I usually get to work about an hour before most of the other people in the office do and I've got the 2-3 carafe's all to myself.
We're brewing a 1.9 liter pot each time, so I'm not sure how much coffee that is. It's about 8 cups, so about 8-10 TBSP's is right on the money? Still it should cover the bottom of the coffee filter a ways up right?
We've got a bunn CWTF15-APS coffee maker with an automatic hookup to some not terrible tasting water. Are there any subtle ways I can alter the situation to make a truly tasty pot of coffee out of pre-packaged ground coffee without spending any money?
Three quick and easy hacks you can do without throwing capitol at the issue:
Shoot a dud pot first thing in the morning. By brewing a coffeeless pot and throwing away the water, you will empty the the Bunn's hot bladder. Think of it as a morning tinkle for the CWTF15-APS to git rid of the rank overnight water fouling your morning joe.
Use an extra filter. Substandard inputs are signiflatulanceficantly improved by an additional filter.
Scrape the the cheeto and donut leavin's off of the lip of your coffee cup once in a while. The "seasoned" coffee cup is a myth as proven in a blind taste test where we forced coworkers to drink coffee from a randomly selected sampling of well seasoned and clean coffee mugs. There was a little bit of a flatulence effect with seasoned mugs in that a subset of coworkers "liked their own brand" in testing, but the overwhelming data suggest that dirty mugs are just gross.
Put a tiny pinch of kosher salt in with the grinds. It won't make the coffee salty, but it will help you squeeze every bit of flavor those pre-packaged grinds still have to give. Works best with darker roasts, look for a slight improvement, not a miracle :)
Also, Go with an extra tablespoon or two of coffee. As Chris In AK mentions - it's easy to add water to strong coffee to weaken it a bit, but you can't do much with weak coffee if you like it stronger. Though, if you do this, there should be some means of obtaining clean hot water close to where people get their fill.