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4 Ways to Make Coffee on a Stove 

What options do you have when your coffee maker is acting up?

You grab some coffee at a coffee shop.

But, what if it’s Sunday night, and you’re miles away from town?

You call and order takeaway coffee.

Yes, but what if there’s no coffee shop open at that hour?


You can change your beverage for the night and settle for some tea or milkshake.

Or, we could show you how to make coffee on the stove in four different ways.

How to Make Coffee in 5 Minutes (Using a Saucepan)

You can have your coffee in five minutes and without a lengthy preparation process. Plus, this recipe from TosTinMan EasyCooking doesn’t have a tedious clean-up process. It doesn’t even ask for a plethora of cooking facilities and amenities.

Another advantage this method presents is you can make one cup at a time. All you do is measure enough coffee grounds to brew one cup. As it boils in the saucepan, its color shows you if you measured enough coffee grounds for a strong brew. If not, you may need some more coffee grounds.

When you crave caffeine in the middle of the night, walk to your kitchen and make some coffee. Place your favorite saucepan on the stove and get to work. Here’s how.

What You’ll Need

  • A stovetop
  • A saucepan
  • Water
  • Coffee grounds
  • A coffee mug


1. Pour water into the saucepan

The ratio of coffee to water depends on the number of cups you want to make. Place the saucepan on your stovetop and turn it on.

pour water in the saucepan

2. Add two spoonfuls of coffee into the water

Be generous with the portions so you can make the rich brew that you love. Most grounds will float, and that’s okay because when the water heats up, they’ll sink. You can use the coffee brand you like, even if it’s instant coffee.

add two spoonfuls of coffee into the water

3. Boil the mixture

Let it boil until all the coffee grounds sink to the bottom of the saucepan so your coffee won’t have chewy stuff. It’ll take about three to four minutes to boil.

boil the mixture

4. Let it sit

Give the mixture about a minute for any grounds that may be floating. It’ll be easier to clean up afterward as you can pour out the grounds left at the bottom of the saucepan.

let is sit

5. Pour coffee into your mug

Pour it slowly without stirring the grounds at the bottom of the saucepan. If a few coffee grounds get into the cup, they’ll settle at the base. They shouldn’t bother you. But if they do, ladle the coffee out of the saucepan, or use a mesh strainer. As TosTinMan EasyCooking says in the video, you can also skip the last sip.

pour coffee into the mug

If using a saucepan sounds like it could be messy in your kitchen, you’ll like method 2. Let’s turn to:

How to Make Cowboy Coffee in a Percolator

The percolator is what you’d call a pimped-up tea kettle or a wannabe coffee maker. It shoots boiling water upwards to dissolve the coffee grounds.

But, Garland Style doesn’t use the percolator mechanism in this DIY. He says it messes up his aroma, so he prefers to use the percolator like a tea kettle. Hence, he makes cowboy coffee like you would when camping.

You must have come across discussions about cowboy coffee and what makes it so good. It’s the kind of coffee herders make on a camping stove using a simple coffee pot and water. That’s how it became cowboy coffee. You don’t have to go camping or be a cowboy to enjoy such a good brew. All you need are freshly ground coffee, a percolator, and a power source.

Let’s look at the process keenly.

What You’ll Need

  • A stovetop
  • A percolator
  • Water
  • Coffee grounds
  • A coffee mug
  • A spoon


1. Pour water into the percolator

Place the percolator on the stovetop and pour enough water for the number of coffee cups you’d like to make. Use the measurements marked inside the percolator. If you overfill it, it’ll overflow when it starts boiling.

It’ll also not make you a good brew because you’ll have to take it off the fire before the beverage is ready. In this tutorial, Garland Style uses a six-cup percolator.

pour water into the percolator

2. Pour spoonfuls of ground coffee into the water

Scoop three-level measuring cups of coffee to make six cups of beverage. Cover the percolator with a lid and turn on the stovetop.

pour spoonfuls of ground coffee into the water

3. Boil the mixture

Let it boil until there’s steam coming out. You’ll also see the boiling liquid through the sprout. Remove the lid, and reduce the heat on the stovetop so that it doesn’t boil over.

boil the mixture

4. Set a timer

Give it at least 6-7 minutes to boil and extract all the aroma from the coffee grounds.

set the timer

5. Pour cold water into the coffee

Turn the stovetop off, then pour cold water through the sprout and the rim of the percolator. The cold water will sink the coffee grounds to the bottom.

