How to Make Coffee Without Electricity?

Can we really make coffee without electricity?

There are various ways to make a joe without a coffee maker, or even without electricity. You can even make coffee without a source of heat, in other words without hot water.

Wait, don’t tell me you don’t even have a coffee pot. Don’t worry, we can show you even a way to make coffee without a pot. Depending on your setting, budget, and the pretentiousness of your taste buds, you can choose between the various solutions.

Hot Brew vs Cold Brew – Which Is Better?

We almost gave away the content of the article, but I’d like to make it even easier for the diagonal reader. There are many extraction methods, which in the end will determine the coffee brewing method.

Coffee can be extracted with hot water, the most popular method, and with cold water, a new trend in the coffee culture. Hot coffee can be brewed only if we have a source of heat. A fire camp, wood stove, etc… If you don’t have a source of heat, you can’t make hot coffee. If you are in a remote area without power and without a source of fire, you can use one of those solar ovens to heat up your water. If that is still not an option, you can make cold brew.

Cold brew is great because you only need ground coffee and a recipient. That’s all. You steep the coffee in cold water for 12 hours, and you decant. At the end you have a great cup, many people prefer cold brew. The disadvantage is obviously the long brewing time. You can’t make your coffee on the spot, you need to plan ahead of time.

Practical Solutions for Brewing Coffee Without Electricity

If you are looking for a solution to make a cup of joe at your cabin, or at the lake while fishing, there are a few convenient solutions. The most convenient solution is to use your car to power a specially designed coffee maker. We recommend a model further in the article.

Another solution to use hot water and use a manual brewing method. Manual brewing methods include hand drip, French press, AeroPress, and even espresso, if you have a manual espresso maker.

If you have a wood stove or a gas stove, you can make Turkish coffee, Moka pot, or any of the manual brewing methods.

Car Powered Coffee Machine

This might sound obvious for some, but did you think to use your car to power your coffee maker? If you will have your car with you, using your car battery to power a coffee maker or a water heater, might be the best method to get a great cup. There are a few models of car powered coffee makers, most are low power coffee makers, and they use the lighter socket to draw power from. But there are also more powerful models, that connect straight to the battery, for a faster brew.

Just connect your coffee maker to the car lighter socket, or straight to the battery, and use as any regular coffee maker.


The lighter socket powered ones operate at very low powers, so brewing a few cups could take a little longer.

If you buy a model that connects to the battery port, you will have your coffee pot ready in no time.

Note: If your preferred coffee brew is not drip coffee, you can just use the car’s battery to heat water, and use any other method described further in the page.

Car Battery Powered Coffee Maker

Brews a pot in 15 minutes, includes a reusable filter. This is a convenient coffee maker that connects to your lighter socket, so you don’t have to open the car’s hood.

If you are a technically inclined person, and you need a faster coffee maker, the Power Hunt on Amazon will just do the trick for you. With the included kit in the Power Hunt, presented later in the page, you can connect directly to the battery so you can get more power than from the lighter socket. More power means faster brew.

Roadpro RPSC-784 12-Volt Quick Cup Coffee Maker

If you don’t like to deal with cables connected to the car’s battery this is the best choice for you. You wait a bit longer but with great results. This coffee maker is designed to work with a 12 Volt battery. Because it draws power from the lighter receptacle, it needs more time to heat the water. It needs about 15 to 18 minutes to complete brewing, depending on your battery power. In my eyes, this probably the most convenient way to brew if you have your car with you.

Cold Brew Coffee

I Have No Source of Power or Heat, How Can I Make a Joe?

No heat source to boil your water for a joe? You can still make a delicious cup with cold water. Some people love it more than your regular coffee because of the low acidity. It is called cold brew coffee, and even though there are special devices to help you brew it, you can brew it with a regular French press too.

To make a cold brew with your French press, add the ground beans to the bottom of the French pot, add the water and stir to make the grinds sink. Let the mix rest for a minimum of 24 hours, the more, the stronger your cup, then push the plunger down, and pour the result in cups. This obviously doesn’t allow you a fresh cup every morning, unless you have two French pots and make every day your cup for the next day.

The alternative is the Toddy, the cold brew coffee pot, which can brew a large quantity, that can be then stored in the fridge for everyday consumption.

