HERE’S A LITTLE BIT OF COWBOY COFFEE LORE TO CAFFEINATE YOUR DAY . . .
Several centuries ago, back when American was busy becoming the Wild West, coffee evolved as a sacred commodity for the cowboys and townsfolk alike.
There’s a certain lore to the whole notion of it that lurks in the American consciousness: Images of Conestoga wagon cooks brewing up a hot pot fireside; sheriffs having a second pot of coffee as they guard a wily prisoner long into the night; a farmer lingering over his cup of coffee in the Wild West before beginning his daily chores; a duo of cowboys leaning up against their weary horses – silent silhouettes against the backdrop of vibrant purple and orange sunsets.
The pioneers leaving the East are rumored to have perfected a technique for preserving the coffee berries using a combination of eggs and sugar. Blending the two, they formed a wash that coated the beans. Secretly, this recipe added a little protein and sweetness that further helped to sustain these lonesome wanderers and kept them worshiping longer at the campsite.
Once camp was set up, the green beans would be roasted on an open skillet and then put into a bag and crushed. The handle of an axe or a wagon jack served well as an implement for pelting and pummeling. And once the little beans had been successfully spanked, they were placed in a coffee pot and nestled within the fire. After boiling for a spell, it was time to enjoy a robust, satisfying cup of coffee in the Wild West.
Coffee thus became a very important staple for pioneers, townspeople, ranchers, cowpokes and farmers alike. Gathering ’round the campfire became, perhaps, the original American coffeehouse. Serving to soothe the souls and unite a people in a common cause, regardless of whether they were conversationalists or not.
And so the wagon trains and townsfolk had their tradition, and they shared with others passing through. But it was the cowboys who originated a variation; something that only resourceful loners would conjure up. Out there on the trail with no wagons in sight, they used their dirty socks as coffee filters. They filled the socks with coffee beans, immersed them in boiling water and then squeezed the coffee into their cups. Adding the fetid flavors of clay dirt, sweaty soles and fungus to their brew.
And thus, the authentic American Cowboy Coffee was born.
A happy, hearty squeeze to you . . . Grounds up!