You might think that using a grinder or a blender will virtually garner the same results for your coffee. That’s not right, though. It’s always a good idea to know what each household appliance is for and what it does before you buy it or start using it in any way. So, what is the key difference between a coffee grinder and a blender?
A grinder is used only for dry, hard substances, such as coffee beans, spices, or teas. It would be nearly impossible to grind fruits, veggies, etc. However, a blender won’t give you the same results with solids as a grinder, but it’s better for fruits, ice, etc.
There’s a reason why there are so many appliances out there on the market. Every appliance has a different purpose, and if they aren’t the highest, top quality, you can’t effectively interchange them and replace one with the other. Even if they are of the highest quality, you still might not be able to do it.
I’ll take a deeper dive into what each appliance is best for, in the battle of the coffee grinder vs blender.
What Is a Coffee Grinder?
A coffee grinder is a handy appliance that everybody should have among their kitchen tools. Even if you’re not a coffee lover like me, you can use a grinder for tons of other things and get results you could never get with any other appliance.
Coffee grinders have been around for centuries. They use a particular burr grinder system that’s put together very tightly to crush any ingredient coming through it. It doesn’t slice as other appliances such as blenders but rather crushes things into powder.
That being said, you cannot use a coffee grinder to, for instance, blend several different ingredients into a homogeneous mixture. Also, using liquids or ingredients that contain a lot of moisture in a grinder wouldn’t give you great results.
It would be best if you only used a coffee grinder to crush dry, solid substances and turn them into powder. That includes coffee beans, spices such as pepper or cinnamon. If you try using liquid ingredients, they will just go right through. Although you can use some meat grinders to make incredible minced meat, I’m not talking about those right now.
Coffee grinders are usually manual (making them that much more satisfying). You have a lever that turns and grinds the ingredients you put inside. However, modern technology provided us with incredibly powerful electric grinders, too. They are much more effective than manual grinders but not as satisfying to use.
Plus, their strong motor needs electricity to power up, which means they are not as cost-effective as regular manual grinders are.
What Is a Blender?
If you don’t have a blender in your kitchen, get one as soon as possible. It’s a multi-practical tool that will make your life so much easier because you can do a lot of stuff with it. Usually, there’s a strong motor base and a cup with spill-proof caps where all the blending happens.
On the bottom, there’s a blade that rotates at a very high speed when the motor is on, mincing everything you put into it without any trouble. However, you’ll need some liquid to allow the blender to work properly. Sometimes, you need to add a bit of water, milk, or some other liquid, depending on what you’re making.
That’s why the most common use for a blender is for making juices, smoothies, milkshakes, or soups. Sometimes, you can make sauces with it, too. It’s not effective with chopping or slicing, though. If you want to chop onions, you’ll get a mash instead of slices because the motor is just too strong, and the blades turn too fast.
You can put as many ingredients into a blender as you can fit in its container, and it’ll make a great, homogeneous mixture. Just remember to provide enough fluid to get the best results.
The Battle Between Coffee Grinder vs Blender: What Is the Difference?
Now that you know what each appliance is for, it’s easy to understand their differences. You can’t really use them interchangeably, as they aren’t designed to do the same things. Therefore, saying which one is better is impossible – it all depends on what purpose you need them to serve.
If you need to get solid, dry ingredients such as coffee beans, pepper, cinnamon, or other spices into powder, use a grinder. You need no liquid or fluid of any kind for the grinder to perform as it should. Adding fluid will only diminish the results and prevent the grinder from doing what it does best.
That’s why you can’t really put fruits or veggies in a grinder. I mean, you can, but the results will be incredibly disappointing.
On the other hand, if you want to make a soup or a smoothie using multiple ingredients, use a blender. Don’t get me wrong – a good blender can deal with solid ingredients such as grains or even solid ice, but you will need fluid to connect the ingredients and guide them towards the blades if you want the best results.
Therefore, if you put some dry rice on your blender, it will make it smaller for sure, but if you don’t put any fluid inside, it’ll leave it in chunks instead of powder.
So, if you want to make a powder out of something, use a grinder. If you want to make a homogeneous soup, smoothie, milkshake, sauce, or any other mixture containing fluids, use a blender.
Best Coffee Grinders
Baratza Virtuoso+ – Best Overall
If budget isn’t your concern, and you want the best a coffee grinder can provide, you should go for Baratza Virtuoso+ Conical Burr Coffe Grinder. It’s among the pricier grinders on the market, but its price truly reflects the quality you get. You’ll also get more functions combined with a digital timer than any other coffee grinder in the same price range.
The Virtuoso+ is an award-winning grinder that’s not only functional but gorgeous as well. It will fit well in any kitchen, bar, or coffee shop.
What makes this grinder better than other grinders on the market? Well, you’ll get forty different grind size settings, including brew methods such as espresso, French Press, Aeropress, etc. It doesn’t get any better than the Virtuoso+ when it comes to high-end, top-quality coffee grinders.
KRUPS Precision Grinder – Budget Pick
The KRUPS Precision Grinder is an incredible home option that grinds your coffee just like it’s supposed to. You’ll get to choose between twelve settings and have full control over the grind size, as well as the cup quantity.
After you’ve selected the amount/cup quantity, simply press the central button, and it’ll start and stop automatically at the desired quantity. The best part about it, though, is that it’s incredibly affordable compared to other grinders.
And, within its price range, I haven’t found a grinder that can do nearly as much or a grind consistency nearly as well as the KRUPS Precision Grinder effortlessly does. It lacks some finesses like a digital display and more control over the grinding process. It might not be enough for a professional coffee shop, but you’ll amaze your friends and family with a great cup of coffee.
Best Coffee Blenders
As I said, grinders and blenders aren’t interchangeable, but you can still use a blender for your coffee-drinking purposes, especially for ice coffees, shakes, and similar beverages.
Nutri Ninja Auto-iQ Blender – Best Overall
If I could rate the Nutri Ninja Personal and Countertop Blender with a 1200-Watt Auto-iQ base, I’d rate it ten out of ten. It’s an extraordinary item that will serve you for all purposes you might need or have.
Upon buying it, you’ll get several different blades and pitchers, including a 72-ounce pitcher and three different-sized cups with lids, perfect for ice-coffee, smoothies, shakes, and all other stuff you might need.
The Auto-iQ base gives you the option to time your blending to a second, and you can choose the blending speed along with numerous awesome programs to make your life easier. It also has carefully designed blades to maximize the nutrient extraction from any ingredient you put in the blender.
It’s a bit expensive, but you won’t regret buying it in any case, be it for a coffee shop, a bar, or personal use.
Oster Blender Pro 1200 – Budget Pick
If you want an affordable but high-quality blender, choose the Oster Blender Pro 1200. Unlike similarly-priced blenders, this blender has tons of functions and options, making your life so much easier depending on what you wish to make.
It’s got seven speeds and three programs you can choose from, which isn’t as robust as some pricier models, but it’s good enough. Also, you get a “pulse” feature that maximizes the patented dual-blade effectiveness.
The blender is brush-nickeled and looks awesome in any space. If you’re on a budget but don’t want to trade quality for the price, this is the way to go.