November 30, 2022

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Perk up! How to make coffee without a coffee machine

8 min read

It may be hard to imagine making coffee without a machine – especially if drip coffee makers and single-serve coffee makers have been a person’s go-to method for several years.

Nonelectric brewing methods and gadgets have been available for centuries, and it appears that many remain popular to this day, according to trending hashtags on social media.

The search query, “How to brew coffee without machine,” has been viewed more than 251,000 times on TikTok as of Monday, Nov. 7.

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Specific hashtags for coffee kettles and pressure chambers have garnered millions of views and comments from TikTok users who already make or aspire to make coffee cord-free.

Coffee drinkers don’t need a fancy electric machine to make hot or cold coffee.
(Sheila Aram-Salahbin/Ethan Rhode/Cosette Manson)

Here are five ways you can make coffee at home without using a coffee machine.

Stovetop kettles (moka pots and more)

Moka pots are octagonal coffee pots that can brew coffee or espresso on a stovetop or similar heat source.

Moka pots are octagonal coffee pots that can brew coffee or espresso on a stovetop or similar heat source.
(iStock)

Moka pots are stovetop kettles designed for brewing coffee. The Moka Express was launched 1933 by Italian engineer Alfonso Bialetti, according to Bialetti’s namesake kitchen brand.

The iconic octagonal metal pots only require ground coffee beans, water, a heat source and a pressure setting to make a cup of coffee, according to the brand.

More than 112.3 million TikTok users have watched coffee videos under the hashtag #mokapot as of Monday.

This includes Sheila Aram-Salahbin of Fairfax, Virginia, who said she learned about the nonelectric coffee-brewing method after a shopping trip to HomeGoods.

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She found moka pot resources online and shared a tutorial on how to make a “perfect stovetop espresso” with the white moka pot she purchased in March.

“It’s easy to learn and, in my opinion, it actually adds a bit of luxury when I make a cup of coffee for a guest,” Aram-Salahbin told Fox News Digital.

“I’ve used my espresso maker a few times, and I will say it takes a few mistakes to make a perfect cup of coffee,” she said. “[But] it’s a quality piece that gives your home an extra bit of extravagance, and now I feel like a barista with this stovetop espresso maker.”

Aram-Salahbin likes to make her moka pot coffees with cold filtered water, which she pours into the bottom chamber. The ground espresso gets spooned into the pot’s designated coffee basket and Aram-Salahbin makes sure to not tamp it down so that the coffee has room to expand. Heating the pot brews the coffee within minutes.

Other stovetop-friendly coffee kettles exist and function similarly under various name brands. These competing kettles often have a round design paired with a short spout or a long gooseneck spout.

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French press

French press coffee makers brew or steep coffee grounds as the pot's plunger attachment lowers over time.

French press coffee makers brew or steep coffee grounds as the pot’s plunger attachment lowers over time.
(iStock)

The French press – also known as cafetière or coffee plunger – is a nonelectric coffee-brewing method.

It was first patented in the 19th century by French inventors Mayer and Delforge, and the design evolved over time in France and the U.S. by Marcel-Pierre Paquet dit Jolbert in 1924 and Attilio Calimani in 1929, respectively, according to the Perfect Daily Grind – a coffee news source.

French presses are cylindrical coffee pots made with fine mesh plungers that push down coffee grounds while brewing (hot water) or steeping (cold or room temperature water) is in progress.

The French press method is such a popular manual coffee method that the #frenchpress hashtag on TikTok has been viewed more than 106.8 million times.

Ethan Rhode, a coffee content creator from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who has more than 460,000 TikTok followers, told Fox News Digital that he likes to use a French press to make “smooth” and “tasty” cups of coffee and that naysayers usually dislike the method because it can result in floating coffee grounds if not done right.

“The root cause is your grind size,” Rhode said. “When making a French press, you want a coarse grind, so coffee particles don’t get through the filter. If you grind too fine, the coffee is sneaking through the filter into your cup and into your mouth.”

When buying ground coffee beans at Starbucks or other coffee houses or grinding coffee beans at home, Rhode recommends requesting or shooting for a coarse grind “on a French press setting.”

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Double filtering when making French press coffee can also minimize coffee ground floating, according to Rhode.

Ethan Rhode’s quick French press recipe

“Coffee is a game of ratios, and the French Press is no exception,” Rhode said. “My go-to French press ratio is 1:15. This means for each gram of coffee you’ll use 15 grams of water. This is a good baseline to start with.”

He continued, “If you like your coffee stronger, use a 1:12 ratio, and if you like your coffee weaker, then use a 1:18 ratio. Once you have the game of ratios mastered, you will have effectively mastered the French press.”

French presses can be used while camping – “no fancy electric machines needed” – and be made in seven to eight minutes from start to finish, Rhode told Fox News Digital.

If insulation is a concern, Rhode recommends stainless steel French presses over standard glass because it traps heat longer while it steeps.

Brands that make insulated French presses include Bodum, Espro and Fellow Clara, according to Rhode.

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“Honestly, I love the French press,” Rhode said. “I find it so versatile. I use it to make [hot] coffee, obviously, cold brew and tea.”

