We describe how to make coffee on a stove 10 different ways. There is no need for a fancy electric coffee maker to brew a great cup of brew.
Coffee. Second, only to water, it is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world.
It is also second only to oil as a globally traded commodity.
Many different cultures worldwide covet their coffee drinking traditions. This is especially true when it comes to the morning ritual that helps drinkers get focused and energized for the day ahead.
Coffee has increased in popularity over the past few decades. More and more specialty coffees and cafes have become mainstream worldwide.
Coffee today can be accompanied by a variety of sweeteners, creamers, and other flavorings, such as vanilla or chocolate.
In the United States alone, people drink an average of three cups of coffee every day.
Some people prefer coffee for its numerous health benefits while others drink it for the energy kick.
Some drink it because they truly enjoy the flavor as well as the process of brewing a cup of coffee.
Most coffee consumers prefer to brew their own coffee at home. Here they can personalize the strength, sweetness, and flavors of their coffee.
They can also control the quality of the ingredients that they are using. Additionally, it is much more economical to prepare coffee at home.
Knowing how to brew coffee on a stove, or without a dedicated coffee machine can come in handy in certain times of need.
A power outage; coffee machine meltdown or simply choosing to lead a more minimalist lifestyle without an exclusive coffee machine can leave us without a cup of our favorite brew.
Instead of picking up some coffee on the go, and paying extra for the convenience, there are several alternative options available for making stovetop coffee.
People have been making coffee for centuries without fancy gadgets.
Some of the simplest methods are considered to be the best ways to make a cup of coffee. You can extract the deepest flavors from the beans, in less time than it would usually take the coffee maker!
Here are a few simple guidelines to consider using before you begin brewing.
Coffee is cultivated in the tropics, and often at high altitudes. In countries such as popular Java producing Indonesia, the coffee is grown closer to sea level.
Most coffee is produced far from where it is consumed. It is best to transport the green coffee bean, and roast the bean as close as possible to the moment of consumption. This provides optimum freshness and flavor.
Green coffee beans are fairly tasteless and unappetizing in their natural state. Coffee beans acquire their signature aroma and color from the high-temperature roasting.
Different temperatures and roasting times affect the caramelization of the natural sugars in a process known as the Maillard Reaction.
Oils are also produced during the process. Like any natural fat, this oil can also go rancid which leads to an unpleasant taste in the coffee.
As a general rule, the fresher the roast, the better. The flavor and aroma will fade over time.
The recommended period for optimum flavor is within the first two weeks after roasting. Most specialty roasters will stamp their beans with the roasting date.
The shelf life of coffee beans depends on multiple factors.
Humidity, temperature, light, and exposure to air (oxidation) all play a role in the freshness of stored coffee beans. Once stale, the beans will taste woody and bland.
Because ground coffee beans have unique aromas and complex flavor profiles, it is best to consume the coffee as fresh as possible.
Ground coffee is usually sold in vacuum-sealed packaging. This ensures that the grounds retain their flavor for longer. Once opened, it is recommended that the coffee be used within a week or two.
The best option, however, to get the most satisfactory results is to grind your coffee at home.
Purchasing coffee beans allows for the home grinding of the perfect coffee, ensuring freshness.
The right water temperature is vital to brewing the perfect cup of coffee and extracting optimal flavor.
Too cold, and the coffee will be heated too slowly with the water if using a stovetop method. This increases bitterness.
If using a drip method, the water simply will not be hot enough to extract the flavors of the coffee from the grounds. The result will be a watery and lackluster cup of coffee.
One exception to this rule is cold brew! Cold brew coffee is generally less acidic than it’s heated counterparts and can be prepared in large quantities.
But it takes much longer. Cold-brew coffee usually steeps for around 10 hours.
If the water is too hot, there is the risk of scorching the coffee, leading to an overly burnt and bitter flavor.
The perfect temperature for brewing coffee is just below the boiling point, 90°C. The ideal serving temperature will be considerably lower, at 70°C.
At this temperature, the coffee releases vapors that enhance the perception of flavors and aromas. As the coffee cools down, flavors become increasingly difficult to detect.
