Perfect Cup Of Joe

How To Make The Best Off Grid Coffee Maker For Cheap

Coffee, the glue that keeps modern society functional. Without our morning life blood dragging yourself into work becomes nearly impossible. What happens to the magical elixir when the power is out and the coffee pots won’t turn on? How do you make coffee without electricity? I’ve been thinking about how to make an off grid coffee maker for a few weeks now. Most the time I walk around in a semi-daze with projects going through my head. For this project, I had a list of things I needed my off grid coffee maker to accomplish. I wanted it to be simple to make, easy to operate, not be made of plastic, take any heating method available and not just produce any cup of coffee but the BEST cup. While I still have a few kinks to work out my trial run produced an amazing cup. Now let’s get to brewing!

Perfect Cup Of Joe
Perfect Cup Of Joe

Off Grid Coffee Maker
Off Grid Coffee Maker


How To Make The Best Off Grid Coffee Maker For Cheap

I went through several design ideas before settling on the one I went with. I chose this one for its utter simplicity. It is cheap and easy, things I love, and anyone can make it. To make  your very own off grid coffee maker you will need the following items:

  • Glass Wine Decanter
  • Pyrex Measuring Cup
  • Coffee Filters
  • A rubber band

The total cost for this project was less than $3 since I had the measuring cup, filters, and rubber band already. The measuring cup is even optional, you really just need a vessel to heat up water in. To make things quick I used the microwave this time. My Jetboil would work just as well during a power outage. The beauty of the design is that you can heat the water up any way you like, camp stove, fire, candles or even solar.

Adding the Coffee Grinds
Adding the Coffee Grinds


Set Up

For my test run, I made one cup of coffee. Which turned out to be about all I can do with the size filter I have. Place your filter in the decanter, coffee pot, fold down the edges and hold in place with the rubber band.  I looked up coffee grinds to water ratio for optimal brewing. For one cup this comes out to be two tbsp.

Pouring The Water
Pouring The Water


Once you have your coffee grinds in the filter slowly pour your water over them. When you  cover all the grounds stop and  wait while it filters through. After all the water is through pour the rest slowly in a circular motion until all the water is poured. When it has drained through remove the filter and pour.

Perfect Cup Of Joe
Perfect Cup Of Joe




There you have it, an off grid coffee maker as simple as you can get. How did it taste? Amazing! I’ve drunk  a cup from my traditional maker and this one side by side. They literally tasted nothing alike. The cup from the off grid pot tasted very close to a Starbucks cup. That very distinct taste that only a Starbucks cups taste like. Also, my off grip cup didn’t have what I describe as the scorched flavor you get from a traditional maker.

As for improvements on this, the only thing I can think of is getting bigger coffee filters. Bigger filters mean more grinds and brewing more coffee at one time. Also, the coffee soaked into the paper and a little bit dribbled down the side of the pot. I’ve seen the long cone shaped filters and will try those next. I really want to find/make a permanent metal mesh one so nothing needs replacing.

I love how simple this design is. Fewer parts mean less chances for failure. With the quality of brew that came out, I don’t see a reason to complicate things either. In a power outage, the disaster or grid down scenario I want the simplest and best brew I can get. This is that solution to that problem. For a few bucks go give this a try and let me know what you think.

Do you have plans in place for off grid coffee? What do you brew in/with? Let me know in the comments!


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27 thoughts to “How To Make The Best Off Grid Coffee Maker For Cheap”

  1. I don’t know..I see that coffee can in the background and you could use better coffee. lol also, coffee filter in funnel…will keep coffee INSIDE the decanter.

    1. Yeah it’s Walmart brand coffee but it’s good stuff. I thought about using a funnel but couldn’t find one not made of plastic and I wanted to not use any plastic in this project.

      1. You don’t have to use a funnel per say…you can make one out of anything, foil, tin can lids, soda cans, cardboard would probably hold up long enough to make cofee…all non-plastic!

