We've had a couple reports from people about problems with the Tribest Slowstar vertical masticating juicer, so we decided to do a little investigating as we've never run into any issues ourselves with this particular juicer.
The first reported symptom is juice leaking through to the base of the juicer. The second is pulp building up heavily under the auger, to the point where the juicer actually jams and must be disassembled and cleared before continuing.
Both of these are serious problems, but we're happy to report that we've got a good idea about what's causing the issue that is the cause of these problems, and that Tribest is shipping out replacement parts that solve these issues to anyone affected for FREE.
We got our hands on a couple juicers that were exhibiting the problems shown above, and determined that the main cause appears to be the silicone gasket in the center of the juicing bowl in older Slowstars.
The latest Slowstars are shipping with an updated gasket design that solves the issues mentioned above. If you have an older Slowstar that you think might be affected, we'll show you how to tell if your juicer has the problematic older style gasket.
The problem stems from the design of the silicone gasket in the center. The older style gaskets can come in either white or red, and they look like this:
As you can see, this older gasket design doesn't actually seal down against the center post of the juicer, since there is space between the gasket and the post (indicated by the arrows above). This allows juice to escape through the gasket under pressure, especially since the silicone is thin and flexible. Compare this to the updated gasket design:
The updated design presses down with force against the center post, making a tight seal the juice cannot escape through. The updated gasket also seems to be made from thicker and firmer silicone.
We tested both the older design and the updated design to see how they compared.
The older design resulted in the pictures found at the top of this page: juice leaking through to the base, and pulp building up under the auger. We didn't experience any jamming, but we imagine if we had continued juicing with a larger quantity of produce (we used approximately five pounds of carrots, kale, grapefruit and celery) it would have continued to build up to the point where the juicer could no longer operate.
The new design (after juicing a similar quantity of mixed produce) resulted in the following:
As you can see, there was no trace at all of any juice making it through to the base of the Slowstar, and much less pulp building up under the auger. This is consistent with our trouble free experiences with the Slowstar.
If you see that your Slowstar has the older style of gasket, call Tribest and they will ship to you for FREE a new juicing bowl with the updated gasket, and another juicing screen.
We couldn't quite tell if there was an updated shape or design to the bowl and screen that was helping prevent pulp from building up under the auger, but the replacement parts shipped by Tribest will take a Slowstar with leaks/jamming problems and make it work trouble free.
Please note that when you call Tribest asking for the updated parts to be shipped out to you, they will need your Slowstar's serial number, so have it ready.
We hope this article helps resolve some of the confusion out there about the Slowstar juicer and potential issues with it. All of the Slowstars we sell are now confirmed to have the updated parts, so if you're thinking about ordering a Slowstar you won't have any of the troubles mentioned here.
We'll have a full review of the Slowstar coming soon; when it has the updated parts, we've found it to be an incredibly powerful and quiet juicer that makes short work of anything you can throw at it!
The Fagor Platino cold press juicer stands out from other vertical masticating juicers by virtue of its $199.99 retail price. For this amount, moving up to a masticating juicer starts to look a lot easier! But compared to other similar juicers (which mostly retail for $350+), what does the Platino sacrifice to achieve this price? In this review, we'll thoroughly explore the capabilities of the Platino juicer and see how it handles juicing a variety of fruits and vegetables.
Fagor's Platino is the second generation of vertical juicer by Fagor, part of the large Spanish corporation Mondragon. Fagor is Europe’s fifth-largest domestic appliances manufacturer, and has an excellent reputation for their modern kitchen equipment. The Platino improves upon their first generation juicer, simply named the Fagor Slow Juicer, with several new features:
A closeable juice tap
An improved food chute design using a larger crescent shape opening
All BPA free internals
A GE Ultem auger
Included with the Fagor Platino
The Platino juicer retains the first generation Slow Juicer's powerful 1/3 HP motor (compared to the 1/4 HP motors used in Omega's vertical juicers), compact design (slightly smaller than similar vertical juicers by Omega, Hurom, Kuvings, and Tribest, which are all approximately the same size), and, most importantly, a surprisingly low price.
