How to make strong coffee without a coffee maker

Here’s How to Make Strong Coffee Without a Coffee Maker

Let’s face it – we’ve become so reliant on our beloved coffee machines these days that it’s hard to imagine life without one. But what if there’s a power outage in your home, a problem with your water supply, your coffee maker has just died etc.? What if you prefer good old ground java? How to make strong coffee without a coffee maker so that you may get your much-needed dose of early morning caffeine?

You can still get a nice hot cup of coffee with the help of a:

None of these require you to have an operational coffee machine.

This means that you can play around with certain aspects regarding how strong the coffee will be.

Including adjusting the water-to-ground ratios, use a different roast color or try a new brewing technique.

Also, before you start making your own powerful coffee, don’t forget that there are two main coffee species that we’re all familiar with – Arabica and Canephora (a.k.a. Robusta).

Yes, it’s a fact that most people love their Arabica and most of the time the sole reason for that is the taste, although there are many Arabica-Robusta blends out there.

However, Canephora/Robusta actually packs more punch in terms of caffeine content – 2.7% versus only 1.5% in Arabica.

How Can I Make Strong Coffee At Home?

The easiest way to do that is by adding more grounds, without changing the amount of water that you’re using.

That’s a simple, efficient and smart method that relies on making the right adjustments to the coffee-water ratio.

And no, you don’t necessarily need a coffee maker for that!

In fact, you can alter the coffee-water ratio as much as you want, depending on how strong you want your coffee to be.

These are the most common ratios for brewing techniques that people use:

  • 1:18 (one part of coffee combined with 18 parts of water)
  • 1:16 (one part of coffee mixed with 16 parts of water)

Obviously, you’ll have to tweak and adjust those ratios as per your own preferences, but my advice is, to begin with, a higher ratio (e.g. 1:18) and proceed from there.

That way you’ll be able to find just the right amount of coffee and water that you need for the ideal, strong coffee.

Note that using less water makes the coffee that much more potent and it might even start to taste bitter if you skew the ratios.

How to make strong coffee without a coffee maker

5 Dead Easy Ways For Making Your Own Strong Coffee – Without a Machine!

Now that you know how to tweak the strength of your coffee, here’s what you’ll need in order to actually make one cup of coffee (about 8 oz):

  • Ground coffee (e.g. 1-2 tablespoons) or instant coffee granules (e.g. 1-2 or more teaspoons)
  • Hot water (8 oz/250 ml)

It’s probably worth mentioning that one tablespoon of ground coffee equals 15 milliliters, while one teaspoon of instant coffee is approximately 5 milliliters.

Generally speaking, one to two tablespoons of ground coffee is enough for six to eight ounces of water.

The more ground and less water you use, the more powerful the coffee will be!

Keep that in mind as it will determine how potent your coffee is in the end.

1. Using A Tea Strainer

  • Heat the water until boiling – either via a tea kettle, electric hot pot etc.
  • Add the desired amount of grounds to a container
  • Pour the now hot water over the container with the grounds
  • Steep the coffee for a total of 6 minutes – let it steep for 3 mins, stir and let it steep for another 3 mins
  • Pour the coffee in a cup by using a tea strainer to hold the grounds
  • Drink

2. Using A Coffee Filter

  • Heat the water until it starts to bubble or boil
  • Put the wanted quantity of grounds in a coffee filter
  • Tie the filter and place it in a cup
  • Fill the cup (with the filter in it) with hot water
  • Steep for around 4-5 mins if you want a stronger coffee
  • Take the filter out of the cup
  • Enjoy

3. Using A Saucepan

  • Add water and coffee grounds to a saucepan
  • Mix the whole thing by stirring them
  • Heat the mixture until boiling
  • After it reaches the boiling point, let it continue boiling for another 2 mins
  • Slowly and carefully pour the now ready coffee in a cup (the grounds will most likely be at the bottom of the pan, so you don’t need a filter or a strainer)
  • Your coffee is now ready

4. Using A French Press

  • Boil the needed amount of water (e.g. 250 ml/8 oz)
  • Add the desired number of grounds to the French Press
  • Now pour the hot water over the grounds in your French Press
  • Place the top of the press and let it steep for 2 to 3 mins (smaller pots) or around 4 mins (larger press pots)
  • Slowly press the plunger of the French Press down
  • Pour the coffee into a cup
  • Take a sip

5. Using An Instant Coffee

  • Heat the water (until it’s boiling)
  • Add the desired amount (add more if you want it to be stronger) of instant coffee granules to a cup or a mug
  • Add the boiling water and give it a nice stir
  • You can now enjoy your instant coffee
How to make strong coffee without a coffee maker, Turkish coffee
Speaking of strong coffees here’s Turkish coffee for you. It’s super strong and it’s served with water and sweets, yummy!

What Makes The Strongest Coffee?

