How To Make Coffee With A Microwave

Have you ever wondered how to make coffee with a microwave? Read this article to find out different methods of brewing your cuppa in a microwave.

a cup of black coffee - make coffee with a microwave
You need a microwave-safe coffee mug to make coffee in a microwave

Last week, I visited my friend who happens to be a coffee fanatic, and he gifted me a pack of fresh Arabica beans. Now, I didn’t have my coffee maker here but badly wanted to give this a try so was thinking about other ways to brew good coffee, and we thought why not use the microwave.

After all, a microwave can heat water and froth milk as well. I did some quick research on how to make coffee with a microwave and here’s what I found. I have shared my recipes, tips, and suggestions on how to make a great brew with a microwave below:

• To make coffee in a microwave, you will first need a microwave-safe coffee mug.

• Measure out fresh coffee beans and grind them to medium to a coarse consistency in a grinder.

• Now fill up the coffee mug with enough water for your coffee (don’t fill it to the brim) and put it inside the microwave to heat. Heat in high temperature for 120 seconds.

• Take a cheesecloth or coffee filter and add two tablespoons of freshly ground coffee into it. Fold the filter paper or cheesecloth to create a ball with grounds inside.

• Now stick a fork into the filter and put it over your coffee mug ensuring that the grounds are completely immersed into hot water.

• Let the coffee grounds steep in the hot water for a few minutes without making it bitter. Press the filter to the sidewalls of the mug to get the most out of the grounds.

• Now, sit back and enjoy your freshly brewed cup of coffee made in a microwave.

What I love most about coffee is that there so many different ways of making your favorite cuppa. You are not restricted by a particular style. You are free to experiment with different methods and choose what suits you best in terms of flavor, aroma, and time taken to brew.

While you may not necessarily need a fancy coffee maker to brew a hot cuppa on the cold snowy mornings, but must definitely use a good grinder. I know many people who opt for instant coffee or pre-ground coffee for a quick fix, but both these options have their own disadvantages.

If you are using instant coffee powder, you have no idea what fresh coffee can taste like. Instant mixes are brewed and then evaporated to get a dry mix, which is not as effective as fresh grounds. Pre-ground coffee also does not taste as good because coffee ground starts to release flavor soon after you grind them.

You can experiment with different varieties of coffee beans as long as they are fresh and crisp. When you buy a bag of coffee beans, you will see that it has an expiry date to it. Make sure you consume the coffee within that period to enjoy the freshest flavors.

Here’s Another Method To Make Coffee With A Microwave:

• Take a large microwave-safe coffee mug and fill it with water (always use simple filtered)

• Put the mug inside the microwave to heat it and let it sit for about 60 seconds (water should not be boiling hot, but hot enough)

• Now, remove the coffee mug from the microwave and add a tablespoon full of ground coffee

• Stir the water and grounds mix for a few seconds

• When the water temperature is perfect, it will result in full extraction of coffee grounds and a creamy foam on the top

• Let the mix sit for a few minutes so that the coffee grounds can settle at the bottom of the mug

• Transfer the blend to another cup and leave the grounds at the bottom of the mug

• You may add sugar, milk or cream as per your preference to enhance the flavor of your coffee

While many people choose to add milk and sugar to mask the bitterness of coffee, I believe coffee tastes best without any sweeteners. Just make sure you do not over-extract the coffee grounds as this can turn the brew bitter in taste.

Let the water and grounds mix sit only for about 30 seconds to avoid over-extraction or bitterness. If you are the kind who loves adding milk to coffee, here’s a quick way to froth milk using a microwave.

How To Froth Milk In A Microwave?

• Take a clean jar and fill it with as much milk as you want to use in coffee. Don’t fill it up completely as there must be some space left to create foam

• Screw the cap tightly and shake the jar as vigorously for 30-40 seconds as you can so that the milk becomes double in volume

Now remove the lid and microwave the milk without covering it for nearly 30 seconds. The foam will rise to the top and microwave heat will stabilize it

• Now add this milk to your raw coffee to cover the bitterness and enhance the taste

You must also make sure that you use tasty water when making coffee with a microwave. Using tap water that contains harsh chemicals will lend a bad taste to your coffee. Always use simple filtered water that tastes good to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee.

To learn more, check out our article about microwaving milk coffee.

Here’s Another Quick Makeshift Option To Make Coffee With A Microwave:

• Take a paper coffee filter and add freshly ground coffee beans to it

• Fold the filter and now seal the edges using a binder clip

• Heat water in a coffee mug by putting it inside the microwave for 60 seconds. Use the binder clip to steep the grounds in hot water

• When you are happy with the coffee concentrate, remove the clip with filter and discard the spent coffee

• Add milk or sugar as you like to sweeten your brew and enjoy your cup of steaming microwave coffee

Check out our explainer on can you microwave cold brew.

How To Make Instant Coffee In A Microwave?

I don’t prefer instant mixes at all and urge my friends and readers to always use fresh grounds for the best flavor and taste. However, there might be times when you have run out of coffee beans or you are in a hurry and have no time for grinding. This is where an instant mix comes in handy.

So, for all those who have to use instant mix, here is a quick recipe to make coffee cappuccino-style in a microwave. For this method, you will need one cup of cold milk (the colder, the better), one tsp of instant coffee, and sugar to taste.

• Fill up the microwave-safe mug with cold milk (depending on how much coffee you wish to drink)

• Now microwave for 40 seconds to heat the milk

• Add a spoonful of sugar and coffee grounds to the cup and stir well

• Microwave the mix for another 30 seconds

• Sprinkle some more instant mix on the top and microwave for another 10-12 seconds until it starts foaming (make sure it does not spill over)

• You may continue to heat for another 10 seconds if you like your coffee to be really hot. Remember to take breaks after every 10 seconds to avoid spilling the beverage.

If you want a creamy and rich flavor, always use whole-fat milk to make your coffee taste fuller. However, if you not so keen on using whole-fat milk, you may also try the above method with 2% or nonfat milk.

I have used this frothing technique for both whole fat milk and non-fat milk. Non-fat milk has always emerged as the winner with an impressive amount of foam that you cannot expect with cream or whole fat milk.

See Also: Roasted Coffee Vs Instant Coffee

Making Coffee in the Microwave: The Final Word

If you are not a regular coffee drinker or do not have access to a coffee maker for some reason, you can make coffee with a microwave for those cold winter mornings. Yes, I know that might sound a little weird.

You may ask – Why not just pour over? Well, making coffee in a microwave is a less messy process and it tastes pretty good too.

The beauty of coffee making is that you can explore, experiment, and try different methods to brew your cup of Java. You just need to ensure that you are using freshly ground beans, the right water temperature and you are good to go!

The coffee purists may think otherwise and say a microwave should only be used to heat water for coffee and then use a pour over method for the drip. However, we have experimented first hand and seen that making coffee with a microwave is very much possible.

What matters is the end result and if you have a creative soul, you can discover a myriad of ways to brew your favorite cup of coffee in unconventional methods. No matter what style you use for brewing, I wish you a piping hot fresh cup of Joe every morning!



  • 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.

1 thought on “How To Make Coffee With A Microwave”

  1. Peter Grantham

    I drink lots of coffee and have been eyeing up the microwave for some time. Your article has been inspirational.
    Clear and concise,
    Thank you

Comments are closed.