Making a cup of joe? Here are nine tips from experts to elevate your auto-drip coffee game

Buddy (Will Ferrell) mistakenly believes he has discovered the “World’s Best Cup of Coffee,” which Jovie (Zooey Deschanel) clarifies is actually a “crappy cup of coffee.”

Most coffee drinkers have experienced that moment upon first sip of subpar coffee, whether it’s a cup of joe we’ve purchased or one we’ve brewed at home (cough, cough, it’s mine — the cup I’ve brewed at home that may not be excellent).

So, what steps should you take to ensure that your drip coffee actually tastes good?

Will Frith, a coffee generalist, buyer, roaster, and the founder and product director of Building Coffee, told USA TODAY that the “rabbit hole of coffee geekery can get really deep,” but there are tips that can help make that morning cup of coffee a bit better.

Ensure that your coffee is fresh.
Frith suggests that well-roasted coffee (from a reputable roasting company) that is within one month of its roast date is ideal for drip coffee brewed at home.

Dan McLaughlin, owner of Golden Triangle Coffee in Cleveland, states that while fresh, specialty grounds may be more expensive, coffee drinkers typically waste less because the coffee is superior.

Instead of using pre-ground coffee, grind whole beans.
Sahra Nguyen, founder of Brooklyn-based Nguyen Coffee Supply, a specialty Vietnamese coffee brand, asserts that while pre-ground coffee is convenient, freshly ground coffee beans produce a superior flavor and aroma.

Invest in a quality coffee grinder
Frith suggests using a “burr grinder” prior to brewing. He suggests Baratza, which begins at less than $170.

According to McLaughlin, a quality coffee grinder is a “obvious” way to improve the flavor of your coffee. However, it does make a difference.

McLaughlin states, “Coffee is one of the few industries where you truly get what you pay for.” “Spending $150 on a burr grinder may seem excessive until you consider that it has been ten years and the grinder is still in perfect condition.”

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