There are so many coffee beans, so little time. I drink a lot of coffee and to be honest unless I really think about it, or hate it, I just gulp the coffee down and don't really give it too much thought. When I'm cupping I definitely try to pay attention to the individual nuances, but, like wine, unless I concentrate I really can't taste the nuances.
I know I like dark roast coffee beans the best, but most times I cannot differentiate between African coffee and Java coffee. However, I can always taste the difference between robusta coffee beans and Arabica coffee beans (although robusta is an inferior bean I still think we should capitalize it to make it even with Arabica. Hey, but what do I know). Although, I do know when you give me instant coffee, coffee flavored with chicory and I generally stay away from any coffee in the UK.
There are things to take into consideration when buying coffee beans: the coffee bean classification, the coffee acidity and body and what constitutes a gourmet coffee bean. Then there are my most popular Coffee Bean Queen pages, Cat Crap Coffee, Organic Coffee, Flavored Coffee and Coffee Flavoring. Check out the coffee cupping section because there are pages on coffee tastes and coffee faults. To be honest, before I knew this information I couldn't distinguish the floral tastes verses the earthy taste of coffee beans etc. Isn't it strange once you know a word you can taste it.maybe that's just me.
However, the best thing you can do to make great coffee at home is purchase (or grow if you're in the middle of the Tropics) great coffee beans. Read-up and sit down and enjoy a great tasting cup of coffee. Who knows, you may even get strangers knock on your door wanting to taste your brew and if you have kids perhaps you can start a coffee stand instead of the ol' lemonade. Get with the times!