how to make coffee without a coffee maker

A Detailed Guide: How to make coffee on the stove?

The biggest nightmare of any coffee fanatic is waking up in the morning, preparing your coffee machine, when all of a sudden the damn thing sighs one last time and stops working. Any sweet talk, caressing, and begging can’t help to save it.

The dark baggies under your eyes can’t bring that machine back either. The desperate looks and pleads are wasted on it.  At one point you have to face it: there’s no sweet fragrant hot cup of black liquid for you this very morning.

Or is it?

After all, a coffee machine doesn’t necessarily have the be the only thing that saves your life every morning. There is a way how to make coffee without a coffee maker. In fact, there is more than one way of how to make coffee on the stove.

So, don’t freak out just yet! I’m here to show you the smart, unusual ways of how to save the day when your machine has gone bye-bye.

When you buy a product via the links on, I may earn a small affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.

How to make coffee without a coffee machine?

Coffee has been a popular drink long before there was any electricity! The history of coffee goes all the way back to the 15th century and Ethiopia, says Wikipedia. As a matter of fact, the records of the first use of coffee go even further back to the 9th century.

The 9th century, can you imagine? Since this (once) exotic beverage has been popular for so many centuries, you can bet that there are more traditional ways to prepare it, and there’s quite a few of them.

What I’m trying to say is: don’t despair once your beloved Mr. Coffee machine comes to old age and refuses to function any longer. There are other ways of how to make coffee on the stove.

Essentially, there are two ways in which you can get around the business of making that fragrant and necessary cup of coffee on the stove. When the coffee machine (oh, the joy and happiness of the family) eventually decides to stop its intense career and stops working, you need your daily dose of coffee. I know, trust me!

In order to save you from the pain of being coffee-less, we’ll have a look at all possible ways of how to make coffee without a coffee machine. Because yes, it’s doable, my friends!

1.      How to make coffee in a pot

There are two techniques of how to make coffee in a pot and they’re both pretty similar. You can’t go wrong with this method once you know the procedure!

The brewing method is as straightforward as it can be: the main point is mixing your coffee with water. Plain and simple! The only difference is that you’ll need your cowboy boots when making one and a box of Turkish delight when preparing the other!

Method #1: Cowboy coffee

The classic. You’ve fallen in love with it when watching old cowboys on their never-ending adventures. Or, perhaps it caught your heart on your last camping trip. Do you love to hike? Cowboy coffee method works great for these kinds of situations. And it’s excellent when your machine dies as well!

Forget about the cowboy boots if they’re not your style. You can easily make the coffee without them (although the experience just isn’t as authentic)!

You’ll need:

  • Ground coffee
  • A pot
  • Water
  • Spoon (or another utensil to stir the coffee with)
  • A mug

How to brew cowboy coffee

  1. Measure the water (13 ounces per cup)
  2. Measure the coffee (1 heaping TBSP of ground coffee per cup)
  3. Combine the water and coffee in a saucepan
  4. Place a saucepan over low-medium heat, bring coffee-water to a boil
  5. Stir the mixture once boiling
  6. After a couple of minutes, remove the saucepan from heat. Let it sit for another 3 minutes; you want the grounds to sink to the bottom
  7. Pour the coffee into a cup
  8. Enjoy!

I personally don’t enjoy cowboy coffee. Don’t get me wrong, I love adventures, and the smell of endless skies and freshly brewed coffee, and I love the nature, but it’s the taste of cowboy coffee that doesn’t convince me. This next one is definitely my favorite when it comes to brewing coffee in a pot!

Method #2: Easy Turkish (Greek) coffee

This procedure is quite similar to the cowboy coffee method with a few minor differences. Also, the coffee pot or ibrik (Turkish coffee pot) you use to make this type of coffee looks beautiful! I have managed to get a few during my trip to Bosnia and I have to say I love them! Plus, they look gorgeous when serving coffee in them! I can guarantee the guests are always impressed.

Turkish coffee is not a type of coffee, it’s a way of preparing coffee. You’ll need a serious mustache attached to a serious face and some Turkish delight to further spoil your guests!

This is one of my favorite types of coffee: it’s aromatic, efficient, and easy to make!

