How to Brew Coffee Without a Coffee Maker

If a craving for a wonderful cup of coffee arises and you find yourself without a coffee maker in your home, don't fret. Your coffee machine might have stopped working and a new one hasn't been procured yet. There are a myriad of other ways to prepare coffee without needing a coffee maker. So put your worries aside – you'll be sipping a delicious cup of Joe soon!

In this article, I will talk about how you can make coffee without a coffee maker or other special brewing devices.

Stovetop Method

Stainless steel pot on a stove top

As the name implies, the stovetop method of brewing coffee involves your stovetop. The stovetop method, also known as the cowboy method, is the process of brewing coffee over a fire or other sources of high heat like a stovetop! All you will need is a pot, water, and finely ground coffee.

To brew coffee using a stovetop:

  1. Add water to the pot and bring it to a boil. You can add as much water as you need (1 cup equals 8 ounces) but make sure to measure your water as you need it for the next step.

  2. Add your finely ground coffee once the water is at a rolling boil. For every 6 ounces of water, you need to add about 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds. You can definitely adjust this according to how strong or weak you like your coffee to be.

  3. Turn the stove off once you put the coffee grounds in the pot as you don’t want to actually boil the coffee grounds. You just need to incorporate the flavor of coffee in the water. Make sure to cover the pot once the heat is off and let it sit for about 5 minutes or so. After 5 minutes, the coffee grounds should have sunk to the bottom of the pot.

  4. Ladle the coffee out into a mug and be careful not to include any coffee grounds. You can also use a fine-mesh sieve or coffee sock to strain the coffee.

Strainer Method

Coffee beans and a cup of coffee on a table

If you have a fine mesh strainer or a double-layer mesh strainer lying around in your house, this can also be a great way to brew your coffee. You can brew your coffee on a stovetop following the steps above but, you can also use an electric kettle for this.

To brew coffee using a kettle and a strainer:

  1. Add the proper amount of water into your kettle then bring the water to a boil.

  2. Once the water is boiling, add in your finely ground coffee grounds according to your preference. If you are using an electric kettle, it most likely has an automatic power-off switch. If yours does not have this feature, turn off your kettle to stop the boiling.

  3. Let the coffee grounds sit in the hot water for about 5 minutes and strain it above your mug using your mesh strainer.

Cold Brew Method

Someone pouring coffee over ice in a glass

The cold brew method is perfect if you want ice-cold coffee during the morning and don’t want the bitter taste that freshly brewed coffee typically has. Cold brews are great to make at night as you need to let it steep in the refrigerator overnight or at least 12 to 15 hours. You will need medium-coarse ground coffee, a fine mesh sieve, and water if you are doing a cold brew. Fine ground coffee is okay to use but I find that a coarse grind is better for long extraction time.

You can buy pre-ground coffee or coffee beans for your cold brew. A glass container, a mason jar, or any container will do to steep your cold brew.

To make cold brew coffee:

  1. Add 200 grams of cold or warm filtered water and 25 grams of coffee (1:8 coffee to water ratio) into your container.

  2. Place it in the refrigerator and let it steep for 12 hours or overnight.

  3. After letting it steep, strain the coffee into a fine mesh sieve and place the strained cold brew into a new container.

  4. Pour your cold brew in a mug over ice and enjoy! You can also add milk, creamer, or other sweetener to your cup of cold brew according to your preferences.

Instant Coffee Method

Pack of coffee in between ground coffee

If all else fails, you can always make coffee using instant coffee. Instant coffee is widely available and there are a lot of options you can choose from.

Some people don’t like instant coffee because it doesn’t give them the same experience as brewing their own coffee. But, if you don’t have a coffee maker, coffee grinder, and other pieces of equipment such as an AeroPress, French Press, or a Mocha Pot, instant coffee will be your best friend.

Until you can have your own machine for brewing coffee, you can look at our list of best instant coffee brands so you can enjoy a cup of coffee without a coffee maker.

To make instant coffee, you just need to add hot water and 1 to 2 teaspoons (or one packet) of instant coffee into a mug and stir until the coffee dissolves in the water. You can also add sugar, cream, or milk for additional flavor.

Alternative Coffee Brewing Devices

Brewing device on top of a wooden table

A coffee maker is definitely a great invention to mankind but there are also other pieces of equipment that you can use. As I mentioned earlier, a French Press, Moka Pot, AeroPress, espresso machine, and pour-over brewing devices such as a Chemex and Hario V60 are also great alternatives to your usual coffee maker.

If you are looking to add brewing devices to your collection, have a try at one of these devices! If you already bought some of these brewing devices, we have an article about the 13 best ways you can make coffee at home.

Bottom Line

Making coffee does not need any special equipment. You just need a pot, your stovetop, and water and you can make coffee without a coffee maker. You can experiment with which method of brewing coffee works best for you. The next time you find yourself without a coffee maker, you can confidently make a delicious cup anytime.

With that being said, a brewing device can definitely make things easier. Whether you prefer the stovetop or the French press, there's a brewing method to suit your personal preference. What is your preferred method for brewing coffee? Let me know your thoughts!


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