How to Brew
Cowboy coffee is a traditional drink made by cowboys on the trail. It's brewed by heating coarse grounds with water and then pouring it into a cup after the grounds have settled. Your French Press broke? No power for the drip machine? While you can always resort to instant coffee, give Cowboy coffee a try.
Unfortunately, cowboy coffee has received a bad rap. Cowboy coffee doesn’t have to be bad. After all, you have all the supplies needed to brew great coffee: high-quality grounds, water, a heat source and a pot for brewing. Here’s how you can make cowboy coffee that would rival what you brew at home:
- Add water to your pot and bring it to a boil.
- Once the water’s boiling, remove the pot from your fire and let it sit for 30 seconds. This will lower the water temperature to 200°F — the perfect temperature for brewing coffee.
- Add 2 tablespoons of finely ground coffee for every 8 ounces of water. (You may want to measure how much water your pot holds and how much coffee a spoon you bring holds before going camping so you can measure accurately.)
- Stir the grounds into the water.
- Let the brew sit for 2 minutes and stir again.
- Let the coffee sit for 2 more minutes.
- After a total of 4 minutes of brewing, sprinkle a little cold water on the grounds. Yes, this actually does help them settle to the bottom.
- Slowly pour the coffee, so the grounds remain on the bottom of the pot.
Your coffee will taste best if it’s poured immediately after brewing. Coffee that sits in a pot with grounds will quickly become over-extracted and bitter.
A French Press method requires coffee of a coarser grind than does a drip brew, as finer grounds will seep through the press filter and into the coffee. Coffee is brewed by placing the coffee and water together, stirring it and leaving to brew for a few minutes, then depressing the plunger to trap the coffee grounds at the bottom of the beaker.
Because the coffee grounds remain in direct contact with the brewing water and the grounds are filtered from the water via a mesh instead of a paper filter, coffee brewed with the French press captures more of the coffee's flavor and and essential oils, which would become trapped in a traditional drip brew machine's paper filters. French pressed coffee is usually stronger and thicker and has more sediment than drip-brewed coffee.
The Drip Method is a quick, time tested easy method for making a good brewed coffee at home. It's a total immersion brewing process, which is the best way to make coffee. As always the keys to a good result are: the highest quality fresh roasted beans, ground just before brewing.