Starbucks uses this brand of blender, now I know why

Why is it that when I order a frozen beverage at any establishment, it tends to come out better than when I attempt to make it at home? Is it the ingredients? Doubtful. It typically seems to be a texture issue. Whether blending shakes, soups, or smoothies, I tend to get the inevitable chunk that interrupts what otherwise would have been a perfectly good gulp. 

Why can’t I get a better blend? What am I doing wrong? I used to manage a Starbucks and recall how perfect their blended beverages turn out. They partner with Vitamix for blending, and after testing the Vitamix Ascent A2500 for myself, I know why. 

Professional appeal
As someone who reviews gear, I get to unbox a lot of products. Some products scream out mediocrity, while others let you know the product will be good before you even fully get to see it. The A2500 is one of the latter. I feel a bit giddy as I pull the blender from its professionally packaged box. If a company takes this much care to make me feel like I’ve gained a worthwhile product before I get to use it, they must care for the product itself. The blender is tucked in with a hardcover recipe book that doubles as a sort of manual. The quality is top notch. 

Vitamix wants to make it clear they stand behind their product 100% as the box reminds me of the 10 year “full warranty”. The blender and pitcher slide out of the box with ease, and I set them both on my countertop. I know this must be a product I’m excited for because I don’t give up counter space easily (see this great air fryer that didn’t make the countertop cut due to size). I just won’t keep it there at all times as it barely fits between the counter and my top cupboards. This thing is clearly premium, and boy is it tall. 

It comes with a 64 oz pitcher – I’ll have to consider getting a smaller pitcher from Vitamix if I want to display it on my counter fulltime. Thankfully, Vitamix offers several additional pitchers for purchase, and the base will automatically detect which one I am using for perfect blending in each case. That being said – I only tested the 64oz option, so I can’t say the others work as effectively as Vitamix may promise.  

The base features an on/off switch, (fantastic for manual cleaning and blending), a pulse option and start/stop switch. A speed dial allows me to adjust the speed for manual blending or preset adjustments. If I don’t use a preset option I have to be sure to start and stop the blender manually despite the timer. Presets always start and stop on their own which is nice. 

An Unexpected Feature

The A2500 connects to my phone via bluetooth. I’ll admit the app is a bit clunky and asks me if I want to connect a Vitamix scale every time I open it. This is annoying, but I get past it and see a host of recipes at my fingertips. The salsa options look like fun, and I’ll have to try them at some point, and many recipes are available for those on a restricted diet. I can open a recipe, see the ingredients, add them to a shopping list (lifesaver – how many times have I gone to the store trying to recall ingredients to a new recipe only to forget one and think “eh I’ll do it later”), and the app tells me what to add and in what order.

Once I hit blend on the app, I simply follow the onscreen instructions. It’s brilliant in concept, but the overall app execution needs work. I hope to see Vitamix improve here because this is something I would want to use going forward. I wonder if it works better if I have the aforementioned smart scale. 

Delicious Results
You can have all the features on a blender you want. What matters in the end is if it blends well. In my test, I make a smoothie, a hard serve shake, and crushed ice. Tossing in Greek yogurt, orange juice, strawberries, a minutia of kale (I hate it), some ice, and blueberries, I expect a hint of graininess in my blend. This isn’t the case though. A solid three-to-four-minute blend takes care of that. It’s silky smooth and starts my morning out right, semi-healthy.

For a not so healthy option, an Oreo shake is on the menu. Here is where I usually see blenders struggle. I figure I’ll be taking the blender off the base and shaking it a few times to get the thickness out from under the blade. Nope. I don’t need the included tamper either. I simply add my ingredients, move the dial to the preset shake option, and wait for the happiness that will soon be in my belly. By the way – if you are looking for the secret to a thick shake try using heavy whipping cream or even coffee creamer as a substitute for milk. Just don’t come crying to me when that thunderstorm of lactose intolerance appears on your horizon. The result here is thick creamy goodness with minimal mess to clean up after. A definite massive step up from an immersion blender.

I test the A2500’s ice crushing ability via the pulse option. The four blades spin in a tornadic frenzy and work feverishly to form a snowy textured option for your favorite frozen treat. This takes me roughly 70 to 90 seconds.

Squeaky Clean
The instructions indicate I should clean the pitcher prior to use. I run some water and put in a few drops of soap. I place the pitcher on the base and the motor gives a powerful but controlled hum as it swirls the soapy water into a spinning vortex of bubbles. It’s clean within 30 seconds. It doesn’t matter what I blend – the cleaning is just ridiculously simple. If I don’t feel like doing this on a blend setting, the pitcher is also dishwasher safe, so I can just toss it in there for a good cleaning too. 

Summary
Speaking strictly of blending performance the A2500 demolishes pretty much anything you can throw at it. In my testing, this is the blender to get for perfect smoothies, shakes, and frozen delights. It crushes almonds and blends soups well too. The 10 year full warranty should make price balkers think twice. It is built to last. While it’s a bit on the loud side at high speeds, I find the length of time I need to blend at these speeds is limited so it doesn’t bother me. It is heavy enough, and it won’t shake itself off my counter at full power. 

The app undoubtedly could use work. I have trouble with it freezing, and quite frankly it doesn’t function with the high quality I expect from this otherwise top notch blender. If you are looking for a smart blender used strictly for blending – this is it. If you’re looking for the perfect smart blender with flawless connectivity and app execution, you may want to wait for improvements. Regardless, Vitamix proves once again why they slice and dice much of their competition. 

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