How to Make Perfect Campfire Coffee

Couple Drinking Coffee OutdoorsMuch as we might like to deny it, many of us are addicted to caffeine. Forgoing your morning cup of joe is a punishment that can make you feel tired, irritable, and even nauseous. But you shouldn’t have to suffer while on vacation. That’s why we’re showing you how to make the perfect cup of campfire coffee.

Before we dive in, remember that there are lots of variations of campfire coffee. This post primarily focuses on the traditional style of “cowboy coffee.” That said, we’ll also touch on some newer methods, such as French press and pour-over.

First, some tips:

  • Always use clean, filtered water. Bring your own if need be. Coffee is 99% water, and hard water will be a serious detriment to the flavor.
  • Grind your coffee coarser than usual. A coarse French press grind works well.
  • Know the amount of ground coffee you prefer for each cup. A typical measurement is 2 tablespoons of coffee for every 8 ounces of water. Bring a scoop or scale so you can measure.
  • When heating a pot over a fire, always use a pot that’s built to be heated over an open flame. We recommend a granite or enamel coffee pot.
  • Use hot pads when touching your hot coffee pot.

Man Making Campfire CoffeeHow to Make Campfire Coffee

1. Start with a Small, Hot Fire

You want to get your water boiling quickly, so ensure that your fire is small, but very hot. You’re looking for a concentrated bed of hot coals in the center where your kettle will be.

2. Measure Your Water

Note how many people will be drinking coffee and fill your pot accordingly with water. You may need more than one batch for a large group.

3. Boil Your Water

Place your pot on the campfire and bring the water to a boil. Once boiling, remove the pot from the fire and let it cool for 30 seconds to one minute.

4. Add Your Coffee

Add your desired amount of coffee directly to the pot and stir thoroughly.

5. Steep Coffee

Let your coffee steep in the pot for four minutes, stirring once halfway through steeping.

6. Sprinkle Cold Water on Coffee

Sprinkle a little cold water on top of your coffee to help the grounds settle to the bottom.

7. Pour Slowly

Pour coffee slowly into your mug to help keep the grounds at the bottom. It’s fine to leave a little coffee in the pot, as pouring it all will lead to many grounds in your cup. If you have a filter basket and paper filters, you can filter the coffee for a smoother cup.

French Press CoffeeOther Ways to Make Campfire Coffee

French Press

Many individuals like the bold taste delivered by brewing coffee in a French press. This method is easy to use while camping, as the only tool you need in addition to your French press is a pot to boil water. Additionally, this method does a better job of trapping the coffee grounds.


The pour-over brewing style has become very popular. While a little more difficult, it is possible to do while camping. You’ll need your pour-over brewer, like a Hario V60; cone-shaped paper filters; and a kettle that can be heated over the campfire. While a gooseneck kettle works best, a standard spout will work.


Next time you’re camping, don’t go without your fix. Brew up some perfect campfire coffee and enjoy sipping a warm beverage in the great outdoors.


Are you an avid coffee drinker? Share this post and spread the goodness of campfire coffee.


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