I love coffee. As I am a student and living in a hostel I do not have any machine and I can not afford to go out for coffee everyday. I still want to make coffee, so how I can make smooth coffee without a machine?
For your situation, you can use the equipment that I travel with:
- an AeroPress coffee maker,
- a thermometer if you want to get the water temperature just right,
- a hand held burr grinder (here's a review of 7 products) -- or buy preground coffee.
Assuming you have available:
- a microwave oven (or a stove or hot plate) to heat water.
Cold brew, SUPER simple version. A.K.A. my college days version.
One tbsp of any coffee per cup of water. Let it sit in the fridge for about 12 hrs. Pour and drink.
In my college days I got a half gallon milk jug. Washed it out of course. Which is about 8 cups. I would put 8 tbsp of any coffee I could get my hands on and put it in the fridge over night. No heating water, no other preparations, no shaking, nothing.
The next day I would fill my coffee mug and put 2 sugar cubes (about 40 calories BTW) or honey into the cup and microwave it to a drinkable temperature. When you get close to the bottom it will be like mud, full of coffee grinds. I would just toss that out and start the next one for the next day. I think I calculated that with the cost of the sugar cubes and coffee it was like 15 cents per cup.
Tips: the thought that more coffee will deliver more caffeine is true but I found that a ratio of more than 1.5 tbsp of coffee per cup of water can make it to bitter to enjoy. Plus I found that the time in the fridge does not have to be precise if you stick to the 1 tbsp to 1 cup plan. There were times when I left it in there for 20 hours and it was still drinkable.
If you have access to an electric outlet, small coffee machines are cheap. If you have access to hot water or a way to create hot water (a gas burner in a communal kitchen, perhaps) there are tons of options; a few examples would be a French press, moka pot, a 'pour-over', and single-serve coffee bags (just like tea bags, only with coffee).
If you have access to a refrigerator, you could make cold-brew coffee. This can be nice because it stays good for 7-10 days - you can make enough for a whole week and then it is always ready to go when you want some.
Well, when there is no grinder, plunger, filter machine, or espresso machine, and even no cone filter papers, you still can make a great cup of coffee. I used to do this method when my coffee machine had been broken:
- Get any grounded coffee
- pour some hot water
- give it a good stir for one minute or so
- leave it to brew for a couple of minutes
- get some tissues, yes tissues as we are gonna use them as a filter paper, and fold them to make a good thick layer
- place the folded tissues on a medium sized strainer then place them over your cup
- This will prevent the tissues from accidentally dropping in your cup
- finally, slowly pour your coffee over the tissues, and see the clear coffee fluid comes through your hand-made filter machine
and enjoy your drink mate!
You can use a cesve, like they do in this place: http://cezvecoffee.ru/ . For this you need a very finely ground coffee.
In this photo you can see a cesve, which is a common device to prepare coffee in Turkey, Armenia, central Asian countries, and some of the Arab countries. You take very finely ground coffee powder, put it into the cesve, add the water and heat it gently either by putting it on the stove and stirring continously with a small spoon; or for those who have a heated sandbath, put the cesve in until the coffee start to boil.
In this way, since the coffee has excellent contact with the water, you extract a very tasty and, typically, strong coffee.