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How to Make Cowboy Coffee

Two Methods:Using a SaucepanUsing a Campfire

Whether you're out camping, or at home and your coffee maker is broken, you still want to enjoy a good cup of coffee. Cowboy coffee is a great method for making coffee using whatever you have available. This article provides two approaches to making cowboy coffee, providing you with plenty of choice for ensuring you get your coffee fix!

Ingredients

Method One: Using a Saucepan

  • Ground coffee
  • Water
  • Cream (optional)
  • Sugar (optional)

Method Two:Using a Campfire

  • Coffee
  • Water
  • Can
  • Wire

Method 1
Using a Saucepan

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    1
    Measure water. To do this, use the cup or mug you want to drink from.
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    Put the water into a saucepan. Bring to a boil.
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    Add one heaped scoop of coffee per cup into hot water.
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    Stir with a fork. Remove the pan from the heat source and wait a couple of minutes for the grounds to settle.
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    Serve the coffee. Be careful not to disturb the grounds.

Method 2
Using a Campfire

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    1
    Prepare the coffee can. Using an empty coffee can, add a handle using the following technique:
    • Drill or poke two holes near the top of the can on opposite sides.
    • Thread the wire through each hole to make the handle.
    • Using pliers, shape the wire and bend back the wire around itself to secure it in place.
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    Place the ground coffee into the prepared coffee container (1 heaping spoonful per cup/mug). Fill the coffee can with water to about 3 inches (7.5cm) from the top of the container.
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    Stoke the campfire.
    • Make sure that there is a suitable place to put the coffee can: either on a stand over the fire, or onto flat coals in one part of the fire.
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    Place the coffee can into the fire, lowering from the handle. Let the water boil.
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    Break the surface tension. When the water is boiling, you'll need to break the surface tension to prevent the coffee grounds from boiling over. This can be done with a small, clean stick, or a pinch of salt, or with crushed eggshell. Use whichever you have available.
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    Let the coffee boil for several minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
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    Holding the coffee can by the handle, swing it around a little, which will concentrate the grounds into the base of the can.
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    Serve the coffee. Pour the coffee into a suitable mug.

Interesting Lore

  • According to some diaries written along the cattle trail from Texas to Wichita, cowboys would often heat the water, dump in the coffee, measuring by the fistful, and, when it was dark enough, they would pour it through one of their socks to filter out the grounds. Sugar was in high demand on the trail and was measured the same way. Yum!

Tips

  • If you don't have the time (or the patience) to wait until the grounds have settled, you can also strain the coffee. Put a paper towel in the sieve to ensure no grounds end up in the coffee.

Warnings

  • Always be cautious around fire, but even more so if you're brewing coffee over a campfire!

Things You'll Need

  • Method 1:
  • Saucepan
  • Mug or cup
  • Fork
  • Sieve (optional)
  • Paper kitchen towel (optional)
  • Method 2:
  • Coffee can
  • Drill or poking device
  • Wire
  • Pliers
  • Campfire
  • Stick
  • Cup
  • Salt or eggshells (optional)


Sources and Citations

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