For the best cup of coffee always use cold filtered water to start. Never use hot water in an auto drip coffee maker. I also suggest storing unused coffee in an air-tight container, preferably grinding just enough coffee per use.
A simple blade grinder can be purchased for less than $30.00. If you spend a little more and purchase a burr grinder you will be able to get a more consistent and even grind. Most coffee experts recommend 2 tablespoons per six ounces of water. I suggest starting there but then try decreasing the amount in small increments until the brew strength is just where you want it. You can add water to coffee that is too strong but you can’ fix it if its too weak. You will find that coffee as fresh as ours will not only taste better, but will last longer, as you will need to use less coffee to achieve the perfect cup. I am very satisfied with using 1 rounded tablespoon of ground coffee per 8oz cup.