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Good Eats: Cowboy Coffee - A Callback To The Wild West | Duluth Pack

There is just something magical about a fresh cup of coffee while in the wilderness. But, when out in the woods, making a pot of coffee can be challenging. You might be thinking, "I need my coffee pot to brew the best." Well, we are here to tell you that you don't, all you need is a pot, a flame, and some coffee grounds. The result is cowboy coffee, a gritty, delicious, strong coffee that will not disappoint, provided you do it correctly. 

What is Cowboy Coffee?

Good question! Cowboy coffee is a traditional coffee drink common amongst cowboys and pioneers who spent most of their time in the country fields. The drink was popular for its simplicity and relative ease of brewing. Cowboy coffee is essentially French press coffee but without a filter. This drink is commonly made over an open flame out in the wilderness when there is no coffee maker or electricity, but can also be made over a stove if you happen to be at a rustic cabin where there is no access to a traditional coffee maker. While this coffee is simple to make, it can be easy to screw up as well. Follow these tips and you should be all set.

  1. Bring the desired amount of water in a pot to a boil over a flame.
  2. Once water is boiling, remove the pot from the fire and let sit for roughly 30 seconds. Doing so will bring the temperature down to 200 degrees, widely considered the best temp for brewing coffee.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds for every 8 ounces of water you have and then stir into the water.
  4. Let sit for 2 minutes before stirring again.
  5. Let sit for 2 more minutes (4 total).
  6. Pour ½ cup of cold water onto the grounds at the top of the pot. Doing so will make them sink to the bottom, leaving just pure coffee up top.
  7. Slowly pour coffee into the cup, being careful to keep the grounds at the bottom.
  8. Enjoy!


So, there you have it! A step-by-step guide on making cowboy coffee! Keep in mind the temperature is important to the process, and the 30 seconds of sitting after bringing the water to a boil tend to be the universal recommendation. Now that you know how to make a cup of joe no matter where you are, go hit those trails before winter hits and enjoy a delicious cup of cowboy coffee!


Happy brewing, friends.