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If you are shopping for something to grind up foodstuffs and various ingredients, you may be comparing a blender vs a coffee grinder. The best blenders can make short work out of just about anything but may not excel with coffee beans. Here are some of the differences between the two appliances.
The primary difference between the two is their intended use. Blenders are intended to be used to make smoothies, soups, nut butter, and other recipes, whereas coffee grinders are intended to grind coffee beans, dried herbs, and related ingredients. With that in mind, the differences between a blade grinder and a blender are stark, which cannot be said when comparing blenders vs smoothie machines.
Here are more contrasts between blenders and coffee grinders.
Look for a coffee grinder that allows you to manually adjust the coarseness of the grind.
Blenders are designed from the ground up to make homogenous mixtures out of a multitude of ingredients and liquids, such as smoothies. Coffee grinders, on the other hand, cannot be used to make these homogeneous mixtures and should be used only with dry ingredients, as liquids can damage the internal components of the burr grinder. In other words, use a coffee grinder to grind the beans for a mighty fine cup of coffee and leave the smoothies and soups to the blender. Alternatively, if you like a frozen treat, check out our comparison of a Yonana vs a blender to see which would better suit your needs. Or, if you want to make food prep a little easier, you can get a chopper. These are similar to blenders but usually not as powerful or as large. You can read about more of their advantages and disadvantages with our comparison of choppers vs blenders.
A burr grinder can be used for more than just making a cup of coffee to satisfy coffee lovers, however. These coffee burr grinders excel with all dry ingredients and should be used in any scenario where you want to pulverize a dry ingredient into a powder. Coffee grinders do not slice ingredients, which is how blenders operate, so they are great for making pulverized batches of dry herbs and spices, such as whole cumin seeds, peppercorns, and more. Or course, once you have your beans ground, use them in your favorite drip coffee maker or another brew method. It sure beats pre-ground coffee or stale coffee.
Coffee grinders tend to be small, light, and easy to store when not in use. Blenders, on the other hand, can be large, bulky, and heavy. Additionally, many coffee grinders can be operated manually, whereas the vast majority of blenders use electric power and motors. Many consumers find manually operating a burr grinder to be a soothing experience.
Additionally, you’ll find that blenders are more powerful than coffee grinders, even if the difference when comparing a 500-watt blender vs a 700-watt blender is negligible.
Why is a burr grinder better for grinding coffee beans?
This is due to the design that works to pulverize rather than slice beans. The grinding process is relatively gentle compared to a blender and can result in a variety of grind sizes.
Can you grind coffee in a food processor?
You can use food processors for this task, but you won’t have control over the coarseness of the grind. If you prefer a coarser grind, you may want to stick with a dedicated burr coffee grinder.
What is the best way to grind coffee beans?
Use a blade grinder or a burr grinder to get the best results. Food processors may result in a tighter grind more akin to pre-ground coffee.
STAT: The first coffee grinder was made by Richard Dearmann, an English blacksmith from Birmingham, in 1799. This grinder was widely distributed in the US, where Increase Wilson patented the first wall coffee grinder in 1818. (source)