Advantages Tastes lovely, no additives, no preservatives.
Disadvantages Plastic bottle, owned by Pepsi-co.
Copella Pressed Apple Juice is absolutely lovely. It's yumptious. It's heavenly. It's the nicest apple juice on the supermarket shelves by a long, long way. I should know, because I've tried them all. It tastes… well… apple-y! No, scrub that. It tastes APPLE-Y, in capital case, as Word insists on telling me. Copella's is the closest juice in flavour and texture to apple juice made in a juicer at home that I've found in the supermarkets. It really is that good. It's thick and smooth and very, very, unmistakeably, apple-y. Because it's pressed from whole apples, you'll see sediment settled at the bottom of the bottle. Fear not all you people who don't like "bits" in their drinks: shake the bottle and the cloudy sediment blends perfectly with the rest of the juice, giving a very smooth liquid, but one with a hearty feel. No bits at all, I promise! And there's none of that slightly artificial tang you get with juices made from concentrate.
I'm still thinking about that juicer to replace my inefficient, hard-to-clean, economy model. There wouldn't be much change from £300 though, and that's a lot of money. Anyway, I haven't bought it… yet.
And of course, it's good for you! There aren't any additives or preservatives; it's pasteurised to give it a shelf life. Vitamin C is added to prevent discolouration, but that's it.And neither is it outrageously expensive. At £1.68 per litre bottle, Copella's Pressed Apple Juice compares very favourably with other premium juices. Most fresh organic apple juices come in around the £2.20 to £2.50 per litre mark, and even Tesco's own is £1.49. Even if you were making your own juice, the eight –yes, eight! - apples which go into every litre bottle of Copella would set you back almost exactly the same amount of money. So y'know – it's a yumptious, top-end-of-the-market item at a price which won't bring tears to the eyes.
Better buy it then, eh? Ah, not so fast, buster! There's always at least one but, isn't there?Firstly, Copella comes in a ruddy plastic bottle. How annoying is that?! There's no plastic recycling point near me, and I don't want to be throwing away six empty bottles of this stuff each week, which I'll be doing soon, because there's only so many bottles needed for artwork and to make shakers at the village pre-school. And while I'm about it – the Copella packaging is duff. The bottle looks like a squash bottle, not a premium juice bottle. It gives off all the wrong messages. Bah. I want to buy this stuff in a glass bottle or a cardboard carton.
Secondly, although the packaging waxes lyrical about Suffolk apples and farms and being by order to Organic Prince Charles and whatnots, Copella do not source ALL their apples from the UK. The juice is made from the following varieties of apple: Cox, Bramley, Worcester Pearmain and Discovery. These are all good English apple varieties, but Copella won't promise you they're all sourced in Suffolk, just most of them. How most is "most"? That's what I want to know. ALL the juice is made on the Suffolk farm though, in their defence, and they also have a charitable trust set up which benefits small-scale environmental projects in Suffolk. So y'know… you may not be as picky as I am, and you might think transporting apples for miles and miles across Europe when there are apples right here is a cool thing to do. I have my doubts.Thirdly, and most annoyingly, Copella used to be an independent business. It isn't now. It is – siiiiiiiiiiigh – part of that wonderful corporate maze. Copella are owned by Tropicana, who are in turn a Pepsi-co brand. I don't like to buy from Pepsi-co if I can help it – they've fingers in far too many dodgy pies for my liking. You might think I take all this stuff too far, and maybe I do, but it matters to me. So it's another black mark against Copella from me.
Despite all those objections, though, I'm still buying it. And I shall continue to buy it in the short term because it's by far the nicest-tasting, best-quality apple juice available in any of the shops convenient to me. Copella Pressed Apple Juice really is lovely. It's on due warning though, and will be off my shopping list either when I've persuaded my local Spar or Honiton's Co-op to stock a local Somerset apple juice I like, or when I've taken a deep breath, got my credit card out, and bought that juicer. Copella scores five out five on the taste test but only two out of five on the responsible product test. That makes three and a half stars, right? I'll round it down then; I'm in that sort of mood today! Three stars.(Bloody ethics).
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