My off The Grid Coffee Options

James over a SurvivalPunk wrote up his method for off the grid coffee, and while his works fine, I decided I wanted to express my method too. (He does seem to bring out the competitor in me, and I’m thankful for his prodding and motivation. Thanks Bro!)

I  could purchase a 12v coffee maker to use off my solar system that I’ve installed, but if I’m running off my 12v system, power would be precious, and I’d not want to waste it on coffee, not matter how unhappy the wife would be. There are dozens of methods, gadgets, and bits of gear to help you make a cup off coffee where there is no power – percolators, solar concept setups, instant coffee, and my favorites, the Bodum French Press and the Teavana Perfect Teamaker.

The Bodum French Press uses manual pressure, while the Teavana Perfect Teamaker uses gravity to strain out the solids, be it tea or coffee. I’ve used both quite a bit, and only prefer the Teavana Perfect Teamaker because it eliminates a step. Both provide me with a cuppa Joe (or tea) with only the addition being hot water.

And since I have a propane grill, a backyard fire pit, and a Emberlit camp stove, I have no excuse to not be able to make hot water. (I wrote about the Emberlit here, and have used it and mentioned it several other times as well. I carry it with me in the truck bag, and therefore am never far from a method of heating water, no matter where I am.)

Bodum French Press

The Bodum French Press is used by putting coffee in the container, adding hot water to it, stiring the coffee in, and after allowing it to steep several minutes, you press the handle down that pushes the filter screen to the bottom of the container, filtering out all of the grounds, leaving them on the bottom and the coffee above the filter. You then pour out your fresh brewed coffee into a drinking cup, be it a coffee cup or a insulated mason jar. I have been known to use this to make cold brewed coffee, letting it steep overnight before pressing it. This give you a rich, non-bitter coffee perfect for an iced coffee. If you get the chance, give cold pressed coffee a try.

Teavana Perfect teamakerThe Teavana Perfect Teamaker is loaded similarly, coffee or tea into the vessel, then after steeping the appropriate amount of time for your taste, you set the teamaker on top of a coffee mug. the weight of the teamaker depresses a filtered valve, allowing the coffee or tea to drain into your mug. Lifting it back off of your coffee mug closes the valve in the teamaker, saving you from any spills.

Here is the demo of the unit:


Now for my morning coffee, all I need is hot water, and if I want cold brewed coffee, I don’t even need that! Since the wife like hot coffee in the morning, I would grab my Emberlit camp stove, step out into the back yard, gather some “squaw wood“, start a fire in the Emberlit, fry some maple bacon in a cast iron skillet over the fire, set the bacon aside, then heat the water in the same frying pan, then use on of the options above to make my wife a cup of maple-bacon coffee, just the way she likes it.

Remember, “Happy Wife, Happy Life“, and if we have no power, I have my work cut out for me trying to figure how she’s going to get a hot shower to start her day.

I guess this means I need to work out a solar shower plan….just in case.



    1. That cold brewed coffee is mighty tasty…and almost zero effort the morning you drink it. Push down on the filter handle, pour, drink!

      I like mine with heavy cream, or coconut milk.

  1. I have seen someone without electric use a standard electric coffee maker. They just poured boiling water into the coffee grounds and let it drip through. I have a percolator, just in case. Great article. God bless.

    1. Now that you mention it, I recall my mom doing the same thing years ago….

      And a percolator is a solid method, always has been.


  2. i just put some coffee grounds in my mouth, tilt my head back , pour in boiling water, eeeoww spit it into a waiting cup. lol just kidding.

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