How to Make Coffee Without a Coffee Maker

If you’re a coffee lover like so many others, you probably can’t imagine a morning or a day that might pass without your access to coffee. Imagine waking up one morning and your coffee maker isn’t working! Or maybe you’re traveling and you don’t have one available to you unexpectedly.

What can you do!? You NEED some coffee and quick! What can you do to get yourself coffee without a coffee maker at your disposal? The good news is, you have options. No coffee make machine, no french press, no problem!

We’ve got you covered with all of the details you need to make the coffee when you have no maker on hand.

How to Make Coffee Without a Coffee Maker

Surely you’ve heard of the cowboy method of making coffee without a maker on hand. Cowboy coffee is a pretty common method when you need a solution. The nice thing is you can make a single cup in a matter of about 5 minutes or less.

If you need coffee, try out this cowboy coffee method. It’s a great option for camping or making a small amount as fresh as possible.

Filling a small pan with water

If you want to make a cup of coffee just grab some coffee grounds and hot water and we will walk you through a simple coffee how to make a process that will taste like you used your french press this morning – if you do it right!

The Basic Method

Here are the steps to brewing your own cup of coffee without the use of a coffee maker or coffee machine.

  1. Fill a small pan with water. You will need hot water for you to replace the missing coffee maker‘s process. In this case, you will want to use more water than what you might normally use to make coffee. You’ll get to know just how much water you need to pour into the pan but start with more than usual.
  2. You can start with cold water. You will bring the water to a boil to start. When you have hot water that is boiling water, you will then pour in your ground coffee. There is no need for a coffee filter, just pour the coffee right in. A general rule of thumb is to pour in about two tablespoons of coffee grounds for every six ounces of water you used.
  3. As soon as you pour in the appropriate amount of coffee grounds, turn the heat off and cover the pan. The grounds will need to settle at the bottom of the pan. This process usually takes somewhere between four minutes and 5 minutes. You can probably find your sweet spot for the coffee grounds at about 4 minutes and 30 seconds. Watch your time closely.
  4. No coffee filter is needed when you brew the coffee grounds this way. It’s a similar process to boiling and steeping a tea bag but you brew coffee and there is no teabag involved. You just need the ground coffee grounds and water to replace your coffee machine.
  5. When the grounds have all settled, you will not want to pour from the pan. Simple use a spoon or ladle to pour the coffee into your mug and enjoy without a coffee maker.

This coffee brewing method is incredibly simple and many professional coffee makers actually prefer to make coffee without a coffee maker or a french press because of the rich, robust flavor of coffee you get in just minutes through this method.

We have a couple more coffee maker replacement options for you as well.

Cowboy Coffee

Next, you can enjoy a brew method that is known as cowboy coffee. In this method, you simply need some coffee beans or even coffee grounds, your campfire, and hot water in a pot.

Many people turn up their nose to the thought of cowboy coffee mostly because they haven’t tasted the coffee results. You don’t need a coffee maker or a french press to be able to make good coffee. It’s amazing what you can do with some freshly ground coffee grounds and some water. in regards to coffee.

Again, this process only takes a few minutes after you have a campfire going. It’s almost as quick as instant coffee.

If you do it right, it can be a delightful method that will be just as good as that coffee french press you left at home.

Related: Best Coffee Grinder for a French Press

In this process, you don’t need a coffee filter. You can use coffee beans rather than ground coffee grounds for this method if you want. This avoids the coffee grounds you’ll get in your mouth when you partake. But you can use finely ground coffee as grounds in your coffee and you shouldn’t have an issue.

  1. You first need hot water for your coffee so pour some water into your pot and then bring the water to a boil. How much water you use depends on the amount of coffee you need.
  2. When the water starts boiling, remove the pot from the fire and let it rest for just about 30 seconds to 1 minute. This will reduce the water temperature just enough to brew the perfect coffee.
  3. While you’re letting the water set, you can measure your ground coffee out. You need about 2 tablespoons for every 8 ounces of water you heated. Since you’re camping, you may have to use your best guess for the amount of finely ground coffee grounds as well as water.
  4. After you pour the coffee grounds into the water, stir it well.
  5. Let the coffee rest for about 2 minutes. Then stir the coffee again.
  6. Now, let the coffee rest for 2 more minutes. This time is when the coffee brews.
  7. When you have let the coffee brew for a total of about 4 minutes, sprinkle just a touch of cold water over the coffee grounds. This helps them settle to the bottom of the coffee pot.
  8. If you pour the coffee slowly out of the pan, you don’t need to worry about any pesky grounds in your cup.

