By all definitions, I am a huge coffee nerd. In fact, I love coffee so much that I once decided to get an apprenticeship as a coffee roaster under the guise of “research” for a story I was working on. But I also enjoy a nice steaming cup of trash water from my local New York City coffee cart, and I personally don’t mind the suspect instant coffee served on airplanes, so you probably shouldn’t listen to me or trust anything about my gauche palate. So in the interest of writing a truly educational self-help coffee story with the people’s welfare in mind, I asked a real expert to share some coffee-making hacks so that you can make a better cup at home. Read on for some easy tips and tricks as told by Trade Coffee Co.’s Director of Coffee, Erika Vonie.

[Photo via @coffeenclothes]