The big squeeze: Green juice taste test

Blueprint, Kale University(Photo: Marko MacPherson)Does anyone remember a time before green juice? The fresh fruit-and-vegetable blends—squeezed on hydraulic presses, packed with nutrients, and designed to balance PH and alkalize acidity in the body—now seem as ubiquitous as the iPhone or Lena Dunham.

It seems that everyone has a favorite blend of choice: Vogue’s market and accessories departments almost single-handedly keep the midtown juice bars at Free Foods and Green Symphony—located a stone’s throw from the office—in business. Model-turned-street-style-photographer Hanneli Mustaparta credits her favorite at-home blend of veggies and fruits as her survival secret:

“It helps me get enough nutrients and feel good about taking care of myself, not to mention piecing me back together after long flights,” she says.

Jewelry designer Monique Péan makes a habit of stopping by One Lucky Duck next to Milk Studios in Chelsea and front-row fixture Elettra Wiedemann usually has one green juice a day that she makes from her own recipe at home—kale, chard, lime, pear, romaine, ginger, and cucumber. “It gives me stable energy levels, and helps with immunity,” she says.

With the offerings for bottled greens in Manhattan (and beyond) becoming increasingly vast and varied, the choices can seem overwhelming, so we took it upon ourselves to put them to a taste test and report back.


(See also: Best juicers for 2013)

Blueprint, Kale University (Pictured above), blueprintjuice.com

THE TASTE: With six pounds of kale packed into one little bottle, this juice tastes vegetable-y with some tangy apple sweetness. You will feel full—much like if you just ate a large plate of greens.

THE PRICE: $10 (prices vary by region)

THE CALORIES: 110

THE PACKAGING: BluePrint uses plastic bottles made of Polyethylene terephthalate (or PET #1), which doesn’t leach and is highly recyclable. It’s also light, which ultimately makes it easier to deliver with less fuel.

THE DELIVERY: BluePrint hand-delivers in New York City and Los Angeles, and offers FedEx overnight shipping to the rest of the country. To ensure juice remains fresh, the company will only release its product into real human hands.

THE EXTRAS: The infamous BluePrint cleanse (in which the company’s Kale University blend is a linchpin) can be paired with a wellness package available at select Exhale spas across the country. With three fitness classes, one restorative therapy (like a massage), and a daily supply of juice on the menu, there’s no excuse for those toxins to stick around.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Sometimes you’ve got to eat your vegetables before you can indulge in a cashew vanilla cinnamon agave milk.


Cooler Cleanse, Essential Green(Photo: Marko MacPherson)Cooler Cleanse, Essential Green, coolercleanse.com

THE TASTE: One of three green offerings from Cooler Cleanse (the bottled, more portable offshoot of New York City’s Juice Generation franchise), this juice is on the thicker side.

It’s more grassy than sweet, with faint hints of lemon and pear. The lasting impression is of cucumber, which makes the overall experience a refreshing one, and it scores bonus points for a novel ingredient: Watercress!

THE PRICE: $9

THE CALORIES: 80

THE PACKAGING: Bottles made of PET #1 plastic.

THE DELIVERY: Cooler Cleanse delivers to your doorstep in NYC, or can be picked up from any Juice Generation location. Nationwide, the brand guarantees next day delivery Tuesday through Friday.

THE EXTRAS: Essential Green is a pillar-stone of the company’s one-, three-, and five-day cleanses, which were conceived with help from cofounder Salma Hayek. Bottles arrive in an actual cooler that can be reused for all of your future juice needs.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Combining dark, leafy greens like kale, dandelion greens, and spinach, this juice’s fibrous ingredients promise to cleanse the kidneys and liver—and Salma Hayek probably isn’t wrong about this kind of thing.


Liquiteria, All Greens(Photo: Marko MacPherson) Liquiteria, All Greens, liquiteria.com

THE TASTE: You’ll definitely be aware of the fact that you’re sipping down veggies here, but there are still sweet undertones, with a strong taste of ginger. The consistency is smooth, but not too filling.

THE PRICE: $9


THE CALORIES: “Liquiteria’s philosophy is that calorie counting is the old paradigm,” says a spokesperson.

THE PACKAGING: New PET #1 bottles (which offer a more sustainable update to the existing oblong-shaped cartons) will be phased in this spring.

THE DELIVERY: Liquiteria delivers in NYC and will ship nationwide.

