How to Make Pour Over Coffee Without a Cone

How to Make Pour Over Coffee Without a Cone

We love coffee in all shapes and sizes. And being a coffee enthusiast means trying out different blends and different brewing methods. And while trying different coffee blends sounds easy enough, trying different brewing methods can be a bit intimidating. You might be discouraged by all the different equipment and coffee makers available, which can get quite expensive. Even with pour over coffee. So how do you make a pour over coffee without a cone?

You can make pour over coffee without a cone by using either a napkin or a paper towel as a filter. Simply place the napkin or paper towel in your pour over coffee maker or coffee mug and carefully add hot water. It might not make as strong of coffee as a proper filter, but it will work!

Going into a well-stocked coffee shop and seeing all the different parts and gadgets might be overwhelming. Such is the case with pour over coffee. It is delicious, and we are huge fans. But people get discouraged from making it at home because they think they need to spend more money on a cone to get the wanted result. We are here to tell you that to try out and enjoy different brewing methods, you don’t need expensive equipment and buying additional parts. 

Making a pour over coffee doesn’t have to be an expensive undertaking. All you need is a love for coffee and a bit of a DIY spirit. Have no fear. You can use items you already have in your kitchen. And we guarantee you will end up with a delicious pour over coffee without buying a cone.

What You Will Need 

Barista pouring hot water in paper filter with grind coffee

First of all, you will need your favorite coffee blend. The coffee should be a moderately fine grind, and the rest is up to you. Choose the type of blend you usually enjoy. The second ingredient is hot water of course. Just boil some water in the kettle. You can use it just after it has boiled, or leave it for a minute in the kettle. Leaving the water to cool down for just a bit will decrease the bitterness of the coffee. But just a bit. The water still needs to be hot. 

Now comes the gear. As promised, I won’t make you use any complicated or expensive gear that you don’t already have in your kitchen. The one thing you might need to buy is a standard paper coffee filter. These are cheap, but even if you don’t feel like buying one, I will give you an alternative option. 

Author Note: You will need a large mug for making the coffee. And when I say large mug, I do mean it. It’s better to be safe with the size. Don’t choose a mug that you expect to fill to the top with coffee. Rather choose a cup that is double the size. 

And lastly, you will need some office supplies. You will need some paper clips, maybe some elastic bands, or whatever you can find that will do the trick. We will need these to secure the filter on top of the mug. 

And that is it. You are ready to make your pour over coffee. No cone needed.

The Alternative For a Coffee Filter 

If you find yourself in an absence of a coffee filter, but craving for some good pour over coffee, have no fear. You don’t need to go out in search of coffee filters when you can use some simple things you might already have at home.
Instead of a filter, you can use a napkin, a piece of cloth, or even maybe a better quality paper towel. The only thing you need to keep in mind is that whatever you use, it needs to be big enough to replace a filter, and it needs to be clean enough to use to make pour over coffee

Setting Up

Morning Coffee Pour in Coffee Cup Espresso Maker with Steam

Now that you have everything you need to make pour over coffee, it is time for the setup. As I said, you need a big mug which you plan on filling about half. Since we are making pour over coffee without a cone, the next step would be setting the filter. Or the napkin, whatever you are using. 

You need to place the filter on top of the mug and secure it with elastic bands or paper clips, or whatever you have around that you feel would do the trick. The main thing to be careful of here is to secure it well. Place the filter on top of the mug.

It should be about halfway out of the mug. This is because you need to be able to secure it properly. Using the elastic bands and clips secure on the top, but keep in might that after you put the coffee and pour water through it, the filter will gain some weight, so the clips need to be able to hold through that. 

The same goes for if you are using a napkin. Secure it well and keep in mind that water weighs it down. So get an adequately sized napkin. Don’t go with the small piece of cloth or the small napkin that you won’t be able to secure on the top of the mug. The extra thing when using a napkin is you need to make sure it is clean. Even if you have washed it already, it won’t hurt to run it through the water again, just to make sure. 

Getting The Coffee Right 

You probably already have coffee that’s your favorite and you use regularly. But it can’t hurt to go over a couple of things, just in case. 

Author Note: The coffee should be a fine grind or moderately fine. If you are buying your coffee ready to use, check the labels. And if you are grinding your coffee, make sure you grind it well.

As for quantity, you should use about 2 or 3 tablespoons of coffee to make one cup.  Of course, this depends on how strong you want your coffee to be. If you want a weaker cup, use 2 tablespoons. If you want a stronger cup, make sure your 3 tablespoons of coffee are filled generously. 

Heating Up The Water 

The next step would be to boil the water. You probably do this in a kettle. Once the water has boiled, leave it to cool off for a minute in the kettle. Letting the water cool off just a bit will help with the bitter taste of the coffee. Don’t overdo this, so you don’t end up with warm, rather than hot water. 

The next thing you need to do is to wet the filter with hot water. Pour some hot water over it, and pour the water out of the mug. This will also help with the bitterness of the coffee.
If any of the clips or elastic bands have fallen during this, make sure you reattach the filter or napkin properly. 

Now that you have wet the filter you might have even gotten some idea about the quantity of water you need to fill half or ⅔ of the mug. 

And we are done with the preparations! 

Making The Coffee 

Drip Coffee Black coffee brewed in low light in the house

Now that we have established that we do not need a cone to make a pour over coffee, and we have prepared everything, it is time to do this. 

Author Note: First, you need to put the coffee in the filter, or the napkin. As I said, 2-3 tablespoons is enough. After that make sure the coffee is distributed evenly in the filter. 

The next step is to pour a bit of hot water over the coffee. Now you need to let the coffee “bloom”. This means to let it sit in the hot water for about 30 seconds. Then you can stir the coffee a bit and then add water so that you fill the filter. 

You can continue adding water as soon as you have some room for it in the filter. It takes about 3 minutes to make a cup of pour over coffee, so you will need to be a bit patient. But don’t worry. Think of the delicious coffee that awaits. 

So after 2 to 3 minutes, all the water should be drained in the mug, and none should be left in the filter. This means your coffee is ready and you should remove the filter. Remove the clips and elastic bands you used carefully. The coffee filter might still have some leftover water in it, so be careful not to burn yourself. Some filters can be reused if you wash them properly. And the same goes for if you have used a cloth or a napkin. Just wash it and dry it for further use.

And you are done! You can enjoy your tasty pour over coffee. 


We all want to try new types of coffee and brewing methods, but not all of us want to invest in new coffee gear right away. And you don’t have to. For a lot of things, there are some DIY hacks that you can use at least when starting. You might want to invest in a cone for making pour over coffee in the future, but truth is, you don’t have to. And that makes all the difference.

Using a coffee filter, a cloth or a napkin, and some clips and elastic bands to secure it on a mug, you will be able to make a perfectly delicious cup of pour over coffee at home.

So you need a big mug to use. A coffee filter or cloth or a napkin, whichever you have in the house. The thing you need to make note of is if you are using a cloth or a napkin, make sure it is clean. Then you need some pins and clips to secure the filter to the mug. Some hot water, and of course 2-3 tablespoons of coffee. And you are good to go. 

Stay caffeinated friends!

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