Stainless-Steel French Press – Great for Outdoors

The French press is probably the easiest way, just add some medium ground coffee on the bottom of your French pot, add boiling water over the grinds, and stir a few times. Screw in the lid but push the plunger only to the liquid’s surface. After 4-5 minutes slowly push the plunger to the bottom. Your coffee is done. Isn’t that simple?

This is a stainless steel French pot, insulated. What is great about this French pot is that is made from metal so it’s very hard to break it. If you take this on a camping it will be less stress about not breaking it. And by the way, it brews great coffee…

Cold Brew with A French Press – Video

How Can You Make Espresso Without Electricity?

Manual Espresso, Moka Pot

Yes you can make espresso without power. You only need hot water, you can boil water on a wood-burning stove, or any other source of heat. In order to pull an espresso shot without electricity, you need a manual espresso maker, such as the Handpresso Wild Portable Espresso Machine, or the ROK Presso, or any fully manual espresso maker. All you need is hot water and ground coffee.

Of course, there will be an adjustments period where your espresso shots will be less than stellar, but after tweaking the grind size and the pressure, you will get used to the way your machine works, and get perfect shots every time.

For the manual espresso, I recommend keeping it at home for some testings, the main reason is the grind size tweaking period. If you need to grind your coffee at home, before going on your camping trip, you need to make sure you adjust your grind perfectly, and you might need a few attempts to get all perfect, grind size, tamping pressure, and water temperature.

A great brew using an espresso machine is caffe crema, which is a longer espresso, (longer than lungo), obtained pulling through slightly coarser grinds.

Another great way to get an espresso is the Moka Pot. The Moka pot is a stove top pot that brews a coffee very similar to espresso, but it is a lot easier to use.

How To Make Turkish Coffee Without Electricity

For Turkish coffee, you only need the ground beans, a source of heat, such a wood-stove, a campfire, or anything else, and a Turkish pot. The Turkish pot is a conical pot, specially designed for brewing Turkish coffee and is also called ibrik or cezve. Just bring your water to a boil in your pot, add your ground beans and let the coffee rise. The more times you let the brew rise, the more caffeine content, but the more acidity, and less flavor. Your beans need to be ground extra-fine, (the finer the grind the easier it will sink). If the grinds don’t sink you will drink them. I usually drink Turkish, (espresso and Turkish are my favorite brews).

Manual Espresso Machine

Manual espresso machines are on the trend because of two reasons, they allow you a greater control over the brewing process, and they have less moving parts that can break, so they are more reliable.

For our need to brew an espresso in secluded areas, a manual machine is a perfect choice. The great thing about it is that you can adapt your brewing technique, and get different coffees, not only espresso. For instance, you can pull a longer espresso, and get caffe crema, which is the best coffee you’ll ever taste, or you can brew a cold brew. So you have more options than just espresso.

ROK Presso Manual Espresso Maker

Rok Presso is a great espresso machine, not only for your remote cabin but also for your home. It is a great manual espresso machine, all you need to get your shot is hot water and ground coffee.

Camping Coffee Maker

A stove coffee machine. The water is boiled using your Coleman camping stove, or any other stove. A full pot will be done in about 10 minutes on a Coleman camping stove. The time could vary on different heat sources.

Coleman Camping Coffee Maker

Most likely, if you don’t have electricity at your cabin, you will have a stove. This is one of the easiest and best ways to get a fresh joe every morning. A stove coffee machine can be even used over a campfire if setup properly.

Moka Pot

Bialetti 6-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker

Moka pot is probably the most convenient way to get a decent espresso, or coffee without much trouble. The only restriction is the need for a source of heat, be it a campfire, or a stove. The water in the boiling chamber has to pass the boiling point, in order for the moka pot to work.

This particular model from Bialetti is fantastic because it has a large capacity.

Photo of author

Dorian Bodnariuc

My name is Dorian and I am a former barista. I consume coffee in any form, as a beverage, in savory recipes and desserts. My favorite caffeinated beverage is the espresso. I love to share my coffee brewing knowledge and my geeky coffee research. This blog is one of the places I write about coffee. More about Dorian... If you want to learn more about this site and how I started it, check our About Me page, where I explain all about it.