How to Make Coffee Without Coffee Equipment

  • Published on Sep 29, 2021
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    If you've found yourself wondering how to make coffee without a grinder or a brewer available, my testing here can be a guide for the best methods to use in these situations. Whether you have a coffee emergency outside of your usual setting, or you're inside but without access to coffee-making equipment, I tried these methods so you don't have to.
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Comments • 2 945

  • Nathan J Field
    Nathan J Field 7 months ago +3226

    James on Wednesday: makes coffee with a £1,500 hand grinder
    James on Thursday: makes coffee with a hammer

  • James Thomas Barry
    James Thomas Barry 7 months ago +870

    I was definitely expecting him to wrap the coffee in either the tea towel or the kitchen paper when using the hammer in order to not have the beans flying everywhere 😂

    • ericojon -
      ericojon - 5 days ago

      @Benjamin Plotke
      With beans lightly wrapped for control.

    • Jason Krantz
      Jason Krantz 14 days ago

      That least he knows coffee

    • Márcio Pereira
      Márcio Pereira Month ago

      @AdviceColumn cmon it's just 4 show

    • melissa Lai
      melissa Lai 2 months ago +2


    • markhamq
      markhamq 3 months ago +1

      Yeah. Towel and hammer to reduce the beans, then use those final pieces in the peppermill to finish the grind.

  • slade slack
    slade slack 7 months ago +395

    “If I had a pepper grinder that didn’t have pepper in it, that did accept bigger things that would be a coffee grinder.” I laughed out loud at this line.

    • Hokusai
      Hokusai 7 months ago +3

      Having a grinding section in a video USUALLY means something very different.

  • Cameron Crosby
    Cameron Crosby 7 months ago +288

    You could've put the chopped up smaller bits of coffee from the knife/hammer into the pepper grinder so it grinds more and has an easier time grinding

    • anthony klobas
      anthony klobas 28 days ago +3

      It’s common to throw away a bit of coffee when changing beans or grind size. Why not discard the first bit of ground coffee that’s mixed with pepper?

    • Josh Girvin
      Josh Girvin Month ago

      Still would’ve tasted like pepper lol

    • Three Handed
      Three Handed 6 months ago +29

      Also could have hammered beans folded into a paper towel

    • Kirill Ignatev
      Kirill Ignatev 6 months ago +7

      genius right here

  • Jared Komaike
    Jared Komaike 7 months ago +168

    James: “That’s not good, that’s bad”
    Also James: Continues to drink the laundry detergent coffee

    • Matthias Maiterth
      Matthias Maiterth 16 days ago

      Simply boil the towel once..... I think he's never looked into grandma's cookbook!

    • Supa Fay
      Supa Fay 2 months ago

      Rinse the hand towel in vinegar to clean detergent out of it.

    • Michał Nestorowicz
      Michał Nestorowicz 4 months ago +1

      loved that bit as well!

    • mitul's hobbies
      mitul's hobbies 7 months ago +12

      Three time! Three times just to make sure it was as nasty as he thought initially. Not all heroes wear capes!

  • Cole Ockerse
    Cole Ockerse 7 months ago +2951

    Love how James would rather figure out a way to grind coffee without a grinder rather than use pre-ground coffee.

    • Zishan Syed
      Zishan Syed Month ago

      @blacklight666 preground coffee is good for folks that are not serious about coffee. Instant is for people that have no taste. While I love making my own coffee, in a pinch, I'd rather go to a nice coffee shop...
      I bring a moka or my v60 with me or I go out for coffee when traveling. I try not to go to places without good food and coffee, unless absolutely necessary.

    • Viet Vu
      Viet Vu 2 months ago

      Pretty much everyone. I will not use pre-ground coffee.
      On some occassions where I cannot bring the grinder, I grind the coffee for at most 1 day before.

    • Melody Mathilde
      Melody Mathilde 3 months ago +1

      Haha I was laughing so hard at this. Middle class bloke who has only ever had artisan coffee 😂🤣

    • Warwick Bond
      Warwick Bond 3 months ago +1

      @Damien Hallsworth I use a single burner Primus, similar to a rocket stove. I travel overseas and just take the stove (good ones can fold to about pocket size) single cup Moka pot and a hand grinder.
      Having used this setup for years, I prepared a coffee for my workmate while working at 4200m asl. He said it was the best coffee he'd had in his life.
      The hardest part is finding stores that sell the camping gas. Those small, fat cylinders of propane-isobutane mix. I have used the butane cylinders on their own with an adaptor. But it's sketchy due to its height!
      Admittedly I wouldn't bother if it's for a day or two. But being on minesites and eating rubbish food for weeks leaves room for spectacular coffee. 😉

    • alucidrust
      alucidrust 5 months ago

      @julian shepherd have a cry

  • Thomas
    Thomas 7 months ago +226

    "And yes, yes, coffee is a soup" - James Hoffmann
    Who's gonna make a t-shirt out of this?

