We’ve become so accustomed to having access to a coffee maker that we feel lost should the electricity fail or we lose access to our trusty appliance in some way. Granted, you could always pull out a jar of instant coffee but it isn’t the same. How to make coffee without coffee maker? If you want to or there is no other options.
You don’t just want to make a cup of coffee. You want a satisfying cup of coffee that equals the flavor of your normal brew. This is not an impossible task when you consider that people have been enjoying their coffee for centuries but the coffee maker sitting on your kitchen counter never existed before the early 1970s.
In fact, the coffee filter itself did not exist until 1908. If you lost your electricity today, would you know how to make coffee without coffee maker? As you learn the following methods on how to make coffee at home, you may very well want to make one of them part of your morning coffee-making ritual.
A little housekeeping before learning how to brew coffee without a coffee maker
The ground you use takes on even more importance when you make a cup of coffee without coffee maker. Let’s face it, even the most expensive coffee maker can’t create miracles and make bad grounds into good-tasting coffee. You need to start your brewing adventure with the following three things in mind:
Use freshly ground coffee
Ground coffee starts losing its flavor as quickly as twenty minutes after being ground. This might be a good time to invest in one of those manual hand grinders so you will be prepared. If you can’t use freshly ground coffee, at least see that your coffee has been stored in an air-tight container to slow the process of flavor loss.
Use freshly roasted coffee
You have a slight bit of leeway here. Your beans should have been roasted sometime within the past two weeks. Longer than that and some of their flavor becomes lost. When you first learned how to make good coffee, this is something you may have been told but forgotten over time. Roasted coffee beans are not something you can wisely stock up on if coffee flavor is important to you.
Use the correct water temperature
This is something that is a bit more difficult to know if you are getting it correct. You want your water to be approximately 200 degrees.
Many of us don’t have thermometers lying around our kitchens and if we happen to be doing this while camping or away from home, the chances are even less. One way to get the water close to what you need is to bring it to a boil. Once you reach the boil stage, turn off the heat and wait thirty seconds. Now is the perfect time so work quickly from here on out.
The Five Methods: How to Make Coffee Without Coffee Maker
As you read through these methods, pick the one that appeals to you most to start with. The whole idea is to enjoy the process so you can enjoy the final result of a good cup of coffee made without a coffee maker.
#1 The cowboy method
This one brings back memories of the Old West and is often the choice of campers – but you can feel like you are enjoying the great outdoors from the comfort of your home by using your stove instead of a campfire! This method is very adaptable in regards to the number of cups you can make at one time.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
- Great coffee grounds
- A pan for water
- A cup for your final product
Step 1: Place enough water in your pan to make the number of cups you want and then add extra. You will want the extra water so that the coffee grounds can settle to the bottom of your pot and not end up in your cup.
Step 2: Measure out approximately 2 tablespoons of grounds per each cup of coffee you are making. You can adjust this for the strength of coffee you like but this is the strength most often used. Place the grounds in water.
Step 3: Place the pan of water over your heat source, stove-top or campfire and allow it to come to a boil.
Step 4: Remove the pan from the heat and cover it. This keeps all the flavor in the pan. Let the pan sit this way for four or five minutes. The longer it sits, the stronger the brew. The waiting allows the coffee grounds to settle at the bottom of the pan.
Step 5: Either gently pour the coffee into your waiting cup or use a ladle. Enjoy!
Watch the video of cowboy coffee
Makeshift coffee filter method
This method will eliminate the chances of ending up with coffee grounds in your finished cup. The final cup isn’t as strong as the above method but the trade-off is worth it to many.
WHAT YOU”LL NEED
- Medium-fine coffee grounds
- Paper coffee filter
- Coffee cups or mugs
- A rubber band or other method to secure filter in place
Step 1: Bring your water to a boil and then allow to sit for thirty seconds to reach ideal brewing temperature.
Step 2: Place your filter over your coffee cup and make sure it is firmly in place. Use a rubber band or binder clips to keep it in place. You don’t want it to fall into your cup when you are pouring the water.
Step 3: Using a slightly coarse grind, place enough for one cup of coffee on top of your filter. Try to keep it as evenly spread as possible.
Step 4: Pour a tiny bit of the hot water over the grounds. Just use enough to wet the grounds and watch for a slight bubbling that indicates the grounds are releasing their flavor. Wait thirty seconds and pour about a third of your water over the grounds. After another thirty seconds, pour half of the remaining water and wait a final thirty seconds before pouring the final drops of water.
