Fresh is Best
First up, fresh is best - no question. If you can, grind your beans when you need them, and only grind what you need. While coffee is in its whole bean state, all the good tasty stuff stays protected inside the bean, right where you want it. Once ground, the coffee's exposure to oxygen and moisture is greatly increased, causing a rapid loss of flavour and aroma. How rapid you ask? We are talking a substantial loss of freshness within minutes, not in days or weeks. The good news is that, with all other factors remaining equal, a lighter roasted coffee bean will stay fresher longer than a darker roast, and specialty coffee roasters such as Solitude Coffee favour lighter roasts.
[Grind] Size is Important
Next up you need to match your grind to your brewing method. On this site we give some common brewing examples to help you make a grind selection when completing a purchase. Here are a few more examples:
Extra coarse (eg cold brew)
Coarse (eg French Press/Plunger)
Medium Coarse (eg Chemex)
Medium Fine (eg pourover, siphon, v60, Aeropress)
Fine (eg domestic espresso, stovetop)
Extra Fine (espresso, Turkish)
You can find some helpful images of coffee grind sizes here.
Different brewing methods require different brewing times to produce a coffee you will be happy with. Generally speaking the longer the water and the ground coffee are going to be in contact with each other, the coarser the grind will need to be.
Broadly speaking there are two types of coffee grinders: blade grinders and burr grinders. If you like your coffee as espresso, then you will really need a good quality burr grinder. The reason is simply precision - they offer a grind quality that a blade grinder cannot. If you don't need a grind that fine, then a blade grinder can do the job, but you will always find the results a bit hit and miss. Alternatively, try a hand grinder, they can offer the fine grind of an electric burr grinder - with the added bonus of a solid upper body workout!
Unless you have a storage cannister that enables you to vacuum out the air, store your coffee in the bag it was purchased in. It has a one way valve to allow gases to escape without letting air get inside the bag. Keep the bag away from light, heat and moisture, such as in your pantry. Don't be tempted to store coffee in the fridge, but if you have whole beans you can experiment with storing it in the freezer. More recently opinions have changed a lot on this and some impressive results have been achieved.
Did I Mention Fresh is Best?
Try to buy less coffee more frequently if you can. No matter how careful you are with storage, coffee is a fresh product and should be treated as such. Any coffee you purchase from Solitude Coffee is freshly roasted, and should keep well for at least three weeks as long as properly stored in whole bean form. If you don't think you will use all of your coffee in that sort of timeframe, try opting for a smaller bag size.
Or just drink coffee more often.