Nowadays more than ever, plenty of pieces of equipment, devices, and gadgets are available on the market for you to brew the perfect cup of coffee every morning: moka pots, French presses, automatic coffee makers just to name a few.
But what can the average person do when none of these are available?
Whether it is because they cannot afford a coffee-maker, are grossed out by a dirty coffee maker, cannot travel with one or they simply not like the product obtained from these options, there is no need to worry. There are manual ways out there to brew coffee just as convenient as other classical stove-top or electric ways.
Reusable mesh filters like this one is a great choice. Though they can only serve one cup at a time, the brewed coffee is directly poured over the mug, and the resulting flavor will vary according to the bean used and the temperature of the water.
If you have an electric coffee maker but can’t use it because whatever reason, remember the filters it contains! You can use that for the time being, pouring the water manually and heating it separately.
If you would like to brew more than just one cup at a time, a good idea is to emulate the mechanism of the French press: in a measuring cup, pour the coarsely ground beans and the desired amount of water. Let it steep for a few minutes and stir, repeating this process twice. Afterwards, place the mesh filter over the mug and pour the liquid in. The filter will stop the beans from getting into the cup and with this method you will be able to prepare more than one single cup of coffee at once.
In our comparison of the french press to the percolator we said that most people misuse their french presses anyway so this might not taste a lot different if you go down this path.
Paper filters are another way to go. The grounds can be placed on the inside and, by twisting the top a little, a coffee bag of sorts can be made. This brewing process imitates that of tea brewing when tea bags are used: the bag is placed inside the cup and water is poured over it. The user should let it brew and filter for a few minutes until the coffee reaches the desired point.
The trick is to try and imagine what every day kitchen utensils can be used and in which ways they can replace fancier mechanisms, because if you can use your imagination, all you will need is hot water, coffee grounds and some creativity. For example, if there isn’t a mesh filter available, a metal strainer will work just as fine if a coarse grind is used. Teapots and kettles can replace measuring cups and will brew a larger amount of coffee.
It goes without saying that a bit of practice might be needed in order to master these alternative methods, but it is at least helpful to know them before they are needed, since they can work in emergencies, like when the power goes out and you can’t access electricity. One last piece of advice? Remember that, after everything else has failed you, instant coffee will have to do.