How to make coffee without coffee maker? Indonesian people, traditionally enjoying a cup of coffee which is made manually.  A long history of coffee in the world is inseparable from Indonesian history.  Indonesia is the first place for coffee to grew in optimum condition, outside their origin place in Ethiopia. After a long way for Dutch peoples to do trial in some places.

Coffee is dark and bitter

There are many ways for Indonesian people to prepare before ready to drink.  Mostly is without coffer maker machine.  We believe that the best coffee taste will appear if we adequately treat them.  Some of the misperceptions about coffee we saw among the old generation.  The thought that coffee should be black and bitter.  That almost in all places, we found roasted coffee in dark color.

But by knowledge, the younger generation finally realizes that we can improve the quality of taste and bring out the real character of much Indonesian coffee.  Nowadays, we can enjoy a big variation of the base taste and character of Indonesian coffee.  Again, the process is manual, without coffee maker.

Robusta is more popular than Arabica

Talking about coffee, most Indonesian peoples are more familiar with Robusta better than Arabica.  The reason is probably that more than 70% of coffee production in Indonesia is Robusta.  If Arabica has specialties in taste, body, and aroma based on their growing soils, altitude, and climate.  On the other side, Robusta in general is bitter, wherever they are.  But Robusta also has differences even not as wide as Arabica.  If you are interested in Indonesian coffee, you can click here.

How To Make Coffee Without Coffee Maker
A cup of joy (pixabay)

How to make coffee without coffee maker, things to consider

Before we discuss each method, you should know that we must adequately treat coffee.  So that the coffee can give back their real character to us.  When we respect them and do not spoil them with any treatments, we will get the best taste lately.

Making coffee manually without a coffee maker has its advantages. You can explore the character of coffee with various water temperature treatments, a mixture of water and coffee, and play on the duration of brewing. When you decide to make coffee without coffee machine, you should consider several things, such as:

1. What is your preference?

Do you like a bitter or aromatic taste?  Arabica and Robusta are the most common coffee species in the world.  Let’s say almost 100% of commercial coffee comes from these two species. If you prefer the bitter taste, Robusta is the choice, but if you prefer the aromatic experience, arabica is the one.  Because coffee is not only about bitterness. 

2. Roasting level

Robusta will give the best character when you use the dark roasting level.  When you find the best Robusta coffee such as Lampung’s Robusta, you will get the best taste and difference with another Indonesian Robusta when you treat them well.  But if you choose Arabica, you should use the medium-dark level.  Arabica coffee will give you the right character when you roast them on the medium-dark level.  If you choose a dark or very dark level, you will get a flat taste.

3. Make sure your coffee is single origin

Coffee is not only about a cup of drink.  But we can also explore the difference in aroma, taste, and body strength.  When you choose single-origin coffee, you can easily remember the characters from each coffee you have a drink.

Single-origin coffee is popular during the third wave of coffee culture.  the third wave is a time when people enjoying coffee, while also looking for information.  Where it comes from and how the climates and culture where the coffee is grown.  People start to love coffee in the first wave, while the second wave is when coffee is produced in huge quantities.

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Pour-over method

4. Choose fresh coffee bean

One of the secrets to getting the best coffee taste is started from the bean freshness.  You should choose as fresh as possible coffee beans before you roast.  For best taste, the fresh coffee bean is a must.  When the beans are fresh, let the roasting process create the final character of your coffee.

5. Use only freshly roasted coffee

When you already have fresh coffee beans, you have a good start, but it is not finished yet.  Coffee’s character is very dependent on the roasting process.  During the roasting process, the special character of the beans will appear.  But the real character is not long-lasting.  Based on my experience, it will only last for a maximum of a month with manual storage.  With vacuum technology, it might last a few months. But as fresh as possible is always better.

6. Use medium coarse ground coffee

For the optimum extraction during the brewing process, use the medium coarse ground.  You will get the real character of your coffee. Fine ground is difficult to expose the character because it will make the extraction running faster.  While if too coarse you will have not enough time to expose.  The medium-coarse ground will give you the experience of exploring coffee from different places.

7. Water temperature

Making coffee without coffee maker is an art.  For the best final result, you should consider the water temperature.  The temperature range is between 90-95 degrees Celsius.  If you use a lower temperature, the acidity will increase.  But when you use a higher temperature, a bitter taste will appear.

8. The Golden Ratio

To explore detailed characters, you can play with 1:14, mean 1 part of coffee and 14 parts of water.  By using this ratio, you can differentiate some characters from your coffees.  Started from the flavor, the body strength, acidity, bitterness, and then after taste.  For the ratio, personally, I will choose 1:10.  Because I love the strong coffee.

9. Timing is everything

Many approaches you can easily found by googling.  For the best result of coffee, optimum brewing duration is a must.  You can try:

  • 1 minute pre-extraction:  pour gently the hot water till all coffee exactly covered with water.  It will let the coffee start to be extracted and the gases left inside the coffee also come out and not distracted the flavor
  • 3 minutes extraction:  pour the water till the ratio is reached.  And let your coffee for 3 minutes without any treatment.  It will allow the extraction running better. 

10. The properties

There are some approaches you can try to prepare your coffee.  Started from basic brewing.  In Indonesia, we called it Kopi Tubruk. You just need to pour the water into the coffee ground.  You also can try the pour-over or V60 method by using filter paper.  Or you can also try the Vietnam drip method. Some other way how to prepare coffee manually is by using some methods, such as French Press, Aeropress, and Syphon.

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Various properties to make coffee without coffee maker

You can also try several common ways of Indonesian coffee brewing. Kopi Tubruk is the most common and easiest method. In Aceh and North Sumatra province, people boil the coffee in the big container. Did you know that you can see the longest coffee shop in the world in Banda Aceh city? It happens before the pandemic. The coffee shops are using all street space in the city to offer coffee.

11. No sugar for first experience

For the best experience to get to know the coffee characters, please do not put sugar in your cup of coffee.  Sugar will be disturbing the taste and reducing the interaction pleasure with your coffee.  But when you already get the coffee character, sugar is dependent on your decision.

12. Do not put your coffee in the vacuum/thermos flask

Just prepare the coffee as your need.  Put the coffee in the thermos flask and then tightly closed, slowly will change the taste.  After 15-20 minutes, the coffee is still hot, but the taste will change.  It will happen and feel the change especially if you are using Arabica.    

13. Experience is the best teacher

During my exploration of tasting Indonesian arabica coffees, I can easily remark all coffee I taste using all combination approaches above.  When I am willing to enjoy flowery coffee, I will choose coffee from Kerinci and Kintamani. Or when I need stronger coffee, I will choose arabica from Toraja, Aceh, or North Sumatra.  But when I need flat flavor, I will choose west Java’s Arabica.  Last but not least, I will choose Lampung’s Robusta to keep me awake.

Categories: Edible

Muryanto Paiman

always love to learn from nature.  Passionate on studying plants in some aspects: the DNA, Identification, propagation, and their uses