Upon opening the packaging, we immediately liked the Platino's gunmetal grey exterior. And it's not just flash with no substance - our impression of the build quality of the Platino is surprisingly good given the price. Only the tamper feels cheap and toylike; all other parts have good build tolerances and are clearly not made of cheaper plastics. Everything assembles tightly and nothing feels loose or sloppy. Given the $199.99 price (and free shipping when purchased from us right here!) we are happy to see that Fagor didn't cheap out on the materials the Platino is built from.
The Fagor Platino is straightforward and easy to assemble, as is evident in the manual provided by the manufacturer. We found it easiest to mount the juicing bowl to the base of the juicer before beginning to assemble the Platino.
First the automatic wiper is placed over the juicing screen, which is then inserted into the juicing bowl by lining up a small tab on the screen with an inset inside the juicing bowl. This makes the screen remain stationary inside the juicer while the wiping screen rotates around the outside, clearing the screen to keep things flowing smoothly.
The auger is then plugged in the middle of the screen, and the combination juicing chute/lid covers the assembly and locks into place. It's good to note that the juicer cannot be operated until this final step is completed, which prevents any accidental damage by starting the juicer partially assembled (to the juicer or to your fingers!).
When the juicer is assembled, it is switched on via a small two way toggle switch mounted to the top of the handle. Flipping the switch up results in normal operation, while holding the switch down in the opposite direction reverses the direction of the juicer, which can help to free clogs. We didn't experience any clogs while operating the Platino, but it's definitely nice to know that the option is available if necessary. It's also a nice little design touch that the switch is enclosed in a rubberized waterproof cover, to keep any stray juice from getting inside and causing problems with the switch.
Thanks to the vertical orientation of the Platino Slow Juicer, feeding it is quite easy. Most produce can simply be dropped into the crescent shaped opening and will be pulled down into the juicer by the auger itself, and when produce is too wide to fall down smoothly or gets stuck in the chute, very little force is needed to use the included plastic tamper to push produce down in for processing. We suspect that part of the ease of operation is due to the dual edge auger design. Compared to the augers used in Omega and other vertical juicers that have a single cutting surface, the Platino's auger has TWO chopping edges, which helps chop the incoming produce into smaller pieces for easier processing. The wiper blades that keep the juicing screen clear also certainly help, as we noticed them keeping the screen nearly spotless during operation.
The juice tap on the Platino is simple but functional; it seals the juice inside quite well, with no drips. It's a little tricky to open it without getting some juice on your fingers, but it is possible. Cleanup is also made easier with the juice tap, as you can fill up the juicer with water and leave it running for a few minutes, then just flush everything right out by opening the tap and running a little more water through the juicer. Simple, but so effective!
For our testing of the Platino Slow Juicer by Fagor, we juiced a variety of produce to see how the Platino performed with a range of different challenges. We used:
While not thoroughly scientific, we did weigh all of the produce before and pulp/juice after juicing to get an idea of how effective Fagor's Platino juicer performed, in order to compare with any future juicers we test here at ColdPressJuicers.net. We didn't clean the juicer between different types of produce (except for the almond milk, which was made seperately), opting instead to juice them in an order that made sense: kale first, then apples to help clear and wash out the kale bits, then grapefruit, and finally carrots to help push through the juicy and pulpy grapefruit.
Our first test was kale, juicing about 7.5 oz raw. Kale is definitely one of the harder vegetables for a juicer to handle, as it can be very stringy and tough. Despite this, we were impressed overall with how well the Platino handled the kale we fed it.
Shortly after starting to feed the Platino the kale, it did start making slight squeaking/grinding noises, but the noise got quieter after feeding more kale into the juicer so the noises may have been due to the kale going into an empty and clean juicer. Other than the initial noise, the Platino seemed to handle juicing the kale just fine with no jams at all and no slowdowns, and surprisingly dry pulp.
As a note, we did not put any olive oil in the pulp ejection chute, since it seems most people don't and we didn't want to give a biased review (though this is a practice we HIGHLY recommend, especially with kale and leafy greens). The pulp did build up pretty heavily in the ejection chute - if we had been juicing a lot more kale, we might have needed to clear the chute manually at some point, and we did end up scooping it out with the other end of the cleaning brush afterwards to avoid any issues with the next test lined up. Since doing this test, we did find that juicing with a little olive oil spread in the pulp ejection chute to help the pulp slide out easier does make a noticeably difference so again, we highly recommend doing so when juicing fibrous produce like kale.
