Just add coffee grounds to hot water. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. In terms of equipment needed, cowboy coffee is the simplest way to make coffee while camping. Although, since the grounds don’t dissolve into the water, clean up can be a little messy, making it less ideal for backpacking or anywhere that you’d need to pack out your waste.
Ideal Use: For those who want to look tough. Also, those who forgot all their fancy coffee-making gear at home. Good for small or large groups, depending on the size of your kettle.
Method: For something as simple putting coffee grounds in hot water, there are a surprising number of ways to brew cowboy coffee. One popular way (at least according to the internet) is to include either broken eggshells or a whole raw egg into the coffee grounds (no joke). With the rampant state of salmonella in this country, we’re just going to go ahead and skip that one entirely. But here are some far less risky ways to brew a perfect cup of cowboy coffee. Fine grounds are recommended.
Clean Cup Method – You’ll need a cloth coffee sock, cheesecloth, or bandana. Boil water. Remove from heat. Place coffee grounds inside the cloth and then place in kettle. Return to low heat to steep.
Sink Down Method – Heat a kettle of water until boiling. Remove from heat and dump coffee grounds in. Return to low heat and simmer. The coffee grounds should start to sink to the bottom after a few minutes. If they don’t, drizzle some cold water on top to help them sink to the bottom.
Scoop Top Method – Heat a kettle of water until boiling. Remove from heat and spoon coffee grounds in. Return to low heat and simmer. With a spoon, skim the coffee grounds off the surface.