- Excellent performance in most of our juicing performance tests
- Exceptional performance juicing leafy greens
- Highly durable – very well built and comes with a very long 12-year warranty
- Highly versatile – capable of being used for many applications other than juicing
- A great value – lots of bonus accessories included with purchase and the juicer’s exceptional performance means that produce cost will be lower than it is for similar juicers over time. These benefits more than offset its high initial price
- Difficult to assemble, disassemble, and clean
- Difficult to use – an extreme amount of force is required to push produce into the juicer, its juicing nozzle requires adjustment, the juicer is heavy and therefore difficult to move, etc.
- Also takes a long time to assemble, juice with, and clean
- 1 Category Scores
- 2 Assembly
- 3 Food Preparation
- 4 Performance
- 5 Cleaning
- 6 Ease Of Use
- 7 Versatility
- 8 Durability
- 9 Value
|Ease of Use||3.0|
All category scores are out of 5.
Note: This review covers not only the Tribest Green Star Elite GSE-5000 Jumbo Twin Gear Cold Press Juice Extractor but also the GSE-5010, the GSE-5050, and the GSE-5300. All four models are exactly the same except for appearance and/or what bonus accessories they come with. Otherwise, each model is essentially exactly the same juicer. The table below outlines all differences between these four models. Note that we bought and tested the GSE-5000 for this review.
|Model||Only Unique Quality|
|GSE-5000||White plastic finish|
|GSE-5010||Black plastic finish|
|GSE-5300||White plastic finish and comes with pasta maker set while other models do not|
The Green Star Elite requires four different sets of parts for assembly depending on whether you’re using it for (1) juicing, (2) homogenizing or food processing, (3) making breadsticks or fruit sorbets, or (4) making pasta. Below are four different lists of all parts required for each purpose. Note that only those parts that actually require handling during assembly are listed below. Static parts that don’t come apart during assembly/disassembly are not listed (the on/off switch, for example). Parts unique to each list are in bold.
Skip to next section: food preparation
Juicing – Parts List
- Juicing knob
- Outlet casing
- Juicing screen
- Twin gear drive gear
- Twin gear free wheel gear
- Twin gear housing with feeding chute
- Safety hood and safety tray (one piece)
- Food pusher
- Main body
- Juice container
- Drip tray
- Pulp container
- Power cord
Just the body of the juicer (left), the twin gear housing installed (middle), and the twin gears installed (right) – in this same picture the drive gear is on the right and the free wheel gear is on the left.
The juicing screen (left), outlet casing (middle), and juicing knob (right) are installed.
The outlet casing is secured to the body of the juicer (left) and the safety hood is installed (right).
Homogenizing – Parts List
- Juicing knob
- Outlet casing
- Homogenizing screen
- Twin gear drive gear
- Twin gear free wheel gear
- Twin gear housing with feeding chute
- Safety hood and safety tray (one piece)
- Food pusher
- Main body
- Juice container
- Drip tray
- Pulp container
- Power cord
Making Breadsticks, Sorbets, etc. – Parts List
- Breadstick knob
- Outlet casing
- Breadstick screen
- Twin gear drive gear
- Twin gear free wheel gear
- Twin gear housing with feeding chute
- Safety hood and safety tray (one piece)
- Food pusher
- Main body
- Drip tray
- Pulp container
- Power cord
Making Pasta – Parts List
- Outlet casing
- Pasta screen (fitted onto the pasta guide)
- Pasta guide (positioned so that it covers the pasta screw)
- Pasta screw (replaces twin gears)
- Twin gear housing with feeding chute
- Safety hood and safety tray (one piece)
- Food pusher
- Main body
- Drip tray
- Power cord
The homogenizing screen is a solid plastic screen with a large rectangular hole on one side that fits over the twin gears exactly the same way the juicing screen does (it’s the same approximate shape and size as the juicing screen). It should be fitted over the twin gears in such a way that the hole is facing downwards as processed food is released through this hole into the juice container when homogenizing.
The breadstick screen is also a solid plastic screen, but unlike the homogenizing screen it does not have a hole to allow processed food to exit through the juice outlet and into the juice container. Instead, processed ingredients are pushed through the pulp outlet. The breadstick screen is used in conjunction with the breadstick knob to make, you guessed it, breadsticks, but it can also be used to make frozen fruit sorbets and similar foods.
The pasta screen, guide, and screw are optional accessories not included with the purchase of the juicer.
Our purchase of the Green Star Elite included a myriad of different bonus items that were not included with the purchase of most other juicers we tested. All of these items were in the box with the juicer. Two different juicing screens were included – a fine screen, used to make juice with as little pulp as possible (also the screen used for all of our testing), and a coarse screen, used to make juice with a little bit more pulp. Most other juicers we tested only included one juicing screen. Our purchase also included a bonus instructional DVD, a drip tray to put under the juice pitcher, two different plungers (a plastic and a wood plunger), two different cleaning brushes, and a sieve. Most other slow juicers we tested did not include a DVD or drip tray and only include one plunger and one cleaning brush. Many also did not include a sieve.
The juice container (top left), bonus DVD (top right), breadstick knob (bottom left), homogenizing screen, coarse screen, and breadstick screen (bottom right) included with the juicer.
The two plungers (top left), lid (top right), sieve (bottom left), and drip tray (bottom right) included with our purchase of the juicer.
Assembling the Green Star Elite For Juicing
A greater number of parts are required for assembling the Green Star Elite (GSE) than the number of parts required for assembling most other juicers we tested. A total of 13 different parts need to be put together to complete assembly of the GSE for it to be ready for juicing. For comparison, the average horizontal masticating juicer requires 10 parts, while the average vertical masticating juicer or centrifugal juicer requires only 9 parts. You might be inclined to think that the GSE having more parts to assemble makes it more difficult to assemble than other juicers with less parts. However, this is not the case – the number of parts required for assembly has very little impact on overall juicer assembly difficulty. Rather, it is how parts are put together that mostly determines assembly difficulty. We’ll discuss the how with regards to the GSE in much more detail in just a bit.
The number of parts required for assembly does affect the total time required for assembly. Because it has so many parts, assembly of the Green Star Elite takes more time than it does for other juicer types. Total assembly time for a skilled and experienced user is about 40 to 50 seconds. Most masticating juicers we tested took about 30 to 40 seconds to assemble while most centrifugal juicers we tested took about 20 to 30 seconds. That doesn’t sound like too much of a difference but note that the given time (40 to 50 seconds) is an ideal time when the juicer is assembled by an experienced user. New users will take a minimum of 10 to 15 minutes attempting to put this juicer together for the first time. Experienced users will normally take at least a minute or two. This is because assembling the GSE is a difficult process. Yes, should everything go smoothly it is possible to fully assemble it in as little as 40 seconds. However, it’s more likely than not that even experienced users will experience at least some of the issues we discuss below which will increase the time spent on assembly by at least one or two minutes.
Assembly of the GSE begins by sliding the twin gear housing onto the body of the juicer. We should note here that the housing has to be pushed onto the juicer body with quite a bit of force which might be a problem if you have limited arm strength or if you have a physical disability. Another negative here is the fact that the you won’t know if you’ve pushed it far enough and with sufficient force until several steps later in the assembly process (we’ll discuss this further later). In any case, pushing the housing onto the body of the juicer completes the first step of assembly.
