You woke up late and by a bad turn of luck from the coffee gods, your coffee maker is unresponsive. You can’t imagine how you are going to get through the day without your morning cup of joe, but there is no need to fear. There are several at home methods to brewing a much-needed cup of coffee without the use of a coffee maker.

Some of these methods may seem a little in depth or time consuming, but you need your coffee and there is not enough time to wait in line at a coffee shop. We all have that one coworker that is unbearable and dealing with them without sufficient caffeine is just not an option.

All the following methods will do the job of getting you a viable cup of coffee before having to face the day.

Methods of How to Make Coffee Without a Coffee Maker

The Saucepan


For this method, you will need your favorite blend of coffee beans. Grab a saucepan, water, spoon and ladle—along with your favorite mug to put your finished product in to enjoy.

The first step here is to place your saucepan on your stove and pour enough water into the pan to make an adequate cup of coffee. Just make sure that you put in slightly more water than the volume you plan on drinking because some of it will evaporate and some will be lost to absorption by the coffee grounds.

With enough water in the pan, you now must think about how much coffee you typically place in your coffee maker to make a cup of coffee. Place this amount into the water, stirring thoroughly to make a sufficiently saturated coffee-water blend. Once mixed as well as it can be, it’s time to turn up the heat.

A medium high heat will suffice in this case. Stirring thoroughly throughout will ensure that the coffee grounds form as close a bond as possible with the water, creating the optimal coffee flavor and caffeine content.

You also want to keep stirring to avoid any grounds from getting stuck to the bottom of the pan and burning. This will cause a bitter, burnt taste in your coffee that you do not want.

Once it finally reaches a boil, let it continue boiling for a good two minutes. This step is essential in making your coffee taste like actual coffee.

After this two-minute boiling, remove the saucepan from your heat source, but do not pour into your drinking vessel just yet. This would be a great way to get a ton of coffee grounds in your teeth with each sip, and no one wants that. Instead, allow the leached coffee grounds to fall completely to the bottom of the pan.

This will take some time, but it will allow the solid grounds to separate from the liquid and will make the ladling process that much easier.

Using the ladle, carefully scoop out the top layer of coffee liquid. Be sure not to scoop up any of the bottom ground coffee layer. If you do not have a ladle, you can still separate the two layers through decanting. This means carefully pouring the liquid contents of the saucepan without taking any of the grounds with it.

This method of how to make coffee without a coffee maker takes some time, but it will surely get you a more than adequate cup of coffee to get you through your morning.

Coffee Bag

Everyone has brewed or at least watched someone brew a cup of tea using a tea bag. You heat up the water to a near boil and then drop in the tea bag to steep—making sure to constantly move that bag up, down, and around to get as much tea leached out of the bag and into the liquid as possible.

It’s the same idea here. There are several options for single use coffee bags available at the supermarket. Chances are though that if you’ve grown accustomed to your coffee maker, you probably had no need to purchase these bags.

That’s perfectly fine though, as you most likely have the tools available around your house to create your own makeshift coffee bag that you can use to make a single serving of the coffee you crave.

To get started, lay a coffee filter on a flat surface and measure out a single serving of coffee grounds to place in the center of the filter paper.

Next, bring all edges of the filter together, creating a little pouch of coffee grounds. Secure this newly created coffee pocket with a piece of string, making sure you leave enough length on the untied side to be able to use to maneuver the bag as you would a regular tea bag.

After you have your newly formed coffee bag, heat up your mug of coffee using any heat source. Your best bet here may be to just use the microwave.

Once your water is adequately heated, drop your fancy new coffee bag in and allow it to steep exactly like you would a tea bag. Move the bag around the water until you’ve achieved that coffee color, tasting periodically. If it is to your liking, you are good to go and can remove the bag and enjoy. If it is still too weak for your palette, keep steeping until it is just right.

The Makeshift French Press


This method is the most in depth attempt at making coffee at home without a coffee maker, but it may provide the best results.

First, start out by grinding two tablespoons of coffee into a very fine texture to ensure that you can get as much coffee flavor out of the beans as you can when using this method. Place this ground coffee into the bottom of a mug once it has reached your desired consistency.

While grinding your beans, you could choose to boil your water simultaneously to make the most of your time if you are running super late.

After the water reaches a boil, remove it from the heat source for around thirty seconds and then place just enough water into the mug required to just barely submerge the grounds. This will allow for blooming, which is the process of carbon dioxide releasing from the beans to bring out its floral notes and aromatics.

You should see some bubbles erupting from the water and ground combination. This means that the coffee bean grounds are sufficiently blooming. 

After the blooming begins to subside, pour the rest of your water into the mug to fill it up to your liking. Now take a breather and wait a good four minutes for the brewing process to occur. After the four minutes is up, you will have give decanting a try.

Slowly and carefully pour the liquid contents of the first mug into another mug that you will be drinking out of. Be sure to only pour in the liquid coffee and none of the grounds. A viable decanting should leave the mug with only solids left over.

This process can take some time to master, so don’t be discouraged if you accidentally pour some solid grounds into your drinking cup. You can always use your trusty ladle to remove the unwanted grounds from the viable coffee. 

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Coffee Cold Brew

Cold Brewed coffee is all the rage right now and for good reason. This method provides a fruity and easy to drink blend of coffee that can be created without the use of a coffee maker. You also need to devote a great deal of time for this method, so be prepared to perform all these steps the day before you plan to drink your cold brewed goodness.

You’ll need two glass jars for this method. Mason jars would work best. 

As you did with the French Press method, place all your freshly ground coffee into one of the mason jars. This time, however, you will be pouring all your water over the grounds immediately. Let the grounds and water get to know each other a little better for about a minute before giving the concoction a few good stirs.

Now it’s time to play the waiting game for approximately 12 hours. After the 12 hours, you will be left with a sufficiently brewed mud-like sludge. No need to worry though as this is perfectly normal and is where the second jar will be utilized.

Since a filter will not be sturdy enough to remain intact while collecting and separating this goop, you’ll need to close pin a thin cloth to the opening of the jar. Once the cloth is secured, pour the coffee mud into the clothed jar slowly and watch as the liquid separates to the bottom of the jar.

Once the dripping has completely subsided, remove the cloth containing the sludgy solids and drink the velvety goodness that is left behind.

Which Method of How to Make Coffee Without a Coffee Maker is Best?

Black Coffee

The best method depends on you. If time is a concern, buying a coffee bag would be the best method. If taste is what matters the most, a makeshift French Press would be best.

You can explore different methods to find which is best for you. Remember, these methods are for people who really need to make a cup of coffee without the proper machine. Making coffee without a coffee maker can be time consuming and difficult, but don’t let it stress you out. If you find a method that fits your lifestyle, it can actually be fun.

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