Garland Style pours in about half a cup of cold water. He puts on the lid of the percolator and lets the coffee sit for a few seconds.

pour water into the coffee

6. Pour coffee into your mug

Avoid shaking or stirring the percolator as you pour the beverage into your cup. That way, the liquid in your cup won’t have coffee grounds as the sludge will stay at the bottom of the percolator. Forego the last few pints at the bottom.

pour coffee into mug

So far, we have two ways of making coffee without a coffee maker. As promised, we have two more suggestions for you. The next one adds a new ingredient to the recipe.

Let’s look at:

How to Make Coffee on the Stove (From Scratch, With Milk)

Robbie Wilson takes the stovetop brewing process to another level. He adds another ingredient—milk froth. On top of that, he shows us how to make coffee from the grinding process to the last step when you hear the sound of coffee trickling into a mug.

Though he uses a saucepan to brew his coffee, he incorporates a few modern gadgets, such as a milk frother.

The coffee drip also reduces the residue in the final cup he makes, unlike the two methods above that don’t use a strainer or a filter.

Let’s get started!

What You’ll Need

  • Coffee beans
  • Coffee grinder
  • A stovetop
  • A saucepan
  • Coffee drip
  • Milk froth


1. Grind the coffee beans

That’s where the journey to a great cup of coffee starts. You can grind it fine, depending on your preference. The quality of the grind differentiates various coffee recipes around the world.

If the coffee grind is fine, you get thick coffee. Since the grinds in this tutorial are almost fine, you’ll see the outcome of such coffee grounds in Step 4.

grind the coffee beans

2. Heat the water on a stovetop

The amount should be enough for the coffee in your grinder. It shouldn’t boil.

heat the water on the stovetop

3. Pour coffee into the water

It’ll form a thick, creamy mixture as it cooks on full heat. The water should be hot when you pour in coffee grounds so that it’ll take a shorter time for you to make the beverage.

pour coffee into the water

4. Stir the mixture

Its color begins changing to a darker shade as it bubbles. Since the grind was almost fine, the coffee gets a caramel color then boils into a dark color.

stir the mixture

5. Drain the coffee

Remove the saucepan from the stovetop and drain the coffee in a coffee drip. It does so fast without stripping the beverage of all its residue. Hence, you’ll have most of the grounds in the coffee drip, not in your saucepan. It’s different from what you get when using a paper filter.

drain the coffee

6. Pour some milk froth

Pour some coffee into a cup and finish it off with milk froth.

pour some milk froth

How to Make Coffee in a Moka Pot

Unlike the other three recipes above, this one has a technical appliance—the moka pot. Instead of brewing your coffee by boiling it in water, you’ll use steam.

Its brewing process almost resembles the percolator. When the stove heats the water in the bottom chamber, it creates enough steam to reach the coffee grounds above, where the brewing process starts.

A filter then sieves the coffee grounds and lets the coffee collect in the top chamber. A filter then sieves the coffee grounds as the coffee seeps into the top chamber.

Let’s break down the steps further.

What You’ll Need

  • A moka pot
  • A coffee grinder
  • A stovetop
  • Hot water
  • A coffee cup


1. Grind your coffee beans

The grind should be coarse, not fine grinds as when you are making espresso. Grind a handful of coffee beans as the chamber to hold them is small.

grind your coffee beans

2. Fill the middle chamber – the basket, with coffee grounds

Level it with your fingers, leaving no coffee grounds on the rim, as these will create a space when you screw the two chambers together. Avoid pushing down the coffee grounds to fill more.

fill the middle chamber the basket, with coffee grounds

3. Pour hot water into the bottom chamber of the moka pot.

Preheat the water in a kettle so that it’ll be hot when you pour it into the moka pot. Using cold water means you’ll also be heating the coffee when you place the moka pot on the stove, which might make coffee bitter. The water level should be under the valve.

pour hot water into the bottom chamber of the moka pot

Next, insert the basket with the coffee grounds into the bottom chamber with the hot water.

4. Connect the top chamber to the bottom one

The top chamber should be clean, or you risk making bitter coffee. On top of that, the rubber gasket on the bottom should be clean, so it seals firmly. Use a kitchen towel to hold the bottom chamber as you screw the two pot chambers together.

connect the top chamber to the bottom one

However, if you tighten the pot, you’ll break a sweat as you unscrew them later. The bottom chamber should be on a flat surface throughout this process, or you’ll spill the coffee grounds.

