General FAQs

 

Q: What materials are your products made from?

Most of our products, including Tumblers, Table Top French Presses, Tea Tumblers, Desk Presses, Double Shots, or steel Airscapes, are constructed of 18/8 restaurant-grade stainless steel. This is an extremely durable, food-safe, thermal material. The press unit in our French Presses (both Table Tops and Travel Presses) are constructed of high quality BPA-Free Grade 5 plastic (or Polypropylene – PP), and a fine, high-quality stainless-steel mesh screen. The color coat is either a scratch resistant baked enamel finish or a scratch resistant acrylic. There are rubber or silicone rings on the Table Tops to create a tight seal and rubber rings on the mugs for grip and aesthetic purposes.
The Airscape Lite® body is constructed of a durable, BPA-Free, dishwasher-safe co-polyester. The inner lids of both Airscapes are made of BPA-Free PP plastic and the outer lids of UV resistant acrylic. The Airscape® Glass body is made with durable, borosilicate glass.

Q: Where are your products manufactured?

While all of our Planetary Design products are designed and distributed here in the U.S., they (with the exception of the Big Sky Bistro) are manufactured abroad. This is not just because of cost, but also due to U.S. manufacturers not having the machinery and volume capability to make these kinds of stainless steel products. Nonetheless, we have very close relationships with our manufacturing partners and we’re in frequent contact with them. Independent audits and inspections are conducted routinely, ensuring both safe and fair working conditions as well as high quality products. Besides the numerous jobs we have created in our local economy, we often have additional quality checks and/or re-packaging performed by a non-profit in our community dedicated to providing employment opportunities to individuals with disabilities. In a nutshell, we feel that we take every measure to provide quality products that are made in an ethical manner, while remaining loyal to our local and national economy, and the environment as a whole.

Q: Can I put this in the dishwasher?

Though most products are ok on the top shelf of the dishwasher, we highly recommend hand-washing to prolong the life of your product. The Airscape® inner lid should always be gently hand-washed and let thoroughly air-dry.

 

Q: How long do your products keep beverages hot?

All of our French Presses and Tumblers will retain heat for hours and hours. It’s the single most raved feature of our products. With two walls of high quality stainless steel surrounding a vacuum, the resulting insulation protects your hot, cozy beverage from the ambient temperature outside the mug. Current tests estimate that having vacuum insulation in a mug increases the heat retention capabilities by 33%! That’s 33% longer for you to enjoy your cup of hot coffee or tea.

Q: Are all of your products insulated?

The only Press/Mug products we carry that are NOT heat insulated at this time are the Double Shot French Press Mug, and the Big Sky Bistro. We are working to re-design the Double Shot so that vacuum insulation will be feasible. Keep an eye out for it later in 2017.

 

Q: Is there glass in the liner of the French Presses?

No. Years back companies chose glass for its insulative properties. Then along came stainless steel technology which solves the two major dilemmas of glass; heat retention and durability. High quality stainless steel provides significantly better insulation, is obviously more durable and won’t retain flavor from beverage to beverage. We use double-walled, 18/8 restaurant-grade stainless steel combined with vacuum seal insulation to ensure superior heat retention, far better than any glass French Press can offer.

Q: Can I just buy parts of my Planetary Design product?

Lost lid? Accidentally ran it over or dropped it off a cliff?  No problem! You can purchase parts for your products here.  If you can’t get what you need, just give us a call and we’ll help you determine the best course of action.

Q: Do the French Presses work for tea?

Absolutely! Although the presses were originally designed for coffee they function as loose-leaf tea presses as well. The same directions apply, follow the steeping guidelines for the particular type of tea you are brewing, steep to taste, press and enjoy. It should be noted however, that because of the texture and density of tea leaves versus coffee grounds, after approximately 2 hours post-pressing, you will begin to notice a bitter taste from the continued infusion. For the perfect product for tea try our Tea Tumbler Infusion Mug designed specifically to fully stop the infusion without the hassle of removing the leaves. Finally, unlike many presses the stainless steel inner body will not retain the flavor of previous beverages. So enjoy coffee in the morning and coffee-free tea in the afternoon!

Q: Does the Infuser Mug work for coffee?

Yes! Though designed for tea, the Infuser Mug works great with ground coffee, maté, ground cacao, & even tea bags! We have found it to be wonderful for cold-brew coffee – just fill the basket with coffee grounds, pour water in, and let steep overnight for the perfect cup of cold-brew the next day. And since the Mug is stainless steel, it will not retain flavors from one drink to the next.

Q: What is the recommend way to clean the coffee stain in my tumbler?

A: Put 1 cup of baking soda in your stainless steel pot. Use a dish brush to gently scrub the insides of the pot. If the stain is still visible after scrubbing, pour out the water from the pot. Put 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide and 2 to 3 tablespoons of baking soda in the pot. Another method is to boil a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water, and pour into the tumbler. Let sit and then scrub gently.

Airscape® Bucket Lid FAQs

Q:  What should I use this thing for?

