Place the water in a small saucepan and bring water to a boil. Place the coffee beans in a bean grinder and grind to a medium-fine grind. Place the coffee grinds in the top cylinder of French drip pot. Slowly pour the hot water, one cup at a time, into the top cylinder of the drip pot until all of water is used. This process will yield 3 cups of brewed coffee.
Pour the coffee into a small saucepan and stir in the half-and-half. Return to the stove and heat over medium heat until heated through. Add the desired amount of sugar to each cup of café au lait.
Note: I highly recommend using half-and-half for this recipe, however, if you are watching your calories they now make fat free half-and-half. I actually cut the half-and-half with the fat free. If you use milk, I recommend using a 50/50 ratio of coffee to milk, otherwise it will be too strong and you won't have the body you get with the half-and-half.
Makes 5 large cups
If you don't want to grind your own beans, most stores have whole beans available and an in-store grinder that allows you to grind your own. You can also go to one of those fancy coffeehouses I spoke of and they will be happy to grind some beans for you.
You can use coffee that already comes ground, however I suggest you use a dark roasted coffee.
This process will produce a very dark, robust, cup of coffee. If it is too strong for you, either use less coffee grinds or more milk.