How To Make Coffee When The Power Is Out

I’m sitting here this morning writing this blog post with a large cup of hot coffee in my hand and being very grateful that we have power after Hurricane Irma. We got lucky, but during last year’s hurricane Matthew, we were out for almost a week and being able to make coffee went a long way towards creating a small bit of normalcy, not to mention keeping the caffeine withdrawals at bay.

With so many people in Florida and big parts of the South East in general without power this morning, I thought I’d share a couple of different ways for making coffee when the power is out in hopes that it helps someone out there. Of course this will come in handy in any power outage situation, or even when you’re out camping.

Planning Ahead For A Power Outage … So You Can Have Your Cup Of Coffee

If you know there’s a chance that you’ll be out of power for a while ahead of time (like we did with these last two hurricanes), you have a lot more options and you can prepare ahead of time.

One of the easiest things to do is to brew a pot or two of coffee and then refrigerating and/or freezing it. When the power goes out and you’re ready for a cup of coffee you can either add some milk and drink it as an iced coffee, or heat it up on the grill or camping stove. Take a look at the water heating options below. It’s much easier to warm up some coffee that’s already made than starting from scratch with boiling water.

Using a thermos is a great short term solution as well. Brew up some coffee, pour it in a good thermos and you’ll still have hot coffee a few hours later. Even if you end up out of power longer and the coffee sits in the thermos overnight, it will be a welcome lukewarm addition to your morning.

A third option is to keep a jar of instant coffee around “just in case”. You can stir it into warm or hot water (see below), or even dissolve it in room temperature or cold water or milk for a quick iced coffee.

Think about what options will work for you and stock your cabinet accordingly.

Here’s an article I wrote a while back about different things you should have in your emergency kit. This will help far beyond the coffee.

Different Ways To Heat Water To Make Coffee Without Power

Our most prized possession (next to plenty of flashlights) in a power outage is our little camping stove. It’s a quick way to heat and even boil some water when the power is out. We keep it on hand and use it on the covered porch (always use a stove like this outside) whenever the power stays out for a longer period of time. You can use any small stainless steal pot with it and either heat up water, or warm up previously brewed coffee.

You can even heat water and then slowly pour it over your coffee grounds and filter in your regular coffee maker. Other options are to use a french press, or dumping ground coffee into the hot water and straining it through a coffee filter or cloth when it’s done brewing.

Another option is to fire up the old gas or charcoal grill and heating water in a pot on it. Use an old pot for this purpose or sacrifice one of your regular ones, replacing it as needed after the storm or power outage. If you don’t have a grill, create a small fire pit outside and heat the water in a pot next to the fire. You can set it on a brick or rock to create a stable surface for your heating water. Always be careful when dealing with boiling water and open flames.

You can even create a simple little stove big enough to boil a bit of water out of an empty soup can and some sticks and twigs to fuel it. Pour the soup in your pot and then use the can to build the stove to heat your soup or coffee water.


If All Else Fails – Coldbrew Your Coffee

Last but not least, let’s talk about coldbrew. It’s all the rage at the local coffee houses. Why not give it a try when the power is out. Fair warning… this takes a lot of time so get it started as soon as possible to make sure you can enjoy your cup of coffee.

This works best with coarsely ground coffee, but work with what you’ve got. Grab a jar, bowl, pitcher, or even your french press and fill it with coffee and water in a 1 to 8 ratio. Cover and let it sit for up to 24 hours. Strain it through a coffee filter, a strainer lined with a filter, some cloth, or even a a clean piece of fabric like a t-shirt and enjoy. Like the previously brewed or instant coffee, you can heat this up on the grill, camping stove, fire, or solar oven as outlined above.

making coffee without power

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