Making Cowboy Cold Brew Iced Coffee

I really like to make cold brew iced coffee. I also like to go camping. I developed this method for making cowboy cold brew which works just as well at home or in the woods.

Cowboy coffee refers to mixing the grounds in with the water and then pouring it out through a filter once it has brewed. This is different from the way most people make coffee. With cold brew, there are basically two ways to make it. You can either get a bag to hold the grounds while they brew, or you can do it this way where you just mix the grounds into the water and then pour it all through a filter.

The big difference between these two methods is that you don’t have to deal with dirty bags. The problem there is that if you use a dirty bag again, you are likely to see mold and then you are done making coffee until you can get to a dishwasher and bleach everything.

Doing it cowboy style means your filter stays clean between brewings and doesn’t get moldy.

Let’s Make Some Coffee!

You will want to add two tablespoons of coffee per eight ounces of water. So for one liter of water, that’s about 34 ounces which comes out to about half a cup or four ounces of coffee grounds.

You may have to eyeball this if your Nalgene doesn’t have marks for just four ounces. More is more; you can always add water afterwards to dilute it down. I’m using a 1.5 liter Nalgene in this photo, and I make it a little stronger than normal, so I used eight ounces of coffee grounds in this photo.

Start by putting your grounds and then water into a Nalgene or similar container as shown. Shake it up and stick it in the cooler for about 24 hours.

I’m using a mesh filter here but it has since been discontinued. I would recommend this other one that I also have because it is easy to clean by simply rinsing it. If you get one with cloth, it’s going to get moldy.

Next simply poor your grounds-water through the filter into your clean container…

I’m using a blender bottle. These are really great because they rinse clean with zero effort and they are very sturdy. After many years at burning man dropping it form moving bikes on a regular basis, I’ve never had it come open; really great drink container.

In this case, I just wanted a little coffee at the moment so I transferred it over to my camp cup and left the rest in the cooler. This kind of cold brew will keep in the cooler for up to two weeks. For your used containers just rinse them out and let them air dry. Couldn’t be easier!