Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Making Coffee ... Without a Pot

We haven't had an electric coffee maker for a very long time. We have been using a French Press, which I very much love. The problem is that we have the usual type with the glass beaker, and glass breaks. We've replaced our beaker twice, now, and yesterday, we broke our third beaker.

Over the years, Deus Ex Machina and I have stopped rushing out to replace whatever thing gets broken, because, typically, when we do that, we don't get what we want. We have to settle for what we can find, and I've gotten to the point that I hate settling. I want what I want, and I'm willing to wait for it.

But no coffee? Not an idea my family is going to be happy with for very long.

At times like this, I put on my thinking cap, and I start thinking of ways to improvise what we need from materials I know we have at home.

Today, it was improvising a coffeemaker.

I knew we had some coffee filters leftover from something - not sure what - but clearly we've had them for a while. We also have jars ... lots and lots of jars ..., and we had this funnel which was the top of a wine bottle that we cut using our glass cutter to make a glass.

Basically, I attached the coffee filter to the funnel using a rubber band, added some grounds, and (slowly) poured water through. It took a little longer than using the French Press, because the water passed through the grounds and filter more slowly than just adding the hot water to the press, but it didn't take that long. And clean-up with this jar method is a bit quicker than with the French Press, because it's just a matter of taking the filter and grounds out of the funnel and dropping all of it into the compost urn.

If I didn't have paper filters, I could even use cheesecloth as a reusable filter.

The best part is, if we opt not to replace the French Press, we don't have to worry (as much) about breakage, because we
have dozens more glass canning jars ... and plenty of wine bottles to use as funnels, also.

Speaking of ... if we cut the bottle just right, we could probably just use the bottle with its own inverted top and make a repurposed wine bottle coffeemaker.

Hmm ...? I wonder if I can patent that idea?


  1. Nice bit of improvisation :)
    If you decide to replace the french press look out for a double walled stainless steel one, no glass to break and it keeps the coffee hot longer too. They are a little more expensive but last forever.I even keep mine warm on the stove for short periods.

  2. We're looking at the stainless steel ones, although some of the reviews claim the plunger breaks (it's rare, but wouldn't that just be my luck ;)), and I also like the look of the Le Creuset ceramic French Presses.

    It's not out of the realm of possibility that we'll end up with a new French Press, but we'd like to take our time and get something we've really thought about and researched. Neither of us want to rush into *just* replacing it, and then, end up replacing it and replacing it and replacing it ... unless that's the choice we make after weighing all of our options :)

  3. Niiiice! I like the improv!

    If you decide you want to invest in a reusable filter to keep going with this method - or need ideas for making one out of cheese cloth - check out Cuppow's Coffee Sock. I saw it yesterday while looking at their drinking lids, and it sounds like just the ticket for this brewing adaptation. (Not an affiliate link and I don't own one - you just reminded me that it caught my eye while browsing all their stuff.)

    Which also makes me wonder if one could just use a mateless sock of the right weight. Clean, of course, unless one wanted a little extra "spice". *chuckle* A child's tube sock or dress sock might be the right thickness, maybe? Pondering, pondering...

  4. Good job! We bought our daughter an unbreakable lexan french press for camping. Worked great for 1 person...

  5. Funny, this is exactly how my mother used to make coffee when I was young. Although she didn't used a canning jar or wine bottle. ;)

  6. We made coffee in our solar oven by putting the grounds in a muslin tea bag, about 3"x5" with drawstring top, and the bag in a canning jar. Sounds like a version of what you're doing.
    Bag is reusable, grounds dump easily and if the bag is dried inside out the rest of the grounds just brush off.

  7. Excellent idea! So glad I found your blog. You have some great stuff on here.