HOW TO MAKE COFFEE WITHOUT A COFFEE MAKER
Most coffee lovers rely on a drip coffee maker to provide them with an excellent, fresh cup of coffee every morning. But what happens when you push the button and nothing happens? When the water won't heat up? When there’s no power supply. Or you had to stay at a campsite or hotel without a coffee maker?
You have nothing to worry about, we won't tell you to opt for instant coffee. We are about to open your eyes to simple alternative brewing methods. You can go for a cold brew. It's a great way to brew coffee without a coffee maker if you can wait up to 12 to 24 hours.
Lets give you techniques that will brew coffee that can get you caffeinated right now.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN BREWING WITHOUT A COFFEE MAKER
Since you found yourself brewing without a coffee maker, the chances that you’ll brew the best coffee won't be there. But there are simple steps you can take that are almost as good as coffee from a coffee maker.
Use freshly roasted coffee beans: a decent cup of coffee always starts with the beans. You should use quality coffee beans that are roasted within 1 week. Buy from roasters that roast every day (like us).
Use freshly ground coffee: Always use freshly ground beans. You only have about 30 minutes to 1 hour before the beans start losing their flavors, those aromatic compounds that make us enjoy coffee.
Use the right temperature: If you use water that's too hot, you’ll scald your beans and under extract them. The right water temperature is between 90 and 96 degrees Celsius. A simple way to get this temperature without a thermometer is to boil the water and allow it to sit for 30 seconds, using a timer.
Once you have all these, you’ll have to work with what you have. There are lots of brewing methods that will brew delicious coffee but you are limited to some items, so be resourceful.
USE A MAKESHIFT COFFEE FILTER
You are stuck, no Chemex, no Hario- how do you pour over coffee without a coffee maker. Try using a makeshift coffee filter. It lets you use this brewing method with materials you already have.
What You Need
- Freshly ground coffee (use a medium-fine grind)
- A paper filter Hot water
- A coffee mug
- Paper clips or elastics- something that’ll hold the makeshift filter in place.
If you don't have a coffee filter, you can use a handkerchief or a cotton kitchen towel. However, make sure the cloth is thick enough, so it won't tear. You can also go for a cheesecloth, double or triple it to ensure that the grounds don't find their way into your brew.
We recommend using a handkerchief, it's best for this method as it is easily available and durable to withstand the hot water and the pressure of brewing. You may have to double the paper towels, it's best for extraction.
HOW TO BREW
- First, prepare the filter. Use a clean handkerchief and fold it into a square that can fit perfectly with the mouth of your mug or cup.
- Carefully clamp the handkerchief to the sides of the mug. Make sure the clips are tight enough so it will stay in place while you're pouring the hot water.
- Grind your coffee to a medium-fine grind. Use a burr grinder, it gives consistent results.
- Once you have ground the required amount of coffee, put the coffee grounds onto your filter set up. You should give it a little shake to spread the grounds equally.
- Boil the water you need. When it reaches the boiling point, gently take it off the heat and allow it to cool for 30 to 40 seconds (if you don't own a thermometer).
- Pour some water on the grounds, just enough saturate the coffee.
- Allow it to bloom- this is a common process in pour-over methods and shows that the coffee is fresh, releasing Co2 gases for about 30 or 40 seconds.
- Pour the remaining water and allow it to brew. Since you’re using a makeshift filter, you may need to tease the coffee grounds a bit with a spoon to help with the drip flow.
USE THE COWBOY METHOD
This method brings you back to the old-fashioned way of brewing good coffee- with your best beans and boiled water. We’ll tell you how to make cowboy coffee from home. You don't need to be around a campfire or wear a cowboy hat before getting it right.
It's just a matter of making do with available supplies you’ve got- a heat source, a pot, ground coffee, and water. If you brew the cowboy coffee correctly, it will come out smooth and pleasantly drinkable.
HOW TO MAKE IT
- Pour water into a clean pan (use a bit more water than you normally use when you brew coffee). For example, if you normally use two cups of water, add an extra 3/4 cup for this method. This is because some water will be left in the pan, along with the used grounds.
- Place the pan on your stove. Once the water starts boiling, add the coffee. Remove the pan from the stove and coffee it immediately and allow it to sit for 4 to 5 minutes before you uncover the pan.
- Once all the grounds have settled at the bottom, you’re ready to serve.
- Tip: Sprinkle a little cold water on the grounds if the grounds are not yet settled. You don't need fancy kettles here- just pour the coffee off the top onto your mug. If you are going camping, check out our guide on portable brewing methods
MAKE A DIY COFFEE BAG
This method is similar to a coffee bag, it's a DIY twist. If you can't use the methods mentioned above, you don't have to worry or use instant coffee, you can make a coffee bag yourself. This is just like you making a tea bag but this time it's medium-coarse coffee grounds that’ll be inside the bags.
What You Need
- Hot water
- Heat source
- String (don't use a plastic-coated string so it won't melt)
- Coffee grounds
HOW TO BREW WITH A DIY COFFEE BAG
- Boil water with any available heat source. Once it's boiled, remove it from heat.
- Grind the coffee and scoop some out. The quantity you normally used to brew- around two tablespoons of coffee per 250ml water.
- Put the coffee grounds in the middle of the coffee filter, then tie the top with the string. Make sure you don't pack the bag too tightly- there has to be room for coffee grounds to expand a bit once it's time for the coffee to bloom.
- Place the coffee bag you just made into your mug and pour the hot water directly over it. Fill the cup to the quantity you need.
- Ensure that the bags are fully submerged for equal extraction of your coffee grounds. Allow the coffee bag to steep in the mug for 2 to 3 minutes if you prefer a weaker brew, or 5 to 6 minutes if you want it strong.
- TIP: Squeeze the coffee bag with a spoon just before taking it out. This will allow the remaining coffee juices out of the grounds into your cup. This makes the brew stronger.
THE IMPROVISED FRENCH PRESS
This method works well when your French press is not available and you still want to enjoy a rich, delicious brew. It's similar to the cowboy method.
We’ll mimic the French press method using the available items in your kitchen.
What You Need
- Freshly ground coffee (use a medium/coarse grind)
- Hot water 2 clean mugs, one for brewing and one for drinking.
HOW TO BREW
- Grind the coffee to a coarse grind. You should be aiming for something similar to sea salt.
- Grind two tablespoons of coffee for every 250ml water (you can easily adjust the measurement the way you want)
- Add coffee grounds to a clean, empty cup. Then pour in hot water to cover the grounds- allow the coffee grounds to bloom for 30 seconds.
- Once the blooming time is up, pour the remaining water on the coffee grounds to fill the cup. Allow the coffee to brew for four minutes (set a timer).
- Once the 4 minutes, slowly transfer your coffee from the steeping cup to the drinking cup. The wet grounds must have sunk to the bottom, so don't pour in the last 30 milliliters.
We know you don't want to brew coffee with a pot and pan but these brewing methods come in handy on the road when you’re traveling or your coffee maker disappoints you. There you have it, that's how to brew coffee without a coffee maker. Buy fresh coffee from our store to get started