How to Make Coffee Without a Coffee Maker: 8 Easy Methods That Work

Do you enjoy a fresh, steaming cup of coffee in the morning? With so many coffee lovers around the world, it’s no wonder the coffee maker and drip machine are common household appliances. 

But, what happens on the days when your coffee machine decides to pack up, or you’re away from home and can’t carry your machine with you, or you’re on a camping trip and in dire need of your morning coffee fix? 

Lucky for you, there are so many methods available to get you that fresh morning cup of coffee without using a coffee maker.

Some methods are designed for efficiency whilst others are more intricate and designed for offering great flavor. 

To help you navigate life without a coffee maker, we’ve put together an in-depth guide of methods to brew coffee. Whether you’re a beginner or pro coffee drinker, there’s a method that will work for you. Let’s get started!


8 Methods of Coffee Making 

How To Make Coffee Without A Coffee Maker

Method 1: Stovetop method/ brewing method

To get your caffeine fix for the day, try this stovetop coffee method. Making coffee on the stovetop is easy, convenient, and tastes delicious! This is also a great method to try out if you have limited supplies at hand as it requires very little. 

For this method, you’ll need: 

  • 1 heaped tablespoon of ground coffee per serving
  • 6 ounces of water per serving 
  • A small saucepan 
  • A tablespoon
  • A ladle 
  • Your favorite coffee cup

Directions

  1. To make your coffee, begin by pouring cold water into a saucepan. Set it over medium-high heat.
  2. Measure out a heaped teaspoon of coffee grounds per serving and dump it into the pan. Bring your coffee to a boil.
  3. Using your ladle, stir occasionally to avoid the coffee grounds burning at the bottom of the pan.
  4. Uncover the pan and let it boil for 2 more minutes.
  5. Next, remove the pan from the stove and let it rest for 4 minutes. This will give the ground time to set on the bottom so you don’t get a mouthful of coffee grounds.
  6. Either using the ladle, scoop your brewed coffee into a mug or simply pour it gently from the pan straight into the mug slowly to avoid getting grounds in it.
  7. Your flavorful brew is ready and good to go. Enjoy!

How To Make Coffee On A Stovetop

how to make coffee without a coffee maker moka pot
Rich delicious espresso gushing through a Moka pot.
Photo by: Brent Ninaber

Method 2: Stovetop espresso method with a Moka pot 

If you’re an espresso fan, then you’ll love this method. Forget the coffee machine, there’s nothing like homemade coffee. This method is similar to the stovetop method but with a little more zhuzh!

You’ll need a couple of supplies at hand for this recipe to help you make the best espresso. But this is the best method to get a delicious and dense espresso without a coffee maker. 

Unlike the stovetop method, this method contains the use of a Moka pot. It works like this: steam is generated by the heat of the stove which creates a build-up of pressure in the bottom chamber.

The pressure works to push the water through the coffee grounds and into the top chamber. What’s left is rich and flavourful espresso. 

For this method, you’ll need: 

Directions:

  1. Begin by grinding the coffee beans to a fine consistency for the Moka pot.
  1. Fill the bottom of the chamber about halfway with fresh water.

    NOTE – Try not to fill the bottom chamber above the halfway point as this may cause too much pressure to build up which won’t be able to be released through the valve and this may cause your Moka pot to explode.
  1. Fill the filter basket with the ground coffee beans and shake it slightly to even out the coffee grounds. Then with your finger or the back of a spoon, level out the coffee grounds. Avoid pushing the coffee down as this will prevent water from passing through the grounds.
  1. Brush away any coffee on the side and then place the filter basket into the bottom chamber.
  1. Screw the top of the Moka pot onto the bottom chamber, careful not to tighten it too much.
  1. Place your Moka pot onto medium heat on the stove with the top lid open. If the heat is too high, the coffee will begin to splatter out of the spout.

    NOTE – make sure the handle of the Moka pot is turned away from the heat to avoid it overheating as this may make it difficult to handle once the coffee is made.
  1. Now, when the bottom chamber reaches its boiling point, you’ll hear a puffing sound. Inside the pot, you’ll see a rich color pouring through.
  1. When you notice the color turns lighter, you can now remove the pot from the heat and close the lid.

    NOTE – Once you remove the Moka pot from the heat, run some cold water over the bottom of the pot. This will slow down any more brewing and likely improve the flavor.
  1. Now for the fun part… Pour your coffee mixture into a mug. If your espresso is too strong, you can always dilute it by adding some hot water. 

How To Make Coffee Without Filtering 

Method 3: Faux french press without the filtering

The faux french press method is simple, easy, and requires few supplies making it a go to when it comes to getting your caffeine fill. This is a great alternative method to the french press method as it requires fewer supplies and no filtering process.

