Review

Cruz BlenderCap review: smoothies and shakes on the go

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When two former Apple engineers pitched me a transportable, battery-operated blender for my current bottles — one which now counts Apple design legend Jony Ive himself as an outspoken investor — I noticed it as a curiosity. Who’s going to spend $129 and lug round 1.5 kilos of batteries for a weakly blended smoothie?

However I acquired one factor improper concerning the Cruz BlenderCap: the smoothies aren’t weak in any respect. There are various different the explanation why it’s a distinct segment product, however scrumptious drinks aren’t one. 

One in every of my profitable smoothies. I completed ingesting it shortly earlier than scripting this caption. Yum.

Over the previous few months, I’ve crushed absolutely frozen fruit, pulverized strawberry and chocolate ice cream into first rate shakes with the USB-C blender, and wowed my youngsters with (small quantities) of contemporary snow from our fridge ice cubes. I’ve persistently had sufficient battery for six or seven small drinks on a cost, and the included double-wall vacuum bottle stored a smoothie pleasantly chilled for 2 hours in a automotive unnoticed within the solar. 

I may see the best particular person being fairly pleased with one.  

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Moveable blenders aren’t arduous to seek out. I used to be bombarded with BlendJet advertisements for months. My father-in-law introduced dwelling a $20 knockoff one afternoon, presumably after dodging Bullets and Ninjas at our native large field retailer.

However not like most moveable blenders, the BlenderCap doesn’t have its personal proprietary container. It’s designed to screw onto lots of the hottest wide-mouth bottles, together with these from Hydro Flask, Yeti, Nalgene, and Takeya, although it additionally comes with its personal vacuum insulated 18/8 stainless-steel bottle within the field. 

9 cylindrical batteries encompass the motor in our CT scan of the Cruz BlenderCap.
Scan by Lumafield for The Verge

And it boasts energy. The cap comprises 9 lithium-ion batteries that maintain 30 watt-hours of electrical energy (roughly as a lot as an iPad) and may present 500 watts of peak energy, or 300 watts sustained. It’s protected so that you don’t minimize your self, with three security switches that have to be pressed down by your bottle concurrently — so the button does nothing when the blades are uncovered. The motor spins as much as 18,000RPM, and Cruz co-founder Matthew Moore says it’s overengineered, so you possibly can shake the heck out of it whereas it does the job. 

Which is sweet as a result of the draw back of mixing in a bottle is that frozen fruit, ice cubes, and different solids can’t at all times naturally attain the blades on the backside. Even shaken, I’ll usually have a number of chunks of frozen peach left in my in any other case well-blended smoothie, however a little bit vigorous shaking reduces the time the blender must run. 

Making a drink isn’t fairly as simple as I imagined. It took me a bunch of trial and error to determine the best prep. First, you insert the included collapsible silicone funnel to guard the bottle’s threads from getting sticky, then — in case you’re like me — it takes a number of unscrewings and re-screwings of the cap to seek out the best ratio of strong, liquid, and air the primary few instances you make any given drink.

Like different blenders, it is advisable to add simply sufficient liquid to make frozen drinks clean, however the restricted area contained in the bottle means you can also’t add an excessive amount of — if the bottle’s greater than two-thirds full, it’s powerful for the BlenderCap to do its job. An excessive amount of air can be an issue in case you’re attempting for a pleasant thick milkshake: the blender’s highly effective blades can fling ice cream clods to the ceiling of the bottle, the place they’ll clump up and get caught. 

That is the ratio for a great smoothie with a contemporary banana and a few frozen chunks.

You can also’t simply activate the BlenderCap and let it do its factor. You possibly can faucet the button to pulse or double-tap to mix for 10 seconds at a time, however I typically wanted a number of 10-second cycles to get a great smoothie or shake. 

For instance, a giant chocolate milkshake that used two-thirds of a pint of Häagen-Dazs took two full minutes to mix, making the BlenderCap’s minimalist aluminum body fairly heat. (The directions recommend you shouldn’t run it for greater than a minute at a time, however let’s simply ignore that, we could?)

In follow, I acquired used to all this after my first week — and I discovered to make use of my ears. Once I hear a tough, grindy whirring of blades that steadily will get smoother and smoother, I do know the ratio is right. Too grindy, and also you want extra water/juice/milk to skinny it out; too speedy, and there’s not sufficient fruit in there. 

My youngsters’ 14-ounce Takeya bottles turned out to be the proper measurement for a small breakfast smoothie or dessert shake, beginning with fruit or ice cream and including roughly a fingertip’s much less liquid than it takes to cowl the highest. I managed to get seven small drinks per week that method earlier than needing to recharge. Sadly, you possibly can’t mix whilst you cost — and at simply 12W USB-C charging, it could actually take 20 minutes earlier than it’s acquired sufficient fuel within the tank to mix as soon as extra.

You possibly can rinse the BlenderCap instantly. My first unit had defective seals that prompted it to malfunction after the primary week, however my substitute has been wonderful.

For me, the toughest half was simply determining when I’d realistically use a BlenderCap as a substitute of, say, my low cost countertop blender with its wired wire. 

Certain, you possibly can depart the BlenderCap on your bottle whenever you depart the home and have a contemporary blended smoothie at your vacation spot. Milkshake within the park! Nevertheless it’s a little bit heavy and might be messy to open, and you could need to carry across the included separate caps for the bottle and the blender (which do neatly screw collectively) in case you don’t plan to drink your drink abruptly.

Or, you possibly can mix at dwelling, then swap the BlenderCap for the tightly sealing ingesting cap earlier than you permit the home. However that method, the one belongings you acquire over a standard blender aren’t any pitcher to wash and fewer potential mess whenever you pour. I do actually just like the two-stage cap, which helps you to unscrew the highest to disclose a ingesting spout or the center for a wide-mouth pour.

All the things that comes with the BlenderCap, for now (the clear bottle is a limited-time bonus). The tallest black plastic object is a blender cap for the BlenderCap itself.

Me, the one method I may justify shopping for a BlenderCap is for a exercise smoothie or protein shake on the fitness center. That appears like the proper match: no extra temptation to purchase the fitness center’s personal pricy drinks or trek to Jamba Juice afterward, and no hauling round a top-heavy bottle whereas I run or jog.

Simply toss it within the fitness center bag, and an hour later — primarily based on my exams — even these frozen peach chunks may have softened sufficient for an ideal chilly mix. 

Images by Sean Hollister / The Verge

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