How to Make Coffee without a Coffee Maker

How To Make Coffee Without A Coffee Maker: 8 Different Ways

How to Make Coffee without a Coffee Maker

Making coffee when you don’t have a coffee maker is not as hard as it may seem. There are many ways to brew coffee, from something as simple as a microwave to the more old school method of Handkerchief.

Whether your on a camping trip or perhaps on a road trip to see the National Parks, you sometimes need to improvise and figure out how to make a cup of coffee when you don’t have a coffee maker around but have to have that morning cup of Joe. 

8 Different Ways to Make Coffee without a Coffee Maker

1. The Coffee Bag Method

Coffee without a Coffee Maker

If you happen to be in a rush (don’t we always seem to be?) but don’t want to miss your morning coffee, then the Coffee Bag Method could work for you. It makes use of your favorite coffee bag (similar to a tea bag which is widely available in stores or online) but of course you need to use coffee grounds instead.

This method is one of the simplest and quickest ways of making coffee and works well if you find yourself in the unenviable position of being without coffeemaker as all you need is hot water, a mug, and a coffee bag.

You’ll need

  1. Coffee bag (with a medium fine grind of coffee grounds )
  2. Hot Water
  3. Coffee Filter
  4. A string (must not be coated with wax)
  5. Your Favorite Coffee Mug

How to make the coffee

  1. Measure out a single serving and grind the fresh-roasted beans, then pour into the coffee filter.
  2. Seal the coffee filter to make a coffee bag (or pouch) .
  3. Improve the coffee bag’s design by adding a string. This string should be long enough to hang outside the mug(similar to tea).
  4. Heat the water using a kettle, microwave or water dispenser.
  5. Place the coffee bag into the empty mug(or cup) and slowly pour the hot water.
  6. Allow the coffee to brew for at least 4 minutes and try to have the water between 195-205 F or 30 seconds off boil.
  7. Remove the coffee bag before drinking

2. The Coffee Strainer Method

Coffee Strainer Method

If you have some sort of strainer in your home, then this just could be for you.  Ideally, what you will want to have is a strainer with small holes like a double-layer mesh strainer as this is that this type of strainer that prevents those annoying coffee grounds from getting into your coffee cup but even if you don’t you can still use this method. Check out my post on the Costa Rica maker for more info on this method.

You’ll need:

  1. Hot Water
  2. Saucepan (or Kettle)
  3. Fresh Ground Coffee
  4. Small Conical Mesh Strainer (w/ small holes like a double-layer mesh strainer)
  5. Your Favorite Mug

How to make the coffee

  1. Before starting make sure you know how strong you want your coffee to be then measure the amount of water to reach the strength you are looking for by adding the number of cups you pour into the saucepan (or kettle).
  2. Add a spoon (or two) of coffee grounds equivalent to the cups you’re brewing. Stir the coffee mixture for even mixing.
  3. Turn on your cooker and place the saucepan until the water boils. Have it boil for two minutes.
  4. Then, take away the sauce pan from the heat. Make sure to use a pot holder while doing so.
  5. Place your mesh strainer above the mug while slowly pouring the coffee through it. The strainer will help in avoiding the coffee grounds from coming into your cup.

The strainer method is more efficient compared to the sauce pan method, because the latter needs extra time for the coffee grounds to settle before pouring the brewed coffee in a cup. 

3. Coffee in A Saucepan Method

Coffee with a Saucepan

If you have saucepan in your kitchen, believe it or not you can make a good cup of coffee and at the same time get rid of those looks of doubt and prove, once again, that you don’t need anything special or super expensive to make a good cup.

By using something as simple as a saucepan, you can make a cup of coffee easily with just this and your stove. Keep in mind though that although this makes a good cup of coffee I don’t think it does as good a job as say Strainer Method

*Note that you may get some Coffee grounds in the the cup since you won’t have a filter but hey… those are just minor details.

