Cowboys, Coffee, and a Give Away!

Kit Morgan has a WINNER!


Janine, you get your choice of any of my e-books! Contact me at Woohoo!






There have been a lot of letters and diaries from the pioneers telling how coffee got them through. A trader, Josiah Gregg, (he made a whooping eight treks to the West in the 1830’s) couldn’t get over the pioneers’ love of coffee. Gregg described the settlers love of coffee as insatiable and upon the Prairies incredible. To the pioneers, it was an indispensable beverage. Pioneers drank it at every meal.
Cavalry Lt. William H.C. Whiting wrote that coffee was indispensable to the frontiersman. “Give him coffee and tobacco, and he will endure any privation, suffer any hardship.” Julia Brier, one of the first people to cross Death Valley, said, “Our coffee was a wonderful help and had that given out, I know we should have died.”


Cowboys, however, were the undisputed kings of coffee drinkers in the West. They liked it strong, scalding hot, and barefooted (black). Thus the term cowboy coffee. They called weak coffee names like “dehorned bellywash” or “brown gargle.” Cooks in ranch kitchens didn’t dump the grounds from the pot after the coffee was made, and instead added fresh grounds to the pot until it was too full to hold more. The cowboy’s love of strong coffee gives us those images in movies, television, and books of a pot of coffee steaming over an open fire or sitting on a bed of hot coals. During a cattle drive of about ten to twelve men, the cook used a 3-5 gallon pot, usually made of tinned iron and blackened by smoke. A cook didn’t slide on the coffee rations on coffee because its what kept the cowboys going day after day. A cook could use up to 175 pounds of coffee beans each month.


And is it any wonder? A cowboy drank coffee with every meal, just like the pioneers and between meals besides. They’d work in shifts of four hours and drank it before and after those shifts. In rotten weather when it was hard to sleep, coffee saved the day. A cowboy could be in the saddle for hours on end driving cattle through a storm. You can bet they were looking forward to their coffee whenever they could get it in such weather.

So the next time you’re sipping coffee, think of the hard-working cowboy and his steaming cup. He raises his cup to you with a nod of his head, then takes a sip.  Now I wonder how many of you are going to imagine that the next time you have a cup and raise your own in return. But the real question is, what would you say to him? I’ll pick a random person from the comments to receive an e-book of mine of their choice to go with their coffee!


Website | + posts

Kit Morgan is the author of over 100 books of historical and contemporary western romance! Her stories are fun, sweet stories full of love, laughter, and just a little bit of mayhem! Kit creates her stories in her little log cabin in the woods in the Pacific Northwest. An avid reader and knitter, when not writing, she can be found with either a book or a pair of knitting needles in her hands! Oh, and the occasional smidge of chocolate!

31 thoughts on “Cowboys, Coffee, and a Give Away!”

  1. Good morning Kit- I love coffee and I would if fit right I . Ivtoo jeep adding grounds to mine until it holds no more. I love it stout, got, And black.
    I’d raise my cup to the Cowboy and say “ Job well done, my friend!”

  2. Oops I guess when you’re up early a misspell is to be expected. LOL
    Good morning Kit- I love coffee and I would OF fit right I . I too Keep adding grounds to mine until it holds no more. I love it stout, hot, & black.
    I’d raise my cup to the Cowboy and say “ Job well done, my friend!”

  3. Since I am a real coffee lover, I loved this bit of history! And to my cowboy I would say while raising my mug — From one coffee lover to another, cheers!

  4. I’m a coffee weakling compared to Tonya and those cowboys. I love coffee but with flavored creamer and stevia. I’m pretty sure if I was a black coffee drinker I’d want it strong though because weak black coffee is terrible!

    I would say to the cowboy as I salute him with a cup of coffee, “Here’s to you and a hard, well done job that someone has to do! Thanks from all of us consumers!”

    • There was a gal I used to work with who LOVED weak coffee. We couldn’t stand it when she got to the coffee maker first. We called what she made, toffee. Not quite tea and not quite coffee!

    • I remember my dad telling me about a case he was working on Christmas day. He was a homicide detective and they’d been out all night on a stakeout. They were hiding in the woods near the river. It was cold, wet and miserable. His partner brought him a cup of coffee and he said it was so good. He didn’t care that it was scalding hot. And what did he tell me? “Now I know why all those cowboys in the movies on cattle drives and stuff are always drinking coffee!”

  5. I am having my cup of coffee right now so cowboys I am with you on the coffee. I can’t go without that cup in the morning.

  6. I would ask him if he had something else to drink besides coffee. HaHa!

    Interesting article though. I read mostly historical and, in fact, the book I just finished was about the sheriff of the town and he was constantly drinking coffee.

  7. I come from a line of coffee drinkers! I like my coffee black, too. I’m sure they drank beer when they got to a town!! I’m a little surprised more women didn’t drink tea, as coffee was hard to come by during the Civil War, at least in the South, which is why they used chickory. It was the poor man’s coffee. I remember from Gunsmoke reruns, Festus always just adds grounds, and in the ones with Dennis Weaver, he put eggshells in the coffee grounds, and kept adding both.

    • I remember that about Festus! They used other things besides chickory around that time but off the top of my head can’t think of what it was. Now I’m going to have to go look it up!

  8. I think I would say: “Here is your cup of coffee, thanks for what you do for our country by making it beautiful”

Comments are closed.