That depends on how you prepare your coffee really. I prefer buying my beans whole, grinding them coarsely at home and brewing them in a french press. Gives you a lot of control over the brew and is just so tasty and fresh!
I roast my own with beans from www.sweetmarias.com ... then I make espresso with them using a manual, lever driven Italian machine called a La Pavoni. It's "primal" espresso. :-)
Espresso, especially, wants fresh beans. When I roast them myself, I know exactly how old they are.
Wow, I now realize I am an ignorant pawn of corporate America. I buy Folger's Columbian at Safeway. :O
I must say, though, that in the morning it tastes pretty good to me--although the heavy cream and unprocessed honey probably help. :-))
Stumptown. The line to the barista was all 30 something 120 pound guys about 6 feet tall in black pegged levis. They might have been paleo I but I have my doubts. No question about whether they knew which coffee was best.
For home use I use the house blend ground coarse and French pressed. The best drip perk is from a Technivorm, but too spendy right now.
I tried every organic medium to dark roast at Trader Joe's, and the Bolivian won out for both my husband and I, with the Sumatran and French Roast coming in second.
I use an Aeropress for brewing, but I'm thinking about switching to a Chemex. I'd like to get more plastic out of our life, plus it takes like 10 minutes (of active prep time, not just pour-and-forget) every morning to make coffees. And it uses a lot of coffee. But nothing I've found beats the Aeropress in taste and coffee strength (which is perfect for iced coffee).
And a burr grinder for fresh ground beans is a must :)
Maybe not the best but pretty good.
Good quality freshly roasted coffee beans.
A burr grinder. Mine is a Hario Mini Mill, provides good exercise grinding the beans.
Bodum Columbia double walled cafetiere keeps the coffee hot.
The "correct" response to any "which is best" or "which is worst" question, can only be:
Best, or worst, in terms of which particular criteria?
Distinctions matter. Best taste? Requires a particular observer with particular tastes. Same with every other criterion I'm aware of, including political considerations like Fair Trade.
One thing 10 blind tasters have in common is a palette. Even more common thing: their palette is unique.
This particular observer is fond of espresso blends, for instance Peet's Espresso Forte. Tastes great in French press at home as well as home espresso machine.
There will never be a definitive answer to this question. Like tea, it is purely personal taste and preference.
For me, I have three methods: Chemex. Pour over. French Press. For the beans it's all over the place: Stumptown, Oslo, Vivace, Cafe Vita, Grumpy, Counter Culture, Blue Bottle, Trader Joe's Costa Rican Tarrazu. All different grinds, different roasting. Beans are kept in a Mason jar in a dark cupboard.
I just make for myself and only have one big fat delicious cup on the days that I don't have tea. I love the pour-over method and Chemex is truly superior. French press is fantastic as well but I actually hate having to take it apart to clean so it doesn't come out that often. So for the most part its split between Chemex and pour-over.
Coffee is my treat and one of the few $$ indulgences that I allow myself right now so no messing around :)