cowboy coffee

Experimenting with Cowboy Coffee

Went camping in Acadia Labor Day Weekend and made coffee for everyone cowboy-style since I had to make about 8 cups. I brought all the open bags of coffee we had and our Hario hand grinders. Although I never made cowboy coffee before, I brewed it with the thought process of a less glorified french press.

Brewing Method

  1. Boiled water in a pot while grinding coffee at a coarse grind (used a general 1:16 ratio)
  2. Once water reached a rolling boil, cooled it for 15 to 30 seconds to drop water temp
  3. Poured coffee grounds into pot and gave it a quick stir for even distribution
  4. Waited for a beautiful crust to form, about 4 to 5 minutes
  5. Broke coffee and continued immersion for another 4 minutes bringing total brew time to about 8 to 10 minutes
  6. Filtered coffee grounds in a french press


The coffee tasted pretty good: smooth and bright! Better than any of the coffee we got in Bar Harbor, hah. Guess you can have good coffee while camping. I think having hand grinders and quality beans made all the difference.

The second time I did it, I made the mistake of breaking too early because it didn't look like the grounds were evenly distributed. In the future, if I don't have to skimp on cookware, I will pour the grinds into an empty vessel then the hot water, instead of coffee on top of the water. And if I have to use one pot, I think I need to do a better job of pouring the grinds more deliberately and evenly. Overall, it was a hit, and I was pretty happy with the results!