  • Fernando Hernández
    Fernando Hernández 7 months ago +542

    I live in a very small town in the U.S., and I own a coffee shop in this small town (I’m talking 1,000 full time residents). I have access to horses and fields, so when you’re ready to travel to the U.S. to brew some cowboy coffee, I’ll gladly host you!

    • Jekku
      Jekku 2 months ago +1

      Hey Fernando, hope you offer a B&B/AirB&B with that cowboy coffee with those horses and fields! You could have a nice little side gig, I'm thinkin. :-)

    • Tim Bryan
      Tim Bryan 4 months ago +3

      @TJ Smith I would love to see a James Hoffman and Cowboy Kent Rollins collab

    • TJ Smith
      TJ Smith 4 months ago +4

      I really do need James to talk about cowboy coffee

    • Ben Ross
      Ben Ross 5 months ago +5

      My exact thought after he said he’d have to be in America on a horse was “that can be arranged”.

    • Luca Gamba
      Luca Gamba 5 months ago +3

      That’s interesting. You should make some videos about it such as “running a coffee shop in a small town” 😉

  • Reveck
    Reveck 7 months ago +60

    when you first discover james, you don't really expect him to drink anything worse than you do. when you really get into the channel, you start realising.

  • Etwai Telkehteh Elal
    Etwai Telkehteh Elal 7 months ago +25

    Aww James, I've crushed a lot of coffee beans (and acorns) and found wrapping the beans (or nuts) in a towel then smashing with a large flat rock works best. That way the beans don't fly everywhere and it goes way faster. That's the way my elders used to smash a lot of foraged nuts all at once. Thanks as always for your work!

  • Isaac
    Isaac 7 months ago +692

    Funding James to make coffee in America on horseback is the next thing we should do!

    • Alexander Rueda
      Alexander Rueda 7 months ago +1

      @Kadent Structural Design I'd bet $20 he's already planning on making a video on cowboy coffee and he's just waiting for covid travel guidelines to ease up.

    • Joey Allen
      Joey Allen 7 months ago +2

      @Spacejunk arizona or new Mexico would probably be more appropriate.

    • Stephen Miles
      Stephen Miles 7 months ago +3

      @Spacejunk My family owns a dude ranch out in west Texas. He (and his production staff🤷🏻‍♂️) would be welcome anytime. My horses name Is Ludwig, as in Beethoven, which seems to be about James’ style.

    • Spacejunk
      Spacejunk 7 months ago

      But where in America? Texas?

    • LuckyDragon
      LuckyDragon 7 months ago

      Filmed by Chloé Zhao!

  • Klymahnn
    Klymahnn 7 months ago +31

    I'd love to see you try ancient methods, like, either when the Europeans or African discovered coffee for the first time, what techniques did they use that turned out to make them like coffee?

    • H P
      H P Month ago

      Wooden pestle and mortar. Large ones are used to pound grain to this day.

    • Malin Johansson
      Malin Johansson 2 months ago +1

      YES to this!!!

  • Stephen Emmons
    Stephen Emmons 7 months ago +37

    I must say, your ability to film long shots of yourself that are equally natural and engaging, coupled with top notch editing, makes this easily one of my favorite TheXvid channels. I wouldn't care if you talked about something else instead of coffee; I'd still be intrigued. You (and your production team) have made something that is truly one of a kind! Keep it up.

  • Nick Georgel
    Nick Georgel 7 months ago +19

    Yes please do a survival coffee making guide! I’ve realized that the manual methods of making/grinding coffee while being great brew methods also translate well if you’re out of power and can’t use a coffee machine/electric grinder.

  • Sean Gilliam
    Sean Gilliam 7 months ago +36

    There is something weirdly humorous about watching James drink horrible coffee.

  • Sezen d
    Sezen d 6 months ago +4

    I was in exactly this scenario during my student days when visiting a friend. We wound up going brute force (beans under a towel, hitting it with a rolling pen), and straining through a paper towel in a syphon. The end result was a floral coffee tea, with barely enough caffeine to get me out of the door to buy a coffee in a shop.

  • Martin Barnes
    Martin Barnes 7 months ago +6

    I thought this video was just for fun but after forgetting to take my filters to work I have just Aeropressed a drinkable quality coffee through NHS-provided paper towel! Thank you, James.

  • Pizza Soda
    Pizza Soda 7 months ago +34

    "An idiot once said. With a sufficient violence, just about anything can be a hand grinder."
    -James Hoffman 2021

  • Michael Moceri
    Michael Moceri 7 months ago +6

    From experience, when you're using a hammer to grind food, wrap the food in a towel first. It stops the pieces from flying everywhere, and it lets you turn it as you work for a finer grind.