After juicing 7.5 oz of kale we were left with 1.4 oz of dry pulp and 1.1 oz of wet pulp strained out from the juice. This means that the Platino used about 5oz of kale to make the approximately 90ml of kale juice we ended up with after the foam settled down. The juice was a very rich and dark green, and there was very little foam immediately after juicing as pictured. While perhaps not as ideal as a horizontal juicer or a twin gear juicer, all in all the Fagor Platino did handle kale with no serious issues.
We followed up the kale with 1 lb 1.4 oz of green apples. These are on the harder side as apples go, but still very juicy, which helped to clear away the kale left in the machine from the previous test.
The Platino did quite well with the apples, powering through them quickly and efficiently. Small enough slices of apple were pulled down into the juicer with no need for the tamper, making this as easy as dropping the slices in the juicer. The opening is big enough to accommodate 1/8th apple slices, as long as care is taken to slice them evenly as that comes pretty close to the width of the chute.
The Platino did pass a noticeable amount of apple pulp through to the juice, but nothing that couldn't be strained out with a simple metal kitchen strainer. The pulp ejected smoothly and quickly, and there was only a little foam generated. The pulp was again surprisingly dry, and the juice was delicious!
We then proceeded to juice grapefruit, 15.3 oz worth, to test how the Platino handles extremely soft and juicy citrus fruit.
The Platino handled the grapefruit with ease. Once again, individual slices could be simply dropped down into the juicer with no need for the tamper, making it a pleasure to feed this juicer. We did not bother to strain the pulp from the juice (since we like our citrus juice pulpy) and we were happy with the amount of pulp the Platino passed through to the juice - a bit less than, say, 'pulpy' style orange juice from a grocery store, but definitely more pulp than a thin and smooth juice. We were left with 3.9 oz of pulp ejected after juicing, which was somewhat wet still, but this is common when dealing with citrus fruit regardless of the juicer used as citrus is mostly so soft. This means the Platino used 11.4 oz of grapefruit to make almost 350 ml of juice.
We were definitely impressed with how well the Platino handled citrus fruit, especially compared to some of the horizontal masticating juicers we've used. We experienced no jamming or blocking, as the auto-wiping blades seemed to keep everything inside clear just fine. And the result was an incredibly tasty and tart grapefruit juice.
The grapefruit was followed by 1 lb 2 oz of carrots, to help push out any grapefruit left in the Platino juicer. As a root, carrots are one of the hardest, least juicy things you can put through a juicer. They are one of the quickest ways to dull the blades in a centrifugal juicer - but how will the masticating Platino Slow Juicer stand up to them?
As it turns out, quite well. Though we did notice the Platino slowing down a bit to handle the carrots (especially when we accidentally dropped a whole handful down the chute!) there were once again no jams, and the pulp was ejected smoothly. We were impressed with how little pulp was passed through to the juice (collecting only 0.8 oz of wet pulp strained out of the juice), with 9.8oz of very dry pulp (great for baking) ejected throughout the course of juicing.
This test was conducted separately, with a clean juicer. We prepared the almonds by soaking them for approximately 8 hours, resulting in 9oz of wet almonds. We then added 2 cups of water to scoop into the Platino with the almonds.
It was important to pour the water alongside the almonds, as the Platino would slow to handle the almonds by themselves. The juice tap was a huge help homogenizing the resulting almond milk though; with it closed, we could continue feeding the Platino and the almond milk would be steadily and continuously mixed in the bowl. This contrasted strongly with trying to make nut milk in a horizontal juicer, where the water would fall right through the juicer into the bowl and the processed nut milk would get pressed through after, sitting on top of cloudy water
The almond milk produced by the Platino was up there with the best. It was smooth and silky after being filtered through a nut bag, and unfiltered it was great on cereal! We can solidly recommend the Platino for making nut milks
It is much harder to determine the effectiveness of different juicers making nut milk, but we managed to produce nearly over 600ml of almond milk from 9 oz of almonds and 2 cups (approx. 475ml) of water.
We were impressed with the performance of the Platino Slow Juicer. It handled everything we threw at it without any jams, clogs, and certainly with no breakdowns. After a couple weeks of use we see no cracks in the juicing screen or any evidence of wear on the screen or auger. The Platino juicer proved to be both easy to load, and compact in size compared to many other juicers. We were happy with the rich and colorful juice produced, dense with nutrients, and satisfied that the price was not a sign of cutting corners.