The next part of assembly involves the twin gears, namely the drive gear and the free wheel gear. These two gears have to be lined up very precisely using (what the juicer’s manual refers to as) location dots on the end surface of each gear (if each gear is a cylinder the “end surface” the manual refers to here is the circular surface at the end of the metal end of the cylinder that actually makes contact with the juicer body through its drive shaft). The single black dot on the free wheel gear has to be lined up so that it is in between two black dots on the drive gear. You then have to hold the gears together (keep in mind that they’re cylindrical and heavy making them quite difficult to handle) as you insert them together as a pair (metal end first) into the twin gear housing. Doing so will have the free wheel gear sliding in on the right and the drive gear sliding in on the left (if you’re looking head on at the juicer’s drive shaft). You’ll have to push both gears toward the juicer body until you can’t push them in any further. Note that while pushing the gears in, you will have to rotate them to seat them correctly. When they’re both pushed in as far as they can go and seated correctly you’ll feel them locked into place and only then will you be able to continue with assembly. Note that being able to “feel” that they’re locked in and seated correctly will take some experience. You can also look down onto the twin gears through the feeding chute to verify whether they’re seated correctly. If they are, you won’t be able to see any part of the juicer’s drive shaft. Conversely, if they are not seated correctly you will be able to see the unit’s drive shaft or some part of it, in which case you’ll need to continue to rotate the gears and push in until they’re correctly seated and you can’t see any portion of the drive shaft through the unit’s feed chute any longer.
If the twin gears are not seated correctly, you also won’t be able to latch the outlet casing to the juicer body. The twin gears will protrude from the body further than they should which will make the outlet casing also protrude further from the body than it should. In this scenario the latches on each side of the juicer body won’t be able to extend far enough to latch onto the outlet casing. This is also where we revisit an issue we mentioned earlier. In addition to the twin gears not being seated correctly, another reason for the outlet casing extending further from the juicer body than it should could be that the twin gear housing was not fitted onto the juicer body correctly.
Other than making sure that the twin gear housing is pushed in enough on the juicer body and seating the twin gears the rest of the assembly process is fairly straightforward. The rest of the parts required for assembly easily and intuitively fit into each other which makes assembly from this point forward quite simple. The juicing strainer fits like a glove over the part of the twin gears not covered by the twin gear housing. Similarly, the outlet casing slides over the juicing strainer and should be able to easily latch onto the main assembly, assuming that the twin gears are seated correctly. The juicing knob attaches to the outlet casing with a few quick (clockwise) turns. Assembly is finalized by fitting the aptly named safety hood over all of the previously mentioned parts in order to protect them (and you) from all of the moving parts involved in the juicing process. It also serves to make the juicer look much prettier than it would otherwise (an improvement over previous generations that weren’t nearly as aesthetically pleasing and also left all of these moving parts exposed).
Assembly is made even more important by the fact that the manual clearly states that any damage to the juicer incurred due to improper assembly is not covered by the juicer’s warranty. For this reason, we strongly advise that you very carefully follow the manual’s step by step assembly instructions.
The Green Star Elite, of all of the juicers we tested for review, was by far the most difficult to assemble. It requires more parts, more time, and more patience to put together than most other juicers on the market. We give it a well below average 2.5 out of 5 for assembly difficulty.
After completing assembly of the juicer, the next step in preparing for juicing is to cut the produce you want to juice to a size that will actually fit into the juicer’s feeding chute and to a size that the juicer will be able to juice efficiently. The Green Star Elite has a very small 1.5-in.-wide by 1.5-in.-long square feeding chute. This chute size is comparable to the chute size of most horizontal masticating juicers we tested which, for the most part ranged from 1.25 in. wide to 1.875 in. wide and 1.25 in. long to 2 in. long. The vertical masticating juicers we tested had chute sizes that were a little bit longer but not much wider. Most had a chute size between 1.25 and 1.5 in. wide but 2.5 in. long. We also tested “whole” slow juicers which had 3-in. diameter chutes – the same diameter as most feeding chutes on the centrifugal juicers we tested.
The larger the chute size, the less cutting is required to fit the produce item into the feeding chute. Conversely, the smaller the chute size, the more cutting is required to fit produce into the feeding chute. In addition to (1) chute size, we also took into account (2) our experience with other juicers of the same type and (3) specific manual instructions for cutting specific types of produce for juicing in determining (1) whether to cut the produce item at all and (2) what size to cut it to.
The Green Star Elite comes with a very complete and thorough manual. The manual has an entire section dedicated to instructing the user how to juice different types of produce. Not only does it outline exactly how to prepare different produce items for juicing, but it also instructs the user exactly how to operate the juicing knob (something we’ll come back to shortly) while juicing and how to actually feed produce items into the juicer and push them into the juicer when juicing. For example, it instructs the user to cut hard roots into long, thin pieces in preparation for juicing and also reminds the user to wash them before doing so. It then instructs the user to tighten the juicing knob all the way tight before starting to juice. It then instructs that the “wedge” end (the thin end) of the hard root should be the end that is fed into the feeding chute first and that you should press down on the blunt end of the root (the thick end) with either included plunger (plastic or wooden) to push it through the juicer. It clearly instructs that you should feed these items into the juicer one piece at a time.
With these instructions in mind, along with our prior knowledge and experience of juicing with this type of juicer, and also taking into account the small dimensions of the GSE’s feeding chute we decided to follow the juicer’s manual’s instructions almost to a tee when it came to preparing our test produce for juicing.
A Word of Caution About Our Test Data
Before we compare how much food preparation is required for juicing with the Green Star Elite to how much of the same preparation is required for other types of juicers, we first need to make a few notes about our testing and the data we obtained from testing. First, we tested and therefore needed to prepare 1 lb. of most produce items for juicing – 1 lb. of oranges, 1 lb. of grapes, 1 lb. of carrots, etc. Because all oranges are not the same size, all carrots are not the same size, and so on and so forth, we didn’t always use the same number of each produce item to get to the 1 lb. requirement. For example, we used anywhere from two and a half to three whole oranges when preparing 1 lb. of oranges for juicing in all of the masticating juicers that we tested. The number of carrots we used would vary from 5 large heavy and thick carrots for the Omega J8004 to 11 smaller thinner carrots for the Tribest Slowstar and the Omega VRT350. The variance in the number of produce items we used for juicing introduced quite a bit of variance when it came to (1) the time it would take to cut those produce items into specific size pieces and (2) how much time it would take to actually juice those pieces. For example, it would take a lot more time to cut 11 carrots in half than it would take to cut 5 carrots in half. It also can take slightly more time to juice 22 carrot pieces than it takes to juice 10 carrot pieces. And so, moving forward, we’ll focus on average times instead of juicer specific times at least when it comes to assessing food preparation time. Below is an example of how we will do so.
Each fruit and vegetable was cut so that it would weigh exactly 1 lb. Here we’re in the process of cutting an orange piece off of a whole orange to add to the 12.1 oz. of whole oranges already in the measuring cup.
How We Will Use Food Preparation Data For Comparisons
Test data shows that it took anywhere between 49 and 78 seconds to cut oranges into eighths when we cut them for all of the juicers that required that we cut them to this size. Averaging this test data (we had to cut oranges into eighths for 6 different juicers) we find that it took an average of 59 seconds to cut oranges into eighths for all of the juicers that required us to do so. As such, we will use 59 seconds as the time it takes to cut 1 lb. of oranges into eighths for juicing – we will use this number when discussing food preparation time (preparing oranges, specifically in this case) for the Green Star Elite since it required that oranges be cut to eighths in order to process them for juicing.
Food Preparation Results
Below is a table outlining how much (to what size) each produce item we tested had to be cut, how long it took us to cut it to that size in preparation for juicing it with this particular juicer, and what the average time was to cut it to that size for all of the produce we had to prepare in the same way for all of the juicers we tested. All time values are in seconds.
|Size of Cuts||Time to Cut||Avg. Time to Cut|
|Grapes||no cutting required|
|Carrots||no cutting required*|
|Celery||no cutting required|
Food Preparation Comparison to Other Tested Juicers
The Green Star Elite requires that oranges be cut to eighths for juicing. This takes an average of 59 seconds to do. Only four other masticating juicers we tested required this much cutting for oranges. Most others required that oranges only be cut to quarters which takes, on average, only 24 seconds to do. We also tested two “whole” slow juicers which did not require us to cut oranges at all.
