Is it the bacon backlash? Juicing, once reserved for Jack LaLanne devotees and hippie health nuts, is suddenly de rigueur. But for all of the nutritional benefits that fresh juice promises to deliver, home juicers have never been worth the investment. The usual suspects are high-priced, hard to clean and hog up kitchen counter space.
Breville has attempted to solve all of these problems in one machine. Its Compact Juice Fountain - a slick, space-age-looking appliance - promises power and ease for under hundred bucks. A 700-watt motor extracts a quart of juice in less than thirty seconds, and a ring-shaped reservoir for fruit and veggie pulp is simple to clean.
Why It Matters
A patented cutting disc is also supposed to extract 40 percent more vitamins and minerals than competing models. While the average guy couldn't verify this claim, he only needs to taste his first glass of juice to justify the purchase. Go green with kale and cucumbers or sate your sweet tooth with a handful of apples and carrots - whichever you choose, it's guaranteed to be faster and cheaper than a visit to the nearest juice bar.
You could set up and operate this machine with your eyes closed. Stack three parts - the juice collector, filter basket and cover - on top of one another and flip the switch on. The motor handled tender spinach leaves without a problem, but it was also strong enough to take on fibrous kale stems and carrots. A liquid lunch for two was ready with almost zero effort. Cleaning the machine was the only work required, and that's if you consider throwing parts in the dishwasher a job. The size (a little larger than your average coffee maker) is also convenient for those with small kitchens.
Fantasies of waking up to fresh-squeezed juice may not be feasible if you live in an apartment and/or with roommates who like to sleep in. The motor was so loud that the noise carried to the far end of my apartment building's hallway. The machine also requires you to work quickly - apple slices that weren't immediately pushed down with the plunger spit back up the feed chute and flew onto the kitchen counter. Lastly, its parts need to be cleaned with care: damage the filter and you'll need to shell out $54 for a replacement.
Should I Buy It?
Whether you drink cheap pasteurized juice in a carton or obscenely priced fresh juice, neither will ever look the same again. Turning your own hand picked produce into pulp is the superior choice, and this machine makes the process painless. So yeah, unless the noisiness is an issue for you, the juice is worth the squeeze. The Juice Fountain Compact; $99. [Breville]