Do you know where your juice is from? You certainly will if you are having a glass of Trueberry’s cold pressed organic juice. Trueberry prides itself in using domestic organic, seasonal produce that can be traced to source. A look at the blackboard next to the service counter will tell you what produce are used at the moment and which part of Japan it came from.
Nestled amongst the growing number of cafes and restaurants around the train station in the hip neighborhood of Nakameguro is where Trueberry has made its home. With raw walls, pale wooden boards and sunny smiles, this cozy juice bar certainly looks like it would belong in sunny California. The striking shades of juices in the chiller immediately look like an attractive choice until you pick up the menu – the sheer options that present itself from shakes to smoothies, both hot and cold, will leave you changing your mind at least twice before you place your order.
But isn’t juice just juice? The juices at Trueberry Nakameguro certainly suggests otherwise. Simply serving up a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice wasn’t exactly what founder, Naoko Nishimura had in mind three years ago when she started Trueberry. A mother of two, Naoko realized that good quality juices were neither easily nor widely available. All she wanted was 100% freshly squeezed juice that was not diluted with water or coconut water. Yet, she found that to be a tall order indeed. She refused to settle, and Naoko’s quest for the ‘all natural’ resulted in Trueberry. Three years on and Naoko continues to insist on using only domestically sourced organic fresh fruit and vegetables that is in season. It might not seem like a distant past, but the concept of cold pressed juices and clean eating was uncommon in Tokyo three years ago and it is still relatively foreign to the average Japanese.
Using good quality produce is just as important as how you juice the produce. Trueberry juices are cold pressed as it not only tastes better but more vitamins and nutrients are preserved compared to the traditional way of juicing. Though commonplace in many Western cities, cold pressed juices are still new to Japan. In a city of processed foods galore, the man-on-the-street is probably more adapt at navigating a shelf full of microwaveable meals then telling the difference between pasteurized and freshly squeezed juices. However, the pure taste and unique blends of Trueberry juices soon found a loyal base of regulars. Trueberry juices are cold pressed daily using special machines that extract the juices without using heat that destroys key vitamins and minerals. Apart from the promise of more nutrition per glass, Trueberry juices are a thoughtful blend of fruit and vegetable that simply taste good.
Insisting on only seasonal produce is one of the reasons why Trueberry juices taste so good. Naoko believes that in-season produce that is harvested when naturally ripened will have more flavor and also more nutrition. Many crops that are harvested early and kept in storage to be ripened on demand lose key nutrients and flavor. She also Iikes to be able to have pick of the crop, which can only happen when you are selecting from seasonal produce. It is said that eating seasonally will provide the body with the precise nutrients it needs for that season. For example, availability of citrus fruit in the colder months provides us with the Vitamin C we need to stave off colds. Conversely, the stone fruits in summer provide the beta carotene we need to protect against sun damage. Apart from supporting local communities, she noticed the growing trend of Tokyo dwellers appreciating the integrity of their foods and where they come from.
In spite of the extensive menu, what you will not find at Trueberry are singular juices like apple and orange juices. Just as eating seasonally and quality are both key to good nutrition, Naoko also believes that making sure your diet has variety is equally important. This explains why Trueberry’s cold pressed juices are a well thought combination of fruit and vegetables that not only taste good but are indeed good for your body. This logic also applies to Trueberry’s juice cleanse programme, designed to give your digestive system a well earned break. Trueberry has done the homework for you and figured out the most effective combination of vegetables and fruit you need for a cleanse. The result is 7 choices, with varying levels of cleansing abilities. All 7 options are largely made up of 65%-80% vegetable juice content so that the juices you consume do not cause any spikes or dips on your blood sugar levels through your cleanse. After selecting the level of cleanse you prefer, you have a choice of starting with a single day cleanse or a 7-day cleanse. Trueberry recommends the single day cleanse for those who are new to juice cleansing. There are 5 specially prescribed bottles of juices that come with each day of cleanse. It is recommended that you call ahead to reserve your preferred cleanse set. This way, Trueberry can ensure that you get exactly what you need, when you need it. Do keep the bottles back for a 60¥ rebate per bottle on your next juice purchase.
Trueberry at Nakameguro is a 5-min walk from the Kamimeguro exit from Naka Meguro train station. Trueberry is also conveniently located in Hiro-o and the fashionable neighborhood of Omotesando. Trueberry is part of the Ain Soph group of vegan restaurants so do ask about the Ain Soph point card when you visit any of these outlets to enjoy members-only privileges.