How many of us can’t begin the day without a cup of coffee? Millions of people across the globe can turn into unproductive zombies without their favorite cup of Java. But while it is easy to just program a coffeemaker to give you something hot to chug the moment you wake up, there are certain times when you have to go back to your roots.
From camping to blackout to unexpected disasters with your coffee machine, it is great to know that you can still make a great-tasting cup. Which begs the question: how do you make coffee without a filter or coffee maker?
Fortunately, it takes only survival common sense to be able to brew coffee without the aid of filter or modern contraptions.
Things You’ll Need
Without a doubt, coffee-making without the aid of a conventional filter or coffeemaker is going to be challenging. If you know your coffee “flavor” well, making a good cup should not be as mind-boggling. You will, however, need the following to ensure that the texture, aroma and taste don’t fall from the usual:
- Freshly Ground Coffee Beans. Of course, you can’t make coffee without coffee beans. Keep in mind that your cup of Joe is best determined by the quality of beans you use. Coffee taste after all is attributed to almost 80 percent aromatics. Thus, adequate care must be done when storing ground coffee beans. If possible, try roasting your own coffee or buy ones that are roasted within the past week or two.
- Coffee Burr Grinder. If you prefer fresh roasted coffee beans, you will a coffee grinder. Choose manual type, if you may. Aside from eco-friendly, it can also be used even when out camping or when electricity is out. Go for burr grinders for that consistent grind. Do take note: freshly ground coffee only take up to 20 minutes before aromatics completely dissipate into thin air.
- Kettle. You will obviously need hot water. Well, not just hot water but one with the right temperature. A known sweet spot shared by baristas and coffee gurus are within 195 to 205-degree F (or approximately 90 to 96-degree C). Keep in mind that too much hotness can scold the coffee beans while too cold will only miss out the core taste. If you don’t have a thermometer handy, simply bring water to a boil and allow it to sit for approximately 30 seconds.
- Saucepan. If you want to steer clear of using the usual kettle route.
- Mug. Of course, you will need something to hold your coffee.
- Accessories. Other items which may also be of use are cheesecloth or hanky (to serve as filter) and elastic band to hold it in place.
Two-Way Off-grid Coffee-Making
The two simplest ways of making coffee without a filter or coffee maker can be deducted to this: kettle vs. saucepan.
- Saucepan Coffee Making is definitely a no-fuss coffee preparation. All you need to do is fill a saucepan with water and place it on top of a cooktop or in an open fire pit when outside. Turn off heat as soon as water comes to a rolling boil. Add a good amount of coffee beans into the water and stir using a ladle. Cover and allow to sit for four to five minutes until coffee residue settle down. Serve unto a cup by slowly pouring it over—or use a soup ladle to left the ground coffee deposit at the bottom of the saucepan undisturbed.
- Kettle-and-Makeshift-Filter Coffee-making. For those who want a more refined way of drinking coffee, creating a makeshift filter in the form of a cheesecloth or good ol’ handkerchief will do. Simply:
- Bring water to a boil via kettle.
- While waiting, a makeshift makeover can be created using a handkerchief or cheesecloth on top of a mug. Secure this with an elastic band or perhaps, a paper clip. This will serve as the filter.
- Place medium-ground coffee beans on the makeshift pour over and make sure they are even and centered.
- Wet the coffee grounds with a little hot water for about 30 seconds.
- Pour hot water slowly on 30-second increments. The whole hot-water-pouring should be completed at around 2 minutes.
- Remove the makeshift makeover or squeeze out the remaining water if you want that strong kick.
- Drink up!
Bottomline is: You can make great-tasting coffee without a filter or coffee maker anytime, anywhere—but only when the right ingredients and best practices are in place. From using quality coffee beans to the perfect coffee ground to the right water temperature, it is safe to deduce that coffee-making is all about the amount of preparation and attention you put on the little things that count.