We Tested the Best Non-Electric Coffee Makers—Here Are Our Top Picks

Our selection includes a French press, drip cone, moka pot and more

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Best Non-Electric Coffee Makers

The Spruce Eats / Danie Drankwalter

Brewing coffee with a non-electric device generally has a more personal feel to it than using an automated machine. From a Chemex to a French press, every step in the coffee-making process is done by hand and, like in cooking, the final result tastes like something you created.

The advantages of non-electric brewers don’t end there. They are typically more affordable than electric coffee makers and more compact, many are even small enough to store in cupboards rather than leaving on the countertop. Some have unique, eye-catching designs; others are portable for camping and traveling. This list covers a range of options for all kinds of coffee lovers.

Best Overall

Chemex Classic Series Coffeemaker

Chemex Pour-Over Glass


What We Like
  • Produces rich, flavorful coffee

  • Dishwasher safe

  • Looks great on the counter

What We Don't Like
  • Chemex Bonded Filters are specifically recommended

  • Glass can break

Not only is the Classic Chemex one of the most beautiful coffee makers on the market—and a permanent feature of the design collection at New York City's Museum of Modern Art—but it's also less fussy than those pour-over brewers that only make one or two cups at a time. Simply place the paper filter inside the Chemex, scoop in your grounds, and pour the hot water. The whole process takes just a few minutes.

For gravity-fed coffee makers like the Chemex, Allie Caran, the Program Manager at BaristaValet, recommends using medium-sized ground coffee to unlock the most flavor. And, like with most brewing devices, try to get the water between 195 and 205 degrees. Be careful with the Chemex's very breakable glass, but enjoy the rich coffee every morning, as well as how lovely the item looks on your table.

Taysha Murtaugh, editorial director for The Spruce Eats, has used a Chemex for years and says she would absolutely recommend it to anyone who has the time to brew this café-quality coffee. Plus, it's stylish, doesn't require electricity, and is easier to clean than a French press.

"Pour-over makers take some time to master and require continuous monitoring while brewing, so they're not ideal for those who are short on time," she says. "However, when I can spare a few moments, it's a nice experience that makes me feel more connected to my morning cup."

Just make sure to drink up before your coffee gets cold. Because it's not insulated, it won't stay hot for long.

Price at time of publish: $48

tester pouring coffee from Chemex Coffeemaker into glass mug

The Spruce Eats / Derek Rose

Capacity: 3, 6, 8, and 10 cups | Material: Glass carafe and wood collar | Recommended Grind Size: Medium-coarse | Dishwasher Safe: Yes (remove collar) | Filter: Yes | Warranty: None

Testing Takeaway

"I love the beautiful design, compact size, and versatility of this non-electric maker. It also makes the smoothest, most delicious coffee and cleans quickly and easily."

Best Large Capacity

Secura French Press Coffee Maker



What We Like
  • Durable

  • Modern design

  • One-hour heat retention

  • Dishwasher safe

What We Don't Like
  • Can't see coffee level

  • Scratching sound when pressing plunger

One drawback to non-electric coffee makers is that they typically produce less coffee per brew, but this French press from Secura is the exception, as its available in multiple sizes all the way up to 50 ounces.

This isn't some bulk item devoid of craftsmanship, though. It's made from three layers of stainless steel—an upgrade over easily breakable glass French presses—and has a cool-to-touch handle and knob, so you can grab and pour as soon as the coffee is ready. The double-wall insulation will retain your coffee's heat longer, which is an especially great feature considering the amount of coffee you'll be brewing. All parts are dishwasher safe.

Customers give the Secura French press overwhelmingly positive reviews, with the vast majority giving it five stars. Praise ranges from the item's durability, to the way it looks on the counter, to the delicious coffee it consistently brews.

Price at time of publish: $40

Capacity: 15, 17, 34, and 50 ounces | Material: Stainless steel | Recommended Grind Size: Coarse | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | Filter: No | Warranty: 2 years

Best Cold Brew

Toddy Cold Brew Coffee Maker System

Toddy Cold Brew Coffee Maker System


What We Like
  • Fair price

  • Easy-to-follow recipes

  • Dishwasher safe (excluding filter)

What We Don't Like
  • Setup is tricky

  • Messy

If cold brew and iced coffee are your thing, there are plenty of non-electric brewers out there for you—one of the most popular and highly reviewed being the Toddy Cold Brew System. It's reasonably priced, easy to use, and most importantly leads to delicious results. After testing the item, our reviewer said the taste was "strong yet smooth" and noted that users can easily adjust the ratio of coffee grounds to water to make it stronger or weaker as they wish.

