Start with fresh coffee. If using whole beans, make sure the grind is correct. Fine for espresso. Medium for auto drip. Coarse for press pots. Still with us? Always use fresh, filtered, clean water at 200 degrees F. Ignore hot water if using an automatic machine(it heats it up for you). Don’t stress, use enough coffee to make you happy. Like it a little weaker? Use two tablespoons(12ish grams). Like it stronger? Go with three scoops(17ish grams). Brew, taste, repeat. Change as needed.