How to make coffee without a filter

This is How to Make Coffee without a Filter

Waking up in a campsite or a hotel without any type of coffee maker can be rather depressing. But you can get in a rather sticky situation even when you’re at home, for example in case of a power outage scenario. So what do you do when you don’t have a coffee brewer at your disposal? How to make coffee without a filter?

  1. Boil the water
  2. Add two spoons of freshly ground coffee in a cup
  3. Pour the hot water over the coffee grounds
  4. Let the coffee sit for a couple of minutes
  5. When you feel like your coffee is strong enough, start pouring the content from one cup to another while being careful not to let any grounds in

Simple, yet effective, eh?

With that being said, the French press improvisation is the simplest way of making coffee when there is no coffee machine on the horizon.

Now read below to discover even more neat methods for brewing coffee without relying on any quirky machinery!

1. Mesh Strainer Method

Things you will need:

  • Fine double-mesh strainer (unless you don’t mind coffee grounds in your cup)
  • Coffee grounds
  • Saucepan or kettle
  • Water
  • Cup


1. Measure the water depending on how many cups of coffee you want to make
2. Pour the water into a saucepan or a kettle
3.Add the desired amount of coffee grounds and stir
Note: more coffee equals stronger cups
4. Once the water reaches the boiling point, keep heating for another 2 minutes
5. Take the saucepan off the heat

Place the strainer on top of your mug and pour the content through it

Alternatively, you can do it this way too:

  1. Boil the desired amount of water and let it cool down a bit
  2. Hold the strainer above your cup with one hand and add the desired amount of coffee with the other
  3. Pour the water over the coffee grounds
  4. Wait for 30 seconds
  5. Remove the strainer and enjoy

How to make coffee without a filter, a microwave in a kitchen

2. Microwave Method

Things you will need:

  • Microwave (apparently)
  • Coffee grounds
  • Water
  • Cup


1. Pour water into a cup and put it in the microwave
2. Let it stay there until the water is hot instead of allowing it to reach the boiling point (approx. two minutes are enough)
3. Remove the cup from the microwave and add 1 tablespoon of coffee grounds
4. Stir it all until you can hear that distinctive sizzling sound
5. Let the cup sit for a couple of minutes and allow the grounds to settle

Oh, and please don’t forget about the grounds as you get nearer to the bottom of your cup as you most likely don’t want to “drink” them!

How to make coffee without a filter, weaving loom - cotton cloth

3. Cheesecloth Method

Things you will need:

  • Cheesecloth (hanky, cotton, or linen cloth will work too)
  • Coffee grounds
  • Binder paper clips
  • Water
  • Mug


1. Lay a piece of cheesecloth over the top of your mug
2. Tuck the cloth in gently and make a pouch to accommodate the coffee grounds
3. Use 3 or more binder paper clips to secure the cloth
4. Add coffee grounds to the pouch
5. Boil water and pour in a third of the cup to help the grounds soak in it the water
6. Wait for at least 30 seconds and continue pouring smaller portions of hot water into the cup
7. Remove the grounds and cheesecloth

Although this method takes more time, it might be a great idea if you don’t like your coffee chewy.

How to make coffee without a filter, cowboy rodeo

4. Cowboy Method

Things you will need:

  • Kettle
  • Spoon
  • Coffee grounds
  • Water
  • Cup


1. Add one tablespoon of coffee grounds into the kettle (or more if you need more servings)
2. Measure how much water you need per cup and pour it into the kettle
3. Take a spoon and stir until you get a smooth mixture of water and coffee grounds
4. Place the kettle on the stove (or over a campfire if you are outside) and wait until it boils
5. Leave it to boil for another two minutes and remove the kettle from the stove
6. Give the grounds a couple of minutes to properly submerge
7. Pour the coffee into your cup whilst being careful not to let too many grounds in

The reason we named this method “cowboy” is that it is a bit rustic.

You will find a bit of grit in your cup but hey – that’s how cowboys have it!

