In the funny way the web works, I recently ended up looking at a site all about how to make the best coffee. In fact here it is: the coffee FAQ. The upshot seems to be that you need to grind your own beans, but what’s more those beans need to have been acquired within the last few days. This is totally unfeasible for our level of coffee drinking – it can takes us a couple of months to get through a bag of pre-ground!
One idea from this site (that does sound a bit wacky) is to roast your own beans at home! You can use a pop-corn maker to do so, and of course you can roast a very small amount, that you will use up in a few days. The green beans last for many months – even a year, so that’s no problem. To be honest this really appeals to me; partly for the sort of Heath Robinson aspect to it – but mainly because I really enjoy coffee, and with a relatively small outlay (less than fity quid, I would hazard), I could get a roaster, grinder, and some green beans. Gotta be worth a try!
Incidently, Sweet Marias has got loads more information about the equipment and the process.