Here’s the thing: coffee machines usually stop working at the most inconvenient times. And to be honest, early in the morning most of us prefer the coffee to brew with a single push of a button, saving French press and Chemex for those friendlier hours of the day.
But here’s the trick. You can still make coffee even if your coffee machine is completely useless.
Discover crafty, straightforward, useful ways of making coffee at home. Learn how to brew coffee without a coffee maker anywhere, anytime!
How to Make Coffee Without a Coffee Machine?
Did you know that coffee has been a popular drink long before there was any electricity at all? Its history goes all the way back to the 15th century and Ethiopia, says Wikipedia. In fact, the records of the first use of beans go even further back to the 9th century!
That means you can easily do it too. Coffee machine or no coffee machine, let’s have a look at how you can still enjoy a hot cup of coffee without a coffee maker. You’d be surprised, how many options there are!
Method #1: An Improvised Coffee Bag
Looking for a way to make coffee without a coffee maker? All you need is a coffee filter and a string. Make an improvised coffee bag, throw it in the mug, and pour over hot water. As easy as it gets! In fact, this is one of the easiest ways to make coffee at home.
To make a coffee bag, use a paper filter or an empty tea bag.
- A coffee filter
- Ground coffee
- Hot water
- A mug
- A kettle/a pot
How to brew coffee in a bag?
- Place the desired amount of coffee in the middle of the filter (a general ratio is 2 TBSP for 250 ml water)
- Tie the top of the filter tightly with a string
- Place the bag into the mug and boil the water
- Pour the water over the grounds and let it steep for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on how strong you like your coffee
- Remove the DIY coffee bag from the mug once you’re done with steeping coffee
Method #2: A Coffee Filter
You can get filters in most shops, but if going shopping isn’t an option, you can easily make one yourself with the help of an empty tea bag, a handkerchief, or a fine-grade cheesecloth.
Optionally, a paper towel can also do the trick.
- Ground coffee
- A paper filter or a clean alternative
- Hot water
- Paper clips, binders, elastics
How to brew coffee with a filter
- Place the 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)
- Secure the handkerchief on the sides of the cup (with elastics, binders…)
- Place the desired amount of coffee into the filter
- Boil the water and pour it over the grounds
- Pour slowly, one step at a time, and let coffee drip through
- 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 cuppa!
When you notice your grounds foaming up it means that they’re 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 #3: The Faux French Press
Instead of a real press pot, you can make coffee with a fake French press method. It’s a super-handy method on how to make coffee without a plunger.
Do it in your kitchen or while camping – it’s easy and works every time.
- Hot water
- Two cups
- A spoon
- Ground coffee (ideally coarse-ground)
How to brew fake French press coffee?
- Put coffee into a bowl (1 TBSP per cup of coffee)
- Pour over a bit of hot water to fully soak the grounds
- Next, pour the desired amount of water over the pre-soaked grounds and let it sit for 4 to 5 minutes
- Once the grounds have settled, gently press them down, to the bottom of the bowl
- Pour the coffee from the bowl into a clean cup – slowly and gently. Discard the grounds.
Method #4: Cold Brew Coffee
Wondering how to make coffee without electricity? Cold brew coffee is probably one the best methods – it’s coffee, brewed with cold water, and the concentrate can last up to 7 days in the fridge!
Cold brew coffee is an extremely popular way to brew coffee for one important reason: it’s much easier on the stomach, less acidic, and it doesn’t cause any nasty caffeine crashes.
Sure, it’s a bit inconvenient since cold brew requires a steeping time of a minimum of 12 hours, but if you plan ahead, you can easily brew a whole batch and use it for the rest of the week.
This is also a great way to make it if you don’t have a coffee machine. Cold-brew has to be the easiest way to make coffee. One large mason jar is all you need!
Method #5: Instant Coffee
Instant coffee is probably the easiest, most straightforward method on the list. If you’re a fan of instant coffee and keep packs of it in your kitchen and your travel bag, look no further.
Gone are the days when instant coffee was a horrible thing to drink – its quality has increased over the last few years. Now, you can get great-tasting instant coffee, like this one, with a specific flavor profile, different roast types, and authentic aroma – all 100% Arabica beans.
In fact, you may be surprised, at how good it actually tastes!
How do you make it? Place coffee into the mug and pour hot water over it. That’s how you make coffee with no filter!
Method #6: French Press Coffee
Owning a real French press can help you brew coffee easily when your coffee machine stops working. This method is fairly easy to use once you nail your ideal coffee to water ratio.
French press pots are super useful, travel-friendly, and versatile. Use them to brew strong French press coffee or cold brew – they work perfectly for both types of coffee.
- French press pot
- Ground coffee (medium-coarsely ground)
- Hot water
- A spoon
- A coffee mug or two
How to make French press coffee?
Method #7: Pour Over Coffee
Pour-over coffee requires minimal equipment, but the coffee maker can be very simple – a Hario V60 with a filter is all you need to brew it.
Mind you, the pour-over brewing method comes with a learning curve, but once you get it right, it’s incredibly rewarding since this brewing method helps to bring out the subtle flavors of your coffee beans.
- Coffee filter
- Gooseneck kettle
- Coffee scale
- Ground coffee
How to make pour-over coffee?
- Heat water
- Weigh and grind your coffee
- Rinse the coffee filter
- Place coffee into the filter and pour over water. Let the coffee bloom
- Pour the rest of the water over the grounds
- Wait for the coffee to drip into the cup/carafe below
- Serve and enjoy
How to strain coffee without filter?
You can use one of the following if you don’t have a filter:
- Coffee strainer – fine mesh or a sieve
- DIY coffee filter
- Paper towel
How to brew coffee without a coffee maker?
Should you make coffee in the microwave?
You can and many do. Here’s a good article on WikiHow on how to make coffee in a microwave.
Can you drink ground coffee without filtering?
Yes, you can – the Turkish method doesn’t filter coffee, neither does cowboy coffee, or a stovetop coffee in a pot.
Brewing whole bean coffee: is it possible?
Naturally, you can try but we advise you against it. For best results, you have to grind the beans before brewing as whole beans result in very poor extraction.
Best filter coffee recipe
How to use ground coffee as instant
How To Make Coffee Without a Coffee Maker: A Recap
As you can see, there are many ways to make coffee when your coffee maker stops working. No matter which method you choose, I hope it helps you save the day and produce a steaming cup of coffee when you need it the most!
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