Juiced

Wonder Press makes juice kind of exciting

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Susan France

It’s hard to get excited about juice. They serve juice in little plastic cups with foil tops at hospitals and blood drives. At diners, orange juice costs $4 per thimble for some reason. Rare is a time when I find myself saying, “You know what I could really go for right now? A big glass of juice.”

Juice just exists, in a way. It’s there when you’re a kid; it’s there when you’re sick; it’s kind of good for you and kind of not. It tastes good, but if you drink too much, you’ll get acid reflux.

But the folks at Wonder Press on Pearl Street in Boulder are doing their best to make juice not only worthwhile, but sexy.

Wonder cold-presses all their juices and nut milks inhouse, using all organic ingredients, and the juice is never pasteurized or pressure-processed. In short, you’re getting the good stuff, and Wonder has created unique juice blends, milk blends, coffee drinks, shakes and more to make what has become a health food trend more accessible, exciting and substantial.

Add to that a prime location on Pearl’s West End and some swanky design, and juice suddenly seems irresistible. The exterior of the shop looks like you’re about to enter a marble store and the interior’s design makes you healthier just by stepping inside. You’re directed straight to the back of the store, passing an illuminated neon “juicing” sign — I’m sure that was a first for the artisan who made that — toward a health-nut’s dream scene set-up with a rainbow of juice glasses on two shelves in the refrigerated display.

The juice actually matches the design of the shop — or is it the other way around? They are clean, polished, healthful, bright and exciting. Yes, the juice is exciting!

Take for instance, the blush blend. It’s a beautiful shade of reddish-purple, and is the product of pressing apples, cucumbers, cabbage, lemon and ginger. The ginger hits your palate first, adding some kick — that pleasant spiciness is common throughout much of Wonder’s juices — but there’s also a very interesting tartness, likely the product of the fresh lemon and apple juices. If tart is your thing, you’ll love it, and I do, so I love it. The cabbage in there also adds a slight earthy funk.

Another interesting blend was the yam spice latte juice. It’s a blend of yam, carrot, apple, baking spices, ginger and almond milk. The textural play is really fun here, because it’s a thin juice yet has the flavor that your mind associates with thickness, either as a cookie, bread or coffee drink. The yam and carrot juices serve as the base of the drink but that’s not to say their flavor gets washed out by the brighter elements of the blend. That’s sort of the thing with Wonder juices: you can taste each element in every sip, while also enjoying the full harmony of flavor they create in a blend.

I was also able to try two green blends: “spicy greens,” which was made of cucumber, celery, parsley, spinach, lemon and ginger; and “emerald,” made of cucumber, pineapple, celery, kale parsley mint and lemon. The spicy greens tasted like fresh cut grass at the end of September — or, a good thing.

Wonder is also big on using turmeric, a spice whose health benefits have long been ballyhooed. I had it in their golden blend — coconut milk, coconut water, coconut oil, turmeric, ginger and honey — and it tasted like a slightly less thick yellow curry that had been made more palatable for drinking consumption.

I also tasted a banana chip shake. It was made of coconut milk, house nut milk, banana, cacao nibs, coconut oil and vanilla. It was bright with the flavor of fresh banana, and the abundant chips were delicious and fun at the beginning, but a little bothersome and attracted to tooth gaps by the end.

By far the highlight, though, was the butter coffee. It’s gained a lot of popularity because, supposedly, consuming fat in the morning with caffeine helps the body release the caffeine over time, as the fat is processed in the body, leading to a more sustained release of energy. I liked it because it tasted awesome. Rich and buttery, it’s made of coffee, ghee (clarified butter), Brain Octane oil (I don’t know what this is, even after a Google search, but it’s made from coconuts and apparently jacks you up), coconut oil and some sweetener. It’s an addictive, great-tasting drink and will single handedly bring me back to Wonder many times over. I’ll probably get some juice while I’m there.