Ways to Make Coffee Without Electricity

Coffee is a staple in many households. People use it to wake up, enjoy it as an early-morning breakfast drink, or just warm up with it. For many people, the morning is not complete without a strong cup of coffee.

Most of these people have a coffee maker of some sort – usually a drip type – that gets a workout daily to prepare a pot. Of course, this coffeemaker is usually electric. Whether there is a disaster or whether one is living by choice without electricity, if thereis no power, the coffeepot will not provide the expected beverage. The ability to survive without electricity may depend on the ability to make morning coffee!

Below are some possibilities for pouring up a nice cup of joe without electricity.

Brazilian Cafezhino

The literal translation of “cafezhino” is “little coffee.” Usually made thick, sweet, and small, it is the coffee of choice for entertaining in Brazil. It is made stronger than both standard drip coffee and espresso because of the way it is made. It is done using a small saucepan, a small cup, and a cloth filter (often flannel). Start with ¾ cup of cold water per drink in the saucepan and add 1 teaspoon per serving of sugar (more or less to taste). Heat to around 200 degrees Fahrenheit, but do not boil, as this will make it bitter.

Pour in a heaping tablespoon of coffee, finely ground, and take the saucepan off the heat. Stir thoroughly. Then place the cloth filter over the cup (if not using a flannel made for this, it might be wise to put the flannel inside a funnel)and slowly pour the brewed coffee through it into the cup. Let the water drip through at its own pace for the best flavor.

Car Battery Power

There are a few different types of coffee makers made to use with car batteries or cigarette lighter power ports. These range from single-cup options up to full pots of dripped coffee.

Cold Brew

If heat is not an option for some reason, or if it is not desired, coffee can be cold brewed. However, it takes somewhat longer to brew, so it is not a method if one wants a cup immediately. Fill a jar with water and add coffee grounds. Cover it tightly and let it sit in a cool place overnight or for 8 to 12 hours. This makes a concentrate, so to enjoy, mix (to taste) with cold or hot water and enjoy.

Cowboy Style

The simplest option, cowboy style coffee involves heating up water, tossing in coffee grounds, simmering, and drinking. Pouring it carefully will result in fewer grounds in the coffee, but some drink the grounds along with it.

French Press

This may be the easiest way to make coffee without electricity. Hot water is necessary for this option, so start by heating water on the stove or over a fire. In the French Press pot, place a tablespoon of coffee grounds per cup of coffee (pots may hold up to 8 cups, so it is important to know the size of the pot being used) in to the pot and pour in hot (not boiling) water, leaving some room for the plunger. Let it brew for several minutes – four or five – and then gently insert the plunger and press it slowly to the bottom of the pot. Once it is fully plunged, pour out the coffee and enjoy!

Instant Coffee

Likely the worst of the options, this one also requires stocking up on instant coffee before a situation occurs. To use, heat water and add the granules. These may come in a bulk container or in single-serving packets.

Manual Coffeemaker

Also called a pour-over coffee brewer, this type has a place for the grounds on top and works like a standard drip coffeemaker, except that instead of the maker automatically heating and dripping the water, it depends on the user to pour the hot water slowly through the grounds.


A very classic way to make coffee, percolators can be used inside the house or outside on the campfire. It is very simple to use; add water to the fill line, insert the basket (which sits on a hollow post) and fill with the right amount of coffee grounds, and set the percolator on the heat. When the water gets hot, it rises through the hollow post and is splashed out to bounce off the lid and run through the grounds in the basket back into the bottom of the pot. The basket keeps the grounds contained. It tastes best if it is removed from the heat before it actually boils, though this is sometimes difficult to do.

Puerto Rican Style Coffee (Café Con Leche)

Measure a cup of water and put it into a saucepan. Simmer the water. While waiting for it to reach the right temperature, measure Puerto Rican ground coffee – 1 heaping tablespoon per cup. Do not let the water boil. When the water is about 200-205 degrees Fahrenheit, add the coffee grounds to the water, stirring well for about a minute. Keep it hot but below boiling. After a minute, turn off the heat and let it brew another minute, with a stir or two in that time. Then strain the coffee through a coffee sock (a flannel filter) into a mug or cup – then if you want to add milk and sugar,place the pot back on the burner and turn on the heat under it, adding about two ounces of milk and a teaspoon of sugar per cup of coffee to be doctored. Heat until the milk starts to foam at the edges while stirring until the sugar dissolves. Put the filtered coffee back into the pan and reheat to 200-205, then pour into cups or mugs to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee. Many say this is the best cup of coffee they have ever tasted.

Stovetop Moka Pot

Fill the lower part of the pot with water, stopping short of the valve. Add coffee grounds to the funnel, without packing. Remove any excess. Set the funnel into the lower chamber and set the Moka pot on the stovetop, with the burner set to low or medium heat. It will gurgle while it brews; when it stops, it is finished and ready to drink.


Use a cloth or other type of strainer to make coffee over a fire or in a pot. Measurements are not required; trial and error will aid in eyeballing appropriate amounts. Brew for up to five minutes and do not let it boil for best results.

Where to Buy
MobiBrewer Portable Coffee Maker, Single Serve Coffee Maker, 12v Coffee Maker, K cup coffee maker, travel coffee maker
KONA French Press Small Single Serve Coffee and Tea Maker, Black 12 oz
KONA French Press Coffee Maker With Reusable Stainless Steel Filter, Large Comfortable Handle & Glass Protecting Durable Black Shell
Melitta 36 oz. Pour Over Coffee Brewer with Glass Carafe, Black
Classic Stovetop Espresso Maker for Great Flavored Strong Espresso, Classic Italian Style 3 Espresso Cup Moka Pot, Makes Delicious Coffee, Easy to Operate & Quick Cleanup Pot - by Zulay Kitchen



1. Portable Single Serve Coffee Maker

This is a combination mug and coffee brewer that can use K-Cups or regular ground coffee (in its included holder). It heats the water when plugged into the vehicle’s power port with the included adapter, and then can be enjoyed from the mug.

2. French Press


This handy French Press pot is made of durable material that is easy to use and clean. It comes with a nice handle and plunger.

3. Manual Pour Over Coffee Brewer

The glass carafe holds 36 ounces of coffee. It has a brewing cone which holds the grounds through which the hot water is poured, and it comes with several cone-style filters.

4. Stovetop Moka Pot

This stovetop contraption is made of cast aluminum and has a pressure valve to allow the best flavor and caffeination to be extracted from the coffee grounds. Use on gas or ceramic stove tops. Makes three espresso sized cups.