How to Make Cowboy Coffee

Cowboy coffee is not patrician coffee that you make with the latest coffeemaker. It is a field-side coffee, usually taken as an energy booster on a long working day. So, you do not need any knowledge of operating a coffeemaker. Then, how to make cowboy coffee?

Well, it is a pretty simple way. Take a kettle, water, and ground coffee, and start making it on a heat source. It is similar to black coffee or even more stimulating.

I will show you a step-by-step guide on how to make cowboy coffee. So, you can follow the process when you brew it at home.

What Is Cowboy Coffee?

Cowboy is a strong coffee that energizes field workers and cowboys who work all day long. This coffee is named after the cowboy-style-making process. Nothing so special, but this drink can attain the required caffeine for re-energize. So, they do not feel tired and look after the herd of cows, sheep, and others.

Unlike modern coffee preparation, Cowboy coffee prepares in a very classical way. It is like boiling your coffee in a cowboy style. With the minimal arrangement, this drink can brew. Even you do not need filter paper or something to make ready your drinking cup. Only a pot, water, and ground coffee are all you need for brewing this drink. And, of course, a heat source is a prerequisite. Do not add any additives to the Cowboy-style brewed coffee. Drink like a straight black coffee. In the next section, I will show you the whole brewing process of Cowboy coffee.

How To Make Cowboy Coffee?

Cowboy coffee has so easy and has the merest brewing process. Since cowboys have to brew in the field, it does not need a lot of arrangements. This process is also popular among camping, hill trackers, and travelers. All they need is a pot or kettle to put on the fire. And, for the ingredients, you need only coffee grounds and water. Here is the step-by-step guide for the cowboy brewing process.


  1. A kettle (according to how much you want to brew).
  2. Coffee: Corse ground
  3. Profile: Preferred roasting
  4. Drinking water
  5. A heat source
  6. A coffee mug to serve

Total preparation time: 5-6 minutes.

Drink size: 8-10 oz. (standard coffee mug size).

Process of Brewing 

  • If you are in an open place, make ready the fireplace.
  • Put the kettle on the fire and pour the required water into it.
  • Wait till the water starts boiling.
  • Remove the kettle from the fire and wait around for 30 seconds.
  • Add coarse ground coffee and mix them well.
  • Again wait for 2 minutes. Then, stir the mixture again.
  • Now pour about half a cup of cold drinking water so that every ground can soak well.
  • Wait 2 minutes more for the last time.
  • Now, fill the coffee cup with the hot coffee extraction.

It is the most common way of brewing Cowboy coffees on the field side. A big kettle will help you to brew a bunch of coffee to serve a large group. Usually, cowboys and field workers are intaking effective coffees. So, the amount of coffee will vary according to the drinkers. You can adjust your limit depending on your preferences.

How Did The Cowboys Make Coffee In the 1800s?

Cowboys in the 1800th century made coffee in the open fire. They had coffees like water with each meal. Since they had to work all day and all night, coffee was the only helping thing. Though they have two shifts, the caffeine of the coffee keeps them excited for a long work period.

There was always a pot on the open fire from where they got coffee for drinks in the barrack. Each serving they got with the exchange of gold bars. They also had their preferred flavors, strong and weak. Drinking coffee is also considered a culture in the Old West. It brought their fellow cowboys closer and strengthened them to fight against any crisis. In 1864, the Arbuckle brothers started selling roasted beans. In the 1800s, cowboys brewed coffee differently when they were on duty.


  1. A bowl
  2. Coffee grounds
  3. Drinking water
  4. A heat source

Process of Brewing

  • Set the fire and place the bowl with water on the fire.
  • Put the ground coffee into the bowl.
  • Stir it properly and let it boil.
  • After boiling correctly, take it off the fire and sit for a few minutes.
  • Now, pour it into the mug and drink.

Tips And Tricks

Cowboy coffees are easy to brew or make but troublesome for a novice. You may brew it longer than usual or could not mix it well. As a result, it produces an uneven extraction and leads to poor taste. Even you can burn your hand if you are not cautious. If you do not want to let these happen, follow the below tips.

  • Boil the water and remove it from the heat source before putting the ground. Set it for 30 seconds or a minute to cool it down.
  • Use a long-handled spatula to stir the coffee. 
  • Be careful of your hand while stirring.
  • Use a clock to measure the time intervals.
  • Follow the brewing method to get a perfect and smooth flavor.
  • Pour carefully so that coffee grounds do not come into the cups.

You may follow some tricks as well. These tricks can make your life simple.

  • After doing all the steps of brewing Cowboy coffee, add a small amount of eggshell. Eggshells help to hold the coffee grounds at the bottom of the coffee pot. So, you can effortlessly pour the coffee drinks into the cups.
  • You can use a small pinch of salt to reduce the bitter taste of the cowboy it only if you like this taste. Otherwise, you can skip this trick and enjoy the original flavor.


What coffee did cowboys use?

Cowboys use any coffees that they had with them or in their regions. Arabica or Robusta does not matter at all to them. Since the energy from caffeine was their preference. Not the taste or the flavor that we are searching for today.

Why did cowboys drink coffee at night?

Due to the night-shifting work on the ranches, they had to wake up all night. So, there was no alternative to drinking coffee. Cowboys brewed their coffee drinks at night. You can say that cowboys lived on the coffee since they had to do a lot of laborious work.

What was coffee called in the Old West?

In the Old West, coffee is named after the strength of coffee drinks. Different categories of roasts provided different flavors and strengths. Strong and weak were the two types of coffee drinks. Weak coffee drinks are often called brown gargles. It is also called dehorned belly wash by the Old West.

Why is cowboy coffee so smooth?

Cowboy coffee makes with dark roasting coarser coffee grounds. Dark roast has a lower acidic portion of coffee beans. So, you can’t find the prominent acetous characteristic in the dark roast. With the coarser ground, it brews a strong flavor only. But, it cannot extract the acidic taste. And, cowboys brew their coffee only for 4-5 minutes on the fire. So, it cannot drag out the bitterness from the chunk of coffee beans. Since all the parameters represent on a balance scale, Cowboy coffees become a smoother drink.

What’s the secret ingredient in cowboy coffee?

Cowboy coffee has an open-secret technique that is known to all. You know what you need to brew this coffee and to make cowboy coffee. But still, your cup lacks taste. So, the secret ingredient will be your expertise to brew Cowboy coffee. Though, some indicate a pinch of salt or eggshells as a secret ingredient. These two things help to hold the grounds at the bottom, nothing else.


Since you are in the last of this article, you already know a lot about Cowboy coffee. It is not like modern coffee nor outdated at all. It is one of the most ancient coffee drinks in the world. It denotes influential and more appealable than other coffees since the 1800th century. Cowboy coffee is a token of energy booster for hard workers, and they drink it like water. It is still in demand among field workers and camping sites. It is like smooth-flavored black coffee so, you can go for it.

Enjoy Your Coffee!

About The Author

Scroll to Top