Here are some things to consider when buying coffee.
Look for coffee bags that have a roast date on them - it’s an indication that the roaster cares enough to inform you about freshness. If you prefer to buy pre-ground coffee, consider buying smaller amounts at a time so that you’re enjoying fresher coffee.
Generally speaking, roasts can be categorized as light, medium, and dark; which
correlates with the relative color of the coffee beans. With lighter roasts you'll notice a tart flavor that's referred to as acidity. Medium roast coffees display a balance of acidity and dark-chocolate sweetness. The darker a coffee is roasted, toasted/burnt flavors come out and oils appear on the bean's surface.
Some coffee bags will note flavors that you can spot in the coffee, just like how wine bottles might display flavor notes. These notes don’t mean that the roaster actually added flavors to the coffee (at least that’s not the norm); they just mean that the coffee reminded someone of these flavors.
For the freshest coffee, purchase whole beans and, using a burr grinder, grind the
amount you need just before brewing. If you prefer to purchase pre-ground coffee, make sure you have it ground to the correct size for your coffeemaker. For Palmpress, use medium grind size.