  2. H’mmmmm, now this got me to thinkin’. I’m a very old school, retro kind of guy. i like tried and true, especially when methodology is simple/ easy. I like the way you approach the problem, ‘Off grid coffee’. I gave up my ‘Mr. coffee’ years ago in favor of a French coffee press. I love it and use it every morning. But it is basically plastic/ glass and stainless plunger. It is manual but they do tend to break as i found out when I knocked it off the counter top and onto the floor…. Careless, clumsy and no coffee for me that morning.
    I have since searched out an all stainless steel carafe and plunger by Nissan and it works well.
    I’m looking at your design and wondering. Does the water stay in contact long enough to extract the black gold?. The filter seems to be the weak spot in this method… Larger, funnel shaped, brown unbleached filter paper might work better….
    Now am wondering… just out of curiosity, if you put the coffee inside the carafe with the hot water, place the paper filter or re-usable ‘cheese cloth’. Attach rubber band on the top. Now let the black slurry steep about 5 minutes to extract all the goodness. Then (with an oven mitt, (HOT) pour out the elixir of life through the filter from inside the carafe into your favorite coffee cup. Voila’ ‘Off Grid Coffee’.

    1. It must have been enough time it came out pretty strong. Which is the way I like it, tasting like espresso more than coffee maker coffee. Also which I like. Letting it steep might work better. Give it a try and lemme know

  3. I keep three of the old kind of metal coffee pots for when there is no utilities. They are three pieces, with a lid. The first is for the water (has tiny holes in the bottom for the water to slowly drip thru), the second part is for the coffee grounds (has a zillion tiny holes in the bottom of this part, but we always used a filter too) and the bottom is for the coffee and it has a pour spout.
    You boil your water in a kettle/pot, put filter and coffee in part two. Pour the hot water in the top part one) and sit back and wait. The pot usually has a handle but it can be place to the side of your grill or camp fire to keep coffee hot. My grandmother used to take an old metal pie pan, about 1.5 inches high. add some water and place the coffee pot in it. Placed over the stove burner, turned low, the coffee was hot all morning.
    The last place I saw a new one was in a neighborhood hardware store. Probably can find one at a garage or estate sale, however, people are now holding on to these kinds of items and they are harder to find.
    I would post a photo of my coffee pot if I was better with this darn computer.

  4. I use a french press for my daily cup of joe. I love the simplicity. I have seen something similar to your idea in Malaysia. They make a very strong cup of coffee there. I would say it is even stronger than starbucks. They put the grounds into a coffee sock. A coffee sock is a cotton sock looking gizmo with a wire handle. Hot water is poured through the sock and the coffee filters into a mug. They pour the filtered coffee back through the sock a second or third time to achieve the desired strength. I bet you could do the same thing with your set up.

  5. I like the old simple stove top perkolator, we have one from our rustic camping days, and still get it out occasionally to make a pot of coffee in it. It makes an excellent cup of coffee, and I think you can still get them at camping stores. I dodnt think they cost too much either.

  6. Aerobie AeroPress has replaced all my other methods of making coffee. I’ve got one in the house to make my morning cup and one in my truck if I ever need to get my fix on the road. Going on four years and I still love it.

  7. First, no way this is the best off grid cup o Joe. Why? NO BACON!

    Second, I’ve gotta say a French press is a mighty fine contraption, though I usually use mine a little differently.

    I shovel in 2-3 tablespoons of fresh grounds, fill the press up with cool water, then let it sit overnight. In the morning, I press it, giving me a cold-pressed cup of coffee with ZERO scorched burnt taste…and I don’t have to do much in the morning, other than press and drink 🙂

    But it doesn’t have bacon either…

  8. Great idea, love the simplicity. Want even better coffee? Try the above with beans you have roasted yourself. You can roast them to any finish you would like, you can buy the raw beans in bulk, and it’s fun to take the green coffee bean from start to finsih in a really great cup of coffee. We buy ours from

    I’ve even planted a couple, and am waiting anxiously to see if they will sprout. My own coffee bush? Awesome.

  9. Hi good idea, I`m not saying the best but colonial coffee can taste pretty good and only requires Pan,pot,etc & heat & coffee ( no really find ground though) ,maybe some pre-dried
    egg shells ( in oven or by fire ) or splash of cold H2o Boil desired amount of grounds in water bring to boil remove from heat,crumble very dried egg shells in (like a good pinch)
    grounds sink to bottom, pour slowly. The splash of water is for when you have no egg shells.I`ve used this method when camping and forgot perk pot. Good stuff thanks David/earthbiscut

  10. Get 2 of the stainless steel fine mesh screens with handles on them, used to keep bacon grease from splattering out of the skillet. Use one to experiment wit , by taking the rim off of the screen and trying different ways to fold it. The other screen is for your design that you like. These last forever, and are easy to clean.

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