The cold-pressed craze is taking over Istanbul. Turkey is no stranger to the fresh-squeezed juice scene. Upscale cafes and independent vendors line the city streets, squeezing and pouring fresh juice, in popular flavors like orange and pomegranate, straight into customers’ glasses for 5 Turkish Lira (about $1.50).
Amidst this already-flourishing scene, a new trend is taking the city by storm: cold-pressed juicing. Unlike traditional techniques (like those practiced by street-side juice vendors), cold-pressed juicing uses a different, slower technology. Crushed fruits and vegetables are placed in a hydraulic press that slowly and methodically extracts all the juice without any pulp. It is believed that pressed juices (which literally mean fruits and vegetables are pressed down to extract juice versus the common method of juicing which involves using centrifugal force to extract juice) contain more vitamins, nutrients, and minerals than centrifugal juicers whose heated blades can kill the required nutrients. Centrifugal juicers leave a more frothy and chunkier juice whereas cold-pressed juices are without any pulp. Popular brands like Juico and Juice LA have found enough success selling their blends in high-end grocery stores, kiosks and online, that they charge double what an old-school juice shop does, despite not having dedicated storefronts of their own.
In conversation with Aylin Erman, founder of the latest player in market, JÜS Istanbul, says cold-pressed juice shops in Istanbul are riding on rapid consumption behavior of Turkish people, or rapid adoption of western trends. Much like in America, the most loyal cold-pressed juice customers are urban, health-conscious women looking for a health boost and the occasional detox.
However, the future of the industry seems uncertain. Are cold-pressed juices just a passing fad in their prime, or are they a smaller part of a larger cultural shift toward a healthier lifestyle? With the proliferation of Pilates studios and the development of a robust running culture in Istanbul over the past two years, we’re betting on the latter.