Black and white photo of a cowboy drinking coffee
Cowboy Coffee: What Exactly Is It?
Cowboy coffee originates from early-rising cattle ranchers and herders who brewed a potent coffee using minimal equipment and now embodies a rustic tradition accessible to all.
Making cowboy coffee requires just boiling water, coffee grounds, a pot, and a cup. It's a simple, filter-free method for a robust brew, suited for both outdoors and indoors.
The first step is to heat water in a pot over a flame until it boils, then let it sit for 30 seconds before adding ground coffee. The slight cooling is believed to enhance flavor.
Use two tablespoons of coffee per eight ounces of water. To reduce graininess, stir the coffee, let it settle, stir again, and add cold water to sink the grounds before drinking.
For an easy enhancement, mix crushed eggshells in with the ground coffee. The calcium carbonate in the shells neutralizes the coffee’s acidity, yielding a surprisingly smooth cup.
Add milk or sweeteners just as you would with any other coffee. Skillfully made cowboy coffee holds its own against cups made using fancier methods, such as pour-overs or siphons.