Grapes are very small and therefore we didn’t have to cut them for any of the juicers that we tested.
The juicer’s manual instructs users to cut all carrots into thin slices for juicing. Using our own experience juicing we decided to only cut the larger carrots for juicing. We did so for only 2 of the 8 carrots we juiced with the GSE. Since we consider cutting these two larger carrots to be an optional exercise that isn’t absolutely required for juicing, we do not factor the time it took us to cut these carrots into the overall time it took us to prepare all of the food items we tested for juicing with the GSE.
Most of the vertical masticating juicers we tested also do not require that carrots be cut for juicing but the horizontal masticating juicers we tested absolutely do. This added an average of 50 seconds of food preparation time for all of the horizontal masticating juicers that we tested.
The GSE’s manual doesn’t indicate that celery stalks need to be cut for juicing and so we didn’t even consider doing so when preparing those celery stalks used for our testing the Green Star Elite. This procedure was actually unique among the “slow” juicers we tested. All of the masticating juicers we tested required that we cut celery stalks at least to about 2 in. pieces. We did so, for the most part, because masticating juicers use a single auger to facilitate juicing and we were concerned that celery stalks would wrap around and jam the augers of those masticating juicers we tested. As a precaution we decided to cut them prior to juicing. This same cautionary step was not required for the Green Star Elite.
The GSE’s manual is so detailed and complete that it actually distinguishes between juicing firmer Fuji and Granny Smith apples and other less firm apples such as Red Delicious apples in its food preparation and juicing instructions. Since we used the latter variety for our apple juicing tests we used the corresponding manual instructions but even more so, the Green Star Elite’s small 1.5 in. by 1.5 in. feeding chute to determine that we needed to cut the apples we used for juicing into sixteen smaller wedges. We had to cut apples this small for only 4 other juicers we tested and it took us on average about 1 minute and 39 seconds to do so. Most masticating juicers we tested required us to cut apples to only 8 smaller wedges which took less than half as long, on average to accomplish – about 46 seconds.
Spinach and Wheatgrass
Neither of these items required any preparation at all. The spinach we used for juicing was already prepared when we bought it and the wheatgrass was already cut as well.
Food Preparation Summary
Food preparation for the Green Star Elite is a mixed bag. The GSE required that items such as carrots and celery not be prepared (cut) at all, unlike most other slow juicers we tested which did require these same items to be cut. On the other hand, those items for which the GSE did require cutting, namely oranges and apples, required even more cutting than what was required for most masticating juicers we tested. All things considered we can only give the GSE an average 3.5 out of 5 for food preparation.
The next step in the review process was to test the actual juicing performance of the juicer. To do so we first juiced 7 different fruits and vegetables individually and then juiced a select combination of those same fruits and vegetables in our combination performance test.
A Few Words About Our Testing Methodology
Selecting What Produce To Juice
In order to test the full capabilities of the juicer it was important for us to juice a variety of different produce types. We wanted to test each juicer we reviewed for (1) soft produce performance, (2) hard produce performance, (3) leafy green performance, (4) wheatgrass performance, and (5) combination performance. Each produce type would present a unique set of challenges to the juicer.
In addition, we also wanted to have some variety within each produce type. We wanted to not just juice large soft fruits but also smaller soft fruits so we decided to juice oranges and grapes. To test hard produce performance we used carrots, celery, and apples. We could have only tested carrots but celery and apple is a slightly different consistency than carrot and so each presents a unique challenge to the juicer. To test leafy green performance we used spinach leaves and to test wheatgrass performance we used fresh cut wheatgrass. Finally, we also wanted to test how the juicer would perform juicing a combination of produce. For our combination performance test we used all of the fruits and vegetables listed above except for grapes and wheatgrass.
We use the terms “hard” and “soft” to refer to the hardness of the fruit or vegetable in terms of how hard or soft it is to the touch. This is contrary to the common practice of calling a hard fruit a hard fruit because it has a long shelf life and can ship easily and calling a soft fruit a soft fruit because it’s fragile with a short shelf life.
Juicing For Maximum Yield
In order to show you, the consumer, the best case scenario when juicing with each juicer we tested, we juiced each fruit and vegetable with the goal of achieving absolute maximum yield. In order to do so we employed a certain set of methods. First, for the most part, we added pieces of produce to the feeding chute one at a time. This was done to ensure that the juicer never received a greater quantity of produce than it could handle at any particular time. Secondly, we would consistently monitor the rate of juice production and pulp production and thereby determine the rate at which we would continue to feed produce into the juicer. Third, while we were juicing we would constantly make sure to not rush the process. We took our time throughout. The goal was not to finish testing as soon as possible. The goal was maximum yield.
Keep this in mind as we discuss the time it took us to juice each fruit and vegetable below. The time it took us is not necessarily indicative of how long it will take you to juice the same quantity of produce. That will depend on whether it’s more important for you to juice quickly or to juice for maximum yield. That being said, even if your goal is to juice as quickly as possible you can still use our juice yield and time results for comparing juicers. Yes, our time results are slow times but they are consistently slow among all of the juicers we tested.
Out of Juicer Yield vs After Sieve Yield vs % Yield
In the discussions below you’ll see that for each test we use three different measurements used to describe yield – out of juicer yield, after sieve yield, and % yield. The out of juicer yield is a raw value representing the quantity of juice that directly came out of the juicer. The after sieve yield is the yield after we poured the out of juicer yield through a sieve. We used the same sieve for all juicers. Finally, the % yield is the % of the fruit or vegetable that was transformed into juice. Since we juiced 1 lb. of produce for most tests the % yield is the out of juicer yield or after sieve yield divided by 1 lb. (16 oz.), multiplied by 100%. For example, if the out of juicer yield is 8 oz. we divide that by 16 to get 0.5 which we multiply by 100% to get a % yield of 50%.
Soft Produce Performance
To test the GSE’s performance juicing soft produce we juiced oranges and grapes. First, we juiced 1 lb. of oranges. We used 2 and a half oranges for the test. Each orange was sliced into 8 wedges and each wedge was fed into the juicer one at a time. It took us 3 minutes 49 seconds to juice the 1 lb. oranges for an out of juicer yield of 10.2 oz. – a 64% yield. We then poured this initial yield through a sieve for an after sieve yield of 9.2 oz., indicating that a full 1 oz. of pulp was caught in the sieve.
Next, we juiced 1 lb. of grapes. It took us 3 minutes 28 seconds to do so. The out of juicer yield was 13.6 oz., a remarkable 85% yield. This out of juicer yield had barely any pulp at all and so the after sieve yield for grapes was only 0.1 oz. less than the out of juicer yield. The after sieve yield was 13.5 oz..
The Green Star Elite’s soft produce yields are below average for oranges and above average for grapes, among the 14 slow juicers we tested (5 horizontal masticating, 7 vertical masticating, the Champion, and the Green Star Elite itself). It ranked a below average 8th and 7th, for orange out of juicer yield and after sieve yield, respectively. And it ranked a well above average 4th and 3rd for grape out of juicer yield and after sieve yield, respectively. It had an average amount of pulp out of the juicer for orange juice when compared to other slow juicers. Most other slow juicers we tested also had about 1 oz. of pulp difference between out of juicer and after sieve yield. It also had an average amount of pulp out of the juicer for grape juice. Most other slow juicers also had only a few tenths of an ounce difference between out of juicer and after sieve yield for grape juice, although there are a few exceptions. The Hurom HU 100SB, for example, had a full 0.8 oz. of grape pulp collected in the sieve between out of juicer and after sieve testing.
