Are you suddenly without a coffee maker ? No worries, if you have just one clean pot in the house, you're ready to go.
I'll help you make coffee in a pot, and you might discover you even like this version better.
Onto the coffee !
So how do you make coffee in a pot ?
Making coffee in a pot is very much like making Turkish coffee, or French press coffee. It depends on how you like your coffee.
You add the coffee grounds to the pre-heated water, and once the coffee's steeped you simply strain or filter it into coffee cups.
Coffee grounds should be added to almost boiling water, then either be left to simmer for half a minute, or left to sit (no heat) for 3-4 minutes.
While it may sound complicated at first, after you brew the first batch you'll see it's a simple thing to do.
Practice does make perfect, so don't worry if it's not alright on the first try.
I'll help you figure things out, so you'll be everyone's hero at the next camping trip.
What to know before you make coffee in a pot
Before you even start making coffee in a pot, you need to remember a few things.
Pot coffee will most probably be different than the coffee you usually drink.
For example compare to espresso or filter coffee, pot coffee will be much stronger and more nuanced in its aroma.
Caffeine levels will be like filter coffee, and there will be no crema on top.
You'll find nice, large bubbles that will be the remained of the crema, but that's it.
In terms of taste, pot coffee will be deeper, more full-bodied. It takes milk better than other coffees, as it will have some coffee oils and very small grit present (unless you filter it).
There's no reason to panic if you've never made pot coffee before.
If you've ever made pasta successfully, or brewed loose leaf tea, then this will all be very familiar.
Knowing when the water is just below boiling point will be key here.
To make pot coffee, you will need:
- a pot, whichever size you have
- ground coffee
- coffee cups
- (optional) coffee filters
Now let's start making coffee !
Start by heating water in the pot
First, you need to add your water. As for how much water, that depends on how strong you take your coffee.
I like mine fairly strong, I'd say an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being strongest), so this is what I'm using as an example.
For that I use 2 flat scoops of coffee (or 2 heaping teaspoons) for about 400 ml/13.5 oz of water.
This is for 2 servings, into which I add a fair amount of milk.
Some of that water will be left behind, with the coffee grounds once the coffee is done brewing.
So this yields me about 170 ml/5.7 oz of actual coffee brew.
Now, using that ratio (or adjusting it to your likes), figure out how many cups of coffee you'd like to make.
If you're making strong coffee like me, and you'd need to make 5 cups of coffee, you'd need 5 scoops/5 heaping teaspoons of ground coffee, and 1000 ml/33.8 oz of water.
This would yield you about 900 ml/30.4 oz of actual coffee brew.
After you've figured out how much coffee you want to make, fill up the coffee pot with as much water as you need.
Place it on the heat, and let it get close to boiling point.
You'll notice the water is ready when you start to see tiny bubbles forming on the sides of the pot, but nothing really comes to the surface. There is no rolling boil, no simmering, the water is just about to boil in a minute or so.
Take the water off the heat, and proceed to the next step.
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Add coffee grounds to the water
Before you add the coffee grounds, be warned that they will bloom.
This means they will almost immediately form a lot of foam, and might bubble out of your pot if the water level is too high.
Once the coffee's bloomed (take 2-3 seconds, but you must be ready), you have two options.
You can either make your pot coffee Turkish style, or French press.
French press involves steeping the coffee like you would with tea. It gives you a more nuanced coffee, with a nicer finish. This works best if you have medium to coarse coffee grounds.
Turkish coffee is very similar, but it has significantly less crema, and you need to be very careful when you place ti back on the fire. This works best if you have fine coffee grounds.
1. For Turkish coffee - Simmer coffee for a few seconds
If you want to make pot coffee Turkish style, you'll need to stir the coffee pot to remove some of the foam on top - a sort of crema.
You'll need to place the pot back over the heat, for just a couple of seconds.
You'll notice the water level start to rise very, very fast.
Take it off the heat, and stir. You'll notice the foam diminishing, almost completely gone.
You can repeat this up to 3 times.
The point is that the crema should be almost gone, but not completely gone.
Making coffee this way involves quick reflexes, otherwise your pot will overflow. Do not underestimate boiling coffee grounds, they are ridiculously quick.
Once you've removed and placed back and removed again the coffee pot from the heat, and you're happy with the result, you'll need to let the coffee sit.
Turn the heat off, set the coffee pot somewhere else.
Let it sit for about 3 minutes, until the coffee grounds settle to the bottom.
2. For French press - Let coffee sit for a few minutes
If you want to go a simpler route, of if your coffee grounds are much too large, you can simply let the coffee steep.
I recommend you stir the coffee a few times, so the bits of ground coffee will float down to the surface. You might find some of them still embedded in the foam on top.
After you've let the coffee grounds bloom, you'll just have to set the coffee pot sit somewhere for 3-4 minutes, covered.
You don't need further heat for this, you can turn it off.
Strain/filter coffee into cups
Once your coffee's sat for a few minutes, you need to serve it.
Whichever method you used, your coffee grounds are currently at the bottom of the coffee pot.
If you're very careful, you can simply pot it very gently into coffee cups. Expect ground coffee to be present at the bottom of some cups, no matter how careful you are.
This does not work well with a large coffee pot, like if you're making 12 cups for example.
Another option is to strain or filter the coffee into the cups.
If you've got paper filters, you can simply place the filter inside the cup, and carefully pour the coffee into the filter. Watch for the filter collapsing on the sides.
Or, you can use a larger mesh strainer, and place the whole coffee filter inside the strainer. Place the strainer on top of each cup, and pour the coffee into the filter.
Making coffee with just a pot is proof that we can be resourceful, in any situation. Sometimes the coffee maker breaks down.
Other times you're on a trip and someone forgot to bring something to make coffee with.
No worries, you'll know what to do, as long as there's something to boil water in.
If you want to know more about coffee or tea, feel free to check the related articles below. Who knows what else you might find ?