If you rely on your morning cup of coffee to wake yourself up, discovering that your coffee maker has broken can be a nightmare. Never fear, though: there are many ways to prepare coffee even without the use of a coffee maker. Here are a few different techniques you can try.
Makes 1 cup (8 oz) of coffee
- 1 to 2 Tbsp (15 to 30 mL) ground coffee OR 1 to 2 tsp (5 to 10 mL) instant coffee granules
- 6 to 8 oz (180 to 250 mL) hot water
Method One of Five:
Use a StrainerEdit
1Heat the water. You can heat water using a kettle, saucepan, microwave, or electric hot pot.
- A tea kettle is the recommended method, followed closely by a standard saucepan. In either case, fill the cookware with enough water for the coffee amount you want to make and place it on the stove. Boil using medium to high heat.
- Microwaving water can be dangerous if not done carefully. Place the water in an open microwave-safe cup and stick a non-metallic object, like a wooden chopstick, into the water. Heat the water slowly in 1 to 2 minute intervals until it reaches your desired temperature.
- An electric hot pot is easy to use. Pour enough water into the hot pot for your coffee and plug the device in. Turn the knob somewhere between medium and full heat, and let heat for a few minutes until the water begins to bubble or boil.
2Measure coffee grounds into a measuring cup. Add enough pre-ground coffee to your largest liquid measuring cup to make as many servings of coffee as you need.
- You should use roughly 1 to 2 Tbsp (15 to 30 mL) of coffee grounds per 1 cup (250 mL) of water.
- Use your largest liquid measuring cup, especially if you plan to make more than one mug of coffee.
- If you do not own a large measuring cup, you could also use a large heat-proof bowl or pitcher.
3Pour the hot water over the grounds. Pour the hot water directly over the grounds in the measuring cup.
- For this method, no filters are needed. The coffee grounds and water can blend.
4Let the coffee steep. Allow the coffee to steep for 3 minutes. Stir well, and steep for an additional 3 minutes.
- The amount of time can vary depending on what type of coffee you use and how strong you like it. This amount of time produces an average cup using standard quality coffee grounds.
5Strain the grounds out as you pour the coffee into a mug. Position a tea strainer over a mug, thermos, or other cup. Pour the liquid through the strainer. Repeat to fill any remaining mugs.
- The strainer should catch the coffee grounds, preventing them from getting into your mug of coffee.
- At the conclusion of this step, your coffee should be ready to drink. Add cream and sugar as desired, and enjoy.
Method Two of Five:
Use a FilterEdit
1Heat the water. Use a stovetop kettle, saucepan, microwave, or electric hot pot.
- If heating water in a kettle or saucepan, fill it with enough water and set it to a boil on the stove using medium to high heat.
- To microwave water, place the water in a microwave-safe dish with a wooden chopstick or other non-metallic utensil. Heat in 1 or 2 minute intervals.
- Fill an electric hot pot with as much water as necessary and plug it in. Set the heat to medium or high and let boil.
2Place coffee grounds into a coffee filter. Scoop enough pre-ground coffee into the center of a single coffee filter and tie the filter into a bundle using string or twine.
- Tie the bundle tight to prevent coffee grounds from slipping through into the liquid. In essence, you are creating the coffee equivalent to a tea bag.
- Leave enough twine or string at the end to hang out of the mug. This will give you something to pull the bundle out with.
- This method works best if you only intend to prepare one cup of coffee at a time. If you want to prepare enough coffee to fill multiple mugs, you should create as many coffee filter bundles as you need and place one in each mug.
- The coffee produced by this method is slightly less strong than that produced using the strainer method. As a result, you should use at least 2 Tbsp (30 mL) of grounds per 1 cup (250 mL) of water. Anything less may produce weak coffee.
3Pour the water over your coffee filter bundle. Place the bundle in your mug and pour enough hot water directly over it to fill.
- If using multiple bundles of coffee, place each one in its own mug. Do not try to create a big batch by combining the filters into a large bowl or measuring cup.
4Steep. Let the coffee steep for 3 to 4 minutes.
- If you prefer stronger coffee, you could steep it for 4 to 5 minutes.
- For weaker coffee, steep it for 2 to 3 minutes.
- No stirring is needed during this time.
5Remove the filter and enjoy. Tug on the string to pull the filter bundle out. Add cream and sugar as desired, and serve.
- Give the bundle a slight squeeze with a spoon against the side of the cup to force out extra liquid. Since the liquid inside the bundle had prolonged contact with the grounds, it will make the coffee stronger if you squeeze it back into the mug.
Method Three of Five:
Use a SaucepanEdit
1Place the coffee grounds and water in a small saucepan. Give the mixture a slight stir to help combine them.
- Use about 1 to 2 Tbsp (15 to 30 mL) of coffee grounds per 1 cup (250 mL) of water you add.
