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make coffee without a coffee maker

How to Make Coffee Without a Coffee Maker

Here's the scenario. You love your perfect take-out coffee on the way to work and dream of sitting outside with the newspaper and a fresh espresso on a quiet Sunday morning.

Unfortunately, you don't have the time/space/budget for a coffee maker (delete as appropriate!), so your vision of sublime coffee goodness in your own kitchen is a distant aspiration.

The other, arguably more nightmarish, scenario is that you've invested in a stunning Chemex or commercial-grade espresso machine, but it stops working.

Hoxton Coffee has some great news; with a little creativity, you can use all the tools at your disposal to turn a bag of Proper Strong into a rich cup of caffeine or brew up a silky smooth House Blend without any technical expertise or equipment.

We'll share a few of the easiest ways to create a fresh coffee whenever you need one.

Making Stovetop Coffee at Home

If you've ever tried authentic Italian or Turkish coffee, this might seem like a no-brainer, but it's one of the most traditional and effortless ways to make incredible coffee!

Here's what you'll need to do:

  • Heat a small amount of water in a saucepan - just a tad more than you'll need for a cupful since some moisture will burn off or get absorbed into the coffee grounds.
  • Stir your ground coffee directly into the water according to the amount you'd use for a regular cup of coffee (or scale up for a bigger portion).
  • Bring the pan up to boil, and stir it to make sure the grounds don't stick to the bottom of the pan or start to burn.

That's it - you're looking at about two minutes of boiling time, plus four minutes of resting away from the heat so that the grounds settle and you don't get a mouthful of grit on your first sip.

You can pour your coffee into your cup if you've got a steady hand or use a ladle, which is a great way to avoid scooping up any grounds that have settled at the bottom of the pan.

We'd remind you to turn off the stove, but since you're adults, we hope that isn't necessary - and 'that's why coffee's for grownups' says every parent everywhere!

Brewing Coffee With a Makeshift Cafetiere

A cafetiere (aka French press) is a straightforward way to make coffee. Still, if you've had a dishwasher mishap and haven't gotten around to replacing it, you can mimic the same filtering process with some kitchen staples!

All you do is put a spoonful of ground coffee for each cup you'd like to make into a fairly deep bowl and add the boiling water, leaving it to sit for about four minutes, so it seeps right into the coffee.

Once the grounds have settled to the bottom of the bowl, use a tablespoon to squish them very gently - partly because you don't want to disintegrate the coffee, but also because we're dealing with boiling water!

Pour your coffee into your mug, and if you can, keep the spoon pressed against the grounds, so they don't tip out.

You've got yourself a makeshift French press, with minimal cleaning required.

One-Cup Coffee Filter Brews

Our next idea is pretty much using a coffee filter as a teabag - you use a small amount of string, non-waxy, please, and tie the ends of the filter up to keep your ground coffee safely inside.

You can buy pre-done coffee bags, but they're less than impressive in flavour, so this no-machine method is great if you have a bag of perfect Hoxton Coffee and don't want to sacrifice taste for convenience!

The process is probably obvious, but for the sake of clarity:

  • Pop one serving into the filter and tie it off with some string, leaving a bit you can rest on the outside of the mug - exactly like a teabag.
  • Warm your water, pour it over the filter and then leave to brew for around four minutes.

Nothing more to it - chuck the filter when your brew is strong enough, and enjoy.

How to Make Proper Coffee in a Microwave

We know, we know, a microwave isn't a classic coffee-making tool, but if you're in a rush and you have a microwave, it might be a nifty way to get your caffeine rush without a machine.

Pour the water into a mug, and zap it for two minutes (depending on your microwave). You want hot water that hasn’t quite reached boiling.

Measure out one spoon of coffee grounds, and add them to the water - you should get a satisfying sizzle!

Leave to brew for the regular four minutes, then drink away, or tip into your travel mug and you're all set.

Cold Brew Coffee Recipe

Cold brew coffee takes a bit of time, but if you're a fan of chilled coffee, you can make a massive batch that will take you through the week.

The best containers are wide, deep jugs or mason jars, but you can make do with anything big enough you've got in the cupboard.

You'll also need something to strain the coffee with, but if you don't have some handy cheesecloth sitting around, a fine strainer or piece of cotton fabric will do the job.

Making cold brew coffee at home isn't quick, but it is easy:

  • Add around one part of coffee grounds (coarsely blended) to five parts of water. Ideally, you want to dampen the coffee for 30 seconds before pouring in the rest.
  • Stir, put on the lid, and leave in your fridge for up to 24 hours, but at least 14. The longer you leave your cold brew, the stronger it will taste.
  • Once you're happy, strain your coffee, pouring it through your cloth from one container to the next - and voila!

Filtered cold brew is fine to keep refrigerated for about a week, and you can add a little water to each cup if it's a little too knock-your-socks-off strong for a Wednesday.

It's best to add extra water as you go, rather than diluting the entire batch, as it'll avoid the big jar of cold brew becoming watery.

camping coffee

Coffee for Camping

Now, if you're in the middle of a field and have very limited resources, we've got another suggestion, replicating how cowboys used to brew their coffee.

You can try this at home, too, if you're so inclined, but it's a minimal equipment option you can use anywhere.

Presumably, you've got a fire or a camping stove and want to add one tablespoon of ground coffee for each mug you're making to a kettle.

Stir it all together, and bring it to a boil, keeping it there for two minutes or so.

Next, take the kettle off the heat, let it brew for four minutes, and pour.

How to Brew Swedish Coffee

Last but not least, let's take some tips from our Scandinavian cousins, who tend to know a thing or two about living stylishly, but with practicalities in mind!

There is a unique coffee brewing method that uses an egg.

Yes, you read the right.

Not a strange craft egg, an obscure cooking implement or an egg from an exotic bird - but the regular chicken egg you've got sitting in the fridge.

Here's how:

  • Boil some water in a saucepan, making enough for however many cups you need.
  • While the water is boiling, crack your egg into a bowl - add everything, including the shell.
  • Add your coffee grounds into the bowl, and stir the eggy mess together.
  • Tip this mush into the boiling water, and keep it boiling for around three to five minutes, ensuring it doesn't boil over.
  • When you see chunky bits on the top of the water, tip in one cup of ice-cold water and leave it there for a minute while the chunks and coffee grounds sink.
  • Pour the coffee through a filter cloth into a mug.

You've got to try it for yourself - it's an offbeat but cool way to brew a silky smooth coffee without any bites of bitterness that'll certainly be a talking point.

It's weird, but it works!

Making Coffee at Home With No Coffee Maker

We hope we've inspired you to look beyond the conventional coffee machine and experiment with some more creative ways to brew a perfect mug of coffee!

It's handy to have some ideas, and just as there is more than one way to catch a fish, there are countless options if you're in a coffee emergency.

Get brewing, and let us know if you've got any other coffee hacks the Hoxton Coffee Roasters might want to give a go!

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