Alright so the BEST cup of coffee I think I've ever had was a decent but not ridiculously expensive store roast from an ok but not super local roaster..
It was made with a $20 electric kettle and a $15 pour over cone.
The second best (maybe.. might be first) is some of our home roast I roasted in the old popcorn popper ($5 from goodwill with a "free" tin can extension... stir stick from the yard) that I made in our old sunbeam vacuum pot ($20 at a yard sale, add $20 for a new seal). I had to tweak the bimetallic strip slightly on the sunbeam to land the "close to perfect" cup from it.. but that wasn't hard either.
We make very DECENT coffee daily with a $25 french press (and the aforementioned kettle). It's low effort and moderately fast for 2-3 cups (grind, dump, bloom with 1/4 the water for 1m, stir, fill, wait 2m, press, pour, drink).
There are basically two points of control for a drip or press style coffee:
- Water temperature
- Contact type and duration with the grounds
That's it. The details are of course endless.. but the basics.. are pretty basic. You get some variation by adjusting the grind because you either don't want fines (powdered coffee residue) and if it's to coarse it doesn't extract well (especially for drip, pour over).
Different roasts and types of coffee will be better or worse for that usage and we've found there's a flavor curve after roasting (day of is not best basically ever.. somewhere between 4 days and 3 weeks after roasting is where most hit peak awesome but the window is reasonably wide).
The other thing I'd note is that "good" is highly subjective... Not in a bad way, but people have wildly varying preferences for what they prefer. Roast is one of those things that can be hugely subjective. Lighter roasts tend to be a lot more oily and acidic.. which works well for some types of coffee and some people.. other people find the acidity acrid in almost all cases. Super dark roasts are less acidic but some of us find them to taste entirely like charcoal.. but there are some types of beans that aren't really palatable any lighter.. I prefer a lot of beans that are better as a medium roast with some honey, chocolate, nut characteristics (a lot of central american/carribean coffees land there, you can use the filter at sweetmarias to kind of get a hand wavy regional profile guess: https://www.sweetmarias.com/green-coffee.html?sm_flavor_profile=2162,2163,2164&sm_status=1
So my vote is:
Get a decent grinder, fresh ground is better.
Pick a not-overly-expensive method.
Try a handful of different beans and see what you like or don't like, keep track of origin and roast and rate them. Sometimes making smaller batches and trying three or four at a sitting can be informative. You can do a basic cupping pretty easily - https://fellowproducts.com/blogs/learn/a-step-by-step-guide-to-cupping-coffee
I don't usually wait the full 12-13m, but break the crust at 2-3m then scoop the grounds and immediately start tasting because that's closer to how we actually drink it. But it's useful if you can get samples to just run through and try to find coffee types YOU like.
Get decent at making coffee that way
Don't over stress it.
Now espresso is it's own beast and honestly not really my thing (but the basics there are basically the same as well, except pressure manages both temperature and contact to a large extent which is also gated by the density of the grounds which is managed by the pressing of the puck and the fineness and consistency of the grinds.. and.. yeah.. espresso can be annoying in the details.. but the concepts mostly carry over)