The sooner you pour your coffee after completing the brewing process, the better the flavor will be overall. If the coffee sits in the pot with the grounds for too long, it can develop a bitter flavor. You can pour it in a thermos to preserve any not used right away.

The Bag Brewed Technique

If you’re looking for some other methods to use, this might be a good one. This method is often referred to as the bag method. You can actually purchase pre-made coffee bag options that are much like using a tea bag instead.

We’re going to talk you through how to make a coffee bag on your own.

If you purchase coffee bags, that’s totally ok! Otherwise, follow these simple steps to make your own coffee bag using grounds. These typically make a single cup of coffee.

  1. Use a coffee filter or a piece of cheesecloth to create a packet to hold your grounds.
  2. You can cut your coffee filter paper or cheesecloth to size like a square bag if you prefer but you don’t have to. Add the amount of coffee you need for one cup.
  3. Fold the filter over, making it into a packet and closing it in so you don’t make a mess.
  4. Here, you can put a few stitches in it with string if you want or you can simply staple it the bag closed as well.
  5. This completes your bag. Now, you just need some hot water to brew your coffee in. Use a kettle or whatever you have available to accomplish this. You won’t need a strainer or any other device.
  6. Once your coffee has brewed (or steeped), you can drink it to your heart’s desire.

This method is SO easy! You can make several ahead of time and the nice thing about the bag method is that you don’t have to worry about measuring over a boiling pot or following a recipe. You can pack up a bunch of these and save them for when you need them.

You can take your coffee bags on the go. All you need is a mug and some hot water when you’re ready to enjoy the coffee.

Cold Brew Coffee

Here’s another interesting process. If you like cold brew coffee then you actually have absolutely no need for a maker. To enjoy the perfect cold brew coffee you steep it in cold water instead of hot. This gives you a lot of versatility for how to brew it and when and you don’t need any machinery to get it ready to enjoy!

Cold brewed coffee has become of the most popular coffee options out there. You really can’t go wrong with it. Many people don’t realize that this process actually takes longer but if you do it right with a cold steeping method, there is no suitable replacement!

You can purchase a cold brew coffee maker to help you out with this process but it certainly isn’t required. You can also achieve it in a french press if you prefer.

We recommend a mason jar. It’s a simple process using a mason jar and you will find that the results are delicious!

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Grab your coffee beans or grounds as well as a mason jar, strainer, filter, bowl, water, and a wooden spoon.
  2. Start by pouring ground coffee into the mason jar. Measure your grounds accordingly to the size of the jar or how much you are brewing.
  3. Then add filtered water to the jar until it is full. The rule of thumb is that you will want about 2 tablespoons of coffee for every 6-8 ounces of water in the jar. It’s acceptable to have extra water in the jar as well. You will see why.
  4. Stir the mixture together well.
  5. Leave the mason jar to steep overnight. Yes, you read that right. This process will take some planning to really get it right. It needs to steep for 6-12 hours really.
  6. When you’re ready, grab your strainer and line it with a filter. Place the strainer of the bowl and pour the entire mixture into the strainer. Allow the liquid to strain through and then discard the filter and the grounds.
  7. From here, you can dilute the coffee as needed to get it to your taste. No further steeping is required. This will not reduce the flavor overall, it just waters it down to meet your flavor needs. From here, you can add creamer or other ingredients to your liking as well.

Again, cold brew is a very simple way to achieve coffee, particularly if you like it chilled! If you don’t want to worry about measurements and all that, you can actually purchase various packs that are designed specifically for cold brew coffee and work rather nicely to achieve the coffee you’re craving.

Wrapping Up

coffee art

No matter what your preferences are, there is a solution out there to meet your needs. Whether you like strong coffee, simple processes, or you just don’t have a working machine, any of these options should produce positive results for you.

You never have to be without your coffee, even if you’re roughing it in the woods. You also don’t have to settle for bitter or flavorless coffee that just doesn’t really do it for you. If you follow the processes we’ve laid out for you here, you should have no issues producing your very own coffee.

We hope you find this guide a helpful resource to give you plenty of options to fulfill your needs. We tried to keep our recommendations as simple as possible for the best results imaginable. Here’s to enjoying the perfect coffee, no matter your situation!