How to make coffee without a coffee maker

We have been used to making coffee with coffee machines for so many years that the mere thought of making coffee without them sounds very strange. Who would want to make coffee without a coffee machine? But the truth is that there are many situations in which, for one reason or another, we need to get creative to enjoy our morning coffee without using a coffee machine. I bet you are in that situation right now.

Of course, we understand that we will not use instant coffee but ground coffee; otherwise, you would only need some hot water, and this article would be useless. That said, we understand that without a coffee machine, we won’t be able to make espresso, but an infused or filtered coffee, so now you have a clue how to make your coffee without a coffee machine!

What is coffee infusion?

Perhaps the word infusion together with coffee sounds strange; however, it sounds more familiar if we talk about herbal, root or grain infusions. Who hasn’t prepared a tea before? For example, by steeping herbs in hot water for a certain time, the water absorbs all the flavours and aromas of the herbs. The same concept applies to coffee, but with a few precautions.

When we immerse ground coffee in hot water, we must be careful about how finely ground the coffee is and how long it is dipped in the water. Like herbs, ground coffee will transmit all the flavours and aromas it has acquired during the roasting process. But if we grind the coffee too much or immerse it in water for too long, it will start to pass acidity in the form of oils into the water.

In case you didn’t know, two of the best-known methods of brewing coffee by infusion are the French press and boiling coffee. Check out these two articles if you want to know more details because now we will focus on the filtration method.

What is filtered coffee?

The coffee drink that results from filtered coffee is very similar to what we get with infused coffee, and some places will even consider filtered coffee as an infused coffee. However, filtered coffee allows us much more control over the coffee obtained with a French Press or boiled coffee, which I like to classify as a particular type of coffee.

The water will pass through the ground coffee during filtration, resting in a filter or a very fine metal mesh. The basis of this system is that we can control the amount of water we add each time so that it gravitates through the coffee and carries the aroma and flavour to a lower reservoir.

Thanks to this method, we will be able to “oxygenate” the coffee during the passage of the water so that it does not saturate so quickly and avoids acidity in the resulting drink. The best-known methods are pour-over cones, fabric filters and drip coffee machines.

How to brew coffee without a coffee machine (step by step)

Having explained the two coffee preparation options we have. As in previous articles, we have already described how to make infused coffee; we will start explaining how to make coffee without a coffee maker in the filtered style.

Before we begin, make sure you have the following:

  • Ground coffee. A medium grind is ideal but any will do to get you out of a jam.
  • A cup. Where you are going to drink your coffee.
  • A saucepan. Its size depends on how much coffee you want to brew.
  • A filter. It can be made out of paper, metal or cloth, and if you don’t have any of these you can use a clean tea towel.
  • A kitchen paper towel.
  • A teaspoon. We will use it for light stirring, if we need to.

This is the procedure to follow (for one person):

  1. Add water to the saucepan and bring it to a boil. Use your coffee cup to measure how much water you are going to boil.
  2. Place the filter on top of the cup.
  3. Place a small piece of kitchen paper on top of the filter if it has large holes.
  4. Add one and a half tablespoons of coffee to the filter.
  5. Slowly pour the hot water over the coffee.
  6. Stir the coffee a little if it has stuck to any walls of the filter.
  7. Remove the filter with the coffee.
  8. Enjoy your filtered coffee.

Keep in mind that the slower you pour the water over the coffee, the more body you will get, and depending on how thick the filter is, if it holds too much water, your drink will have more acidity. Therefore, you want the water to fall as a small trickle, almost dripping.

How to make coffee without a coffee maker step by step (in video)

How does coffee brew without a coffee maker taste?

Once you have learned how to make coffee without a coffee maker, you may wonder if this coffee will taste good or if you will like it. But the truth is that I can’t tell you that, as I don’t know your tastes, but I can describe the coffee that you will obtain both by boiling the ground coffee and by filtering it.

It is a full-bodied coffee, and its intensity will depend on the type of coffee and the spoonfuls you use per person, but also on the time it is in contact with the water. The longer it is in contact with water, the more intense it is and the more acidity.

Remember that you can never get an espresso coffee without a coffee maker because the hot water must pass through the ground coffee at a minimum pressure of 9 bars for a coffee to be considered espresso.