This is a great go-to for those times when your coffee machine is down, when you’re away from home, or even whilst camping. 

For this method, you’ll need:

  • 1 heaped tablespoon of coarse coffee grounds per serving 
  • 6 ounces of hot water per serving 
  • A tablespoon
  • A deep container 
  • A coffee cup

Directions:

  1. Start by placing a tablespoon of ground coffee per serving into a deep container.
  1. Then, pour in a small amount of boiling water into the container allowing it to fully saturate the grounds.
  1. Now add 6 ounces of hot water per serving into the container. Allow this to stand for about 4 minutes.
  1. Once the grounds have settled you can now slowly pour your coffee into a mug leaving behind the last third of the container to avoid getting any gritty bits in your mug.
  1. And there you have it, full-bodied, unfiltered, and delicious coffee!

How To Make Coffee With A Filter 

how to make coffee without a coffee maker french press
Freshly brewed French press coffee in the morning.
Photo by Izzy Rivi

Method 4: French press 

Now, if you’re looking for a fancier version of the faux french press, you’ll want to use a french press. The french press is a classic way of making a delicious and rich coffee without a machine.

This is considered a favorite amongst coffee lovers, some even prefer this method instead of using a machine… doesn’t that just say it all?

This method requires a couple more supplies but it’s worth it in the long run.

A French press works by steeping fresh coffee grounds in boiling water to make coffee. Once brewed, a metal mesh filter is used to filter the coffee along with the natural oils from the coffee grounds and fine particles giving it a full-bodied and rich texture and flavor. 

NOTE – When it comes to choosing the coffee grounds for your filter, it’s best to go for medium ground coffee.

Coarse grinds may cause a blockage in the filter, whilst too fine coffee grinds may sift through the filter and leave your coffee feeling gritty.

For this method, you’ll need:

  • A french press 
  • A tablespoon 
  • A coffee cup  
  • Medium coffee grounds – 1 heaped tablespoon per serving
  • Boiling water – 200ml per serving

Directions:

  1. Begin by boiling the right amount of water per serving. Let the water cool slightly.
  1. Use a tablespoon to add the required amount of ground coffee to your french press pot.
  1. Add the hot water into the pot and slowly stir.
  1. Place the plunger into the pot making sure to stop just above the water.
  1. Let the coffee sit and do its thing for about 3-4 minutes.
  1. Press the plunger slowly, pushing it to the bottom of the container. Pour the filtered coffee into your mug, and enjoy!

How To Make Coffee With Just Hot Water

Method 5: Coffee bag method

Another French inspired coffee-making method is the coffee bag method.

This is a simple and easy DIY method that requires few supplies. This is an excellent option to brew coffee when you are low on resources or if you are away from home. As long as you have all the supplies below, you can brew amazing coffee from anywhere. 

For this method, you’ll need: 

  • 2 tablespoons of ground coffee per serving
  • 6 ounces of hot water per serving
  • Coffee filters
  • String 
  • A coffee mug

Directions

  1. Laying the coffee filter out onto a flat surface, place the coffee grounds into the filter. Then close the filter around the coffee to make a coffee bag.
  1. Using the string, secure the pouch and make sure to leave a long piece of the string hanging. This will be used to hang on the outside of your mug like you would with a tea bag.
  1. Place the coffee bag into your mug with the string hangout out.
  1. Boil the relevant amount of water. Once boiled, pour the hot water into the mug. Allow the coffee to steep for 4 minutes.
  1. If you’re wanting a stronger coffee, leave the coffee bag in for longer. Equally if you’re wanting a weaker coffee, leave the pouch in the mug for a shorter period of time.
  1. Once you’re happy with the strength of your coffee, remove the pouch and discard it. 

Alternative Ways Of Making Coffee Without A Coffee Maker

how to make coffee without coffee maker turkish
Traditional Turkish coffee presentation.
Photo by YUCAR FotoGrafik

Method 6: Turkish coffee

This Turkish inspired method of brewing amazing coffee uses a similar process to the stovetop method but with a longer process for extra taste.

This is a great method for anyone looking to put in a little extra work to make a perfect, thick, strong, and frothy coffee. It’s a great way to get a full-bodied, deep brew that includes leaving the coffee grinds in the mug for added flavor.