You can make a stronger coffee by:

  • Getting strong coffee beans (e.g. Robusta)
  • Using fresh ground coffee, clean or purified water
  • Taking advantage of proper coffee to water ratios

In fact, you can try looking for the best Robusta coffee brands if you want quality Robusta beans.

And here’s how each of these aspects affects the potency of your coffee:

Buying beans that are more potent

It’s a fact that Canephora (Robusta) beans have a higher caffeine content than the most widespread kind of beans Arabica.

But due to the generally considered as a not-so-great taste of Robusta, you’d probably like a blend between Arabica (great taste) and Robusta (higher caffeine content), to get the best of both worlds.

Using coffee that’s fresh

You probably won’t be shocked to learn that coffee not only loses its flavor as time goes by, but it loses its potency too.

This means that if you want a stronger cup of coffee, the coffee that you’re using needs to be fresh.

Make the coffee with clean water

Don’t underestimate the importance of the water that you’re using for making your coffee.

When brewing coffee with dirty or contaminated water will result in a coffee that simply tastes off.

And don’t forget that the ideal brewing temperature is 195 F to 205 F – less than that will result in not adequately extracted flavors from the beans and any temperature over will literally burn the beans.

Relying on adequate coffee-water ratios for a stronger coffee

If you want to sip on strong coffee, then your best bet would be to use more ground coffee and less water.

Essentially, the more coffee and less water you use, the more powerful it will be.

How to make strong coffee without a coffee maker

Which Is Stronger Dark Or Light Roast Coffee?

Both contain around the same amount of caffeine although light roast coffee is generally considered to be more powerful than its darker counterpart.

Now, when it comes to sheer volume, the light roast packs more caffeine than dark roast coffee.

The main reason for this is that the darker color suggests that the coffee has been roasted for a longer period of time.

And what happens when the beans get burnt i.e. over-roasted?

The caffeine content of the beans gets diminished, while their flavor dissipates.

This is probably the number one reason why fans of stronger coffee types opt for lighter roast beans.

However, there’s also a widespread misconception that dark roast coffee contains more caffeine and is actually stronger.

That’s because it generally has a more bitter and intense taste than lighter roasts.

Due to that, many people assume that it’s jam-packed with caffeine and that darker roasts are more potent than light roast coffee, which is obviously false.

Does Using More Coffee Make It Stronger?

Yes, adding more coffee grounds will result in a more potent coffee – if you don’t increase the amount of water that is.

You really don’t want to add too much water if your sole goal is to have a kickass coffee that hits you like a truck.

Basically, utilizing a coffee to water ratio that favors the content of the ground coffee is what you’re looking for if you want a strong cup of coffee.

A word of caution though – putting too much coffee grounds would make things more bitter, due to the coffee having an increased amount of alkaloids.

How to make strong coffee without a coffee maker, coffee beans in the shape of a heart

How To Make Coffee With Coffee Powder?

Heat some water (e.g. 250 ml or 8 oz) until boiling, wait for roughly 30 to 40 secs and put the coffee powder in the water.

Then stir it well, wait for several minutes (e.g. 2-3 or more, depending on how strong you want it to be) and pour it into a cup using a strainer, cloth etc.

And there are a few well-known ways for making great coffee using a coffee powder:

  • Drip coffee – Quick and easy, although it doesn’t give you the most delicious coffee out there
  • Cold brew – This method takes a long time (around 12 hours to brew), although it has lots of caffeine and provides a superb taste
  • Pour-over – The pour-over technique isn’t exactly beginner-friendly and it’s more time-consuming, but it’s ideal for those of you who want the perfect cup of mild coffee
  • French press – This method will give you a nice cup of super tasty coffee in several minutes, although there’s a chance of some residue from the grounds slipping through
  • Aeropress – The Aeropress offers great versatility and quality flavors. It’s also ideal for novice coffee enthusiasts

How To Make Iced Coffee Without A Coffee Maker?

Here’s how to make a brilliant cup of ice coffee, without relying on a coffee machine – the easy way:

  • Get a small jar that can take around 250 ml (8 oz) of water in it
  • Mix 6 oz (170 ml) of coffee grounds and 6 oz (170 ml) of cold water inside the jar
  • Shake the entire thing well
  • Leave the mixture for a couple of hours
  • Pour the whole thing into a cup using something to filter the grounds e.g. a strainer
  • Add some ice and/or a sweetener and enjoy

This is a sure-fire way to getting yourself some Starbucks-worthy ice coffee.

How To Make Coffee In The Microwave?

Microwaves can be used for making coffee too and this is how to prepare yourself a nice cup of hot coffee using your microwave in X easy steps:

  1. Get a cup that’s safe to use in a microwave (anything with metal on it is a big no-no)
  2. Fill it with as much water as you want
  3. Heat the water using the desired temperature (e.g. set your microwave on ‘high’)
  4. Remove the cup with the water once it’s hot enough (not boiling or anything like that)
  5. Add as much coffee as you want
  6. Stir the coffee and water mixture
  7. Let it steep for several minutes
  8. Get a cloth piece or a strainer and put them on top of the cup
  9. Pour the now-ready coffee into another cup using the cloth/strainer/etc. as a filter
  10. Enjoy

Regardless of the reason, capitalizing on your microwave’s ability to heat foods and beverages super fast shouldn’t be underestimated when it comes to making a quick cup of coffee.