  • vince
    vince 7 months ago +138

    Okay, so hear me out:
    You fold the beans in a clean tea-towel (so they don’t fly everywhere) and crush them with a pan. This gives you pieces that fit into a (clean) pepper-mill.
    Alternatively, you can use the sieve to keep smashing on the largest bits, and use the paper-towel trick from the other video to remove the super-fines.

    • RickyMillar
      RickyMillar 7 months ago +3

      and duct tape a spatula to the grinder to make a handle to wangjangle around quicker

    • Matt Riggs
      Matt Riggs 7 months ago +2

      This is where I ultimately expected him to wind up when I saw the paper towels/Sieve. A combination of all things he's done with the cheap blade grinder just with even less blade grinder.

    • Hawx74
      Hawx74 7 months ago +6

      I was going to suggest basically this, except put the beans on a baking sheet, throw the towel on top and crush them with a heavy bottomed pot. The baking sheet then makes a convenient way to collect the crushed coffee before adding it to the peppermill.

    • Matthew Doye
      Matthew Doye 7 months ago +6

      Beans in the tea towel and hammer first before grinding was my thought though crushing with a pan may be better.

  • Branan Herndon
    Branan Herndon 7 months ago +3

    I regularly use a mortar & pestle when I make Turkish coffee, as my grinder (which happens to be a small food processor with a blade similar enough to a blade grinder) doesn’t get it fine enough

  • Joshua Williams
    Joshua Williams 7 months ago +6

    This is a serious contender for my favorite Hoffman video ever. Loved every minute of it.

  • Thaffin
    Thaffin 7 months ago +28

    "Worst thing since sliced coffe" should be a saying imo

  • Jonathan Crowther
    Jonathan Crowther 7 months ago +37

    The “h-“ slurp cutting away straight to James’ pained reaction to the pepper coffee is genius

    • Mary Kavanagh
      Mary Kavanagh 7 months ago +1

      The whole video is genius, imo. Best one yet.

  • canterios
    canterios 7 months ago +80

    I've actually used a pepper mill to grind coffee(a clean one however), and James is right the coffee bean is too big to grind properly. BUT, if you put the coffee inside of a clean tea towel and crush it first with: a rolling pin, the bottom of a heavy saucepan, a tenderizer, etc. The pieces are small enough to fit the pepper mills burrs. It still takes forever to grind, but it at least works!

    • Katharina Meinzer
      Katharina Meinzer 7 months ago +2

      @Jason Leung yeah! My mom used to crush Biskuits in a ziplock with a bottle. I wondered if this would work with coffee beans too!

    • Jason Leung
      Jason Leung 7 months ago +5

      yar, I think he should use some combination of his 4 methods (e.g. hammer+pepper mill). Covering the beans with towel (or use a ziplock bag) before hammering is actually very good method to prevent the bits flying off.

    • A D
      A D 7 months ago +8

      Plus you can use the tea towel with. the hammer to keep the beans from jumping around.

    • 2iemand2
      2iemand2 7 months ago +1

      Exactly my thoughts!

  • Kane Blaber
    Kane Blaber 7 months ago +2

    I think I have come up with a pepper mill solution. Drawing inspiration from a previous video of re grinding ground coffee, use the mortar and pestle to smash up the beans into smaller boulders, then put it through a clean/never been used pepper mill. Thoughts?

  • Obaid Dar
    Obaid Dar 7 months ago +1

    James you absolute king I cannot thank you enough for this man. I love coffee and learning about it from you videos as watching those videos but I don't have the proper equipment to make real coffee and I don't like instant coffee. James my dude I cannot tell you happy you made me by making this video for all the people who love coffee and might not possess the necessary tools. Thank you mate, cheers

  • Eph-Jay Music
    Eph-Jay Music 7 months ago +25

    This was wonderfully entertaining! Best quote for your t-shirt merch "This tastes of clothes" 🤣❤️

  • TheTurboKeys
    TheTurboKeys 7 months ago +4

    Absolutely yes, a survivalist version of this would be very entertaining imo!

  • S C
    S C 7 months ago +623

    The image of a full-bearded Survivalist Cowboy James briping hammered coffee shards into the sunset on horseback is now on my list of things that I need to witness in my lifetime to truly be fulfilled.

    • random flake
      random flake 7 months ago +2

      best comment i've read in months

    • M Navlar
      M Navlar 7 months ago +2

      hear hear!

    • SubterraneanKraken
      SubterraneanKraken 7 months ago +6

      I came to the comments to say this, and here it was. We *NEED* the shot of Cowboy Hoff staring into the sunset from the back of his horse, taking a long pull from his bripe.

    • Antti Tenhunen
      Antti Tenhunen 7 months ago +1

      Same, same!

