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How to Make Cowboy Coffee

Whether you are trying to get the sleep out of your eyes, or just looking to keep an old tradition alive, you should learn how to make cowboy coffee.

Watch any old western movie and you are likely to see a weathered looking camp boss discussing plans with some cowhands huddled around a wagon as soft morning light bathes the scene.

As the discussion wraps up, the camp boss stares off into the sunrise, takes a final swig of his tin cup, and, in one swing of the arm, empties the last remaining drops of his morning treat; coffee.

If you are one of the millions of Americans that start their day with a steaming cup of liquid paradise, you might have wondered at some point how these old trail cowboys used to make coffee on the trail. Coffee was in fact a staple of the cowboy diet, as well as a staple at nearly all outdoorsman camps of hunters, mountain men, and trappers in the past.

The coffee the old timers drank has earned the nickname "cowboy coffee" and learning how to make cowboy coffee is about as simple as it gets.


  • 8 Cups of Cold Water to Boil
  • 1/2 Cup of Cold Water after Boil
  • 1/2 Cup of Coffee Grounds
  • 1 Egg Shell
  • Salt/Sugar optional



1. Fill a dutch oven, saucer, or other pot with the eight cups of cold water and add coffee grounds. Place on stove or open fire and bring to a slow boil.


2. As water begins to boil drop the eggshell into the pot. Old timers say this helps to draw the grounds, which can help you avoid getting them in your cup.


3. Once water is boiling remove from heat immediately.

4. Allow for water to quit boiling, then add 1/2 cup of cold water. This helps to send suspended grounds to the bottom of the pot.


5. Ladle and enjoy!


WARNING: Cowboy coffee is not for the faint of heart. This isn't the watered down stuff they sell downtown, this is the real McCoy.

Make a man a cup of cowboy coffee and help him for a day. Teach a man how to make cowboy coffee and help him for life. Enjoy!


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How to Make Cowboy Coffee