Cowboy coffee is not a something you hear a lot about in the specialty coffee world. It doesn’t use elegant and sophisticated equipment. There aren’t any trendy cowboy coffee brewing competitions with clever posters. It is simple and uses no equipment save a pot. It may not be the most stylish brew method of the coffee world, but cowboy coffee is a manual coffee brewing technique none-the-less. Let’s talk about it.
I would like to give some credit for this post to Steve who left a comment on my French Press post recommending this method. Thanks Steve!
If you have blog ideas, I want to hear from you. I even made a special page so it would be easier to send me a message. Contact me.
Like French press coffee, cowboy coffee is an immersion brewing technique. If you need a refresher, immersion brewing is a method where the grounds are soaked in water for a predetermined amount of time. The coffee is then separated from the grounds and consumed. Immersion brewing techniques typically use larger grind particle size and a few minutes of steep time.
The premise of the cowboy coffee technique is simple. Grounds are added to a pot of water, the water is brought to a boil, the concoction is cooled slightly allowing the grounds to sink and it is ready to drink. No filters, gooseneck kettles or timers needed. As with all manual brewing techniques, the devil is in the details. Let’s see how good of a cup of coffee we can make when “breaking all the rules.”
In light of my Brewing Coffee Manually challenge, I thought I would review my best-loved dripper and long-time manual brewing companion. The Bee House Dripper.
The Bee House is a ceramic dripper made in Japan. It comes in two sizes, large and small, as well as a variety of colors (ten to be precise). It retails for around twenty dollars. The elegant design and wide availability have made it one of the favorite drippers of the manual brewing world.
What I like about the Bee House dripper
It is made of ceramic
Ceramic brewers are an upgrade from the inexpensive plastic Melitta dripper that I often recommended for the manual brewer who is just starting.
Ceramic is better at retaining heat than plastic. If you are preheating your brewer and brewing vessel, the Bee House helps to keep your grounds and water at a fairly consistent temperature while brewing.
Additionally, some people have serious qualms about brewing with plastic. If you don’t relish the idea of pouring 205 degree water over a plastic dripper and then drinking the results, a ceramic brewing may be for you.
Ok I’ll admit it. I have a coffee blog titled “Brewing Coffee Manually” and I use my automatic drip coffeemaker at least three times a week.
I generally have a cup of coffee 2-3 times a day so granted that is a smaller percentage of my actual coffee consumed (less than 20%) but I wanted to get it off my chest. Sometimes I take the easy road and use the coffeemaker.
I generally use my coffeemaker when I have early morning shifts (we are talking before some McDonald’s are even open earliness). The automatic timer function ensures that I can get up at the last possible moment and everything that I do is essential to me getting to work on time (of course you will notice this means I pre-grind my coffee the night before… strike 2?).
The other day when I was driving to work and sipping on my automatic brew, a thought occurred to me. I have never actually directly compared a manually brewed cup of coffee to an autobrew.
Why not see exactly what I am actually missing out on?