Friday, February 14, 2014

PRODUCT REVIEW: Planetary Design Airscape Canister

Don't bother reading to the end of the review. Go out and buy one immediately.

Still reading? I'll assume that you've already placed your order and are now reading to find out how awesome your canister is going to be when it arrives, because it is going to be awesome.

There are very few products out there that I would call a necessity for the average tea or coffee lover. The Airscape is a necessity. It will keep your tea and coffee fresh for as long as you need it to be fresh.

One of the biggest problems with both tea and coffee is getting it. You have to open the canister to retrieve the leaves or beans. Even if you use an air-tight canister, every time you open it, you are letting in new air. That air will, time after time, degrade your tea and coffee.

For most of us, this degradation is only apparent when we go from the last of the old stuff to a new package. The differences are so stark as to be detectable by even the most uncaring.

For me, the Airscape is a godsend because espresso amplifies the effects of aging beans. I am aware of it from day to day, even hour to hour.

In my old canister, my first couple of days of espresso shots were smooth, accurate, crema-filled cups of pure heaven. But after that, the shots failed increasingly frequently, the crema disappeared, and the rich chocolates and caramels went bye-bye. To compensate for this, I bought coffee in very small amounts — sometimes as little as an eighth of a pound.

The Airscape eliminates the need to do this. I can buy coffee in bulk, store the majority of it in another sealed container and keep my Airscape filled. The act of pressing the air out every time prevents the coffee beans from ever being exposed to new air for a long period of time.

The effects of this are so significant that I barely if at all have to alter my grind settings on my grinder as time passes. The ambient temperature and humidity levels become far more important for determining grind than the age of the beans. That is a revelation.

Tea is more sensitive to aging than coffee. My wife, a tea aficionado of the highest order, can taste the degradation of loose-leaf tea as time goes by. This canister eliminates that entirely. Your tea will always be fresh, punchy, and delicious. Once you determine your ideal steep temperature and time, you will never have to adjust that as the leaves age. You need this.

There are a number of other vacuum canisters out there, but none of them are as good as the Airscape's simple design. The Beanvac is impressive as it automatically sucks out all of the air surrounding the beans. The bad part is that it is battery-powered, thus requiring replacements, costs more, and doesn't do any better a job. There are also a number of other canisters that require you to manually pump the air out. None of these achieve the easy simplicity of merely pressing the cap down until it reaches the beans. It is not a pure vacuum, but it comes so close as to make no difference.

Buy the Airscape. You will not regret it.

Planetary Design Airscape: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

No comments: