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How to Make Coffee without a Coffee Maker, The Old School Way

Dave Carter

May 22, 2020

Nowadays most people rely on their handy drip coffee makers to provide them with the hot and invigorating elixir of life, we all know and love, coffee. A cup of coffee is vital for most people since few of us can even barely function at the most basic level without our morning cup of coffee, that is why kitchens from different parts of the world are stocked with modern coffee drip machines. But what happens in the event of a power outage or an unwanted scenario where that button does nothing? Sometimes, the conventional way is the way to go, and many avid coffee lovers believe that the best tasting coffee is made by hand and with simple ingredients, in this article, we will guide you on how to make coffee without a coffee maker.

It is time to go back to old traditional methods and whip yourself with an old fashioned java fix, back in the day even with the absence of these machines people still managed to brew a delicious and hot cup of joe. Let's begin!

How to Make Coffee without a Coffee Maker​

You have several options for making coffee with no access to a modern coffee drip machine, giving you brewed coffee through the use of fresh grounds and piping hot, filtered water. Here are popular ways to create coffee traditionally.

Coffee bag method​

Bringing convenience and flavor in one small bag, this method is inspired by the term "pour-overs," a simple method of passing hot water through a single-serve like with the traditional method of making tea with the use of a tea bag.

  1. Measure a single serving of fresh grounds.
  2. Pour grounds into a coffee filter.
  3. Close the filter securely, effectively creating a little pouch full of coffee grounds.
  4. Tie the pouch with a length of a string (must not contain wax), leave one long end and let it loosely hang outside the cup, resembling a tea bag.
  5. Boil water using any method available.
  6. Place the filter bag into an empty mug.
  7. Pour the hot water over the coffee bag in the mug, do not overfill the cup.
  8. Let the coffee steep for four minutes.

Remove the pouch and discard it (like with a tea bag) before consuming the drink.

Cowboy Coffee - The Cowboy Method​

This method brings back the real old-fashioned ways of good coffee brewing, with just the use of your best beans and boiling water. However, we know the cowboy coffee method is usually done during outdoor activities such as camping, you don't have to worry about that since it can still be done at your kitchen, inside the comfort of your home.

  1. Fill a pan with water (more than the amount that you would usually use when brewing coffee), when making cowboy coffee you can expect some water will be left in the pain with the addition of grounds.
  2. Place the pan on a heat source (stove or campfire), when it starts to boil add the grounds.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat source and cover it immediately.
  4. Wait for four minutes before uncovering it.
  5. When the coffee grounds have settled at the bottom of the kitchenware, you are now ready to serve your cowboy coffee.
  6. If you see that the grounds have not settled, sprinkle a little cold water to let them sink.
  7. You don't need to use a fancy kettle, you can simply pour the cowboy coffee off the top onto your mug, a ladle can be used for more filtered drinks.

The hankie and mason jar method​

Perhaps the easiest way to brew coffee, nobody ever thought of a humble handkerchief as a key player in creating coffee! You just need several binder clips or you can use plain clothespins for this method.

  1. Place the handkerchief (or any clean cotton cloth) over the mason jar and place the clips to secure the cloth.
  2. Allow enough slack to let the cloth dip into the jar, resembling a pouch shape.
  3. Get a single-cup helping of ground coffee (adjust the amount of your coffee to your preference) and place it into the pouch.
  4. Pour a little water over the coffee and let them soak in.
  5. Remove the cloth and grounds and enjoy it.

We all want our dose of an 8 oz coffee caffeine, helping us go through the day with ease, try practicing these methods while you're reading your Cuisinart coffee maker instructions for your next new coffee machine or if you're waiting for your old one to get fixed.

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How to make ground coffee​

When making ground coffee, there are many different coffee bean types that you can utilize when making the grinds, choose your favorite coffee bean beforehand.

  1. Measure one tablespoon of coffee for each cup you want to create.
  2. Grind the coffee using an appropriate coffee grinder until it resembles a medium sand-like grind.
  3. Wet the grounds with a bit of water and wait for 30 seconds (time needed maybe longer if your beans are fresh).
  4. Pour the remaining water over 30 seconds.
  5. Now you have your very own freshly ground coffee.

How do you make coffee beans without a coffee grinder?​

Have you ever accidentally whole beans and got stuck in a dilemma since you do not own a coffee grinder? You can easily create fresh grounds without a coffee grinder with these methods:

  1. Hammer method - Place the beans inside a plastic freezer bag and put the package between two towels, use a hammer to crush the beans (remember that the crushed grounds will not have consistent sizes so the result may not be the best).
  2. Mortar and Pestle Method - Perhaps the longest and time-consuming method in the list but it still works, you can start by crushing a few beans at a time, add more beans as you progress.
  3. Blender Method - Place the beans inside the blender and blend them using the pulse setting (grind one tablespoon per cup of coffee you plan on making).
  4. Rolling pin Method - Prepare the beans the same way in the hammer method, use a rolling pin (sturdy bottles can be used as an alternative), and roll over the plastic bag with the beans inside until they are finely crushed.

How to brew coffee without a coffee maker​

This technique is usually done on camping trips and other outdoor activities but it can also be used at home, helping you create a great and simple cup of bliss.

  1. Fill a saucepan with water (Use more water than you would normally use when brewing coffee normally) because some of the water is sure to get left behind.
  2. Turn on the heat.
  3. When the water starts boiling add the coffee of your choice (the amount of coffee you put is up to you) but the general serving should be two tablespoons of coffee grounds for every six ounces of water used.
  4. Turn the heat off and cover the pan and wait for four minutes to let the grounds settle at the bottom of the pan.
  5. Slowly pour the coffee off the top or you can also ladle it into mugs.
  6. Stir and enjoy it!

Nothing beats the old fashioned methods, but it's no mystery that using high-end coffee makers just makes our coffee endeavors easier. To avoid unwanted situations where your drip coffee machine breaks down you should always be prepared and know how does a drip coffee maker work, to ensure you know what to do in the event of it breaking down.

Can you make coffee on the stove?​

Yes, this is an easy and traditional method of how to make a coffee, you just need hot water and the coffee of your choice with the addition of a saucepan and kitchen basics you can easily whip a cup or pot coffee on the top of your stove.

Can you drink ground coffee without filtering?​

Yes, but you will have to utilize an immersive technique to get the coffee results that you desired. This technique is like how a french press works, measure one tablespoon of coffee for each cup of joe you, add hot water and pour it slowly into the cup, stop before the coffee grounds get into the mug.

What can I use if I don't have coffee filters?​

Paper towels - Something you can use as an alternative for traditional coffee filters are paper towels and napkins since these get produced with similar intentions of the filter, making it a great substitute for them. Simply shape them to fit the interiors of your coffee maker and you can start brewing your favorite coffee with ease.

Clean socks - Socks can also be used as a strainer, take a clean sock and pour coffee grounds in it and place it over a mug and pour hot water over it.

How to make coffee on the stove​

Whether you are dealing with a coffee maker breaking down or sudden power interruption, knowing how to brew coffee on a stove is going to help you get your caffeine fix when those unwanted events do happen. A humble saucepan is all you need when creating your favorite drink.

  1. Pour water in the saucepan, follow the previously mentioned advice of adding more water than the amount of coffee you plan to make because you will lose some of the water because of it soaking into the coffee grounds and boiling.
  2. Stir the ground right into the hot water (Use the same amount of coffee you would use in your coffee maker).
  3. Set the stove's burner to medium-high heat and bring the coffee to a boil while stirring occasionally to prevent the coffee grounds on the bottom of your pan from burning.
  4. Boil the coffee with the pan uncovered for about two minutes.
  5. Remove the pot from the heat source and let it sit for four to five minutes, allowing the coffee grounds to settle at the bottom of the pan.
  6. Turn off the stove
  7. Using a ladle, scoop the brewed coffee into your mug, for you to avoid taking any coffee grounds with it if a ladle is not available you can simply pour the coffee from your saucepan into the mug very slowly.
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How to make coffee without a coffee pot​

Brewing coffee how to make, we all have been accustomed to the modern coffee drip machines in our daily morning routines, but what happens in the event of your coffee maker breaking down or unexpected power interruptions? You can easily brew coffee with no coffee pot with these methods:

The French Press Imposter Method​

This faux french press method is one of the most common methods used when brewing the drink, you may ask yourself "what is french press coffee?"

  1. Pour one tablespoon of coffee grounds per cup you want to create in a deep bowl.
  2. Pour in a small amount of boiling water and let it saturate fully with the grounds.
  3. Pour in an appropriate amount of hot water for the number of grounds inside the bowl and let it stand for four minutes.
  4. When the grounds have visibly settled, using a tablespoon you should gently press the bottom of the bowl.
  5. Pour the french press coffee into your cup slowly, with the use of a spoon press the grounds in the bottom of the bowl and prevent the grounds from falling into the mug.

The French Press Imposter Method​

If you have a microwave hanging around your kitchen table tops, rest assured that a fine and fresh roasted cup of joe is on the menu! The easiest and fastest way to create coffee as long as you have power and a microwave available.

  1. Fill a cup with water and place it in the microwave for two to three minutes, letting the water reach hot temperatures but not boiling.
  2. Pour in coffee grounds and stir using a tablespoon, they should make a sizzling sound when you first add them to the mug, showing a sign that it is hot and should be handled with caution.
  3. Allow the cup to sit for four to five minutes so the grounds can easily settle at the bottom of the mug.

The Cold Brew Method​

This technique requires more time than the others mentioned in this article, for people who like to plan and prepare weekly meals and caffeine fixes this method should be the perfect match for you.

  1. Implement a 1:5 ratio of coffee grounds to water, put the coffee ground inside a mason jar and wet them, wait for about 30 seconds and pour in the rest of the water.
  2. Stir the mixture together and screw shut the stop of the mason jar, make sure that it is tightly fitted.
  3. Place the mason jar inside of the fridge and wait for a time frame of 14 to 24 hours (the longer you let it settle in the fridge, the stronger it is).
  4. After the allotted time, place a strainer over a different mason jar or deep bowl with a bit of slack in the middle to effectively catch the grounds.
  5. You may consume it after this, but you can also keep the filtered concentrate in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days.
  6. To serve, pour a small amount and dilute it with water until the desired strength of the drink is met.

Never stray away from old traditions since you never know it can help you when you're faced with a dilemma, such as creating coffee without the use of your handy modern coffee machine, we hope this guide on how to make coffee without a coffee maker helped you create your favorite cup of joe with ease


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