French press instructions
How to Use a French Press: Step-by-Step
1. Use water that is slightly cooler than boiling.
Bring water to a boil, then wait a minute or two. Or cool the boiling water with a shot of cool or cold water.
Use fresh water that has not been boiled before for the best taste. The reason is because the water we drink (from the tap or bottle) has been aerated and has dissolved gases that make the water taste better. Boiling removes the gases and leaves a "flat" taste. (I'm not 100% convinced of this and am usually too lazy to empty the electric kettle of previously-boiled water. But this advice has been handed down for generations, is often quoted by tea and coffee connoiseurs, and the explanation sounds reasonable.)
Tip: Put a bit of hot water in the empty French press to warm it up. You'll end up with a hotter final cup.
2. Grind your own coffee beans.
Freshly ground coffee is easily 10 times better than pre-ground coffee. Even non-connoisseurs will instantly notice the significant difference in aroma, flavor and overall awesomeness of the cup of coffee.
Tip: For the best taste, freshly ground coffee is more important than having perfectly sized grounds. So if the cost of a burr grinder is prohibitive, choose to buy whole beans and grind at home with a cheap blade grinder versus buying pre-ground coffee.
3. Use a coarse grind.
You want uniform large pieces so the grinds don't slip through the mesh filter. But the grind shouldn't be so large that you can't extract most of the goodness, making for weak bland coffee.
Tip: Adjust the strength of your brew by adjusting your grind size. I like my coffee strong, so I aim for a finer grind that is just large enough for the mesh.