Don't be fooled by the photo - at 7 inches tall, this press pot is bigger than it appears in the photos.
The plunger design is ingenious, bordering on "cheap." But it works, and better yet, has been amazingly durable! It's a plastic plunger ringed with lots of paper-thin vertical slices, dividing the plunger of dozens of wall-hugging pieces that are forced outward by a very simple ring of sprung steel. Plus there's a screen over opening in the sippy-top. I've have had absolutely no problems with getting stray coffee grounds in my mouth.
Google "planetary design plastic flange" and click on the "100 cups of coffee" result for close-up photos of the plunger design.
To keep the grounds contained, you will have to drink with the plunger top on, unless you want to perform a liquid transfer, rinse out the grounds, and pour the liquid back in. In that case, a non-plunger sippy top is included, or you could try drinking out of it like an adult, with no lid.
This is actually my third Planetary Design press pot. The first was their Boot Cut French Press Mug that I've owned and used regularly for about 4 years. It's still going strong.
About a year ago, purchased my second Planetary press, this Desk Press design. It came via a third party -- Niner Bikes, with a Niner logo on it -- but it was otherwise identical to Planetary's off-the-shelf Desk Press. And here's where the long story begins (but I'll make it short):
The handle was loose, and became looser with use. A quick email to Planetary, and they instructed me to remove rubber plug from the bend in the handle and tighten a screw under there. I did, and that solved the problem for a short while. Then the looseness came back, and soon thereafter, the handle snapped off. I emailed pictures to Planetary, and they replied that it was apparent the weld point broke, and they were within months of having redesigned Desk Presses with stronger handle attachment points. That was January of 2011. Complicating matters was I wanted mine with the Niner Bikes logo. Fast forward to July 2011: Niner ordered another batch of Desk Presses, Planetary worked with Niner to sort out whatever financial details needed attending to, and Niner Bikes sent me my replacement Desk Press.
The new handle can be seen on the planetarydesign dot US webpage; at the time of my posting this, the Amazon photo does not reflect the redesign.
My original review stands, and both companies (but especially Planetary Design) were good about working with me to resolve this, but (pros and cons):
+ the new handle is certainly beefier, with two external screws and a chromed "butt" to the handle (where it connects with the mug), though it's not quite as svelte-looking as the original
+ the new handle is ergonomically a little more pleasing to hold, both in shape and in texture (more rubberized)
- there are a few minor cosmetic blemishes on the red exterior
- the "stainless steel" base (that ring of silver that stands out at the bottom of the mug in the website photos) turns out is not actually what it appears -- my new mug has a blemish down there that makes it obvious this is actually an heat-applied applique of some sort; I hope, over time, this doesn't begin to peel away
But at the end of the day, this coffee press makes good coffee and keeps it hot for a hours (literally). So much better than my uninsulated glass Bodum press that I've been using at home, which loses heat almost immediately (and fagiddaboudit when I take it camping).
I did knock the Desk Press one star due to the original broken handle, and the replacement's cosmetic blemishes (I'm leaving my original Boot Cut press at 5-stars because it's been perfect all along). But my problems may have been a simple roll of the dice, and I continue to have no problems recommending this press to my coffee-loving friends, especially those who hate the junk that gets brewed at work.
BTW, the difference between the Boot Cut vs. the Desk Press? Nothing but the exterior shape. The Boot Cut is a bit more bottom-heavy and therefore more stable if you need to set it on the car floor, or some other unstable surface. The Desk Press fits my car's cup holder. Internally, both are identical, use identical press parts, and hold identical amounts of coffee.