The office coffee pot. It can be good, but it can be bad and it can also be ugly. We’ve all poured ourselves a tall cup of hot, steaming coffee, only to take a sip and immediately regret our decisions from the last five minutes of time. Maybe the coffee beans were old, or the coffee itself was burnt, or perhaps that hot, steaming cup wasn’t hot or steaming at all. Whatever the issue was, it can be bad enough to turn us off from office coffee forever.

Until now.

The secret to good office coffee has escaped so many offices around the world because there is no one-size-fits-all tip for everyone. In fact, there are actually several small secrets that can make a huge difference in your office’s coffee.

Your Machine Matters

A good coffee maker can be the difference between quality coffee and something less appealing. When choosing a coffee maker, keep in mind your office’s environment, space, budget and needs. An office with an even mix of coffee and tea drinkers might benefit from a single cup or Keurig machine for a customizable experience. Small offices might benefit from an espresso machine. Research what your office wants beforehand, and you’ll be able to find a quality machine that fits your needs.

It’s All About the Beans

The type and quality of coffee that your office invests in can make or break the coffee experience. Even the best machines can’t make magic with low caliber coffee, so if you’re planning on investing in your office’s coffee game, this is the place to do it. Consider what’s popular in the office; is it a light roast? Dark roast? Flavored coffees? Lattes?

The type of coffee maker you have also comes in to play. Do you have a bean-to-cup machine that can grind whole coffee beans fresh? Do you have a single-serve pod machine? Maybe you’ve got a classic coffee pot. Don’t be afraid to try different brands of coffee that are made available for your maker until you find a favorite.

Superb Storage

Good coffee doesn’t start when you press the “brew” button; it comes long before that. How you store and organize your coffee area in your break room, waiting area and other spaces can do a lot to improve the way your coffee tastes.

First and foremost: store your coffee in an airtight container. This will keep it fresher for longer and avoid that stale taste we’ve all experienced before. Keep the airtight container in a cool, dry place to continue to preserve its freshness. Buying coffee in smaller quantities rather than in bulk can keep the office always drinking fresh coffee.

Coffee Equals Community

Finally, don’t forget that drinking coffee is an experience. There is a reason that first dates happen at coffee shops, meetings take place over caramel macchiatos and coffee comes after dinners that you don’t want to end. Coffee brings people together, so use that for inspiration in the office.

Try brewing a fresh pot of coffee and serving it at regularly scheduled meetings to give everyone a pick-me-up. Offer clients and new customers a warm cup, or give one to a coworker who appears to be struggling. Coffee can help build office culture and community if you use it correctly.

In conclusion, there is no one quick and easy way to take the office coffee pot from zero to hero. However, with a little tweaking, you might just find that the secret for good coffee in the office was right in front of you all along.