For this method, you’ll need:

  • 1 heaped tablespoon of ground coffee per serving 
  • 6 ounces of water per serving 
  • A pot 
  • A coffee mug
  • Sugar (optional)

Directions:

  1. Start by pouring the required amount of water into a pan. Set the pan over low heat.
  1. Add 1 heaped tablespoon of ground coffee per serving into the pan. If you have a little bit of a sweet tooth, you can add sugar into the mix here.
  1. Wait until the water just starts to boil but is not quite boiling yet. At this point, remove the pan from the heat and skim off the foam layer from the top of the pan and place it into your mug.
  1. Return the pan to low heat and wait for it to get near boiling point again and then remove it from the heat.
  1. Pour half of the coffee into your mug and leave the rest in the pan returning it to the heat.
  1. Now let the coffee boil for about 15 seconds and then remove from the heat again.
  1. You can now pour the mixture into your cup. Allow the coffee to sit for 2 minutes and for the coffee grinds to settle to the bottom of your mug.
  1. Once rested, enjoy!

Method 7: Cowboy coffee  

If you’re away camping or you’re simply low on resources but in need of a good cup of coffee, cowboy coffee is for you! A little rough around the edges, the cowboy method is one for convenience. 

For this method, you’ll need:

A horse, lasso, and cowboy hat… just kidding! All you need to make cowboy coffee is:

  • 1 tablespoon of ground coffee per serving 
  • 8 ounces of water per serving
  • A small pot or kettle 
  • A spoon 
  • A coffee mug 

Directions

  1. Start by putting 1 tablespoon per serving of coffee grounds into your coffee pot or kettle.
  1. Add 80z per serving of water to the pot and stir thoroughly. Once stirred, place the pot over a stove or fire and bring the water to a boil.
  1. Once boiled, remove the pot from the heat and allow it to sit for a minute or two for the coffee grinds to settle to the bottom.
  1. Slowly pour the hot coffee mixture into your cup while avoiding too many coffee grinds ending up in your mug. Sit back, relax, and enjoy your cowboy coffee.

Method 8: Instant coffee

If you’re not up for trying out some of the methods without a coffee maker, there’s always instant coffee. It’s a great backup for when your coffee maker is down.

There is a stigma that instant coffee is not as good as ground coffee, however, there are some great instant coffee brands that offer great tasting coffee.

This is also a great way to brew coffee if you are at work and don’t have a coffee maker at hand, or if you are on a camping trip.

Honestly, this is probably the best option for a camping trip as you can use a camp stove as a heat source to boil water and then all that’s left to do is to add the coffee. 

For this method, you’ll need: 

  • A tablespoon
  • 1 tablespoon of instant coffee per serving
  • 6 ounces water per serving
  • A pot, kettle, or stove kettle suitable for camping 
  • Sugar (optional) 
  • A coffee mug

Directions:

  1. Start by adding a tablespoon of instant coffee to your coffee mug. If you like a sweeter coffee, now’s the time to add some sugar to the mix.
  1. Boil water and pour the required amount per serving over the coffee.
  1. With a spoon, thoroughly stir your coffee until the coffee and sugar have dissolved.
  1. If the coffee is too weak, feel free to add more instant coffee for a stronger cup. 

Bonus Tips & Tricks

When it comes to alternative ways of brewing coffee, you want to ensure that you’re making the most of what you have right? Here are a couple of tips to take your coffee experience to the next level. 

  1. When it comes to bean grinding, you want to make sure that your grind is just right.

If you’re brewing coffee using a Moka pot, you’ll want to grind your coffee beans to a fine consistency but not too powdery. If you’re using a french press, go for a medium grind. Making it too fine will result in sediment being released into your mug.

  1. Always use clean water.

It sounds silly, but ensuring you’re using fresh and clean water makes all the difference to the taste and quality of your coffee. If you’re a coffee fanatic, you don’t want to take the risk. When we say clean water we mean water free from chemicals such as chlorine. A filter can usually help with this.

  1. Brewing your coffee at the wrong temperature can be the difference between make and break.

In this guide, we’ve given you advice on which level of heat to have your stove at when brewing. However, a general rule of thumb is for brewing to take place at 90-95 degrees Celsius.

Final Thoughts 

This full guide on how to make coffee without a coffee maker is for anyone who feels coffee machines are fallible and can’t risk not having a hot cup in the morning. Now that you have these methods at your fingertips, you’ll always be able to get your hands on a good cup of coffee.

These methods are great for times when you need a quick brew and are short on supplies, or if you’re simply looking to get inventive and are wanting to try out making coffee on your own.

So whether you want to whip up a delicious Americano coffee or get adventurous with a mocha, you can do it from home with minimum supplies!

If you do want to upgrade to a new a new coffee maker, consider reviewing our list of the best drip coffee makers from Ninja or these high quality espresso makers from Breville.

Coffee Has Never Read This Good!

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