Barista Hacks: How to Make Coffee without a Coffee Maker

Don’t wait until it’s too late to learn how to make coffee without a coffee maker. Coffee machines are made by humans, they fail. And the last thing you want to see is waking up in the morning only to find that your coffee machine isn’t working.

In this article, we are going to talk about the easy ways to make coffee without a coffee maker.

Whether you are on a trip or you are just at home but your coffee machine is dead, you can always enjoy your cup of Joe.

After all, coffee lovers have been enjoying coffee long before coffee machines were introduced. Think about how the hunters and gatherers used to make coffee while in the bush. The point is, you can always drink coffee whether your drip coffee maker is in a working condition or not.

Besides, electricity can fail and that means your automatic coffee maker won’t help. Also, if you are on hiking or a campsite, you want something you can carry easily inside your backpack and your coffee maker might be too bulky.

It gets better.

We will show you the best ways to make coffee without a coffee pot.

Let’s get started.

How to Make Coffee without a Coffee Maker (9 Easy Methods)

Note: While these methods have been and are still being used by coffee drinkers to date, they aren’t going to give you the tasty and rich flavor you get from coffee brewed with fresh grounds on a coffee maker. However, you will get the caffeine you need to keep your brain and mind alert as you face the day ahead of you.

1. Brew Coffee the Cowboy Way

Enjoying coffee outdoors

The cowboy coffee brewing method is perhaps the oldest method coffee drinkers have been using to make coffee while in the wilderness. You must have seen some pictures of people in the past sited surrounding open fires enjoying coffee.

This method is suitable for campers or coffee drinkers who want to enjoy coffee outdoors. We will show you how you can make coffee at home using this method. Besides, you don’t have to put on a cowboy hat to brew coffee with this method.

What You’ll Need

  • Ground coffee beans
  • Some water
  • A source of heat
  • A pot or pan
  • A cup or coffee mug.

When done properly, this method can brew a nice, strong and hot cup of coffee.

How to Brew Coffee Using the Cowboy Method

  1. Add some water inside a clean pot or pan as you normally do when brewing coffee with a coffee machine but make sure to add some extra cups so that you don’t empty the pan.
  2. Boil the water using campfire or stove pan and then add your coffee. Try to make it at least two teaspoons for every 6 ounces of water.
  3. Take out the pan from the heat source and cover it then let it sit for around five minutes before you take out the cover from the pan. Wait until all the grounds have collected to the bottom of the pan before you serve your coffee.

As you can see, this is a simple and straightforward method you can make coffee without a coffee maker with. Just experiment with your measurements until you get the taste and strength you want.

If you are planning to go camping, this article shows you nine easy methods to make coffee while camping.

2. Make Strainer Coffee

You don’t have a coffee maker at home? Don’t worry, you can use a strainer and still enjoy your caffeine.

Sometimes the worst can happen. You wake up in the morning, you find your coffee maker isn’t starting, you try to check the filters but you find nothing is left. So you are left wondering how to make coffee without a coffee maker and filter.

It’s simple, if you have a strainer, you are just fine. Just make sure the strainer isn’t old and has very small holes that will filter out even the smallest coffee grounds.

What You’ll Need

  • Ground coffee beans
  • A cup or mug
  • Pan or kettle
  • Some water
  • A strainer- Use a small conical strainer with small holes for better results

How to Brew Strainer Coffee

  1. Place your pan or kettle on the source of heat.
  2. Pour the amount of water you need for your coffee into the pan or kettle. You can use your cup to measure the amount of water you need.
  3. Add the right amount of coffee grounds to the pan or kettle and then stir the mixture.
  4. Allow the mixture to boil for at least 3 minutes
  5. Take out the pan from the heat
  6. Use the strainer to filter out the coffee grounds as you pour the coffee into the mug or cup.

The strainer will prevent coffee grounds from entering your cup.

With this method, you don’t have to wait for the grounds to collect at the bottom of the kettle. A strainer will filter them out.

3. Make Coffee Without a Coffee Maker Using a Coffee Bag

To make coffee using a coffee bag, you will need a filter and a clean string. It’s a coffee brewing method that was used by many cultures in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Note that, although it’s one of the simplest and fastest methods of making coffee without a coffee maker, it won’t give you strong coffee than you may get using the other methods in this list.

