My Favorite French Press Coffee Maker

I’d like to introduce the newest member of my kitchen. He is tall and sleek with double-wall construction to keep my coffee warm. He doesn’t care if I have morning breath or if I push him around. He’s easy on the eyes and makes a pretty darn good cup of french press coffee. He is the 48 oz. tabletop french press from Planetary Design and he makes my mornings wonderfully caffeinated.

Although I’d been considering a french press upgrade, it was a semi-serious french press incident last week that urged me to make this purchase. We have a small glass Bodum which we’ve had for probably 10 years. It’s small and doesn’t work well for when we have guests over. It’s made of thin glass and the coffee gets cold within minutes.

Last week, I was getting ready for a work conference call and decided to make coffee just before my call was to start. I quickly ground the coffee beans and put the grounds in the press, then added the boiling water. After letting the coffee steep for a few minutes, I started to press down on the top but I met resistance. Being in a hurry (and stubborn), I pressed harder. My left hand was on the side handle and my right had was on top of the press pushing down. My face was close to the press … much too close.

The mesh disk inside the press suddenly flipped up sending a surge of boiling water and coffee grounds onto the right side of my face, as well as my right wrist. I threw off my glasses and ran to the bathroom to rinse off in the shower and within a minute or two the painful burning sensation set in. I immediately applied burn ointment and went back to the kitchen in agony to clean up a horrific mess. Needless to say, the conference call was canceled.

Fortunately, the burns did not blister but remained painfully sore and red. It’s been a week and I still have a 2″ red spot on my forehead and a 4″ section of my wrist is red as well. A good lesson in how “not” to make french press coffee. Regardless, I had hoped to replace the Bodum french press in the future and this seemed like the perfect time to make my purchase.

I started to search the web for info on table top french presses and stumbled across this video on how to make french press coffee. In this video the french press coffee maker from Planetary Design is used:

I immediately fell in love with it. It was exactly what I had hoped to find. It’s large enough for a small dinner party. It looks amazing (and comes in many other styles and colors). And, it has a double-wall construction to keep the coffee hot. It’s pure perfection!

It arrived yesterday and now that I’ve used it, I also like that it has a large pouring spout. The Bodum had a tiny one which often meant I spilled coffee while pouring. The french press by Planetary Design has solved this issue.

The construction of the pot feels extremely sturdy and the bottom has a rubber non-slip pad. The black handle and top are a hard plastic material, nothing special but sturdy nonetheless. The handle contains grips for your fingers which also make it easy to hold while pouring.

For this size and color (48 oz. chrome), the price on Amazon is only $49.99. Given that I will use it every day, I felt it was a good investment. If you’re interested in reading more about it or would like to purchase your own, you can find it at this link: Planetary Design Table Top Stainless Steel French Presses.

Now, I look forward to making coffee each morning. I can’t imagine life without this french press.



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17 comments

  1. Oh you poor thing! When I was younger and got 3rd degrees from sunburn (yep the Aussie ozone layer hole is mighty big!) my Greek neighbour told me to rub olive oil on it. It worked a treat! These days I’d rather eat my olive oil… hope it clears up soon!

  2. Oh f**k!! That sounds horrific, Allen. I’m glad you’re okay for the most part– sounds like first degree burns. When did this happen?!
    That is a HUGE member-of your kitchen. My calculations are for at least 10 cups of coffee! Good purchase!

  3. Allen, thanks for this bit of info. I have broken 3 Bodum French presses in the past few years. They’re nice looking, but they’re just not very sturdy. (I’m not sure why I haven’t looked to another brand…) This product seems really worth it and is only slightly more expensive than the flimsy Bodums.

  4. I am purchasing this right this second. I just made coffee in _my_ Bodum and was thinking “I _have_ to get something that will keep this warm.” So, while I am very sorry to hear of the burning incident, I am happy that you found this to pass on to us all…

  5. That is a handsome addition to your kitchen. I’ve been thinking about getting one like that, but my kitchen aid coffee maker still has a long LONG life ahead of her :-p

  6. Christie: Hmmm, basting yourself with olive oil? Next time I’ll have to give it a try :-)

    Manggy: It happened last week Wednesday, I think. It looks huge but is only 10-11″ tall and nearly the same size around as my old Bodum. It would likely serve 8-10 normal sized cups of coffee or 4 cups of ‘Allen-sized’ coffee.

    Cookingpanda: It is SO much better than the Bodum and it has better functionality (i.e. keeps the coffee warm).

    JM: I hope you like it too! It seems to keep my coffee hot for about 2 hours and then it slowly slides into lukewarm state over the remaining hours, which is fine by me.

    Peter G: It certainly does come in smaller sizes, as well as different pot shapes. The smaller ones are about $25, I believe. You can also get them in colors … pink, blue, etc. I like the stainless steel version though.

    Ben: Haha- maybe Santa will bring you one this Christmas!

  7. Oh my holy crap that sounds awful. Here I am always whining about my itty bitty burns on my hands and arms. I bow down to you sir.

    Had that happened to me I’d give up on french presses forever.

  8. Oh wow, what a scary moment. We have one of those too & now I know to be more careful. We so rarely drink coffee since giving up caffeine I can't justify buying a new one.

  9. I have couple French press including a stainless steel one that I take when I go camping.

    48oz is a nice size! I am very tempted since I have been keeping my go to here at the office.

  10. OK, I completely relate to you. I recently did the same thing as you…I was in my PJ’s (sans bra), and managed to pour boiling hot coffee all over my right breast. Ack! No blisters, just a lot of pain. Anyway, the glass carafe broke this week, so I’ve been looking for a new 48 oz french press. I did not see this one when I did my Amazon (or other websites) search. Thanks so much for the info, and for posting this on Tastespotting!!!

  11. Sweet Bird: Oh, I could never give up the french press! Fortunately, my wrist is nearly back to normal :-)

    Kat: Definetly be careful. I gave up coffee once a long time ago but I didn’t like myself afterwards :-) I now drink multiple cups per day.

    Fumi: I’ve been using it every day since I bought it and I wish I had known about it sooner. I love it!

    Bennance: Oh no! Sorry to hear that you also had an accident — this one is so good and sturdy. AND, it keeps your coffee hot for so much longer.

  12. Thanks for this post! After reading it, I went on Amazon and ordered it. I just got it and didn’t realize how big it is! Everyone in my office is going to love me (more than they already do).

  13. ecrunner: Oh, no! I hope you still like it — yep, it’s a big one. :-) I’ve been using it every morning and love it.

  14. You’ve had your PD French Press pot for almost a year now – are you still happy with it??

    Have you heard anything about this one? – Thermos Nissan 34-Ounce Vacuum Insulated Stainless-Steel Gourmet Coffee Press

    PD doesn’t seem to carry any stainless steel ones anymore….. Thanks.

  15. I love my PD tabletop french press and use it *every* day. It’s easy to clean, makes a large batch of coffee, and keeps it warmer for much longer than glass french presses. It’s been durable and held up to my frequent use.

    Although Amazon doesn’t appear to have them in stock, it does look like you can buy a chrome one directly from Planetary Design:
    http://www.planetarydesign.us/allproducts.html

    The design has changed a little bit — mine is straight sided and it looks like their new design is curved a little bit. I haven’t heard anything about the Nissan pot you mentioned.

    Best of luck in finding a french press that works for you!

  16. Planetary Design does carry stainless steel…everything they make is stainless, and badass! I have multiple sizes of their mugs and they all work very well. Why would anyone use glass when they make presses as good as these?

    They also have a product called the AirScape that even removes the air from your coffee or tea, thus making it last longer and fresher. Smart!!!

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