Bring water to a full rolling boil, then remove from heat immediately. Pour about half a cup of the boiling water into the plunger pot and a splash into each of the coffee mugs to heat them. This step is essential to avoid lukewarm coffee.
Grind beans. Conventional plunger wisdom calls for a coarse grind in order to keep the beans from escaping through the mesh screen. However, if you like your coffee thick and velvety, use a fine (i.e., espresso) grind. If you are using pre-ground beans, buy them in quantities that will be consumed within a week.
Spoon ground coffee into plunger pot. (If you are half-asleep, double-check that you have dumped out the warming water.) Add 4 cups of hot water and insert the plunger just far enough so that it acts as a lid. Let the coffee steep for 3 to 4 minutes, then press plunger down very slowly and steadily. Allow another minute for the coffee sediment to settle to the bottom.
Hold the French press up to the sun before serving and pay homage to the coffee gods. If any hint of sunlight shines through the coffee, pour it out and start all over again.
This is more than most instructions specify. Fresh-roasted dark, oily beans, i.e., French, Italian, or espresso, are preferable Spring or filtered water is best. That said, I use tap water.
Courtesy Bob Blumer, Surreal Gourmet