What You’ll Need

  • Ground coffee beans
  • String
  • Water
  • Paper filter

How to Make Coffee Using a Coffee Bag

  1. Add your preferred amount of coffee into the coffee filter bag
  2. Tie the strainer tightly with a string and make sure you can hold the string from outside the cup
  3. Boil enough amount of water on a kettle, pan or pot
  4. Place the coffee filter bag on a cup or coffee mug
  5. Pour the hot water into the mug or cup containing the coffee bag
  6. Allow the coffee bag to sit inside the hot water for at least 6 minutes if you want to make a stronger coffee or 2 minutes if you want a weaker one.
  7. Take out the coffee filter bag and enjoy your coffee.

4. Make French Press Coffee

Making coffee with the French press

With this method, you will need a French press.

Follow this simple process.

  1. Add the right amount of water in a kettle or pot and boil it
  2. Add a small portion of coffee grounds into the French press
  3. Pour the right amount of hot water into the French press, gently over the coffee grounds to mix them all until it forms a bloom at the surface
  4. Stir the mixture to bring out the bloom once more
  5. Cover the French press with the filter and allow the coffee to settle for a few minutes
  6. Steadily and evenly drop the filter inside the French press
  7. Empty the coffee into your cup slowly while making sure the press lid doesn’t come out.
  8. Enjoy your coffee

5. Make Coffee Using a Saucepan

You will need a saucepan in this case.

Sometimes you will fall short of supplies. Your saucepan can still be a handy coffee making friend. The best part about the saucepan method is that you just use kitchen basics.

What You’ll Need

  • A teaspoon
  • Mug
  • Ground coffee beans
  • Water
  • Ladle
  • Small saucepan

How to Make Saucepan Coffee

  1. Add water and coffee grounds into your pan- Make sure to add extra cups of water because when boiled some water will evaporate and some will be absorbed into the grounds
  2. Stir the mixture while setting the heat source to medium-high until the water starts to boil. Keep stirring the mixture to prevent coffee grounds from collecting at the bottom of the saucepan
  3. Keep the pan open while boiling the coffee for at least 2 minutes then take out the saucepan or pot from the fire and allow the grounds to go down at the bottom of the pot for around 4 minutes. If you are using a stove, switch it off.
  4. Fetch your coffee using a ladle and put it in a mug leaving the grounds in the pot. If you don’t have a ladle, just lift the pot and pour the coffee slowly into the mug making sure grounds don’t enter into the mug.
  5. Enjoy your coffee

6. How to Make Coffee Without a Coffee Maker- Use the Cold Brew Method

If you don’t have time to spare, this method is not for you. Otherwise, when it comes to how to make coffee without a coffee maker with this method, you don’t need a heat source. The cold brew method is also extremely simple as long as you are ready to wait for at least 14 to 24 hours before you enjoy your cup of Joe.

In fact, cold brew coffee is great during hot summer days.

What You’ll Need

  • Ground coffee beans
  • Water
  • Coffee filter (you can use a piece of cloth instead)
  • Two mugs or jars
  • Spoon

How to make cold brew coffee

  1. Add the right amount of water and coffee into one of the two mugs or jars (observe your coffee water ratio)
  2. Stir the mixture and cover the mug or jar and then allow the coffee to sit for at least 14 hours.
  3. After the long wait, put a filter on the other jar or mug appropriately to form a pouch to prevent the grounds from escaping. You can also hold the piece of cloth or filter in place.
  4. Pour the coffee gently on the pouch and allow it to drip slowly
  5. Take out the cloth or filter and drink your cold brew coffee.

As you can see, everything with this method needs patience.

7. Make Coffee With a Microwave

Another straightforward and effective method of brewing coffee without a coffee maker is by use of a microwave. Note that this method will not give you the consistency you could get with a coffee maker. For this reason, it is not the preferred method unless you don’t have any other option left.