5. Place the moka pot on a stovetop

Open the lid of the top chamber when you turn on the stove. All the brewing will take place in the bottom part of the moka pot.

place the moka pot on a stovetop

6. Turn off the heat

Turn the stove off when you hear a gurgling sound as the coffee percolates through the filter, and remove the moka pot from the stove.

turn off the heat

7. Rinse the bottom chamber under running water

It’ll cool off the water inside to eliminate the steam and stop the brewing process.

rinse the bottom chamber under running water

8. Serve your coffee

Your coffee is ready to serve from the moka pot. If you don’t have a moka pot yet and you are looking for one, check out our reviews of the best moka pots first.

pour coffee into cup

There you have it! Those are four creative ways to make coffee on a late Sunday night without using a coffee maker.


Can You Make Coffee on the Stove?

Yes, you can use a stovetop and different cookware.

It’s a simple process as you only need to boil some water in a saucepan and let it sit for about 30 seconds.

Next, pour in coffee grounds and let the mixture boil for a few minutes. If you don’t have a saucepan, use a pot, a percolator, a moka pot, or a tea kettle. It’s the traditional way of making coffee, especially when camping.

The cookware you choose determines the brewing process on the stove. For example, the coffee grounds have a separate chamber in a moka pot, whereas you pour them directly into the water when using a saucepan.

When choosing an alternative to a coffee maker, consider the residue you can stomach as some methods will pour more coffee grounds into your cup. Further, the clean-up process after making your coffee on a stove can be messy.

With a coffee maker, you only rinse a carafe because the filter traps all the grounds for you to throw out. But, using a saucepan and a coffee drip means you have two items to clean afterward. Oh! And there’s the spill on the stovetop if you overfill the saucepan or percolator.

How Do You Make Coffee With Just Hot Water?

The water shouldn’t be boiling; instead, it should be about 90 degrees on average. You’ll start by putting some coffee grounds in your mug, enough for one cup of coffee. Pour in some hot water so that the coffee grounds rest at the bottom of the cup.

Next, fill the cup with hot water, and let it sit. Give this mixture about five minutes to brew to your liking. You can filter the coffee grounds, but the best way to avoid them is to use a coffee bag. So, redo the brewing process when making your next cup.

Place coffee grounds in a coffee filter and pack it generously to give you the best brew. Place the bag in your coffee mug like you would with a teabag, and pour hot water slowly over the bag to submerge it. Let the mixture sit for about three minutes. Before you remove the bag, squeeze the remaining coffee juice into the cup.

How Do You Make Coffee Without a Filter?

There are several ways to do it. For instance, after you brew coffee in a saucepan, let the grounds sit at the bottom. As you pour the coffee slowly into a cup, the coffee grounds will remain in the saucepan.

Option two, when using a percolator like Garland Style in one of the DIYs above, pour in some cold water. That’ll push the coffee grounds down. Thirdly, you can scoop the brewed beverage out of the percolator or saucepan with a ladle.

But let’s leave that as the last option when all else fails. Why? You can use a mesh strainer in the coffee drip instead of a ladle. If you feel like a mesh strainer will not trap all coffee grounds, use a paper towel.

Final Thoughts

Using a saucepan saves you from a rigorous clean-up process as you’ll only clean a saucepan and a cup. There’s also a simple clean-up process when you use method 2 – the percolator. The one that’ll be more demanding is method 3 and 4. But, on the bright side, methods 3 and 4 incorporate better brewing appliances.

TosTinMan EasyCooking shows you can make coffee in five minutes. You don’t need a coffee maker. No! You only need a saucepan, grounded coffee, water, and a stove. Oh! And five minutes.

You can be as creative as you want on the stovetop. Garland Style has tips on how to make coffee on the stove with a percolator. He takes out the percolator mechanism and uses the cookware as a traditional teapot. It’s a simple, clean option when you want cowboy coffee but without the open campfire.

Grant Crilly and James Hoffmann in, ChefSteps, prove that the moka pot is a kitchen must-have. Their DIY has a professional touch. Further, Robbie Wilson gave us tips on grinding for different beverage consistencies.

So much brewing variety, tips, tricks, and they all used a stove.


Born in Italy but currently brewing from the UK, Giada is a highly-caffeinated coffee expert with a soft spot for espressos. She worked in cafés for years and has recently fallen in love with the practical Kalita Wave (just don’t tell her Italian moka pot!).

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