How to Make Cowboy Coffee

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Cowboy coffee is usually a strong brew.
Cowboy coffee is usually a strong brew. (Image: Vstock LLC/VStock/Getty Images)

Cowboy coffee is a respectable brew made without the traditional equipment, such as a French press, espresso machine or filters. Also called "camping" coffee, the brew can be prepared at home on the stovetop, but it really comes into its own when you make it on an open fire using a simple metal can.

Simple Trick

Mix the same proportion of coffee to water that you use for filter coffee and bring the water to a boil in a covered pan or can. As soon as the coffee is boiling, remove it from the heat to avoid it developing an excessively bitter flavor. Next, crush an eggshell, one for every 2 cups of coffee, and drop it into the boiled water. The eggshell force the coffee grounds to bind and drop to the bottom of the can, clarifying the brew in the process. The albumen residue in the shell also helps reduce the coffee’s acidity.

Serving Suggestion

Allow the coffee to stand, with the cover on, for a couple of minutes. Adding a dash of cold water to the freshly brewed coffee also helps to settle the grounds at the bottom. Real cowboys simply remove the lid and scoop out their coffee with a tin mug, but you can strain the brew through a fine sieve into your mug to collect the coffee grounds and eggshell.

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