How To Brew Coffee Without A Coffee Pot Or Machine

So many of us rely on our coffee maker to brew our coffee but what happens when your machine goes on the fritz? How do you brew coffee without a coffee pot?

So many of us rely on our coffee maker to brew that great coffee cup that we love each and every day. However, what happens when your coffee or espresso machine suddenly goes on the fritz? Or you are somewhere that doesn’t have a coffee machine? So, how do you brew coffee without a coffee pot?

You need to find a way to get that great coffee taste without the brewing method that you’re used to. While not every brewing method is going to equal making coffee grinds with a filtered coffee machine, they can certainly come pretty close and guarantee you a cup of strong coffee.

5 Ways to Brew Coffee Without a Coffee Pot

Once the panic of having no coffee maker has subsided, then it is time to figure out an alternative way to make it. Here are some options for brewing coffee:

1. The Stovetop Method

A cup of coffee on a table
  • Pour water into a pot. Use a little more water than you need for a cup as some evaporation may occur when the water is heated.
  • Stir the coffee grounds into the water. Use the regular amount of coffee as you would with a machine.
  • Put the stove element on medium to high so the coffee comes to a boil. Make sure to stir it so the grounds don’t burn to the bottom of the pot.
  • Boil the coffee for 2 minutes.
  • Take the pot off the heat and then let it sit for 4 minutes. This will make sure that the grounds settle to the bottom.
  • Scoop the coffee with a ladle into your coffee mug. You won’t have grounds if they are sitting on the bottom.
  • Another option is to pour the coffee slowly from the pan so as not to disturb the grounds or use a small mesh strainer to catch any grounds that escape.

2. The Coffee Bag Method

  • Put a single measure of coffee grounds into a coffee filter.
  • Make the filter into a pouch.
  • Tie with string (not waxed) and put into a cup leaving a long end on the outside as you would if it was a teabag.
  • Heat water and then pour it slowly over the coffee bag.
  • Let it steep for 4 minutes or however long is needed for your personal preference of strength. If you want it weaker then stop the steeping process sooner.
  • Take out the coffee bag, add whatever you would like to it, and enjoy!

3. The Hanky Method

  • Place a handkerchief on the top of the mug and push it down gently to make a pouch to hold the grounds.
  • Make sure the cloth won’t move by using clips or clothespins. You don’t want it to fall into the coffee.
  • Place a single portion of the ground coffee in the pouch.
  • Pour hot water over the grounds and let them soak for at least 30 seconds.
  • Then slowly pour more hot water to fill the cup.
  • Take the hanky off and enjoy your cup of drip coffee.

4. The Cowboy Method

Coffee and Image
  • Add one tbsp of ground coffee into a kettle.
  • Put in a cup of water for each serving and stir.
  • Put the kettle over the heat and boil for two minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let the grounds go to the bottom.
  • Slowly pour it into your mug to avoid the grounds.

5. The Swedish Egg Method

  • Boil water in a pot, enough for the amount of servings you want.
  • When it’s boiling, break an egg into a cup and put the shell in as well.
  • Stir the egg and add in coffee grounds to stir together.
  • Add in the mix to the boiling water and boil for 3-5 minutes.
  • The mix will clump into a big piece and float to the top.
  • Splash with 1 cup of ice water and leave to sit for one minute as the egg and the grounds sink to the bottom.
  • Pour the liquid through a filter into a mug for a great smooth, non-acidic coffee.

The Final Word on How to Brew Coffee Without a Pot

There are various ways you can brew coffee without a coffee pot or machine. All is not lost if your home brewer has gone on the fritz or if you have lost power.

These alternative methods are all pretty basic and don’t need a lot of prep work. They are fairly simplistic but can offer a good cup of coffee without the technology of a machine.

As with any cup of coffee you just need some coffee grounds, water, heat, and a way to keep the grounds out of your finished cup of coffee. Whether the heat is from a stove or the open flame of camping, you can brew a good cup of coffee that will hold you over until you have power again or your machine is repaired.

You can brew one cup or a pot and if you are going to have to make coffee in alternative ways for a while then try some adjustments out, so you know what you prefer and how to get the ultimate brew without a coffee pot or machine. Who knows, you may never look back!

FAQs About Brew Coffee Without A Coffee Pot

Do I Always Have To Have A Filter Of Some Sort?

No. Just put the grounds in water in a similar way to a French press. Let the hot water and coffee stand for about 5 minutes then pour into a cup slowly to avoid the settled grounds.

Can I Make Keurig Without A Machine?

Yes! Pull the top off the K-cups and put the grounds into a filter or small strainer then pour hot water over them. You may need to use more than one K-Cup if you want more coffee or stronger coffee.

The Power Is Out. Now What?

If you can find a way to boil water, then you are good to go. Gas stove, campfire, wood stove are all ways to generate heat so you can pour your hot water over the grounds and still enjoy a great cup of coffee.


  • Aisling O'Connor

    Aisling is an Irish food and drinks writer and journalist fueled by coffee and herbal tea. She followed up her journalism degree with nutrition studies. Find Aisling on LinkedIn.