Starbucks Cold Brew Coffee

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5. Cold Brew Method

Things you will need:

  • Cheesecloth or a fine mesh hanky
  • Coarse coffee grounds
  • Water
  • Strainer
  • Wide mouth mason jar


1. Take a mason jar and add coffee grounds
2. Depending on whether you want a strong or more mellow concentrate, use three or five tablespoons of coarse coffee grounds per one tablespoon of water
3. Wait for a minute until the grounds soak in the water and pour more water
4. Stir the mixture to prevent the grounds from sticking to the bottom of the jar
5. Close the jar and refrigerate the compound for 14 to 24h
6. Take another jar or cup and place cheesecloth over then place the strainer on top
7. Pour the content into the strainer to catch the grounds

Note that cold brew coffee is good for the next 7 to 10 days if you keep it in the fridge.

One of the best things about this method is that you can dilute cup by cup or drink the entire batch if you have your friends over.

How to make coffee without a filter, the Swedish flag

6. Swedish Egg Method


Things you will need:

  • Coarse ground coffee
  • Eggs
  • Ice cold and room-temperature water
  • Cheesecloth
  • Saucepan
  • Cup
  • Bowl


1. Boil one cup of room temperature water in a saucepan
2. Once you see bubbles in the water, take one egg (including the shell) and crack it into a bowl
3. Stir the egg for 30 seconds
4. Add coffee grounds into the bowl and stir them with the egg until the mixture becomes somewhat consistent
5. Pour this mix into the boiling water and let it boil for another 5 minutes.
6. Remove the saucepan
7. You’ll see that a portion of the mixture starts floating on the surface
8. Add one cup of ice-cold water and watch the floating mixture hit the bottom
9. Place cheesecloth over a cup and slowly pour the coffee

As bizarre as it seems, this filter-free coffee is unbelievably smooth and velvety – you just have to try it!


1. What can you use in place of a coffee filter?

Here’s what you can use most of the time as a coffee filter substitute:

  • Cheesecloth
  • Hanky
  • Mesh sieve
  • Tea-towel cloth
  • Napkin
  • Empty teabags.

However, we wouldn’t recommend using stockings as nylon tends to melt when it comes in contact with hot water.

Also, stay away from paper napkins, as these would tear when you pour hot water over.

On the other hand, you can use paper towels but only if you fold them two or three times.

Paper towels are great as you can use them to filter coffee and prevent oils from slipping into your cup and making it too hard to digest.

2. How do you make a coffee bag?

Making a coffee bag isn’t exactly rocket science, but you still have to follow this neat method step-by-step to make one:

  1. Empty one teabag and put your favorite coffee grounds inside
  2. Seal the bag with a stapler and place it in a cup
  3. Boil the desired amount of water and pour over the bag
  4. Let it sit for a couple of minutes
  5. Take a clean cheesecloth
  6. Add the desired amount of coffee grounds to the center and make a bag out of it
  7. Wrap it with a string
    Note: If you have some tea bags in your kitchen, just rip off a string from one of the bags and use it to make the coffee bag
  8. Place the bag in a cup and leave two inches of the string outside of the cup
  9. Boil a cup or two of water
  10. Pour the boiled water over the bag and take it out after 3 to 4 minutes.

3. How to brew coffee without a scale?

Use two tablespoons of ground coffee per cup if you prefer a stronger and darker brew.

Or you can use one and a half tablespoons if you prefer something in the middle in terms of brew strength.

But since this is only a reference point, feel free to re-adjust the number of grounds per cup until you find the best ratio for you.

4. Can you eat coffee grounds?

Absolutely – you can consume ground coffee and it won’t kill you (unless you probably eat too much of them).

It’s nothing too dramatic or bad if you let in some coffee grounds into your cup that you eventually end up eating.

Although you can find the taste a little gritty, coffee grounds are totally consumable.

However, you’d probably want to use finely-ground espresso when you don’t have a filter to avoid having to chew on larger chunks of ground coffee.

5. How to make coffee without electricity?

You can brew coffee without any electricity by using either a camp or gas stove.

Sure, it might take a little bit longer to brew but these methods still work.

Even though it is not necessary to have access to electricity, consider buying a Jet Boil if you live in an area where power outages are a habit.


See? You don’t have to deprive yourself of a cup of Joe in the morning just because there’s no coffee machine around.

The cowboy and saucepan methods are quite simple, although you should totally give a try to the Swedish method as well.

So give yourself a pat on the back as you now know how to make coffee without a filter thanks to our neat coffee filter alternatives!

Which method seems the most appealing in your opinion?

Come on – share your experience with us in the comment section below!

Last update on 2023-09-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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