You’ll need:

  • Ground coffee
  • Water
  • An ibrik
  • Sugar (optional, if you like your coffee sweet)
  • Coffee cups

How to brew a Turkish coffee:

  1. Pour water into the ibrik
  2. Place it onto the stove
  3. Add sugar (to taste)
  4. Turn on the heat and bring water to a boil
  5. Once boiled, lower the heat and stir in coffee
  6. Bring back to a boil
  7. Remove from stove and set aside for a few minutes for the grounds to sink to the bottom
  8. Serve with a wide smile on your face (if you can manage one before you’ve had your first dose of coffee)

Tips on making Turkish coffee:

  • Ibrik is also known as cezve, briki, mbiki, and toorka.
  • My ideal ratio of sugar is 1 TSP per one 1 TSP ground coffee (sweet, I know).
  • Some (my grandmother) boil the coffee twice. To this day, I have no idea why, but the word has it that this process might make the brew stronger. You’re welcome to research/test more on the matter! Perhaps it also to make coffee fluffier and the foam richer!
  • Once the coffee is prepared, set it aside and let it sit for 5 or so minutes. That way, the coffee grounds will sit at the bottom of the pot and it’ll be easier to pour it into the cups. Also, there is less residue in the cup if only you have time to wait! I normally prepare the coffee first thing in the morning. I let it sit for a few minutes while I go to the bathroom, brush teeth, wash face, and other mechanical yet necessary chores before my morning dose of caffeine. When I return, I pour the coffee into the mugs and enjoy!

The only downside to making coffee in a pot is that it’s not as appealing to all people. Some consider the coffee too weak, others dislike the grounds at the bottom of their cup.

2.      How to make coffee on the stove with special equipment

An easier option for those who dislike coffee in a pot and grounds in their mugs! It’s easy to make coffee once you own one (or a few) of these special types of equipment that can make coffee brewing more enjoyable.

Let’s begin with my favorite way to make coffee without the coffee maker!

Method #3: Stovetop Espresso Moka Pot

I love brewing coffee in a Moka pot first thing in the morning. It’s one o my favorite ways of brewing coffee at home. I put it on just before I head off to the bathroom and I return to the kitchen to the sound of bubbling freshly brewed coffee. And the smell is beautiful, cozy, and homely!

People who are more used to the filtered coffee and the coffee on the stove method sometimes say that coffee from the Moka pot is much stronger. Just to be clear on the subject, I like my coffee sweet, strong, and fragrant!

A Moka pot is an Italian-made coffee maker. It makes coffee by using pressure and steam. That’s why it somewhat resembles the espresso from an actual espresso machine. It was invented by Alonso Bialetti back in 1933, and this name has kept as one of the best espresso Moka pot brands out there (I surely love mine)!

How to use a Moka pot?

Have a look at the procedure of how to use a Moka pot. It’s not as difficult as it seems. Take a peek at this video for more guidance if you feel too lost in the process!

You’ll need:

  • Ground coffee (espresso Moka pot type)
  • Water
  • Espresso Moka pot
  • A coffee cup

This is how you brew stovetop coffee:

  1. Dissemble the entire Moka pot
  2. Fill the bottom with water (up to the little nail you see on the upper side)
  3. Add ground coffee to filter
  4. Place the filter into the bottom part of the Moka pot
  5. Twist the top and bottom part together until sealed tightly and securely (you don’t want to be sloppy when doing this! Once I had coffee exploding all over my stove!)
  6. Place the stovetop espresso onto the stove and turn on the heat
  7. The flame should be low-medium; don’t overdo it!
  8. Listen for the bubbling/sputtering sound from the pot; turn the heat off when you hear it!
  9. Serve while warm and enjoy!

Keep the top lid open while brewing coffee; close it when you hear the first sputtering.

Method #4: Make coffee in an improvised coffee bag

It’s very simple this method, I promise. You need a bit more equipment to successfully brew this one, but don’t let that discourage you! Desperate times call for desperate measures!

This brewing method is for those of you who don’t like and seriously dislike any grounds and bitters in your coffee (as you get with the Turkish and cowboy methods)!

You’ll need:

  • A coffee filter
  • Coffee
  • A measuring cup
  • String
  • A kettle/a pot

How to brew coffee in a bag

  1. Place the desired amount of coffee to the middle of a coffee filter (as much as your heart desires; I’d recommend about 2 TBSP for 250 ml water)
  2. Tie the top of the filter tightly with a string (making a bag that looks like an out-of-shape teabag)
  3. Place the bag into the mug and boil the water
  4. Pour the water over the coffee and let it steep for 3 to 5 minutes (feel free to change that depending on how strong you like it)
  5. Remove the DIY coffee bag from the mug once you’re done with the steeping

Give the bag a bit of a squeeze when you take it from the mug. That way you won’t waste any extra coffee that gives your brew an extra kick of flavor and strength.

Use empty tea bags instead of a coffee filter.

Method #5: Use a coffee filter

There are two ways in which you can use a coffee filter: a real one that you buy at a supermarket or a DIY one you make at home from one of your fabric handkerchiefs. See here for a guide on how to make coffee without a filter.

