You don’t need a coffee pot to brew the perfect cup of coffee. Here are 3 easy ways to make coffee without a coffee maker.
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We’ve all been there… The indescribable horror of waking up only to find your trusted coffee maker has bitten the dust, and there’s no hot, freshly brewed coffee waiting to make your mornings bearable!
If your coffee maker is on the fritz and you simply don’t have time to pop to the store and get a new one, all is not lost! With these handy tips, you’ll be brewing coffee like a pro in no time, with or without any fancy gizmos.
While these coffee brewing methods might not be the best for a cup of joe free from sediment, if you just need a quick and easy caffeine fix with minimum equipment, we’ve got you covered.
While you are here, check out my popular guide to coffee roasting terms and what they mean. It’s pretty fascinating!
3 Easy Ways To Make Coffee Without A Coffee Maker
You can even make coffee while you are camping. These are simple ideas and they really do work!
1. Cowboy Coffee
This is called cowboy coffee because you can literally make it over the campfire. Even if you aren’t camping, you can make this in your kitchen too.
You will need:
- Medium-fine freshly ground coffee – aim for 2 tbsp for every 6oz of water.
- A heat source for boiling water.
- A small saucepan (you can make cowboy coffee with any pot or pan, but a small saucepan is the easiest).
- A mug or coffee cup – This handmade peace sign one is SO cute!
How to brew:
- Fill your saucepan with a little more water than you need for your coffee (you’ll lose some to evaporation, and some will be left in the pan), put on the heat source, and bring to a boil.
- Once the water is bubbling, add the coffee to the saucepan. 2 tbsp for every 6oz of water is generally suitable for most people, but you can add more/less depending on how strong you want your coffee.
- Turn off the heat completely and cover the saucepan right away. Leave for 4-5 minutes to brew.
- After around 5 minutes, uncover the pan and check that all the coffee grinds have sunk to the bottom. If not, sprinkle a little cold water over the floating coffee to encourage sinking.
- Slowly and carefully pour the coffee directly into your mug. You can also use a ladle for a more “filtered” serve.
2. DIY French Press
If you don’t have a French Press, here is how to make one out of 2 coffee cups.
What you’ll need:
- Hot water (just below boiling)
- Medium-coarse freshly ground coffee
- 2 clean mugs (if one has a spout, that’s even better!) – This Yeti coffee mug has a lid that acts like a spout.
How to brew:
- Grind your beans to approximately the coarseness of sea salt and heat your water. You want around 2tbsp for every 250ml/1 cup of water.
- Place your ground beans in a clean cup (the one with the spout if you have it!). Pour in enough hot water to just around cover the coffee.
- Leave the coffee for around 30 seconds to allow the grinds to bloom.
- Once the coffee has bloomed, pour the rest of the hot water into the cup.
- Allow the coffee to steep for around 4 minutes. If you like a stronger cup, allow a little longer.
- Once the brewing time is up, very slowly pour your coffee into the second clean cup. The ground coffee should have mostly sunk to the bottom of the first cup, so leave the last few milliliters. If you have one, use a strainer or spoon to prevent grinds from getting into your final cup.
3. DIY Pour Over
This is my favorite way to make coffee without a coffee maker. I love how much control I have when I pour my own water over the coffee beans.
What you’ll need:
- Medium-fine freshly ground coffee.
- Hot water.
- Ideally, a gooseneck kettle like this to pour the hot water.
- A paper filter or DIY alternative (see below)
- A large coffee mug. (This Mama Bear Coffee Mug is adorable)
- Paper clips, binders, rubber bands, or anything else you can use to secure the filter to your mug.
Paper filter alternatives: A clean handkerchief, cotton kitchen towel, cheesecloth, paper towel. You might need to double or triple the material if you’re using a cheesecloth or paper towel as a filter to ensure no coffee grinds can slip through and that the paper doesn’t tear!
How to brew:
- Prepare your filter by taking your material and folding it into a square that will fit over the mouth of your coffee cup. Leave a margin of around 2-inches to hang over the sides.
- Secure the filter tightly to the cup using clips or bands. This must be tight to ensure it doesn’t move while you pour hot water!
- Grind your coffee until you reach the first marking or cup symbol, then add it to the makeshift filter. Shake or tap to evenly spread the coffee.
- Boil two cups of water, then allow the water to cool to the optimum brewing temperature (around 30 seconds).
- Pour enough water over the grounds to wet the coffee and allow it to bloom for around 30 seconds.
- Brew your coffee by slowly and evenly pouring the water over in four pours. Leave around 30 seconds between every pour. You may need to tease the grounds with a spoon if you’re using a makeshift filter to help encourage the water flow.
- Once you’ve completed all four pours, wait for all the water to drip through the filter, then carefully remove the binding and makeshift filter. Your coffee is served!
These quick and easy DIY coffee brewing hacks are the perfect solution for getting a caffeine fix even when your coffee maker is broken, or you’re stuck in the wilderness! Enjoying your coffee beans are as fresh as possible, and only grinding what you need will ensure even cowboy coffee tastes delicious. You’ll never need to resort to instant coffee again.