top of page

Methods of Brewing Coffee Without a Coffee Maker

Just close your eyes and take a few seconds to imagine what it would be like to wake up to a broken coffee machine. Isn't it terrible?

But the question is, are you ready if that day comes? Do you have a game plan that you can kick into early gear to get you out of a caffeine-starved zombie state?

If you are looking for possible contingency plans that will allow you to brew coffee without a coffee machine, you are on the right page.

Pot Method (Cowboy Coffee)

Cowboy coffee made on the stove is one of the easiest ways to make coffee without a machine. As long as you have access to a regular pan or cooking pot, you can make strong and great-tasting coffee just about anywhere, even on a campfire.

You need:

Medium to fine ground coffee (we recommend two tablespoons of coffee per 6ml of water)

A saucepan (smaller pans work best)

stovetop or campfire


coffee mug

How to Brew:

Take a small clean saucepan and put it on your stove and add water. If you are brewing in your regular coffee machine, we recommend adding a little more water than you usually use. For example, if you usually use two glasses of water, add another glass so that there are three glasses of water in the pan. The reason you're doing this will come up when you try to ladle your coffee out of the pan - it just makes it easier and you have less of a chance for the coffee grounds to get into your mug.

Once you are satisfied with the amount of water in your pan, turn on the heat and let it come to a boil. When you're ready, add your medium coffee to the finely ground coffee and stir gently—remembering roughly two tablespoons for every 6ml of water.

When the coffee is completely saturated and thoroughly mixed, remove the pan from the heat and immediately cover it with a lid. Wait about five minutes and then remove the cover. Do not stir or move your pan unnecessarily, as this will spoil the settled coffee grounds. You should see all the coffee grounds sink to the bottom of the pot and by now you must have smelled great coffee aromas!

Now is the time to serve. There are two ways to do this - you can try tilting the pan skillfully and pour the top coffee into your cup, or you can use a ladle to fill your mug.

DIY Coffee Bag

If your coffee maker is broken, you probably have some paper coffee filters lying around. You can turn these filters into a coffee bag. Just like a tea bag, with a few simple tricks and a little patience, you can brew coffee the same way and you'll have a great coffee taste in no time.

You need:

16 grams medium to coarse ground coffee

Kettle or other means for boiling water

Hot water (30 seconds without boiling)

regular paper coffee filter

String (use a piece from a traditional tea bag)

How to Brew:

Take a regular large coffee filter and lay it on a flat surface. Carefully add the usual amount of coffee for one cup to the center of the filter. (Typically, about two tablespoons of ground coffee per 250 ml of water)

Then pull the paper filter up and twist it and tie it with the length of the string. Make sure you don't over-squeeze the coffee as you do this because you need to let the ground coffee move freely for better immersion (just like a regular tea bag). Don't forget to leave some string so you can pull the bag easily when you're done.

If you haven't already, turn on your kettle and boil some water. While you wait, place your coffee bag inside your mug.

Making sure that your coffee bag is completely submerged, pour your hot water into your mug and gently squeeze the bag with a teaspoon for better removal of the grounds.

Leave your coffee bag in your mug for 2 to 3 minutes, or let it brew for 5 minutes if you prefer a stronger cup of coffee.

When you have finished your preferred brewing time, carefully pull the string and remove your coffee bag.

Improvised Pouring (Hanky ​​Method)

So, you have a broken coffee maker and no Hario v60, Chemex or similar pouring device - what will you do! …You can make a temporary coffee filter using items you already have around your home.

You need:

25 grams freshly ground medium to coarse coffee

Kettle or other means for boiling water

A clean dish towel, tissue or just a regular paper coffee filter

big coffee mug

How to Brew:

If you're following, fold your tissue into squares, ideally two layers thick.

Make sure it's big enough so you can place it on top of your coffee cup and leave enough room to push it down to create a small bowl. Be sure to leave a small amount of tissue hanging around the rim of your glass so that you can firmly attach the tissue to the rim of your mug.

Attach the tissue to the rim of your coffee mug using a peg or an elastic band. Gently press the center of the wipe to make sure the cloth stays in place.

If you haven't already, grind your coffee to medium to coarse. do this

For the improvisation method, we recommend using 25 grams of ground coffee and 375 grams of water. As always, we recommend using a quality burr coffee grinder for more consistent grinding results.

Add your ground coffee to the center of your cloth filter and gently shake your mug to flatten the coffee bed.

Bring your water to a boil and let it sit for 30 seconds after boiling so it settles somewhere in the optimum temperature range.

Then slowly pour a small amount of water over your coffee grounds, just enough to moisten the grounds; In the industry this is called efflorescence and allows excess CO2 to escape from the freshly ground coffee beans.

Wait about 30 seconds and then continue pouring the remaining water slowly over the coffee grounds using a slow circular pattern. Because we're using a "MacGyver brewing technique," you may find that you'll have to lightly wet the floor using a wooden spoon or teaspoon, making sure it's all submerged and aiding the trickle flow rate.

It shouldn't take more than two minutes for your coffee to drain through the tissue. Once done, carefully remove the clips from your filter and enjoy.

Temporary Franch Press

If you like the bold, vibrant, oily flavors that a traditional French press provides, you'll love this method.

You need:

Hot water (30 seconds without boiling)

30 grams medium to coarse ground coffee

two coffee mugs

How to Brew:

Like a regular French press, you will need to coarsely grind all your coffee beans (aiming for a consistency similar to sea salt). For this method, we recommend grinding roughly two tablespoons of coffee per 250ml/1 glass of water.

Next, pour your ground coffee into one of your mugs and shake it gently.

If you haven't already, boil your water and let it sit for 30 seconds before it boils. Pour a small amount of water into the cup holding the ground coffee, just enough to moisten the coffee. Wait 30 seconds and you should see the coffee grounds begin to bubble and “bloom”. This process allows any CO2 to escape.

After you finish waiting, slowly pour the remaining hot water over your coffee grounds and fill your glass.

Let the coffee brew for about 4 minutes, but if you prefer a stronger coffee, you can let it brew longer.

This is where you need to establish your brew and a touch of delicacy. You need to pour your coffee slowly from one mug to the next, without letting any of the coffee grounds run out. Sounds impossible, right? It's not as hard as you think. Almost all heavy coffee grounds have settled to the bottom, so pouring pure coffee into your other mug is relatively easy.


bottom of page