The Green Star Elite definitely puts the “slow” in the term slow juicer as it took almost 4 minutes to juice just 1 lb. of oranges. Factor in the time it took us to prepare those oranges for its smaller than average feeding chute and you get close to 5 minutes of total time to prepare and juice a pound of oranges. Compare this time to the 44 seconds it took us to prepare and juice oranges with the Kuvings whole slow juicer (B6000) and you can quickly see just how much of a time commitment using the Green Star Elite is when it comes to juicing one of the most easy to juice fruits in oranges. This is a bit of an unfair comparison as the Kuvings doesn’t require any preparation time because of its wide chute, but even compared to other juicers with similarly sized feeding chutes, the Green Star Elite’s time to juice is still extremely high. Most horizontal masticating juicers we tested required just under 2 minutes to juice the same quantity of oranges from start to finish. Most vertical masticating juicers took anywhere from a minute to a minute and a half. The Breville BJS600XL, with a 1.375 by 2.5 in. feeding chute (compared to the Green Star Elites 1.5 in. square feeding chute), took only 1 minute, 12 seconds to juice 1 lb. of oranges. Again, the GSE took almost 4 minutes.
This leads us to point out that the Green Star’s high time to juice isn’t due to the fact that its small feeding chute requires a high number of produce pieces to be fed one at a time. Rather, it takes as long as it does because of the process by which its twin gears processes produce. More on this later in this review.
It took the Green Star Elite slightly less time to juice 1 lb. of grapes – 3 minutes and 28 seconds. While not the slowest time, it was still higher than 11 other slow juicers that were tested.
Hard Produce Performance
To test how well the Green Star Elite could juice harder produce we juiced carrots, celery, and apples. Each has a different consistency that presented a unique challenge to the juicer. We juiced carrots first. We were able to squeeze 8.1 oz. of carrot juice out of the juicer – an approximately 51% yield. After we ran this yield through a sieve we were left with 7.6 oz. of juice. It took us 3 minutes, 19 seconds to juice a total of 8 carrots which were measured to weigh exactly 1 pound.
Next, we juiced celery stalks. The out of juicer yield was 12.9 oz. and the after sieve yield was 12.7 oz.. It took us a bit less time to juice the celery – only 2 minutes, 34 seconds.
Finally, we juiced 1 and a half large apples cut to sixteenths to fit into the Green Star Elite’s feeding chute. It took us 3 minutes, 30 seconds to juice and we got an out of juicer yield of 11.3 oz.. After pouring the same yield through a sieve our after sieve yield was much less – 9 oz..
The Green Star Elite’s out of juicer and after sieve carrot, celery, and apple juice yields are well above average among the slow juicers we tested for review. Most slow juicers we tested had an out of juicer carrot yield closer to 6 oz., a 2 oz. difference when compared to the Green Star Elite. Only the Champion, a hybrid juicer that could just as easily be categorized with centrifugal juicers instead of slow juicers as we have done, had a higher out of juicer and after sieve carrot juice yield. It yielded 11.1 oz. out of the juicer and 9 oz. after pouring it through a sieve. The Green Star Elite was second among the 14 slow juicers we tested for both out of juicer and after sieve carrot juice yield.
The Green Star Elite did even better juicing celery. Its out of juicer yield for celery of 12.9 oz. was about 1 oz. more than most other slow juicers we tested. Its after sieve yield for celery was also about 1 oz. better than other slow juicers tested.
The GSE’s apple juice yields are less impressive. Its 11.3 oz. out of juicer yield and 9 oz. after sieve yield gives it the 5th best and 3rd best yield in each respective category out of the 14 slow juicers we tested. Its out of juicer yield is a few tenths of an ounce less than many vertical masticating juicers we tested and as much as 1 to 2 oz. more than many horizontal masticating juicers we tested.
As was true for soft produce, hard produce also took a much longer time to juice using the Green Star Elite than what was average for the slow juicers we tested, with the exception of celery. The Green Star Elite’s 2 minutes 34 seconds to juice celery is only about 30 seconds longer than the juicer we tested that took the least amount of time to juice celery, the Hurom HU 100SB, which took 2 minutes 2 seconds to do so. Carrot and apple juice time, however, was once again a disappointment. The Green Star Elite ranked in the bottom 25% of all the slow juicers we tested for both carrot time to juice and apple time to juice. Most slow juicers we tested can juice 1 lb. of carrots at least 1 minute faster and 1 lb. of apples 1 to 2 minutes faster than the GSE.
Leafy Green Performance
To test the juicer’s performance juicing leafy greens we juiced 1 lb. of baby spinach leaves. The Green Star Elite was the absolute best performer in this category among all of the slow juicers we tested, and by a considerable margin. We were able to muster an out of juicer yield of a whopping 11.6 oz. or 72.5% of the 16 oz. of raw vegetable we juiced. This is a staggering number, considering the fact that only two other slow juicers we tested reached an out of juicer yield of 10 oz. while most yielded between 7 and 9 oz. in the same test. 11.6 oz. is certainly impressive but it would be all for naught if most of the weight was due to an excessive amount of pulp. This was thankfully not the case. The after sieve yield was an impressive 9.8 oz. or 61%. Compare this yield to the 8.5 and 8.4 oz. after sieve yield of the previously mentioned juicers that were able to achieve an out of juicer yield of 10 oz..
What makes the Green Star Elite’s outstanding leafy green juice yield results even more impressive is the fact that the time it took us to juice leafy greens was actually faster than how long it took us to juice the same quantity of spinach using the majority of other slow juicers we tested. It did take us a considerable amount of time – 7 minutes, 27 seconds – but this time is actually a fast time for juicing leafy greens with a slow juicer. Many slow juicers we tested also took between 7 and 8 minutes to accomplish the same task but many took 8 minutes, 10 minutes, even 11 minutes to do so. The Champion was the worst performing (in terms of time to juice) as it took over 14 minutes to juice 1 lb. of spinach.
Juicing baby spinach with the Green Star Elite.
The Green Star Elite, compared to the other slow juicers we tested, was an average performer in terms of juice yield and a well above average performer in terms of time to juice when it came to juicing wheatgrass. It was able to extract 2.3 oz. of juice out of 4 oz. of wheatgrass. This result gives it a 7th place finish among the 14 slow juicers we tested. For comparison, the juicer that garnered the highest out of juicer wheatgrass juice yield was the Hurom HU 100SB with a 3 oz. yield. The worst performer was the Omega VSJ843QS with an incredibly low 1.2 oz. out of juicer yield.
Juicing wheatgrass with a slow juicer doesn’t result in much pulp at all (a few tenths of an ounce maximum) and so we won’t compare the Green Star Elite’s 2 oz. after sieve yield to the after sieve yield of its competition. Suffice it to say that its after sieve yield compares much the same to its competition as its out of juicer yield.
Juicing wheatgrass with the Green Star Elite goes by surprisingly quickly. The Green Star Elite’s 3 minute 20 second time to juice wheatgrass makes it the fastest juicer we tested for juicing wheatgrass. This time is 5 seconds faster than the second place Hamilton Beach slow juicer and almost a third as long as the painstakingly slow Omega VRT350 and VSJ843QS which each took over 9 minutes to juice the same quantity of 4 oz. of wheatgrass.
We juiced 4 oz. each of spinach, apples, celery, and carrots and 1 lb. of oranges for a grand total of 2 lb. of produce for our combination performance test. Juicing a combination of hard and soft fruits and vegetables gives the juicer the best chance to juice as efficiently as possible.
The Green Star Elite was an average performer in this category among the slow juicers we tested, with an out of juicer yield of 20.4 oz.. Most of the slow juicers we tested, like the GSE, garnered an out of juicer yield between 20 and 21 oz.. Still, the Green Star Elite’s 20.4 oz. yield is a full 1 oz. less than yield of the number 1 ranked juicer in this category, the Omega J8006, with which we were able to extract 21.4 oz. of juice in the same test, juicing the exact same fruits and vegetables in the exact same quantities.
