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  #1  
Old 08-30-2012, 12:08 PM
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beewang beewang is offline
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VitaMix??!!

Wife wants a high-end blender and friends raves the $400 VitaMix blender.

I am old school and got a $25 Warning blender 15 years ago (Glass Jar!!) Best Value per consumer report (which is the bible to a tight wad like me).

I don't have a problem spending the money is the stuff is indeed the greatest thing since sliced bread. Case in point the Big Green Egg.. It is the "Bomb" and worth every $100 bills

But We have a $200 Food Processor and I have my trusty old Blender for $25 (That I used 4 times a week making drinks and fruit smoothies for the past 15 yrs).

So what's so great about this thing?? I don't need to buy a "gucci watch" for the brand. Is there no comproble products out there for cheaper and "just as good" ??

Please help me out here..

Thnx beewang

P.S. I have never bothered to stand in line at costco and watch the demo so .. no.. I dunno what's so great about it..
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  #2  
Old 08-30-2012, 12:16 PM
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Keep the old trusty blender. It's impossible to find a quality model with a glass cylinder.
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  #3  
Old 08-30-2012, 12:20 PM
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BlendTec!
Then, if you have a brick laying around (iPad), you can take care of it!

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  #4  
Old 08-30-2012, 01:06 PM
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BlendTec and Vitamix are the same thing or at least in the same category and are probably comparable in price.

If you go with a Vitamix, don't throw away your blender because they each have their own uses.

Vitamix is more for completely pureying your food to liquid. A blender will still leave chunks of stuff and won't get it to a complete liquid. So all in all they have differnet uses. If you don't care about getting your smoothy or other things to completely liquid form, then don't buy a vitamix. If you do then get one. I have a Vitamix and a blender. For things like ice cream smoothies (oreo + vanilla ice cream + milk) I use the blender because I still like chunks of oreo and chunks of vanilla in the smoothie.

For things like strawberry smoothie (strawberries + ice) I use the vitamix because it turns it in to a true strawberry drink with no chunks of strawberry and no chunks of ice.
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  #5  
Old 08-30-2012, 01:19 PM
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I have the vitamix and without hesitation will recommend it to anyone. The thing is amazing. I've never had a smoother smoothie. We've cooked soup in it and we've also ground up peanuts to make peanut butter. The warranty on the vitamix is top notch as well. Having been through a number of cheap blenders over the years, I'm planning on the vitamix being the last one I'll buy.

You can pick it up at Costco if you want. I got mine at Bed Bath and Beyond and they still honored the 20% coupon even though it states on it explicitly that vitamix is excluded.
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  #6  
Old 08-30-2012, 01:19 PM
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We bought a KitchenAid blender after our cheap-o one died a few years ago. It think it was about $100 and kind of higher than I wanted to spend on a silly blender, but it has been fantastic. The plastic canister is one piece, so no taking the bottom blade off and having a leak between the o-ring and the blade casing, etc. It can also handle cold and hot liquids, which was important to us since we blend a lot of soups. Cleanup is super easy (just stick it in the dish washer) and it has worked flawlessly for two years. I have not come across anything I wanted to blend that this fella couldn't take care of.

I'd buy another one if this one breaks, but I figure it'll last a few years longer.

I guess the real question is, do you really NEED the best blender in the industry or will a very good one suffice.
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  #7  
Old 08-30-2012, 01:51 PM
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Hi Bee, I think the 3rd one I forgot the name of is the Waring, but not what you have, I'm talking about the Waring Pro blender Waring Pro is the company that does commercial equipment for restaurants, bars, etc.

(Sorry guys, but Beewang texted me like 5 minutes before he started this thread.) I was saying that the Vitamix can only be put in the same league as the Blendtec and that there is a third one that I forgot its name - that's the Waring (I think!).

OK Bee, here's the skinny:

This is the one I have: https://secure.vitamix.com/CIA-Professional-Series.aspx but it is just like the 5200 I think.

Vitamix is not like the regular blenders you'd find at BB&B, because it is a commercial or professional model. It is built to be a work horse and to produce results that you can sell and customers will come back to your restaurant. It lasts forever.

Here's some points:

Blade speed is 37,000 RPM. What it means is that this is not a "blender", it doesn't just blend, it ... ah, what's the word for it???

It works better than a regular blender or a juicer or a food processor because when you put fruit or vegies in it, the high speed breaks the cell walls of the fruit/vegie and it releases all the nutrients, enzymes, and fiber from it and makes it all very smooth.

Juicer = you don't get the fiber and it throws away a lot of the nutrients that are still with all whatever the juicer expels.

