10 Ways To Make Coffee Without A Paper Filter [May 2022 Update]

how to make coffee without a filter

Running out of coffee filters can be a nightmare, especially in the morning. But it doesn’t have to be!

Did you know you can easily make coffee without a paper filter at home?

Today, I’ll show you how to do it with this step-by-step guide and helpful tips.

Let’s have a look at how to make coffee without a filter!

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You’d ll surprised to know that instant coffee isn’t the only way to make coffee without a filter.

In fact, there are 5 other ways to brew it at home!

8 Clever Ways To Make Coffee Without A Filter

Try the Full Immersion Method

This is a great option if you’re out of filters and don’t have a coffee maker. You can brew a tasty cup of coffee within minutes.

Boil water (on a stove or in a kettle). Set aside and let it cool down to the ideal brewing temperature (195-205F)

Place the ground coffee into your mug/cup.

Pour hot water over the mug.

Stir the mixture and let it sit for 4 minutes.

Then, decant the coffee to remove the grounds and prevent it from over-extracting.

You can decant it in two ways: with a mesh sieve or a cheesecloth/kitchen towel.

Pour freshly brewed coffee into another cup through a kitchen towel. Discard the grounds.

Make sure that you didn’t wash the towel or cloth with a strong-smelling detergent. The scent may change the taste of coffee.

Brew Stovetop Coffee

Stovetop coffee is a great way of making coffee when you have no paper filters or a coffee maker.

Some call this type of coffee a cowboy coffee. Others call it a classic stovetop method.

All you need is a stove, ground coffee, and a pot.

Bring a pot of water to a boil.

When you see bubbles, remove the pot from heat and let it cool for 30 seconds.

Add ground coffee (2TBSP per 8oz. of water)

Stir well and let coffee sit for a couple of minutes.

Pour the coffee slowly into your mug to assure that the grounds stay on the bottom.

Make Turkish Coffee

The classic stovetop coffee isn’t your thing? Make a Turkish coffee instead. It’s one of my all-time favorite types of coffee to brew and drink at home.

What I love about it is that it’s customizable and one of the best ways to make coffee on the stove.

This type of coffee is also made on the stove without the need for filters.

To make it, you need a coffee pot – an ibrik or a stainless steel pot that resembles one.

To brew coffee, pour water into the ibrik/stainless steel pot and add sugar to taste.

Place the ibrik onto the stove and bring to a boil.

When the water begins to boil, lower the heat, add ground coffee, and stir well.

Bring back to a boil for a quick second or two.

Remove the ibrik from the stove and let it sit for a few minutes so that the ground coffee sits on the bottom

For best results, use finely ground coffee.

Brew Coffee With French Press

French press pot already comes with an inbuilt filter.

And we love an inbuilt filter for two reasons:

  • there aren’t any sediments floating around your cup
  • you can never run out of filters.

The French press method comes with a bit of a learning curve, but nothing too frightening.

First of all, boil water and pour a bit into your French press pot to heat it up. Swirl hot water around a bit before emptying it.

Next, place ground coffee into the press pot.

Pour slightly cooled water over the grounds.

Place the lid with the filter on top of the beaker to close the pot

Let the mixture sit about 4 minutes before pressing down the plunger- slowly, all the way to the bottom.

Serve coffee hot and enjoy!

I recommend you decant French press coffee right after brewing. If you don’t, coffee may end up being over-extracted, which means it’ll be too bitter.

Make Cold-Brew Coffee

Cold-brew coffee is a perfect solution for three types of people:

  • those who ran out of coffee filters,
  • those who can’t drink regular coffee (due to stomach issues),
  • those who prefer to brew their coffee in batches and enjoy it for the rest of the week.

You can choose from different coffeemakers (such as Toddy) to make cold-brew coffee. But a classic mason jar works just as well.

First of all, add ground coffee (coarse-medium grind) to a mason jar.

Pour over cold coffee – the ideal ratio is 1:6, but tweak it until you get your best ratio. For the most consistent results, I recommend you use a coffee scale to weigh coffee and water every time. If that’s too much hassle for you, stick to the 1:6 rule above: for each cup of coffee, pour in 6 cups of water.

Stir the mixture with a spoon well.

Close the jar and let it sit on your kitchen counter/in the fridge for 7 to 24 hours. The length depends on how strong/intense you like your brew.

After the brew time is over, decant cold brew coffee.