The Green Star Elite’s time to juice was 8 minutes 44 seconds, making it the slowest juicer among all of the slow juicers we tested in this combination performance test. The next slowest juicer was the Kuvings horizontal masticating juicer with a time of 7 minutes 26 seconds. Most of the juicers we tested had a time between 4 and 5 minutes. The fastest time, which was also the only time under 4 minutes, was 2 minutes 57 seconds – a time achieved by the Kuvings vertical masticating juicer we tested – the B6000.
The quality of the juice extracted using a centrifugal juicer differs dramatically from quality of the juice extracted using a slow juicer such as the Green Star Elite. For details regarding all of the factors that have an impact on juice quality see here. For this review, we’ll simply note that the quality of the juice extracted using the Green Star Elite is on par with the quality of the juice extracted using most other slow juicers we tested – juice quality was excellent.
Juicing Performance Summary
The Green Star Elite can certainly juice a wide variety of produce, but just the same as all of the other slow juicers we tested, it unfortunately cannot juice all types of produce equally well. Let’s discuss juice yield first. Quite surprisingly, our tests show that its biggest weakness is juicing citrus fruits, as it performed slightly below average in our orange juicing test. It was much better at juicing grapes and it was a top performer among the slow juicers we tested when juicing carrots, celery, and apples. It was the best slow juicer we tested for juicing spinach. If you plan on primarily juicing leafy greens or if the yield you’ll be getting out of leafy greens is a high priority for you, the Green Star Elite is in a class of its own, and is clearly the best choice among the slow juicers we tested. Its leafy green yield was a comfortable 20% or so higher than every other slow juicer we tested. It was an average performer juicing wheatgrass and it was also an average performer juicing a combination of fruits and vegetables.
In terms of the time it takes the Green Star Elite to juice different fruits and vegetables its performance was well below average. All slow juicers process fruits and vegetables at a much lower rate of speed than centrifugal juicers but the Green Star Elite takes especially long, with the exception of juicing leafy greens. It actually takes less time juicing leafy greens using the Green Star Elite than most if not all masticating juicers on the market.
That all said, what struck us the most when juicing with the Green Star Elite was not the yields we were getting with the juicer, neither was it how long it took us to juice with it as compared to other juicers we tested. What had the greatest impact on our juicing experience was just how difficult it was to actually push produce through the juicer. Should you purchase the Green Star Elite you need to know that juicing with this juicer is an activity that will absolutely put a strain on you physically, no matter how strong or physically able you are. Pushing most types of produce through the GSE requires a lot of arm strength and in some cases you may even have to put some body weight over the plunger to push produce down into the juicer. If you’re strong and healthy this type of physically demanding activity is only a hindrance but should you have any type of physical disability be aware that it very well could prevent you from being able to use the GSE at all. We’ll have more on this topic later in the review when we discuss how difficult the juicer is to use, but we did want to mention it here since it may very well prevent you from obtaining any yields at all (if a physical disability prevents you from using the juicer effectively).
This section of the GSE-5000’s body had to be cleaned each time after we conducted a juicing test.
The GSE was one of, if not the most difficult to clean juicers we tested. It took us almost 10 minutes to clean all of the its parts and its main body. Compare this time to the approximately 4 to 5 minutes it took us to clean the average masticating juicer and the approximately 6 minutes it took us to clean the average centrifugal juicer. Cleaning the GSE is difficult for several reasons. First, is the fact that it has a greater number of parts to clean than most other juicers. You’ll need to clean at least 10 different parts when cleaning the GSE after juicing. Most slow juicers have only 8 parts to clean and most centrifugal juicers have only 7 parts to clean. The second reason it’s so difficult to clean is the fact that many of its parts are very large – a larger surface area requires more time to clean than a smaller surface area. Third, many of the parts are also oblong and complex with several unique nooks and crannies that are difficult to reach – this also adds to the time required for cleaning. Not to mention the fact that many of these same nooks and crannies can easily be missed if you’re going about the cleaning process too quickly.
One example of a part unique to the GSE that is both large and complex in design is the safety hood. The safety hood is the massive plastic piece that fits over the twin gear housing. During the juicing process some juice is likely to drip over the outside of the safety hood. You’ll want to wipe this large outside portion clean after juicing (we used a wet paper towel to do so). On the bottom of the safety hood are 7 stainless steel screws. Due to the orientation of the safety hood over the twin gear housing it’s unlikely that these screws will get dirty and require cleaning every time you juice. That’s not to say, however, that they’ll never get dirty, and when they do it would be very difficult to clean them properly.
There are plenty of other examples of parts that make up the Green Stare Elite’s assembly that are just as difficult if not more difficult to clean due to their complex design. Of these other examples, the outlet casing, juicing screen, and twin gears themselves stand out as being the absolute most difficult to clean of all.
The GSE is more difficult to clean than most other juicers and the manufacturer, Tribest, appears to be well aware of this fact as they include two different cleaning brushes with your purchase of the juicer. The first brush is really two brushes in one as each end of the tool has a different type of brush attached to it. This tool proved to be invaluable when we were cleaning the GSE during testing. The second brush is a flat brush which we didn’t use once during testing.
The two cleaning brushes included with our purchase of the GSE-5000.
In addition to one of the included cleaning brushes we also used a microfiber cloth to clean many of the juicer’s parts during testing. This same cloth was used when cleaning all of the other juicers we tested as well. In most cases the included cleaning brush was used to clean parts with lots of crevices, nooks, crannies, etc. while the cloth was used to clean parts with smooth surfaces such as the included juice pitcher, plunger, etc.
The GSE’s manual instructs that the juicer should be cleaned immediately after each use “before food particles have a chance to dry”. It instructs the user to “immerse the juicing components in warm water” and to “rinse and scrub the juicing components under warm running water”. The manual also includes specific instructions for cleaning the juicing screen and main body. When cleaning the GSE during testing we didn’t do anything contrary to these instructions. We used warm water and a mild detergent to soak the parts in before running most of them under warm water and scrubbing them clean using the included cleaning brush.
Of note is the fact that the manual instructs that the water can be poured through the feeding chute while the juicer is running (and still fully assembled) to temporarily clean the juicer should you want to juice multiple times during the same day. Instead of going through the whole process of disassembly and cleaning each part, drying each part, and reassembly you can simply run water through the juicer to rinse the parts before using it again in the same day. We didn’t employ this technique during testing because we needed the juicer cleaned as thoroughly as possible after each test to avoid the risk of pieces of produce being left over in the juicer after cleaning and those left over pieces having an effect on future tests. For example, when juicing grapes, we didn’t want to run the risk of juicing even the smallest quantity of orange pieces that may have been left behind in the outlet casing after juicing oranges (we juiced oranges and then grapes during testing). We therefore fully disassembled the juicer and cleaned all of its parts individually after each test. For regular household use, we do not recommend employing this pre-wash technique either for reasons we discuss next.
Staining and Deposits
During testing we cleaned the GSE immediately after each use exactly the way described in the juicer’s user manual. Doing so did not prevent several parts from staining. The two most problematic “parts” were the main body and the plastic part of the twin gears.
This section of the main body of the juicer cannot be removed and, unfortunately, stains very easily.
The twin gears stained orange after we juiced carrots.
These parts stained only after we juiced carrots, celery, spinach, and wheatgrass. We did not observe any staining after juicing oranges, grapes, or apples. The juicer’s manual makes light of the fact that the GSE’s parts stain easily saying that “colored stains on parts are signs of a well-used juicer” and that “many people leave the colored stains as a ‘badge of honor’”. We don’t share this opinion at all. Stained parts are not something to be proud of. Staining is the result of bad design or more specifically, a bad choice in materials selected to construct the juicer – choices made by the manufacturer – not a “badge of honor” for the consumer that buys such a flawed product. We don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume that most consumers will want to remove any staining on their juicer as soon as possible.
