1. Gather your ingredients. You will need a coffee maker with a clean carafe and filter, a grinder, and a cup.
2. Grind the beans. Set your grinder to medium (or whatever the machine maker recommends). You can also use pre-ground coffee, at the expense of a little flavor. Selection of beans is key. If you want something light and pleasant, try a flavored coffee or a mild blend. If you want a hard, energizing "wake-up" brew, you might want espresso or Kona beans. Mixing beans often gets you some great combination.
3. Place the filter into the brewing basket. Following the instructions for your particular coffee maker, use the right size filter and place in the basket. If it's removable, you can rinse the filter and basket in hot water to remove any paper flavor.
There are also reusable gold filters available for many coffee makers. These cut down on paper waste, add no flavor at all to the brew, and are easily cleaned.
4. Add the grounds. Most coffee makers like to have about 2 tablespoons per cup. Adjust this proportion to taste: stronger coffee means more grounds, lighter coffee means less. If you brew it too strong, you can always add some hot water to your cup.
5. Fill the reservoir. Use the carafe as a measuring cup by filling it with the appropriate amount of water for the amount of coffee you have used. (Most coffee pots have measurements on the side.)
6. Turn it on. Press the On or Power button/switch. After a minute or two as the machine pre-heats the water, your coffee should begin brewing. Some machines brew quickly, but others brew slowly. Slow isn't actually all bad though; it gives the end result a more rounded flavor. Play some music or entertain yourself for a few minutes while your coffee is brewing. The coffee is done when you stop hearing bubbling sounds.
7. Drink up! Pour yourself a cup and add cream and/or sugar if desired.