    • Juan de Friedemore
      Juan de Friedemore 7 months ago +4

      I Almost need to be one of his Patreon supporters to make it happen

  • KV
    KV 7 months ago +2

    I'm really amazed both this coffee channel exists, and that it's so good, given how busy James Veitch already is with his other work. Bravo James!

  • Kyle Ray
    Kyle Ray 11 days ago +3

    James Hoffmann: "This is nothing but hot bean juice."
    "That's what all coffee is."
    Hoffmann: "How could a member of my own family say something so horrible."

  • Jaime Delfín
    Jaime Delfín 7 months ago +5

    Pestles and mortars are not something I'd wip out early in the morning for some coffee (those are reserved for my breakfast's salsa), but the paper towel trick actually makes me interested in switching to pour-over for a spell. Thanks!

  • Yanardi Soputro
    Yanardi Soputro 4 months ago +1

    Love this video. Imo maybe wrapping the beans with cloth before hammering it would result in a better experience? (Less beans jumping everywhere?)
    And wonder would a juice blender do the trick? Or would the blade sit too high to grind beans, cause if I'm not mistaken you've done it In the past using specialty coffee blade blender, and spread it on paper towel to separate finer dusty coffee particle.

  • meson1
    meson1 7 months ago +364

    James Hoffmann , doing his best impression of a bus service. None for ages then three come along at once. Loving it @James Hoffmann

  • AlexisMedina
    AlexisMedina 7 months ago

    I did mortar and pestle + paper towel a few years ago when I started with brewed coffee. The results are about the same. Very weak but drinkable coffee.

  • 225Perfect
    225Perfect 7 months ago

    Someone might have mentioned it for both, since it's been awhile since this video came out, but with the hammer I think rocking it back and fourth on the top of the hammer might have resulted in a better "grind". Similar situation with the knife, where it might have been beneficial to use the side of the knife to crush the beans after they've been chopped a little.

  • MaverickRiou
    MaverickRiou 7 months ago

    James! Lovely vid. Though, ever thought about using the tried and tested methods of crushing nuts/biscuits for baking: a couple of ziplock bags, & a rolling pin/bashing object? It would reliably keep your beans in one place, and easy clean up.

  • Gareth Evans
    Gareth Evans 7 months ago +2

    Having had a shocking day, watching this has cheered me right up. Thank you!

    • Gareth Evans
      Gareth Evans 7 months ago

      "it feels like I'm drinking clothes"

  • Brock MacDonald
    Brock MacDonald 7 months ago +49

    I stayed over at my brother’s once, a non coffee drinker, but when I woke up in the morning, he had a coffee grinder on the counter! I was so surprised and thankful, I ground my beans, brewed up a pot of French press. 10 ish minutes later, I have a SPICY cup. Thought maybe something was in the mug. Nope. He used a coffee grinder to grind up his smoked jalapeños/chipotle. Quite a surprise

  • Noel Davis
    Noel Davis 7 months ago

    Got a real kick out of this, thank you! I'm thinking that the hammer (or a rolling pin) might work better if the beans were in a plastic bag or paper envelope. Would still probably be too coarse, but at least you wouldn't lose so many beans.
    Also, I would love to know if soaking whole beans in cold water overnight creates anything like cold brew. This is an absolute worst case scenario, and eventually one has to assume if things are this bad it's unlikely that you have roasted coffee beans on hand, but I'd be curious to know.

  • Mike Kojoori
    Mike Kojoori 5 months ago

    I remember having to crush something for some kind of food I was making. I had no other method of pulverizing it so I wrapped the beans/pepper corns or something like that in a hand towel and bead upon it on a concrete surface. This kept the bits from flying about and prevented damage to another other items.

  • Angela Buenafe
    Angela Buenafe 7 months ago

    I thought at first this was silly but at the end it really made some sense. I had been using paper towels before i gave in to coffee filters so this really is very reassuring.

  • Edwin Forsberg
    Edwin Forsberg 7 months ago +1

    On the note of doing it survival style, there are a few different fun styles one could try, as mentioned cowboy coffee which is also popular in the wilderness of Scandinavia despite the lack of cowboys. Another fun thing might be to try and spruce up instant coffee because that is a common thing to take with on hikes due to its low weight and ease of storage. Or one might try to get something not entirely unlike cappuccino with a plastic bottle, glacier water and powdered milk.
    All in all it is a fun and interesting challenge to try and cook in the outdoors, not just limited to coffee

  • e.w.
    e.w. 6 months ago +1

    Actually as a student but still lover of freshly grinded beans, i've made several really nice cups of coffee with a mortar!

  • Michał Ryszard Balicki

    In the emergency of a broken coffeemaker I managed to get by with a zip bag and a rolling pin. 😊 My first instinct was to use a meat mallet, but rolling pin helped me to achieve more uniform grind size.

