5 Simple Ways to Make Coffee Without a Coffee Maker

Best Ways To Make Coffee Without A Coffee Maker


One of the worst nightmares for coffee lovers and this is more so for the true aficionados that find it impossible to go a day without coffee, is to wake up to a coffee maker that does not work.

Coffee makers have become such an important part of most people's lives and most cannot imagine living without one. But, whether yours is broken down or you do not have one, you can still get your daily caffeine dose as here we show you the best ways to make coffee without a coffee maker.

While most of these other coffee-making methods will not be as efficient or as fast as a coffee maker, they will still make some good enough coffee. Better yet, they are also much cheaper coffee making methods when compared to buying a coffee maker.

Table of Contents

Best Ways to Make Coffee Without a Coffee Maker

Provided you have the means to heat water and grind coffee beans or have pre-ground coffee, you can make coffee. And here is how to make coffee without a coffee maker.

1. Cowboy


Contrary to what the name suggests, you will not need cowboy boots or hat to make this coffee, and it provides a good way to bring back the classic and old-fashioned ways of making coffee.

The cowboy coffee making method will not take much of your time and anyone even those that do not even have beginner-level barista skills should still be able to make this classic coffee. And all you need is some good coffee beans and near-boiling water.

Although cowboy coffee is often the kind of coffee that you would prepare over a campfire, you can still make and enjoy it at home when you do not have a coffee maker.

What You Will Need

  • 2 tablespoon of coffee grounds (preferably medium-fine consistency)
  • Stove or any other heat source
  • Pot or small saucepan
  • Your favorite coffee mug/cup

Average Brewing Time: 5 Minutes

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Fill Pot with Water

Fill the pot with a little more water than you regularly use to brew coffee. Add about 3/4 cup for every 2 cups of water you would normally use as some water is left in the pot with the grounds.

Step 2: Heat Water and Add Coffee

Place the pot on a heat source, and once the water starts to boil add your coffee. Use around 3 tablespoons of coffee per 6 ounces of water. However, fill free to adjust the ratio according to how strong you want the coffee.

Step 3: Remove Pot/Pan from Heat Source and Cover

Immediately after adding your coffee grounds to the boiling water, remove the pot from the heat source and cover it. Wait for the coffee to brew for at least 5 minutes before uncovering it. And once all the grounds are settled at the bottom, your coffee is ready to serve.

Step 4: Serve and Enjoy

For a true cowboy coffee experience, you do not need any fancy kettle to serve the coffee, and so you can pour it into your cup directly from the pot, but you can also use a ladle to keep out more grounds from your cup.

2. Makeshift Coffee Filter

Makeshift Coffee Filter


Pour over coffee making is the in thing nowadays and this is for a good reason because more coffee lovers are preferring it over other methods as it allows them to control various variables in the coffee-making process.

When you are in the mood for some delicious pour over coffee and your Chemex or Hario pour over coffee maker is nowhere to be seen, you can still make and enjoy this coffee with a little inventiveness.

The best news is that you can easily make a makeshift coffee filter for your pour over coffee with materials you already have at home.

What You Will Need

  • 2 tablespoons of fresh coffee grounds (preferably medium grind)
  • Almost boiling water
  • Standard paper filter (or a non-textured dish towel if you do not have one)
  • Glass jar or large coffee mug

Average Brewing Time: 5 Minutes

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Filter

Start by preparing your filter paper by rinsing it to get rid of the papery taste. If you are using a dish towel, clean it and fold it into a square than can fit your mug or cup's mouth and make sure you leave around 2 inches hanging on the sides.

Step 2: Clamp Filter

Now clamp your makeshift filter or paper filter on your mug or jar using clips if you have them and if not, some clothes pegs can also work. But check the tightness to ensure it will stay in place.

Step 3: Add Grounds

Once the filter is securely in place, you can then add your coffee grounds and give them a little shake to ensure they are evenly spread.

Step 4: Heat Water

Boil at least two cups of water and once it gets to the boiling point, you can remove it from the heat source and then give it a few seconds to cool down so that it can attain the required almost boiling temperature.

Step 5: Bloom the Grounds

You can now pour a bit of the water on the grounds or just enough to wet them and leave them to bloom for at least 30 seconds.

Step 6: Pour the Rest of the Water

The last step is to slowly pour the rest of the water through the grounds in several pours. And your coffee should drip through and collect in the jar or mug.

