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Cowboy Coffee

Cowboy Coffee

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x


Cowboy coffee is a way to brew a cup of joe with no coffee maker! It’s the simplest way to make coffee on the road.


  • 3 tablespoons ground coffee (medium coarse ground)
  • 1 pinch salt (optional but recommended to reduce bitterness)
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) boiling water


  1. Boil the water (on a campfire or stovetop).
  2. Add the coffee and salt to a small pot, jar, or coffee mug (if not straining; see step 2). Add enough boiling water to just wet the grounds and let sit for 30 seconds. After 30 seconds, fill the mug with boiling water and stir.
  3. Wait 4 minutes.
  4. Strain out the grounds: If you don’t have a strainer, dribble a bit of cold water across the top of the hot coffee, which makes the grounds sink to the bottom*. But this works best with a strainer (or a clean sock!): use it to strain the coffee into a mug. Enjoy immediately.


*In our experience, the cold water trick doesn’t work effectively: you end up with a crunchy sip!

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Boiled
  • Cuisine: Coffee
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Cowboy coffee