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The Tre Spade story?

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  • The Tre Spade story?

    The moment when I became a true CS was when I forked out $120 for an Italian Tre Spade hand grinder and subsequently turned up my nose at any notion of buying pre-ground. The lady in the shop said that she heard that the company used to make grinders for the Italian troops during the first world war to keep them happy in the trenches. A grinder was a part of their rat pack I suppose, and the company used to make gun parts I suppose. So if there are any coffee/war historians who could elaborate on this story it would be interesting to hear if this were true, and exactly what sort of brewing techniques were popular with Italian troops at the time.

    Bye

    Jason

  • #2
    Re: The Tre Spade story?

    Cant help with your research Beanhead. But I was researching the company a couple of weeks ago when I bought a Tre Spade rip-off coffee mill.

    The company was founded in 1894, so your anectode may well be right.

    My own original Tre Spade is very sturdily made, with tempered steel conical burrs. But there is some wear in the crank shaft where it exits through the top cover.

    My right arm has biceps of steel thanks to that little monster.

    I had no high hopes for the rip-off, identical in shape, look and design. And, since I was the only misguided bidder on the Bay of Evil, $0.99 plus postage. Yes, ninety-nine cents.

    When it arrived, my suspicions were confirmed. Some sort of cheap brass or aluminium in parts where steel should be. Too much wobble in the crankshaft. Extremely fiddly to adjust the grind due to poor workmanship.

    But it is destined for the boat where it hopefully might make the odd plunger coffee to have with milk and toast for breakfast.




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    • #3
      Re: The Tre Spade story?

      Originally posted by robusto link=1187775246/0#1 date=1187777237

      .....But it is destined for the boat where it hopefully might make the odd plunger coffee to have with milk and toast for breakfast.
      My bet is that it will rust before you grind 17gm. :P

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      • #4
        Re: The Tre Spade story?

        Robusto

        The Tre spade burrs are very high quality but the brass bush, as you describe, is a major design flaw.

        I have been thinking of replacing the brass bush somehow with a cartridge needle bearing. I am a born tinkerer but this sort of tinkering may be beyond my capacity (or dont have the right tools for the job).

        Perhaps simply lubricating the bearing with vaseline or some other food friendly grease may reduce the rate of wear of the brass bush.

        Jason

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        • #5
          Re: The Tre Spade story?

          Beanhead

          Perhaps simply lubricating the bearing with vaseline or some other food friendly grease may reduce the rate of wear of the brass bush.
           

          Agree Beanhead, that is the Tre Spades achiles heel.  

          Dennis:
          My bet is that it will rust before you grind 17gm.
          Especially in the salt air.  The trial begins tomorrow Dennis.   I hope when we return next time we wont be having Columbian Supremo Rustica.

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          • #6
            Re: The Tre Spade story?

            Take a back up Robusto - would hate to think there was ever a possibility of you becoming marooned with a rusty grinder.

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            • #7
              Re: The Tre Spade story?

              Thanks for caring Dennis. Luckily the place is surrounded by cafes, including right on the jetty where we tie up.

              It makes a nice break to sit there, relax, enjoy the view (and moan about the bitterness of the coffee).

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