3. Coffee Bag

Coffee Bag

Coffee bags are similar to tea bags, and they should be at the top of your mind when trying to figure out how to make coffee without a machine as they make things quite fast and easy for you.

Better yet, there is nothing much you will need besides the coffee bags. And this is probably the simplest methods of the 5 on our list

What You Will Need

  • 1 or 2 Coffee bag
  • 1 cup of Hot water
  • Coffee mug or cup

Average Brewing Time: 3 to 5 Minutes

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Heat Water

Depending on how much coffee you want to make, measure and heat water in a pot or saucepan. But, if you already have some water ready, you can skip this step.

Step 2: Place Coffee Bag in Cup

Place your coffee bag in your cup or mug. How many you use will depend on how strong you want the coffee. But, also note that some brands are often stronger than others, and so you need to be sure of what you are using.

Step 3: Pour Water

Now pour the hot water over the coffee bag and do it slowly but steadily until it is saturated and then leave it for a while which gives it time to steep. Steeping for at least 3 minutes should be good enough.

Step 4: Remove Coffee Bag

When you are satisfied that the coffee bag has steeped enough, you can remove it from the cup and discard before adding a sweetener or lightener to your coffee.

4. Improvised French Press

Improvised French Press


Just like with the pour over, it is also possible to make coffee with an improvised French press. Hence, if you like French press coffee, you do not need to have an expensive beaker, mesh filter and plunger set up to enjoy it.

The improvised French press is quite similar to the cowboy coffee methods but with some extra finesse. But, it will also make use of things that you will typically find in most kitchens. And the best news is that you will still get some full-bodied and bold enough coffee.

What You Will Need

  • 2 tablespoons of freshly ground coffee (medium or coarse grind)
  • 1 cup of hot water that is almost boiling
  • 2 mugs or jars
  • Fine metal strainer

Average Brewing Time: 5 to 7 Minutes

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Add Ground Coffee

The first step is to add the coarsely ground coffee into one mug or jar. For every cup of water that you intend to use, you will need at least 2 tablespoons of the coffee grounds.

Step 2: Pour Hot Water

Once the grounds are in the jar, the next step is to add the hot water. However, you should only pour just enough to cover your coffee grounds as you only need to get them wet. And when they are wet enough, wait for 30 seconds as they bloom.

Step 3: Add the Rest of the Water

After the 30-second bloom, you can now pour in the rest of the hot water. Now allow the coffee to brew for at least 5 minutes, but you can leave it longer if you want a stronger cup.

Step 4: Transfer Coffee to another Cup

Your coffee should have brewed enough in 5 minutes, and once this is done, you should transfer it carefully to another mug. Make sure you do it slowly and carefully to ensure you do not also transfer the grounds.

5. Microwave


Photo: Getty Images

A microwave always seems to provide a solution for everything that needs heating and making coffee is no exception. Microwaves can be a lifesaver when you do not have a lot of time and just want to make a quick cup of coffee.

If you have a microwave and the few other necessary things the process is quite straightforward. Although the coffee will not be the best tasting, if you want to know how to make coffee at home without a coffee machine then you cannot overlook the microwave.

What You Will Need

  • Microwave
  • Microwave-safe coffee mug
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons of freshly ground coffee
  • 1 cup of Water

Average Brewing Time: Under 5 Minutes

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Fill Mug with Water

The first step is to fill the mug with water and make sure it is microwave-safe to ensure it does not break or damage your microwave.

Step 2: Microwave the Water

Now place the mug in the microwave for about 2 minutes and allow the water to get very hot but make sure it does not boil

Step 3: Add Coffee Grounds

Once the water attains the desired temperature, it is time to pour in your coffee grounds. Use 1 or 2 tablespoons of coffee depending on how strong you like your brew. The coffee grounds should make a sizzling sound when you add them which is an indication that the water is hot enough

Step 4: Allow Coffee Brew

Leave the mug to sit for around four minutes as the coffee brews. Besides brewing, this also allows the grounds to settle in the bottom of your mug. And after the four minutes, you can now enjoy your coffee.


Coffee makers are one of the most important appliances in the house for most of us, and it is hard to imagine life without them. But, it is still possible to enjoy some good coffee without one.

With an improvised French press, makeshift pour over set up or the old-school cowboy method, you can have a steaming hot cup ready in minutes without using any fancy machines.

And now that you know some of the best ways to make coffee without a coffee maker, you should go ahead and try them out even if it is just for fun.


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