Starting a day with a cup of freshly brewed coffee can make any morning better. The easiest way to get that dose of caffeine is by using a coffee maker. However, that’s not always possible. Coffee makers, like every other machine, can malfunction for some reason. There can also be a power outage. Or, the case may be you don’t even own a coffee maker.
No matter the reason, the lack of a coffee machine doesn’t mean you are forced to drink instant. In fact, it can be a blessing in disguise as there are numerous brewing methods that will take your coffee-making experience to a whole new level. Let’s take a look at some of the best coffee brewing alternatives to ensure you get your daily dose of caffeine no matter what.
Things to Consider Before Brewing Coffee
First things first, there are a few things you ought to consider before brewing coffee. Everything, from the beans you grind to the equipment you use, has a massive impact on the coffee taste. With this in mind, let’s go through some of the factors crucial for the outcome of the brewing process:
Everything starts with the type of coffee bean you choose. Different coffee beans come in various flavors, so it’s crucial to brew your coffee using the one that suits you best. In general, the most important flavor factors are:
- The type of bean – you can choose between robusta, arabica, or a blend
- The country/region of an origin
- The roast type – light, medium, medium-dark, dark
- The texture of the grind
For instance, if you like strong and flavorful coffee, you can choose an espresso or New Orleans dark roast. And if you prefer a more nutty and chocolaty flavor, picking the medium coffee roasts is the best choice.
The fresher the coffee, the more tasteful it is. That being said, it’s best to buy your coffee as soon as possible after it’s roasted. Our tip here would be to purchase it in smaller quantities and then store it appropriately to ensure it stays fresh and flavorful for longer (for instance, a mason jar). Another vital thing to remember is to never reuse the coffee grounds to make coffee. Once you brewed, all the flavors have been extracted, with only the bitter ones left.
Generally speaking, it’s always best to only buy whole coffee beans and grind them close to the brew time. That way, your coffee will keep maximum freshness and a deep aroma. To grind coffee beans, use a burr or mill coffee grinder to ground the coffee to a consistent size. As for blade grinders, they are less preferred among coffee drinkers as they tend to grind some beans more finely than others.
Now, when it comes to the size of the coffee ground, it has a huge impact on the taste of your coffee. For instance, if your coffee tastes too bitter, it means that the grind is probably too fine. And if the coffee is flat, the grind is too coarse-grained.
If you aren’t sure how to grind your whole beans properly, you can always ask the professionals from your coffee shop to grind them for you. They will know best what size your coffee ground should be, adjusting it to your preferred flavor and brewing process.
Although it might not look like an important factor, the water you use to brew coffee plays a vital role in the whole process. As a rule of thumb, you should use filtered or bottled water, especially if your tap water is not good (for example, it smells of chlorine or has another strange odor).
The amount of water also impacts the coffee flavor. In general, the water-coffee ratio should be one/two tablespoons of ground coffee for every six ounces of water. However, this proportion depends on the brewing method.
It goes without saying that the better the tools you use to brew your coffee, the better it will taste. With this in mind, you should equip yourself only with top-quality coffee grinders and filters. It’s also important to maintain them in the best condition possible by cleaning them thoroughly after each use.
When cleaning your coffee grinder, filter, percolator, or any other coffee-related equipment, rinse it with hot water, and dry it using an absorbing towel. Also, remember to always make sure that no coffee grounds have been left to collect and that coffee oil doesn’t build up. These two can make your future coffee cups taste rancid and bitter.
Top 7 Alternative Coffee Brewing Methods
Now that we have the basics out of the way, it’s time to get to the bottom of this guide – learning how to brew your coffee without a coffee maker. Below, we’ve listed the top seven alternative methods you can use at home. Let’s dive right into them!
The Stovetop Coffee
Starting with an old-school way of making coffee, the stovetop method is perfect if you’ve got limited supplies at hand. Using only a few basic kitchen utensils, you’ll be able to brew up a cup of delicious coffee. Here’s how to do it:
- Prepare and grind your coffee.
- Pour water into a small saucepan – start with six ounces of water.
- Add one heaping or two tablespoons of coffee straight to the pan.
- Set the burner to medium-high and slowly bring the coffee to a boil. Stir it occasionally to prevent grounds from burning on the bottom of the pan.
- Boil the coffee for two minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for four minutes to allow the grounds to settle at the bottom.
- Carefully pour the coffee into a cup(s) – you can use a ladle to scoop it into the mug.
- Enjoy your coffee.
Turkish coffee is a method similar to the stovetop, although a bit fussier. It’s a great way of making coffee if you prefer a stronger and thick brew. Originally, it should be brewed in a cezve, but you can also make yourself a cup using a small saucepan. Here’s how you prepare Turkish coffee:
- Grind coffee beans extra finely.
- Pour five or six ounces of water into the cezve or pan.
- Add one or two tablespoons of ground coffee. You can also add sugar if you like.
- Place the cezve/pan on the stovetop over medium heat.
- Once the coffee starts to rise up and foam (a moment before it starts to boil), remove the cezve/pan from the heat, skim off the foam and add it to your cup.
- Put the cezve/pan on the stovetop again.
