Q. Tell us about your home.
A. Its in Brookside. Its a Prairie style, two-story stucco house built in 1922. As near as I can tell, were the fourth owner. When I got it, it had pink metal Crane cabinets, pink curtains, pink tile and pink linoleum. It was so dark when I got it with blinds and drapes. Rooms were covered with thick wallpaper and floors had dark blue carpeting. It was on the market for a year and a half. I thought, I hope it just needs cosmetic work.
Q. Whats it like now?
A. I saw that it had hardwood floors. So now those show. All the walls and ceilings are white. The windows have wooden blinds. Its not a big house, but there are 37 windows in it. Its not bright. We dont have a lot of stuff in it. It errs on the side of being simple.
QHow else have you updated the house?
A. We had a one-car garage. But we built as big of a garage as we could. It has a guest apartment above it and a play area. Also, we built a treehouse thats kind of elaborate. Theres a trap door in it. Its insulated and heated. About 25 people can fit inside. So the treehouse actually adds living space. I built it before the kids were born.
Q. You and your wife have how many kids?
A. Sophie is 4 and Terry is 7.
Q. Whats your favorite room in your house?
A. The sunroom. Its got floor- to-ceiling bookshelves. Its all white. Its got 11 windows so its bathed in light. It has light furniture. We only have one small TV in the house and its there. We read. Its the room in the house where Roasterie started. Its where we did coffee roasting.
Q. Do you collect anything?
A. Coffee pots of all shapes and sizes. And grinders. Im from a small town in Iowa. And for Christmas presents, my mom would give me two big grocery sacks full of pots she would find for $1 or $2. Theres more than a hundred. I used to collect motorcycles.
Q. Whats the best way to brew coffee at home?
A. Its hard to make a world-class espresso at home unless you spend a lot of money. But the good news is that you can make a quality cup of coffee at home. My favorite is the French press. Its going to be a thicker voluptuous, velvety, smooth, buttery coffee. But Americans get freaked out because its going to leave some coffee material in it.
Q. What about coffee makers?
A. Theyve gotten better. What you want in a maker is that it takes 4 to 6 minutes at 195 to 200 degrees to brew. My favorite brand is Technivorm, which is more than $200.
Q. So many households have switched to one-cup makers. What do you think about them?
A. They have three problems: the cups end up in landfill, the coffee inside them gets old and theyre expensive. But theyre convenient. People are in a hurry and people in the house might like different types. A solution I like is Ekobrew refillable cups that take your own ground coffee so its fresh. Its less wasteful. And its less expensive. It tallies up to 15 cents per cup vs. 60 cents per cup.
Stacy Downs, firstname.lastname@example.org