How Do You Make Good Coffee With Milk At Home?

Simple – by getting an instant coffee packet, some hot milk and adding all of this into a suitable cup.

But to make things even easier for you, let me highlight each step of the process for your convenience:

  • Put the desired amount of instant coffee powder in a cup
  • Add some sugar (if needed), depending on how sweet you’d like your coffee to be
  • Whisk the coffee powder and sugar until they form a brown, creamy substance
  • Pour down some hot (not boiling) milk into the mix
  • Mix it all with a spoon once last time and drink

This is arguably the easiest and most efficient way of treating yourself with awesome, home-made coffee with milk.

How Do You Make Coffee Grounds?

By buying some coffee beans and then grind them, either with a grinder that’s ideal for such situations.

Or if you don’t have a grinder, just use a regular blender or even a hammer.

Basically, use whatever works for you and whatever will help you to achieve a medium grind.

Interestingly enough, there are many uses of coffee beans, not just for making java.

But let me give you a step by step explanation of the grinding process:

  • Get a paper filter, or if you don’t have one – a tea strainer or a piece of cloth
  • Add the desired amount of coffee beans (e.g. 1-2 tablespoons) to a grinder, blender or grind them with a hammer
  • Grind until the beans turn into a sand-like compound – not too coarse, but not too fine either
  • Place the coffee grounds in a cup
  • Add a small amount of water on the grounds and wait around 30 secs or more, if your beans were fresh
  •  Pour the remaining water out of the cup
  • Let the grounds stay like that for around 4 mins
  • Slowly start pouring the coffee into a new cup (the one you’ll be drinking from) with the help of a filter, tea strainer or a piece of cloth

This ensures that you’ll have fresh and tasty coffee without too much hassle.

And if you find the end product tasting too bitter or sour, simply adjust the amount of coffee you’re using.

How to make strong coffee without a coffee maker

How Can I Make My Coffee Better?

You can make your coffee that much better by focusing on the 4 key aspects that make a cup of coffee outstanding:

  • Water
  • Coffee machine
  • Brewing time
  • Coffee

Curious about to learn exactly what to look for when it comes to these 4 elements related to making awesome coffee?

Here you go:

1. The Water

  • Use the right temperature – A water temperature between 194 F and 206 F is ideal for the best cup of coffee.Either use a thermometer (e.g. a laser thermometer) or if you want to make things more simple, boil the water in a regular electric pot or kettle and once it boils, leave it for 30 secs and then the water should be within the ideal temp range.
  • Use filtered water – The ordinary tap water is far from optimal as it may have certain chemicals (i.e. fluoride) or other contaminants in it and this can alter the taste of your coffee.So it’s definitely a good idea to filter your tap water (by using a water filter) since a clean and fresh water will result in a better cup of coffee.

2. The Coffee Maker

  • Clean your coffee machine on a regular basis – Any dirt, old coffee grounds or stale water in the water tank of the machine will negatively affect the quality of your coffee.That’s why your best bet would be to clean your coffee maker regularly to ensure it delivers the most optimal coffee it can.

3. The Brewing Time

  • Espresso – 2 minutes
  • French Press – 4 minutes
  • Aeropress – 3 to 5 minutes
  • Clever Dripper – 4 minutes
  • Cowboy Method – 6 minutes
  • Electric Percolator – 5 to 6 minutes

4. The Coffee Beans

  • Only use fresh beans – If you use beans that have been staying in your home for a while, the chances are that they’ve turned stale.That’s why you’d want to only use freshly baked beans for making your dream coffee.
  • Store the beans in a dark place at room temperatures – Never store your coffee for too long and by all means, avoid storing the beans in a freezer.If you want great coffee, store your beans in an air-tight container that’s placed in a dark place at room temperatures.


Making a super delicious and strong coffee at home without ever using a coffee maker isn’t supposed to be rocket science, you just need the right tools at your disposal.

Whether it’s through using a French Press or a simple paper filter, you can most definitely make a cup of coffee that packs a punch by simply adjusting the coffee-to-water ratios.

Essentially, using more coffee grounds will result in a more powerful coffee.

What’s your favorite method of making strong, home-made coffee without a coffee maker btw?

Let me know in the comment section below!

CEO at CoffeeLifious | | Website | + posts

Simon is a coffee enthusiast who has spent years exploring the world of coffee. He has a deep passion for the art of brewing and enjoys experimenting with different brewing methods to create the perfect cup of coffee. His love for coffee has led him to become an expert in the field, and he is known for his meticulous attention to detail when it comes to selecting and brewing the perfect cup. Simon is also an avid traveler who loves incorporating new flavors and techniques into his brewing.

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