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January 29, 2016
Under Pressure: The Evolution of Cold-Pressing
Even if it feels like all the rage right now, cold-pressing is not new. It’s a time-tested process. We’ve been taking fresh produce and compressing it into nutrient-dense juices and oils for centuries. Think: wine, olive oil, and cider, for example. It’s a method that goes back to the ancient Egyptians and quite frankly hasn’t changed much over the millennia. Here, we’ll trace the evolution of cold-pressing.
The wine press goes way back. Historians and archeologists unearthed 6,000-year old wine from an Armenian cave in 2011. The technical term for feet stomping—which was probably the technique du jour—is actually called “treading.” Rumor has it that the Greeks accompanied foot treading with the flute (as if jogging on grapes wasn’t already entertaining enough). Some still tread, but it’s more of a novelty than anything. We can all agree that it’s not efficient, nor sanitary.
In the past few hundred years, pressing became mechanized with the basket press – a gentler mainstay in the grape-pressing continuum that yielded some of the most impressive Champagnes and French Burgundies possible. This then led to bladder pressing at the turn of the 20th century, and finally to the tank press, which favors higher volume operations and reduces exposure to air and oxygen.
Beyond grape pressing, olive oil pressing starting around 2500 B.C. by the Romans and the Greeks. Not to be outdone, the English have been pressing for centuries, too. Apparently Julius Caesar witnessed cider making by the Celts in 55 B.C. In the U.S., the colonists were pressing apples into cider to keep the English tradition alive. Back then, horses were used to power the ram press, but now a mechanical arm does that.
Other than these minor technological improvements, presses haven’t changed very much. That is, until Juicero. It’s the first countertop juicer that cold presses raw produce in a matter of minutes—with no prep or mess. All you do is load a Pack, lock the door, and push a button.
Yes, it’s that simple. Let’s break that down a bit more:
- “Countertop” means we’ve miniaturized the machine so it’s about 18-inches high and fits beautifully in a home kitchen.
- “Cold presses” means that it does nothing other than press the raw plants into nutrient-dense, easy drinking form.
- “In a matter of minutes” is truly literal; it doesn’t take half a day to shop, chop, and juice the produce yourself.
We think it’s worthy of calling revolutionary. Let’s see how the next 6,000 years goes.