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How to Make Cowboy Coffee

When you're camping or rustlin' up cattle and there isn't a kitchen stove nearby, you can make your own coffee with a can and some ingenuity.


  • Step 1: Prepare your can Drill or poke holes through opposite sides of the coffee can, near the top, and thread the wire through the holes to make a handle. Use pliers to shape the wire, wrapping the wire around itself to secure it.
  • Step 2: Put coffee and water in the can Put your ground coffee into the can and fill the can to 3 inches from the top with water. Add as much or as little coffee as you want.
  • Step 3: Put the can in the fire Put the can into your campfire and allow the water to come to a rolling boil. While the water is boiling, drop a small, clean stick into the can to break the surface tension and prevent the grounds from boiling over.
  • TIP: Use a pinch of salt, some crushed eggshell, or anything else to break the surface tension.
  • Step 4: Swing the can Allow the coffee to boil for a few minutes. Then allow the can to cool, hold it by the handle, and swing it around, letting the centrifugal force press the coffee grounds to the bottom of the can.
  • Step 5: Pour the coffee Pour yourself a cup of strong, black cowboy coffee and head out on the range.
  • FACT: The coffee plant was discovered in Ethiopian forests at least 1,000 years ago.

You Will Need

  • Coffee can
  • Drill or poking device
  • Wire
  • Pliers
  • Coffee
  • Water
  • Campfire
  • Stick
  • Cup
  • Salt or eggshells (optional)

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