Cowboy Coffee

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.

#1: Post by jpender »

I'm going camping and don't want to take any extra gear. Instant coffee gets old after a while.

So what's the best approach for Cowboy Coffee? Coarse grind or fine? Short steep or long?
Eggshells? Salt? I've read a bunch of weird stuff like that.

I'll be making the coffee at elevations between 6000 and 11000 feet so boiling water is probably fine.

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#2: Post by Jeff »

Brew like you'd brew French press, let it settle a long time, and carefully pour off the elixir.

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#3: Post by homeburrero »

jpender wrote:I'll be making the coffee at elevations between 6000 and 11000 feet so boiling water is probably fine.
Yes. At 6000 ft it's boiling at around 200 F and at 11000 ft about 191 F so you can add grounds to boiling water and leave it near the fire or on the camp stove simmering. My dad always added a couple egg shells to the ground coffee when he had them, saying it helped the grounds settle. As Jeff said, use a coarse ground and ratio that would work for French Press. Give it about 4 minutes to steep with a stir or two.

When ready, take it off the heat and help settle the grounds by sprinkling just a little cold water over brew surface.
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#4: Post by jpender (original poster) »

Thank you, guys.

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#5: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

I used to take some ground coffee & a 1-cupper and always did fine. In fact this was my set up before espresso!

"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

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#6: Post by jpender (original poster) »

That's adorable. :-)

I'm not car camping though; it's a three week backpacking trip. I'm trying very hard to keep pack weight and volume to a minimum so no metal brewing accessories.

I tried it out this morning, just like cupping. Heated water in a saucepan to about 195°F, turned off the heat, stirred in the coffee, and put the lid on for 4 minutes. Then broke the crust with a spoon and waited another couple of minutes. It tasted just fine. Barely any grounds in the cup. Hooray! No Starbucks VIA for the first part of my trip.

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#7: Post by yakster »

The KickStarter JoGo Coffee Straw may become the ultimate backpacking coffee tool, if it pans out. Just brew and your cup and drink through a filtered straw. I ordered one to try out.

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#8: Post by » replying to yakster »

That definitely sounds like an interesting option! I just don't really get how that's more convenient than the Espro Travel press. I'd rather the Travel press.
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#9: Post by jpender (original poster) »

Brewing in the cup would mean transferring the water from the pot to a cold cup, reducing the water temperature significantly. Sometimes it's kind of chilly in the morning at elevation. I suppose you could brew in the pot, transfer to a cup, and then use the straw. But it decanted so easily that I don't see any reason for filtration. So -- for me anyway -- it would be an extra 2oz of unnecessary gear to carry.

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#10: Post by yakster »

You could heat the water in a Sierra Cup and then add the coffee and sip from that, I suppose.

Do people still use Sierra Cups?

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