Most coffee lovers rely on their coffee machines to make fresh coffee, especially in the morning and cold evenings. While some people have enough time to make coffee with a Chemex or drip coffee machine using home-roasted and freshly ground beans, others wish their coffee machines can brew coffee faster and operate it by the push of a button.
However, what if you push the button on your coffee maker but it does nothing? Maybe the water fails to heat up or there’s a power blackout. Or worse, you’ve to spend several days in a campsite or hotel and there’s no coffee machine in sight. What would you do in such circumstances, yet you’re missing your favorite cup of coffee.
Well, it’s still possible to make tasty coffee without using a coffee machine. It’ll all depend on the supplies you can gather for this process. But don’t worry, you’ll learn all that in this guide.
Although none of these methods we’re discussing can be compared to making coffee with filtered hot water and fresh grounds, you’ll still get your favorite brew before you get back home from the campsite or replace your faulty coffee maker.
Alternative Coffee Brewing Methods without a Coffee Maker
Now that you know it’s possible to brew coffee without your favorite coffee machine, let’s discuss the available alternatives. Considering there’re several alternatives available, make your choice wisely. The alternatives available include:
- Using Coffee Bags
If you wake up every morning feeling energized or you ask yourself whether it’s possible to steep coffee just like tea, then coffee bags are a perfect alternative for you. Coffee bags are designed for easy coffee brewing without any special equipment. Besides, you can easily make coffee bags at home. Here’s how to brew coffee with coffee bags:
- Coffee filter
- Ground coffee
- Hot water
- String (any that doesn’t have a wax coating)
Step 1- Pour enough coffee grounds into a coffee filter.
Step 2- Make a pouch out of the filter. Close the pouch to keep the grounds secured inside.
Step 3- Cut enough length of a string and use it to tie the pouch from one end of the string. Leave the longer end of the string hanging outside your coffee mug, just like how tea bags are designed.
Step 4- Use a kettle or saucepan to heat water on a stovetop or cooktop. You can also heat water in the microwave using a microwave-safe cup.
Step 5- Put the newly made coffee bag into a coffee mug. The mug should be empty.
Step 6- Pour hot water slowly into the mug. Don’t overfill it.
Step 7- Let the coffee steep for approximately 4 minutes. You can reduce or increase the waiting time to make a weaker or stronger brew as needed.
Step 8- Pull the string to remove the coffee filter bag from the mug. Discard it and enjoy drinking your brew.
- Faux French Press
You can easily duplicate this coffee brewing method with simple tools. It’s a method you can easily implement at a campsite or home. If your precious French press has malfunctioned beyond repair, this is a method you can try.
- Deep bowl
- Hot water
- Coarse coffee grounds
Step 1- Add 1 tablespoon of coarse coffee grounds for each cup into the bowl.
Step 2- Pour some little boiling water into the bowl. Allow it to saturate the coffee grounds.
Step 3- Pour the right amount of heated water into the bowl. Allow the mixture to stand for 4 minutes.
Step 4- Once the grounds settle, use a tablespoon to press the grounds gently against the bowl’s bottom surface. Avoid splashing the hot brew on yourself.
Step 5- You can now pour the brew into a mug slowly. When pouring, keep the grounds pressed against the bowl to prevent them from finding their way into the mug.
- The Strainer Brewing Method
Maybe your coffee machine is no longer functioning or you’ve run out of filters. Either way, such bad luck, especially in the morning rush when you don’t have time to visit your local grocery store. Luckily, if you have a usable strainer at home, you can take advantage of it to make coffee without using a coffee filter.
However, not any strainer can do the job. Ensure the strainer has tiny holes, preferably one with two layers of mesh. That way, coffee grounds won’t find their way into your coffee mug.
- Saucepan or Kettle
- Ground coffee
- Mesh strainer (preferable a small one with a conical shape)
Step 1- Measure enough water depending on the cups of coffee you want to make. Pour the water into a saucepan or kettle.
Step 2- Add enough coffee grounds based on the cups of coffee you’re brewing. Stir them in.
Step 3- Boil the water. Allow it to boil for 2 minutes.
Step 4- Next, remove the kettle from the stovetop or cooktop.
Step 5- Hold the strainer above the mug. Pour the brew through the strainer. It’ll catch any coffee grounds while pouring coffee into the mug. Since you’re using a strainer, you can drink the brew as soon as finish pouring.
- The Stovetop Brewing Method
Any coffee lover who doesn’t have many supplies can take advantage of this method. You only need few kitchen items to brew enough coffee on a stovetop, be it a single cup or a full pot. Here’s how to go about it.