The Toddy is an immersion-based brewer, which means the grounds are soaked directly in water for a recommended steep time of 12 to 24 hours. Expect to get 38 ounces (roughly 14 servings) of rich cold brew concentrate per batch.

Price at time of publish: $60

Toddy Cold Brew System

 The Spruce Eats

Capacity: 38 ounces | Material: Glass and plastic | Recommended Grind Size: Coarse | Dishwasher Safe: Yes (except filters) | Filter: Yes | Warranty: 1 year

Best French Press

Bodum Chambord French Press Coffee Maker

Bodum Chambord French Press Coffee Maker


What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Classic design

  • Broad range of sizes and finishes

What We Don't Like
  • Plunger can be wobbly

  • Some grounds in mug

  • Frame around carafe slips slightly

This is a classic-style French press, first made in the 1950s. It has a glass carafe, a shiny chrome-plated stainless steel frame, and a matte-black polypropylene handle that’s easy to grip. The carafe holds 34 ounces, which of course includes space for grounds. The eight “cup” serving size refers to 4-ounce coffee cups, so if you drink from a larger cup or mug, you can make two to three servings of coffee with one pressing.

The three-part filter is designed to let aromatic oils and flavors flow through while fine grinds and sediment stay behind. All parts are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. The press is made in Portugal.

Price at time of publish: $39


Capacity: 12, 17, 34, and 51 ounces | Material: Glass and stainless steel | Recommended Grind Size: Coarse | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | Filter: No | Warranty: 1-year limited

Testing Takeaway

"Its stylish design and variety of finishes make it a great value for the money and an excellent first French press for coffee lovers."

Best Single Serve

AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker

AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker


What We Like
  • Fast brewing (2 minutes)

  • Affordable

  • Portable

  • Easy to clean

What We Don't Like
  • Small capacity (8 ounces)

  • Time-consuming setup

Coffee lovers, outdoorsy types, and one-cup-a-day folks can all appreciate the convenience and rich brewing of the AeroPress, a hand-pressure-powered coffee brewer that can make either one small regular-strength coffee, or a more concentrated "espresso-like" beverage that can be diluted with water or milk. Countless brewing techniques can be found all over the internet (look up the winning approach taken at the World AeroPress Championships for a real doozy of a brew), but simply speaking the little maker and its proprietary paper filters make a quick coffee that's just the right size for one person. The plastic isn't great for heat retention, and cleaning can be a pain, but these little presses pack a lot of bang for the buck, and fit neatly in a drawer, on a counter, or in a carry-on suitcase.

Price at time of publish: $40


The Spruce / Cheyenne Elwell

Capacity: 8 ounces | Material: Plastic | Recommended Grind Size: Fine to medium-fine | Dishwasher Safe: Yes (top rack only) | Filter: Yes | Warranty: 1-year limited

Best Drip Cone

Hario V60 Ceramic Coffee Dripper Size 02

Hario V60 Ceramic Coffee Dripper Size 02


What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Saves space

  • Strong flavor

What We Don't Like
  • Requires special paper filters

  • A lot of effort for one cup

Not the type to beleaguer your pour-over technique? Hario has the solution: this drip cone will make it "rain" on your coffee, taking all the guesswork and fuss out of brewing a great cup of joe. Customers give the item glowing reviews for its ease of use, as well as for its durability and value for money. You can purchase the Hario V60 in a number of materials, including glass and plastic, but the elegant ceramic model tends to be the most popular. And since the product is roughly the size of a coffee mug, it's incredibly easy to store and can even accompany you on trips and vacations. All you need is access to hot water and your favorite coffee grounds.

