So when you are on the hunt for the perfect cup of french press coffee, a vital variable is the water temperature — which makes absolute sense given that 99% of your entire mug is water. However, before we go into the perfect temperature you firstly want to be analyzing the quality of your water that you are using.
Make sure it is the “cleanest & freshest” water you can get your hands on (spring water you can find in supermarkets is spot on). Generally speaking you want to be keep well clear from distilled water given that the natural minerals react well with coffee beans to promote the flavor.
Now getting the perfect temperature. Many coffee experts believe it to be in the range of 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit. To achieve this manually with a french press you will need to boil the water (around 750 grams) with a quality electric kettle and then as soon as it is done remove it from its docking heat station source (on the kitchen side will be perfect).
Then you want to let it cool down for exactly 130 seconds (2 minutes for the practical folk) — get it on a timer — and then the water should be right at around the 200 degrees F (obviously give or take) and then start to ‘gradually’ pour it over your ground coffee and you are golden.
Also, I encourage you to experiment a little, see how it tastes if you only leave it a minute to cool down or for three minutes and see how it compares. Make sure you hold everything else constant and see what works for you. After all the perfect temp for french coffee will obviously vary for everyone.
If you care to spend a few more minutes I’d encourage you to see this video on great french press coffee using water that is just shy of boiling, between 195 and 200 degrees. Interesting stuff.
I would also suggest you see this page on the differences between french press and moka, both are very rich coffees and make drip coffee seem far less attractive in the morning.