Cold Press Juice Bar in Cape Town

South Africa’s first cold-pressed juice café injects some edge into healthy living 

In a city where the concept of healthy living is about as cool as craft beer and weekend markets, there’s nothing particularly novel or extraordinary about the launch of another juice and smoothie bar. And yet, the new Cold Press café, which pushed open its doors at De Waterkant’s Cape Quarter Square in early June 2014, is getting tongues wagging for more reasons than one.

To begin with, it’s reportedly the first bar in South Africa to start following the global trend of cold pressing juices rather than blending them the traditional way. This progressive extraction method slowly squashes all the tasty nectars from fruit and vegetables using a state-of-the-art hydraulic machine, and because it doesn’t expose the produce to any air or heat from the spinning blades of a blender, it keeps all the good stuff – the vitamins, minerals, enzymes and proteins – intact.

“It’s just like eating pure, raw fruit, only in a bottle,” explains young and funky General Manager Onny Shonhiwa, adding that it’s been proven that cold-pressed beverages are as much as five times more rich in nutrients than juices that have been mixed using a normal centrifugal blender.

The café further ensures that all this nutritious goodness is kept inside by bottling its drinks immediately. They are then sold like this inside the store alongside an assortment of freshly made smoothies (they’re packed with ‘superfoods’ like goji berries, maca ‘love’ powder, chia seeds and raw cacao nibs), breakfast options such as granola with natural yoghurt and honey, signature sandwiches served on 60% rye bread and tossed salads bursting with everything from quinoa and pumpkin seeds to dried cranberries and tuna.

Then there’s the other main reason why this sit-down and takeaway joint has got locals yakking. It may be one of the finest, most forward-thinking juice makers around, but it completely shrugs off all stereotypical features of a healthy eatery. Rather than being quiet, all-white, clean and clinical, the venue is edgy, urban, rich with textures and a little rough around the edges. Industrial pipes snake overhead; metal pendant lights suspend over tables with dark, grainy wooden tops; walls made of jagged stone sidle up to those with a worn concrete aesthetic; and uptown music dictates the young, hip rhythm of the haunt (a DJ box will be added to one corner soon). Essentially, it looks more booze bar than juice bar.

“We’ve created a concept that is about good health and vibe in equal measure,” says Andrea Calitz, who manages the marketing of the shop. “Our hope is that aside from the juice and food, people will love Cold Press for its cool factor, its buzz and energy and its ever-changing soundtrack.”

Even the names given to the various drinks reflect the store’s slightly irreverent, offbeat attitude: there’s the Kaleifornication (a green blend of kale, spinach, celery, cucumber, lemon and fresh ginger), the Pop My Berry (a cheeky mix of strawberry, green apple and coconut water), the Dirty Beets (beetroot, carrot, green apple and ginger) and the Johnny Cashew (a protein-packed punch comprising raw cashews, dates, vanilla, coconut oil, cinnamon, Himalayan salt and filtered water), for instance.

Basically, Cold Press has successfully injected a bit of spice into the concept of conscious consuming, so that living a responsible lifestyle isn’t something associated with guilt or anxiety or blandness. After all, as Andrea says, the goal of the café is “to make it easy for people to be healthy, without it feeling like a sacrifice at all”.

And while it remains to be seen what the response to this concept will be, it certainly seems that this new hotspot is making it that much more enjoyable to get a good dose of what the doctor ordered.

Note: This De Waterkant bar is only the brand’s first store; watch out for many more branches opening in future.

Tip: For those keen to take healthy drinking up to the next level, Cold Press will soon be selling a one- to five-day juice cleanse plan in-store that will reset bodies and rejuvenate minds.

The Bill: Prices for the drinks are quite steep – though, you must remember, you’re getting baskets of fruit and veg in one bottle – whereas the cost of food is relatively reasonable. 500-mL cold-pressed juices go for between R25 and R55, 500-mL smoothies range from R35 to R48, a wheatgrass or ginger shot is R20, breakfasts ring in at between R38 and R62, the signature sandwiches average around R45 and the tossed salads will set you back from R55 to R75.

Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday: 7am – 6pm

Cape Quarter Lifestyle Village: The Square | 27 Somerset Road | De Waterkant | Cape Town | cq@wearecoldpress.com

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New Place: On the Blouberg beachfront, for affordable prices and delicious food, bring your family to Our Place.

Keen to learn about other offerings and stores at this De Waterkant-based lifestyle centre? Read our overview of the Cape Quarter Square.

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