The mushy spectrum illustration showing how to press mushy fruit

Charlie Wettlaufer

Cold Press Technique – Avoiding Press Overflow

Cold pressing the perfect batch of juice takes a bit of technique. Just like learning how to make the perfect shot of espresso – there’s a bit of a learning curve.

One of the biggest struggles of learning how to cold press is trying to press certain ingredients and ending up with the press overflowing and the ground-up produce ending up on the counter. This can be extremely frustrating to the beginner cold presser.

Here I’ve attempted to put together a complete guide to getting the perfect press every time and never ending up with the press overflowing.


Avoiding press overflow – The Mushy Spectrum

Press overflow— or as we call it in the industry, “losing the press”— is almost always due to attempting to press a full batch of soft, mushy fruits. When you’re designing a recipe – you want to keep in mind that you’re going to be applying thousands of pounds of force onto the mixture.

If the mixture doesn’t form a fibrous cake so it can be pressed, it will end up squeezing up and out of the press instead of allowing the juice to be extracted. If something’s soft enough to mush in your hand, it probably won’t press very well.


The perfect mixture includes some soft, some fibrous items. Think a green recipe – apples, leafy greens, ginger, a small bit of citrus. This recipe will press perfectly every time without worry.

On the mushy end of the spectrum would be a recipe that’s 100% citrus, pineapple, and berries. This recipe will overflow from the press bag every time without fail. The ingredients in this recipe are better off being a small part of different recipe, or processing them in small batches.


Whenever there are some ingredients of the “mushy” type – you must make sure to limit the amount in the recipe. Below is a list of fruits that must take special care:


If it’s the only ingredient

If it’s a small portion of a mixed recipe


Simply cut the citrus into quarters with the peel on, and place directly in the press (do not grind).

Peel the citrus, then grind and press along with the other mixed ingredients.


Leave the peel on, grind, and only fill the press up about 1/3 full.

Leave the peel on, grind and press along with the other mixed ingredients.

Grapes and Berries

Grind only, fill the press up about 1/3 full.

Grind and press along with the other mixed ingredients.

Mangos, Bananas, Papayas

Do not press, puree with blender then add to juice.

Do not press, puree with blender then add to juice.

Rule of Thumb

I call this the “mushy third” rule: never fill the press more than 1/3 full of mushy fruit. If the mushy fruit is part of a recipe, make sure it doesn’t make up more than 1/3 of the recipe.  If you follow this rule of thumb, you will generally be ok.

For items in the safe zone, you can fill the press to 2/3 or 3/4 full without overflowing – depending on how fibrous the recipe is.

Over time, you will get a feel for this and won’t need to think about it much. When designing a recipe you will instantly know, intuitively, if something will work or not. Need some sure-fire recipes? Check out our recipe section.


Where To Go for Help

If you need help – come over to our Goodnature Juicing Facebook Group to join the discussion, or drop us a line directly by submitting a support inquiry. We always love to hear from fellow cold pressers and are happy to help.

Of  course, you can always leave a comment or question below!