How To Make Coffee Without a Coffee Maker


College students have been using drip coffee makers to their advantage for years, and not just for coffee. Boiling some pasta, putting hot water in some ramen, and steaming vegetables are all odd-yet-genius uses for a coffee machine—but what about the other way around?

Making coffee without investing in a coffee maker, or more likely another coffee maker, is completely possible. There are a number of unique ways to extract that desired flavor from coffee beans, all while using things you have around your house!

Whether you actually do not have a coffee maker, or you are simply looking to try a new technique, here are five ways to make coffee without a coffee maker.

How To Make Coffee Without a Coffee Maker

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1. Stovetop Method

One of the most straight forward, and less taboo, methods out there to brew coffee without a machine . It does not take much prep or brew time to make a coffee on your stove, so there is no harm in giving it a try.

  1. Add coffee to a pot of boiling water, about two tablespoons of coffee for every six ounces of water. This ratio is important to get the flavor right!
  2. Turn off the heat and cover right after adding the coffee. If done over a campfire, this method is also called the cowboy method!
  3. Let the coffee settle to the bottom, which will take about 4 or 5 minutes
  4. Serve it slowly in order to not spill any of the very hot water.
  5. Enjoy!

The stovetop method also resembles the method to brew Turkish coffee as well, which traditionally includes brewing coffee with cardamom.

2. Handkerchief Method

This is where things get funny. Grab that handkerchief that you may or may not ever use, no matter how odd the pattern on it either, and give it a new life as a coffee maker. A regular filter can be used in a similar way as the handkerchief in this method, but the handkerchief is a great way to see how similar the two are.

  1. Using this as a filter, put a handkerchief over the top of a mug and clamp it on using chip clips or binder clips like these.
  2. Grind coffee to a medium grind, then add them to the handkerchief. Give it a little shake in order to make sure it’s even, much like putting coffee into the filter of a Chemex.
  3. Boil two cups of water.
  4. Pour just enough water on to the coffee to saturate it.
  5. Let it bloom by doing pour slows every 30 seconds, until the water is all used up.
  6. Give it a moment to finish seeping through the handkerchief.
  7. Carefully remove the handkerchief from the mug, and the coffee is already in the mug for you to enjoy!

3. Cold Brew in a Jar

Cold Brew is always on our minds, especially until fall temperatures hit us… then pumpkin spice lattes come into play. Who’s excited for some seasonal lattes soon. Making it at home is really easy, and involves letting it sit over night. We adapted the following instructions from the Lanna Coffee Company, which calls for two jars, a filter, a small strainer, and coarsely ground coffee.

  1. Using a 1:4 coffee-to-water ratio (in cups), add coffee then cold water to one of the jars.
  2. Using a spoon, push down any grounds that are not soaked by the water.
  3. Time to let it sit for 12 hours, so pop it in the fridge and go to sleep!
  4. The next morning, place a filter in a strainer.
  5. Place the strainer on top of the second jar, and simply pour the first jar’s contents in to the new jar.
  6. Dilute the cold brew with some more cold water or even some ice, as it will naturally come out quite strong from sitting for so many hours.
  7. Enjoy!

4. Makeshift French Press

Everyone loves a good french press for their simplicity and ease, but sometimes there is not just one easily accessible—even if it is just in the dishwasher. This is when it’s time to grab your deepest bowl and best coffee to get something just as great to drink.

  • Put a tablespoon of coffee grounds in to a deep bowl, making sure that the grounds are completely saturated
  • Wait a few seconds, then slowly add the rest of the water. For a proper ratio, should be a cup total.
  • Let the coffee seep for three minutes.
  • Line your mug with a filter, and carefully pour the coffee in.
  • Enjoy!

5. Coffee Pods

These are growing in popularity, so you are bound to find them easily online or in some supermarkets. Coffee pods are similar to a tea bag, just more often than not without the string to anchor it. They are one of the easiest ways to make cold brew at home, because the pods can seep overnight in cold better or are ready in minutes with hot water.

Coffee pods can also be made at home, calling for not much more than a filter and some floss to get the job done. Skip that meal prepping and prep coffee pods for the week instead!

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