6 Machine-Free Coffee Brewing Methods: A Guide by Fourth Estate


Making coffee has been taken to greater heights in the recent times by the help of a coffee maker. This has made coffee extremely convenient.

But then, what would happen if you one day woke up to a faulty coffee maker? Does it mean you will go without coffee that day?

Of course not, but that does not mean you’ll automatically have to go the nearest coffee shop for your morning brew either. Rather, you can utilize one of our six methods for brewing a cup of joe when you can’t use a coffee maker. It’s simpler than you might imagine.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to brew coffee and the machine is not in a position to aid you, do not panic. You can always make coffee easily with the help of items that are readily available in your kitchen. These items include; a saucepan, a strainer, a coffee cup and a coffee bag, a pot or a filter and string.

How to Make a Delicious Cup of Joe When a Machine Is Not an Option

Method 1: The Coffee Bag

This method involves the use of a filter and a string. Any string can do as long as it is free of any sort of coating that would melt in your coffee in the process.


  • Put a little portion of coffee enough for one cup and pour it into the filter.
  • Wrap the strainer tightly using a string leaving a longer part of the string to rest outside the cup.
  • Heat water using a pot, kettle or a saucepan to boil.
  • Put the coffee filter bag you already made into an empty cup.
  • Gently add water into the cup containing the coffee filter bag.
  • Let the coffee steep for 5 to 6 minutes for a stronger coffee or 2 to 3 minutes for a weaker coffee.
  • Remove the filter and your coffee is ready.

Method 2: Instant Coffee


This method involves the use of an instant coffee and hot water


  • Heat water in a saucepan; use a microwave or a kettle to boil
  • Place 1 or 2 table spoon instant coffee into an empty cup
  • Gently add water into the cup containing instant coffee granules
  • Add sugar and cream as desired.
  • Stir the mixture till you achieve a fine solution, ready.

Method 3: The Saucepan Method


This method involves the use of a saucepan.


  • Heat water in the saucepan (water should be a little bit more than if you were to use a coffee maker)
  • Add coffee to the water and stir to mix.
  • Turn the heat to medium- high as you keep stirring occasionally.
  • Allow the coffee to boil for about 2 minutes.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat; allow the coffee to cool for a few minutes ensuring all the coffee grounds sink to the bottom.
  • Pour the coffee into your cup-ready.

Method 4: The Strainer Method

The method involves the use of a strainer with very small holes that will trap all the coffee grounds.


  • Place the right amount of water in a saucepan and heat to boil.
  • Add enough coffee to the water in the saucepan.
  • Let it all boil for a few minutes.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat.
  • Pour the coffee into your cup through a strainer-ready.

Method 5: French Press Method


French press is used.


  • In a kettle heat the right amount of water for your coffee to boiling.
  • Put ground coffee into the French press
  • Add water into the French press careful to pour water directly over the coffee grounds to saturate all of them.
  • A bloom should form at the surface of the coffee slurry.
  • Using a chopping stick stir the slurry to bring out the bloom further.
  • Place the filter on top of the French press and let the coffee steep for a while.
  • For a larger French press let the coffee steep for about 5 minutes and 2 to 3 minutes for a smaller French press.
  • Plunge the filter down evenly and steadily.
  • Pour the coffee directly from the French press into your cup while holding the press’ lid so t does not pop off.

Method 6: The Cowboy Method

A young boy in a cowboy outfit and sitting on a log looks at a kettle over a fire, one method described in Fourth Estate's article on how to make coffee without a coffee maker.

This is more of the traditional method of making coffee. It is most suitable for an outdoor event like camping, although it can also be made at home. All you need is water, a source of heat, ground coffee and a pot.


  • Place the right amount of water into the pot, the amount of water used should be much more than the usual amount you use with a machine. (The extra water is to house the grounds)
  • Subject the pot to heat enabling the water to boil.
  • Add coffee to the simmering water, the quantity of coffee added should meet your desired coffee that is either strong or weak.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes, giving room for the coffee grounds to settle at the bottom.
  • Pour the top of the coffee into your cup-ready.


Summary: Alternative Methods for Machine-Free Coffee Brewing

We hope you’ve found Fourth Estate Coffee’s guide on how to make coffee without a coffee machine informative and enjoyable. With the above 6 methods, you can make use of what is available in the kitchen when the coffee maker is temporarily absent and still achieve a nice cup of joe. Though this does not mean you quit the coffee maker, but they should be your spare wheel. Therefore, armed with the above tips, nothing can stop you from taking a cup of coffee every morning, whether your machine is broken or you’re simply out camping.