- Ground coffee
- Small saucepan
Step 1- Add enough water into a saucepan. Ensure the water is slightly more than the serving you want to brew. It’s necessary to add some extra water necessary since some little amount will be lost when boiling.
Step 2- Carefully add and stir enough ground coffee into the cold water. The amount of grounds should be similar to what you use in a regular coffee maker.
Step 3- Set your burner to relatively high heat. Allow the coffee to boil. Stir the mixture occasionally. Doing so will prevent burning the ground coffee. If you don’t stir, the grounds will settle at the bottom for a prolonged time and get burnt.
Step 4- Boil the coffee while uncovered for 2 minutes.
Step 5- Turn off your stovetop. Remove the saucepan from the stovetop and allow it to sit aside for 4 minutes. That way, the grounds will settle.
Step 6- Scoop the brew with a ladle and pour it into your coffee mug. Avoid scooping any coffee grounds with the ladle. Preferably, use a small stainless steel ladle. If you’re unable to get a ladle, pour the brew from the saucepan into the mug slowly and carefully. Since the used grounds are relatively heavy, they’re likely to remain at the bottom.
- The Hanky Brewing Method
With this method, you won’t need a Keurig. It uses less expensive and more rustic supplies. Besides, this method doesn’t cause any harm to the environment.
Although this method requires some patience, it guarantees a tasty cup of coffee without drinking used coffee grounds. With this method, you can use a Mason jar rather than a coffee mug. However, you can still use a mug.
- Hot water
- Mason jar or mug
- Clean hanky (if not, use a clean cotton or linen cloth)
- Clothespins or binder paperclips
- Coffee grounds
Step 1- Place the hanky on the Mason jar. Press the center part of the hanky inward, but do it gently. That way, you’ll make a big pouch that can hold enough coffee grounds for a single serving.
Step 2- Use clothespins or binder paperclips to secure the hanky on the cup. Use at least 3 clips for a more secure setup to prevent the hanky from falling into the brew.
Step 3- Add enough coffee grounds to brew 1 cup of coffee into the hanky pouch.
Step 4- Heat water and pour a little amount of it over the coffee grounds. Allow the coffee grounds to soak for a minimum of 30 seconds.
Step 5- Pour the remaining hot water slowly. Watch the clips to ensure they don’t slip when adding water. Adjust them in case they slip.
Step 6- Next, remove the clips, hanky, and grounds carefully. Enjoy your hot brew.
- The Cowboy Brewing Method
Before the innovation of coffee machines and before they became common household appliances after their innovation, coffee was brewed using an old-fashioned technique known as the cowboy coffee brewing method.
The best thing about this brewing method is that you can do it anywhere you want. Although this method uses the term “cowboy”, there’s no hat or horse involved. Here’s how to go about it.
- Coffee grounds
- Pot or kettle
- Spoon or any utensil you can use to stir
Step 1- Scoop 1 tablespoon of grounds per cup. Add the grounds into a pot or kettle.
Step 2- Add approximately 8 oz water per cup. Stir the contents well.
Step 3- Put the pot over a fire or stove. Allow the contents to boil.
Step 4- Let the contents boil for about 2 minutes. Once done, remove the pot from the heat.
Step 5- Allow the ground coffee to settle by leaving the pot undisturbed for approximately 4 minutes.
Step 6- Pour the brew into a coffee mug slowly. Avoid pouring in the used grounds as much as possible. However, some grounds might still find their way into the mug. As such, allow the grounds some little time to settle before drinking the brew.
- The Microwave Coffee Brewing Method
Want to brew coffee within a very short time without using a string or drip machine? All you need is a microwave and electric power to brew coffee. The microwave method is among the simplest coffee brewing methods today.
- Coffee grounds
- Mug (should be microwave safe)
Step 1- Add water into the mug until full. Put it in your microwave and heat it for 2 minutes. Work with very hot water. However, it shouldn’t be boiling.
Step 2- Add 1 tablespoon of fresh coffee grounds. You’ll notice a frizzling sound when adding the grounds.
Step 3- Allow the grounds about 4 minutes to settle.
Step 4- You can now enjoy the brew. However, don’t drink the last sip to avoid drinking the used coffee grounds.
- Swedish Egg Coffee Brewing Method
Besides America’s coffee being among the best-brewed coffee, the Swedes also make tasty coffee. Their coffee brewing method is unique in that it involves using an egg. Also, it doesn’t require a coffee maker. Supplies needed:
- Saucepan or small pot
- Fresh egg
- Small bowl or cup
- Water (very cold)
- Water (at room temperature)
- Filter (a hanky or cheesecloth can also do the trick)
- Coarse ground coffee (about 1 or 1 ½ tablespoons per cup)
Step 1- Add 1 cup (for each serving) of the room temperature water into a saucepan or small pot. Boil the water on a stovetop.
