Two tablespoons of freshly ground coffee for every 6oz (180ml) of water.

If the grind is too fine, the coffee can be bitter and unpleasant. If it’s too coarse, the coffee can be watery. The grind is determined by the brewing method – coarse for a press, medium for brewed coffee, fine for espresso.

Because a cup of coffee is 98 per cent water, use clean, fresh, water. Avoid distilled or any other type of water with a strong taste. If you dislike the taste of what comes from your tap, you can use filtered or bottled water when brewing.

Coffee is perishable. Unoopened bags should be stored at room temperature. Once the bag is opened, store in an opaque, airtight container at room temperature.

After it’s brewed, it’s best to store coffee in a thermal carafe. Coffee that is left sitting on the burner of a home machine will begin to taste bad after about 20 minutes. Never reheat coffee.

This article was originally published in Simply Her May 2014.