My 3 Favorite Zero Waste, Plastic Free Methods for Brewing Coffee at Home

Calling all coffee lovers! Are you still using a regular ole’ drip coffee maker? If so, get ready to have your world rocked. My drip machine broke a few years ago and I never replaced it because I found even BETTER methods for brewing at home. I’m never looking back! Not to mention, they’re all eco-friendly and make a super delicious cuppa joe ☕️

This post contains affiliate links.

But first…what’s the purest coffee to buy?

I’m glad you asked! Coffee is actually one of the most chemically-treated crops in the WORLD. According to CS Monitor, up to 250 pounds of chemical fertilizers are sprayed per acre of conventional (non-organic) coffee. Whoa! 🤯 If you’re interested in learning more about choosing beans and the best clean, organic brands on the market, give this post a read:

Comparing 15+ Organic & Clean Coffee Brands (Free of Mold & Mycotoxins)

3 Best Eco-Friendly Coffee Brewing Methods

Now for the fun stuff! I actually have a few different pieces of equipment that I rotate between to brew my coffee. It really depends on my mood and what I feel like using that day! You certainly don’t need all of these. I honestly think all of them make a really yummy brew, and are way better than a plastic drip machine, so you can’t get wrong with any of them.

The only downside to manual brew methods is that it requires more time; you can’t just program the machine to start brewing when you roll out of bed. I like to think of it as a meditative morning ritual though! I surely look forward to it each day. If you want an in-between option that’s automatic but mimics a pour over method, this Ratio Coffee Maker looks pretty cool!

Anyway, let’s take a look at the manual brew methods! Minimal, reusable, plastic-free, and make a damn good cup of coffee.

Zero Waste Coffee Brewing Methods
Illustration by Daisy Creative Co.

Pour Over Method | Best tasting!

If you go to a hipster coffee bar, you’ll probably see them making pour over coffee! It’s just like the name says: a slow, steady stream of hot water poured over coffee grounds and a filter. The result is a smooth, flavorful, and nuanced cup of coffee.

There are tons of pour over devices on the market. If you’re going for the best-tasting cup that extracts the full flavor profile of the beans, this is the way to go!

Chemex CoffeeChemex: Probably one of the more popular pour over devices! It’s glass with a wooden handle and comes in different sizes. You do need an additional filter with this one.

Sustainable Filter Options for Pour Over:

How to brew pour over coffee:

To make about 2 cups (16 oz.) of coffee, follow these directions and adjust accordingly.

  1. Measure out 32g of coffee and grind it on the coarse setting. The water won’t flow as well if the grounds are too fine.
  2. Place filter in the pour over device. Heat 16 oz. water to about 205℉ and quickly flush the filter with a splash of water.
  3. Place grounds in the filter and pour about 100g of water onto the grounds in a slow, swirl motion, making sure to fully saturate the grounds. The coffee will bloom for about 30-45 seconds.
  4. After the bloom, add about 200g more water in the slow, swirl motion again. Let the water drain for a bit and then continue this step until you use up all the water.
  5. This whole process should take about 4-5 minutes. Let the coffee fully drain and enjoy!

Organically Becca | Pour over coffee in a Chemex

French Press Method | Easiest to make!

French press is probably one of the easiest and quickest methods and doesn’t require any additional filters. It’s essentially coffee and water sitting together for a few minutes, then strained by the press. The result is a thick, strong, bold cup of coffee. Since the grounds soak in the water and don’t pass through a filter, it can be slightly gritty with some sediment at the bottom.

A downside is that it can be annoying to clean since you need to disassemble the parts. There are a lot of French Presses on the market, so just make sure to get one that is glass and not plastic.

French press coffeeBodum: This is the one I use! It’s glass with stainless steel parts. You can get these in various sizes.

How to brew french press coffee:

To make about 2 cups (16 oz.) of coffee, follow these directions and adjust accordingly.

  1. Measure out 28g of coffee and grind it on the coarse setting. If the grounds are too fine, the filter won’t strain it properly. Pour the grounds into the press.
  2. Heat 16 oz. water to about 205℉ and pour half of it over the grounds. Don’t stir, just let it sit for 30 seconds.
  3. Using a soft spoon (wooden works), stir the grounds to break the crust.
  4. Pour in the rest of the water and gently press down the filter screen so that the grounds are fully submerged. Do not push the filter all the way down. Let sit for 3 minutes.
  5. Slowly push the plunger all the way down to the bed of the grounds and stop. Pour and enjoy!

Related post: “A Complete Guide to Non-Toxic & Eco-Friendly Kitchen Supplies

Cold Brew Method | Least acidic!

Ah yes, this is my method of choice in the summer! 🧊 Cold brew coffee uses NO heat to brew. Instead, the grounds soak at room temperature for 12-18 hours. The result is a smooth and strong brew. Cold brew is way less acidic too, in fact, about 60% less acidic than regular coffee! I also love that you can literally just make a batch at the beginning of the week, then all you have to do each morning is pour some in a cup. Quick and easy!

Coffee sock for cold brewCoffee sock: Hands down the best way to make cold brew! You just need this and a large glass jar. I’ve tried numerous ways to filter and strain the grounds and this is the most effective; it doesn’t leave any residue behind! It’s organic cotton, reusable, and just requires occasional boiling to keep clean. Use code BECCA10 for a discount at EarthHero!


Ovalware cold brew makerOvalware: Another option! This one doesn’t strain as well as the sock, but still works well and is made of glass and stainless steel.

How to brew cold brew coffee:

Check out my cold brew recipe blog post here or download a copy of my ebook! It has EVERYTHING you need to know about making the best cold brew at home, tasty blended recipes, pantry staples, equipment needed, and so much more.

Brew It Like Becca ebook

Brewing Accessories

Coffee brewing accessories

Conical Burr Grinder: Works way better than a spice grinder! This evenly grinds the beans and you can adjust the size from fine to coarse. I always suggest grinding your beans fresh.

Scale: Nothing fancy needed, just something that you can tare and measure units for grams and milliliters. Coffee brewing is a science, people! 🤓

Gooseneck Kettle: I love this electric kettle and it’s so easy to pour! You can set it to the exact temperature that you need.

Oh yeah, and don’t forget to compost those coffee grounds or check out some of these creative ways to reuse them!

Are you ready to make the switch to one of these brewing methods?! Let me know in the comments if you do or if you have any other preferred methods to share. Cheers!

Becca Signature



My 3 Favorite Zero Waste, Plastic Free Methods for Brewing Coffee at Home

Written by: Becca

Becca is a blogger, wife, and dog mom living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Having seen firsthand the benefits of switching to a natural lifestyle herself, she's passionate about helping women make the switch to clean beauty products, organic skincare, and a holistic way of life (without the stress of being perfect about it!).

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