Step 2- As the water boils, crack an egg into an empty cup. If you want to make several servings, put a whole egg into a small, empty bowl. Crush and stir the egg.
Step 3- Upon crushing and stirring the egg, add it to the coffee grounds. Stir them until they mix well.
Step 4- Add the slurry into the boiling water. Boil the mixture for anywhere between 3 to 5 minutes. Watch the mixture keenly to prevent it from overflowing.
Step 5- The slurry mixture will clump to form a large chunk. The chunk will float on the top. Once that happens, splash in 1 cup of water (preferably ice-cold). Allow the contents to sit for about 1 minute for the grounds and chunks to settle at the bottom.
Step 6- Place a filter over a mug. Pour the brew slowly through the filter. You’ll get a low acidity brew with velvety smoothness despite being prepared with a somewhat odd method.
- Cold Brew Coffee Method
In case you have extra time to fix a cup of coffee using a slow process, or you like weekly coffee prepping, this method will be the best option for you.
- 2 mason jars (wide-mouth option)
- Coarse ground coffee
- Cheesecloth (you can also use a hanky or mesh strainer)
- 14 to 24 hours of your time
Step 1- Use the ratio of 1 part coffee grounds and 5 parts water. Add the grounds in one of the mason jars. Wet them with some little water and allow them to soak for about 30 seconds. Next, add the remaining water.
Step 2- Stir the contents well. Screw the jar tightly with its lid.
Step 3- Put the jar in the fridge for about 14 to 24 hours based on the desired strength.
Step 4- Once the desired refrigeration time elapses, put a strainer over another mason jar. If necessary, secure the strainer on the jar with paper clips. Pour the brew into the jar. The strainer will catch the used grounds.
Step 5- Keep the brew in the fridge for about 7 to 10 days. Whenever you want to serve the brew, just pour out some of the brew and dilute it with water to your desired strength.
In case you want to make a very strong concentrate, brew with 1 part grounds and 3 parts water rather than refrigerating it for more hours. Similarly, if you want a weaker concentrate, brew with 1 part grounds and 8 parts water rather than refrigerating it for fewer hours.
When diluting, don’t dilute the whole concentrate at one go, unless you’re serving a crowd or planning to drink the entire diluted brew within 3 days.
If you don’t have plans to replace your damaged coffee maker any time soon, or the aforementioned alternatives may not work for you, or you simply don’t have much time to make coffee during your morning rush, consider these options:
Percolators are easily available and affordable. A percolator can be used on a campfire, camp stove, electric stove, or any other source of heat. You can rely on a percolator to make coffee whenever power goes out or when your coffee maker malfunctions.
You can also use a French press, Aeropress, and pour-over coffee makers as replacements or backups for drip coffee makers.
- Instant Coffee
Although instant coffee has a bad reputation among most coffee enthusiasts, it still has a huge following, thanks to its convenience. Keeping a stock of instant coffee for rainy days would be a great idea. It can save your day when your coffee maker decides to act up and you don’t want to skip taking coffee.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it possible to make tasty Keurig brew without a functional Keurig machine?
If your Keurig machine gets damaged beyond repair and you have some K-cups left behind but no machine to make use of them, it’s still possible to brew Keurig without using a Keurig machine. Simply remove the foil from the K-cup lid. Then put some grounds into a strainer or filter and pour over hot water over the grounds.
While doing this, take note of the strength of the brew depending on your taste preferences. Also, take note of the amount of brew you want to make. You can use several K-cups to make more brew.
Can you brew coffee without using a filter?
Not everyone wants to imagine drinking unfiltered coffee. Crunching on coffee grounds would destroy the entire experience of drinking coffee. Luckily, you can enjoy a tasty, unfiltered brew without struggling with coffee grounds in your cup. Simply put some coffee grounds in a mug or small bowl and add hot water. Allow the contents to soak for about 5 minutes. Doing so will allow for the extraction of coffee flavors and for the coffee grounds to settle. Pour over the brew into an empty coffee mug, but do it slowly to prevent the coffee grounds from finding their way into the mug.
Can you prepare coffee without power?
Yes, it’s possible to prepare coffee without power. You only need to boil enough water using any other means than electricity. A campfire or gas stove can do. In this case, you can take advantage of coffee brewing methods such as pour-over or drip methods.
Upon reading through this article, you’ve discovered many ways of preparing coffee without using a coffee machine. You only need inexpensive and easily available supplies to make a tasty brew. Regardless of the method you choose, we hope you’ll successfully make a fresh and tasty brew.