Pan Coffee and Cowboys

Drip coffee makers can be a big waste of money.   There’s usually about three or four cups left in the carafe at the end of the day; which I end up throwing out.  I not only felt bad about wasting it, but I watched my big container of coffee empty twice as fast as need be.

I always wondered how the cowboys in the old west made coffee, so I thought I’d figure it out. I’m sure Hollywood’s reenactments aren’t correct, but I’m also sure that they didn’t haul along a Mr Coffee and plug it into the nearest cactus in the morning.  So I figured I’d see what happens when I put a few grinds in a pan over the proverbial campfire – in this case my stove.

A small pan did the trick. I added two small scoops of grinds and they floated to the top.  I thought, “oh yuck”.  I heated them, thinking I’d run it through a filter, but after a good heatin’ (or boiling, if I left it too long) they sank.  Oh, joy.  I let it simmer for a couple of minutes as the grounds settled to the bottom. Second Joy!  I poured off the delicious brew into my cup.  I had a few grinds in the cup, mostly from what stuck to the side of the pan while heating.  The key is to let it sit and they will descend to the bottom of the pan!

The coffee was good, strong, just the way I like it.  The next time I used only one scoop and it did a beautiful job of making two medium dark cups of coffee.  When done, I threw the grounds in the trash.  This provided the perfect amount of coffee for the morning.  No filter waste, but the pan’s a little gross to clean out. I sat dreaming about how simple life would have been back then, sitting around a campfire.

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