This may be a question for the penny pincher or simply the curious alike.
What is the cheapest way to make coffee!?
I’m not only about to answer the question, I’m also going to give you the most simple way to make coffee! Mind you it’s not the easiest, but the simplest!
There’s a difference, yes.
The answer may or may not surprise you.
There are at least a few methods of which are inexpensive and/or simple. I’m going to give you information about each of them.
Here’s the short and skinny… the cheapest way to make coffee is… instant coffee. Wah wah wahhhhhhh…
It’s not only the cheapest way but also the easiest way to make coffee hands down.
Ok show’s over, we can all go home now. But that seemed so anti-climactic, didn’t it? It’s such an easy way to make coffee that’s, well, almost not even real coffee.
But it just doesn’t usually have that same… well you know… good taste that other coffee has!
So the answer is instant coffee if we’re talking about the cheapest way to make coffee. It’s also the easiest. It’s so easy that I can’t even write a full article or any special tricks or tips for it.
Make some hot water, pour instant coffee in, stir, drink. Done.
But, if instant coffee wasn’t in the mix, here’s the cheapest way to make coffee.
It’s Called Cowboy Coffee… Yee Hah!
Yes you’re in for a ride with this one. It’s adventurous and pretty rugged.
There’s no coffee machine, brewer or special equipment necessary!
The only equipment you need is fire, a kettle or cooking pot, a cup/mug and a spoon. I’m assuming you already have a pot for cooking or a kettle.
But you could also just make a single cup with no kettle or pot necessary.
The reason I said it’s not the easiest way to make coffee is because it’s debatable whether our classic, automatic drip coffee machine is maybe easier than this.
But as cheap and easy as that may be, the most expensive item in making cowboy coffee is a kettle or container to heat water with, making it the cheapest (after instant coffee).
So giddy up and get ready, here are the instructions!…
How To Make Cowboy Coffee
It might seem like there’s almost nothing to it because you’re essentially just putting coffee grounds in water. But there are a few things to know before you just throw your coffee straight into hot water and gulp it down.
Here are the steps for how to make the cheapest coffee brewing method (2nd to instant coffee), also know as cowboy coffee:
- Heat your water over a fire, on a stove, or in the microwave
- Bring the water to 200° F (93° C). If you don’t have a thermometer, bring the water just to a boil then let it sit for at least 30 seconds
- Add coffee grounds to the water and stir. The ratio should be 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds per 6 oz of water
- Let the coffee sit and steep for two minutes
- Stir the grounds again
- Let it sit for another minute or two
- Pour/sprinkle a little cold water on the coffee grounds, which helps them sink to the bottom instead of you drinking them!
- Enjoy 🙂
Whether you’re making it in a single cup or brewing in a kettle, pot, carafe, jug or whatever, just use the coffee/water ratio above.
But, remember to use just enough cold water so that the grinds will sink to the bottom, but not too much that it makes the coffee cold!
We want to make cowboy coffee here, not iced coffee 🙂
Or Throw The Recipe Out The Window…
The recipe above is for the more refined, sophisticated cowboy. We’ll call that one method 1.
Method 2 would be that you could also just boil your water, put the coffee grinds in, let it cool so that you can drink it and try to get as few grinds in your teeth as possible. I’m not really kidding either!
I’ve heard that there are some or maybe many rough rider cowboys who do their coffee this way, the good old fashioned way. It’s definitely more rugged than method 1. But cowboys are tough after all.
So you can pick which method you want to try. Although the first recipe will taste better and be easier to drink, I’m sure no one will judge you for how you make your cowboy coffee.
Much Better Than Instant Coffee
Even though instant coffee is actually the cheapest way to make coffee, there really isn’t much of a how-to to be written about it.
And in the name of good coffee brewing, I wanted to write in this article about a method that actually uses regular whole bean coffee. If you use pre-ground coffee that’s also just fine; I just mean real, natural coffee.
With instant coffee the beans are quite processed, and there’s a reason why they have such a long shelf-life…
Conclusion, And One Last Tip
Here’s one last tip for brewing cowboy coffee before the end of this article.
For the grind size (no I didn’t forget about that!), you’ll want to have a coarse grind, about the same as French press. On a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the most coarse, set it at about 8.
Generally, brewing methods with shorter brew times have more fine grind settings, and methods with longer brew times have more coarse settings. The brew time for cowboy coffee is pretty long.
I hope you have a rip-roarin’ time making your cowboy coffee and that you enjoy this great, rugged brewing method!