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How To Make Coffee Without a Coffee Maker – 6 Easy Methods

Making coffee without a coffee machine

For many folks out there, the bare necessities are the sweetest.

Popular trends of minimalism are infiltrating today’s world. People yearn for products to do more while taking up less space. Quite a few new products are geared toward the minimalist – helping the consumer live a less cluttered life.

So what are these necessities? Well for starters, food. Then you need water and shelter… and comically enough, coffee.

That’s right. Many would put coffee on “necessity list.”

So what happens when one doesn’t have room for a coffee maker? Or if your beloved coffee brewing device breaks? What if thieves steal your prized coffee equipment?

There’s no need to worry. Improvised coffee makers have been used for decades. Here are some of our favorite methods.​

Sure, some of these brewing methods are a bit wonky, but they will provide you with caffeinated liquid gold.​

​1. Improvised Pour Over

Improvised Pour Over with pins


  • Coffee – 25g
  • Water – 400ml​

The Necessary Materials:

  • Glass jar
  • Clean non-textured dish towel
  • Clothes pins (or any sort of small clamp mechanism)
  • Something to heat up water
  • Ground coffee (Medium grind – Most grocery store pre-ground coffee will do just fine)

Pour over coffee makers are all the rage these days – and for good reason. Pour over style brewing allows the user precise control over an array of brewing variables. When you’re in a pinch and your pour over device is nowhere to be found, try the Improvised Pour Over Method!

First, set up your coffee filter. Place the towel over the decanter and push it down so that it hangs 3-4 inches below the rim. Once the makeshift filter is ready, pin it to the rim of the decanter.​

Improvised Pour Over: Pouring Water

After set up is complete, grind up some delectable coffee and throw the ground mass into the filter. We recommend using a medium to medium-fine grind setting with this method.​

Lastly, pour hot to boiling water over the grounds (apprx. 202-205 degrees F). If you can, pour in small concentric circles to evenly extract coffee solubles.​

When you’re done, remove the filter and enjoy!​

Improvised Pour Over: Serving

2. Cowboy Coffee

Cowboy Coffee


  • Coffee – 44g
  • Water – 800ml

The Necessary Materials:

  • Stove pot
  • Ladle (or cup to scoop coffee out of pot)
  • Heating source
  • Ground coffee (Fine grind – For pre-ground coffee, increase the steeping time to 5 minutes to avoid under extraction)

For many, cowboy coffee is a nostalgic camping beverage. For others, it’s the best way to enjoy coffee with family and friends.

​Start prepping the cowboy process by turning on the stove. Next, deposit both the water and ground coffee into the pot.

Cowboy Coffee: Water and coffee grounds

Bring the sweet smelling coffee to a boil, and then let it sit for 3 minutes or so.​

To serve, ladle coffee from the surface to avoid the coffee grinds that rest at the bottom.​

Cowboy Coffee: Serving

3. Faux French Press

Faux French Press


  • Coffee – 30g
  • Water – 450ml

The Necessary Materials:

  • 2 glass jars
  • Fine metal strainer
  • Timer
  • Ground coffee (Coarse grind – For pre-ground coffee, reduce the steeping time to 3 minutes to avoid over extraction)

If you don’t have a French Press, but want bold and full bodied French Press coffee consistency, give this brewing process a shot.

Start by depositing some ground coffee into the container. Set the timer and pour in the full volume of hot water.​

Faux French Press: Pouring Water

​Once the timer hits 4 minutes, pour the coffee through the strainer. Keep in mind that most household strainers are not fine enough to catch all coffee grinds.

Faux French Press: Filtering

This means that there will be a decent amount of coffee sediment that makes it into the final brew. To counter this, let the brewed coffee rest for a couple of minutes. When the time has passed, carefully deposit the brew into another jar – leaving the sediment behind at the bottom of your first container.​

You’re left with tasty coffee goodness!​

Faux French Press: Serving

4. Coffee Bag

Coffee Bag


  • Coffee – 16g
  • Water – 300ml

The Necessary Materials:

  • Paper filter
  • Ground coffee (Medium grind – Most grocery store pre-ground coffee will do just fine)
  • String to tie filter with (like a tea bag)

Many think coffee is high maintenance. There can be quite a few steps in the coffee brewing process, and this isn’t always appealing. However, with the tea bag coffee method, coffee has never been easier.

Deposit coffee grounds into your filter and tie it up. Make sure the coffee bag is secure so grounds don’t float around in the brew.​

Coffee Bag

Place the bag into hot water and let it brew to taste.​

Coffee Bag: Serving

5. Immersion Filter Method

Immersion Filter Method


  • Coffee – 23g
  • Water – 400ml

The Necessary Materials:

  • 2 Glass jars
  • Non-textured dish towel
  • Clothes pins (or any small clamp mechanism)
  • Timer
  • Stirring utensil
  • Ground coffee (Coarse grind – For pre-ground coffee, reduce the steeping time to 3 minutes to avoid over extraction)

Immersion brew methods delicately extract all coffee solubles. With Immersion brewing, one can experience a full bodied coffee that doesn’t taste bitter or burnt. There are a myriad of ways to brew full immersion coffee – this is just one of them.

Like the French Press method, dump your coffee grounds into one of the decanters and pour in hot water.​

Immersion Filter Method: Pouring Water

Set the timer for four minutes and wait.

Prep the other decanter with a dish towel filter (put the dish towel over the rim and let it fall 3-5 inches into the decanter) and pin it to the rim.

Once the time is up, give the brew a nice stir. Now deposit the brew into the filtered decanter.

Immersion Filter Method: Filtering

The main difference between this method and the faux french press is the filtering process. A cloth filter will provide a cleaner cup than a metal strainer. The metal strainer allows for more coffee solubles in the final brew. Cloth filtering eliminates some of the oils that you find in French Press, so you’ll get a cleaner cup with less body!

Enjoy this fully immersed coffee with gusto!

Immersion Filter Method: Serving

6. Cold Brew Filter

Cold Brew Filter


  • Coffee – 75g
  • Water – 750ml

The Necessary Materials:

  • 2 Glass jars
  • Non-textured dish towel
  • Clothes pins (or any sort of small clamp mechanism)
  • Stirring utensil
  • Timer
  • Ground coffee (Medium grind – Most grocery store pre-ground coffee will do just fine)

Cold Brew is a tantalizing beverage. It’s inherent juicy mouthfeel, and soft acidity makes it a perfect summer drink.

Brewing a decent cup of cold brew is quite simple.​

Start by dumping freshly ground coffee into one of the jars. Pour in all water.​

Cold Brew: Pouring Water

Let the coffee goop steep for a minute, and then give it 5 good stirs. After this, cover the jar with a lid and let it sit for 12 hours. [this seems like a long time, but the low brewing temperatures prevent severe over extraction]​

Cold Brew: Waiting

Now prep the other jar. Pin the towel to the rim, leaving a good 5 inches of towel hanging inside of the jar.​

Cold Brew: Serving

Once the time has passed, pour the contents of the first jar into the filtered second jar.​

Boom. Fresh cold brew.​