Like anything worth doing the French coffee press (aka the plunger press, press pot or cafetière) is an apparatus that requires a bit practice and forethought to perfect. Below are my current steps (the process) to French press perfection:
1) Fill both an electric tea kettle with filtered water & stove top kettle with non filtered water; add heat.
2) While the kettles boil grind your coffee. I use a vintage PeDe wooden box hand grinder CC bought me, set to a fine grind, the burrs are snug but not tight, the grind is like coarse sand.
3) With the non-filtered water tea kettle at or near boiling pre-heat the press pot and plunger with hot water. While you’re at it pre-heat (fill) your vacuum flask and your cup that you’re going to drink your coffee with. Why? Because or goal here is to keep the coffee temperature on the level, if everything is brought up to temperature your fluctuation will be minimized.
4) When your electric tea kettle dings give about 30 secs to 1 min off boil for the temperature to fall between 200-190 degrees F (93-88 °C). Dump the hot water out of the press pot. Your amount of ground coffee to water ratio is something of a personal preference. Using a finer grind and longer wait time gives a richer, stronger extraction. Typically, I use 4 TBSP of ground coffee and fill the pot with about 3 cups (.6 Liters) of water. I generally find that if I want a completely full press pot I need over 5 level tablespoons.
5) I set my countdown timer for 4 minutes. I stir the blooming fresh grounds for about 30 seconds before placing the plunger lid on the press pot. Wait.
6) Throw out hot water from your vacuum flash and drinking cup. Pour hot press pot into your hot vessels, don’t pour out the dredge at the bottom of the press pot, generally the last couple of ounces have too much sludge.
7) Amaze your friends with piping hot coffee.