The Airscape® Bucket Lid has a plethora of uses – some we haven’t even thought of yet! Here are a few ideas:

BBQ Charcoal Storage– store your charcoal in a bucket topped with the ABL to keep pellets from absorbing moisture and becoming difficult to light when it’s time to get grillin! (Like the Big Green Egg)

Outdoor Gear Storage – the ABL will keep gear dry! Try it with your sleeping bag and clothes on a rafting trip, or ammo on a hunting trip. It serves as a watertight barrier to keep your gear clean and dry when enjoying the outdoors.

Domestic Pet Food Storage

Chicken Feed Storage

Compost Bucket Cover

Cloth Diaper Pail Cover

Q:  Is the ABL pest proof?

The ABL, once inserted correctly will prevent rodents, bugs and other pests from invading your bucket contents, assuming they were pest-free to begin with. Pests such as maggots are fairly common in store-bought rice, flour and other dry foods.  To avoid an infestation it is recommended to store rice in the freezer for at least 72 hours to kill any living things. Then, your rice can be stored safely in a food-safe bucket topped with the ABL.

Q: Does the ABL come with a bucket?

No, the ABL is just the insert itself. No bucket is included.

Q: What size buckets are compatible with the ABL?

The ABL is compatible with most 3 gallon to 7 gallon buckets. It is not compatible with a 1 gallon bucket.

Q: What are the measurements of the ABL?

The ABL has a diameter of 11.75 inches, and is 3 inches tall including the handle.

Q: Where can I get buckets to go with my ABL?

Most hardware stores carry general utility buckets that work perfectly with the ABL. For food storage applications, it is highly recommended to obtain BPA-free, food-safe buckets, which can be found at restaurant supply stores, online, or just ask around at your favorite local bakery or restaurant if they have any extra buckets you can have or purchase from them.

Q: Do I still need a bucket lid, or does this serve as a lid?

The ABL can serve as the lid of your bucket.  If desired, you can also place the bucket lid over the ABL, but that would leave less room in the bucket for the contents.

French Press Coffee FAQs

Q: What’s so great about French Press coffee anyway?

The French press method, or “plunger method” has, and continues to be, the standard by which coffee is judged simply because it is the most pure way of preparing coffee. With the ability to control the grind, the steeping temperature and steeping time, one can custom brew the perfect cup of coffee. 

Q: How should I grind my beans for French Press Coffee? (Aka why is my French Press plunger so hard to push down?)

The settings you’ll most likely see on most grinders (from fine to coarse) are: Turkish-Espresso-Drip-French Press-Percolate. These are often marked on a home grinder by numbers (typically 1 being fine and 10 being very coarse). Generally speaking, although French press is a coarser grind, feel free to try a grind range between Drip and French Press. The difference between Drip and French Press can typically be quite small and Drip grind can usually work just fine (bagged pre-ground coffee is usually ground to a Drip setting). If you notice the plunger becoming difficult to push down, this is most likely due to the grind being too fine, or there are simply too many coffee grounds in the press. In this case, DO NOT push harder on the plunger! Back the plunger out a bit, swirl the press to get the grounds moving in the water, and then continue to plunge down with even pressure. Using a quality grinder is also key. Typical inexpensive blade grinders ‘chop’ coffee beans into varying sized pieces thus creating an inconsistent grind which will affect the taste of your coffee. If you are getting fine grounds in your coffee after pressing, this is most likely the problem. For best results, try a high-quality burr grinder which operates by evenly slicing the beans at lower speeds (and without producing friction-induced heat), thus producing a consistent grind that will steep and press well.

Q: How much coffee do I use?

The beauty of French Press coffee is that you have complete control over grind, water temperature, and steeping time, allowing you to create the perfect cup every time. The amount of coffee varies per unique taste. As a general guideline first try using approximately 1 level tablespoon of ground coffee per 4 oz. of water. If you prefer a more stout brew, increase the grounds to water ratio, and vice versa. The amount of coffee you use only becomes a problem if you use so much that it is difficult to press them all to the bottom. In this case you should try a little less coffee, a little longer steeping time, a slightly coarser grind, or simply use a stronger coffee bean or darker roast.

Q: How long do I let the coffee steep?

3-4 minutes is an ideal steeping time, however this can vary according to personal taste, how coarse or fine the grind is, as well as the roast and bean itself. Rarely, and only with exceptionally high-end coffees, a coffee’s flavor will open up between 6-8 minutes. Generally speaking, approaching a steep time over 6-8 minutes will result in bitterness from over-steeping.

Q: Is there additional infusing occurring by leaving the grounds in the bottom of the mug?

We have found that the infusion that occurs after the pressing is negligible, and does not negatively affect your coffee drinking experience. When the coffee grounds come into contact with the water, the water is contacting every microscopic point on each individual ground. When the grounds are pressed to the bottom (picture a hockey puck), the overall surface area, (all the little points of contact) decreases thousands of times over, leaving the water very little surface area with which to continue infusion. You would start to notice that additional infusion hours later……. long after, we hope, you’ve finished your coffee!