How to Make Coffee Without a Coffee Maker

The coffee maker or espresso machine is often the most loved appliance in our homes. We use it every morning, every gathering, and even throughout the day. As a result, many people have become dependent on these makers, and gone are the days where people make a simple cup of joe on the stove.

While this is hardly ever an issue, knowing how to make a great coffee without a maker is an essential skill to have. It could help you if your favorite machine happens to break and you require a caffeine pick me up. It’s also a fantastic way to make coffee when camping, hiking, or when staying in a vacation rental that does not have a coffee maker. Making coffee without a maker is also possible in extreme circumstances such as power outages or winter storms.

In general, knowing a few ways to make coffee with common items found in your kitchen can take some coffee-dependent stress away, because you know you can always create coffee no matter the circumstance.

Using the Stovetop

The Stovetop is your new best friend when making coffee without a maker. If camping or spending time outdoors, a common camping portable gas stove will also do the trick.

Items Needed:

  • Coffee grounds
  • Water
  • Small Pot
  • Coffee Mug (or thermos)
  • Large spoon or ladle

How to Make It:

  • Pour water into the pot (remember some of the water will be absorbed into the grounds and lost to boiling) so use more water than the actual amount of coffee that you want to drink.
  • Dump the coffee grounds directly into the water in proportion to the amount of coffee you want. For example, one scoop of grounds per cup of water excluding the extra amount of water added. Use more coffee for a stronger taste and less coffee for a weaker taste.
  • Set the pot onto the burner or camping stove and let it sit until boiling.
  • Stir every few minutes so the coffee will not stick to the bottom of the pot.
  • Allow it to boil for at least two minutes.
  • Remove from the hot burner and allow it to sit for four minutes or until all the coffee grounds have settled to the bottom.
  • Use the large spoon or ladle to scoop coffee into your mug. If you forgot to bring a ladle on your camping adventures or do not have one in your home, you can slowly pour the coffee directly from the pot into your thermos. Do this very slowly so that the grounds will stay on the bottom of the pot and not get mixed in your mug.

This method is perfect if you only have a limited amount of kitchen supplies and do not want to buy anything extra. It is also great for traveling because it does not require too many items to pack.

Using a Funnel

Don’t want to buy a fancy pour-over maker? No problem. Chances are you already have a funnel laying around your kitchen somewhere. If not, they can usually be bought at your local supermarket for less than five dollars.

Items Needed:

  • Coffee grounds
  • Coffee filter
  • Funnel
  • Kettle (or just a pot to boil water in)
  • Mug

How to Make It:

  • Boil water in the kettle or on the stovetop.
  • Place the filter in the funnel and set it on top of the mug.
  • Pour a little of the boiled water onto the filter paper until it is saturated. This will help take away any paper taste. Some of this water will drip down into the mug.
  • Dump out the water that went into the mug.
  • Place coffee grounds into the filter and slowly pour water over them.
  • Wait about 30-45 seconds and then slowly pour more water over the grounds.
  • Repeat this about three times, more if you want your coffee weaker.
  • When the coffee is almost done dripping, remove the funnel. The last little amount will probably have some grounds in it, so remove it before they get mixed in with your coffee.

This method is great because it is cost-effective and only takes a few minutes to make. It also takes some experimenting and will allow you to learn to make the perfect morning coffee with just a few items.

Using a Self-Made Coffee Bag

Most people do not know this, but coffee can often be brewed the same way tea is brewed. This is an old-school method, dating back to 18th century Europe. However, it is tried and true.

Items Needed:

  • Kettle or pot to boil water
  • Mug
  • Ground Coffee
  • Coffee Filter
  • String (virtually any kind is okay as long it does not have a coating on it that could potentially melt into the hot water)

How to Make It:

  1. Measure out a single serving size of coffee grounds (make it as strong or as weak as you would like).
  2. Pour the coffee grounds carefully into the filter.
  3. Close tightly and tie the string around it to help keep it together. Make sure there is enough string on one end to hang outside the mug.
  4. Heat the water in the kettle or on the stove.
  5. Place the coffee bag into the mug and slowly pour the hot water over it.
  6. Allow it to steep until desired strength is reached (usually about 4-6 minutes).
  7. Take the coffee bag out of the cup using the long end of the string.

Making coffee using a bag is extremely simple and fast. It is almost exactly like steeping tea, except there is just an extra step of creating the bag yourself.

Using a Strainer

Many of the ways people make coffee without a maker involve using a coffee filter. What if you don’t have any coffee filters or you do not want to buy any? A strainer is a perfect substitute for a filter. An ideal strainer for making coffee should have very small holes, but a mesh strainer is even better.

