Low-Sugar S'mores Iced Latte
With gooey & decadent black chocolate drizzle and a thick layer of creamy French Vanilla, just one sip of this iced latte will transport you to the campfire.
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Hard-to-believe factoid: people have been drinking coffee since the 15th century, which was some 500 years before the drip coffee maker was invented.
People drank coffee before there were coffee makers? Yes, little one. People also traveled before there were cars and planes, and they listened to music before Spotify, iPods, cassette players and even phonograph records.
We understand. You can’t beat the convenience of having an entire music library on your phone, a GPS-equipped SUV – and a coffee maker on your counter.
But people were able to live rich and rewarding lives while they were also taping songs from the radio and taking cross-country train trips. And if you’re on a camping trip, coping with a power outage, or roughing it in an Airbnb without a coffee machine (gasp!), calm down. You can still have your morning cup of joe, and live to talk about it once you’re back in 21st century civilization.
One note: we’re not talking about mixing hot water with a spoonful of instant coffee. Not only is that way too easy, it also isn’t fresh-brewed coffee.
Here are six ways to brew coffee without a coffee maker.
No, there weren’t any cowboys in Yemen or Ethiopia, where it’s said that people first realized the benefits and pleasures of drinking coffee. Even so, this DIY method of making coffee has its roots back in the days when all there was to work with were a heat source, a container, coffee beans and water.
The product of this method is often called boiled coffee, because that’s basically what it is. Cowboys used to sit by their campfire and make coffee in a pot. Campers (the ones without fancy vans or RVs, that is) have used the method for centuries. And of course, it still works today – even if you’re an urban (or suburban) cowboy without a coffee machine or a nearby Starbucks.
In running down this stovetop process, we’ll assume that you have ready access to cookware, a stove, and measuring implements. But it’s just as easy to make cowboy coffee with an old pot, a campfire, and a practiced eye.
That sludge is a mix of the leftover coffee grounds and the extra water you started with. If you hadn’t added additional water, you’d either end up with coffee grounds in your mug, or a lot less coffee than you’d intended to make.
This isn’t quite the same way coffee brewing method they use in legendary Turkish coffee houses, but it’s close – and it will produce a deep, thick, foamy brew very similar to the stuff they sip while talking politics and smoking hookahs. The method is almost the same one you’d use to make cowboy coffee, but it requires more technique.
Yes, you have to be careful drinking coffee when the grounds are in the cup, but that’s part of the charm of Turkish brew – and the deep, rich taste of this coffee is worth the slight inconvenience.
Not a fan of coffee grounds? We don’t blame you. We’ll have brewing methods you’ll probably enjoy more, coming next.
If you heard the name Amalie Auguste Melitta Bentz, you might guess correctly that she founded the Melitta coffee empire known primarily today for its coffee makers and systems. You probably wouldn’t have guessed, though, that Melitta Bentz (as she’s usually known) also invented the coffee filter, which she patented in 1908.
Bentz eventually perfected the paper filter, but she started by using paper ripped from her son’s school notebook. We’ll be doing sort of the same thing, using a paper filter if one is available, but otherwise using whatever we can find around the house to filter out coffee grounds before they reach the coffee cup. If it helps to visualize this process, think of it as a rudimentary Chemex machine or manual pour-over.
Nice job! But sorry to disappoint you – as we’ve mentioned, the coffee filter has already been patented.
A coffee bag is almost the same thing as a tea bag, with the coffee grounds held in a porous container that allows them to steep in hot water. If that sounds weird, just think of it as similar to a coffee pod or Keurig K-Cup. They use the same principle.
Once again we’re sorry to disappoint you, but the coffee bag has already been patented, too. You can purchase them empty or pre-filled, on Amazon or at many kitchen and department stores.
Or, of course, you can make your own.
You can also take a regular teabag and replace the tea that’s inside with coffee, but that tends to get messy.
A French press machine makes delicious, rich coffee that’s nearly as powerful as espresso. If you don’t have one (or don’t have access to one), using a spoon instead of a press can deliver a brew that’s almost as delicious as French press coffee.
You may enjoy coffee made this way so much that you’re ready to buy a French press or an AeroPress machine. We wouldn’t blame you.
Caution #1: this coffee won’t be ready in five or ten minutes. You’ll have to plan ahead and make it 12-24 hours before you want to drink it.
Caution #2: Cold brew coffee is not the same thing as iced coffee. The latter is just brewed coffee poured over ice. The “cold” in cold brew defines how you make it, not how you drink it.
Caution #3: This method produces a coffee concentrate that has a mild taste when served properly. It has to be diluted with an equal amount of cold water before it can be enjoyed.
Caution #4: You may like cold brew coffee so much that it will become your default order at Starbucks or your local upscale coffee shop. In fact, if you get proficient at making it, they may want to hire you as a barista.
When you’re desperate, needless to say, coffee is coffee – even if it isn’t very good. So if you’re “forced” to resort to brewing your own coffee without a coffee maker, or even a coffee pot, your first instinct probably won’t be to maximize the quality of your brew. You just need some coffee.
However, if you’re going to go long stretches without creature comforts, or if you simply enjoy one of the brewing methods we’ve described, you’ll be more likely to focus on the ways you can create a great cup of coffee without a coffee machine. Here are a few suggestions.
Published: March 23, 2021
Last Updated: October 8, 2021
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