No Power? 5 Ways to Make Coffee Without It

different coffee brewing methods

Several home brewing techniques for coffee usually need electricity. But what if there's a power cut exactly when you're craving a coffee cup? Not being able to brew your preferred coffee because of a power interruption can be very irritating. Luckily, you can still make a lovely cup of coffee without relying on electrical methods.

If you have a gas range, portable propane burner, camping stove, or an open flame, you can make coffee without power. Even if you don’t have the means of heating water, there is still a way to make coffee.

In this article, I will talk about the different ways you can make coffee if there is no electricity. 

First, You Will Need A Heat Source

Before diving deep into the methods of making coffee without electricity, you first need to know that a reliable heat source is essential if you want to have freshly brewed coffee. If the power is out, you won’t be able to use your electric kettle to heat water. But, an electric kettle is not the only way to heat water for your coffee. If you have a gas stove, camping stove, or portable propane burner, you can make coffee even when the power is out.

How To Make Coffee Without Electricity

Let’s take a look at how you can make coffee when there is a power outage in your area.

Cold Brew

cold brew

A cold brew is one of your best options if you want to make coffee without power. You might think that you need to place your cold brew in the fridge but you can let it steep at room temperature. If you don’t mind room-temperature coffee, cold brewing is great since you don’t need to worry about where to get hot water.

The downside to making a cold brew is that the coffee needs to steep for up to 12 to 18 hours. This is because cold water extracts the flavors from the coffee grounds longer. If you are looking for an immediate coffee fix, this may not be the best solution for you.

To make a cold brew, you will need 1 part ground coffee and 8 parts water. Add the coffee and water in a mason jar or other container with a lid then steep at room temperature for up to 12 to 18 hours. Once the coffee is ready, you can use a fine mesh sieve to strain the coffee or ladle the coffee into a mug.

Cowboy Method

Now, if you have a reliable heat source, the cowboy method is one of the classic ways to make coffee without power. Cowboy coffee is made by boiling water over an open flame and then adding the coffee grounds away from the heat to let it steep for a couple of minutes.

It’s like doing a cold brew but with hot water and without the long wait time. If you have a gas stove, camping stove, or portable propane burner, this method will have you brew coffee in no time.

While this method can be easy to do, it can also be easy to mess up. Some people make the mistake of boiling the coffee grounds resulting in a bitter taste. If you do this method, make sure to remove the pot from the heat before it comes to a full boil, and then add the coffee grounds.

Make sure to also strain the coffee using a fine mesh sieve to avoid drinking the coffee grounds. To avoid this, you can use a single-serve Japanese-style pour-over coffee packet.

French Press

french press

If you have other coffee brewing devices that do not require electricity to operate, now is the time to bring them out of the dark. A French Press can take more work but it is a classic way to brew coffee without electricity. This method uses a mesh plunger to brew the coffee grounds.

To use a French Press, add ground coffee to the carafe and pour hot water over the coffee grounds. Let it sit for about 3 minutes before stirring and pressing the plunger down. Transfer your coffee to a mug and you have your freshly brewed coffee!

When using a French Press, the rule of thumb is to use hot water that has a temperature of around 200° Fahrenheit. If you don’t have a thermometer at hand, just bring the water to a rolling boil and wait for at least 30 seconds before pouring it over the coffee grounds.


cartoon aeropress

Another great way to make coffee without power is by using an AeroPress. Like the French Press, an AeroPress is a manual way of brewing coffee. The difference is you can brew coffee in as little as 90 seconds using an AeroPress and is also a single-serve brewing method. With an AeroPress, you don’t need a separate carafe as you can brew it directly over your mug.

An AeroPress is also portable so you can take it anywhere with you.

Instant Coffee

instant coffee

If you don’t have any other brewing devices besides your coffee maker, making instant coffee is your last resort if you are craving coffee during a power outage. Instant coffee is very easy to make and all you really need is your mug, instant coffee, and hot water.

You can also choose from different coffee flavors if you use instant coffee. And just like its name, you’ll be having hot coffee instantly. The only time you will wait is waiting for the water to boil.

Final Thoughts

Maybe it’s time to ditch the coffee maker? As a coffee lover, you probably won’t ditch your coffee maker. But, it does help to know that you can still enjoy a delicious cup of coffee even without electricity. Making coffee without power is definitely doable whether you use the Cowboy method or other manual brewing devices.

So next time the power goes out, you don’t need to head to the nearest coffee shop because you now know several ways to make coffee without power!


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