  • tqfl1
    tqfl1 7 months ago

    This is both hilarious and realistic at the same time. I can't imagine going camping with out my coffee brewers. Realistically, I might just have to do the same. James made it funny like I am watching a black comedy movie.

  • MusikCassette
    MusikCassette 7 months ago +1

    I often grinded my coffee with a mortar
    also, if you grind with a hammer you need to use the side.

  • urouro niwa
    urouro niwa 7 months ago +219

    I'm a bit surprised you didn't use the classic "I don't have a grain mill" homebrrewed beer method of crushing it in a plastic bag with a rolling pin. It works incredibly badly, but I've got to think it would be better than the hammer. In Japan there is a kind of mortar and pestle called a suribachi. It has grooves in it. I've discovered that it is amazingly good at grinding spices once you learn how to do it. I think I'll give it a try with coffee tomorrow. Wish me luck!

    • urouro niwa
      urouro niwa 7 months ago +2

      @Jonathon Baron はい。わかりました。I'll do it tomorrow :-)

    • Jonathon Baron
      Jonathon Baron 7 months ago

      @urouro niwa 何でやねん!Come on, man! We were all relying on you!

    • urouro niwa
      urouro niwa 7 months ago

      @Izzuddin Ahsanujunda Ha ha! I totally forgot to do it!

    • Izzuddin Ahsanujunda
      Izzuddin Ahsanujunda 7 months ago +1

      well? don't let us hanging

    • DerekDotD
      DerekDotD 7 months ago +1

      yeah, the hammer really only needed a zip-loc bag to save it.

  • Broken OS
    Broken OS 7 months ago +5

    I'd like to see what you'd recommend for people planning for long-term grid down situations. How would you store beans or would you stock up on specialty instant coffee?

    • westganton
      westganton 7 months ago +1

      Vacuum sealed mylar bags with oxygen absorbers would keep your coffee fresh for as long as possible, though I'm not sure how long that would be

    • Amunak
      Amunak 7 months ago

      Specialty coffee can get bad real quick after opening. You need to store it in a dry place, otherwise it'll start to mold fairly quickly.

  • Sir Unknown
    Sir Unknown 16 days ago

    Cheers James! I wanted to stop using the Keurig but never wanted to have to brew a whole pot (our coffee machine demands it) and actually did the paper towel pour over. Surpringly alright for the store bought coffee that's in it!

  • Minichair
    Minichair 7 months ago

    My coffee journey started with making cowboy coffee in a pot cause I was sick of my keurig. Now after watching James videos it's spiraled out of control and I now have a clever dripper, French press, aeropress, and a 1970s norelco dial-a-brew aka the original chemex ottomatic. My parents say I have a problem but I say I have a hobby. Thanks James for fueling my caffeinated obsession!

  • Benjamin Zhang
    Benjamin Zhang 4 months ago +1

    Still prefer my build in 32-teeth bio-ceramic stepless grinder with 37℃ soft-agitation saliva-infusion extraction. I use a ratio of 1:10 for a strong brew. Can go up to 1:14 but you do risk over-extraction at that point.

  • Ben Henning
    Ben Henning 7 months ago +407

    James just drops in a "yes, coffee is a soup" like we wouldn't notice.

    • Jarno Dijkstra
      Jarno Dijkstra 7 months ago +2

      good soup... good soup.

    • Ma Ba
      Ma Ba 7 months ago

      @Jozef Horniak Since the pandemic, I have enjoyed teas because they are more foolproof for my abilities to brew at home. A purveyor describes selling blends for "infusions" and "tisanes." More conceptualizations! So much to learn about those plants and harvesting and processing before I brew. Some idea of how the idea came to you now. I think everyone is having fun commenting on James' "soup" discernment, as well as his "horseback" cowboy coffee comment. Provocative comments here are just for being outlandishly humorous - no rancor or malice in that or when I said "provocateur" because I meant you were thought provoking and I was being sly silly to say "provocateur"!

    • Jozef Horniak
      Jozef Horniak 7 months ago +1

      @Ma Ba Provocateur no, this idea /coffee is not coffee, but just coffee tea/cross my mind spontaneusly yesterday and then later that day, when I saw James calling coffee the soup, I just wanted to share my new opinion. In my country idea of tea is when you pour boiling water over many ingredients - herbs, dry fruit, not just tea leaves. So if you can have strawberry tea, why not coffee tea then? Its fits to the definiton - pour over and extract, especially cupping coffee.

    • Ma Ba
      Ma Ba 7 months ago

      @Jozef Horniak Soundbite provocateur, pray say more?

