We’re blessed with a plethora of coffee and tea brewing contraptions now that it might seem scary to think about making a cuppa with diddly squat 😱 Relax, it’s not like this has never happened to anyone before!
In fact, coming up with ways to make coffee and tea with next to nothing isn’t so hard. Cowboys in the Wild West managed to do it, and today we’re looking at the inventive brewing methods they came up with.
For the average cowboy, tea and coffee is an essential pick-me-up to stay alert at night and to energise in the morning. At the very least they have a pot, water, and a fire. And something to brew up of course. Other things that come to hand can be used to help, but it really is all about doing it with the bare essentials.
Cowboy Tea – The Spinning Method
Our personal favourite here at Doubleshot is the spinning method. It’s definitely one for all you wannabe John Waynes out there. A method that requires skill, has an element of danger, and when pulled off right will deliver some real cowboy kudos. So here it is:
1. Place your pot of water over the campfire and wait for it to boil.
2. When boiled, take it off the fire and add your loose leaf tea.
3. Steep your tea leaves for up to five minutes (depending on the desired strength).
4. Hold the pot by the handle and stand up straight in a clear area. That shouldn’t be so hard to find in the wild west. Just watch out for the cacti.
5. With the pot held at arm's length, spin around in a circle.
6. Spin progressively faster while avoiding spilling the boiling tea (and the risk of third-degree burns).
7. The centrifugal force should then pin the leaves to the bottom of the pot, or you’ll get so dizzy you fall over, spill the tea, and fail (quite likely if you have the same degree of hand-eye coordination as us).
All clear? Great, now over to you!
Cowboy Coffee – The Stirring Method
You could try the spinning method to make coffee too if you like (in fact, do). Or you could give the stirring method a go. Besides from the obligatory pot, water, and coffee, the only other thing you need is a spoon. If you’re all out of spoons, you might have to improvise. A toothbrush handle could work quite nicely, or better yet, your soon-to-be-burnt finger is perfect! Here’s a rundown of what to do:
1. Boil your water in a pot over the fire.
2. Once boiled, let it stand for a minute before adding the coffee.
3. Stir it up!
4. Leave it alone! Just ignore the coffee and water for two minutes. Go throw some horseshoes or something!
5. Stir it up again!
6. Keep the pot perfectly still for two minutes so the coffee grounds sink to the bottom. If they float, you have done something seriously wrong!
7. Now carefully drink that fresh brew without agitating the grounds, or pour very gently into cups if you have them.
8. Don’t drink the last bit unless you want a mouth full of used coffee grounds.
It really doesn’t get much simpler than that!
More Ways to Brew Like a Cowboy
So, those are two of the most basic ways to make tea and coffee with minimal gear. But there are a couple of other ways you can try to improve your brew with items you may have handy.
If you’ve just fried a few eggs for breakfast you might want to give the eggshell method a go. Simply crush up those eggshells and mix them up with your ground coffee before adding to water. The eggshells will help to pull the coffee grounds down to the bottom of the pot and hold them there. Your coffee may have faint hints of egg, but what do you expect when making coffee out in the Wild West?
All out of eggshells? Maybe you packed one too many pairs of socks in your bag? If the answer is yes then you’re in luck! A clean sock works great as a makeshift brew bag.
Just put your ground coffee or tea leaves in the sock, and then dunk that sock in your pot of freshly boiled water. Leave it in there for five minutes and hey presto, no coffee sludge or tea bits in your cuppa! A dirty sock without any holes will work just as well, that is if you don’t mind some funky flavour in your morning brew and not the good kind.
That’s all we’ve got for you right now, but if you’ve been improvising with making tea and coffee then we want to hear from you! Add your cowboy-inspired methods in the comments below.