Planetary Design French Press Review
Cons: Takes more water to clean, heavy
Manufacturer: Planetary Design
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Planetary Design French Press
|Price||$55 List||$7.00 at Amazon||$10.39 at Amazon||$29.95 at Amazon|
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|$39.95 at Amazon|
|Pros||Brews a clean cup, insulated, durable, good size for a small group and available larger, no filters needed||Gourmet flavor, well-conceived design, ceramic version available for home use||No filter needed, tiny and light, consistently good taste||Amazing flavor, versatile, very portable, simple cleanup||Excellent clean flavor, double-filtered to eliminate sediment, press completely stops extraction, vessel can be used as a leakproof travel mug|
|Cons||Takes more water to clean, heavy||Special shaped filters are harder to find, expensive for a plastic dripper, heavier than other brands||Must lift filter out of most cups to avoid steeping, poor for large group||A lot of little pieces to keep track of, on the heavy side for backpacking||Lots of pieces to keep track of, heavy, on the pricier side|
|Bottom Line||This press is insulated, durable, and has a screen that fully stops extraction once pressed||Great taste, easy to use, and lightweight - we love this plastic iteration of the classic glass and ceramic versions||Durable, light, and compact, this is a fantastic option for backpacking trips or any kind of light travel||While this unique brewer has a bit of a learning curve, the final flavor is the best in our test suite||The superfine double filter and extraction-stopping plunger of this press make for a very excellent brew|
|Rating Categories||Planetary Design French Press||Hario V60 Plastic Dripper||Primula Coffee Brew Buddy||AeroPress Coffee Maker||Espro Travel Press|
|Ease Of Use (25%)|
|Group Cooking (15%)|
|Specs||Planetary Design...||Hario V60 Plastic...||Primula Coffee...||AeroPress Coffee...||Espro Travel Press|
|Weight||1 lb 14.8 oz||Dripper alone: 2.95 oz
Dripper + scoop: 3.37 oz
|1.1 oz||Press alone: 7.98 oz
Press + spoon + stirrer: 9.39 oz
|Brew Type||French Press||Pour Over||Pour Over||Pour Over/Press Hybrid||French Press/ Pour Over|
|Main Material||18/8 Stainless steel||Hard plastic||Nylon filter||BPA-free polypropylene||Stainless steel|
|Notable Features||Double filtration system||Cone shape, large hole, ribs along side||Rests on any mug||Easy to clean, re-usable filter||Can be used as french press, pour over, or for tea|
|Notes||Filtration system keeps more grounds out and double insulation keeps things hot longer||Makes strong, smooth coffee||Filter hangs in coffee for most cups||Eliminates bitterness while keeping a good flavor||Brews a really clean cup, keeps liquids nice and hot|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Planetary Designs French Press is a bomb-proof, insulated press perfect for those mornings when you need to caffeinate the whole squad. This rad little buddy is available in 20, 32, and 48-ounces, and it features a patented dual-filter that completely stops extraction once pressed. The days of mucky sludge at the bottom of your cup are gone for good.
Brewing with this press is as straightforward as it gets: add coffee and water, stir, add more water, cap, wait, press. Voila! Plunging the filter on this device takes a wee bit more muscle because of the tight seal it creates, but it's worth it to know that extraction stops after pressing, and no icky sludge will sneak back into your cup. The Planetary Designs press also has a nice wide mouth, so getting in there to clean is easier than with a tall skinny design.
With a dual-filter that presses away everything that shouldn't be in your final cup and an insulated body to keep everything toasty warm, it's no wonder the Planetary Designs French Press scored decently well in this metric.
Historically, coffee snobs and professionals have looked down on the humble French press because coffee continues to brew unless you pour everything out after brewing, which leaves you with an over-extracted and bitter pot. On top of that, the final pour is always thick with unsavory sludge and particulates. Not any more. You don't have to settle for undrinkable sludge ever again. If you love French press coffee for its ease of brewing and its well-balanced flavor, treat yourself to an expertly designed press from Planetary Designs.
Ease of Use
It doesn't get a whole lot easier than a French press. Add coffee, add water, wait, press. It's also a forgiving way of brewing in regards to brew ratios: depending on your grind size, you can steep for a longer or shorter amount of time to achieve your preferred strength. We also like how the Planetary Designs press has a rubberized base so that it doesn't slip and slide around, even if you're in the back of a moving RV or van. Though, if you take your Planetary Designs press on the road in your van, be careful driving around corners! One of our reviewers launched their press across the van by taking a corner too fast. The rubberized base typically holds it in place, but it has its limits. Thankfully, the contents of the press had been emptied, so our reviewer did not lose any of their precious coffee.
While you do need more water to clean one of these than you do with a paper-filtered option, the wide mouth on this press makes dumping everything out and rinsing even easier. Be sure to clean the dual filter on this baby often and thoroughly to keep it in tip-top shape. However, if you find yourself in need of a new part at some point, you're in luck: Planetary Designs offers replacement parts for all their products.
This press is our Top Pick for Large Groups! It's 32 ounces (enough for 2-4 people to at least get started), and it's also available in a 48-ounce size (and 20-ounces if your group is just one or two). Brewing takes just 4-5 minutes so you can churn out coffee back-to-back easily and quickly.
Not only is this a sizeable press, but it's also insulated. You can make more than you would otherwise, without worrying that it will get cold. The patented Bru-Stop dual filter will also ensure that your coffee won't get muddy or sludgy, even as it sits around.
If you're backpacking this is not the ideal option for you. This press is probably not even remotely on your radar unless you love loading up your pack with all the most ridiculous things you can carry, like whole pineapples, a cast-iron dutch oven, multiple growlers of beer, and the biggest french-press imaginable. Nope, this is not our top pick for portability, not even in the slightest. However, if you're in a vehicle larger than a Prius, and you're setting up camp nearby, then this is a great choice, especially if you're camping with a crew of caffeine fiends.
This press is large and in charge, with a burly handle that sticks out, so it will absolutely take up some real estate in your camp kitchen. However, if you want to brew coffee for several people at once, this is comparable or smaller than anything else of similar capacity. It also doesn't have any tiny parts that might be easily lost or anything fragile to worry about damaging — it's rugged and durable, perfect for the great outdoors.
The 32-ounce Planetary Designs press weighs 1 pound, 14.8 ounces. Not light if you're counting ounces, but perfectly reasonable for car-camping, glamping, or van/RV life.
French presses aren't usually super cheap, and this one is no exception. However, it's insulated, makes a lot at once, and offers a plunger that fully separates the grounds from your brew and completely stops extraction. It's also durable and doesn't require the additional expense of filters. If you like French press coffee, this is a worthy one to invest in for the long haul.
Whether you're chilling at home for the weekend or heading out into nature, if you want to be able to make coffee for more than just yourself and one other person, this French press is a fantastic option. Durable, insulated, and easy to use, it's hard to go wrong. Its patented Bru-Stop dual filter removes all the pesky sludge of a typical press and, once pressed, it stops extraction completely. We tested a 32-ounce press, but it's also available in a 48-ounce size if your crew is even bigger (and 20-ounces if it's smaller!) We genuinely enjoyed every cup from this excellent press and have no doubt that you will too.
— Mary Witlacil and Penney Garrett