    • Jozef Horniak
      Jozef Horniak 7 months ago +2

      no, coffee is actually tea

  • David Lulkin
    David Lulkin 7 months ago

    Two thoughts:
    1) zip top bag with blunt instrument, such as rolling pin or bottom of pan; will reduce mess and allow you to make smaller pieces
    2) if you’re going to use a pepper mill, cut the beans in half first so they can feed into the burrs

  • Life With Kuri
    Life With Kuri 7 months ago

    This immediately reminded me of about 3.5 years ago at my parents' house. I badly wanted a pour over, but they only had a Keurig. They at least had a bag of pre-ground coffee, the Keurig sufficed for hot water, and paper towels made a decent filter.

  • snoopyflick
    snoopyflick 7 months ago

    Would have loved to include the classic blade spice grinders.
    Overall great video

  • Maria Yousuf
    Maria Yousuf 7 months ago

    LOL, this is perfect, and yes I truly appreciate this.
    James, it would have been helpful if you had put the coffee beans in a bag when hammering it.
    Laughed at:
    "And yes, yes, coffee is a soup"
    James' reaction to the pepper grinder coffee.
    Not washing the kitchen towel enough.

  • Paul Aspen
    Paul Aspen 7 months ago

    Definitely one of my favorite videos you’ve done 😂 so good!!

  • LizzieB
    LizzieB 7 months ago

    Yes please, a survival coffee video! I am hoping you treat us with some cinematography like the Barisieur video 🤩 But honestly any video you do is a delight!

  • Bernard Daigle
    Bernard Daigle 7 months ago

    I don't have a grinder and I once bought whole coffee beans accidently. I used the mortar and pestle, it was a lot of work and still the grind wasn't fine enough for a pour over. For cold brew however, it worked very well.

  • cpirius
    cpirius Month ago

    I would love a lightweight backpacking camping version :) This was hilarious 😂

  • Eco_Hiko
    Eco_Hiko 7 months ago

    I've actually used a mortar and pestle to grind coffee. It was a 'fun' experience for my hands.

  • Unwelltoon
    Unwelltoon 7 months ago

    I visited my colleague's house and used his mortar. I made a spicy coffee and I couldn't realized it had been used for crushing dried chilies before LOL
    I thought it was something wrong with the coffee beans. 😂

  • Elaine Chan
    Elaine Chan 7 months ago

    James, safety should be your number 1 priority 😉 Thanks for testing them, so we don't have to!

  • ashtar Assadi
    ashtar Assadi 7 months ago

    Hey hoffmann, would those 1-use coffee filters you use in coffee machines work for drip coffee?

  • Jamie Pettersen
    Jamie Pettersen 7 months ago +668

    "After a lot of grinding, my yield is not very much."
    Sounds like a typical night on the town 😿

    • Jamie Pettersen
      Jamie Pettersen 4 months ago

      @Mr. Spanks a rare show of appropriate restraint. I thank you!

    • Mr. Spanks
      Mr. Spanks 4 months ago +1

      I wanted to click thumbs up, but it was at 666.

    • reuireuiop0
      reuireuiop0 5 months ago

      could try to use the gritting of teeth for grinding ;D

    • Zraknul
      Zraknul 7 months ago +1

      ​@Jet Black Just waiting for one of these days for James to break out the plug for Raid.

  • Skulptur Lamm29
    Skulptur Lamm29 7 months ago

    Coffee in a pepper grinder might be a bad idea. However, my old, cheap coffee hand grinder is now my designated pepper grinder. Works really great, grind size is more consistent and it’s a lot faster too.

  • HikerMichael
    HikerMichael 7 months ago

    Tip for making coffee with a hammer. Bundle up your coffee beans in the cloth you will use to filter and crush the beans while it's wrapped up so as not to loose the beans. It's much quicker and results in the beans already transferred to the cloth. Same can be applied with the mortar and pestle.

  • Ernesto Alcantara
    Ernesto Alcantara 5 months ago

    I laughed all the way through the video. Seeing you struggle with these archaic techniques and your sense of humor to the situation was priceless. Tip, next time put the beans in the rag before using the hammer. Pestle and mortar is a solid option but having that instead of a travel coffee grinder is less likely, ha ha ha!

  • Will Ruck
    Will Ruck 7 months ago

    I 100% support the survivalist version. I was once on a long camping trip and forgot to bring my pourover. I had a jetboil, coffee, and a grinder but forgot the brewing implement. I brought the water to a boil, tossed the ground coffee into it, then poured the coffee slurry through a flannel shirt as a makeshift filter. I guess it had similar mechanics to a siphon pot?

  • Matt Miller Audio
    Matt Miller Audio 7 months ago +57

    I wonder how the bottom of a heavy saucepan might work to “grind” the coffee, after which you can use it to boil the water. I’m also curious if a two stage grind would yield better results, where you break the coffee down into smaller bits using the mortar and pestle, or saucepan, followed by a finer grind using a clean pepper mill.

    • 0Clewi0
      0Clewi0 7 months ago +1

      Really, cookie grinding for desserts have all the tips of how to grind coffee without even a mortar.