Cleanup was simple, as there are not a lot of parts involved. The Platino is disassembled to the bowl, screen, auger, cleaning mechanism, and lid/chute, and is ready to be rinsed and scrubbed. The supplied brush does a great job of getting little bits of pulp out of the screen, and the holes seem to be a good size to avoid getting too much stuck. One minor quibble we had while cleaning is that there are a couple spots where water can get in inconvenient places where it is hard to dry: in the shaft where the top of the auger is stabilized in the bottom of the lid to the juicer, and through a couple small holes on the bottom of the juicing bowl. It was easy enough to simply shake either part a bit and get most of the water out, to the point where the rest could evaporate easily, but for the sake of thoroughness here are a couple pictures of the parts mentioned:
If you are going to be juicing a wide variety of produce, especially softer items, we think you will be happy with the Platino. If you are going to be juicing lots of tough and fibrous produce such as kale and wheatgrass, we generally recommend moving up to a heavier duty juicer like the Green Star Elite, but if you are on a budget we think the Platino can keep you covered while you save up!
The biggest shortcoming we could find is the warranty; the Platino is covered by Fagor for 5 years from the date of purchase. While this doesn't measure up to the 10-15 year warranties by other companies such as Omega or Samson, it beats the 1 year warranty (10 year motor) coverage offered by Breville and Hurom on their vertical masticating juicers.
We also noticed throughout our review that the Platino that it is a bit louder than other cold press juicers. It's nowhere near the noise of a centrifugal juicer, but whether it is the stronger motor or less sound insulation, it is something to be aware of.
One last small note we've noticed that people have made elsewhere is in regard to the Platino leaving juice in the bowl after juicing, requiring you to tilt the juicer over to pour the last little bit out of the spout. We found that if you simply leave the Platino running a little bit after the last produce is inserted, this juice will be ejected by the rotating wiper blades, which also project down into the bowl a bit to help move the juice there along to the spout. With this step, we found no trouble with juice left in the bowl.
We were provided with a demo unit of the Platino for testing purposes by Fagor America.
+ Constructed from quality materials
+ No clogs or jams!
+ Very easy to assemble, load, operate and clean
+ Excellent for nut milk
+ Great for soft produce
+ Good performance with moderate to hard produce
+ Better warranty than Breville or Hurom
- Somewhat louder than other vertical cold press juicers
- Shorter warranty than some Omega and Samson juicers
- Not as good at tough leafy greens as it is at other types of produce
- Water can be inconvenient to dry inside the lid and bowl while cleaning (very minor)
All in all, the Fagor Platino Slow Juicer is a juicer that we would easily recommend to our friends and family given the price. We carry the Platino right here for only $199.99 with free shipping to the continental US!
We want to share this great advice that everyone should use when experimenting with recipes to use with their cold press juicers. It comes from Darya Rose over at summertomato.com - check out the whole article here.
There's a lot of different ways that you can combine various ingredients to make your own recipes, but here are some guidelines that will help your experiments be more successful while staying healthy, with minimal sugar added from lots of fruit. Darya writes:
"Focus on vegetables, but include some fruit. We’ve found that one small apple makes a huge difference in flavor. This is all we recommend so far in the fruit department.
Include 1-2 root vegetables–such as carrots or beets–to add additional flavor and antioxidants. We like to include either 2 small carrots (1 large) or 2 small beets (1 large). These tend to contribute a tad more sugar and a nice earthy flavor, adding complexity.
Add at least one leafy green vegetable. We’ve been happy with kale, broccoli and chard (currently in season), but others likely work as well.
Include one watery vegetable. Cucumber, celery and other watery vegetables help dilute the too-strong flavors of the previous 3 ingredients. This can make a big difference in drinkability, while adding some nice flavor and additional vitamins.
Don’t forget a garnish. A small amount of a strong flavored item such as ginger, lemon, mint or other herb can make your juice a real pleasure to drink while adding highly concentrated antioxidants."
Follow these guidelines when you're working in the kitchen to create a new juice recipe and you'll have healthy and delicious juice in no time!
Part of the fun of juicing is experimenting with new ingredients in your juicer. And while cold press juicers are incredibly powerful and thorough, there are some things that simply aren't suitable for juicing. We've put together a list to keep you from having to discover any of these issues on your own! Share this post with your friends to help them avoid juicing these items too.