The manual does give some tips for removing stains. It advises that parts can be soaked in a 25% to 50% vinegar and water solution overnight and then scrubbed the next day to remove stains. This process “may be repeated if necessary”. The manual also advises that green honeydew or cantaloupe melons can be juiced to “lighten” stains.
We were pressed for time during testing and so we didn’t have time to try the stain removal techniques outlined above. Instead, we found that most stains could be (mostly) removed after repeatedly washing the part that was stained. Whereas a non-stained part would get a quick wash with the microfiber cloth and take no more than a few seconds to clean, stained parts would be scrubbed with the included cleaning brush, washed with the cloth, scrubbed again with the cleaning brush, left to soak for a few minutes, scrubbed again, etc. This is the technique we used to remove most stains during testing as it didn’t require waiting 24 hours between cleanings.
The GSE’s parts staining very easily is also the reason why we recommend that you do not follow the manual’s recommendation for temporarily cleaning the juicer when juicing multiple times during the same day. Pouring water through the juicer while it’s running is not an adequate way to clean the juicer should you want to avoid permanently staining parts. We recommend that you clean the juicer in its entirety every time after you juice.
The juicer’s manual also notes that calcium and other minerals can form deposits on the twin gears “after using the machine for some time”. It gives four different methods to remove these deposits. Due to the fact that we tested the juicer for only a few days we did not notice any deposits forming on the twin gears during our testing.
Dishwasher Safe Parts
The juicer’s manual explicitly states to “NEVER put any parts into the dishwasher”. Only 2 of the 14 slow juicers we tested have dishwasher safe parts, the Kuvings and Hamilton Beach horizontal masticating juicers. As such we won’t dock any points off of the GSE’s cleaning score because it does not have any dishwasher safe parts.
Cleaning Summary and Overall Score
The Green Star Elite is not easy to clean. The same as is true for juicing with it, cleaning it requires hard work and dedication. Tribest does include multiple cleaning tools to help you with the process but even equipped with these tools you’ll still take about twice as long to clean this juicer than you would to clean most other juicers we tested. Add in the fact that this juicer stains very easily and the GSE gets a well below average 2.5 out of 5 for cleaning.
Ease Of Use
In this section of the review we’ll attempt to assess how difficult it is to use the Green Star Elite. We’ll divide this discussion into two parts. First, we’ll briefly discuss the initial learning curve of using the juicer. Second, we’ll discuss the continued difficulty of using the juicer on a day to day basis.
Initial Learning Curve
The GSE has perhaps the steepest learning curve of any of the slow juicers we tested. First, assembly is very complex. It could take several months before the average consumer is able to assemble the juicer from start to finish without any hiccups and without having to reference the manual, in any reasonable amount of time. The same is true for food preparation. The manual does an excellent job of explaining how to properly prepare fruits and vegetables for juicing, but you probably don’t want to have to reference the manual every time you use the juicer. It will take several days, weeks, perhaps even months of juicing before you’ll be confident that you’re cutting certain types of produce in a way that enables you to juice them most efficiently. The actual juicing process also has a learning curve. You’ll want to experiment with how much force is necessary to push down on certain types of produce when juicing them. This type of experimentation is not required for most other slow juicers and isn’t required at all for centrifugal juicers. Finally, cleaning the GSE quickly and efficiently also takes quite a bit of practice. It once again will take a period of several weeks at the very least before you’re comfortable enough with your cleaning techniques to be confident that you’re not permanently staining its parts and leaving food particles behind after cleaning.
After a few weeks or months of juicing (depending on how often you juice) you’ll be very comfortable assembling the GSE, preparing produce to juice with it, actually juicing with it, and cleaning it. Let’s take a look at the remaining difficulties you’ll need to face in using this juicer on a day to day basis and how these difficulties compare to those present when using other types of juicers.
How Hard Is It to Push Produce into the Juicer?
We would be remiss in assessing the ease of using any particular juicer without at least briefly discussing how difficult it is to push produce into it when juicing. Many of the juicers we tested require quite a bit of help (in the form of you pushing produce into the juicer with the included food pusher) to juice produce properly and efficiently. This is especially true for juicers that require you to push produce into the juicer in a direction perpendicular to the primary juicing mechanism – a horizontal auger in the case of horizontal masticating juicers and twin gears in the case of the Green Star Elite. These types of juicers require that you use quite a bit of force when pushing produce into the juicer. Those juicers that have you pushing produce into the juicer parallel to the juicing mechanism, namely vertical masticating juicers, generally require considerably less force to push produce through the juicer. In fact, many of the vertical masticating juicers we tested didn’t even require any pushing at all – we could simply drop many of the fruits and vegetables we tested right into their feeding chutes and the same fruits and vegetables would be processed by the juicer without requiring us to use the food pusher at all.
Another important factor, especially important for the for the Green Star Elite, is the material used for and the overall design of the food pusher included with your juicer. Two different food pushers ship with the Green Star Elite – one is made of plastic while the other is made of wood. The plastic plunger is molded in such a way that it cannot come in contact with the twin gears of the juicer. Midway down the length of the plunger there’s an extrusion in the molding that catches onto the top of the feeding chute of the juicer. This allows for there to be a gap of a few inches between the end of the plunger and the twin gears at the bottom of the feed chute when pushing the plunger as far as it will go down the feeding chute.
The wooden plunger, because its wood and not plastic and also because it’s thin enough to fit all the way through the feeding chute, can be pressed directly onto the twin gears. Since the primary goal of our juicing tests was to maximize yield we decided to use the wooden plunger because it allowed us to push down the produce all the way down to the twin gears. Only the wooden plunger would allow us to push down and force the produce through the twin gears instead of relying on the twin gears to “catch” the last bit of produce at the bottom of the feed chute (in the previously mentioned gap left by the plastic plunger) and pull them through.
Using the wooden plunger, all produce items we tested required quite a bit of force to push them down into the twin gears. Not surprisingly, the firmer vegetables we tested required the most force. But, the soft fruits required quite a bit of force as well. There was definitely a difference in force required to get the first part of a particular fruit or vegetable through the juicer versus the force required to get the last part of a particular piece of a particular fruit or vegetable pushed into the juicer. For example, when juicing carrots, the first part of the carrot could be pushed through the juicer with only a small amount of force. However, the last part of any particular carrot required us to not only use arm strength but also to put quite a bit of body weight onto the food pusher to get that piece through the twin gears and properly juiced.
After testing over 30 different juicers, we can confidently say that pushing produce through the Green Star Elite is more difficult than it was for any other juicer we tested. It did in fact require the most force of all of the juicers we tested.
Juicing Nozzle Adjustment
Another factor that effects how difficult it can be to juice with the Green Star Elite is proper adjustment of its juicing nozzle. Prior to juicing each of the produce items we tested, the juicing knob on the juicer was either fully tightened (turned clockwise) or slightly loosened (turned counterclockwise). Tightening the juicing knob increases the amount of pressure that is applied to the produce inside of the outlet casing while extracting juice. This results in higher juice yield for firmer fruits (such as apples) and vegetables (such as carrots and celery). The only negative side effect of tightening the knob is that it may prevent the juicer from properly ejecting the pulp of softer fruits (such as oranges and grapes), wheatgrass, and leafy greens (such as spinach). We decided to loosen the knob slightly prior to juicing oranges and grapes and tighten the knob before juicing carrots, celery, apples, spinach, and wheatgrass (we’ll explain why we decided to start with the knob tightened when juicing spinach and wheatgrass in just a bit).