Food processor = you get the fiber but it doesn't really breaks and juice them so you get 'chewy juice'. Bleh.

Blender = same as the food processor, it can't juice.

What you get because of the speed is that it is very silky smooth.

Just yesterday, I put grapes, a handful of raisins, 5 cubes of ice and turned it on. In 30-40 seconds I had a smooooth juice and you couldn't feel ANY pieces of raisins. Forget about how tasty it was!

For baby's food it's the best, it makes it so smooth and creamy, the baby loves it, it has such a good "mouthfeel". AND you get so much more nutrients for the baby. Well, for you grown ups too.

Speed is variable: you can "chop" or blend, or mix, or... what's that word again.. ??? Dammit!

Soups: I make it easier for me, I cook the soup 5-10 minutes and then I cream it 30 seconds in the Vitamix. That's instead of going strait to the blender and high speed it for 5-7 minutes.

Ohhh! Ice cream!!! I buy peaches, mango, bananas, stuff like that. Cut and freeze in a zip lock. Then whenever you want, take a few pieces, throw in the container, a few ice cubes. I put 1-2 dates, or some honey or Agave syrup. High Speed 30 seconds. You have sorbet. You can even put some milk. With the ice cubes and the frozen fruit it will freeze too.

You want to mix dough or whatever, it does. It does whatever a food processor does, without spilling liquids like my Cuisinart.

Put any whole spices in it, it will make them powder.

You get the point, it does what 4-5 different machines do.

Washing it is super easy. - That's why I stopped using my juicer.

You can even mix oil and water with it. It will emulsify it.

Power: It's 2.2 hp. 7 years warranty. It will last...

Oh, parts...

IF at any time some time something goes wrong, you can buy parts for it. Knobs, buttons etc. If you mixing container goes you can buy any part of it separately. Blades, cover, insert in the cover, bottom nut, gear, etc. So if something goes bad, you don't need to pay for the whole container for example. Remember it's a commercial blender restaurants don't want to throw $500 every year or $80 for a container. They only want what is broken.

The only "con" I see here is the noise level. At full speed 37,000 RPM it makes close to what my old Eureka vacuum cleaner does. I have sensitive ears so I bought ear muffs for $30 at HomeDepot. ... It also great when some stupid car alarm goes on and on on my street, or when the lawn workers start blowing leaves across the street.

What else?
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  #8  
Old 08-30-2012, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatWiz View Post

This is the one I have: https://secure.vitamix.com/CIA-Professional-Series.aspx but it is just like the 5200 I think.

Vitamix is not like the regular blenders you'd find at BB&B, because it is a commercial or professional model.
This exact blender is for sale at BB&B and they will accept the 20% coupon even though it explicitly states otherwise. Don't knock BB&B... they rock!

As for the warranty... gotta love it...
Quote:
If your machine or container is still under warranty, Vitamix will repair it at no cost to you, including two-way shipping. If your warranty has expired, Vitamix is able to service machines up to 20 years old, depending on availability of parts. You will be notified of the cost of repair upon our receipt and examination of the machine.
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  #9  
Old 08-30-2012, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jw View Post
This exact blender is for sale at BB&B and they will accept the 20% coupon even though it explicitly states otherwise. Don't knock BB&B... they rock!
You're lucky the cashier didn't know? Or did she know and gave you anyway?

... hmm... I paid less than you did... don't kill me.


Quote:
As for the warranty... gotta love it...
Yes! That is the the thing, you get the whole package with this "expensive" machine. It is NOT expensive when you figure everything you get. 20 years service, huh! Other (consumer) brands will just tell you to go buy a new one.

When did you buy yours? It's only recently that they brought in the Vitamix CIA to BB&B. A few months maybe. No?
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  #10  
Old 08-30-2012, 02:26 PM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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I have a Vita Mix, it's great, but I don't use it enough. I guess I do smaller jobs more often, and I've a magic bullet for that.

Sorry for the hijack here, but it's kinda/sorta related, and I think I found at least a few of the resident foodies here . . . I'm looking for your recommendation on an immersion blender. I somewhat recently made some potato leek soup a couple or few times, and was thinking about how convenient it would be. I started vacillating big time between choices like the cheap Cuisinart (that some people swear by, others review it poorly for some critical part made of plastic), to the considerably more expensive Bamix, and choices in between. I vacillated so much, I just didn't get anything. I guess I don't really need one, and don't foresee using it very often, but maybe that would change once I bought one? Just go cheap and get the Cuisinart? Thanks.