Items Needed:

  • Mug
  • Strainer
  • Pot to boil water

How to Make It:

  1. Pour the amount of water into the pot for the number of cups of coffee that you want to make.
  2. Measure the coffee grounds out and then stir them into the water.
  3. Bring the water to a boil and let it fully boil for about two minutes.
  4. Carefully hold the strainer above the mug and slowly pour the coffee into the strainer.

This method is similar to the stovetop method. However, with the help of the mesh strainer, it is less likely that any coffee grounds will get mixed in with your coffee. You also will not have to wait for the grounds to settle since they will all be caught in the strainer.

Make Your Own French Press

The French press is often a cheap coffee maker that is brought on trips or stored as a backup method for making coffee. However, using a few kitchen items you can create your own French Press without spending any extra money.

Items Needed:

  • Coarse Ground Coffee
  • Pot to boil water
  • Spoon
  • Bowl
  • Mug

How to Make It:

  1. Measure desired amount of coffee grounds and put them into the bowl.
  2. Pour just enough water over the grounds to get them fully wet. Let sit for a few minutes.
  3. Pour the rest of the water (in proportion to the amount of coffee grounds used) into the bowl.
  4. Allow the coffee grounds to completely settle at the bottom of the bowl. This will probably take about 4-6 minutes.
  5. Use the spoon to push the coffee grounds into the very bottom of the bowl. This will make them denser and heavier so they will stick to the bottom as you pour the coffee mixture into your mug.
  6. Pour the coffee into the mug. You may want to use the spoon to continue pressing the grounds into the bottom of the bowl as you pour.

This method requires only minimal effort and tools, making it ideal for days where your coffee machine doesn’t seem to be working or when you’re away on vacation without a coffee maker.

Use the Cupping Method

This is arguably the simplest method that requires the least number of tools. However, coffee experts will say that the grounds need to be expertly measured to make this method successful. However, it can be done without a scale or other fancy measuring tool.

A single serving of coffee is usually considered to be around 6 grams of ground coffee or 12 grams of beans. 6 grams is also about a heaping spoonful of ground coffee. So, for this method try using one heaping spoonful (or more or less depending on your taste).

Items Needed:

  • Coffee Grounds
  • Mug
  • Pot to boil water
  • Spoon

How to Make It:

  1. Put the coffee grounds into the mug.
  2. Put the water on the stove and allow it to boil (or use a kettle if you have one).
  3. Pour the water into the mug and fill the cup all the way to the brim.
  4. The very top of the mixture in the cup should form a thick layer of coffee grounds that resemble a crust.
  5. Wait about 4-5 minutes and then stir the crust into the mug.
  6. If any foam forms at the top of the cup, consider scrapping it off unless you are a lover of very bitter coffee.
  7. The coffee is now ready to drink. Using this method, the coffee grounds remain very heavy and should stay at the bottom of the mug as you drink it.

Using the Turkish Coffee Method

You may have seen Turkish coffee pots, specialty makers, or even Turkish coffee maker sets sold on websites or local stores. However, do not be fooled. Turkish coffee is actually just another method to make coffee, it does not require any special tool or pot. It can easily be made at home using minimal kitchen equipment. Keep in mind that the Turkish method brews a very small amount of coffee, about the size of a double espresso.

Items Needed:

  • Coffee grounds (high quality is better for this method)
  • Small pot
  • Espresso cup
  • Spoon

How to Make It:

  1. Fill the espresso cup with cold water, pour it into the pot and turn on the stovetop.
  2. Add one spoonful of coffee.
  3. If you want to add sugar, do it now instead of at the end. Add the sugar into the pot, do not mix.
  4. After a few minutes of heat, the coffee should begin to sink and the sugar should dissolve. Gently stir the mixture and let it remain on the hot burner.
  5. This method should always just allow the coffee to simmer, not boil.
  6. When you notice foam starting to form, gently pour it into your mug.
  7. Some foam will build up about two or three times and each time it will need to be poured into the mug.
  8. After pouring out the foam mixture several times, there should only be grounds left. Your coffee is now ready!

Turkish coffee is perfect if you are wanting something powerful and efficient. It creates a much stronger cup of coffee than some other methods.

Conclusion: A coffee maker is completely unnecessary to create a perfect cup of coffee

Living without a coffee brewer either long-term or for just a few weeks while on vacation has many perks.

Many people have moved to making coffee without a maker because it is better for the environment. No capsules and no K-cups mean less waste headed out to the landfill each week on garbage pick-up day.

Less stress, better for the environment, and being able to make coffee virtually anywhere are just some of the amazing pros of making coffee without a maker.

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