You’ll need

  1. Fresh Ground Coffee
  2. Water
  3. Saucepan (Small Size would be okay)
  4. Spoon
  5. Ladle (for stirring)
  6. Your favorite coffee mug

How to make the coffee

  1. Take out your saucepan and pour in the water. Use the same amount of water as your would you use in a coffeemaker ( if you had one) which is slightly more than the amount of coffee grounds added. The reason for this is because some of this water will evaporate upon boiling and some will be absorbed by the coffee grounds.
  2. Use the ladle (or spoon) to stir the coffee
  3. Turn on the burner and set into medium-high heat and allow the coffee mixture to boil. Use your ladle to stir the mixture occasionally. This prevents the burning of coffee grounds on the saucepan’s bottom. Make sure you leave the saucepan uncovered during boiling for two minutes.
  4. Turn off the stove, remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the coffee to cool down for at least four minutes. This allows the coffee grounds to settle on the bottom part of the saucepan for clearer ( less gritty) coffee.
  5. After such time when the coffee grounds settled at the bottom, use a ladle (or scoop) to gently transfer the brewed coffee into your cup. Make sure that the coffee grounds will be left into the saucepan. If a ladle (or scoop) is unavailable, then just pour slowly the brewed coffee into your mug in order to keep the coffee grounds in the saucepan as much as possible.

4. The Cowboy Coffee Method

Cowboy Coffee Method

It isn’t what you think it is. A horse or a cowboy hat isn’t necessary for brewing a coffee using this method ( but it couldn’t hurt).

The Cowboy Method is a metaphor of a coffee method which you can brew almost everywhere.Cowboy coffee is made by heating fresh roasted course ground coffee in a pot with water.

Then its as simple as pouring the coffee into a cup after the grounds have settled. In other words Cowboy coffee is basically French press coffee without a filter.

This is for every coffee fanatic who likes to hike or take trips around the outdoors but doesn’t want the added weight of any coffee-making equipment.

You’ll need

  1. Coffee ground
  2. Pot (or Kettle)
  3. Water
  4. Stirrer or any other utensil to stir (i.e. spoon)
  5. Mug

How to make the coffee

  1. Wash and clean your kettle. Put a tablespoon of coffee grounds into it. A tablespoon is equivalent for one serving.
  2. Add enough water to the kettle for one serving. Stir it well until it mixes evenly.
  3. Turn on your stove, place the kettle with the coffee mixture and heat until its contents boil.
  4. Let it boil for at least two minutes.Then, remove the kettle and allocate four minutes to cool and allow the coffee ground to settle at the bottom.
  5. Slowly pour the brewed coffee inside the kettle into your mug. Make sure not to include coffee grounds as much as possible (unless of course you like that type of thing).Then pour the coffee into the cup.

5. Coffee In The Microwave Method

Microwave Coffee Method

Well, I am not really sure if you would call this a method or a means of desperation. But, If you really don’t have absolutely anything available, not a saucepan or some type of strainer but you really wanted to drink your morning coffee, then the easiest way is to make a cup of coffee is with that precious (at least it would seem so at that moment) microwave and some specialty instant coffee. This is by far the easiest brewing method out there.

You’ll need

  1. Specialty Instant Coffee (Yes… there is) from say SwiftCupCoffee
  2. Water
  3. Mug
  4. Microwave
  5. Tablespoon

How to make the coffee

  1. Prepare your mug and fill it with water. Put it inside the microwave for two minutes. The water must be hot but not hot enough to make it boil.
  2. Add the instant coffee into the mug and use a spoon to stir in making the mixture even. Take note that it produces a sizzling sound when you add them.
  3. Leave your mug for at least four minutes. This allows the coffee grounds to settle at the bottom.
  4. Once the coffee grounds have settled,you can now enjoy your coffee. Make sure you don’t drink the coffee grounds unless you like to have a lot of grit in your drink (and teeth).

6. The Faux French Press Method

Mason Jar Coffee

If you have a French Press Coffee maker at home (check out my post) but its broken, then give the Faux French Press a shot to  brew your coffee. It is considered to be one of the most popular coffee-making methods which can be done using limited tools. It’s easy to make this in your kitchen or even when you’re out camping with your friends.

