2 Stunning Examples Of Bad Ways To Brew Coffee – Don’t Use These

I found two methods of brewing coffee that almost guarantee bad results, no matter what you do.

In the process of researching another article on mistakes people make when brewing coffee and how to correct them, we came across two old school brewing methods that are fallen out of favor.

I thought it might be fun to take a look at two coffee brewing methods you should never, ever try. Unless, you are trying to get even with a coffee lover who is ticked you off.

The two methods were going to take a look at are:

  • Brewing coffee with a percolator
  • Making coffee in a pan on the stove top or over a fire,) Cowboy Coffee.

The latter method is called cowboy coffee. And, in my opinion, you have to be a rough-and-tumble type person with a cast-iron stomach to prepare and drink your coffee that way.

Brewing Coffee With A Percolator.

To give you an idea house old school brewing coffee with a percolator is, I remember being fascinated with my grandmother’s percolator when I was a child. I am over 60 years old now. Percolators are as old as the hills.

Why exactly did I choose brewing coffee with a percolator as a method almost guaranteed to produce bad results? Why have they faded into the background and are seldom used?

  1. It takes a long time to brew coffee with a percolator. In today’s “gotta have it now” society this method is simply too long. It can take 10 or 15 minutes from start to finish.
  2. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible to regulate the water temperature. It is very easy to be boiling the coffee and not really knowing.
  3. It generally makes an extremely strong cup of coffee. It is not delicate and subtle like espresso but rather bitter. You get the feeling the bottom will fall out of your coffee cup.
  4. As mentioned previously, this is an old school method of brewing and relies on very old technology. There are a lot of different parts to clean up. It is not easy or convenient to use. The percolator shown was patented in 1919.

If you really want to try to make coffee in a percolator as an experiment here are the steps in the process.

  1. Grab your beans and grind your coffee. The coffee should be ground to a course grind. If the coffee is too fine it will not stay in the percolating chamber and fall directly into the boiling water. That will result in sludge in grinds in your coffee.
  2. Add the amount of water you want to use to the bottom of the percolator.
  3. Place your coffee into the percolator basket, assembled the tube and basket assembly.
  4. Put the two assembly with the basket and coffee in the percolator. Cover with the top.
  5. It is recommended you heat the water up slowly so as not to boil the water. You will know you hit the right temperature when the bought water is bubbling against the glass top of the percolator every couple of seconds.
  6. There is no real specific time on how long to let the coffee percolated it’s a matter of taste. About 10 minutes seems to be the norm.
  7. Remove from heat, cross your fingers, and serve.

Here is a video that you will show you the process in detail

Brewing Coffee In A Saucepan. Cowboy Coffee

To me, using this method of brewing coffee is an act of desperation. Boiling coffee and a saucepan violates any number of rules concerning how to make good coffee.

There are some people who swear by it though. Maybe if you are stuck in a log cabin or out on the range and have absolutely no facilities available except water, coffee, and a saucepan this’ll work in a pinch. But even under those circumstances there are better ways to brew coffee without complicated equipment

Using this method of brewing there is almost a certain chance you will get coffee grounds, sludge, and sediment in your coffee. The idea is to boil the coffee directly in the water wait a short period of time and hopefully, the grounds will settle to the bottom. You then carefully pour off the top which should be brewed coffee.

Like percolated coffee this can make extremely strong and bitter coffee. In general your exposing the coffee to the hot water for too long a time.

I think if cavemen drank coffee this is the method they would use to make it. We know for a fact cowboys did it this way out on the range. In its simplest terms you’re going to take a pot of water heated to boiling, remove it from the f stove or campfire, put the coffee in, weights, and pour.

A good coffee Bean choice for cowboy coffee is a full-bodied coffees such as Colombian or French roast. Use some good quality beans for good results.
Here is a recipe for making cowboy coffee:

  • Add 8 ounces of water for each cup of coffee you are making.
  • Bring the water to a boil.
  • Remove from heat and wait approximately one minute – this will bring the water temperature down to the desired 195 to 200° for steeping coffee.
  • Do NOT boil the water and coffee together, it will be terrible.
  • Stir the water and coffee mixture gently.
  • Steep approximately four minutes.
  • Add two or 3 tablespoons of cold water to help settle the grounds to the bottom of the pan.
  • Gently and slowly pour the coffee out of the pan into your mug’s.
  • Real cowboy coffee is not strained.


the French have a saying c’est la vie which means celebrate the differences. I don’t want to be a negative Nancy and condemn anybody’s favorite method of brewing coffee. But I do get to have an opinion.

In my opinion don’t even waste your time trying to brew coffee using these methods. They are not particularly simple or easy and are almost guaranteed to produce a terrible cup of coffee.

Spend your time effort and money elsewhere.

I hope we could be of service in averting disaster for you.

Wishing you the best in your coffee adventures.

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