Fun Ways to Make Coffee Without a Coffee Maker

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People have been making coffee without automatic drip coffee makers for hundreds of years! Don’t have access to a functioning coffee maker?  No specialty equipment like a pour over dripper or French Press? Take heart! Here are a few ideas that are helpful and fun.

And, yes, I have tried every one of these at some point in my life. Enjoy!

  1. Find a Mason Jar: This is one of my favorites. An easy way to replace (or avoid) a coffee maker.
  2. Use Your Mug: There are a ton of variations on this one. But I really like the tea towel hack.
  3. Got a Juice Strainer? If you’ve got a juice strainer, then you’ve got a way to filter out coffee grounds. Of course, contrary to the instructions in the article linked above, NEVER boil coffee.
  4. The Pot and the Ladle: Some refer to this as the “cowboy method.” Whatever you call it, you can make a boatload of coffee this way.
  5. Use a Cup on a Cup: This is my favorite “around the office” hack. I have used this several times. Sometimes the coffee maker is out of commission or tainted by someone’s flavored coffee. Sometimes it is just filthy to the point of disgust.
  6. The Brew-Basket Turnover: I’m going to add this one as my own. Though I’m sure there are others who have suggested it! Below is one of the easiest ways to use your broken coffee maker to make coffee:

 

Don’t have a grinder either??? Check out the creative solutions that Bryan has for this problem over at The Coffee Maven!

 

If you have a brew basket, then you have a brewer. Most brew baskets are removable, like mine pictured below:

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Yes. I have a Ninja coffee maker. No hate from the Pros, please.

Since you have this now defunct coffee maker, you also have the right filters for it. By the way, check out the series below on folding a conical filter:

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Here we have the humble conical filter – a #4.
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Fold the bottom edge up.
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Then fold the left edge down (under).
See here: one up, one down.
See here: one up, one down.
Makes for a lovely fit - but will not get crammed into the bottom of the basket.
Makes for a lovely fit – but will not get crammed into the bottom of the basket.

Now, find one of those big soup-bowl sized coffee mugs that will be lurking around in some cabinet. Make sure the brew basket will fit down into it or will be supported well on top of it.

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Do your normal thing. Might I suggest a few things below?

Rinse your filter and preheat your mug with a few ounces of hot water.
Rinse your filter and preheat your mug with a few ounces of hot water.
Measure out your fresh, whole-bean coffee. If you're in the Atlanta area, check out the AA Kenyan coffee from the Dekalb Farmer's Market. It's excellent!
Measure out your fresh, whole-bean coffee. If you’re in the Atlanta area, check out the AA Kenyan coffee from the Dekalb Farmer’s Market. It’s excellent!
Discard the water in the mug. Grind your coffee. Pre-infuse for at least 30 seconds...
Grind. Pre-infuse for at least 30 seconds…
Measure the appropriate amount of hot water ( around 30 seconds off boil is usually good).
Measure the appropriate amount of hot water ( around 30 seconds off boil is usually good).
Either let it steep for 2 minutes, with the valve closed (like above); or pour it through slowly for 2 minutes.
Either let it steep for 2 minutes, with the valve closed (like above); or pour it through slowly for 2-3 minutes (Plate on top optional).
Boom! Coffee in an obscenely large mug!
Boom! Coffee in an obscenely large mug!

Making coffee this way will not be perfect, but it will work! Hey, and if you’re using this as a hack at the office, don’t forget to check out other ways you can make better coffee at work!

How do you make coffee when there’s no coffee maker? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

 

Happy Sipping,

 

-wp

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