You’ll need

  1. Coarse Ground Coffee
  2. Hot Water
  3. Your favorite Coffee Mug
  4. A Mason Jar (or similar)
  5. A Tablespoon

How to make the coffee:

  1. Scoop a small amount of ground coffee and put it into the mason jar.
  2. Add a small amount of boiling water,enough to allow the coffee grounds to fully-saturate to allow the coffee to bloom.
  3. After about 30 seconds, add a corresponding amount of hot water per serving of coffee ground into your bowl (usually a 15 parts water to 1 part coffee). Leave it for four minutes (use your watch or phone)
  4. Once the coffee grounds have settled,use a tablespoon and press the grounds to the the bottom of the bowl to extract the remaining coffee. 
  5. Get your cup and pour the brewed coffee into your mug. Use the tablespoon to prevent the coffee ground from pouring into your mug.

7. Coffee in A Hanky or Handkerchief Method

Hankerchief Coffee

Who needs a coffee maker when you have the choice of brewing your coffee in a, affordable and environmentally-friendly method like the trusty ol’ Hanky Method.

For those that are unaware, a “hanky” is the common word for a handkerchief. Although this method needs patience, in the end it will be worthwhile because you won’t have to have coffee grounds in your mouth and teeth since it will be filtered out by the handkerchief.

For drinking this coffee, you can use a fruit jar instead of the regular mug to place your coffee into if you really want to impress your friends and be environmentally friendly at the same time

You’ll need

  1. Fresh Ground Coffee
  2. Hot Water
  3. Handkerchief or other linen or cotton cloth
  4. Clothes pins or binder clips to hold the hanky in place
  5. Mug (or Fruit Jar if available)

How to make the coffee

  1. Take out your hanky and place it across the top of the mug.Slowly press the center so that a pouch is made. This pouch must be big enough to hold the amount of coffee grounds you plan to use.
  2. To make this cloth secured in place,place clothespins (or binder clips). Make sure to put enough clothespins (or binder clips) so you don’t run into the issue of having the hanky collapsing on you mid brew.
  3. Use a scoop (or tablespoon) and put an enough serving of coffee grounds into the pouch. The standard ration is 15 parts water to 1 part coffee)
  4. Gently pour hot water over the grounds. Try to give it at least 30 seconds for these coffee grounds to be soaked completely.
  5. Continuously pour the rest of the hot water but make sure the hanky is still in its place. Adjust the clothespins (or binder clips) if you see the handkerchief moving while pouring.
  6. Then,remove the hanky with the coffee grounds, and enjoy drinking your handkerchief coffee.

8. The Turkish Coffee Method

How to Make Turkish Coffee

Turkish coffee actually isn’t a type of coffee but a popular way of brewing coffee that is simple yet almost elegant. The Turkish coffee method is popular in some Arab and most Eastern European countries.

This method is described to be simple and classic and was derived from the traditional preparation of the Turkish marital process. I think you would be be more tben happy by the taste of the coffee done this way and who knows.. maybe you’ll even feel a “shot” of Turkish culture to go along with it!

You’ll need

  1. A small cup
  2. Measuring cup (or Espresso Cup)
  3. Mug
  4. A spoon

How to make the coffee

  1. Pour about 5 ounces of cold water in the small pot. You can use a measuring cup (or an espresso cup) to do this precisely. Add a teaspoon of coffee and don’t stir.
  2. Add a tablespoon amount of sugar (or more) depending on your desired taste. But if you wish to add a more intereting flavor, you can add salt instead.
  3. Heat the small pot; the coffee naturally sinks when the water starts to heat while the sugar dissolves. At this time,stir the coffee mixture together and lower the heat. Make the mixture simmer without making it boil.
  4. After two or three minutes, the coffee mixture starts to foam at the top. Pour into your coffee cup when as it gets thicker.
  5. Leave the coffee for a short time to make it cool. Sip and enjoy!

Final Thoughts

And that’s how you can brew coffee without a coffee maker simple isn’t it? All 8 ways have unique ways of brewing, some easier then others, but all can give you a tasty and sometimes surprisingly great cup of coffee.