How to Make Unfiltered Coffee: The Complete Guide

unfiltered coffee

With coffee culture bigger than ever, an old method of making coffee is making a resurgence: unfiltered coffee. What is unfiltered coffee? It’s any form of coffee brewing that doesn’t use a paper filter to prevent coffee grinds from mixing with your coffee. But do you know how to make unfiltered coffee? Or why has it become the newest craze in healthy coffee? 

We’ll answer these questions and much more! In this article, we’ll go over the most popular ways to make unfiltered coffee, explain why so many people think it’s healthier than normal brewed coffee, and let know our favorite roasts for unfiltered coffee. 

Let’s get started!

Unfiltered coffee has become more popular in the last few years due to several studies relating to the health benefits of leaving some coffee grinds in your coffee. The extra grounds increase the amount of cafestol and kahweol – both of which have beneficial properties for cardiovascular health.

Unfiltered coffee is also becoming more popular because of the robust flavor profile it has compared to other brewing techniques. Leaving the ground in your coffee imparts a stronger flavor that many people tend to like. It can also increase the amount of caffeine is in your coffee – which most people also like. 

How to Make Unfiltered Coffee: Three Main Techniques

Turkish coffee in Izmir bazar, Turkey

While there are many different ways to make unfiltered coffee, there are three popular ones we recommend: making coffee in a pan, using a Moka pot, or Turkish coffee. While there are additional methods to make coffee, these three are the most common and easy to do at home. We’ll now go over how to make each as well as why we like them. 

How to Make Unfiltered Coffee in a Pan

The most simple and common way to make unfiltered coffee is to make it in a pan. This might sound basic, but the technique works quite well and can be a great way to make coffee in a pinch. 

Author Note: We’ve made coffee in a pan while sailing, on backpacking trips, and one time when our drip coffee maker broke. It’s a time tested technique that gets the job done. You’ll need coffee grounds, a pan, a heat source, and water. That’s it! Let’s go over how to make coffee in a pan.

Instructions for Unfiltered Coffee in a Pan

Follow the below steps to make your unfiltered coffee in a pan. 

  1. Pour one or two cups of water into your pan. You can add more or less depending on how much coffee you want to make. If you’re making it for several people or a large group, you might want to add two or three cups of water to make sure you have enough.
  2. Next, put your pan over your heat source. Bring the water to a boil before adding your grounds.
  3. After the water is boiling add your coffee grounds. You should pick out coffee beans that are a roast you like. If you want your coffee to have a nuanced lighter flavor, pick a lighter roast. Light roasts also have more caffeine! On the other hand, if you like darker more toasted flavors pick a dark roast. This style is more typical of Starbucks and European roasts. Another tip for our coffee grinds: we like to grind our coffee beans into a finer powder than we do for drip coffee. This allows you to extract more flavor from the beans and gives your unfiltered coffee a more robust flavor profile. If you don’t buy your fine ground coffee grounds preground, we recommend using a burr grinder to get them as fine as possible. You should also use freshly ground espresso. Don’t use old expired espresso beans or grounds.
  4. As soon as you add your coffee grounds, turn the heat source off so the water stops boiling. You don’t want to over boil your coffee grounds! This will give your unfiltered coffee an acidic flavor that most people don’t like. 
  5. Let your coffee grounds sit in the hot water for four to five minutes. 
  6. Once the 5 minutes are up and the grounds have settled to the bottom of your pan, simply pour your coffee into your mug or glass and you’re good to go! 
  7. If you want to ensure none of the grounds end up in your mug, we like to use a fine metal strainer to pour the coffee through. This isn’t necessary however as a few coffee grinds in your espresso won’t hurt you – and could actually have some health benefits

How to Make Unfiltered Coffee Using a Moka Pot

Arabic coffee (qahwah sadah), Amman, Jordan

Another really popular way to make unfiltered coffee is to use a Moka pot. Moka pots, however, do actually have a filtration system inside them – most people just don’t realize it’s built-in. 

