Pardon the pun. We’ve been using the Vitamix Ascent Series A3500i for the better part of four weeks and come to terms with the high-quality machine – attempting recipes, making a few classic smoothies, and even a few cheeky margs once restrictions eased in Sydney. It’s a fabulous piece of equipment, and while the price tag might seem uncomfortable at first, the investment in a quality blender is something that homes and businesses shouldn’t take for granted.
A keen cook ourselves, we’re used to high-quality appliances in the kitchen. Vitamix might not be a household name to the average consumer in Australia, but the brand has been in the market for the better part of 100-years. The particular model we were lucky enough to road-test is the Vitamix Ascent Series A3500i – 100th Anniversary Collection in Graphite. Designed to celebrate the brand’s heritage with a Special Limited Edition graphite colour and package.
In simple terms, the blender truly opened our eyes to the world of quality blending, so let’s get into the thick of it.
Name: Vitamix Ascent Series A3500i – 100th Anniversary Collection
Price: RRP AU$1795 (on sale for AU$1595 at time of writing).
How Does it Blend?
- Never works out the motor.
- Has no trouble breaking down nuts and ice.
- Plenty of speed variance for any application.
- Included modes; Smoothies, Hot Soups, Dips & Spreads, Frozen Desserts and Self-Cleaning work flawlessly.
- Remarkably quiet when blending softer ingredients.
Bearing in mind that we’re testing the 100th Anniversary model, this bad boy comes with everything you’re going to need to cook up a storm. A host of accessories are included for this limited edition model, including multiple different sized containers for different blending purposes and a few neat hand tools to work the mixture to precise consistencies that make life so easy. The included cookbook offers a wide range of suggested recipes to choose from, but you can find a number online also. We found ourselves cooking the same four recipes time after time as they’re quick and easy.
The blender made light work of corn fritters and smoothies. Basic herbs blend like a charm, but even harder ingredients such as ice and almonds were no match for the sharp blade of the A3500i – there’s even a useful illustration that reminds you how to load the containers up before blending for optimum distribution over the blades. More on the blending modes in a moment.
How Does it Look?
- Premium feel.
- Strong and durable construction.
- Design is good enough to be left out on the bench.
- Colours: Brushed stainless, black stainless, and graphite.
We love the way the Vitamix Ascent Series A3500i looks, and that’s probably a good thing. If you’re not a fan of leaving appliances out on the bench you might want to look more closely at smaller options from Vitamix that can easily be stashed away in a cupboard, maybe even a personal blender. This is a top of the line option and the assumption is that you’ll leave it out on the bench – it’s quite heavily, there are plenty of accessories, and it’s designed to be used every day.
That being said, the construction is second to none, and the weight is a positive in our eyes.
The graphite colour that ours arrived in doesn’t suit our kitchen personally, however, there are three colours to choose from and the brushed stainless steel option is more likely to suit most modern kitchens with white splashbacks. There’s also a black stainless option that looks very premium in kitchens with darker themes.
Features You’ll Love
- Ascent Tamper & Tamper Holder
- Under Blade Scraper
- Simply Blending Cookbook
- 600ml Cup & 225ml Bowl & Dedicated Blade System
There’s plenty of features to explore when it comes to a blender of this calibre. Whether you like to think of yourself as a semi-professional chef or just a casual cook, there’s a handful of easy to understand features that will have you making homemade soups, desserts, shakes, sauces, smoothies, cocktails, and dips in an instant.
We’d give it the tick of approval in the ‘smart’ category with proprietary sensing technology that recognises the container placed and automatically adjusts blend settings for their smaller size. You’ll find this most useful when attaching the smoothie container or even the small 225ml bowl that we loved using for breadcrumbs when cooking fish. Other features include a tamper holder for easy access and an under blade scraper for those tight situations.
The blending modes are easily programmed by a touch-sensitive button on the front of the machine and were our favourite technical addition to the A3500i. We used the smoothie or ‘milkshake’ mode the most as blending a simple banana, almond, cacao bean smoothie in the morning is a great way to start the day. Load the smoothie container (medium-sized) and attach the dedicated blade and you’re good to go. Press the milkshake button and let the automatic system adjust the speed itself to get you the perfect consistency.
After spending some quality time with the celebratory new model from Vitamix it was more than enough to change our tone around blenders. You could call us a sceptic when it comes to certain appliances, especially at this price point, but we can humbly say that we’re going to miss using this blender every day. The included modes make life so easy, especially during the morning and night when efficiency is key.
If you’re in the market for a full blending setup, whether that be for at-home use or a staple piece of the office kitchen appliance lineup, the Vitamix Ascent Series A3500i makes all the sense in the world in our mind – especially in the 100th Anniversary configuration with such a wide range of accessories.
Price and Availability
The Vitamix Ascent Series A3500i 100th Anniversary limited edition is available online on the Vitamix Australia website. You’ll also find this leading blending in other retailers such as Kitchens Warehouse RRP AU$1795.