I am new to coffee and recently ordered a dark roast pre ground coffee mix containing 20% chicory and 80% 'coffee'. No mention of date of roasting or anything. When I brew the coffee the only 'notes' I taste are bitter. I thought maybe the MokaPot i had got burnt the coffee or something bringing out bitter notes but on returning it and getting an aeropress, i get similar flavor. I am using lower temperature water and brewing for only 30 seconds in the aeropress with 30 sec plunge. Would changing my coffee make a better experience? Have got whole beans medium roast complementary with my aeropress and have ordered a hand grinder. Want to try out an Americano type drink. The latte made with my current coffee blend tastes nice.
I'm not a fan of chicory, though I know a lot of people who love it. I'm not sure if I'd use the term bitter to describe it, but it's definitely distinct. The taste your getting definitely isn't the coffee maker your using, it's what you're trying to brew. Huffington Post had a decent write up on the "origin" of chicory here if you're interested.
If your new to coffee, I would suggest starting out with an Arabica coffee in a variety of roasts. Arabica is the type of bean that grows in higher elevation and has a longer grow cycle leading to a richer and fuller flavor. Starbucks is obviously popular and it's where I got my start when I worked there, but there are a lot of other good options. If you have local roasters in your town or city, check them out. A lot of local coffee shops roast their beans in house these days and they can be a good place to start. If you don't have that option, maybe go with something like Peet's Coffee, or Caribou in the grocery store. Seattle's Best is cheap, but it's also owned by Starbucks and is basically their second rate coffee and way-overly roasted in my opinion.
As far as the americano or latte you're going for, I'm not sure how that will work with an aeropress as I've only really used espresso machines to make them, but you're going to want a dark roast for those as the coffee is condensed into a 1 ounce shot and diluted with water or milk respectively. Go for a good quality espresso roast (Illy is a great choice but is pretty pricey), or something like an Italian Roast. I would avoid going too dark (like a French Roast), but that's up to your taste preference.