nuts: almonds, flax seeds
- Gluten-free flour
- Meat, fish, or poultry
- Vanilla beans
- Dried herbs
- Lavender flower
- Powdered sugar
Here’s how to use a coffee grinder.
What foods can be used with a blender?
You can use your blender to process the following foods;
- Baby food
- Ice creams
- Soups: chickpea soup, roast carrot soup, chili soup, and tomato soup
- Sauces: mayonnaise, hummus, vinaigrettes, and pesto, etc.
- Pancake batter
- Muffin batter
- Peanut butter
- Oat flour
- Broccoli rice
- Almond flour
- Bread crumbs
- Cook crumbs
Using a coffee grinder and a blender together
You can use a coffee grinder and a blender together in a kitchen. Coffee grinders are great for grinding coffee beans to yield uniform grounds that are tasteful and flavorful upon extraction. While blenders are great at slicing and mixing fruits and veggies to make purees, smoothies, juices, and soups, etc.
What are the instances where a coffee grinder and a blender should be used together?
If you’re a coffee lover who wants to enjoy the taste and flavor of fresh coffee, you can use your coffee grinder to grind your roasted coffee beans. And when you want to blend tomatoes and other ingredients for your sauce, your blender will come in handy as your grinder can’t crush these vegetables.
What are the instances where a coffee grinder and a blender should never be used together?
If you’re not a coffee lover, you may not know the difference between coffee made from grounds processed by a coffee grinder or a blender. So in such cases, don’t use both a coffee grinder and a blender to process your drinks.
Coffee Grinder vs Blender Purchasing Tips
Both coffee grinders and blenders can grind coffee beans to make delicious coffee. However, all blenders and grinders don’t yield grounds with the same consistency. To help you make the right decision, these are the pressing questions you should ask before you get a coffee grinder or a blender.
What are the best types of coffee grinders and blenders for me?
There are three types of coffee grinders: burr, blade, and manual coffee grinders.
Blade grinders have blades for chopping beans. You can use them to grind coffee that’ll be brewed in a French press. However, they’re not the most efficient grinders as the finesse of the grind depends on how long you grind the beans.
Also, the blades swirl very fast, and this can affect the quality of your coffee. But they’re inexpensive and versatile.
Burr coffee grinders have a grinder wheel (rather than blades) that crushes the beans against a static surface to yield coffee with more uniform sizes. These are the best grinders because they can be used for grinding a wide variety of coffee brews like espresso.
The coarseness of their coffee grounds depends on the position of the burr. There are two types of burr coffee grinders – conical and wheel burr grinders. Burr coffee grinders tend to be more expensive than other grinders.
Manual grinders don’t use electricity, which makes them great to use both outdoors and indoors. And they also have more beautiful designs than blade and burr grinders. They’re also quieter than the other models since they have no motor.
On the other hand, there are four types of blenders: high-performance, conventional, single-serve, and immersion blenders.
High-performance blenders are the most powerful and expensive kinds of blenders. And they’re designed for professional chefs working in restaurants due to their ability to perform heavy-duty tasks and blend large volumes of output: hence, they’re also called professional blenders.
Conventional blenders are the common blenders found in homes. They’re capable of performing everyday blending and mixing tasks. They’re not powerful enough to take on heavy-duty tasks like high-performance models: hence, they’re cheaper.
A single-serve blender, as the name implies, comes with a small container for making a cup of smoothie or juice for one person at a time. It is not as versatile as high-performance and conventional models.
Immersion blenders are handheld blenders, hence, they’re called hand blenders or stick blenders. They can only perform light tasks and they work by dipping the blender into the container containing the produce. An immersion blender may not be ideal for grinding coffee.
Are burr coffee grinders better than blade grinders?
Burr coffee grinders are better than blade grinders. This is because they do a better job at crushing coffee beans to yield fine powder that can be extracted by a wide variety of brewing methods.
Blade grinders such as blade coffee grinders and blenders use blades instead of burrs. And these tend to yield more coarse grounds that don’t taste as good as coffee ground by burr grinders.
How much should I pay for a grinder?
Blenders are more versatile and expensive than coffee grinders, and they’re almost indispensable in the kitchen. You can get a good coffee grinder for less than $100 while good blenders cost between $150 and $300.
Should I get a high-speed motor grinder?
High-speed motor grinders speed up the grinding process, but they aren’t the best options. A low-speed motor grinder is better. This is because high-speed grinders generate more heat as they run which negatively impacts the taste and flavor of your homebrew.
Which is more usable in a kitchen between a coffee grinder and a blender?
Blenders are more versatile than coffee grinders. Blenders can crush, pulverize, slice, and prepare a wider range of fruits, vegetables, and ingredients, while a coffee grinder is limited in its functions.
Best brands for coffee grinders
The five best coffee grinder brands are Barartza, KitchenAid, Capresso, Breville, and Cuisinart.
If you have the cash to splash on a coffee grinder, go for a Baratza. Baratza is the best brand making the best coffee grinders. Their high-end grinders have garnered a lot of positive reviews due to their efficiency in grinding coffee to a high level of consistency and uniformity.
While KitchenAid is one of the most reputable brands making some of the top kitchen appliances, they have a few coffee grinder models. Their grinders have impressive reviews and are durable. They come at affordable prices.
Capresso makes quality coffee grinders that offer you various settings to make the kind of coffee you’ll love. Their models are also affordable and quiet on operation. However, their models have mixed reviews.
Breville is another reputable name when it comes to kitchen appliances. They make some of the best mid-priced coffee grinders that are durable. Their models are also efficient in grinding coffee to a uniform consistency. Unlike most other models that are noisy, Breville coffee grinders are quiet on operation.
Like Breville, Cuisinart is one of the best brands making some of the best kitchen appliances. Their models are also budget-friendly without compromising on quality. Their burr grinder is recognized as the best burr grinder on Amazon. Whichever type of grinder you need, there’s a Cuisinart model for it.
Best brands for blender
The five best brands making the best blenders are Cuisinart, Breville, Vitamix, Hamilton Beach, and Dash.