Actually, now for an even better hijack, now that I'm at it. I'm also looking for mason jars with a good seal (do I want a reusable one, or not?). I don't need many, and a larger one might come in handy as well. Thanks for pointing me to good sources or deals. (Sorry OP!)
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  #11  
Old 08-30-2012, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uwhusky View Post
BlendTec and Vitamix are the same thing or at least in the same category and are probably comparable in price.

If you go with a Vitamix, don't throw away your blender because they each have their own uses.

Vitamix is more for completely pureying your food to liquid. A blender will still leave chunks of stuff and won't get it to a complete liquid. So all in all they have differnet uses. If you don't care about getting your smoothy or other things to completely liquid form, then don't buy a vitamix. If you do then get one. I have a Vitamix and a blender. For things like ice cream smoothies (oreo + vanilla ice cream + milk) I use the blender because I still like chunks of oreo and chunks of vanilla in the smoothie.

For things like strawberry smoothie (strawberries + ice) I use the vitamix because it turns it in to a true strawberry drink with no chunks of strawberry and no chunks of ice.
I think you have a different model? There are the Vitamix with the three knobs on the front: Off/On. High/Variable. 1-10. Picture below, in a minute...

1-10 is from a slow blender speed to 25,000 RPM. Then you flip to High and it goes to 37,000. There are other Vitamix models that don't have the variable knob. I guess that's what you have?

But there's no need to keep a blender. It does all of these speeds.
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  #12  
Old 08-30-2012, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatWiz View Post
You're lucky the cashier didn't know? Or did she know and gave you anyway?

... hmm... I paid less than you did... don't kill me.



Yes! That is the the thing, you get the whole package with this "expensive" machine. It is NOT expensive when you figure everything you get. 20 years service, huh! Other (consumer) brands will just tell you to go buy a new one.

When did you buy yours? It's only recently that they brought in the Vitamix CIA to BB&B. A few months maybe. No?
The cashiers don't care. If you ask them to honor a coupon, they'll do it without any issues. I've bought so much stuff there that's excluded, but they always fork over the 20%. Same goes with returns. Use your Vitamix for a few months and bring it back to BB&B... full refund.

I bought mine a few months back... maybe May or June. Already put more use to it than our prior blender saw in a year.
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  #13  
Old 08-31-2012, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Ilovemycar View Post
I have a Vita Mix, it's great, but I don't use it enough. I guess I do smaller jobs more often, and I've a magic bullet for that.

Sorry for the hijack here, but it's kinda/sorta related, and I think I found at least a few of the resident foodies here . . . I'm looking for your recommendation on an immersion blender. I somewhat recently made some potato leek soup a couple or few times, and was thinking about how convenient it would be. I started vacillating big time between choices like the cheap Cuisinart (that some people swear by, others review it poorly for some critical part made of plastic), to the considerably more expensive Bamix, and choices in between. I vacillated so much, I just didn't get anything. I guess I don't really need one, and don't foresee using it very often, but maybe that would change once I bought one? Just go cheap and get the Cuisinart? Thanks.

Actually, now for an even better hijack, now that I'm at it. I'm also looking for mason jars with a good seal (do I want a reusable one, or not?). I don't need many, and a larger one might come in handy as well. Thanks for pointing me to good sources or deals. (Sorry OP!)
Just go cheap on the Cuisinart immersion. I bought one on ebay dirt cheap. If you like it and think you'll use it a lot then spring for the more expensive one.

I use lots of wide mouth mason jars to store most of the stuff in my pantry (cracker, nuts, cornmeal, rice, cereal, etc..). I also use them in the freezer for soups and sauces. I use both the metal canning lids and I have some one piece plastics. You should be able to find them in some grocery or hardware stores pretty cheap.
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Old 08-31-2012, 09:52 AM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///M3lissa View Post
Just go cheap on the Cuisinart immersion. I bought one on ebay dirt cheap. If you like it and think you'll use it a lot then spring for the more expensive one.

I use lots of wide mouth mason jars to store most of the stuff in my pantry (cracker, nuts, cornmeal, rice, cereal, etc..). I also use them in the freezer for soups and sauces. I use both the metal canning lids and I have some one piece plastics. You should be able to find them in some grocery or hardware stores pretty cheap.
Thanks for the input, I think I'm going to follow your recommendations.
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:34 AM
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Thanks for the input, I think I'm going to follow your recommendations.
Yeah, what ///Melissa said.

Melissa, is that the "wide mouth" mason that I have in the above picture??

