February 14, 2024 9 min read

The enjoyment of coffee dates back over five hundred years, with a lengthy period in which many methods of brewing it without a coffee maker were invented.

Today, while we have our automatic coffee machines, French presses, and quick-brewing coffee pods, it can be fun and convenient to learn how to make coffee without a coffee maker to brew a strong, flavorful cup authentic to those centuries-old traditions.

If you're thinking of trying new ways to make coffee or just in a pinch without a coffee maker and need to brew a quick cup, here's our advice on how to make coffee without a coffee maker:


Tips on The Best Coffee Grounds for Manual Brewing

Before venturing into how to make coffee without a coffee maker, it's important to know what preparations to have in place in order to provide you with the best experience and, more importantly, the best cup of coffee possible.

Below are three crucial suggestions to follow that can help ensure an excellent cup from nearly any type of coffee-brewing method you use.


Use the Freshest Grounds Possible

To achieve the best results, make sure to use freshly ground coffee or at least the freshest you have on hand. Look for the date on which the coffee was first picked, roasted, or ground before being brought to market.

While you can select the ground coffee you prefer, it is advisable to use the freshest grounds possible, as manual methods of brewing coffee are more delicate and are more likely to extract a better quality coffee using grounds that have maintained a crisper aroma and consistent moisture content.


Manually Grind Your Coffee Beans

In addition to using fresh grounds, we recommend manually grinding your beans, ideally with a burr grinder, as it grinds beans using sharp burrs, producing a more consistent grind of your choosing. If you are without a grinder, you can simply use a mortar and pestle, a rolling pin, or even a hand mincer.

The important thing is that, in the end, you produce freshly ground coffee to use in one of the several manual coffee-making methods we share below.

In addition, you'll enjoy an even more authentic experience grinding your own beans, enjoying the same methods of preparing coffee as many enjoy around the world and for hundreds of years prior.


Control Your Water Temperature

Another vital element is the water used to brew coffee grounds, particularly its temperature. Controlling for water temperature can be as simple as leaving your pot or kettle of boiled water to sit and cool down for around 30 seconds. However, we recommend attempting to be exact by using a simple food thermometer.

Depending on your method, the ideal temperature for extracting coffee grounds is between 195 degrees Fahrenheit (90 degrees Celsius) and 205 degrees Fahrenheit (96 degrees Celsius).

Also, be sure to account for the ideal water temperatures of different blends and grinds, as those also factor into the quality of your coffee's flavor.

The recommendations above are simply guidelines for the best results as you learn how to make coffee without a coffee maker. The important thing is to experiment and learn as you try to make coffee to your preference.


Different Styles of Making Coffee Without a Coffee Maker

Throughout the long and esteemed history of coffee-making, many individuals have invented numerous ways to make coffee without the advanced elements of a typical drip coffee maker that you would find today.

In short, a lot of people have needed their morning cup of joe and found many ways to get it. Here are some of the best we've found that we recommend you to try:


Boiling Ground Coffee

Known as the "cowboy coffee" or Turkish coffee, depending on where you are from, and how fine you grind the coffee,, brewing coffee in a saucepan is one of the most basic and oldest coffee-making methods. It's a great way to get a delicious cup of joe, especially when you have little to no way to make it. Here's how to do it:

  • Take Measurements: First, take your freshly ground coffee, preferably a coarse grind similar to sea salt, and fresh, cold water. Start by measuring the amount of water you want for your coffee. Typically, you'll want about 8 ounces (240 mL) of water for every 2 tablespoons (roughly 10-15 grams) of coffee you want to add in, but you can adjust this to your taste preference.
  • Heat the Water: Pour the water into your saucepan and place it on the stovetop. Turn on the heat to medium-high and bring the water to a boil.
  • Add Coffee: Once the water has reached a rolling boil, remove the saucepan from the heat and wait for about 30 seconds. Then, add your coarse coffee grounds to the hot water.
  • Stir: Stir the coffee grounds into the water using a spoon to ensure they're fully saturated.
  • Steep: Let the coffee grounds steep in the hot water for about 4-5 minutes. The steeping time can be adjusted based on your preference for coffee. Longer steeping will result in a stronger brew, while shorter times will yield a milder cup.
  • Stir Again: Give the mixture another gentle stir after the steeping time has elapsed. This will cause most of the coffee grounds to sink to the bottom.
  • Separate the Grounds: Using a fine-mesh strainer or a ladle, carefully pour the brewed coffee into your mug, leaving the coffee grounds in the saucepan. If you don’t have a strainer, you can pour carefully to ensure minimal grounds make their way into your cup.
  • Enjoy: Your saucepan-brewed coffee is now ready to be enjoyed! Add any desired additives like milk, sugar, or flavored syrups to taste.

This method, though simple, can produce a rich and flavorful cowboy coffee. Perfect for those mornings when you're in a pinch or when you want to enjoy the art of basic coffee-making.

Try this method with our Cowboy Blend, a mixture of dark and medium roasted beans that produce a strong, delicious brew that you can enjoy with or without a coffee maker.


