Making coffee with a fancy coffee machine is one thing and getting a palatable drink after brewing manually another. Most people would simply love to buy a coffee maker and let it do all the work. However, if you want to look for manual coffee making machines, then here are a few hacks and tips that will help you get a great brew each time.

Manual Coffee Brewing – The Challenges

With a coffee maker by your side, it is easy to measure coffee beans or coffee grind precisely to maintain the strength and good taste of your coffee. However, when you brew the drink manually, you could face issues with strength control. Moreover, you cannot precisely measure the temperature of your brew. Therefore, there could be problems with strength control.

There could be problems with the consistency of your drink. Moreover, you will not be able to make coffee with varied flavors and textures. Making lattes and cappuccinos or other fancy coffee drinks will be very difficult as well. You will have to work really hard while making coffee manually to ensure that every brew tastes the same. The good news is that these challenges can easily be met.

Here are a few things to remember while brewing coffee manually.

1. Use Coffee Beans

While instant coffee is always the quickest way to get some coffee, using beans will help you retain more flavor and get a stronger, richer brew. Remember, you are not working with a fancy coffee maker and K-pods. Therefore, you are solely responsible for the taste of your coffee. To make your most delicious brew, focus only on getting coffee beans.

coffee beans

Of course, using coffee beans or coffee ground is a matter of individual preference. However, freshly ground coffee beans are able to preserve their natural flavor and strength. Coffee powder doesn’t hold on to the same taste and flavor as there is a huge gap between grinding and actually drinking your coffee. You will likely have to buy a manual/hand grinder for this process. They are very quick and simple to use and offer you great flexibility.

2. Choose Your Grinder Wisely

There are two types of grinders available on the market- burr grinders and blade grinders. Blade grinders will usually provide you a coarser grind, while burr grinders give you finer grind option. Here is why the grind size is important. If the grind comes out to be, of course, it will lead to a quicker extraction time, especially in pour-over coffees. With a finer grind, your extraction time is more. Hence, the taste of the coffee is even and more delicious.

If you are looking for a more consistent brew each time, go for a handheld burr grinder. You will get an evenly ground product and will get a richer taste as well. If you want a low-cost alternative to the burr grinder, opt for the blade grinder.

A good way to get a good taste is to wash your grinder thoroughly after every use. Don’t leave any coffee beans or ground coffee in the equipment. It will start becoming stale and create a bad taste in the next batch. Make sure that you grind only as much coffee as you need. Grinding more will only create trouble. In fact, if you don’t want to grind repeatedly, it will be better to buy a bag of instant coffee from the store.

3. You Don’t Really Need A Thermometer

It wouldn’t be worthwhile to carry a handheld grinder, a thermometer, and a weighing scale for measuring coffee every time you want to drink a cup. This equipment is usually best left to a specialty coffee shop. You do not have to worry too much about buying weighing scales or thermometers. Measure the coffee beans approximately. With time, you will get to measure the coffee beans properly. Don’t worry, it won’t take years.

When it comes to buying a thermometer, you can be better off without it. With coffee, you need hot water, not boiling water. Therefore, you will only have to put the water to heat and switch the flame off right before it boils. If you have boiled the water by mistake, just let it sit for 30 to 45 seconds and you are good to go. There will be no need to check the temperature with a thermometer. Save some time.

4. Use Paper Filters

Again, don’t focus on expensive filters. You can get paper filters for your pour over, manually made coffee with ease. These filters are very easy to use and cheap as well. Moreover, you can easily wash and reuse these filters. Therefore, there is no extra effort or money that goes into making your coffee at home. If you had to spend much money, you could have easily walked to the nearest café.

To brew your perfect cup of coffee, place a paper filter over your cup. Place the ground coffee on the filter and pour some water on the ground. Let it sit for one minute while the coffee is gently extracted into the cup. Now, pour some more water and fill the cup till half the volume. Let the coffee extract and drip. You can then add water twice or thrice to get the best extract from your beans.

That’s it! Your perfect coffee is ready. Enjoy it and have fun watching your favorite series on Netflix.

It isn’t always possible to get a filter handy. Some people may not like the taste of paper filtered coffee. For all of you, there is the immersive coffee making technique. It mimics the working of a French press. All you have to do is grind the coffee coarsely (if you have a blade grinder, this is the perfect time for your equipment to shine). After this wet the coffee slightly and let it sit for a few seconds (30 seconds is great!). Then pour the rest of the water and let the brew simmer at its own temperature for about 4 minutes. Lo and behold! Your coffee is ready with zero hassles.

A coffee maker isn’t always available. Sometimes, your little kitchen equipment needs fixing too. Getting good coffee at this time is still easy and would not take more than 5 minutes. Try our techniques and let us know if you liked the taste.


Grant is the man behind Just Coffee Maker, a site dedicated to the art of brewing coffee manually! Grants's writing is unpretentious and really captures the beauty of the ritual in making great coffee.

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