Since I've only been a month into this journey, so take everything with a grain of salt.
Came from a Saeco Automatic machine, i.e., grinder built-in. Every morning for 5 years, I just pushed a button for my daily dose. Did some searching online and started this hobby and it seems that there's so much to learn. From machine to grinder, to beans, etc.....
Since this is my first "real" machine, I don't have anything to compare it with. It's a HX, so I'm learning to "surf" the temperature... a E61 thermometer definitely helps with that. I'm forcing myself to just get it within range and not care too much about a perfect temperature and enjoy the cup. A bit noisy compared to my automatic, but I guess that comes with the territory of a vibe pump. Looking to put in sound deadening material in it once it arrives.
Started off with 5# of Redbird Espresso, and 5# of Ethiopian beans.... no favorites yet I guess. Really like the Ethiopian for the fruity taste, but I do enjoy a traditional espresso too.
Did a bit of research on storing them in the freezer with mason jars and vacuum sealing. Hoping that'll work.
Thanks for the questions!