How to make coffee w/o elec. : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

I feel really naive asking this question but I have never made coffee without an electric coffee maker. I have a coffee pot to set on the woodstove and I know you put coffee in the basket but once it comes to a boil does it need to boil for a while? Any tips would be appreciated.

-- Lucy (, September 23, 1999


It has been years since I have gone camping and used my old perk coffee pot... but here goes.

The coffee will start to perk. If your coffee pot is like mine, there is a clear little dome on the top, which will allow you to see the progress while the coffee is making. When the coffee has reached the normal color that you are used to, the coffee is done. However, I never just sat around and looked at the coffee while it perked, but could tell that it was ready by the smell. Trust your nose and you will know when your coffee has reached the strength that you desire.

Hope this helps.

-- (cannot-say@this.time), September 23, 1999.

If you'd rather have drip coffee several manufacturers make manual decanter systems. You simply pour the boiling water, and voila: drip coffee. I've seen the simple ones at the grocery store,..Melita I think. If you browse the web for one, try

I've used my electric drip machine without electricity a couple times during power outtages...rig up your basket with filter over the decanter. Pour boiling water. Takes a bit of monitoring, but makes coffee just fine.

-- Donna (, September 23, 1999.

We have a stainless steel drip pot, which we can use over a campfire. We also have a stainless steel espresso pot, which cannot be used over a campfire, but can be used on a camp stove, an electric stove, or a gas stove. The espresso pot makes GREAT coffee! Both of these methods, in my opinion, make superior coffee to that made in a percolator.


-- Al K. Lloyd (, September 23, 1999.

Lucy, be sure to put a paper coffee filter in the basket or you will have coffee dregs on the bottom of the pot. In a pinch you can use a paper towel cut in half.

-- FOX (, September 23, 1999.

And very importantly,remember to get a very good supply of coffee filter papers laid up.Two reasons.One, they tend to be made from manilla hem which comes from third world countries and two they can be used for filtering water as well.

-- a papermaking (, September 23, 1999.

Ooops...make that manilla hemp!

-- Chris (, September 23, 1999.

Also, once it starts "percolating" turn the heat down to just enough to keep it perking - any more can cause it to really boil and makes a big mess. A really hardcore non-electric way is to dump the grounds in a cup, add boiling water, let simmer and either toss egg shells in or a dollup of cold water to try to settle the grounds. I have had mixed results but the cold water idea comes from a long-term smoke jumper who MUST have his coffee even while in a remote forest.

-- Kristi (, September 23, 1999.

Do you need to use a special 'ground' of coffee for a percalator style pot? Would automatic drip coffee be really bad tasting prepared in this type of pot?

Also, FYI there are also the European 'press' style pots, in which you place the grounds & hot water together in the pot, and then press the grounds to the bottom.

-- Deborah (, September 23, 1999.

No, you don't have to have a particular grind. The different grinds are just a matter of degree of fineness and won't do much to affect the flavor. So don't worry - after brewing a few pots you'll have figured out how to achieve the strength you like. I really think the easiest thing to do is to set your electric (or a Melita) filter and basket over a thermal carafe and pour the water in it. It'll drip down into the carafe and stay hot for hours. All you need is your filter basket and filters. You can boil the water in any type of container and let the coffee drip into anything available as well.

-- Jill D. (, September 23, 1999.

I don't agree with JillD. You need a different grind with a perc. Otherwise you will need to chew your last sip. Grinds are determined by the filtering system for the coffee producing system. Of course you can do it in a regular pot, let the grounds settle and pour off the liquid. Used to do it all of the time camping. Not great but better than nothing.

Best wishe

-- Z1X4Y7 (, September 23, 1999.

Whew....what a bunch of wusses! A can with water, toss in sufficient grounds and boil will give you good coffee. If you don't like grounds in your teeth, get a perculator. We always use a perc pot. Don't even own an electric coffee maker. For a 4 cup use 3 heaping tablespoons of coffee in the basket. For an 8 cup, use 6 heaping tbsp. Let it come to a rolling boil and then turn the heat down to where it just keeps it hot. We move the pot so that only the pots edge is actually on the heating element. We just use plain old Folgers. We make good camp coffee every day no matter home or out on the road or in camp.


-- Taz (, September 23, 1999.


