Making a Better Cup of Coffee - If you drink coffee consistently you owe it to yourself to do it right.
A Life Home Living how to - Making Better Coffee.
More than you think goes into a decent cup of coffee, sure at the basic level it is ground beans and water - but a few simple tips can really improve what you are drinking with out spending money on fancy beans or a drip machine.
Clean the Coffee Maker
Despite what I have heard from some of my friends the coffee maker is not a cast iron skillet, it can not, nor should it be seasoned. A simple step to making better coffee: clean it out the coffee maker from time to time. To do this run a solution of 50/50 White Vinegar and water run through the machine once followed by a rinse, and then "brewing" of a couple pots of water. This should remove hard water deposits, loosen old grounds, and make it very easy to wipe out (which you should).
Warm the Coffee Maker
If you have an older or a less powerful machine that is unlikely to reach to ideal brewing temperatures (205 degrees unfortunately most machines on the market), you can build heat in it by priming. To do this you will run through a pot filled with 6-8 cups of plain water with no coffee in the machine to warm up it's internals. When you go to brew the actual pot of coffee (with fresh water) you'll reach higher water temperatures which results in a smoother, less bitter cup.
Pre-rinse the Filter
An unfortunate issue with paper filters is dusty and at times a woody smell that is imparted to the coffee. A quick rinse of the filter really helps to reduce this. Take the filter place it in the filter cone and normal and they run some water through it this will remove most of the dust and some chemicals that the filter would otherwise impart.
Store it Properly
Heat, light, oxygen, and moisture are the main things that cause coffee to go bad. Keep this in mind when thinking about storage, but don't put it in the fridge. Store it in the bag it came in or in a specifically designed canister. Do so away from light and away from heat sources like the stove, this will stop the coffee from going stale quickly and make the cups you drink later in the bag more better.
Use Clean, Cold, Filtered, Water
Coffee is 96%+ water. If you are not using the best water you have on hand then you'll have no chance at making better coffee.