Step 5: Allow all the water to soak through the grounds. You may have to move the grounds around slightly to get the last of the water through. Once the water has finished draining through the filter, gently remove the filter, making sure you lift it upwards so no grounds fall into your cup. Enjoy your fresh cup of coffee!
The coffee bag method
This has to be the easiest way to make coffee without a coffee maker. Your local food store sells pre-measured coffee bags that are similar to the tea bags that have been around for ages. While you can’t guarantee the freshness of these grounds, they are convenient.
WHAT YOU”LL NEED
- Coffee bag
- Hot water
- Coffee cup of choice
Step 1: Bring your water to a boil and then take it off the heat and allow it to cool for thirty seconds. It is important to get the water temperature as close to perfect as possible because both too hot and too cold can ruin the final taste.
Step 2: Place your coffee bag into your cup and slowly pour the hot water up to the level you want for your final cup. The bag should be completely immersed in the water. Use a spoon to poke it down if it is floating.
Step 3: Depending upon how strong you want your coffee, allow the bag to sit in the cup for anywhere from two to six minutes. The longer it sits, the stronger your coffee will be, just as happens with a tea bag.
Step 4: Remove the coffee bag when your coffee is the strength you like. Toss the used coffee bag in the trash, or save to use in your garden, and enjoy your coffee.
The DIY coffee bag method
Maybe you can’t get to the store to get coffee bags or maybe you would simply like to have greater control over the quality of the grounds you are using. In either case, you can still enjoy the easy method described above by creating your own coffee bag.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
- Ground coffee of your choice
- A coffee filter or emptied tea bag
- String that won’t melt with heat
- Hot water
- Your favorite coffee cup
Step 1: Measure out approximately two tablespoons of coffee grounds for each bag you are making.
Step 2: Placing the grounds in the center of your filter, bring the sides of the filter upwards and gather at the top. Use the string to tie the gathered filter closed.
Step 3: Prepare your water to the correct brewing temperature.
Step 4: Place your coffee bag into your cup and fill the cup with water, making sure the bag is fully covered. Allow the coffee two to six minutes to “brew” and remove your bag. Enjoy your coffee.
Note: If you have tea bags, you can carefully open one and dump out the tea leaves. Replace the tea leaves with your coffee grounds and make sure the bag is sealed. Follow the rest of the directions for the coffee bag method.
The improvised French press method
Many of you enjoy a good cup of French press coffee. If you are without access to your French press, don’t despair. We are here to come to your rescue. Here is a method just for you.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
- Your favorite coffee grounds
- Hot water that has been boiled and allowed to sit for thirty seconds
- Two coffee cups (One you will need for the brewing and one for enjoying the results)
Step 1: Prepare your coffee grounds. You will want to go for a coarser texture. Plan on approximately 2 tablespoons per each cup of coffee.
Step 2: Prepare your water to the perfect brewing temperature.
Step 3: Place your grounds in one of the cups and pour enough water over the grounds to make them moist. Allow the mixture to sit for half a minute and then fill the cup with the rest of the hot water.
Step 4: Allow the hot water to sit with the grounds until your coffee reaches the strength you enjoy. This should be anywhere from two to six minutes.
Step 5: Gently pour the brewed coffee into the second cup, being careful not to allow the grounds to mix in with the coffee. Enjoy your homemade version of French press!
You will have to determine which method suits your needs the most. Each has its own benefits and pitfalls. The final taste of your cup of coffee will also vary depending on things like how long you allow it to brew, how hot or cold the water is and the quality of the beans you use for the grounds.
We are particularly fond of the cowboy method. It is almost easy to feel like we are back in the early days of this country when times were more simple and a great cup of coffee was a reward for facing a long day of work. It is also one of the easiest methods for getting the coffee to just the perfect strength. Somehow, it turns making a cup of coffee without a coffee maker into an adventure.
If the purpose is simply getting enough caffeine into your system to get moving in the morning, the coffee bags from the store are quickest and easiest, if not as tasty.
In a world that has become so dependent upon our appliances, it is often difficult to manage when something happens that causes the appliances not to function. By taking the time now to learn these methods now, you won’t find yourself missing a beat when the inevitable occurs.
It also gives you a sense of satisfaction knowing you have added another skill to your bag of tricks. With all the talk these days about preparing for a time when we may have to return to depending on the skills of our ancestors, you can rest easily knowing you are a step ahead of many others.
Now, when everyone starts to panic, you can show them how to make coffee without coffee maker, saving the day. After all, doesn’t a great cup of coffee make everything look a bit brighter?