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How to Make Coffee without a Coffee Maker - An Essential Guide!

How to Make Coffee without a Coffee Maker - An Essential Guide!

If you are a coffee lover, one of the worst things that could happen to you when you are traveling or even when you are at home is the coffee machine malfunctioning. No matter what your brewing method is, if the apparatus you typically rely on is not working, for whatever reason, it can be a major setback in your day. Especially when you are traveling, you are away from the comfort of your home and a good cup of coffee can take the edge off a stressful traveling schedule. But say the coffee maker in your hotel room is not good enough or you went to a camping site and your friend forgot to pack the coffee maker that they took responsibility for! These are definitely not ideal situations but it does not mean that you cannot find a solution out of these situations. Before the coffee maker was invented, people were still brewing coffee and finding ways to have a perfect cup of coffee. In fact, the coffee filter itself was only invented in 1908, by a German inventor. The following is a brief guide to making a perfect cup of coffee without a coffee maker. The article will take you through different methods of brewing coffee without a coffee maker, in detail.


Coffee in a Saucepan

If you do not have a coffee maker but can make do with some of the utensils in your kitchen, a saucepan is a great way to get that morning cuppa going. You can brew a cup of coffee using only a saucepan and your stove. The following are some of the things you will need:


  • Ground coffee
  • Saucepan
  • Water
  • Ladle


To prepare coffee in a saucepan, you need to begin by pouring some water in the pan. It is preferable that you add a little extra water than you normally would as some of the water will evaporate when it boils. Stir the grounds into the water. You should stick to the measurement you would use if you were brewing the coffee in an actual coffee maker. Place the mix on a stove and turn it to a medium-high flame. Bring the coffee to a boil while stirring occasionally, which ensures that the coffee grounds do not burn at the bottom of the vessel.

 coffee and computer


You can allow the coffee to boil uncovered for about two minutes. Then take it off the flame and let it settle for about four minutes. The coffee grounds will settle at the bottom of the saucepan and you can use a ladle to take out the brewed coffee and pour it into a mug of your choice. Even if you do not have a ladle, you can simply tilt the saucepan and pour the coffee out very slowly, ensuring none of the grounds get into your mug, though chances of that happening are low as the grounds are heavy and they tend to stay at the bottom.


Coffee in the Microwave

A microwave comes to the rescue for many things, apart from heating your food and defrosting a chicken. You can brew a quick cup of coffee in a microwave and enjoy a smooth beverage without even missing your coffee machine. If you are in a furnished apartment that has a microwave which works, you do not need a coffee machine or any other coffee brewing your filtering mechanism. The method of brewing coffee in the microwave is quite straightforward, but the following are some of the things you will require:


  • Coffee grounds
  • Water
  • A microwave
  • Coffee mug


To begin with, fill your mug with the amount of water you need for the coffee and stick it in the microwave. Every microwave has its own setting so choose accordingly, but the end result you are looking for is hot, but not boiling water. Once the water is adequately hot, stir in the amount of coffee grounds you require. When you first add the coffee, you can expect to hear a sizzling sound. You can then allow the coffee to sit for about four minutes until the brewing process is complete and the coffee grounds settle at the bottom. You can drink directly out of the cup or you can gently pour the coffee out into another mug so you do not get any grounds at the bottom.


Coffee in a Strainer

This is the easiest apparatus to work with. It requires no prior planning or expertise and works just as well as a coffee filter. A conical mesh strainer is ideal, but any other strainer will do as well, just as long as it has small holes and the coffee grounds do not slip out and into your coffee cup. You will need the following things for making coffee in a strainer:


  • Coffee grounds
  • Water
  • Mesh strainer
  • Mug
  • Kettle


To begin with, you will need to measure how many cups of coffee you want and pour the appropriate amount of water into a kettle or into a pan. The next step is to add the coffee grounds based on the number of cups you are brewing. Stir the coffee grounds into the water and then bring the mixture to a boil. Keep the mixture boiling for about two minutes so the coffee grounds can be soaked in and brewed properly. You may also want to keep stirring the mixture so the grounds do not burn at the bottom of the pan.

 coffee on table


Once the mixture has boiled sufficiently, strain it into your coffee mugs. The grounds collect into the strainer and unlike the saucepan method described above, you do not need to wait for the grounds to settle at the bottom. You can simply strain it out as soon as the coffee is done brewing.


