houseguest | Danny O’Neill, founder of the Roasterie

Houseguest | Danny O’Neill, founder and owner of the Roasterie

Updated: 2012-10-31T13:42:24Z

Q. Tell us about your home.

A. It’s in Brookside. It’s a Prairie style, two-story stucco house built in 1922. As near as I can tell, we’re 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. What’s 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. It’s not a big house, but there are 37 windows in it. It’s not bright. We don’t 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 that’s kind of elaborate. There’s a trap door in it. It’s 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. What’s your favorite room in your house?

A. The sunroom. It’s got floor- to-ceiling bookshelves. It’s all white. It’s got 11 windows so it’s bathed in light. It has light furniture. We only have one small TV in the house and it’s there. We read. It’s the room in the house where Roasterie started. It’s where we did coffee roasting.

Q. Do you collect anything?

A. Coffee pots of all shapes and sizes. And grinders. I’m 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. There’s more than a hundred. I used to collect motorcycles.

Q. What’s the best way to brew coffee at home?

A. It’s 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. It’s going to be a thicker voluptuous, velvety, smooth, buttery coffee. But Americans get freaked out because it’s going to leave some coffee material in it.

Q. What about coffee makers?

A. They’ve 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 they’re expensive. But they’re 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 it’s fresh. It’s less wasteful. And it’s less expensive. It tallies up to 15 cents per cup vs. 60 cents per cup.

Stacy Downs,

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