I’m addicted to caffeine. If I don’t have my coffee in the morning, it takes me till about lunch time to be any use to anybody. There’s nothing better than drinking a hot cup of coffee while watching the sunrise after a night out camping.
What I don’t want to do is tote a coffee percolator or french press with me on a long hike or backpacking trip. I generally bring my little cook pot with me when I’m out, so the simple solution is making a little Cowboy Coffee.
People tend to say “ewww, there’s coffee grounds in it,” but if you just let it settle, then toss out the last tablespoon or so of every cup, you should be fine. If you don’t want anybody else drinking your Cowboy Coffee, tell them to keep their teeth closed like a strainer when they drink it, hopefully it’ll scare em away and they’ll just drink water. You’ll get it all to yourself and have a chance to look like a true tough-guy outdoorsman.
What you’ll need:
- A lightweight pot – I always pack my GSI Outdoors Cooking Set when I’m out overnight, but any old cook-pot will work (preferably with a lid).
- Coffee Cup – My cooking set comes with coffee cups, but any cup will work. When I don’t have my cooking set, I like to have an enamelware cup. That way I can set my cup by the fire if I need to warm it up.
- Coarse ground coffee – One heaping tablespoon for every two cups of coffee you plan on making. When packing for your trip, try putting your grounds in a Ziploc bag so that it stays fresh and doesn’t take up any space.
Once you get some good coals going in your fire, bring your water to a boil and then remove it from the heat. Toss in your coffee grounds, then bring it back to a boil. As soon as it starts boiling again remove it from the heat.
Some people recommend splashing some cold water in it to make the grounds settle to the bottom. That’s probably unnecessary. Just let it sit for about five minutes and they’ll settle on their own. No sense in making your coffee any cooler than than you have to.
Just keep your pan close to the fire to keep your coffee hot until you’re done drinking it. Don’t bring it back to a boil in the fire though, it’ll end up making your coffee taste bitter.
Some people recommend tossing some eggshells in your Cowboy Coffee.
It’s supposed to take away some of the bitterness that you can get from boiling the coffee grounds (regular coffee makers drip the hot water through the coffee rather than boiling the grounds themselves). The coffee grounds are acidic, so the alkaline egg shells take some of that acidity out, making it smoother. Some people also say its supposed to help settle the coffee grounds.
If you’re cooking eggs for your breakfast, you might give it a try. Just be sure that you don’t end up drinking any of the egg shells. Try not to crunch them up too small, and toss out the smaller pieces.
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