Some coffee making techniques require more specific temperatures.
When using coffee bags, for example, boiling water is not recommended. Rather, it is best to use water at a slightly lower temperature – 96°C.
In this way you extract the aroma and flavor, without tasting burnt or bitter.
It is important to consider that coffee is comprised of predominantly water. Therefore the quality of the water used makes a big difference in the final taste.
If at all possible, mineral or filter water should be used.
Several different types of grinders are available.
Some of the most common grinders are blade grinders. They use small blades at a high speed, much like a blender, to finely chop the beans.
These grinders are readily available and are usually quite economical.
One disadvantage of a blade grinder is that the beans are not ground uniformly. There is often a big difference between the finer granules and larger slices of coffee beans.
This, in turn, leads to unbalanced flavors in the coffee as well as wastage of the chunkier grounds.
Blade grinders are often electrical. Electric grinders are quick and convenient. However, if the quantity of coffee ground is large enough, a manual grinder is perfectly adequate for home use.
The superior grinding option is a burr grinder. Burr grinders are often manual, although electric burr grinders are available.
A burr grinder crushes the coffee bean uniformly, releasing its fragrant oils. This allows for improved solubility during the brewing process.
Different coffee brewing methods require different grades of ground coffee. Coffee brewing is, effectively, the use of hot water to extract flavors and aromas from the roasted coffee bean.
In each brewing technique mentioned below, the time and method of the extraction differ.
Finer ground coffee increases the surface area of the coffee bean that will come into contact with the water. Coarsely ground coffee has a reduced surface area.
Some techniques, such as the French Press, allow for longer immersion times. This fact allows for greater permeability of the coffee.
Therefore, coarsely ground coffee should be used to prevent bitterness and over-extraction.
Other, much faster brewing options, such as espresso, or the Turkish Ibrik, use very finely ground coffee. The coffee used to make Turkish coffee resembles dark cocoa powder.
In many cases, the method dictates the grind. However, it may be necessary to use the right technique for the coffee at hand.
Commercially marketed pre-ground coffee is often sold as being suitable for all coffee makers and brewing methods. Some higher-end products are more specific – such as specialty ground espresso.
There are several methods of making coffee without a coffee maker, depending on what utensils are readily available.
Many of these techniques do not need specialized equipment or even electrical energy. Some of the following methods do require specific appliances though, when making coffee on the stove.
The Cowboy Method is the simplest and most commonly used. Cowboy Coffee can be prepared at home, while camping, or even using an electric kettle.
It is best only to prepare the necessary amount. Using this technique can lead to overly bitter coffee if left too long or reheated.
How to make coffee in a pot:
Cowboy coffee is a reliable back-up for any coffee machine emergency!
Make coffee on the stove the old fashioned way.
To make a stovetop espresso, a moka pot can be used. The moka pot is one of the most common coffee gadgets and were originally designed in Italy.
This is an easy way to make espresso coffee on the hob, on gas, or fire!
The size of the coffee grounds is important when making coffee using a moka pot. If the coffee is ground too fine, it yields a bitter final product.
The moka pot is made up of three parts.
In the bottom chamber, there is a safety valve that allows for the release of excess steam and pressure.
Moka pots work by evaporating the water in the lower chamber. As the water evaporates, pressure builds up inside the pot. This pushes the water through the coffee in the filter and brewing the coffee in the process.
Water itself will not heat to above 100°C but the steam created in the process can be very hot indeed. It is important to take care when handling a hot moka pot, especially when pouring or removing the lid.
Turkish coffee is one of the oldest known methods of coffee brewing.
Turkish coffee is prepared in a tall stainless steel or copper pot known as an “ibrik” or “cezve”.
Traditionally, Turkish coffee is prepared using hot sand. Sand is an excellent conductor of heat.
It can also be made on the stove-top.
One of the defining characteristics of Turkish coffee is that it is made using very finely ground coffee.
It is not filtered either, which makes for a strong-tasting brew. The grounds are allowed to settle to the bottom and are not drunk.
Sugar and fragrant cardamom pods can be boiled with the coffee to add sweetness and an authentic Turkish flavor. This differs from other techniques.
