Cowboy coffee is a simple and rustic method for making coffee over an open flame or campfire. It’s a time-honored tradition that produces a strong and robust cup of coffee.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make great cowboy coffee:
Ingredients and Tools:
Coarsely ground coffee beans (about 2 tablespoons or 14-16 grams per 6-8 ounces of water).
Fresh, clean, and cold water.
A pot or kettle (preferably one with a handle).
An open flame or campfire.
A heat-resistant stirring utensil.
Optional: coffee filters or crushed eggshells.
Measure Coffee: Measure out the coarsely ground coffee. A common coffee-to-water ratio for cowboy coffee is about 2 tablespoons of coffee for every 6-8 ounces of water. Adjust the amount of coffee to your desired strength.
Add Water to Pot: Fill your pot or kettle with cold water. Use about 6-8 ounces of water per serving of coffee. If you’re making multiple servings, you can adjust the water accordingly.
Heat the Water: Place the pot or kettle over the open flame or campfire and heat the water until it reaches a rolling boil.
Remove from Heat: Once the water is boiling, remove it from the fire. Be cautious when handling the hot pot to avoid burns.
Add Coffee: Sprinkle the coarsely ground coffee directly into the hot water. There’s no need to stir yet.
Steep: Let the coffee steep in the hot water for about 4-5 minutes. This allows the coffee grounds to settle at the bottom of the pot.
Settle the Grounds: To help the coffee grounds settle at the bottom, you can use a couple of methods:
Coffee Filters: If you have a spare coffee filter, place it on top of the coffee grounds and then press it down gently with the stirring utensil.
Crushed Eggshells: Another traditional method is to add crushed eggshells to the coffee. The eggshells can help settle the grounds, and they are said to clarify the coffee.
Serve: After the coffee grounds have settled at the bottom of the pot, you can pour the coffee into cups or mugs. Be careful not to agitate the grounds while pouring.
Enjoy: Cowboy coffee is typically strong and robust. You can enjoy it black or add sugar, cream, or other condiments to taste. It’s the perfect pick-me-up for outdoor adventures and camping trips.
Cleanup: Dispose of the coffee grounds responsibly, and rinse the pot to remove any coffee residue.
Cowboy coffee is a rustic and straightforward way to enjoy coffee in the great outdoors. While it may not produce the same level of clarity as other brewing methods, it certainly has a unique charm and flavor. Adjust the coffee-to-water ratio to your liking, and experiment with steeping times to get the strength that suits your taste.