There’s no need to go coffee-less or struggle through long lines at the neighborhood coffee shop for your hit of coffee during a hurricane (or if you lose power for any other reason). So put away your electric powered coffeemaker (which, you should probably do anyways) and follow along.
A good chunk of last week I was missing in action. I left the Daily Shot Of Coffee Facebook page extremely quiet, I did manage to tweet a few updates here and there, but that was about it. If you’re waiting for an email from me, I’m sorry I’m still working on catching up.
Last week, Hurricane Issac struck Louisiana and I ended up close to the middle of all of the action. Luckily, there was no flooding in my area, but the winds (even though they were on the minimal side of hurricane) managed to knock down a trees everywhere that left me without power for the better part of three days. I was the lucky ones, there’s still many people who still have no electricity and the temperatures are dangerously rising into the 90′s.
However, what really concerned me were the people on Facebook who admitted to not having coffee for a couple of days because they didn’t have electricity. You all know who you are, I won’t call you out by name. Nor will I mention all of the long lines of people fiending for a sip of java at the coffee shops that managed to find a way to open the doors.
How To Make Coffee With No Electricity
You’ll need a source of hot water. I was lucky, I had a gas stove so I could still heat up my water. However, I know lots of you out there don’t have that, so I put together a few other options.
Portable Propane/Gas/Charcoal Grill – I love my charcoal for grilling, but when it comes to making coffee I’d rather have propane/gas. I have one of these bad boys for camping, but it’s definitely nice to have one for when the power goes out too. They start at the $30 mark, but a good one is going to cost $80-120+. It’s a worth making the investment.
You can heat water in a pan or a kettle. Bring it to a boil, then let it cool down for a minute to the optimal coffee brewing temperatures (197-205 degrees Fahrenheit). Bonus, points the grill can be used later in the day to make some awesome coffee burgers or caffeinated steaks.
If there’s a chance you might lose your water during the outage, make sure you have a stockpile of clean water to use for your coffee (and I suppose just for drinking to stay hydrated too).
Alright, now that your water is heating you’re going to need some ground coffee to mix with the water. You could have some store bought pre-ground coffee, but hopefully you know by now that coffee starts to go stale within 15 minutes of being ground.
I knew that too, yet I ground a bag of coffee myself the day before the hurricane hit. Not optimal, but my grinder needs electricity to work and I need coffee to become human, so I had to do it.
The best solution is a manual grinder. The Hario Coffee Hand Grinder Skerton ($36) is the most popular option on the block right now. It’s the one that I’m going to buy before the next storm hits (along with battery operated fans), but there are other options out there to check out.
Now that we’ve got hot water and some coffee ground, it’s time to brew some coffee. When it comes to brewing devices that don’t require electricity, the sky is the limit.
My two favorites are the French Press and the Chemex. Both are easy to use and both brew amazing coffee for a couple of people at a time. Maybe three people if you don’t mind cups on the small size.
If you’re just brewing for yourself, you might want to check out a pour over option like the Melitta Ready Set Joe. About five bucks, it’s a cone that just needs a filter and a coffee mug to go on.
That’s my suggestions for making coffee when the power is out. What’s your suggestions?