    • Rujipars Aungkhanawin
      Rujipars Aungkhanawin 7 months ago +1

      I used to grind pepper with mortar pestle (very common for Thai kitchen), I think they will do without following with pepper mill.
      WIth the rolling movement that james also mentioned.

    • Nicolai Haas Giedraitis
      Nicolai Haas Giedraitis 7 months ago +4

      @Håkon Mellem Hope your coffee is easier today! But I think the idea was to use the bottom of the saucepan to crush the beans then grind with a pepper mill. Has anyone tried this yet or is this my homework?!?

    • Håkon Mellem
      Håkon Mellem 7 months ago +8

      Tried this, ended up putting the beans in the saucepan and smash them with an empty beer bottle.
      The coffee was bad, but needed

    • Roasted beans
      Roasted beans 7 months ago +2


  • Martin Griffith
    Martin Griffith 5 months ago

    I use a filter paper and drip cone at work and had to improvise one time. To my absolute despair I found that I'd ran out of papers so had to use a paper hand towel.
    It worked and I still got me a tasty brew 😁

  • kgen
    kgen 7 months ago

    the coffee filter over a pyrex was my early college version of pour over. i used pre ground beans because i didn’t have a scale or coffee grinder haha and it honestly wasn’t too bad. i’ve since bought a chemex, grinder, scale, and kettle- but this video was, in a weird way, both nostalgic and affirming of my old way of making coffee. we all start somewhere :)

  • DR 216
    DR 216 7 months ago

    Would have been interested to see a combo of the hammer/knife and the peper mill. I'd also like to see just a good old fashioned blender.

  • Patrick Phillips
    Patrick Phillips 7 months ago

    Don't think we don't appreciate how you suffer for good content. We do. Thank you!

  • marley
    marley 7 months ago +211

    "Should I do a survivalist version of this?"
    Hmm, let me think... YES!!

    • Maarten Klop
      Maarten Klop 7 months ago

      Ooh, reminds me of the time I had to survive in the mountains with nothing but my knife and a bag of espresso beans?

    • Angry Trees
      Angry Trees 7 months ago

      Leather pouch filled with beans and river stones, thwack until coffee is pulverized.

    • Jesse Jackson
      Jesse Jackson 7 months ago +2

      James and bear grills in the wild brewing coffee from their own urine haha

    • Rosseau Vondasky
      Rosseau Vondasky 7 months ago +3

      I'm having second thoughts on this. By second thoughts I mean survivalist version ON HORSEBACK. YES

  • Ben McKinlay
    Ben McKinlay 6 months ago

    Just decided to get into speciality coffee (from instant) from your videos (the Tom Scott Plus video in particular). My coffee arrived earlier today, but my Aeropress doesn't arrive until tomorrow. Can't decide whether I'm glad or disappointed I found this video just before bed rather than earlier today when I could've MacGuyvered myself some coffee haha

  • unkmas
    unkmas 7 months ago

    You could wrap coffee into a towel before hammering it - that way you'll not loose beans and can grind finer.
    Also, you could smash beans a bit before putting them into a pepper grinder

  • Thomas Mace
    Thomas Mace 4 months ago

    I confess that, in previous moments of desperation, I have used a strainer and paper towels. You give me strength to face my past.

  • Stephen Mohan
    Stephen Mohan 7 months ago

    I once stayed in a cabin where the previous owner hadn't emptied the coffee from the coffeemaker = mold-city.
    We made pretty darn good coffee with a plastic milk jug cut in half with holes poked in the lid (pour-over style), paper towels and a jet-boil camp stove. I did use a real grinder though... my $60 hand-crank Hario ceramic hand grinder.

  • codediporpal
    codediporpal 7 months ago

    LOL I'm both appalled and excited by this channel. It's so frivolous it borders on satire, but I just can't look away, probably because I drink coffee. This man is such a genius entertainer.

  • wwklnd
    wwklnd 7 months ago

    I'm sure someone else in these 2522 comments at time of writing has mentioned it, but I'm quite curious about how it would go if you took the hammered or sliced coffee and put it in the coffee grinder once the pieces are smaller (after cleaning it out a bit) 🙂

  • Tyler Newcomb
    Tyler Newcomb 4 months ago

    I’d be curious to see how the pepper grinder works if you started with another method (maybe quickly in the mortar and pestle) and then finish off with the fine grounds of the pepper grinder.

  • Jesse Riche
    Jesse Riche 6 months ago

    I’m surprised you didn’t play around more with immersion methods. Very entertaining none the less lol Thank you for your sacrifice to give us great content

  • Jasonocart
    Jasonocart 7 months ago +178

    "And there's no way that I'm talking about cowboy coffee until I'm in America on the back of a horse." Clip it and ship it boys. Hoffy's going to America

    • Nathaniel Fruchter
      Nathaniel Fruchter 7 months ago +7

      Needs a really dramatic opening shot of someone on horseback in the full Clint Eastwood getup with hat and poncho. Their silhouette shows them taking a long drag from a pipe hanging from their lips.
      No. It's a bripe.