Coffee in a Handkerchief

This is an old-world, charming way of brewing a delicious cup of coffee. It is a hassle-free method and you will get a truly soothing cup without any odor or flavor of metal, which may often happen with a coffee maker. This is also an environment-friendly technique that has stood the test of time. Even if you are at a campsite where there is no coffee maker in sight, you can enjoy a strong cuppa with the help of only a handkerchief. The following are the things you will need to get this right:


  • Coffee grounds
  • Clean handkerchief or a plain linen cloth
  • Coffee mug
  • Clothespin or clasp
  • Hot water


To begin with, you are required to place a clean handkerchief across the mouth of your mug. Make a small depression in the handkerchief so it creates a pouch that can hold a serving of your coffee grounds. Then secure the hanky in place by clipping it to the mug. Ensure that it is safely secured so that the hanky does not fall into the mug. It is meant to work only as a cloth strainer.


Now, scoop a portion of the coffee grounds into the hanky and then pour enough hot water over the grounds so that all of them are soaked. Allow the grounds to soak completely for 30 seconds. Once the grounds have been soaked completely, add the rest of the hot water while making sure that the handkerchief does not slip into your beverage. Finally, remove the handkerchief and enjoy a perfect cup of coffee.


French Press in a Bowl

Who needs a fancy and expensive French press machine when you can brew the perfect French press using just a bowl and a few other tools. You can use this technique at home when you want to experiment but do not have a French press machine. This is even a handy technique to use at a campsite when you are far away from civilization and other creature comforts. You need the following things to make the perfect French press using a bowl:


  • Coarsely ground coffee
  • A deep bowl
  • Hot water
  • A tablespoon
  • A mug


You begin by putting one tablespoon of coffee grounds for each cup of coffee, into the bowl. Pour a little boiling water so the grounds get saturated and soaked. Once the grounds are completely saturated, pour the remaining hot water and let the mixture sit for a bit. After about four minutes, use the tablespoon to press the coffee grounds down. You need to be careful not to splash yourself with the boiling mixture. Once all the coffee grounds have settled at the bottom, slowly pour the brewed coffee out into mugs. Your French press is ready!

 friends with coffee


Make Coffee Bags

You have heard of tea bags, but DIY (do-it-yourself) coffee bags are just as easy to make to enjoy a steaming cuppa in no time! All you need are coffee filters and some spare strings. Any kind of string will do, except for a kind that might melt under hot water (so no wax strings, unless you want candle-flavored coffee!). The following are the things you will require to make a perfect coffee bag to brew a perfect cup of coffee.


  • Coffee grounds
  • Coffee filters
  • String
  • Hot water
  • Coffee mug


Place the coffee filter on a flat surface and put one tablespoon of coffee grounds in the center of the filter. Bring the edges of the coffee filter together so that it looks like a small sack with the coffee grounds in it. Secure this sack or bag with a string so the coffee grounds do not spill out. Leave one end of the string long enough so that you can pull the bag out of the coffee without burning your fingers.


Once the coffee bag is ready, place it in the empty coffee mug. Then slowly pour the hot water over the coffee bag. Just as you would do with a teabag, allow the coffee in the coffee bag to steep in the water for a few minutes. Depends on how strong you want your coffee to be, you can keep or remove the coffee bag from the mug at an appropriate time. Finally, remove the filter and enjoy a steaming, perfectly brewed cup of coffee. If you use pre-ground coffee, you can even make a few coffee bags beforehand and keep them handy. This saves you the trouble of making the bag right when you are desperate for a nice cup of coffee.



While this may not be advice that will be readily accepted by coffee connoisseurs, if you are in a need of a desperate fix and cannot be too picky, a cup of instant coffee may do the trick as well. In case of emergencies, it would not be the worst idea to cup a jar of instant coffee in your kitchen. There is no doubt that instant coffee will not give you the taste and flavor you will get a well-brewed cup of coffee. But if it is an emergency, something is better than nothing.


With instant coffee, you don't even need to carry any other apparatus with you. You only need to mix hot water and you can get an instant cup of coffee within a few minutes. Of course, if you simply cannot bring yourself to drink instant coffee no matter how severe the emergency is, all the methods described above are perfectly suitable to brew a cup of coffee without a coffee maker.


 instant coffee

Final Thoughts

The methods described above are some of the easiest and most convenient ways of brewing a cup of coffee in the absence of a coffee maker. You only need a few things to brew the perfect cup, which should be easily available in your kitchen and perhaps also in a hotel room if you are traveling. You only need hot water, the coffee grounds and one or two other tools to brew the perfect cup without a coffee maker.


For a coffee lover, even a single day without coffee can be difficult to pass. But just because you do not have a coffee maker does not mean you need to sacrifice your cup of coffee!