Most coffee lovers have their own tried-and-true preparation methods developed through a process of trial and error over the years. But for those open to some expert advice, the National Coffee Association USA just revealed the “golden ratio” that goes into making a damn fine cup of coffee. 

According to the market research and java lobbying group’s handy guide, the platonically ideal pot of coffee uses one or two tablespoons of freshly ground coffee per six ounces of water. Naturally, one tablespoon makes for a tamer brew, while two is perfect for those who prefer bolder flavors and an extra jolt of caffeine. 

The contingent of professional coffee experts also has some specific advice that can help you elevate your grounds game. It turns out that over-extracted coffee grounds (industry jargon for too fine of a grind) can leave a bitter taste in your mouth. Conversely, coarse, under-extracted grounds mean your brew may taste flat and lack flavor. And maybe it’s because it’s their job to get people to buy more coffee, but the NCA also strongly advises against using old coffee grounds a second time. 

The National Coffee Association also mentions that the optimal water temperature for brewing coffee is between 195°F and 205°F. Bring cold tap or filtered water to a boil and then let it rest away from a heat source for a minute first. Finally, the amount of time your coffee brews is crucial. The NCA recommends a contact time of five minutes for drip coffee and two to four for a French press. It’s unclear what this means for those who use automatic coffee makers other than that you’re probably being judged for taking the easy way out.

Following this entire painstaking process might seem too meticulous for most of us, but knowledge of the “golden ratio” is the first step on your path towards coffee enlightenment. Use it wisely.