Lisa Dowd, owner of A Shot of Java in downtown Glendale has been featured in the newspaper. Here are her tips for brewing good coffee. Here’s her advice on how to brew a great cup at home, using any manual drip pot: Freshness counts. Beans lose flavor quickly, so optimally they should be used within two weeks of roasting. Beans are naturally oily, so if buying from a grocery bin, stay clear of beans that are dull and dry, a sign they are past their flavor prime. For health and ethical reasons, Dowd recommends organic, free-trade beans in either medium or bold. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark cupboard. Buy whole beans and grind your coffee just prior to brewing. For drip brewing, the grind should be similar in consistency to granulated sugar. Dowd recommends using at least 1 tablespoon for every 6 ounces, or three-quarters cup, of water. Grind only as much whole-bean coffee as you need for immediate brewing. Coffee begins to loose flavor and aroma within one hour of being ground. Make sure your coffee pot is brewing at the right temperate: 180 to 185 degrees. Too low a temperature produces weak coffee, and too high a temperature produces a bitter flavor. Water is an ingredient, and Dowd recommends using filtered or bottled water, never softened or tap water. Check that the spray head inside your coffee brewer is not clogged or obstructed by coffee or water residues. Also make sure the appropriate brew basket for your brewing equipment is being used. Once the coffee is brewed, drink within 15 to 30 minutes. Coffee retains its flavor for about 15 to 30 minutes. Cleanliness also matters. Wash filters and pots well. Any residue will turn the next pot quickly into a bitter brew. Those who brew coffee regularly should clean their coffeemakers monthly. To clean, add white vinegar to the water reservoir until one-fourth full. Fill with water until full. Run the water-vinegar solution through coffeemaker.