Making great coffee is not rocket science, you just have to pay attention to a few details. Regardless of the preparation method you prefer (auto drip, press pot, vaccuum brewer, etc) consider the following tips:
Purchasing whole bean coffee helps keep protect the coffee from exposure to oxygen and other contaminants. This preserves, as much as possible, the coffee's natural oils, aroma and flavor.
A glass container with a rubber seal works best. Store coffee in a cool, dry place, preferably away from other food sources. Coffee absorbs moisture and other odors, so regardless of where you store your beans, be sure that it's either kept in sealed glass container or, at the very least, a zip-lock bag. We ship our coffee in mylar zip-lock bags with a one-way gas valve that allows the beans to expel gases, but prevent contamination from oxygen and other environmental sources.
The grind level is one of the single most important elements to making a "good" cup of coffee. Different coffee brewing methods require different grind levels. Use a coarse grind in a press pot, and a bit finer grind for a vacuum pot. Grind even finer for automatic drip. Generally, coffee that is ground too fine produces a more bitter cup. Coffee that is ground too coarse produces will produce a watery cup.
Always use fresh, cold water and avoid chemically treated water whenever possible. Also, use the right ratio of coffee to water. While tastes vary from person to person, a good rule of thumb is to use between 1 and 2 tablespoons of coffee for every 6 ounces of water. Too little coffee won't necessarily make a weaker brew...it'll most likely make a bitter brew. If your coffee is stronger than you like, you can always dilute it with a little hot water.
Be sure to brew the coffee at or around 200 degrees F. This temperature is commonly referred to as "off-boil", or a notch below boiling temperature. To achieve this temperature when boiling the water, remove the kettle once the water has reached the boiling point and wait 30-60 seconds before pouring.
You can keep coffee warm on a burner or hotplate for only about 20 minutes before its flavor starts to turn and become bitter. Additionally, coffee can only be stored an hour or two in a thermos or thermal carafe. Longer than that and it'll start to taste like its storage vessel.