Price at time of publish: $25

Capacity: 1 to 4 cups | Material: Available in glass, plastic, copper, ceramic, and stainless steel | Recommended Grind Size: Medium-fine | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | Filter: Yes | Warranty: 90 days

Good to Know

"The reason they’re called V60s is because the angle the sides of the dripper makes is 60 degrees," says Nigel Price, founder and owner of Drip Coffee Makers in New York City. Price adds that the Hario V60 is similar to a Kinto Brewer, but the latter has a greater angle (90 degrees) and a wider opening at the bottom for more even extraction.

Best Espresso Maker

Flair Signature Espresso Maker

Flair Signature Espresso Maker


What We Like
  • Fast brewing

  • Portable

  • Unique design

What We Don't Like
  • Must hand wash after each use

  • Similar price as electric espresso makers

The Flair Classic Espresso Maker is one of the most beautifully designed coffee gadgets you'll ever see. It's sleek, unique, and available in multiple colorways. And the best part: it pulls a delicious shot of espresso.

To use, pack the filter with ground espresso, pour hot water over the brew head, and pull the lever until the rich beverage fills your cup. It might take some trial and error, but users say the coffee is strong and topped with a frothy crema. The recommended ratio is roughly 18 grams of coffee to 60 milliliters of water.

One drawback is that the item is fairly time consuming, both in brewing and clean-up, but the resulting espresso beats out other non-electric options. Another aspect worth consideration is the price; for what the Flair Espresso Maker costs, you could also find a reliable electric espresso machine. As a result, this option might be best for die-hard coffee lovers rather than those looking for quick-and-easy espresso.

Price at time of publish: $249

Capacity: 1.35-ounce espresso shot | Material: Stainless steel | Recommended Grind Size: Fine | Dishwasher Safe: No | Filter: No | Warranty: 5-year limited

Best Moka Pot

Bialetti Moka Express Espresso Maker, 3-Cup

Bialetti Moka Express Espresso Maker, 3-Cup


What We Like
  • Coffee has versatile flavor and body

  • Easy to use regardless of experience

  • Compact and portable

  • Cheaper than electric coffee makers

What We Don't Like
  • Uses a lot of grounds

  • Handle gets hot

The Bialetti Moka Express is a classic stovetop device that produces rich, concentrated coffee, close to espresso. While you won't get the thick crema that is often a hallmark of a fine espresso shot, you can certainly whip up strong coffee in a flash with one of these brewers and make a variety of other drinks. Thin the coffee with hot water for an Americano or pour the rich shot into frothed milk for a latte or cappuccino.

Not only is this device affordable and reliable, but it's also versatile. Our tester appreciated the amount of control he had over the coffee, using a finer grind, higher heat, and less water for an extra-bold punch of caffeine, or a medium grind with more water for an end result closer to drip coffee. It's been in his arsenal for more than two years and shows no signs of slowing down. Just note that the handle does get hot, so you'll have to use a towel or oven mitt to grab it from the stove.

Moka pots only take a few minutes to brew (about three minutes for medium grounds on high heat and almost 10 for fine grounds on low heat), but they need to be cleaned after each use and, unfortunately, are not dishwasher safe. On the plus side, you can find the item in a variety of sizes, all of which are extremely affordable. And it's small enough to store in a cupboard when you're done using it.

Price at time of publish: $44

Bialetti Moka Express Review

The Spruce Eats / Derek Rose

Capacity: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 12, and 18 espresso-sized cups | Material: Aluminum | Recommended Grind Size: Fine | Dishwasher Safe: No | Filter: No | Warranty: Two years

Testing Takeaway

"I don’t use my Moka Express as a go-to, everyday brewing device, but I would still recommend it to a variety of coffee lovers. It’s easy to use, breaks up the monotony of drip coffee, and can lead to lattes and cappuccinos if you have a milk frother."

Best Percolator

Farberware Stainless Steel Yosemite Coffee Percolator



What We Like
  • Easy to use

  • Available in two sizes

  • Dishwasher-safe

  • Lifetime warranty

What We Don't Like
  • Handle can get hot

  • Fragile glass knob

If you've ever enjoyed a cup of coffee on a camping trip, there's a good chance it was brewed by a coffee percolator. While these simple, steel coffee makers are a common sight in the great outdoors, they can also be used at home on the stovetop.

