How to Make Coffee Without a Coffee Maker: Best Hacks

Wondering how to make coffee without a coffee maker? Perfect because I’m going to show you 9 easy ways accomplish that goal.

Let’s jump right in.


If you can’t imagine a day without coffee, something as simple as a power outage can be downright worrisome. Yet, you do not have to have a coffee maker to brew a cup of joe. If you want to try new ways to brew coffee, make sure you read this article till the end.

1. Cowboy Method

Coffee was often used by those in the Wild West, and you’ve likely seen the “cowboy method” in movies. But, how does this really work?


This brewing method is ideal for those who are camping or enjoying a fireside conversation. And, it can produce a nice, hot, and strong cup of coffee for you.

You can make coffee like this with any type of heat source, a pot of any type, water, and ground coffee. Then, follow these steps to help you make coffee.

  • Fill a pan with about one and a half times the coffee you plan to drink. Some of that water will burn off as it cooks.
  • Heat cold water over medium heat.
  • Wait for water to boil, add the coffee. A good place to start is with two tablespoons of grounds to every six ounces of water.
  • Remove the pan from the heat, and put a lid on it. It’s important to wait about 5 minutes to let the coffee grounds steep into the water.
  • Take the lid off. You will notice the grounds are on the bottom of the pan.
  • Gently pour the coffee into a cup. You can use a ladle or a filter.

This simple method works just fine for a basic cup of coffee. Refine how much coffee you use to get the strength you desire.

2. Use a Strainer

Just because you do not have a coffee maker doesn’t mean you have to settle for a lot of grounds in your coffee. If you have a strainer, follow these steps to brew a cup – or a pot – of coffee.

  • Heat the water. You can use any available options: a kettle, an open fire or a microwave.
  • Carefully pour water over grounds. Do this slowly to stir them up, allowing the grounds to infuse with the water.
  • Steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Stir it to mix. Then, allow to sit for at least 2 to 4 minutes.
  • Place the strainer over your mug. Pour the coffee into the strainer. Do so slowly to avoid splashes. The strainer should catch all of the coffee grounds, making it ready to drink.

3. Using a Coffee Bag

This is one of the more inventive ways to make coffee. This is one of the methods used in Europe in the 17th and 18th century.

You will need a coffee filter as well as some string. You will be creating a coffee bag, much like a tea bag, to use to make your coffee without a coffee maker.

  • Start with your coffee filter. Create a pouch in your hand: fold up the sides to allow a spoonful or two of coffee grounds to rest in the middle.
  • Hold the coffee filter flat in one hand, add the grounds to the center of it, and then pull up the edges of the filter to create a makeshift pouch. You will then need to tie the string around the edges of the coffee filter, holding the coffee within it.
  • Boil water. It is important to get the water to a rolling boil before moving forward.
  • Place the coffee bag into the cup, slowly pour the water in.
  • Allow the water to seep into the coffee bag. Wait for at least 5 minutes. The longer you wait, the stronger the coffee will be. Move the coffee bag around using the string to help this process.
  • Discard the coffee bag. You can only use it one time to get the best results.

With this method, you will find it takes a bit of practice to get the grounds just right.

4. Use a French Press

Technically, a Fresh press is not a coffee maker. Many people prefer this method over any other method of brewing coffee.

This method can be intimidating for coffee makers who have never used it before. Here is how you can use it.

  • First, you need to purchase a French press. You can find them available anywhere coffee makers are sold. And, you can find them at antique stores, too.

  • Boil water. Your goal is to boil water in an easy to pour method.

  • As the water boils over a medium heat, add coffee grounds to the French press. In this case, aim for using about two tablespoons for every eight ounces of water you add to the press.
Bodum Chambord French Press Coffee Maker, 1 Liter, 34 Ounce (Link)
  • Pour the boiling water over the grounds.

  • Stir the grounds and the coffee together initially to ensure all are coated in the water. You may notice an instant blooming of the coffee – a foam-like material developing at the top. This is normal and desired.

  • Attach the top or the press component. Fit the piece over the coffee grounds – keep it a few inches above the actual coffee. Allow the coffee to steep like this for a few minutes.

  • Plunge the filter downward. The plunger allows for the grounds to be pushed to the bottom of the base.

  • Once pressed, you can then pour the coffee into a cup to enjoy.

5. Using Linen or Cloth

This method is very basic. You will need some type of binder, such as clothespins, paper clips, or string, and a piece of clean cloth to use it as a filter.

  • Boil water.
  • Secure the linen or cloth over the edges of the coffee mug. It needs to be big enough to provide plenty of coverage here. Try to fold down the sides against the outside edges of the cup.
  • Use the clips or clothespins to then secure the cloth to the cup. Be sure they are tightly in place.
  • Place enough coffee grounds on the cloth for a cup of coffee.
  • Next, pour the boiling water over the grounds. At first, pour just a small amount to wet all of the grounds. This helps to keep them from flowing over the edge. After waiting about 30 seconds, you can then pour the remaining water into the cup over the grounds.
  • Allow the cup and coffee grounds to steep for at least 5 minutes. You can also remove the clips or clothespins and allow the grounds to dip further into the cup if you want a richer flavor.
  • Remove the cloth and drink your coffee.

6. Instant Coffee

Those who need to get coffee into their bodies in the morning (or even in the middle of the night) and without a coffee maker, instant coffee is an option.

Instant coffee is a different type of ground coffee. It has a very dry texture when compared to other types of coffee grounds. And, it is able to dissolve fully into whatever it is put into.

  • First, boil water.
  • Place the desired amount of coffee grounds into the cup of your choice. Usually 1-2 tablespoons for every six ounces of water.
  • Place the grounds into the cup and then pour the hot water over the top. Allow it to steep for a few minutes, so the flavor is more robust.

7. A French Press Without the Press

Aside from the grounds and the hot water, you also need a bowl – one that is deep and has tall sides works the best. You also need a tablespoon or something with a flat bottom to use.

  • Boil enough water to fill a cup.
  • Place your coffee grounds into the bowl you have.
  • Pour only a small amount into the bowl over the grounds to allow the grounds saturate with the water. Finish filling the bowl with the rest amount of water.
  • Allow the coffee to steep.
  • Begin your makeshift press. To do this, use the tablespoon or other flat-bottomed tool to press down the coffee grounds into the bottom of the bowl.
  • Once done, pour your coffee slowly and evenly into your cup of choice.

This method works in the very same manner as a French press does and it does not require the use of the press itself.

#8: Microwave It

Here is what you need to do to brew coffee in this manner.

  • Fill a microwave safe coffee mug with water. Microwave for at least two minutes.
  • Next, add in the coffee grounds, stir them around.
  • Allow the mug to sit for a few minutes.

You can drink the coffee just like this – with the grounds at the very bottom. You can also strain them into another cup if you like.

#9: Use a Percolator

Though many homes do not have them any longer, a percolator (sometimes called a Moka pot) is a fantastic stove top method for brewing coffee.

It allows you to make a drip coffee that can be very strong. Here’s how to manage this process.

  • Fill the bottom chamber with water.

  • Add ground coffee to the top chamber. Follow the same measurements of two tablespoons for every eight ounces of water. Finish assembling the device.

  • Set it on the stove to cook over a low heat.
  • Allow the device to go to work for you. It will percolate in about ten minutes. The pot will begin to pop when it is ready.

This is a fantastic and old school method for brewing coffee, but it creates a fantastic cup for those who like a stronger product.

In each of these methods, you can tailor your use to meet your needs. Get creative with various types of tools to help you make the ideal  coffee without a coffeemaker.

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