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How to Brew Coffee Without A Coffee Maker

How to Brew Coffee Without A Coffee Maker - Proline Range Hoods

There’s likely been a time in your life where you’ve wanted to make coffee, but you were unable to enjoy that brew. Maybe you went to a vacation home somewhere and they hid the coffee pot! Darn!

Perhaps you were camping and knew you wouldn’t have coffee but your friend brought some thinking there would be a way.

Well, now you can rest easy. There’s a way to enjoy that special brew, even without a coffee maker. We’ll go over short methods you can do in a pinch and also traditional methods used before coffee machines existed.

But for now, let’s get into the coffee-making process.

Latte Art - How to Brew Coffee Without a Coffee Maker

4 Ways to Brew Coffee Without a Coffee Maker

The Stove Top Saucepan

Using a saucepan is perhaps the easiest method and the one most readily available in a new kitchen. This method requires only basic kitchen items.

Materials Needed

  • Coffee grounds
  • Mug
  • Hot water
  • A stovetop (a camping stove will work too!)
  • Pot with a lid
  • Tablespoon
  • Sieve (optional)

Brewing Method

1. Heat 8-10 ounces of water on your stovetop in a small pot. Bring to a bubbling boil.

2. Over heat, add 1-2 heaping tablespoons of ground coffee per 10 ounces of water.

In this step, make sure to use a drip grind. Try adding 2 tablespoons to start. It’s easier to weaken coffee by diluting it with water than it is to make it stronger.

3. Remove the pot from heat and cover with the lid. Let the mixture rest for two minutes.

You can bring the coffee back up to a boil if you want - this will increase the bitterness of your brew.

4. Stir the coffee and let it sit, covered, for up to another 3 minutes.

This will help the coffee steep, similar to tea. The longer the coffee is in the water, the stronger it will be!

Cold water may help the grounds sink to the bottom. Splash a little cold water into the pot, but not too much as to dilute the coffee.

5. Using a sieve over your mug, slowly pour the coffee into your mug.

Be sure to do this carefully, the coffee will still be piping hot!

Make sure to watch for the grounds; you’ll end up with some of the brewed coffee in the pot since you don’t want grounds in your coffee.

6. Enjoy your brew!

Bowl of coffee beans

The Coffee Bag

This is one of the easier methods, provided you have the correct materials at a moment’s notice.

Materials Needed

  • Coffee grounds
  • Mug
  • Hot water
  • Coffee filter
  • String
  • Tablespoon

Brewing Method

  1. Heat your water in a kettle and bring to just below a boil.
  2. Measure a single serving of coffee, generally one heaping tablespoon, and place it into your coffee filter.
  3. Close the filter tightly. Tie the filter shut with the string, hanging the rest of the string out of your cup as you would with a tea bag.
  4. Place your coffee-filled filter into your mug.
  5. Slowly pour the water over the coffee bag into the cup.
  6. Let the coffee steep for about 4-5 minutes, depending on the strength you like your coffee at. Increasing or decreasing time will make your brewer stronger or weaker, respectively.
  7. Discard the used filter and enjoy your coffee.
Ground coffee and coffee beans

The Strainer or Sieve

You may be really unlucky if you’re in a vacation home that has a broken coffee machine and no filters. But, if there’s a spare strainer or sieve lying around, you may be able to save your morning using this clever method.

You’ll need to make sure the strainer or sieve has very small holes - something that coffee grounds can’t get through! Leftover coffee grounds in your cup won’t make you want to finish your coffee.

Materials Needed

  • Coffee grounds
  • Mug
  • Hot water
  • Strainer or sieve
  • Tablespoon
  • Saucepan

Brewing Method

  1. Heat 12oz of water in a pan.
  2. Add one heaping tablespoon to the pan, stirring gently.
  3. Bring to a boil and keep it boiling for two minutes.
  4. Remove the saucepan from heat and place the strainer or sieve over your mug.
  5. Carefully pour the water into the mug, using the strainer or sieve as a “net” to catch the coffee grounds.
  6. Once finished pouring, discard the used grains and enjoy your coffee.
Cups of coffee with latte art

The Hanky or Linen Method

Have grounds but no filter? No big deal! If you have a cowboy hanky or even a thinner cloth napkin you can make some pretty good coffee.

You’ll need clothespins or another clamping tool in order to complete this method, but then you’ll be well on your way to brewing some delicious coffee!

Materials Needed

  • Coffee grounds
  • Mug
  • Hot water
  • Hanky or other thin linen cloth, or napkin
  • Clothespins or other type of clamp
  • Tablespoon
  • Kettle

Brewing Method

  1. Heat your water in a kettle or microwave and bring it to a gentle boil.
  2. Place the linen across the top of your mug and gently make a divet in the middle where you’ll place your coffee grounds.
  3. Clamp the linen to the mug with the clothespins.
  4. Serve one mounded tablespoon of coffee grounds into the diverted linen. Add more if you like a stronger brew!
  5. Pour a small amount of hot water over the grounds, enough to wet them, and let soak for at least 30 seconds.
  6. Continue pouring water, slowly, over the coffee grounds in small, controlled circles.

This method of pouring is similar to Chemex brewing! Be sure to watch the clamps, as they may move while you’re pouring.

  1. Pour water into the mug until the mug is full, then remove the clamps and linen with coffee grounds.
  2. Discard the coffee grounds rinse the linen, and wash for reuse!
  3. Enjoy your coffee!
Cup of coffee with a plant on a table

Alternative Solutions

If you’re really in a pinch and none of these methods are going to work for you, instant coffee is an easy alternative. It’s not the best by any means, but it can work for a day or two until you get a new coffee machine. Just think about the coffee to come and how much better it will be!

You can also go try a local coffee shop in your area, especially if you are traveling. I love going to local coffee shops because they’re usually so warm and inviting! They also have some of the best coffee since they don’t brew large batches like larger coffee chains may do.

You can also buy their coffee beans to grind your own. They may also feature alternative coffee making solutions, too!

Other solutions include different brewing methods altogether. Chemex coffee, a type of pour over coffee, is popular with coffee-loving aficionados. It’s easy to do once or twice but will take time to master!

Chemex units are usually available in a store like Target or Walmart and can also be found on Amazon.

Learn more about how to brew Chemex coffee right here!

Pouring hot water into coffee filter

And there you have it! The next time you’re without a coffee maker you have four easy and straightforward methods to make coffee in the morning. It’s also never a bad idea to bring your own coffee making devices with you if you can pack it!

If you liked this and want to dive more into the coffee world, we have several more coffee articles! For coffee fanatics and lovers of all brews and decor, we have a blog detailing some of the best ways to build your own coffee bar or coffee island.

Or, learn how to store your coffee effectively for the best brewing results.

And, if you don’t have a grinder, learn how to grind your own coffee beans with a few different methods. Maybe you’ll learn something you don’t know, or expand your already existing knowledge of coffee!

Have a great brew!

Cup of coffee with spoon on marble counter
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