The sweetener is usually added after preparing the coffee. Cream or milk is not added to the coffee.
If there are any grounds left in the cup, some people say that the coffee grounds can be used to foretell the future.
Using a stovetop coffee percolator is one of the easiest methods out there if you have your own percolator. It is quick, simple, and you can use a percolator on the hob, on a gas flame, or even on a campfire.
The stovetop percolator resembles a kettle, with a steel filter basket inside. The ground coffee can be placed directly into the filter-basket. Or the filter can be lined using a paper or cloth filter if preferred.
Many stovetop percolators have a crystal knob of the lid of the percolator. This allows one to see when the water begins to boil. You can now monitor the color of the brewing coffee in order to determine when the coffee is ready.
Stovetop percolators use the steam to penetrate the coffee grounds and extract the flavor. As steam reaches higher temperatures than water, this can lead to a stronger, more bitter, and more intense flavor than those achieved using other methods.
Percolators are usually made from stainless steel and get extremely hot. Therefore, caution is needed when removing from the stovetop – it is best to use an oven glove or dishcloth.
Use a trivet when placing the percolator on a counter-top.
The pour-over method is a no-brainer! Simply heat the water and pour over the grounds.
This is the simplest method of how to make coffee without a coffee maker.
For this method, it is best to use a medium grind.
If the coffee is too finely ground, the water will not filter through. If the coffee is too coarse, the water will not have enough time to interact with the grounds. You will end up with a flavorless, watery coffee.
It is advisable to preheat the cup before using this method. Either microwave the cup with water or fill it with boiling water.
Preheating the cup means that the cup will not absorb too much of the heat of the coffee as it is poured into the cup.
Paper coffee filters are a standard option when making pour-over coffee. These are less than perfect, as they absorb some of the natural oils released in the coffee.
These oils add to the mouthfeel of the coffee, creating a creamier, fuller texture.
Metal and plastic filters are also available. They make for better-tasting coffee as well as being more environmentally sustainable.
In a pinch, almost any permeable, natural fabric can be used as a coffee filter when placed inside a colander. Nut milk bags are ideal, but a handkerchief or a recycled cotton pillowcase could work too.
The French Press is one of the greatest icons of coffee worldwide.
They are simple to use, easy to maintain, and consistently make a smooth, full-bodied cup of coffee. It is no wonder that French Presses are so popular.
French Presses can be very affordable, or surprisingly expensive. Their function is quite standard, so any decent looking press will be more than adequate.
On a side note, French Presses can also be used to make frothy steamed milk for topping coffee. Turn that espresso into a cappuccino.
Simply add hot milk to the jug, replace the lid and slowly but firmly push down the filter. Immediately pull it back up. Repeat this action a few times until the hot milk becomes thick and frothy.
Coffee bags are the perfect combination of convenience and coffee-brewing enjoyment.
They give us the simplicity, quality, and flavor of pour-over coffee, married to the ease of an instant coffee.
Coffee bags are available commercially or can be made at home using cotton fabric. Organic, unbleached material would be ideal.
In terms of sustainability, upcycling is the best option. Simply add the ground coffee of choice to the bag, and using as one would use a teabag to brew a cup of tea.
If using homemade bags, it may take some trial and error. Find the perfect size of grinds that will not filter through the fabric, while allowing the hot water to permeate the bag and extract the flavor.
Ideally, using a coffee bag should mean being able to enjoy a cup of freshly brewed coffee without leaving any grounds in the cup.
The king of convenience, the microwave, can also be used to make a decent cup of coffee.
This is not exactly brewing coffee on the stove – but it does not use a coffee maker
Over the years, microwaves have been rather controversial. But there is certainly no debate about the practicality of having one!
There are several ways that one can make a cup of coffee in the microwave.
The above process works well if there is no access to an electric kettle or another source of hot water. It is simple and only uses the most basic of supplies.
There is another method of making coffee in the microwave which leads to excellent results. However, it requires a specific utensil – a microwave coffee maker.
Microwave coffee makers are relatively new on the scene. A microwave coffee percolator is like a stovetop percolator but goes into the microwave.
