Decluttering, tidying up, tiny homes, and capsule wardrobes — adopting a less-is-more approach to everyday living is now a part of modern culture. But if you’re not part of the minimalist movement, maybe you travel a lot, camp often, woke up to a broken coffee maker, or just want to know how to make coffee without a filter. Perhaps you simply no longer want a coffee maker on the counter and are looking for a less encumbered way to get your caffeine fix. Whatever the situation, we’ll show you the easiest way to make coffee without a coffee maker.
The most basic coffee brewing method involves boiling coffee grounds in water. Often referred to as cowboy coffee, this version doesn’t require a campfire, but you do need a stovetop.
Note: For each 8-ounce cup, you’ll need 1 to 2 heaping tablespoons of coffee. If you want to make more coffee, stick to this ratio. Water will evaporate due to boiling, so use a little more water than the amount of coffee you want.
1. Boil the water.
Heat the water and salt in a pot over medium heat until bubbles start forming around the edges.
2. Add the coffee to the water.
Give the mixture a good stir to make sure your grounds aren’t clumped together.
3. Boil the coffee.
Uncovered, boil the mixture for approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Stir occasionally so the grounds don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
4. Allow the coffee to steep.
Once the coffee has boiled for a few minutes, remove the pot from the heat. Allow the mixture to steep for about 5 minutes, giving the grounds time to settle to the bottom of the pot.
5. Serve and enjoy!
Serve your coffee with a ladle or pour it gently into a cup to allow grounds to stay in the pot. Some grounds will likely make it into your cup, so you may not want to drink the last sip.
Since you’re making this in your kitchen and not on a cattle drive, you can also use a strainer. We won’t tell!
The cowboy method is the easiest way to brew a pot of coffee without any special equipment. But if you prefer a cleaner, less silty cup of coffee, you may want to try a different method. Below, you’ll find two coffee brewing variations that don’t require a coffee maker.
If you prefer not to involve a campfire or stovetop, you can try the Mason jar variation, which only requires hot water, coffee, and a Mason jar or other heat-proof container.
To brew your coffee, combine coarsely ground coffee with boiling water. Make sure your container is made of tempered glass or any other material that won’t crack with sudden temperature changes. Let your coffee steep for five minutes, and then pour it carefully into a coffee mug, using a strainer if you’d like.
If you’ve ever brewed a cup of tea, you’re familiar with this method, which essentially involves steeping coffee-filled teabags in hot water.
You can buy soft coffee pods online, which are also compatible with some single-serve pod brewers, or you can make them yourself. An easy way to do this is to place coffee grounds in the center of a coffee filter and securely close it using a string or twist tie. Steep your coffee bag in boiling water for 5 minutes, and you’ve got a cup of coffee.
The key to making coffee without a coffee maker is boiling water. If you are without power or don’t have a gas stove and are struggling with how to get your brew, you can heat water on a grill or an outdoor fire. There are even coffee pots that can plug into your car! These and the other options above require the bare minimum and don’t take up counter space.
While there are many different and creative ways to make coffee without a coffee pot, does anyone really want to use a sock to brew coffee? If you want to be prepared in case of a power outage or the sudden breakdown of your Keurig, do yourself a favor and get some coffee filters on your next grocery run. Keep them in the back of the pantry for emergencies. For the minimalists, be sure you can part with your coffee maker before you decide that it no longer serves you. If you ask yourself if it brings you joy, the coffee lover in you — and all of us — says a resounding yes!