cup of coffee

Owning a coffee maker is almost a given if you plan to make coffee, but what if you don’t have one? Maybe you’re moving into a new place and it’s engulfed in a pile of boxes, or maybe your current machine is broken and you just gotta have a cup now. Fortunately, you don’t actually need a coffee maker to brew coffee. Learn how to make coffee without a coffee maker without resorting to Stone Age magic.

1. Place ground coffee in a measuring cup or similar container. I recommend 2 tablespoons per cup of water, but you can add more or less if desired.

2. Heat water to 170 degrees F and pour over the coffee grounds. Don’t just dump the water in– slowly add it in and cover all the grounds. The last thing you want is coffee splatter. Do not use boiling water. The last thing you want to do is turn what will probably be a mediocre cup of coffee into barforama.
Hint: If making four cups of coffee, pour four cups over eight tablespoons of grounds.

3. Stir the grounds with a large spoon for 30 seconds. This creates an evenly distrusted “muck” and speeds up the coffee extraction process.

4. Wait three more minutes. Keep careful track of time– your coffee will quickly become bitter as bad flavors are extracted if you let it sit too long. Pour the mixture into a strainer to remove the grounds and enjoy!

You can of course improvise with what you have on-hand. If you don’t have a strainer, pour slowly over a wet paper towel or napkin. You can also add mix coffee grounds with cold water for an overnight brew if you are truly desperate. Coffee makers may seem sophisticated, but they simply provide a more convenient and consistent way to brew coffee.  Even if you know how to make coffee without a coffee maker now, you might want to fix this situation ASAP.

Photo | Alan Levine