Farberware's Yosemite Coffee Percolator is a trustworthy pick whether you plan to use it in the wild or your kitchen. It's available in two sizes, 8 or 12 cups, both of which are large enough to accommodate multiple coffee drinkers. One of our favorite details is that the item has a lifetime warranty that covers any issues caused by manufacturer defects. That said, the Yosemite Percolator doesn't have the sturdiest materials. The stainless steel is on the thin side, and the handle can get hot to touch depending on the heating source and how long you brew for.

The good news is that it can brew quick, tasty coffee. Percolators are prone to over-brewing, which leads to bitterness, because the water can get too hot, and this model is no different. But if you keep the temperature between 195 to 205 degrees, the coffee will be strong and balanced.

Price at time of publish: 45 for 12-cup model

Capacity: 8 or 12 cups | Material: Stainless steel with glass knob | Recommended Grind Size: Medium-coarse | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | Filter: Optional | Warranty: Lifetime

Final Verdict

The Chemex is a timeless brewing device and a great place to start if you're new to non-electric coffee makers. It's easy to use, looks great in the kitchen, and makes a delicious cup of joe. French presses are another popular non-electric route, and one of the best available is the durable and affordably priced Secura Stainless Steel French Press.

How We Tested

The coffee makers featured in this article were tested by our expert food writers. They spent weeks evaluating the items to see how they performed with everyday use. After testing, our writers submitted feedback about what they liked and disliked. They also rated each brewing device on its ease of use, ease of cleaning, heat-up time, and brew quality, among a number of other areas.

What to Look for in a Non-Electric Coffee Maker


There are many kinds of non-electric coffee makers, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Figuring out the type you want is the best place to start narrowing down your options. Two of the most popular categories are French presses and pour overs, but there are certainly many more to consider, like cold brew makers, stovetop percolators, and even non-electric espresso makers.

Bodum CHAMBORD French Press

The Spruce Eats / Jordan Provost

Ease of Use

Are you looking for a coffee maker that's extremely easy to use? Or are you open to using more elaborate devices? Non-electric coffee makers often require a little more elbow grease when brewing and cleaning up afterward, but it can be worth it in the end for delicious coffee. Also related to this consideration is knowing what grind size is best for your device. French presses and cold brew makers, for instance, work better with coarse-ground coffee, which is a bit harder to find pre-ground in stores.


One of the many great reasons to buy non-electric coffee makers is that they are typically cheaper than electric brewers. There are certainly expensive non-electric devices out there, but you can usually find budget options in any category, from French press to pour over. Just know that serving capacities are smaller than that of electric devices.


Why is my coffee weak?

Weak coffee can have several different causes. One of the most common, regardless of brewing device, is simply not using enough coffee grounds. Luckily, it’s easy to find proper coffee-to-water ratios for all styles of coffee makers online or, occasionally, in instruction manuals. Another common reason for weak coffee is using water that is too cold; coffee grounds are best extracted with water that is between 195 and 205 degrees. If you own a French press or cold brew coffee maker and are routinely drinking bland, watery coffee, make sure you are letting the coffee steep long enough: at least four minutes for a French press and 12 to 24 hours for cold brew. Finally, coffee makers that use filters—namely, pour-overs and Chemex coffee makers—often yield a weak brew when the coffee grounds are too coarse.  

What grind size should I use?

Understanding what size coffee grounds to use for your specific brewing device is essential in producing the best flavor. Grind sizes range from extra coarse to extra fine with lots of room in between. The most common non-electric brewers that use coarse-ground beans are French presses and cold brew coffee makers. Pour-overs and AeroPresses use a standard medium grind, while Chemex coffee makers require a medium-coarse grind. Popular fine-grind brewers include espresso makers and moka pots. Lastly, Turkish coffee—made with an ibrik or cezve—needs an extremely fine grind to achieve its signature bold flavor. 

Bialetti Moka Express Review

The Spruce Eats / Derek Rose

What is immersion brewing?

This is a brewing process where coffee grounds soak directly in water, rather than water being poured through the grounds like with drip coffee. French presses, AeroPresses, and cold brew coffee makers are all immersion brewers. The process can take anywhere from a couple minutes to several hours. It typically produces richer coffee with a more noticeable mouthfeel.  

