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Classic Backcountry Coffee System Revived!
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David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
BC coffee on 10/07/2013 20:15:31 MDT Print View

Cowboy coffee is not that hard to make well. I like it so much I make it at home more often than not. Clelland's article here is still the definitive and exhaustive word on the subject.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: BC coffee on 10/07/2013 20:26:09 MDT Print View

^ David, really? Not even a filtered pot from the ol' Mr. Coffee?

You Montanans are a rough breed.

Phillip Asby
(PGAsby) - M

Locale: North Carolina
cowboy coffee on 10/08/2013 11:17:17 MDT Print View

yeah - cowboy coffee is not doing it for me either - tried once and just could not get past the grinds... I'm sure my technique (or lack thereof) did not help.

I'll keep trying solutions.

I am curious about the coffee grounds and packing them out - apparently it is a hotly contested issue. I would think that environmentally - if buried or scattered away from well used campgrounds - coffee grounds would have close to zero environmental impact. I intentionally put them around my azaleas. Strict LNT would appear to say you bring it in you take it out regardless of the practical implications...

Some use instant to not have to deal with the grounds at all it would appear.

Not wanting to start a flame war but curious if that generally frames the issue on both sides with this group.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Grounds on 10/08/2013 12:01:25 MDT Print View

Well, since I make a camp fire disposing of coffee grounds is not a problem. I have packed them out before, after drying them by the fire, but it really is not necessary. If you have a fire the coffee grounds appear to burn in the fire. I have never been able to find them after the fire is out; and yes, I have looked many times.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Grounds on 10/08/2013 12:27:23 MDT Print View

I brew my cowboy coffee with a very fine Turkish Grind. The video has been posted here before but for me, it's key to bring the water to a boil, add the grinds, return it to a boil, and then remove from heat. If you YouTube "Turkish Coffee", this technique seems to be pretty standard. Greek Coffee is pretty much the same thing but I believe that they boil it three times.

The grinds (again, Turkish ground) settle to the bottom of the mug and don't bother me. This is what coffee is like through much of Eastern Europe and it's in my opinion far superior to Starbucks.

I'm now playing around with cold-brew coffee (toddy). I tried it earlier this week and it shows promise for the backcountry. I threw the grounds (coarse grind) in 16oz of cold water before going to sleep. It's pretty easy to keep 95% of the grounds out of your mug the following morning by being careful when you pour but a bandana or equivalent would work to filter out the remaining grounds. The grinds don't bother me so I didn't bother. You'd then simply heat the coffee to your temperature preference.

The flavor is different than cowboy/Turkish coffee but not objectionable. I haven’t decided which I like better but the cold brew is the easiest (not that cowboy/Turkish coffee is all that difficult). Still better than the instant coffees I've tried.

Edited by IDBLOOM on 10/08/2013 12:36:46 MDT.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
cowboy coffee on 10/08/2013 12:58:40 MDT Print View

A fine grind is essential. Espresso gets the job done. Adding the coffee to cold water, then letting is stay at a rolling boil for only 5 or so seconds is my method. The grounds get saturated and sink reliably, the body is very full, and you won't scorch it.

I broadcast the grounds, and can't see doing so being a problem except in the most delicate and heavily used places. Perhaps wag-bagging and packing out grounds should be correlated.

I'd not thought of cold-press BC coffee, but that sounds like an idea worth trying. I usually have a pitcher brewing in the fridge, so why not in the pack?