Table Top Press Pot Review

Earlier this year, I posted an article titled Buying a French Press – Picking the Right One. I isolated the only three variables that I felt were necessary to make a purchase decision. Those variables were:

  1. For Travel? (glass or plastic)
  2. Size
  3. Aesthetics

After receiving the 32 ounce Table Top Press Pot from Planetary Design, I can add a possible fourth variable: insulation. Now, if you are the type that brews your french press coffee in a comfortable room temperature and then immediately pours out the coffee, insulation probably won’t matter. If you are in a cold garage or camp site, insulation is more important. According the Planetary Design web site, the Table Top Press Pot is insulated with “double-walled, vacuum-insulated, 18/8 restaurant-grade stainless steel.”

I decided to run a test to see how the Planetary Design model compared with my glass french press. My kitchen was 68 degrees. I filled both press pots with water just off a boil and then took temperature readings at 10, 20, 30, 40 and 60 minutes. The Planetary Design model destroyed the glass press pot on insulation. See the chart below.

Press Pot Temperature Chart
Press Pot Temperature Chart

Some Plastic

The Planetary Design Press Pot does have some plastic in the filter part which makes contact with the water. I contacted the company about this and they pointed out that all their plastic is Bisphenol A (BPA) free. For those determined to use zero plastic, I attempted to use a standard press pot plunger. It did not make a snug fit. You are better off using their plunger.

Planetary Design Table Top Press Pot
Planetary Design Table Top Press Pot

Brewing Quality

The Planetary Design Press Pot has a tighter fit than my glass press pot. It also uses a fine nylon filter. The result is a slightly cleaner cup of coffee than most french press designs. I also used the pot several times to make oolong tea. Tea fans know that oolong tea is often rolled into tight balls and it needs room to unwind and make contact with water. A typical tea filter is not ideal for oolong tea. A french press is a good solution.

Tea Trapped in Filter
Not ideal. Oolong Tea Trapped inside Tea Filter

It’s Pretty

I thought I didn’t care about aesthetics, but the Planetary Table Top looks really nice. It comes in four colors: Chrome, Black, Green Tea and Mocha.

Planetary Design Table Top Stainless Steel French Presses 32oz Black
Planetary Design Table Top Stainless Steel French Presses 32oz Black (AMAZON.COM)

Last Words

I honestly didn’t think I needed another french press until I got a chance to play with the Planetary Design Table Top Press Pot. It is ideal for travel, as glass press pots tend to shatter easily. It holds temperature extremely well and makes a great cup of coffee.

Resources

Planetary Design – Official site.

Planetary Design Table Top Stainless Steel French Presses – Amazon page.

Buying a French Press – Picking the Right One – INeedCoffee article to help you getting started on a Press Pot purchase.

Troubleshooting French Press Coffee – Once you have your french press, here are some ideas to make your coffee taste great.

Disclaimer: The author received one 32 ounce press pot from Planetary Design for this review.

Michael Allen Smith

Michael Allen Smith fell in love with coffee while attending college. Shortly after graduating college, he found himself in the Tampa Bay area far away from the good coffee he had at The Ohio State University. That is when he starting home roasting coffee. Less than a year later in April 1999, he launched the coffee website INeedCoffee.com. INeedCoffee.com has been going strong ever since with hundreds of articles and tutorials submitted by over one hundred contributors.

In 2007, Michael moved to America's coffee capitol Seattle, Washington. He has visited close to two hundred different coffee places in Seattle, Portland and Vancouver and met many of the top roasters and baristas in the country. Since 2009, Michael has been the Organizer of the Coffee Club of Seattle, which is a Meetup group of over 600 coffee enthusiants. Besides the social aspect of the group, the Coffee Club of Seattle partners with local coffee professionals for educational events such as coffee cuppings, brewing demonstrations and roasting tours.

Unrelated to coffee, Michael has a personal blog at CriticalMAS.com which covers several topics including fitness, cooking and finance.

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