THE EXTRAS: The All Greens blend comes with a few options for sweetening—try any combo of apple, lemon, or ginger.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Like the rest of Liquiteria’s tightly edited, tried-and-true juice menu, All Greens seems destined to inspire a loyal following.



Juice Press, Love at First Sight(Photo: Marko MacPherson)

Juice Press, Love at First Sight, juicepress.com

THE TASTE: Sweet, refreshing, packed with a tangy green apple taste—and a little kick of the leafy stuff at the end.

THE PRICE: $11

THE CALORIES: 110

THE PACKAGING: Recyclable plastic

THE DELIVERY: Juice Press, which has six storefront locations in New York City (and more on the way!), delivers locally and nationwide.

THE EXTRAS: Poetry! Each juice comes with a lovely turn of phrase on the bottle.

THE BOTTOM LINE: A healthy treat.


Organic Avenue, Mellow Love Green Juice(Photo: Marko MacPherson) Organic Avenue, Mellow Love * Green Juice, organicavenue.com

THE TASTE: Mellow LOVE* is for purists. No fruity notes—only the crunchy stuff. Still, the emerald-colored mixture is smooth and somehow calming. (Possibly the use of the word “mellow” helps.)

THE PRICE: $10

THE CALORIES: 120

THE PACKAGING: Organic Avenue devotees once recognized each other by the sound of glass bottles clinking in their gym bags, but the company recently switched to biodegradable and compostable corn plastic. Glass is still available for those who prefer it.

THE DELIVERY: Organic Avenue ships all of its juices, soups, smoothies, and snacks nationally—and asks that orders be placed 48 hours in advance of the requested pickup or delivery date.

THE EXTRAS: A recent partnership with the Vermont-based natural skin-care guru Tata Harper means that you can heighten your post-cleanse glow with her detoxifying facial kit.

THE BOTTOM LINE: This is a lifestyle—cold pressed.



Melvin's Juice Box, Body Good (Photo: Marko MacPherson)Melvin's Juice Box, Body Good, misslilysnyc.com/melvins

THE TASTE: A good mix of green and sweet notes, substantial consistency, tangy and a little sweet—faintly lemon and apple-ish.

THE PRICE: $10

THE CALORIES: 140

THE PACKAGING: Recyclable plastic

THE DELIVERY: In New York City, the delivery zone extends from 14th Street to Canal, seven days a week from 8:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m.

THE EXTRAS: The Juice Box—part of SoHo’s unshakably cool Miss Lily’s restaurant—attracts a cult following, thanks in no small part to owner and downtown juicing legend Melvin Major, Jr.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Nice guy, local feel, easy-to-drink juice.


The Squeeze, I Have a Heart-On(Photo: Marko MacPherson)The Squeeze, I Have a Heart-On, thesqueezejuice.com

THE TASTE: A bit grassy, but balanced by a peppermint aftertaste that gives it a pleasant freshness.

THE PRICE: $9 (plus a $1 bottle deposit)

THE CALORIES: 140

THE PACKAGING: Glass bottles are sanitized and reused, meaning nothing is thrown away. Juices are sold from a truck that runs on environmentally friendly biodiesel fuel.

THE DELIVERY: The Squeeze delivers to Manhattan, Dumbo, Williamsburg, Bushwick, and Brooklyn Heights.

THE EXTRAS: If you came for the juice, you’ll stick around for the names. Our favorites: “Don’t Cry Over Spiced Milk” and “Are You Kidney Me?”

THE BOTTOM LINE: A plucky and delicious new addition to the NYC juice scene.


Pressed Juicery, Greens 2(Photo: Marko MacPherson)Pressed Juicery, Greens 2,
pressedjuicery.com

THE TASTE: As one of four Pressed Juicery green blends on the menu, Greens 2 is robust, but balanced in flavor by a welcome hint of apple with a grassy aftertaste.

THE PRICE: $6.50 (single bottles only available in store)

THE CALORIES: 160

THE PACKAGING: Bottles are made of recyclable PET #1 plastic.

THE DELIVERY: Pressed Juicery ships nationwide through its website or customer service hotline. They deliver locally within a 20-mile radius of their production facility in West Los Angeles.

THE EXTRAS: Internet discovery! The Chalkboard, Pressed Juicery’s blog, is a well-executed website with lifestyle stories, detox diaries, cool people, and pretty photos we’ll keep looking at long after we’re done sipping.

THE BOTTOM LINE: The best from the West.

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