Cowboys didn’t have Keurigs, and believe it or not you don’t need one – or any other coffee maker, for that matter – to put out some of the best cups of coffee you’ve ever had.
Yes, you’re reading that correctly!
- Important things to get out of the way before we dive right in
- Use super fresh and just ground coffee beans
- Get your water temps right every time
- Cowboy coffee works wonders – indoors or out!
- Bag up your beans and give them a dunk
- Bootleg French Press method for those that are in a hurry
Sure, that multi-hundred dollar super fancy and ultra special coffee making machine with espresso attachments and all kinds of other widgets will be able to spit, sputter, and spurt out coffee that knocks your socks off. That can’t be denied.
But by locking in on the inside information below we’ll teach you how to cook up some coffee the “old fashioned way” – the way they made coffee for hundreds and hundreds of years, long before electricity was even a twinkle in the imagination of men.
Now, before we dive in, it’s important that you realize right off the bat that just because you don’t have to make coffee with a coffee maker doesn’t mean you have to go without one of these wonder machines, either.
These tips and tricks work fantastically for when you’re in a pinch, when the power goes down, when you’re out camping, or when your coffee machine goes on the fritz. Use them whenever and however you like, but don’t think you don’t have to go without some of the modern conveniences that coffee machines bring to the table.
But know this – when you do put these tips and tricks for making coffee without a coffee machine into action (and when you get really, really good at them to boot), you’ll be putting out some premium cups of Joe unlike anything else you’ve ever had.
It’ll give you that buzz your looking for from the powerhouse caffeine that isn’t wasted and is sure to be richer, smoother, and more flavors than anything else you’ve ever had.
This is some special stuff, to be sure – and it may mean that even though you could go back to using a coffee machine you never do, just because you’ve tasted life in the big leagues and don’t want to bat around in the minors anymore!
We totally get it!
Important things to get out of the way before we dive right in
Look, we’d love nothing more than to get rocking and rolling with an outline for all the little tips and tricks we can give you to make world class coffee without a machine, but first we have to do a little bit of foundational work here.
There’s a reason that every building intended to last the test of time – and to do exactly what it was designed to do – is only built after a rock-solid foundation has been laid down. And that’s what this quick section of this guide is all about!
Use super fresh and just ground coffee beans
Make no mistake about it, the quality of your coffee beans and the water you use is going to have the biggest impact on your ability to pump out a fantastic cup of Joe.
This is why you ALWAYS have to work with only the best beans you can get your hands on, the kinds of beans you know have been grown and roasted with one thing in mind – acting as the main building block for the best cup of coffee you’ve ever had.
The coffee you use should have been roasted to perfection by real deal professionals, transported to you in a hurry, and then ground only just before you actually use it.
Sure, there will be some temptation to use the pre-ground stuff in a pinch (and it works when you NEED coffee and having nothing else in the house), but pre-ground coffee will never be as good, as rich, or as powerful as the whole beans you grind right before you brew.
Get your water temps right every time
One of the smartest investments you can make in your kitchen (especially if you love to cook) is a handheld instant thermometer.
This amazing little gizmos are going to make sure that you never overcook a steak or undercook a chicken ever again, but they’ll also help you hit that sweet spot when it comes to water temps for you coffee as well.
You’ll especially need to be sure that you hit the perfect temp for your coffee when you are going to go the “no coffee maker” route. Your water should be just below boiling (anywhere between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit, giving you the chance to pull out every scrap and molecule of flavor from your beans as humanly possible.
Knock these two details out of the park and you’ll be off to the races!
Cowboy coffee works wonders – indoors or out!
If you want to whip up a world class batch of coffee for your friends, family, and guests without using a coffee maker, you’ll almost certainly want to go the “Cowboy Coffee” route.
All you have to do is get yourself a solid pot or kettle, throw it on the heat, and add some ground or whole beans to the mix. Let it come to temp – right as it gets to a steady simmer, just before it starts to boil – and then pull it off the heat.
Allow the coffee to set and steep for a while (maybe 5 minutes, maybe 10, depending on your beans) and then you’ll be good to go. Filter out the beans as you pour the coffee into your cups or mugs (filters or a paper towel/cheese cloth work wonders).
It doesn’t get much easier than that!
Bag up your beans and give them a dunk
Another super simple approach to making world class coffee without every touching a coffee maker is to transform your loose beans into a makeshift teabag – a coffee bag – and use it exactly as you would your favorite cup of tea.
A little scrap of cheese cloth is always going to be the most effective homemade coffee bag, and you’ll want to keep a steady supply on hand. But if you can’t get some cheesecloth – or if you’re out for the time being – make sure that you load up on disposable filters.
Just throw you ground up (freshly ground up, remember?) beans into this makeshift little pouch and then boil some water. Allow the pot to cool for 3 or 4 minutes – just enough to take the edge off and hit that sweet spot temp you’re after – and then steep and dunk your new coffee bag into your mug with hot water.
5 minutes or so later and you’ll be ready to crush a great cup of flavor packed coffee, all without having to pull out a bulky or expensive coffee maker to do so. This is the ultimate single serve solution!
Bootleg French Press method for those that are in a hurry
The last method for making a top tier cup of coffee in a hurry is one that we use all the time.
Capable of producing AMAZING coffee – seriously, this is some good stuff – with the right premium and fresh ground beans, the Bootleg French Press gives you that dark, rich, flavorful, deep and almost oily coffee you’re after without the mess that a traditional French Press involves.
All you have to do is grab your favorite premium coffee beans that have been roasted to perfection, throw them in your grinder to hit the grind level you’re after (some like it rough and choppy, some like it fine as a powder), and then pitch those raw and untouched grounds right into your coffee mug.
Add some water that has been boiled in a pan or kettle and allow it to sit in the mug for maybe 3 minutes. When your timer dings and tells you that the coffee is ready, you have two options:
One, you can carefully – very carefully – drink your coffee black just as it is, making sure you don’t sip too quickly and stir up the sediment at the bottom of the mug.
Or two, slowly pour the coffee from mug to another, making sure that you stop as soon as floater grinds start to make their way into the other mug. With this approach you can add cream, milk, or sugar (or whatever else you’re doctoring your coffee up with) and you’ll be good to go!
At the end of the day, there are all kinds of options out there for folks that want to overhaul their coffee without having to drop hundreds and hundreds of dollars on a new machine.
Yes, those new machines have all kinds of bells and whistles that the decidedly low tech solutions we outlined above never will. But you have to remember that NONE of those bells and whistles existed when people started surviving on coffee and that the “old fashioned” way of making coffee still has a lot to offer those that go in this direction.
So give it a try.
Use the tips and tricks we outlined above to make the most of the methods we’ve described. You’re going to love this approach, and shouldn’t be surprised if you start making ALL your coffee without a coffee maker from here on out – and maybe you’ll get others hooked on this approach, too!