Seven Great Ways To Make Coffee Without A Coffee Maker

Tom Gaffey
by Tom Gaffey
Credit: Shutterstock / amenic181

Brewing a cup of coffee in the morning is how millions of people start their day. Coffee makers came into existence for this very reason, and have revolutionized and vastly simplified the art of making coffee. But coffee makers aren’t always an option. Whether your power is out, you are camping, or you simply don’t have the counter space for a coffee maker, there are times when you need to brew coffee without using a coffee maker.

To make coffee without a coffee maker, use a French press or a pour-over. You can also use niche methods including a Moka pot, or a cezve (for Turkish-style coffee). If you are in a pinch and need to use what you already have, you can make coffee in a large saucepan, or brew coffee in a mason jar using a cheesecloth as a makeshift filter.

If you don’t have access to a coffee maker but can’t live without a cup of coffee as soon as you wake up, then this article is for you. The good news is there are lots of different ways to make coffee without a coffee maker. Below is a list of our favorite methods, as well as the pros and cons of each.

Seven Ways To Make Great Coffee Without A Coffee Maker

1. French Press

One of the most popular ways to brew coffee in Europe and throughout the world is by using a French press. To brew coffee in a French press, you simply scoop the appropriate amount of ground coffee into a beaker, add hot water, stir, and wait a few minutes.

Next, you press the coffee down (hence the name) with the mechanism called the plunger. This helps release oils and aromas that you won’t always get from a brewed pot of coffee, making it the preferred method of many coffee connoisseurs.

Pros Of Using A French Press To Make Coffee

  • You can use this method anywhere where there is hot water
  • It makes a rich and flavorful cup of coffee
  • It comes in various sizes and designs to fit your needs

Cons Of Using A French Press To Make Coffee

  • Coffee grounds can make their way into the coffee
  • It doesn’t keep your coffee as hot
  • Many French press beakers are glass and breakable
  • Cleanup is a bit annoying

2. Moka Pot

If you have been to Italy, or been camping with a coffee snob, then you have likely encountered a moka pot. A moka pot is a multi-chambered device that you place on a stovetop. The stove heats the hot water in the lower section, and then the vapor of the boiling water passes through the compressed coffee grounds in the upper chamber.

The result is a strong and aromatic coffee that is a marriage of a brewed cup of coffee and espresso, due to the pressure the coffee is under in this process. This is a fantastic way to brew coffee when you are camping and using a camp stove.

Pros Of Using A Moka Pot To Make Coffee

  • Moka pots are fairly inexpensive and easy to find
  • They make a great and flavorful cup of coffee
  • One of the faster methods of brewing
  • Great for making coffee in the outdoors

Cons Of Using A Moka Pot To Make Coffee

  • Cleaning a moka pot can be messy and less than ideal
  • You can only brew a few cups of coffee at a time
  • It requires a reliable and flat stovetop

3. Pour Over

The pour-over coffee method has quickly become the preferred brewing method of most coffee snobs around the world. The reason for this is that you can take your time and slowly brew and extract all the delicate and nuanced flavors that often disappear when you brew coffee using other methods.

The key is to slowly pour the hot water over the ground coffee and to let it “bloom,” before then slowly pouring hot water on the rest of the grounds until the cup is filled. This is a great way to enjoy premium coffee from exotic destinations.

Pros Of Using A Pour Over To Make Coffee

  • Makes one of the most flavorful and perfect cups of coffee
  • It comes in various sizes and price points
  • You can make a single cup or large batch depending on your pour-over

Cons Of Using A Pour Over To Make Coffee

  • Some pour-overs are expensive
  • Making a perfect pour-over is time-consuming
  • A more labor-intensive method of brewing coffee

4. Cold Brew

Another coffee brewing method that has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years is the cold brew method. Cold brewing coffee is simple, but it takes time. You use very coarse coffee grounds and submerge them in a cold brewer for 24 to 48 hours. You essentially just pour and forget about it for two days, and then give it a good shake and enjoy. You don’t need hot water or electricity for this method.

Pros Of Making Cold Brew

  • The perfect method for those who love iced coffee
  • You don’t need hot water, or even electricity to make cold brew
  • Provides unique flavor and strong, highly caffeinated coffee

Cons Of Making Cold Brew

  • Not ideal for those who are sensitive to caffeine
  • It takes 24 to 48 hours to brew
  • It isn’t a good option for those who only drink hot coffee

5. Saucepan Method

If you find yourself with a broken coffee maker, or if you lose power but have a gas stove, there is still a way to brew coffee with kitchen tools you already have. You can use a large saucepan to brew coffee.

First heat water to a boil, and then take it off the heat. Next, add the appropriate amount of coffee grinds slowly, and stir. Allow the coffee to brew, and let the grinds settle. You should be able to slowly pour the liquid coffee out without getting grinds in your cup, or you can use a mesh coffee filter over your cup.

Pros Of Using The Saucepan Method To Make Coffee

  • You don’t need to buy any equipment
  • A perfect method for those who are in a pinch
  • Great for making a large batch of coffee

Cons Of Using The Saucepan Method To Make Coffee

  • Coffee will be “muddy” towards the end
  • Some coffee grounds can sneak by
  • Not usually the best-tasting or flavorful cup of coffee

6. Mason Jar And Cheesecloth

Another method of brewing coffee without a coffee maker using items you have in your home involves a mason jar and cheesecloth. You add coffee grounds to the cheesecloth and then close the cloth. You are essentially making a tea bag of sorts for your coffee. Then add this to the mason jar and pour in hot water. Close the jar, give it a light shake after a few minutes, and then enjoy your infused hot coffee.

Pros Of Using A Mason Jar To Make Coffee

  • A great way to make use of mason jars
  • It is a charming DIY coffee presentation
  • Easy cleanup

Cons Of Using A Mason Jar To Make Coffee

  • Can only make as much coffee as the mason jar allows
  • Requires cheesecloth
  • The coffee can sometimes be weaker than anticipated

7. Make Turkish Coffee With A Cezve

If you want to try a truly exotic cup of coffee without using a coffee maker, consider purchasing a cezve. A cezve is a long-handled and often ornately decorated small pot that can be heated over an open flame or simply on a stovetop.

What makes this method of coffee unique is that you pour the fine grinds into this small pot, let it brew, and then consume the liquid. It is great for those looking to jump-start their metabolism, and there are also notable antioxidant benefits to this method.

Pros Of Using A Cezve To Make Coffee

  • Makes a small and strong cup of coffee
  • Boosts your metabolism
  • High in antioxidants

Cons Of Using A Cezve To Make Coffee

  • Many people are turned off by the thick mouthfeel
  • It is too strong for some people
  • Not a good option for iced coffee drinkers

Final Thoughts On Brewing Coffee Without A Coffee Maker

Coffee makers might be a wildly popular machine that many rely on to brew coffee, but it certainly is not the only way, or even the best way, to brew a cup of coffee. You can use a French press, moka pot, or a pour-over to make delicious and nuanced coffee without a coffee maker. If you are in a pinch, you can also use a saucepan or even a mason jar to make a cup of java. If you want to try something exotic, you can even invest in a cezve to make a Turkish-style cup of coffee.

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Tom Gaffey
Tom Gaffey

Tom Gaffey is an expert writer who currently resides in Washington D.C. Tom has a passion for real estate and home improvement writing, as well as travel and lifestyle writing. He lived the last twelve years in Hawaii where he worked closely with luxury resorts and event planners, mastering his knowledge of aesthetics and luxury products. This is where he found his passion for home improvement and a keen interest in DIY projects. Currently, Tom resides in Washington D.C, and also working on his debut fiction novel.

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