September 17, 2021


Qualified food specialists

3 ways to make coffee without a machine

4 min read

Chemexes, Mokka Pods, Keurigs and Nespresso machines: all coffee equipment filling different coffee needs. However, you don’t need any of them to make a decent cup of coffee.

Sure, they’re helpful, and you need them if you’re after certain flavors, but they’re not a necessity — especially if you just want a simple cup of black coffee. Getting a good cup of coffee at home only requires the tools you have in your kitchen. Here are three coffee methods you don’t need expensive equipment for:

Cowboy and Turkish coffee is essentially the same thing: coffee grounds boiled directly in open water. The only difference is the quality. Cowboy coffee has the stereotype of being a thick, black mush shared around the campfire, where you’re spitting out the grounds from between your teeth into a sizzling, black mass bubbling over inside the fire. 

Turkish coffee is a deliciously sweet, sometimes spiced nectar brewed in a small golden pot, served to you inside a cozy cafe. Yet, despite the difference in quality, they share the same equipment, which is a small pot and stirring utensil. The only difference is technique.

Cowboy coffee recipe:


1 tablespoon of coarse ground coffee (per 8-ounce cup)

8 ounces of clean cold water (per tablespoon of coffee)

Sugar, cream and other accoutrements


In a small saucepan, put the desired amount of coffee at the bottom of the pan. Tilt the grounds so they all pile up on the edge of the pan. Pour water on the section of the pan without water. This is so the water does not disturb the grounds, resulting in them floating freely in the water. If you skip this step, you’ll be spitting out a lot of coffee grounds. Remember, this coffee is unfiltered, meaning there will always be some residue in your drink.

Once everything is set, place the pot on a stove, and turn it on to a medium heat, bringing it up to a simmer. The longer you let the mixture simmer, the stronger the coffee you’ll have. If you want to add sugar, add it now, as it will mix better while the mixture is simmering. Once finished, take the pot off the heat, and let the boiling stop. There will be some grounds at the top of the pan. To settle them, sprinkle fresh cold water at the top.

Pour the liquid slowly into your cup. The grounds should clump at the bottom, leaving a cup of coffee with relatively few grounds. There’s always going to be a few grounds but, if done correctly, it will be on the scale of an espresso shot.

Turkish coffee recipe:


1 tablespoon of finely ground coffee (per 8-ounce cup) 

8 ounces of clean cold water (per tablespoon)

Preferred sugar/spices (normally has sugar and spices added in during brewing)

Recommended spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, anise, cayenne pepper (decent with cream and sugar)


Turkish coffee is brewed the same way as Cowboy, except for a few additions. First, the coffee should be ground extremely fine, resulting in a more flavorful cup. Some coffee brands make grounds designed for Turkish coffee. If you can’t find these, get an espresso grinder. Second, spices and sugar are added and mixed into the grounds before brewing. 

When heating, bring the coffee up to a simmer. Then, take it off before putting it back on and bringing it back to a simmer. Repeat this process seven to eight times. This creates a light yet thoroughly flavorful cup of coffee. Pour the same way as described in Cowboy coffee.

Steeped coffee

Steeped coffee is brewed the same way you might brew a cup of tea. Wrap the coffee in a permeable cloth or piece of paper, and dunk it in a hot pot of water. This method is popular in Nordic countries such as Finland. In flavor, the coffee is weak, but the caffeine will get through. 


1 tablespoon of coarse ground coffee (per 8-ounce cup)

8 ounces of clean cold water (per tablespoon of coffee)

Cheesecloth or coffee filter

Butcher twine


Place coffee grounds within cloth or coffee filters. Wrap the cloth around the coffee, and twist the top of the cloth. It should look like a ball with a tail behind it. Take butcher twine and make a square not on the tail to keep it in place.  

Put the ball in a cold pot of water, and then place it on the stove on a high heat. Bring up to a simmer, then take the pot off. Once simmering stops, place it back on the stove, and repeat the process seven or eight times. The method is similar to Turkish coffee

Since this method is filtered, you don’t need to worry about grounds. The coffee will taste extremely weak with little-to-no bitterness, but the caffeine content will be there. It will taste similar to black tea. Drink it with sugar or black. Adding cream will destroy the flavor. 

Egg Coffee

Here’s an odd one. In this method, coffee grounds are mixed with a raw egg before boiling. This keeps the grounds and the oils within the egg while the caffeine gets drawn out. Essentially, the egg acts as a filter. This is popular with Lutheran churches in the upper Midwest, brought over from Nordic countries.


1 tablespoon of coarse ground coffee (per 8-ounce cup) 

8 ounces of clean cold water

1 egg

Sugar, cream and other accoutrements


Mix grounds with egg yolk, and beat into a slurry. Add slurry into an already simmering pot of water. If put into a cold water, the mixture will separate. Simmer until desired blackness/extraction is reached. 


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