2Heat to a boil. Place the saucepan on the stove and turn the heat to medium-high. Allow the water to reach a boil.
- Stir the coffee occasionally as it comes to a boil.
3Let boil for 2 minutes. Start the timer after the water reaches a full boil. Let the coffee boil for a full two minutes, uncovered, before removing the saucepan from the heat.
- As soon as you turn off the heat, the grounds should sink to the bottom of the saucepan.
4Pour the coffee into your cup. If you pour slowly and carefully, the coffee grounds should remain at the bottom of the saucepan, making a strainer unnecessary.
- That said, you can still pour the coffee through a strainer if you have one. Doing so will prevent any stray grounds from entering your mug as you pour the coffee.
Method Four of Five:
Use a French PressEdit
1Boil the water. Consider using a kettle, saucepan, microwave, or electric hot pot, depending on which of these resources are available to you.
- A kettle is an ideal option, but saucepans work in a very similar way. Fill the kettle or saucepan with enough water for your batch of coffee. Place it on the stove and heat, over medium to high heat, until the water begins to simmer or boil.
- Microwave water by placing it in a microwave-safe dish. Insert a wooden chopstick or other non-metallic utensil to prevent the water from super-heating and microwave in short intervals, no greater than 2 minutes each, until the water is hot enough.
- You can heat water in an electric hot pot by simply adding enough water to the device, plugging it in, and setting the dial to medium or high heat.
2Place the grounds in your French press. Add 1 Tbsp (15 mL) of coffee grounds to your press per 4 oz (125 mL) of water.
- A coffee aficionado would insist on using freshly ground coffee, but you could also use pre-ground coffee.
3Pour the water into your French press. Pour the water directly over the grounds in your press, making sure that all the grounds are saturated.
- Change where the water falls to ensure the grounds are evenly saturated.
- As you pour, you should notice a small "bloom" forming at the surface of the coffee slurry.
- Use a chopstick to stir the slurry and bring out the bloom further.
4Steep. Place the filter assembly on the top of the press and let the coffee steep for a few minutes.
- For a small press pot, 2 to 3 minutes should be enough time.
- A larger press pot may need to steep for a full 4 minutes.
5Plunge the filter. Grasp the plunger stick on the top of the plunger assembly and press down.
- Press the plunger down evenly and in a steady manner. If the plunger becomes crooked, the grounds could escape into the upper portion of the press.
6Pour the coffee. Pour the directly from the press pot and into your coffee cups.
- Hold the lid to prevent it from sliding around or popping off as you pour.
Method Five of Five:
Use Instant CoffeeEdit
1Heat the water. Without a coffee maker, water can be boiled using a tea kettle, saucepan, electric hot pot, or microwave oven.
- To boil water in a kettle or saucepan, fill the cookware with enough water for your coffee and place it on the stove. Set the eye for medium to high heat and remove once the water begins to simmer or boil.
- Boil water in the microwave by pouring it into a microwave-safe cup and inserting a wooden chopstick or other non-metallic utensil inside. Heat for 1 to 2 minute intervals until the water begins to bubble.
- Heat your water using an electric hot put by filling the device with water and plugging it in to an electric outlet. Set the dial to a medium or high setting and heat until the water is ready.
2Measure out the instant coffee. Each brand of instant coffee varies, but you should usually use between 1 and 2 tsp (5 and 10 mL) of instant coffee granules per 6 oz (180 mL) of water.
- Place the instant coffee granules directly in your coffee mug.
3Pour in the water and stir. Pour the hot water over the coffee granules. Stir well to mix, then add sugar and cream as desired.
Things You'll NeedEdit
- Large measuring cup
- Coffee filters
- Twine or string
- Small saucepot
- French press pot
- Wooden chopstick
- Coffee mug
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Reader Success Stories
JR"My grandmother always made Puerto Rican coffee in the sauce pan, but I wasn't sure how much grounds to use per cup of water. This post really helped me making it, so even though it's cold outside, I enjoy my fresh hot coffee. Thank you. "..." more
A"Everything was so concise, especially temperature of water, ratio for stronger coffee with a filter, and how best to boil the water. Still deciding which method I prefer."..." more
A"This tasted as good as the percolated coffee I remember - my favorite hot coffee. Thanks for the detailed instructions. I use wikiHow quite a bit."..." more
BA"As I only drank instant coffee before, this article was very helpful for me to learn about some basic preparation methods of ground coffee."..." more
SK"Boiling the water for 2 minutes then slowly pouring water into cup. Without a filter.Thank you will be doing this in the morning."..." more
A"I like that you don't have to use a coffee maker and I can just put the bag in the cup."
A"The specific steps were easy to follow. The pictures help, too."
A"Boiling and straining works just fine. Keep it simple."
A"Everything helped, but best idea was using a strainer."
A"I liked the tips and specific steps."
A"Specific steps in a simple way."
A"Thanks for the coffee!"