Since I started juicing in early 2010 I’ve tried many different juicers. These have included entry level centrifugal juicers through to cold press, masticating juicers costing over £1000. Most recently I have been evaluating the Optimum 400 Cold Press Juicer.
I am often asked questions like “which juicer should I buy?” or “what is the best juicer?” and to be honest I am not sure there is a one size fits all answer for these questions. The best juicer is the one you will use. That said, there are some features I suggest looking for when buying a juicer.
Features I Look For When Evaluating a Juicer
Key things I look for when deciding on how well a juicer works for me include:
- What is the quality of the juice?
- How big / small is the juicer?
- How easy is the juicer to use?
- How long does the juicer take to clean?
- Is it value for money?
There is no doubt in my mind that the best juice comes from cold press, masticating juicers. Not only is it possible to taste the difference, if you leave juices to stand before drinking them, you can see the juice from a centrifugal juicer typically separates much quicker than those made in a masticating or cold press juicer (sometime called a slow juicer).
Nutritional tests tell a similar story. Tests between a cold press and centrifugal juicer revealed that cold press juicers extract up to 42% more vitamin C, up to 60% more vitamin A and yield between 35 – 50% more juice! These test results are from Michelson Laboratories,Inc., Korean Food Research Institute (KRFI), and internal labs.
I have been using the Optimum 400 juicer extensively for the last week or so and have found it to produce excellent quality juice from all of the ingredients I have tried in it. The only slight negative is that the juice sometimes has a small amount of pulp in it. This is common with all vertical masticating juicers and can be easily dealt with by pouring the juice through a sieve or tea strainer when transferring the juice from the supplied jug to a glass, flask or jar.
“Vertical cold-pressed masticating juicers are the most superior type of juicer! Cold pressed juicers extract 35% more juice out of your fresh produce meaning real savings from the first day you use it!”
James Colquhoun & Laurentine ten Bosch, the filmmakers responsible for “Food Matters” & “Hungry for Change”
Size of the Juicer
One of the downsides with traditional masticating or cold press juicers is that they tend to be bigger than centrifugal juicers and hence not only do they take up more room in the kitchen, they are also less portable.
As someone who travels quite a bit having a portable juicer that is easy to set up on a small desk in a hotel room is key for me. The good news is that some of the newer vertical masticating, cold press juicers (including the Optimum 400) take up no more room than a centrifugal juicer.
Ease of Use
One of the great things about a wide-chute centrifugal juicer is ease of use. Being able to put a whole apple in the juicer without needing to chop it up is great. However, to get a good yield when juicing greens in a centrifugal juicer requires a bit more effort. Needing to pack everything into the chute before switching the machine on is fine when making a single juice, but having to keep turning the machine on and off when making higher quantities can be a pain.
With cold press, masticating juicers the produce has to be chopped smaller, but greens can be fed into the machine without needing to pack them between other produce such as apples. I guess the it depends on the ingredients being used as to which type of machine is quicker in reality.
I’ve found the Optimum 400 juicer really easy to use. It is great at juicing many different ingredients, gives a great yield from greens and deals really well with pineapples (something I’ve found more expensive masticating juicers like the Green Star Elite and the Angel have difficulty with).
Ease of cleaning is critical for me as when travelling I often find myself cleaning juicers in hotel rooms, using a small bathroom sink.
Traditional masticating juicers can be challenging to clean, so centrifugal juicers typically have the edge when it comes to clean up. However, my experience with vertical cold press juicer, including the Optimum 400, is that it is as quick and easy to clean as a centrifugal machine.
Value for Money
Purchase price is a significant factor when choosing a juicer. This is another area where centrifugal juicers typically score higher as most of them are cheaper to purchase than slow, masticating, cold press juicers.
For example, at time of writing ukjuicers.com are selling the Hurom Veritcal Slow Juicer for £379, where as the same website is offering the Sage by Heston Blumenthal Nutri Juicer (a centrifugal juicer) for £142.99, less than half the price of the Hurom.
When I was asked to try the Optimum 400 juicer I wondered how good it would be. Why? Because it is currently priced at just £199! For a high quality, cold press juicer the Optimum 400 is a bargain AND it comes with a 10 year warranty too.
Yes, you can get a juicer these days for less than £50, but like most things in life I think it is true to say that you get what you pay for.
With cold press juicers giving a higher yield than centrifugal juicers you are able to get more juice from your produce and hence get better value for money every time you make juice. The juices can also be stored for longer than those made in a centrifugal juicer without loss of nutrients. This is really useful when preparing juices in advance.
How Much Money Can Cold Press Juicing Save You?
If you spend £50 a week on fresh vegetables and fruits for juicing, using a cold press juicer vs a centrifugal juice can save you between £17.50 and £25 each week through increased yield (35% to 50% high juice quantity). This results in an annual saving of between £910 and £1,300!
This is due to cold press juicers producing a much dryer pulp than centrifugal juicers, giving the highest possible amount of nutrients and less waste.
An Amazing Blender
The Optimum 9400 blender is awesome too. It is more powerful / higher speed than a VITAMIX Pro 500 or a BLENDTEC HP3A and yet it is currently just £319. It too has the option of a 10 year warranty.
I’ve been sent a few different machines to test in recent months, but until now have not found a machine I have been truly happy with. However, I am so impressed by the Optimum 400 slow juicer and the Optimum 9400 blender that I have now agreed to become a brand ambassador for the products.
It is not just me that is impressed by these machines either. T3, the gadget magazine, has rated the Optimum 400 the “Best juicer to buy 2014”.
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