Again, before juicing oranges and grapes we did loosen the juicing knob but not all the way. This was to ensure that we struck a balance between juicing for maximum yield while also making sure that pulp was ejecting out of the juicer without issue at the same time. Midway through juicing oranges we actually tightened the knob slightly to maximize yield since we saw that the pulp was ejecting more so than it even needed to. Conversely, we saw that we needed to loosen the juicing knob even more than we had initially while juicing grapes because the pulp was not ejecting out of the knob at the rate that it should have. No adjustment of the juicing knob was required while juicing carrots and celery. However, we did need to loosen the knob slightly while juicing apples, only because the apples we were juicing weren’t completely crisp and firm.
Before juicing spinach we made the decision to start juicing with the knob all the way tightened to try to maximize yield. We found that pulp ejection was only possible by slightly loosening the knob so we loosened it shortly after starting to juice. When juicing wheatgrass we again started juicing with the knob fully tightened but this time, after not seeing any pulp ejection for several minutes, decided to loosen the knob almost to the point of removing it from the outlet casing. Even after doing so we saw very little pulp ejection and thus concluded that pulp ejection was minimal for wheatgrass not because the knob was fully tightened or completely loosened, but because the quantity of pulp generated by the few ounces of wheatgrass we juiced was a very small amount.
A soft fruit knob can be purchased separately and used instead of the included juicing knob to juice soft fruits. We didn’t find this knob necessary for our testing purposes and therefore did not purchase it.
Other Design Choices and Features that Improve or Detract from Ease of Use
Weight and Carrying Handle
We’ve already discussed how it’s very difficult to push produce into the GSE when juicing. This can be an insurmountable obstacle to overcome for certain individuals with physical limitations and/or disabilities. Those same types of users should be aware that the juicer is also very heavy and therefore can be difficult to move from one location to another in the kitchen. The GSE’s main body was measured to weigh 13 lb. 8.7 oz., which makes the GSE quite a bit heavier than most other slow juicers we tested. Only the Champion had a heavier body (measured at 19 lb. 5.5 oz.). Most slow juicers we tested have a main body weighing only between 10 and 11 lb. The main body’s weight is important because it cannot be further disassembled to be broken up into smaller parts that are lighter and easier to move around. Fully assembled the GSE weighs a whopping 17 lb. 12.2 oz. but that extra 4 lb. of weight is easily removed from the main body and can be moved from one location to another piece by piece. The body, however, is a solid 13+ lb. mass that must be moved around in one piece.
Making the GSE’s above average weight a little bit less of a problem is the fact that it has a large handle molded into its body. This handle will allow you to carry or move the juicer from one location to another more easily. Not all of the slow juicers we tested have a carrying handle so the inclusion of a carrying handle in the GSE’s design is a welcome addition that is only appropriate considering its above average weight.
Buttons and Controls
Located on top of the juicer’s carrying handle is a large bright red toggle switch. Pushing the switch one direction turns it on, pushing it the other direction puts the juicer in reverse, and leaving it centered keeps the juicer off. Each direction and what pushing the toggle switch in that direction does is clearly marked right next to the switch. There’s also a bright red LED next to the toggle switch that turns on when the switch is pushed to the ON position.
The GSE’s red switch is hard to miss.
Chute Size, Juicer Movement, Power Cord Length
The GSE has a small feeding chute like most other slow juicers we tested. The smaller the chute size, the more food preparation is required which definitely has an impact on how easy it is to use the juicer on a day to day basis. For more information on chute size and food preparation click here to go to the relevant portion of our review.
The GSE has 4 small rubber feet that, along with the juicer’s above average weight, keep it firmly secured to the kitchen countertop. We definitely tested our fair share of juicers that were very light and had poorly constructed feet. These juicers had the tendency to move several inches on the countertop while we were juicing with them. This is not a concern with the GSE. It remained firmly in place during testing.
We measured the GSE’s power cord to be 70.5 in. long which gives it the longest power cord of all the juicers we tested. Most other slow juicers we tested have power cords ranging between 50 and 70 in., except for the Hamilton Beach horizontal masticating juicer we tested which had a power cord length of only 29.25 in.
In addition to being very long, the GSE’s power cord is also removable.
Other Factors That Affect Ease of Use
In addition to the factors we discussed above, the quality of the included manual and the properties of certain included parts also affect how easy it is to use any particular juicer. Let’s take a look at how well the GSE does in these categories.
The manual included with the GSE is over 60 pages long and includes complete instructions in English, French, German, and Spanish. The manual isn’t full color but the included instructions, diagrams, and photographs are of excellent quality nonetheless. Tribest knows that the GSE is a complex machine with a steep learning curve. As such, the manufacturer has gone to great lengths to describe assembly, disassembly, and proper use and care of the juicer in great detail. The manual included with the GSE is definitely denser in its content than the manuals included with most other slow juicers we tested. Only the Kuvings B6000 and the Hurom HU-100SB had manuals that impressed us more than the GSE’s.
Note that in addition to a hard copy text manual an instructional DVD was also included with our purchase of the juicer.
Parts and Their Properties
Every slow juicer, including the GSE, has two outlets – a juice outlet from which juice exits and a pulp outlet from which pulp exits. When the juice and pulp exit the juicer each needs to be collected in a container. As such, both a juice container and a pulp container are included with the purchase of most slow juicers. This, however, is not the case with the Green Star Elite which only comes with a juice container. You will have to use a measuring cup, bowl, or some other container that fits under the juicer’s juicing knob to collect pulp. We used the pulp container included with the Tribest Solostar 4 to collect pulp during our testing of the GSE.
The included juice container is short and wide. It’s short so that it can fit underneath the juicer and it has a wide diameter so that it can efficiently collect juice that drips out of the juicer’s oversized juice outlet without spilling. The juice container’s properties (being short and wide) give it only a 28 oz. capacity. Of all of the slow juicers we tested only the Kuvings and Hamilton Beach horizontal masticating juicers came with juice containers with a smaller capacity – 20 oz. and 26 oz. respectively. Most other slow juicers we tested came with juice containers that had a capacity of at least 32 oz. The Kuvings B6000 had the largest capacity juice container with a capacity of 42 oz.
Ease of Use Summary and Score
You may be wondering how some of the juicer’s features and properties we discussed above have any type of impact on how difficult or easy it is to use. If so, we encourage you to read this part of our general buyer’s guide which covers the how and why in great detail.
In summary of what we discussed above, we saw that the GSE, on the negative side, had a very steep learning curve, an above average weight, a below average sized feeding chute, and doesn’t come with a pulp collection container – it only comes with a below average capacity juice container. On the positive side, it does come equipped with a carrying handle, its clearly marked toggle switch is easy to manage, it doesn’t move at all during juicing, and its included manual is comprehensive and complete in its content; not to mention the fact that an instructional DVD was also included with our purchase. Taking all of these factors into consideration we give the GSE a slightly below average 3 out of 5 for ease of use.
The GSE is a highly versatile machine that can be used for juicing, homogenizing, making fruit sorbets, making breadsticks and making pasta. We cover the parts included to facilitate all of these uses in detail in our discussion of the juicer’s assembly at the start of our review.
Build Quality and Materials
The GSE, like most other juicers on the market, is constructed using a combination of plastics and stainless steel. Plastics are used for most parts that come into contact with food with the exception of the metal part of the juicing screen and the twin gears which are part nylon (a type of plastic) and part stainless steel. The manufacturer claims that all parts that come into contact with food are BPA free (tribestlife.com).
We observed all of the parts that make up the construction of the Green Star Elite to be of well above average build quality.