Filtering Coffee Into a Mug or Cup

Another versatile method of brewing coffee without a coffee maker and coffee filter is to make your own makeshift filter, particularly a cheesecloth, which can effectively strain your fresh coffee grounds and produce a smooth cup of coffee for you to enjoy. Here's how a filter method works:

  1. Prepare the Cheesecloth: Depending on its thickness, you might need to fold the cheesecloth multiple times to ensure it can hold the coffee grounds without them seeping through. You want a piece large enough to hold your coffee with ample space to tie it off.
  2. Measure the Coffee: Remember 2 tablespoons of coffee for every 8 ounces of water, or adjust to your preference.
  3. Make a Coffee Pouch (Optional method): a. Place the coffee grounds in the center of your cheesecloth. b. Gather the edges of the cheesecloth together and tie it into a pouch using a string or a rubber band. Make sure it's secure to prevent the grounds from escaping.
  4. Heat the Water: Heat the water in a kettle or saucepan. You'll want to bring it just to a boil and then let it sit for about 30 seconds to reach the optimal temperature of around 195-205°F (90-96°C).
  5. Brewing: If you're using the cheesecloth as a strainer, simply pour the hot water over the coffee grounds in the jug, bowl, or carafe. Stir to ensure all grounds are saturated, and let it steep for 4-5 minutes.
  6. Strain the Coffee: Place your cheesecloth over a second jug, bowl, or coffee mug, ensuring it's secure. Carefully pour the steeped coffee through the cheesecloth, capturing the ground and allowing the filtered coffee to pass through.
  7. Enjoy Your Brew: Your cheesecloth-brewed coffee is ready! Simply pour the coffee into your mug or cup of choice and add any desired additives like milk, sugar, or flavored syrups to taste.

Brewing coffee through a filter like a cheesecloth is a simple yet effective method, offering flexibility and ensuring you get a clean cup every time.

Whether at home, camping, or during emergencies, knowing how to filter coffee is a handy skill for any coffee lover.


Bagging Coffee Grounds & Placing Them in Boiling Water

Using leftover coffee filters, paper towels, or even scraps of food-grade paper, you can make makeshift coffee bags when you're without a traditional coffee maker. They function similarly to tea bags but for coffee, ensuring you get a smooth brew without the grounds. Here's how to brew coffee using makeshift bags:

  1. Prepare Your Makeshift Bag: If using a coffee filter or cotton cloth, just ensure it's large enough to hold your coffee with some space to tie it off.
  2. Measure the Coffee: 2 tablespoons for every 8 ounces of water. Adjust based on your preference.
  3. Make a Coffee Pouch: Place the coffee grounds in the center of your chosen material. Then, combine the material's edges and tie it into a pouch using a string or a rubber band. Ensure it's securely tied to prevent the grounds from escaping.
  4. Heat the Water: Heat your water in a kettle or saucepan. Once it reaches a boil, let it sit for about 30 seconds to reach an optimal temperature of around 195°F to 205°F (90°C to 96°C).
  5. Brewing: Submerge the coffee bag in your mug or carafe. Pour hot water over it, ensuring the coffee grounds inside are fully saturated. Then, allow the coffee to steep for 4-5 minutes. Occasionally give the pouch a gentle stir or dunk to ensure even extraction.
  6. Remove the bag: Once the steeping time is up, take out the pouch from the brewed coffee. You can give it a gentle squeeze to extract any remaining liquid but don't squeeze too hard as this can introduce bitterness.
  7. Drink and Enjoy: Pour the coffee into your cup, and add any desired additives like milk, sugar, or flavored syrups to taste.

Though it is a method that requires some work, bagging is a straightforward and effective way to brew an excellent cup of coffee without a coffee maker at hand, combining the brewing techniques of tea with the delicious flavors of coffee.

For those looking to serve more than one cup at a time, consider using a larger bag or producing several bags at once.


Steeping Your Ground Coffee

Steeping is an infusion method of brewing coffee without a coffee maker. It is essentially the same coffee brewing method used to make cold brew coffee and results in a smoother, less acidic cup than most other traditional brewing methods. Here are the steps to steeping your way to a well-brewed cup of coffee:

  1. Gather Your Materials: Obtain fresh, coarse-ground coffee and a source of fresh, cold water.
  2. Measure Coffee and Water: A standard ratio for steeping is 1:15, meaning 1 part coffee to 15 parts water. For instance, if you're making a single cup, you might use 30 grams (about 3 tablespoons) of coffee to 450 mL (about 15 ounces) of water. Of course, this can be adjusted to your taste preference.
  3. Combine Coffee and Water: In a carafe, jug, or other vessel, combine your coarsely ground coffee with the hot water. Give it a gentle stir to ensure all coffee grounds are fully saturated.
  4. Steep: Allow the coffee to steep for 4-5 minutes. The exact time might vary based on personal preference and the specific coffee beans you're using. Longer steeping times will result in a stronger brew, while shorter times yield a milder cup.
  5. Separate Coffee from Grounds: Use a fine-mesh strainer to separate the liquid from the coffee grounds as you pour it into your cup.
  6. Serve and Enjoy: Your steeped coffee is ready! Add milk, sugar, or other flavorings as desired.

Simply use any vessel, space in your refrigerator, and a few hours of spare time, and you can have a delicious, comforting cup of refreshing and energizing coffee.

Steeping is one of several incredible methods by which a person can learn how to make coffee without a coffee maker. Though these various methods aren't as time-saving as instant coffee, we recommend you try and learn each. Enjoy and discover the numerous ways to make coffee, along with one of Mystic Monk Coffee's delicious ground coffee blends.


Browse Amazing Coffee Blends from Mystic Monk Coffee

At Mystic Monk Coffee, we utilize both old and new methods to bring you the best blends. We employ a classic Gothot roaster and state-of-the-art equipment to ensure the coffee we provide offers roasts and flavors unlike anything available in mainstream markets.

Order a coffee bag from Mystic Monk Coffee today and get high-quality, freshly roasted coffee grounds or coffee beans sent straight to your door. For our dedicated coffee lovers, consider joining our subscription service and receive discount prices on every bag.

Browse Mystic Monk Coffee's range of blends and discover the spirit and flavor of finely roasted coffee.