Leave the cowboy coffee to the cowboys

Cowboy coffee tastes a bit like blackened kitty litter.

Any serious coffee drinker like myself is willing to take down a cup or two of the caffeinated sludge when left with very few options.

What is cowboy coffee, you ask?  Great question.

According to our good friends over at the always reliable Wikipedia, “cowboy coffee is made by heating coarse grounds with water in a pot, letting the grounds settle and pouring off the liquid to drink, sometimes filtering it to remove fine grounds. While the name suggests that this method was used by cowboys, presumably on the trail around a campfire, it is used by others; some people prefer this method.”

In other words, gross.  I’m not sure who these “some people” are who “prefer this method.”  Come on folks. Backcountry coffee preparation has come a long way!  There is no need to suffer anymore.

So it was with this concept in mind that I sought an acceptable alternative.  Enter Starbucks Via Ready Brew.

Now before you rightfully question my manhood, let me just say I’m not a devoted “must go daily” Starbucks freak fan.  In fact, the place scares the crap out of me.

I don’t know if it’s the annoyingly peppy baristas, or the price point, or because I can never remember which drink and in which size I prefer, thus having to sheepishly rely on my wife to order for me—whatever it is, Starbucks just kind of gives me the creeps.

But there we were standing in line one day, ordering a ventiwho vannila whatchamacallit, when I found the solution to my cowboy coffee dilemma.

We tried the Italian and Columbia roasts on our backpacking trip through Rocky Mountain National Park, and honestly, I was impressed.  This isn’t your average, watered-down instant coffee.

I won’t bore you with a vague flavor profile, mostly because I have no idea how to describe a cup of coffee. Just know that this a tasty, compact alternative to kitty litter sludge.

Have you made any similar “outdoor” product discoveries? Please tell me you have, and that it was instant beer.