"will it blend, that is the question?"
since the end of may i've picked up a new healthy habit: blending.
every morning i start my day with a "purple smoothie", a blended medley of fresh vegetables, fruits, and nuts. it's actually redish-purple.
in may i was using my roommate's black and decker blender to make a week's worth of smoothies. it wasn't anything fancy, and retails at target for $24.99. however, on a foggy san francisco sunday afternoon less than a month after i started this blending habit, the black and decker took it's final spin. i fried the motor. sparks, weird noises, a final slowdown of the blades and finally a small puff of smoke. luckily target was nice enough to exchange the blender and this time the ante was upped to a hamilton beach blender (retailing for $7.00 more than the B/D).
being cautious this time as to not kill the blender, i blended far less aggressively and gave the blender time to rest in between sessions. i think that the combination of thick smoothie turning and long duration of use heated the black and decker motor to a point of wire insulation melting, and ultimately a short circut. even with my more careful techniques, 2-3 weeks later the hamilton beach blender too fell victim to the wrath that is the purple smoothie.
killing blenders gets old pretty fast. and not having a purple smoothie to accompany my morning coffee can bring catastrophe. it's happened to me once so far, i didn't have my purple smoothie one monday morning and by 3pm i was struggling like i had not struggled in months. my energy level was non existent. i had problems driving home from work staying awake, at 5:30pm!!! i even took a two hour nap upon getting home before going to the gym. but i digest.
fed up with crappy blenders i went to my most reliable friend, the internet.
after a few minutes of searching it was apparent that there were two titans at the top of the blending food chain. vita mix and blendtec. but which is best??
i had started researching the blendtec/vita mix differences for weeks prior to the hamilton beach's last revolution. over 20 hours of forum reading, youtube video watching, and product review scanning about these two blenders). major differences noted were a 3hp vs 2.2hp motor, height (fitting under cabinets is a big plus for many users), and ease of cleanup.
from my extensive research i've concluded that from a finished product (the stuff you blend) standpoint, both work extremely well. even in side by side video comparisons both blenders produce blends of near identical blend-idness.
but i also observed some very interesting tidbits:
the blender is the center of the kitchen for those who are on the raw foods diet. the only other kitchen appliance they use that i was able to note was a food dehydrator. most of these raw foods folks (the ones that post blender reviews and videos) were more of the artsy type leaving out stats like power consumption, horsepower, rpm, etc. size, ease of use, and warranty were their top concerns.
vita mix - heavily marketed to the older generation. infomercials take place in a traditional studio kitchen with conservative middle aged upper middle class white people blending tasty home made ice cream and delicious almond butter.
blendtec - marketed to the younger generation/tech generation. anyone who's into youtube, iphones, and technology has seen blendtec ceo tom dickson's videos. he's internet famous for his award winning youtube channel "will it blend?". his stage is reminiscent of a 70's gameshow, where he wears a white labcoat, safety goggles, and occasionally blue heavy rubber gloves. the quest, answer the question: "will it blend?". tom blends everything from magnets to marbles, rake handles and cameras. his most famous vid appeared the day apple introduced the new iphone, and yes he blended that too. after blending whatever tom is blending he opens the lid to the blender while saying "_____ dust, don't breathe that in". then he dumps out blended dust and concludes with "yes it blends". one of my favorites is when a bundle of glows.
you've probably guessed that i chose blendtec over vita mix. i had 90% made up my mind when i saw that blendtec has 3horse power vs vita mix's 2.2, but 19.9 hours more research was needed to push me that 10%. after purchasing the blendtec i learned that tom dickson has a reputation for putting over the top power on little things. quickly tom is becoming one of my heros. also, check out the deal he made with jamba juice (they use his blenders).
today i blend smoothies into a silky smooth consistency in a fraction of the time i used to with out fear of frying yet another undersized made motor made in china.