Author Note: The lower half of the Moka pot where you add your coffee grounds has a metal strainer in it. Depending on the type of pot and the size of the holes in the strainer, however, you will end up with relatively unfiltered coffee in the end. Moka pots are also great for espresso used for tiramisu.

Let’s go over how to make unfiltered coffee with a Moka pot.

Instructions for Making Unfiltered Coffee in a Moka Pot

Here are the steps required for making unfiltered coffee in a Moka pot.

  1. Begin by unscrewing the bottom of your Moka pot from the top portion. Fill the bottom of the pot to almost the top of the screw portion. Don’t fill it all the way to the brim otherwise, it will overflow when you try and screw it together!
  2. Place the coffee basket on top of the bottom portion. It’s now time to grind your coffee beans! Refer to the above section on how to choose your bean and roast type.
  3. Grind your coffee beans to a fine powder with a burr grinder. If you don’t have a burr grinder (we recommend getting one) you can use a normal grinder. Just allow it to grind for 15 or more seconds to ensure it grinds the beans finely and leaves a soft powder.
  4. Now add your coffee grounds to the basket. As with the water, do not fill the basket all the way to the brim! Use enough coffee grounds so the entire basket is covered, but leave several millimeters of space from the top. 
  5. Now screw the top portion of the Moka pot on. Ensure itis screwed all the way on, but don’t tighten it too much! If you tighten it too much it will become very hard to remove after heating it. This is because the metal will expand as it heats and make the screw portion extra tight. 
  6. Pro tip: if you can’t unscrew your Moka pot, wait until it completely cools down or put it in your fridge for a minute or two. It should be much easier to open after it cools

Making the Unfiltered Coffee

Now that you’ve assembled your Moka pot, it’s time to put it on your heating source.

  1. Turn on your stovetop (or whatever other heat sources you are using). If you’re camping, this could mean making a fire or firing up your camp burner.
  2. Let your Moka pot heat up until coffee begins to come out of the top. Turn the heat down and wait until the coffee coming out of the top begins to turn a yellowish golden color. This means that your unfiltered coffee is done!
  3. Once the coffee turns a golden color, take your Moka pot off the burner. If you leave the pot on the burner longer, the coffee might end up getting a bad-tasting sour metallic flavor. We don’t like it, and you probably won’t either. Remove it from the heat!
  4. Give your pot several minutes to cool down, then wrap a towel around it to get ready to pour. 
  5. Pour your unfiltered coffee into a small mug. You’re ready to enjoy your unfiltered coffee!

Turkish Coffee

Turkish coffee in Istanbul

The last method for making unfiltered coffee we wanted to go over is how to make Turkish coffee. Turkish coffee is a technique that comes from (you guessed it) Turkey. It involves using extremely fine ground coffee grinds that are left in the coffee.

Top Tip: The fine grounds settle to the bottom of your cup so you don’t end up drinking very much of them. And if you do, they’re so fine that you won’t really notice it. Let’s go over how to make Turkish unfiltered coffee.

Instructions for Turkish Coffee

Let’s go over how to make a proper cup of Turkish unfiltered coffee.

  1. Heat a pot of water over medium heat. You’ll want to use around 3 oz of water for every tablespoon of Turkish coffee grounds. We recommend either buying your Turkish coffee ground preground or setting your grinder to the smallest setting. 
  2. Once the water is steaming, add your coffee grounds and sugar to taste. Do not stir them in immediately!
  3. Once the coffee begins to sink, give the mixture several stirs. Continue to heat it up but do not let it boil.
  4. Continue to stir every once and a while for the next several minutes. As the foam begins to form you’ll know it’s time to serve.
  5. Serve your Turkish coffee in small cups with a glass of water to help clean your palette. 

Conclusion

There are many ways to make coffee, and we like almost all of them. If you believe in the health benefits of unfiltered coffee and want to make some, we hope you now know how to make unfiltered coffee. If you have additional techniques for making unfiltered coffee, let us know about them in the comments below. 

Stay caffeinated friends!

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