A high rate of negative consumer reviews is often indicative of a product having reliability issues. Of the Green Star Elite consumer reviews we surveyed, less than 10% of reviews were negative. Of these negative reviews most user comments had to do with the difficulty of using the machine and the high cost of ownership. A very small percentage (perhaps less than 1% of the user reviews we surveyed) of reviews involve complaints regarding the juicer’s reliability.
Brand Reputation and Quality of Support
The Tribest Corporation was founded in 1988 in Los Angeles, California although they’re currently located in Anaheim, California. The company launched their first product, an automatic sprouter, in 1990. They launched their first juice extractor, the Green Power Gold (model number GP-E1503) in 1994. The Green Power Gold was essentially the very first iteration of the Green Star Elite. It had twin gears, like the GSE, and its overall look and design was also very similar to the design of the GSE of today. The direct successor to the Green Power Gold was the Green Life Juice Extractor, GL-2000i, which launched in 1998. It was further improved upon with the release of the GS-3000 in 2001. A successor to the GS-3000 was not released until 2009, when Tribest launched the Green Star Elite, the subject of the current review. The Green Star Elite was thus the culmination of over a decade of previous iterations of twin gear juicers.
As we mentioned previously, Tribest is a US corporation. All customer service, warranty claims, etc. is handled within the United States. Tribest.com lists a US physical address and a US phone number. However, the juicer itself is not manufactured within the United States. As we discuss in detail here, Tribest is one of four juicer manufacturers that have factories in Korea. The Green Star Elite is manufactured in South Korea and then exported to the United States.
As was previously stated, Tribest offers both a US physical address and a US phone number as a means of contact. They also provide an email address and a contact form at tribest.com. We did not find any complaints regarding their customer service during our survey of consumer reviews for this product.
The warranty included with the Green Star Elite covers the plastic parts, motor, and twin gears for 12 years. It does NOT cover the juice pitcher, cleaning brush, both plungers, or the included sieve. These parts are clearly stated to not be covered by any warranty. The GSE’s 12-year warranty is of a fairly standard duration when compared to the warranties included with most other slow juicers we tested. Many Omega juicers, the Champion, the Kuvings whole slow juicer (B6000), and the Tribest Slowstar all include a 10-year warranty. Some Omega juicers even include a 15-year warranty. Only a few slow juicers on the market have a warranty less than 10 years in duration. The bottom line is that most slow juicers on the market include a warranty of what we consider to be a reasonably long length of time. What distinguishes one warranty from another, then, is not its length or duration, but what exactly it covers and the ease (or difficulty) with which that warranty can be claimed.
As we just mentioned, the GSE’s warranty covers the plastic parts, motor, and twin gears. This is fairly standard coverage among the slow juicers we tested. Most juicers of this type have a warranty that excludes extra parts such as juice container, cleaning brush, etc. exactly the same way that these parts are excluded in the GSE’s warranty.
Claiming Warranty Coverage
The ease with which its warranty can be claimed is also fairly standard for the Green Star Elite. We’ve already mentioned how Tribest is a US company that can easily be contacted via two different phone numbers, by email, or by snail mail. Among the consumer reviews we surveyed, we didn’t find any complaints regarding Tribest honoring warranties.
One sizable complaint we do have regarding the GSE’s warranty is that the manufacturer absolutely requires that the juicer be registered within 10 days of purchase for you to be able to receive warranty coverage. If you fail to register the juicer with Tribest within 10 days of purchase and try to make a warranty claim after any amount of time you may not be able to get that claim fulfilled. This registration requirement is unique to Tribest juicers. Most other manufacturers recommend that the juicer be registered but do not make it a requirement to be eligible for warranty coverage.
Another negative with regards to the GSE’s warranty is that it does not cover shipping costs. If you make a warranty claim for this juicer you will have to ship the broken part (or the whole juicer) at your cost. Unlike the product registration requirement, this negative is not unique to Tribest juicers. The same shipping cost liability exists for most other slow juicers we tested, with the exception of the Breville BJS600XL. Breville emails customers pre-paid shipping labels – something that most other juicer manufacturers do not do. The downside is that the Breville’s warranty is very short.
Summary and Score
The Green Star Elite is a very well built, durable juicer. It has received very little complaints regarding its durability from consumers – something that’s even more impressive when you consider the fact that at the time of this editorial review, the juicer has been out in the market for over 7 years. Tribest is a company that’s been around since the late ‘80s, early ‘90s and have been manufacturing twin gear juicers for over 20 years. If you decide to purchase the GSE you can rest assured that you’re purchasing from a company that’s well established, has plenty of experience manufacturing juicers and should be around for many years to come. The included 12-year warranty is of fairly standard length for a juicer of this type and so is the warranty coverage. However, the manufacturer’s product registration requirement is not, and is the primary reason why we give the GSE less than a perfect score in this category. It still earns a well above average 4.5/5 for durability.
Please see here for a list of bonus accessories that were included with our purchase of the juicer.
The Green Star Elite is a very expensive juicer. Its price normally ranges between $500 and $600 which makes it about $100 to $200 more expensive than the average masticating juicer. Of the 14 slow juicers we tested, the average price of those juicers was about $325. On the low end, you can purchase a horizontal masticating juicer for as little as $200, although we do not recommend options in that price range. On the high end, you can purchase a top rated vertical masticating juicer for around $400. Our top rated centrifugal juicer, the Breville BJE200XL Compact, retails for around $100 – about a fifth of the price of the Green Star Elite.
Long Term Cost
In assessing the cost of owning any particular juicer the simple truth is that the initial price of the juicer represents only a fraction of the cost of owning the juicer over time. Chances are that if you’re considering buying a slow juicer, you’re fairly serious about juicing, and plan on juicing a fairly large quantity of produce over the course of the next several years of juicer ownership. The much greater long term cost of owning a juicer then, is the cost of that very large quantity of produce. You might spend several hundred dollars on a juicer, but you’re likely to spend several thousand dollars on produce over the course of the time that you own the juicer. In this way long term cost of ownership is dependent on two different variables – the initial cost of the juicer AND, more importantly, the cost of produce.
Directly related to produce cost is how much juice the juicer is able to yield per quantity of produce it juices. Because yield affects produce cost and produce cost affects long term cost of ownership, it’s not a stretch to say that yield affects long term cost of ownership. To visualize how and why this is true, take the following example: The Green Star Elite retails for around $500. The Champion juicer retails for around $300. The GSE, according to our testing, yields 9.8 oz. of juice from 1 lb. of baby spinach. The Champion yields only 4.1 oz. of juice from the same quantity of spinach. Let’s say that you plan on making 100 lb. of spinach juice over the course of the next two years. The average cost of 1 lb. of baby spinach in the United States in 2015 was $2.51. The cost of making that 100 lb. of juice at $2.51 per lb. of baby spinach is $409.80 using the Green Star Elite. The cost is $979.51 using the Champion.
Your cost then of owning the Green Star Elite compared to owning the Champion juicer after 2 years of ownership, assuming all you made was 100 lb. of spinach juice, is $910 for the GSE and a whopping $1280 for the Champion – a difference of $370. So while the GSE was initially $200 more expensive, after 2 years it’s actually $370 less expensive to juice with the GSE than it is to juice with the Champion under these conditions.
The bottom line and larger point we’re trying to make is that it is absolutely imperative that you look at the juicing performance of each juicer we tested in addition to its price when assessing its value. Despite its very high initial cost, the long term cost of owning a Green Star Elite is actually less than the long term cost of owning most other cheaper slow juicers we tested. The GSE scored well above average in after sieve yield in all tests except for our wheatgrass test. Thus, for the majority of fruits or vegetables it produces more juice per quantity of produce than most other slow juicers we tested. This translates into your having to purchase less produce to make the same amount of juice – a great cost savings over time. It is primarily for this reason that we give the GSE a perfect 5 out of 5 for value despite its high initial cost.