What are must-have accessories for a non-electric coffee maker?

One useful accessory for all brewing devices (aside from pod-based coffee makers) is a reliable coffee grinder. Coffee tastes best when the beans are ground just minutes before brewing. There are several ways to categorize coffee grinders, but the most important decision comes down to burr grinders versus blade grinders. Burr is the superior option, offering the most even and consistent grind, though it is also much more expensive. Blade grinders are a cheaper alternative that are typically less consistent and often alter the taste of coffee beans due to high rates of friction.

Another accessory that pairs especially well with non-electric coffee makers is a gooseneck kettle. Their sloped spouts offer great precision when pouring, which helps to more evenly saturate coffee grounds. Gooseneck kettles can be designed for stovetop use (typically made from stainless steel) or they can be electric. The latter is certainly more expensive but has added convenience and can include unique features like temperature control and automatic shutoff.

One last accessory worth consideration, especially for the serious coffee lover, is a coffee scale. Most people measure their coffee grounds and water in volume—scoops, cups, ounces, etc.—but the most accurate way to brew is to measure weight. Brands like Hario and OXO Good Grips make some of our favorite coffee scales. “Whatever you already have in your house should be enough to make a good cup of coffee,” says Nigel Price, founder and owner of Drip Coffee Makers. “But in terms of consistency, a scale helps you dose out the right amount of grounds every time. I’ve seen recipes that use tablespoons, but even if you use the same number of tablespoons, the amount of grams can really vary.”

Should paper filters be rinsed before using?

Pre-rinsing paper filters, especially cheaper ones, will lead to a purer flavor in your coffee because it removes any potential “papery” taste. In some cases, the difference is barely noticeable; in others, it’s a significant upgrade. To pre-rinse, simply pour hot water through the filter and let the water drain before scooping in your coffee grounds.

Toddy Cold Brew System Cold Brew Coffee Maker

What is a coffee bloom?

Coffee bloom is a chemical reaction that occurs the moment hot water is poured over coffee grounds. The coffee instantly releases carbon dioxide, also known as “degassing.” The process of coffee blooming is a quick and easy step you can incorporate when brewing to make the end result even tastier. Whether you have a French press, Chemex, drip cone, or other non-electric brewer, all you have to do is pour a small amount of hot water over the grounds until they are evenly saturated and then allow them to bubble and rise (or “bloom”) for around 30 seconds before pouring the rest of the water. Carbon dioxide can give coffee a sour taste, and it also acts as a barrier between coffee grounds and water. Purging the pent-up CO2 allows coffee grounds to extract more thoroughly and also avoids any sourness. 

What the Experts Say

"The bloom process is imperative, and there is some science to it. Gasses come out of coffee when it's freshly ground. If the coffee isn’t allowed to breathe and let those gasses out, you don’t allow the coffee beans to get to their fullest potential of saturation during the steeping process."Nigel Price, Founder and Owner of Drip Coffee Makers 

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

Erin Meister has spent years both working in and reporting on the coffee industry. Since moving to New York City in 2003, she has worked at Joe Coffee Company and Counter Culture Coffee. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe Serious Eats, Rachael Ray Every Day, and more. Erin is also the author of "New York City Coffee: A Caffeinated History."

This piece was updated by Derek Rose, the coffee and tea expert for The Spruce Eats. He researches a variety of coffee products, from measuring scoops to commercial espresso machines, and interviews field experts for their insight. One non-electric brewing device he recommends is the Bialetti Moka Express, which produces rich, espresso-like coffee in just minutes.


Nigel Price, the founder and owner of Drip Coffee Makers in New York City, was interviewed for this piece. Nigel has worked in the coffee industry for more than a decade. Established in 2015, Drip now has multiple locations.

Allie Caran, the Product Manager at BaristaValet, was also a source for this article. Allie has been in the coffee industry for more than 15 years. BaristaValet is a delivery service that partners with more than a dozen roasters to drop off ready-to-drink coffee right at your doorstep.

Additional reporting by
Derek Rose
Derek Bio Photo
Derek Rose is the Coffee and Tea Expert for The Spruce Eats. He received an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University and a BA in Communications from Marist College.For inquiries, you can reach him at derekspruceeats@gmail.com.
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