I got my Mason jars from Amazon because I couldn't find them at any store locally. About $15-$17 for a set of 12. I use them to freeze freshly roasted coffee beans. You can see a couple in the picture I posted above. Then a couple of weeks ago I happen to find some at a family own home items stores. $0.99 - $1.30 depending on size.

Immersion blender? That's how I ended up getting my Vitamix. I wanted it for soups. Just like you I read all the bad reviews of immersion blenders falling apart and went up the price and quality range all the way to Bamix. (crazy price!). At some point I figured I had enough of mediocre mixers and blenders and bought the Vitamix instead. For soups, initially.

You already have a Vitamix. Why not give it another try? The 64oz container is HUGE and can fit a whole pot in once or twice batches. Same thing took me forever in the food processor with leakage from the top.

If I want the soup to have texture I just cream half or more of it and mix back together.
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Old 08-31-2012, 12:09 PM
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Thanks to all for responding... Okay.. I am sold!! We're gonna get the $400 VitaMix
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Old 08-31-2012, 01:11 PM
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Thanks to all for responding... Okay.. I am sold!! We're gonna get the $400 VitaMix
Which one is that??? Don't get the "creation" model. It is not 37,000 RPM.
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Old 08-31-2012, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by MatWiz View Post
Yeah, what ///Melissa said.

Melissa, is that the "wide mouth" mason that I have in the above picture??

I got my Mason jars from Amazon because I couldn't find them at any store locally. About $15-$17 for a set of 12. I use them to freeze freshly roasted coffee beans. You can see a couple in the picture I posted above. Then a couple of weeks ago I happen to find some at a family own home items stores. $0.99 - $1.30 depending on size.

Immersion blender? That's how I ended up getting my Vitamix. I wanted it for soups. Just like you I read all the bad reviews of immersion blenders falling apart and went up the price and quality range all the way to Bamix. (crazy price!). At some point I figured I had enough of mediocre mixers and blenders and bought the Vitamix instead. For soups, initially.

You already have a Vitamix. Why not give it another try? The 64oz container is HUGE and can fit a whole pot in once or twice batches. Same thing took me forever in the food processor with leakage from the top.

If I want the soup to have texture I just cream half or more of it and mix back together.
Ok you're definitely the brain I want to pick here. First of all I need to say I like my soups piping hot. And a lot of times when making food, I'm impatiently hungry. So, at first I was thinking, yeah you're right, I'll save my money, and profit from your experience. But now I have to ask: with the IB, I don't have to wait for the potatoes/water to cool down as much, from a boil, as I would when using the VM, where I then have to remove and heat it up all over again? I lose time? Washing an IM has still got to be easier than washing the VM? Tips and insight appreciated.

I think I may order some of those jars from Amazon as well, I've checked them out before, but I just wanted a thumbs up from someone, I guess.

Do you roast your own coffee? (I assume not, if in NYC?) I've played with the idea of trying some backyard DIY with a . . . popcorn machine . . . or something, I hear it gets awfully smoky.
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Old 08-31-2012, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Ilovemycar View Post
Ok you're definitely the brain I want to pick here. First of all I need to say I like my soups piping hot. And a lot of times when making food, I'm impatiently hungry. So, at first I was thinking, yeah you're right, I'll save my money, and profit from your experience. But now I have to ask: with the IB, I don't have to wait for the potatoes/water to cool down as much, from a boil, as I would when using the VM, where I then have to remove and heat it up all over again? I lose time? Washing an IM has still got to be easier than washing the VM? Tips and insight appreciated.

I think I may order some of those jars from Amazon as well, I've checked them out before, but I just wanted a thumbs up from someone, I guess.

Do you roast your own coffee? (I assume not, if in NYC?) I've played with the idea of trying some backyard DIY with a . . . popcorn machine . . . or something, I hear it gets awfully smoky.
I don't think you'd lose time. You just need to adjust your routine.

First, the VM container is capable of holding hot fluids - they tell you how to make hot soups in it after all. So putting hot soup into it to cream is not an issue. It also has steam escape holes in the cover just for that.

Second, adjust your routine: instead of cooking the soup all the way, cook it half time. Let it cool a little if you want by turning the heat off and stir slowly for about 60 seconds - that will reduce the temp to about 180F. Transfer to the VM container and cream it for 30-60 seconds (it's already soft, so it goes quickly). If you want to eat it quickly, pour back to the pot and keep cooking it. What happens now is that the cooking will be faster because the potatoes or whatever chunks of veggies is reduced to small particles and they will cook fast. No need for the longer time for the heat to reach the middle of the potatoes to cook it. So the end result will be faster. In about a minute or two after boiling you'll have a piping hot soup ready to eat. Second option (I did it) pour most of the mix back but leave one serving size in the VM and continue to blend on high. It will "cook" the soup there quickly and in about a minute it's ready to eat. In other words, you let the VM finish the cooking of the small portion of the soup that you want to eat right now.

