My love for coffee began while living in Austin Texas at Caffe Medici. There I learned what all coffee snobs know: the best coffee is hand-poured. When making coffee, it's all about temperature, bean-to-water ratio, and pour. Nearly all of the quick-brew methods fall short on at least one of these three (here's lookin' at you Keurig).
If you're seeking a better home-brewed experience, consider first purchasing a Chemex and some filters. The Chemex is perfect for anyone who prefers exceptionally bright, clean coffees with tons of flavor clarity and virtually no body.
Eventually, I recommend finding an automatic burr grinder, a coffee scale, and a gooseneck kettle. The grinder and scale provide consistency to your process and the kettle provides more control for the direction and volume of water.
For beans, visit a local roastery or purchase via Trade Coffee . Most grocery stores do not have fresh beans; look on the bag for a roast date within the past 1-2 weeks.