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By Michelle Fish

By the time the Farm workers show up for breakfast and roll call at 5:15 am, Yolanda has already been hard at work for several hours. There’s making the breakfast, of course: pounding out tortillas, and cooking a stew of beans and rice. But she’s also in charge of making the Farm coffee. And there’s nothing else like it.

what's in their cups

It’s dark, smooth, rich and sweet. And to me, at least, it tastes a little bit like hot chocolate. I have the recipe, if you want to try it at home. Of course, you may want to scale this back a bit, unless you’re planning on serving 30 thirsty people.


20 ltrs of water
1 lb of ground coffee
1-1/2 lbs of sugar


  1. About 1 hour before you plan to serve it, bring 10 ltrs of water to a boil.
  2. Add coffee and sugar, and return to a gentle boil for 45 minutes
  3. Add 10 more ltrs of very cold water. The grounds will sink to the bottom of the pot. Bring the coffee back to a simmer.
  4. Serve, usually without milk on the Farm.
  5. Leave on indirect heat as long as desired.

This method of making coffee is actually not that different than you might find in the military or out on a cattle range. Although usually, when you’re making Cowboy Coffee, you don’t add the sugar until it’s in your cup.

Bob tries his first cup of coffee on the Farm, the way the workers drink it, in July of 2019.

Several years ago, Carlos and Leana Ferrey started serving drip coffee to the workers, with the idea that they might want to know what the coffee that they grow tastes like to their customers. But the workers wanted their coffee back. As my husband, BIGGBY COFFEE Co-CEO Bob Fish would say, however YOU like it is the right way to serve it.

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