What You’ll Need

  • Microwave
  • Coffee grounds
  • Water
  • Mug

How to Make Coffee with the Microwave Method

  1. Add the right amount of water into the mug and place it into the microwave. Let the mug sit there for about two minutes. Don’t wait until the water starts to boil. Just make sure it is hot.
  2. Add the right amount of coffee grounds then stir the mixture. Make sure the coffee to water ratio is one teaspoon per six ounces of water.
  3. Wait for about four minutes to allow the grounds to settle to the bottom of the mug.
  4. Serve your coffee and enjoy it.

It’s important to make sure you take precautions while using a microwave to avoid burning yourself.

You may decide to drink the coffee from the coffee mug or pour it slowly into a cup. Whichever way you decide to enjoy your cup of coffee, be prepared to get some grounds into your mouth. Otherwise, this method gives you a strong and hot cup of Joe.

8. The Instant Coffee Method

Just imagine waking up in the middle of the night knowing that you can still enjoy a cup of coffee even if you don’t have a coffee maker. Doesn’t that feel good?

Well, many people don’t like instant coffee but look; it is one of the convenient methods of making coffee.  Besides, there are plenty of coffee brands out there. Just take your time to find the best coffee for you.

This method uses different types of ground coffee from the normal grounds people are used to.

What You’ll Need

  • Water
  • Cup, jug, or any container you have
  • Kettle
  • Heat source
  • Instant coffee

How to Brew Instant Coffee

  1. Boil water in a kettle using a stove or a microwave
  2. Add the right amount hot coffee into a cup or jug containing instant coffee grounds
  3. Gently add water into the cup with the instant coffee then add the right amount of sugar
  4. Stir the mixture properly for a few minutes then allow the mixture to settle for a few extra minutes before you serve the coffee.

This is perhaps the best coffee making method for hikers. You only need a heat source, a mug, the coffee grounds, water, and a cup. It’s that simple.

9. Make Coffee With a Percolator

Our last method on how to make coffee without a coffee maker is by use of a percolator.

Here, you will need a percolator, water, coffee grounds, and a heat source.

The good thing about percolators is that they are readily available and are less costly. Besides, you can make coffee with a percolator on a campfire, electric stove or even a camp stove.

How to Make Coffee with a Percolator

  1. Add water to the bottom chamber of the percolator
  2. Pour coarsely ground coffee to the top chamber. Make sure you observe the ratio of water to coffee then assemble the percolator
  3. Put the percolator on your source of heat (it could be a stove or a campfire) and allow the machine to percolate for about ten minutes
  4. Serve and enjoy your coffee.

If you like strong coffee, this would make the best method of making coffee for you.

Important Things to Consider When Making Coffee Without a Coffee Maker

You don’t have a coffee maker don’t worry. We hope you’ve learned how to make coffee without a coffee maker at home or anywhere you find yourself in need of coffee.

But before you start using any of the methods we have described above put these few things in mind to make coffee that is near the coffee you make with a brewer.

  • Use the right amount of water temperature- You must be careful not to overheat or under heat the water since that can result in over-extraction or under extraction. A good rule of thumb is to heat the water then allow it to sit for about 30 seconds before using it.
  • Use fresh grounds- Coffee grounds start to lose flavor immediately they are crushed. A good rule of thumb is to use freshly ground coffee beans.

You can read here to learn how to grind coffee beans without a grinder.

  • Use quality beans- Here, you must make sure the beans you use have been roasted within the last few days or weeks.
  • Be resourceful- In this case, although there are plenty of coffee brewing methods you can use to make amazing coffee, you should use the items you have at the moment.

Final Words

Learning how to make coffee without a coffee maker is good because you never know what tomorrow will bring.

Well, not all of us are campers or outdoor adventurers but no one knows when their coffee maker will break down.

Fortunately, most of the items you need to make coffee without a coffee maker are affordable are readily available.

Have you tried any of these coffee brewing methods? Let us hear your experience in the comment section.

If you haven’t used any of the methods we have described above, try to experiment with one or two and let us know your experience as well.

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Sophia Green

Sophia is a long time coffee enthusiast and blogger, so the project started naturally five years ago. You can find useful information about coffee types, plantations, equipment and even tips and tricks or fun facts.

View all posts by Sophia Green →

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