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Topic: Spong coffee grinder (8 msgs / 211 lines)
1) From: John - In Deep Southern Texas
Sorry Charlie   (I've been waiting to say that!) Haven't run into a Spong=
But if its conical it should do the trick.  If you haven't done espresso
previously I'd strongly recommend Tom's Money Blend. It is a very forgivi=
blend to roast - and so hard to mess up that I get it right most of the t=
  When I was a kid learning to drink coffee I put cream and sugar in my
coffee - when I was stationed in the Alps some genius in Maryland order
tropical butter and cream shipped into us - the cream would turn green,
separate and go to the side of the cup - YUK!!  So I quit using the cream
(or what ever they substituted) and then the taste of the sugar was
overwhelmingly sweet - so I started drinking it black in 1956 and have ne=
looked back.   I do occasionally put raw sugar in an espresso for the kic=
when I'm working all night.
John - ¡El mejor de la suerte con su búsqueda para el tiro perfecto!

2) From: John - In Deep Southern Texas
Well guess what Pavlovian connection I've now made to buying beans - MONE=
Of course I meant Monkey - when you spell it wrong and it makes a word th=
spell checker can't help!
Charlie - you really need to buy some Monkey Blend to get a good fix on w=
espresso is about!!

3) From: Charlie Herlihy
I am an espresso newbie. Make that a pre-newbie since I have never made any. I know-the shame, the shame etc. I'm trying to decide which espresso machine to buy and I need to know if my Spong wall mounted conical burr grinder might be up to the task of grinding well enough for great espresso. It cost over $100 20 years ago. Definately not a piece of junk. The tightest adjustment makes what seems to me to be a fine and even grind. It has ground over a ton of coffee that I know of. Can good steel be worn too smooth from grinding strictly (roasted!) coffee beans? Is anyone familiar with this make of grinder who can advise me?  I broke down and ordered 1/2 lb. of the st. Helena. I'd sure like to enjoy it as espresso and I don't even know any one in my town that has an espresso machine (!) Before I order a solis5k with built in grinder I'm hoping to find out that my Spong will be good enough and a solis90 at half the price will do.        I don't know if I'm a "taster" or not, but
  I always find some sugar helps bring out the flavors in any  drip coffee, but when served a good espresso no sugar is needed. A bad espresso has me looking for sweetener. It's how I judge a good espresso.  I hope some one out there can help with my grinder question. If I have to ask the alt.coffee group where no one knows me it could a long time before I can order my espresso machine and take one more step up that ladder from coffee fiend to coffee snob.  
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4) From: Mike McGinness
Hi Charlie,
Don't know a thing about your 'spong'. Can it grind fine enough for Turkish
(like flour fine)? Which is too fine for espresso BTW. From what I've read
the 'suggested' starting point grind for espresso is to compare the grind to
Nutrasweet. (not taste!) I grind a bit finer. How adjustable is the grind
from super fine for Turkish gradually coarser and how even is the grind?
That's the important thing.
On the Solis note, are you looking for an automatic since you mentioned the
SL90? The Solis SL70 is about $100us less, main dif' it's semi-automatic
like Miss Silvia so you determine the shot length. May want to check out the
new Detailed Review of it over at Coffeegeek. Very favorable. I know John K
from the list recently got the SL70 and is very pleased with it. Big thing
on it or the SL90 is to get the after market portafilter with double basket
and throw the pressured  portafilter away. Or use it to make lousy
espresso... per CoffeeGeek and his panel of testers. It'll even make month
old pre-ground stale commerical espresso with crema, will taste
like )(@#$&(^%, but it'll look like espresso with crema!
Home Ju-Ju Variable Variac Rockin' Rosto Roasting in Vancouver, WA USA
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5) From: Irene and Lubos Palounek
I know nothing about the Spong coffee grinder.
However, as I understand it, the parallel burrs need replacement after about
600 pounds of coffee and conical after 2000 pounds or slightly more.
When changing burrs, clean the area where they are seated, and tighten the
screws gradually, as when changing tires on a car.
Hope this helps,
Lubos in the Texas Hill Country part of Austin.
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6) From:
It's more fun when the shoe is on the other foot, isn't it!  Go ahead
Charlie buy some beans, you need to!!  Honest!  They're so wonderful!!  Of
course it kind of ruins it when you start calling it "Money blend" instead
of "Monkey Blend"!!
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7) From: Charlie Herlihy
You guys are great. Thanks for all the quick replies. Only one person seemed to know what a Spong is , and said it's no go for espresso. I am indeed fussy and wouldn't be considering spending hundreds of $ just to make so so brew. I'll wait just a bit more to see if there's a Spong user making great shots but...   As far as what blends, I'll try a little "money" blend, but I'm definately not a newbie coffee wise and there're a number of super combos I can't wait to espress. mmmmmmmmmm 
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8) From: James Gundlach
On Sunday, July 7, 2002, at 06:48 PM, Charlie Herlihy wrote:
Even the best steel burrs wear out.  I believe there was a posting a 
while back either noted or listed a URL that said how long good conical 
burrs should last.  I'm afraid I just don't remember which or how long.  
You might go back over the archive and look or the person who posted it 
might post it again.  I searched for the Spong grinder and found it 
listed on the following page that gives the antique value between $80 
and $150.
   http://www.rkymtnhi.com/grinder/classif.html  If you have a microscope you can examine your grind to see if it is 
still about all the same size.  I doubt you would be able to buy 
replacement burrs unless you found another one that had not been used 
much.  My guess is that you probably need a new grinder.
Jim Gundlach
roasting over pecan wood fires
in La Place, Alabama
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