Hubby said that he agrees with you. We know this as "shanty boat" coffee. He does admit, though, that it is a little stronger than the Bunn. Oh well, some people are diehards when it comes to their coffee. (I'm a hot cocoa nut, myself ;-))

-- me (, September 24, 1999.

I hate to be a heretic, but didn't anybody ever hear of "instant"?

-- Bokonon (, September 24, 1999.

For those who thought "philistine" when Bokonon mentioned instant, you won't forget a manual coffee-grinder, will you?

-- Old Git (, September 24, 1999.

Taz, you're great, I love your posts!

I wouldn't worry too much about coffee. It's been around thousands of years longer than drip systems and percolators. Use whatever grind you have in whatever setup you can figure out. You'll figure out the proportions after a few tries. When it's the dead of winter, the electricity's out and you've just wrapped your hands around a comforting cup of hot coffee, you'll think it's the best you've ever brewed.

-- Jill D. (, September 24, 1999.

Oh Jill so true...(as I pour another cup!)...bit of fall in the air today.

One thing I heard some time back, so as usual, my details are fuzzy...make sure you get a stainless steel pot, not aluminum. Seems after repeated heatings, the aluminum will be absorbed into the water and I tend to believe that, based on aluminum pans (which I no longer have any of after hearing this way back when) seem to grow thinner and thinner, even on the sides.

But yet, most of those cheaper tea kettles for on top of the stove seem to aluminum???

-- Lilly (, September 24, 1999.

We've used press pots for years, and wouldn't make coffee any other way. No filter needed either- just put the used grounds in the compost bucket. I use all types of grinds in this pot too. Also- we have a stovetop expresso-capacinno(sp) maker- yumm.

Doomers with style-

-- farmer (, September 24, 1999.

Aloha from Kaua'i...home of the largest coffee plantation in Hawai'i! This is a topic that is dear to my heart. (How can programmers function without massive infusions of caffine?)

(1) Perk'd coffee usually required a slightly courser grind. I think that an all purpose grind would work, but I might want to filter (through a paper filter) it to eliminate the grounds. Paper filters do make a good (and inexpensive) preperation.

(2) For those of us who prefer fresh ground coffee, we might want to consider at least the hand grinder from CAMPMOR. It's about $13, and I haven't ordered mine yet.

-- Mad Monk (, September 24, 1999.

The finer the grind the more bitter the coffee is. My friend who owns a coffee company demonstrated this to me one day when he was setting up grinders. Drip coffee is the way to go regardless if you have power or not. Get a french press too just in case you run out of filters. While I do use a Bosch electric grinder usually, the "Herradura" corn grinder (manual, $26 at the mex food store here) has many uses (not fine flour though) and will very acceptably grind coffee. My "Messerschmidt" hand grinder (usually called "The Family Grain Mill") does a good job as well but I don't like having to readjust it when I'm done for flour.


-- Don Kulha (, September 26, 1999.

When we lost our power during the ice storm I still made coffee on my wood stove - took a filter and put my coffee in it then tied the end up with a wire tie and used my coffee pot for water needed put it in a pot on the wood stove and in a short time I had a nice hot cup - think dry creamer.


-- Darlene (, September 27, 1999.

Taz- Awhile back on your post about making coffee in a percolator, you forgot the egg (or eggshell)in the coffee.

Seriously, I have a small French press that works well, requires no filters, and makes a great cup of coffee. Also picked up two different kinds of washable reusable filters that go in the Mellita coffee maker, the funnel kind. Only paid a quarter each for them, and one is a fine plastic mesh and the other is metal (gold plated?) so they work like the paper filter, but are washable and reusable.

I think that Dad and Grandpa put the egg (or just an eggshell?) in the pot when they used the big speckled enamel pot on the wood cookstove and just threw in the grounds for "boiled" coffee. Not sure exactly what the purpose of the egg was.

-- Jim (, September 27, 1999.

Taz, I too love your posts, but PLEASE! We aren't wusses, we are coffee snobs (connoiseurs?).

Whwn I want some coffee grounds between my teeth, dahling, I prefer to eat chocolate covered coffee beans. Actually quite good. For that matter, it could well be that they will deliver that liquid speed buzz we want without having to use any of that awful electricity, or any other fuel.

Bokonon, I normally LOVE your posts, but now, I am a little concerned. One cannot experience gracious living if one drinks coffee made from canned coffee, let alone instant. Tsk, tsk.

But I'll get over it.


-- Al K. Lloyd (, September 27, 1999.

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