You’ll need:

  • Coffee
  • A coffee filter or a clean alternative (a handkerchief, a finely-graded cheesecloth or a paper towel)
  • Hot water
  • Paper clips, binders, elastics

How to brew coffee with a filter

  1. Place the coffee filter into the mug. If making your own, take the handkerchief and fold it into a square (it has to fit the cup and hang over the sides of it)
  2. Secure the handkerchief with whatever you have on hand (elastics, binders…)
  3. Place the desired amount of coffee into the filter
  4. Boil the water and pour it over the coffee
  5. Pour slowly, one step at the time and let coffee drip through
  6. Remove the filter once all the water has seeped through it

Whatever fabric you use for a filter, make sure to go with something that is thick enough and won’t let any grounds fall into your coffee!

When you notice your coffee foaming up it means that the coffee is fresh. The process is called blooming and it’s a common thing for the pour-over methods.

If your filter is thick, help and tease the grounds with a spoon. That way you’ll speed up the dripping process.

Method #6: Use a percolator

This is probably my least favorite brewing method on the list. The method itself is not so complicated, but it does sound intimidating at first!

There are many happy online customers that claim you can make delicious, fragrant, and strong coffee by using a percolator, but I’m not convinced. Still, it might just become your favorite method when it comes to making coffee on the stovetop!

You’ll need:

  • A percolator
  • Freshly ground coffee (normal or coarsely ground)
  • Water
  • Coffee cups
  • A towel

How to brew coffee in a percolator:

  1. Fill your pot with water (there’s usually a little sign at the side of the percolator)
  2. Fill the basket with coffee
  3. Place the lid on the basket and place the basket into the pot
  4. Close the lid (the knob on top shouldn’t be too loose nor too tight)
  5. Place the percolator onto the stove and bring to a boil
  6. Once boiling, turned the heat down to low temperature and keep percolating steadily (don’t overheat the coffee or it might burn; keep a steady pace)
  7. Set a timer; the longer the brew, the stronger it is
  8. Turn of the stove about a minute before the timer runs out
  9. Open the percolator and remove the basket (use a towel, the basket is very hot!)
  10. Pour and serve fresh!

Tips on making coffee in a percolator:

  • The ratio you can start with is 1 TBSP of coffee for 250 ml or water.
  • Start with a brewing time of 8 minutes. Try and test the coffee until you get the strength and taste you desire. Some people leave it up to 12 minutes, some are happy with their coffee after 7 minutes!
  • The coffee shouldn’t be too finely ground for the percolator. Use regular or coarsely ground instead if you don’t want it to be too gritty.
  • Clean the basket once it’s cooled down. You can use the coffee in your garden, in a DIY body scrub, or in other creative ways!

Method #7: The Fake French Press

It’s a fake French press but it resembles the real thing a bit. You don’t need to pretend you’re French to brew this one; if you manage a nice cup of coffee without additional grounds floating in there it’ll be a success!

You’ll need:

  • Hot water
  • Two cups
  • A spoon
  • Freshly ground coffee (ideally coarse-ground)

How to brew fake French press coffee

  1. Put one tablespoon of coffee into a mug
  2. Pour over a bit of hot water; you want the grounds to dink up that water
  3. Pour the desired amount of water over and let it sit for 4 to 5 minutes
  4. Slowly and gently pour the coffee from that mug into a clean new cup. Make sure to be slow and gentle; you don’t want to shake the mug and bring up all the grounds to the surface
  5. The grounds make a thick layer at the bottom- you’ll have to leave that part in the mug and not use the last layer of coffee in the mug
  6. Use the spoon optionally to keep the pressed grounds at the bottom of the mug

How to make coffee on the stove?

Before you rush off to tasting different options these methods offer, let’s recap in a few words:

Yes, you can make coffee without a coffee maker. For some of you, it might be a temporary solution, still, some of you may find some of these methods simple, quick, and something new to shake up your coffee-making routine.

In any case, it’s the quality of the coffee that matters above everything else! I wanted to additionally include instant coffee, but this research claims you should drop that habit. Plus, instant coffee is just a poor excuse for a coffee! Whichever is your method of choice when it comes to making coffee on the stove, I wish you happy caffeinating!

Recommended Reading

Best Pour Over Coffee Makers 

How to Make Coffee Without a Filter?

A Guide to Coffee Bean Types: Where Does Coffee Come From?

Which is Best for You: French Press VS Pour Over

Toddy Cold Brew Recipe: How to Use the Toddy System?

Best Budget Coffee Makers Below $50

How to make coffee on the stove?
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How to make coffee on the stove?
No coffee machine? No worries? You can easily make coffee on the stove with these 7 easy steps!

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