- Just before the coffee is about to boil, remove it from the heat, and pour half into your mug.
- Return the pan to heat and boil it for an additional 15 seconds.
- Slowly pour the coffee into your cup and let it sit for two minutes so that the coffee can sink to the bottom.
- Serve the coffee and enjoy its strong taste.
The Coffee Bag Method
Have you ever wondered whether it’s possible to steep coffee like tea? If the answer is yes, then the coffee bag method will soon become your favorite. To make yourself a tea bag for coffee grounds, you’ll need to equip yourself with coffee filters. Other than that, this method is again pretty straightforward:
- Add two tablespoons (or less/more depending on your preference) of coffee into the filter.
- Close the filter to make a little bag for coffee grounds.
- Tie your little pouch with a string, leaving the long end to hang outside the cup (just like a tea bag).
- Heat water and pour it into the cup with your coffee bag.
- Let the coffee steep for four minutes. The longer you wait, the stronger the coffee, and vice versa.
- Remove the bag, add cream and/or sugar (if you that’s your thing), and let the caffeine enter your system.
Faux French Press Coffee
Faux French press coffee is incredibly popular among coffee lovers. What’s more, you can enjoy it even if you don’t have a French press maker at your disposal. Here’s how you can give this method a try using a deep bowl, mug, and spoon:
- Grind your coffee.
- Put one tablespoon of coffee into the bowl (one tablespoon per cup).
- Pour a small amount of water into the bowl and let the grounds saturate.
- Add the rest of the boiled water to the bowl (six ounces per cup) and leave it for around four minutes.
- Once the coffee grounds have settled, use a spoon to press them to the bottom of the bowl.
- Slowly pour the coffee into the mug with the spoon still pressing the grounds, keeping them from falling into the mug.
- Sit back comfortably and enjoy your cup of coffee.
Cold Brew Coffee
Now, this is not the method for anyone who doesn’t have much time to spare. On the other hand, if you do have some time, the cold brew method will definitely not disappoint you:
- Grind coffee beans and put them into a mason jar with a small amount of cold water using a 1:5 ratio as a reference.
- Wet the grounds for 30 seconds and add the rest of the water.
- Stir everything and screw on the top.
- Put the jar into the fridge and leave it for 14 – 24 hours. The longer you wait, the stronger the coffee.
- Once the coffee is ready to leave your fridge, put the strainer over another jar, bowl, or another container you want to pour your coffee into.
- Pour the coffee into the container (the strainer will catch the grounds).
- To serve it, pour some of the concentrate into the cup and dilute it with water. The concentrate will last in your fridge for up to ten days.
The Cowboy Style Coffee
Considering how, well, wild the Wild West was, it shouldn’t surprise that people back then had to drink a lot of coffee to stay sharp. And since they didn’t have coffee machines, they had to use a different brewing method. You can try it out yourself too, here’s how to make yourself a cup of the cowboy style coffee:
- Grind your coffee.
- Put one tablespoon of the grounds per serving into your kettle/pot.
- Add more or less eight ounces of water and stir everything well.
- Heat the pot with coffee on your stovetop, bringing it to a boil.
- The coffee should boil for two minutes before you remove the kettle/pot from heat.
- After you take the pot off your stovetop, let the coffee sink to the bottom. It should take around four/five minutes.
- Slowly pour the coffee into your mug, trying to avoid grounds falling inside.
- Put on your cowboy hat and enjoy the coffee.
Whole Bean Coffee
And last but not least, there’s a whole bean coffee method. As the name suggests, when making this type of coffee, you won’t be needing your grinder. In fact, it’s said that brewing whole bean coffee keeps it safe from oxidation and contamination. It also prevents the release of carbon dioxide, preserving more flavor in the process. Here’s how to brew your coffee using whole beans:
- Put around three-quarters of a regular mug of coffee beans into the mason jar.
- Fill three-quarters of the jar with boiled water.
- Fill one of your deeper pots with water and put the jar with coffee inside.
- Simmer the coffee for an hour and stir it occasionally.
- Put a strainer over your cup and pour your coffee inside (use hot pads to avoid burning yourself).
- See whether the coffee requires diluting. Surprisingly, such coffee is quite strong.
Enjoy Your Cup of Coffee
As you can see, there are numerous ways to prepare yourself a cup of coffee without a coffee machine or maker. Using only your basic kitchen tools, you’ll be able to take advantage of certain methods and discover entirely new ways of brewing coffee.
And if you want to take your coffee drinking experience even further, why not decorate your favourite mug with a personalized coffee sleeve? Trust us on this one. Drinking freshly-brewed coffee from such a mug is a perfect way to deal with the Monday blues.
Check out what HotShot Custom Coffee Sleeves have to offer and drink your coffee in style!
Barry Konkin is the founder of HotShot Coffee Sleeves. With over 30 years experience in commercial offset printing, Barry utilized his diverse printing background and creativity in developing new coffee sleeve designs that were granted Patents in both the USA and Canada. Barry’s goal is to assist businesses with brand promotion through the use of high quality custom printed cup sleeves. With an understanding of your marketing and operational objectives, Barry can recommend the ideal coffee sleeve solution for you.