You woke up this morning and your coffee maker has croaked. Despite what it sounds like, this isn’t the start of a modern blues song penned by Blind Grapefruit Jefferson, but it is potentially the start of an awful, dismal day.

Expect the car not to start, a piano to fall out of the sky or to for work to end up as an eight-hour PowerPoint presentation. Before all of that, you must achieve normality and that means you must have the cup of decaf that starts the day. Nothing else will help.

Making decaf coffee without a coffee maker is not an art

Fortunately, whatever Bob the barista at Cost-A-Few-Bucks says, making coffee is nowhere near an artform. It’s hot water over ground coffee, a little brew time and Bob has stopped being your barista and is now your uncle.

Honestly, I can’t believe I have to spoon-feed this to you. When we were out all day on the ranch, we could make coffee using only a primus stove, a length of rubber hose and a homemade moka pot fashioned from a Land Rover carburettor and a ship’s compass. It wasn’t too difficult, but it also wasn’t too nice either, so here’s how to make decent coffee without a coffee maker. You will need a kitchen or a designated area you prepare grub at least.

Sock coffee maker
“In Costa Rica, this type of coffee is colloquially known as “agua de medias” (sock water)”

Using ground decaf coffee

  1. Add ground coffee into a heat-proof measuring jug. 1-2 tablespoons of ground coffee per 250ml cup.
  2. Boil the kettle.
  3. Pour the hot water over the ground decaf coffee as slowly as possible until you reach the amount of coffee you want.
  4. Let it brew for around 3 minutes, then stir and leave for another three minutes. Adjust these timings to your own tastes or how long it is until your train to work leaves.
  5. Pour into a mug through a tea strainer.

Using home-made coffee bags

This sounds a bit Blue Peter, but if it’s a filter coffee make that is broken, you are likely top have some spare coffee filters, an old sock, a used stocking or thick kitchen towel to hand. These can be made quickly into coffee bags with just a single piece of string.

  1. Place 2 tablespoons of ground coffee in the centre of the coffee filter, old sock, used stocking or kitchen towel.
  2. Draw the edges of the filter paper or whatever it is (see above) together to make a bag shape.
  3. Tie a length of string or twine tight around the neck of the bag, leaving one length of the string long enough to hang over the side of the cup.
  4. Boil a kettle.
  5. Place the bag in the cup and pour over the hot water.
  6. Remember to remove anything floating from the mug of coffee if it’s for a guest.

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