Pour it into a container of choice (Pyrex, Chemex, glass jar, thermos…). A kitchen towel/cheesecloth can serve well as a filter to separate the grounds from the coffee.

Serve your cold brew any way you like – with ice, water, or milk. To take it up a notch, make Nitrogen coffee with it!

To make the best cold brew ever, I recommend using freshly ground coffee. If you don’t know where to begin, check these top coffee beans that make a great cold brew.

Use Instant Coffee Powder

When you’re out of coffee filters, instant coffee is one of the easiest ways to make coffee.

All you have to do is boil water (again, let it cool to the ideal temperature of 195-205 degrees).

Pour slightly cooled water over the instant coffee powder in your mug.

Stir well and enjoy!

You’d be interested to know that the favor for instant coffee has improved over the past years. It’s not trash coffee anymore. Now there are instant coffee brands that put quality into instant coffee.

You can use instant coffee to make tasty coffee drinks: decadent frappes and whipped Dalgona coffee. You can also use it in iced coffee recipes – summer is just around the corner!

Brew Coffee With A Sock or Stocking

I wish I could say I was joking. But I’m not.

Socks or stockings make a great job at keeping the sediments out of your coffee. It goes without saying that the socks have to be clean.

To brew coffee with a sock, boil some water. Set aside and let it cool down to the ideal brewing temperature (195-205F)

In the meantime, attach the sock to the edge of the coffee mug and fill it with ground coffee.

Pour slightly cooled water over the coffee. Let it sit for about 3-6 minutes (depending on how thick your sock is and how strong you like your coffee).

Remove the sock, and give it a squeeze. Discard ground coffee and wash the sock accordingly.

For best effects don’t use a sock that has been washed with a strongly scented detergent/softener. Its scent can ruin your coffee’s taste.

Drip Coffee Maker With A Paper Towel

When the only coffeemaker in your house is a drip machine and you run out of filters, we call that an emergency.

But don’t panic – there is a clever solution for it.

You can use a paper towel to replace your standard drip coffee maker filters. What’s great about it is that you won’t damage the machine and you’ll still get a great pot of coffee out of it.

Once the coffee is ready, remove the soaked paper towel with the grounds and discard it.

To make this work, you need a paper towel. Here’s a video to show you how to make it work:

Brew Coffee With a Handkerchief

A handkerchief, a cheesecloth, or a kitchen towel all work more or less in the same way.

Boil water (on a stove or in a kettle). Set aside and let it cool down to the ideal brewing temperature (195-205F).

Take the handkerchief (free of any strong-smelling detergent scents!) and place cover your mug with it.

Secure it with clamps to the side of the mug (optional).

Fill the top of the handkerchief with ground coffee.

Pour a bit of slightly cooled coffee over the grounds and let it bloom (like you see in the video).

Next, pour the rest of the water bit by bit to let the coffee fully saturate and extract the most flavor.

For a stronger flavor, leave the handkerchief in the cup for a minute or two before completely removing it.

Make Coffee In A Nut Milk Bag

This method is like the sock method, but more appealing. If you make nut milk at home, chances are, you own a nut milk bag.

These types of bags are usually made of cotton, hemp, or nylon – but they may not always be heat-resistant.

I haven’t tried this bag, but people love to use it to strain cold brew coffee.

The method is simple: place the bag over a cup/mug or a jug and pour it over coffee to separate the grounds from the liquid. Discard the grounds and enjoy your cup of cold brew any way you’d like.

Coffee Filter Substitute: Use This Instead

Let’s have a look at how you can improvise a coffee filter! Here are the alternatives:

  • Cheesecloth
  • Napkin
  • Tea-towel cloth or a dish towel
  • Stocking or a pair of tights (but careful with nylon, they might melt in hot water!)
  • Mesh sieve
  • Empty tea bags
  • Cheap baking cups
  • An old sock (I’d suggest you clean it unless you want a subtle aroma of leather in your coffee)
  • Reuse coffee paper filters (by rinsing and drying them)

Is it OK to use paper towels as coffee filters?

Yes, it is. Paper towels usually have great absorbency which is perfect for filtering. Just make sure that the towel is thick enough so that it doesn’t tear.

Making Coffee Without A Filter: A Recap

As you can see, there are plenty of clever and easy ways to make coffee without a filter.

In fact, you don’t even need a coffeemaker to brew coffee! A simple accessory like a pot, a mason jar, or a handkerchief can already make all the difference.

My favorite method has to be Turkish coffee or cold brew with a mason jar. Which one is your preferred way? Let me know below!

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