|Raw bean, Soaked bean, Cooked bean.|
First step is to soak your beans over night. Rinse off your beans in cold water, picking out anything that isn't a black bean) and put in a medium size container. Your going to add 3 times the water as you do beans. So I added one cup of black beans to 3 cups of cold water...keep in fridge overnight (6-8hrs minimum, I couldn't find a maximum).
In the morning take all the beans that floated to the top and discard them, rinse the rest of the beans well.
Get a pot and bring the beans to boil, then reduce the heat and simmer. Check periodically and make sure you always have 1/4 inch of water above your beans. Since you did the overnight soak the cooking will be much "faster"....and by that I mean it took me only 1.5 hrs to get them soft. I threw in some garlic for extra flavor because I just love garlic on everything.
Some tips I read online but didn't try:
Don't add salt till they are cooked.
There are some spices that help decrease gas issues with the beans.
Also the fresher the beans the faster they cook, but I couldn't find a "born on" date with mine :)