Other microwave coffee makers rely on the drip method.
Cold brew coffee is a refreshing alternative to a hot cup of Joe in the mornings.
It is smoother and less acidic than hot coffee, which makes for improved digestion. A disadvantage of making cold brew, however, is that it takes a very long time!
Ideally, the coffee grounds should steep in the water for 10-12 hours. That’s a long time to wait for a cup of coffee!
Very few supplies are needed for this technique.
It is impossible to over-extract cold brew coffee, as the water will never be hot enough to do so.
Cold-brew coffee is a hands-off and undemanding method that results in great flavor!
Instant coffee powder is created by first roasting and grinding the beans.
The beans are steamed to brew the coffee, which is then reduced to create an extract. The concentrate is then freeze-dried and later milled into granules.
Instant coffee is shelf-stable and is a practical solution to fulfilling our coffee needs when traveling, on the go, or in times of need.
Instant coffee is also a practical solution for those who do not drink coffee regularly. For those that have reduced kitchen space too. This means prefering not to lose precious counter top space to a dedicated coffee machine.
Many instant coffee powders have additives such as sugar, or powdered milk. Also, it is common to find coffee powders that have been mixed with chicory.
During the second world war, it became commonplace to mix the coffee to make supplies go further. Chicory is similar in taste but does not contain caffeine.
In order to make a basic coffee:
An instant coffee latte is quick, tasty, and comforting!
Follow the steps above. Use hot milk instead of boiling water to create a deliciously warming beverage.
Recently, the trend of making whipped coffee has meant increased popularity for instant coffee powder.
Whipped Instant Coffee:
Instant coffee is great to have on hand in an emergency, but can be enjoyed at any time!
All of the methods discussed above use:
It is, however, possible to brew coffee using just the coffee beans.
Using whole coffee beans means that the issue of uneven coffee grounds is avoided. This results in a fuller, and more flavorful cup of coffee.
Coffee also starts to lose flavor very quickly once it is ground and is exposed to light, moisture, and air. It goes stale within a week or two, depending on how it is stored.
In fact, most coffee that is sold commercially is already stale. To avoid these negative factors, we can make coffee using the whole coffee bean.
Using the coffee bean is possibly the easiest and most practical system. And it requires no special equipment or tools. The simplest method is a water-bath method.
Collect the materials:
The availability and variety of ground coffee nowadays are astounding. But one can still enjoy an old fashioned coffee, brewed from the beans.
There is a wide variety of coffee brewing techniques available that do not involve a coffee maker – but result in consistently delicious homemade coffee. It all boils down to personal preference and what materials are at hand.
When camping, multi-use utensils are ideal. They can be used for the preparation of other foodstuffs. The key is to be flexible and patient.
Part of the pleasure of enjoying a cup of coffee is the process of brewing it. Where better to appreciate the energy and tradition of coffee than in nature?
At home, the options to make coffee without a dedicated coffee machine may be more wide-ranging. In a kitchen, it may be possible to find several saucepans or filters, percolators, or metal jugs to brew coffee on the stove.
Other more specific, well-loved, utensils may be handed down from generation to generation.
By utilizing materials and supplies found in the home, whether due to necessity or personal preference, creates the possibility to explore preferences and personal taste. As well as reconnecting with our roots or coffee drinking heritage.
These out-of-the-box options are a step back in time. An opportunity to cherish the past and savor a fragrant cup of coffee – brewed to perfection!
This all depends on what brewing method you are using on your stove. You can use whole beans, finely ground coffee, medium, or coarse grounds beans depending on if you like your coffee strong or weak and what type of brewing equipment you are using. Anything goes when brewing coffee on a stove.
Old fashioned coffee is made on the stove using any type of cooking pot available.
1. Fill a pot with water and bring to the boil
2. When boiling, add your coffee beans or coarse grounds
3. When the coffee has boiled for 5 minutes - take off the heat
4. Wait until the grounds have settled in the pot
5. Slowly pour the coffee into cups
There is a large variety of methods for brewing coffee on a stove. All require hot water. The grounds or beans can be brewed in a cooking pot, Moka pot, percolator, an ibrik, through a filter or steeping