Today, there are many modern methods used to brew coffee, such as pour-over, french press, espresso machine, and so on. However, there is a more ancient and lesser-used brewing method known as the ‘Cowboy’ method. This method is one of the simplest ways to brew coffee, without the use of paper filters, and produces coffee with an oily characteristic. Let’s take a closer look at this ‘Cowboy’ brewing method.

How the ‘Cowboy’ Brewing Method Works

The ‘Cowboy’ brewing method is almost like a mix between the French press and percolator methods. You only need a few simple utensils: a cup or glass, coarsely ground coffee beans, boiling water, and a spoon or spatula to mix. Here are the steps:

Coffee Bean Preparation

Use high-quality coffee beans and grind the beans to a coarser size than you would use for pour-over or espresso. This will help prevent coffee beans from getting into your drink.

Cup or Glass Preparation

Take a cup or glass that matches the amount of coffee you want to brew. Make sure that this container can hold both ground coffee and water with enough capacity.


Put the coarsely ground coffee grounds into a cup or glass. Pour boiling water over the ground coffee until everything is submerged. The amount of water used should be adjusted according to your taste of how thick you want your coffee to be.

Boiling (Optional)

Some people stir the coffee and water mixture in a cup or glass to help the brewing process, but this is an optional step. Let the mixture soak in for a few minutes.

Coffee Screening

Once the coffee and water mixture has infused, you can use a spoon or spatula to stir it and help the ground coffee settle to the bottom of the cup or glass. However, not all ground coffee will be fully submerged, and that’s why this method is called ‘Cowboy’, as the resulting drink will still have coffee grounds at the bottom of the cup.

Drinking Coffee

After the coffee grounds have settled, you can immediately enjoy coffee with a more oily feeling than other coffee brewing methods. The flavor may be richer and have a different texture due to the presence of coffee oils that are not blocked by the paper filter.

The Uniqueness of the ‘Cowboy’ Brewing Method

The ‘Cowboy’ brewing method has its own uniqueness and advantages, which makes it attractive to some coffee lovers:


This method is very simple and does not require much specialized equipment. You can brew coffee anywhere, even when out in nature or camping.

Oily Texture

The drawbacks of paper filters result in coffee with an oily and rich texture. These coffee oils can provide a different mouth feel and enhance the coffee brewing experience.

Brewing Time Control

You have full control over the brewing time, so you can adjust the strength of the coffee flavor according to your taste.

Coffee Types Suitable for ‘Cowboy’ Brewing Method

Here are some types of coffee beans that are suitable for the Cowboy brewing method:

Robusta Coffee

Robusta coffee beans have a higher oil content than Arabica coffee beans. As the Cowboy method produces oily coffee, Robusta coffee beans with these oily characteristics will provide a stronger, fuller and more flavorful coffee experience.

Cowboy Brewing Method

Dark Roast Coffee

Dark roasted coffee beans have a more intense flavor and oils due to the longer roasting process. When brewed with the Cowboy method, the dark roasted beans will give the coffee a rich and oily flavor that suits this method.

Cowboy Brewing Method

Coffee with Strong Flavor and Aroma

The Cowboy brewing method tends to produce coffee with stronger flavor and aroma characteristics. Therefore, coffee beans that have a strong flavor and aroma, such as coffee from a specific region with a distinctive flavor profile, will be more suitable for this method.

Local or Traditional Origin Coffee Beans

Some coffee beans from specific regions or traditional beans from various cultures can be suitable for the Cowboy brewing method. For example, Toraja coffee beans.

Cowboy Brewing Method

Nonetheless, each individual’s taste buds may vary, and the quality of coffee largely depends on personal preference. So, you can experiment with different types of coffee beans to find the one that best suits your taste when brewed with the Cowboy brewing method. It is also important to ensure that the coffee beans you use are fresh and have been stored well for the best coffee flavor.

Disadvantages of the ‘Cowboy’ Brewing Method

However, the ‘Cowboy’ brewing method also has some drawbacks to consider:

Coffee grounds sediment

This method can produce a lot of sediment in the cup, which may be undesirable for some people. These deposits can give a heavier and sometimes slightly “muddy” flavor to coffee drinks.

Not Suitable for All Types of Coffee Beans

This method may not be suitable for all types of coffee beans, especially those that are more sensitive to brewing temperature and time. The final result may vary depending on the characteristics of the coffee beans used.

Difficult to Gain Consistency

Since the brewing process is not well controlled, it is difficult to get the same consistency of flavor every time you brew coffee using this method.


The ‘Cowboy’ brewing method is a simple and unique way to brew coffee, without the use of paper filters and resulting in an oily coffee with a rich texture. While it has certain advantages and appeal, this method may not be suitable for everyone due to the high content of coffee beans and lack of flavor consistency. However, for those looking for a traditional experience and simplicity in brewing coffee, the ‘Cowboy’ brewing method could be an interesting alternative to try.

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