    • J Sarge
      J Sarge 7 months ago +1

      Where's the GoFundMe page?!? I would donate to this in a heart beat!

    • Stephen Miles
      Stephen Miles 7 months ago +8

      My family own a dude ranch in west Texas. He is welcome anytime.

    • Grabble
      Grabble 7 months ago +4

      He could also go to Turkey. It's basically just Turkish coffee.

    • Mark Zeddo
      Mark Zeddo 7 months ago +2

      I for one am looking forward to this video!

  • heh he
    heh he 7 months ago

    thats a great video for many, i've had a lot of times where i lost the filter in my french press and broke my blade grinder. Sometimes especially younger or in a different part of the world you just can't afford to get grinders or even chemex let alone espresso machine. thank you

  • iago Salomon
    iago Salomon 7 months ago

    Great video, very fun idéia.
    If you had put a paper towel or a towel on top of the beans it would help with the beans flying over and would overlap with your paper towel hack to remove big irregular chunks

  • Sean Dennis
    Sean Dennis 7 months ago

    I would have liked to have seen a comparison to something like a blender, food processor, or perhaps even a 10$ blade coffee grinder could be a valid comparison in this situation. (does it actually count as a coffee grinder if it's best use is for spices?) An idea for another, related video could be whether it's possible to make an espresso grind with a mortar and pestle. I'm pretty sure it's possible with enough time and effort, as people grind things into flour and pigments using one.

  • TheBusyJane
    TheBusyJane 6 months ago

    So I ran an experiment like this when the pandemic started, but I was using a grinder and assuming someone without one would use pre-ground coffee. This was interesting. I wouldn't put the paper in the measuring cup, I would use a funnel for a cone and the measuring cup to pour. Also, all paper towels are not equal. Of the ones I could find in the US at the time, Viva makes the best filter, the worst was a recycled brand, and everything else fell in the middle, but it was also June, so I couldn't try every towel. There's also a way to fold the "select-a-size" ones so you're only using one and don't have a perforation leaking water. Also, also, you'll want to cut off anything sticking out over the cone or it'll flop everywhere and some of these towels are already very floppy when they get wet.

  • qualcosa88
    qualcosa88 7 months ago

    Counting the beans would add a lovely touch to the slow morning routine with handgrinding and pour over!

  • TinySounds
    TinySounds 4 months ago

    Awww love seeing James genuinely burst out laughing! :-)

  • James Denzer
    James Denzer 7 months ago +14

    Not sure a mortar and pestle will be readily available to all. Try this: hammer the beans in a baggie (to keep the beans from flying and for an initial reduction in size), then place that coffee into a CLEAN pepper grinder. The grinder will work on the beans after the initial reduction in size via the hammer. A meat tenderizer will work in place of the hammer, and a tea towel can work for the baggie.

    • Brian
      Brian 6 months ago

      hammering a bag is the way many bartenders make crushed ice

  • saigmundur
    saigmundur 7 months ago

    Fun experiment!
    I think you would get better results with the hammer if you covered the beans with a kitchen towel to prevent the beans from going everywhere. It would probably also be easier if the hammer had a bigger striking surface.

  • Alex Tang
    Alex Tang 7 months ago +46

    I understand that this was a straight test, but I think there's some thoughts on combining methods during the grind experiment! Use the knife/hammer along with pepper grinder to get consistent grounds? Paper towels, maybe more than one sheet just to see what happens! Good video overall on making coffee in a pinch!

  • Natan Milikowsky
    Natan Milikowsky 7 months ago

    Nice vid - thanks! The million dollar question: lacking a grinder - should I buy pre-ground coffee or buy beans and grind it with a P&M?

  • Philip
    Philip 5 months ago

    Ended up in doing a kind of Clever-brewer styled solution a while back when visiting a countryside house that had litterally nothing fancy tools :) So steeping and then filtering worked best for me and we stayed awake :)

  • radash
    radash 7 months ago

    We need a combo option:
    1. Put the beans in the tea towel
    2. Roughly break the beans with the hammer
    3. Wash the pepper grinder
    4. Run partially-broken beans through the pepper mill

  • Bart Willemsen
    Bart Willemsen 5 months ago

    Haha, I did the paper towel trick too on a weekend in a cabin where there was a drip machine, but we forgot the filters. Folded it like a Chemex filter, worked liked a charm :P

  • DesertDwarf
    DesertDwarf 7 months ago +3

    A line I never thought I'd hear James say, "It feels like I'm drinking clothes."