The start to any good cup of coffee is using the best water available. Whenever possible, use filtered or spring water before water straight from the tap.
Freshly Roasted & Ground Beans
Coffee's at its best when it's been freshly roasted, so don't buy beans older than a week. And grind them yourself at home, with an electric or manual grinder. Since you'll be using a French Press (see below), make sure to grind the beans at a coarse setting.
We probably don't need to talk you through this part. Just boil plenty.
Preheat Mug and French Press
This is key: Preheating the mug keeps your coffee warming longer, but preheating the French Press actually helps the coffee extract flavor at a better rate. Let the just-boiled water sit in the French Press for at least 30 seconds, pour out and move on to the next step. By the time you're done, the water you boiled will have reached the perfect temperature.
Add Water To Grounds
Measuring the grounds right is a bit on an art, but a good rule of thumb is one rounded tablespoon per cup. Once you've added all the water, give the coffee a few stirs with a chopstick. Then let it steep -- for an average-sized French Press, let it sit for about four minutes.
Plunge & Serve
Push down with even pressure -- if you got the grind right on your beans, it should take you 15-20 seconds to completely press the coffee. Pour it at once, and serve in those pre-warmed mugs. Perfect.