Don't forget that the time spent in the VM at high speed is not time wasted because the soup continues to be cooked by the speed of the VM..!

Coffee... No I don't roast. I buy from one of these famous, top, micro lots, specialty coffee roasters and I get it here 2 days after roasting. You can roast in a popcorn machine! You know that already if you're talking about popcorn roasting. You can do some 60-100 grams in one batch, right? Try it. I don't think it will smoke too much. Don't do a dark roast. Do a medium roast. Better flavors and less smoke. Look at www.sweetmarias.com for high quality green coffee at really good prices. They also have tutorial videos.
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Old 08-31-2012, 06:09 PM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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Thanks for taking the time to explain, some experimentation is definitely in order. I bookmarked the roasting page of your link, as I see there are even youtubes for using the popcorn popper, and I'll make it a point to watch them at some point. And don't worry, I never drink dark roast. Someone once explained to me how cheap a big bag of green coffee beans could be, and though I don't remember the figures, I still can imagine how the savings would add up. He said that unroasted beans last an extremely long time as well, IIRC. Ok, time to hunt down those jars right now . . .
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by MatWiz View Post
Yeah, what ///Melissa said.

Melissa, is that the "wide mouth" mason that I have in the above picture??

I got my Mason jars from Amazon because I couldn't find them at any store locally. About $15-$17 for a set of 12. I use them to freeze freshly roasted coffee beans. You can see a couple in the picture I posted above. Then a couple of weeks ago I happen to find some at a family own home items stores. $0.99 - $1.30 depending on size.

It looks like you've got the wide mouth (if they are 16/32 oz.) I've ended up buying mine from Amazon before too because all the local stores were out. They tend to be somewhat seasonal. Now is the time to stock up
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Old 09-04-2012, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///M3lissa View Post
It looks like you've got the wide mouth (if they are 16/32 oz.) I've ended up buying mine from Amazon before too because all the local stores were out. They tend to be somewhat seasonal. Now is the time to stock up
They are 8oz, and the one at the side of the picture is a 16oz. Still wide mouth?
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:36 PM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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Hey MatWiz, I watched a couple of the roasting vids over the weekend. I think the popcorn maker is not worth the hassle, as the batches are so small, and I dunno, slowly melting a big plastic piece right over my coffee . . . well, I then watched the vid on their entry level home roaster ($300?), and see that it just goes up from there. I like that you can make a pound at a time, that is has an after-burner to get rid of excess smoke, etc, but I really wonder what makes the other ones more expensive at this point. I've got to look into pricing for raw beans to see how long it would take to make the money spent back again. I've even been thinking of starting a new thread, mainly to pick your brain, but thought I should run a search for any existing thread, just haven't got around to it yet. We'll see, maybe at some point.
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:34 PM
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Back to Vitmix, I just made a Frappe (what Starbucks took and modified to make what they calls Frappuccino).



Ingredients:
Espresso
Sugar
Milk.

And of course Vitamix. Blend 2 minutes on high until the drink is warm or moderately hot. You can then add cold milk or cold water, ice cube, etc if you want to make it cold. The original Frappe (Greek) can be hot or cold.
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilovemycar View Post
Hey MatWiz, I watched a couple of the roasting vids over the weekend. I think the popcorn maker is not worth the hassle, as the batches are so small, and I dunno, slowly melting a big plastic piece right over my coffee . . . well, I then watched the vid on their entry level home roaster ($300?), and see that it just goes up from there. I like that you can make a pound at a time, that is has an after-burner to get rid of excess smoke, etc, but I really wonder what makes the other ones more expensive at this point. I've got to look into pricing for raw beans to see how long it would take to make the money spent back again. I've even been thinking of starting a new thread, mainly to pick your brain, but thought I should run a search for any existing thread, just haven't got around to it yet. We'll see, maybe at some point.
Start a thread, I can copy the coffee related posts to your new thread later on.

"I like that you can make a pound at a time, ..."

That means that you can also ruin a whole one pound at a time... .. Got to be careful with making one pound at a time.

One pound is a lot. You should consider that coffee goes stale about 2 weeks after roasting and maybe want to roast enough for 2 weeks at a time. So that you don't need to freeze. But of course you can freeze.

What kind of coffee you make? That will tell you how much you need to roast.

Which roaster are you looking at?
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