AeroPress

The AeroPress is one of the latest manual coffee maker inventions to come out of the early 21st century. It was invented by Alan Adler, a retired engineering instructor who founded Aerobie Inc., a sports toy company in 1984.

Adler debuted the AeroPress – which is a cylindrical coffee maker that has a chamber, an airtight plunger and a filter – in 2005, according to the AeroPress website.

In the last two decades, the nonelectric coffee-brewing method has become popular among coffee aficionados and has garnered more than 47.2 million views on TikTok under the #AeroPress hashtag.

Cosette Manson of California is a fan of the AeroPress and turned to the device to save money and share machine-free recipes with her family, friends and followers, she said.

“I was researching cheap ways to make good coffee at home, and I came across the AeroPress,” Manson told Fox News Digital.

“[The AeroPress] seemed like a perfect fit for me because it’s super versatile,” Manson continued. “It makes espresso, cold brew and hot coffee.”

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Manson’s machine-free brown sugar shaken espresso tutorial, which she shared in May, has been viewed more than 100,000 times.

You’ll need a mason jar, two shots of espresso made via AeroPress, a tablespoon of brown sugar, ice cubes, cinnamon and a vigorous shake before adding in a splash of oat milk (or milk of choice).

Manson said the brown sugar shaken espresso is one of her favorites “because it’s quick, easy and doesn’t require any fancy syrups or a fancy machine.”

Similarly, she said she enjoys using an AeroPress because “it’s so easy to use, too,” and she recommends the manual coffee maker to “anyone who wants to learn how to make coffee at home.”

Pour-over

Pour-over coffee drippers help people brew coffee by hand with hot water and paper filters.

Pour-over coffee drippers help people brew coffee by hand with hot water and paper filters.
(iStock)

The pour-over coffee method was invented by German entrepreneur Melitta Bentz in 1908, according to Coffee Beans Delivered, an Australian coffee bean delivery service.

Bentz’s namesake brand, Melitta, continues to sell manual pour-over brewers and paper filters, so coffee drinkers can make a cup without an electric drip coffee machine.

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Coffee fans on TikTok have viewed the #pourover hashtag more than 94.6 million times and the #pourovercoffee more than 49.5 million times.

Tanner Colson, a content creator from Irvine, California, who works as a marketing and support specialist at an espresso company, has shared many coffee tutorials with his TikTok audience, which exceeds 1 million followers.

In September, Colson shared his pour-over tutorial, and the video has been viewed more than 210,200 times as of Monday.

Coffee can be brewed using various methods that do not require an automatic coffee machine, and many TikTok users have showed off their own methods on the video-sharing platform.

Coffee can be brewed using various methods that do not require an automatic coffee machine, and many TikTok users have showed off their own methods on the video-sharing platform.
(iStock)

Fox News Digital reached out to Colson for comment.

Colson makes pour-over coffee with 20 grams of coffee beans, and he grinds the beans with a burr mill grinder for an “even and consistent grind,” according to his TikTok video.

He then sets up his glass carafe, metal dripper and paper filter. Before making his coffee, he rinses the filter and dumps out the water to remove the papery taste.

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Colson adds the ground coffee beans into the filter-lined dripper and makes a small divot in the center before he pours and swirls 40 grams of hot water to saturate the coffee.

In his video, Colson said he waits 40 seconds and then pours more water in a circular motion until he gets to 180 grams, swirls, and then 300 grams. 

Colson aims to make his pour-over coffee drip brew for three minutes, and he swirls the beverage one last time to let it aerate before serving.

Cold brew

Cold brew takes long periods of time to steep, but it can be made in bulk and stored for later use.

Cold brew takes long periods of time to steep, but it can be made in bulk and stored for later use.
(iStock)

The cold brew coffee-making method is believed to have started in Kyoto, Japan, during the 1600s, when Dutch traders introduced cold cups of coffee as a reliable way to brew without hazardous fire, according to Timeline.com, a historical news outlet.

The heat-free brewing method has reportedly been done in other parts of the world for hundreds of years.

The global cold brew coffee market is projected to reach $1.63 billion in revenue by 2025, according to an industry forecast published by Grand View Research, a San Francisco-based market research firm.

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While the ready-to-drink cold brew market appears to be growing, cold brew drinkers are also looking to make the caffeinated beverage at home. On TikTok, the hashtag #diycoldbrew has more than 1 million views.

Halle Burns, a verified TikTok creator who has more than 2.4 million followers, shared her easy-to-follow cold brew tutorial last October, which has been viewed nearly 3 million times.

Milk is poured over a coffee served with ice cubes.

Milk is poured over a coffee served with ice cubes.
(iStock)

Fox News Digital reached out to Burns for comment.

In her video, Burns shows she likes to make cold brew with a hazelnut blend of coffee, which she pours into a large glass jar with a doubled amount of water.

Burns lets the jar brew for 24 or 48 hours, and then she pours the coffee into a glass container that’s been lined with a paper filter bag.

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The filtered cold brew can be served with water or milk, according to Burns.

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