High starch fruits such as bananas, mangoes, papayas, avocados, figs, and peaches are not suitable for juicing, as they simply have too little juice to be pressed, and may damage your juicer. Instead, try freezing and processing them in a juicer capable of homogenizing (we like the Tribest Slowstar with its included attachment) to make delicious sorbets!
Citrus peels. We generally recommend peeling citrus fruit before juicing, as they have indigestible oils that can be hard on your stomach.
Fruit pits. Hard pits from fruit such as cherries can jam or damage your juicer. We also recommend not juicing apple cores to avoid the seeds.
Papaya peels. Aside from being thick enough to damage your juicer, the peels and seeds are very bitter. Papaya itself also does not lend well to juicing.
Winter squash. These are simply too tough to juice well.
Iceberg lettuce. Very bitter, little nutritional value.
Carrot greens. The tops of carrots are toxic and should not be ingested.
Rhubarb leaves. These are also toxic, and should be removed before rhubarb is juiced.
Wild parsnips. Cultivated parsnips are ok, but wild parsnips can be toxic!
October right around the corner, we thought it was a good time to turn our readers on to the benefit that juicing pumpkin can offer! Pumpkin is high in beta carotene and other carotenoids (just like carrots!), Vitamin A, iron, potassium and more - and the flavor is uniquely delicious.
This is a tougher vegetable, so a cold press juicer will get much more juice out of it than a centrifugal juicer. We recommend a twin gear juicer such as the Green Star GSE-5000 or the Super Angel, as the twin gear design in particular is great for handling fibrous veggies with ease.
You want to buy a smaller pumpkin, known as a "sugar" or "sweet" pumpkin. The larger pumpkins used for decoration and carving will be more bland and stringy, but can work in a pinch. Make sure you wash the pumpkin thoroughly, and then peel it to remove all the skin. The skin of pumpkins is quite tough; too tough for even a cold press juicer, so it should be removed to be used as compost rather than risk jamming and damaging your juicer.
After removing the pulp and seeds (don't forget to save the seeds to be baked on their own - they're also a treat!), cut the pumpkin into slices small enough to fit into your juicer and you're ready to go.
If you like the flavor on its own, try it straight! The addition of a little nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla extract or pre-mixed pumpkin pie spice are fun to experiment with.
If you are looking to use pumpkin with other fruit and vegetables, we like Reboot With Joe's pumpkin juice recipe:
~2 cups of pumpkin (we recommend a little more, up to 3 cups or so... but we love the flavor)
1 Bartlett pear
1 small piece of ginger (if desired)
This tip comes from a friend of ours who was having trouble getting their picky eater to eat OR drink his fruit and veggies.
They found that one of their young son's favorite television shows, Curious George, has a great episode that features juicing in the plot. It turned out that was all that was needed to making juicing the coolest thing in the world!
Check the episode out if you need some help getting a young one to enjoy their juice. The TV show is generally aimed at viewers from 2-5 years old.
If you haven't tried it yet, homogenizing frozen sorbets is a great way to get dessert out of your juicer! We prefer the new Tribest Slowstar juicer with its included homogenizing attachment since we love the vertical orientation and the ease of feeding that comes with it. Our favorite things to homogenize into sorbet are:
Frozen peaches. These can be a little bitter on their own, so add some honey on top if you like!
Frozen mango and strawberry. Mango is delicious on its own too.
Frozen raspberries or strawberries with basil.
Frozen Sumo Citrus. For a real treat, try this deliciously sweet variety of orange... when it is back in season in February 2014 :( Don't forget to remove the peel first!
Frozen lemon and mint. So refreshing!
Some tips for making sorbets:
Add alcohol for smooth texture. A tablespoon of vodka (or a liquor with flavor if you want to get creative!) helps smooth out the grainy texture of sorbets, and prevents it from freezing into a solid block if you are storing it to serve later.
Add frozen banana or avocado for creamy texture. If you want a silky, creamy texture that is a little more like ice cream, try adding either of these fruits depending on the flavor you're going for.
Chop the frozen fruit in advance. Make sure you can fit pieces in the feed chute before you freeze them!
Try some flavor modifiers. A little honey, agave, or simple syrup to sweeten, a little lemon or lime for acidity, or even balsamic vinegar or sweet wine - experiment!