Making Coffee Without Electricity with Gear Recommendations

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Do you love coffee? I know I do! There’s nothing better than waking up in the morning and enjoying a hot cup of coffee. But what if there was no electricity? What if you couldn’t brew your coffee using your coffee maker? Don’t worry, because I’m here to show you how to make a perfect cup of coffee without electricity!

Now, when you are without electricity, there are three things you will need to be thinking about when making your cup of coffee! 1. How are you going to heat up your water for the brew? 2. How are you going to brew the coffee itself? 3. How are you going to grind your coffee beans?

Most people rely completely on automated devices (myself included), however being able to make a cup of coffee without any electricity involved is a ton of fun, and great for when the power is out. Here are all of your options for each state, and I will give you my favorite set up at the end!

Heating the water

The first thing you need to worry about before you even start thinking about making coffee is how you are going to get your water hot. Depending on your coffee brewing method of choice, you will need around 200 degrees Fahrenheit water. Here are my favorite ways to heat water without electricity for your brew.

1. Wood burning camp stove

If you are planning on making coffee while camping, then a wood-burning camp stove is the best option for heating your water.

You can also use this method if you are without power and have a wood-burning fireplace, or if you don’t have a fireplace then a good portable wood-burning camp stove like this one would work perfectly if you have an outdoor space to use it.

2. Gas camp stove

If you have a small portable gas stove or even a portable butane burner, then this will be your best option for heating water for coffee. You can find these small portable gas stoves at most outdoor stores, and they are great for heating water quickly without having to fuss with a fire.

3. Use your BBQ grill

If you have a small portable gas camp stove, then that will work perfectly for heating up your water. If you don’t have one of these, then see if you can use your BBQ grill to heat up a pot of water on the side.

The easiest way to do this is to put the pot of water (no plastic components please) on the grates and then turn one of the gas burners on a higher setting.

4. Make cold brew

If you have no way at all to heat up your water, then cold brew is going to be your best bet here! This is one of my favorite methods, and it doesn’t require any electricity or heat! All you need is coffee grounds, a large container, and some time.

To make cold brew coffee, simply add your coffee grounds to the container and then fill it with water. Let this sit for 12-24 hours, and then strain it using a coffee filter or cheesecloth (alternatively, you can always use a French Press).

Brewing the coffee

Now that you have your water heated up (or not, in the case of cold brew coffee!), it’s time to start brewing your coffee. There are many ways to brew coffee without electricity, but I’m going to share my two favorites with you.

1. Manual coffee maker

Now, the obvious solution to brewing your coffee now that you have hot water is to utilize a manual coffee maker. These manual coffee makers do not require any form of electricity, or really any other input other than what you give it.

My personal favorite manual coffee maker is the Aeropress Go, which is awesome for use at home, or at a campsite where you may not find electricity.

Alternatively, we have a complete list of awesome coffee makers here that don’t require any electricity.

2. Cowboy coffee

Now, if you are without electricity and you are not prepared to brew your coffee without this source of power, then making some good cowboy coffee is going to be your best bet! To do this, simply boil some water in a pot on your stove, and then pour the coffee grounds into the hot water.

Let this mixture sit for 3-5 minutes, and then give it a good stir. After this, all you have to do is sprinkle some cold water on top of it (this makes the grounds settle to the bottom) and pour it into your cup and enjoy!

You won’t want to pour all of the liquid out though, as you will start to get the grounds at the bottom.

Grinding the coffee beans

If you don’t have electricity for your coffee grinder, then there are a few ways that you can still grind your coffee beans without one. Here are my favorite three ways to make sure you have ground coffee ready to go!

1. Manual coffee grinder

If you have a manual coffee grinder, then this is going to be your best option for grinding coffee beans without electricity. These grinders usually don’t require any form of power and can be operated with a simple hand crank.

This is my favorite manual coffee grinder, as it is small, lightweight, reasonably priced, and very easy to use.

2. Pre-ground coffee

If you don’t have a coffee grinder, or if you are in a hurry and don’t have the time to grind your coffee beans manually, then you can always buy pre-ground coffee.

This coffee is ground using machines at the source, while it generally doesn’t taste as good as freshly ground coffee, it will be one of the best ways to get you through until you are back to electricity.

3. A Rolling Pin

If you don’t have a coffee grinder and can’t find any pre-ground coffee, then your next best option is to use a rolling pin to grind your coffee beans.

This is going to take a bit more time and effort than using a coffee grinder, but it will get the job done in a pinch. To do this, simply put your coffee beans in a bag and then use a rolling pin to crush them into smaller pieces.

This is not an amazing solution, as it is difficult to get uniform pieces that are needed to brew a good cup of coffee.

What is my favorite way to brew coffee without electricity?

If you are looking towards not having electricity available to brew your coffee, then you should make sure you are ready beforehand! Here are the things I would have put together, and ready to go.

  1. Aeropress Go – This is my favorite manual coffee maker, as it is small, lightweight, reasonably priced, and very easy to use.
  2. JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder – This is my favorite manual coffee grinder, you don’t have to worry too much about the price, and it doesn’t need any electricity to operate.
  3. BioLite Campstove 2 with Kettlepot – This is an amazing little camping stove that not only allows you to cook your food but also charges small devices with the USB port. This would be perfect to have on hand in case you need to boil water for coffee (with the included Kettlepot), and also want the option to charge your phone.

Is there a way to use electric coffee appliances when the power is out?

Of course, if none of the above solutions sound like a blast, or the least bit interesting to you, you can always utilize your existing electric and automated appliances at home as well.

Our favorite way to do this would be to purchase something like this Biolite BaseCharge, which is essentially a portable power bank. It’s awesome for times when you want the convenience of electricity (such as making coffee), but are somewhere without electricity, whether it be at your campsite or even at home when the power is out.

You should have no problem using your coffee grinder, coffee maker and even froth your milk without ever having to think twice.


Now that you know how to make coffee without electricity, it’s time to put your skills to the test! There are many different ways to do it, so find the method that works best for you and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee – no matter where you are. Thanks for reading!