At my work we have a Mr Coffee, and it works great. We've also got a $5,000 espresso machine, it too, works great. Sometimes though, I just want one damn cup of drop brew coffee. Late in the afternoon, when the Mr Coffee has gotten to the scary 6 hour mark, or like these past two weeks, when I've been the only coffee drinker around, it's just not worth brewing a whole pot.
Sure sure, they make single cup brewers, as well as over the mug doodads that do exactly this. This, however, was FREE, made of stuff sitting around. Figured I would share. This is my first instructable, be gentle with me.
Two toss-away coffee cups
Paper coffee filter (basket type is probably easier to use than the "wedge" style ones
Coffee (whatever sort you'd use to brew drip coffee, in my case, Folgers is what we keep in the cupboard, and since this is all about being cheap, it'll do)
Rubber band or paperclips
HOT water (a little more water than you want of a final volume of coffee)
Knife or other cutting instrument
Step 1: Step One:
Enter the empty coffee mug. So sad. So lonely. So without purpose. Not to mention you, also without coffee!
Step 2: Step Two:
Here we see ye olde toss away coffee cup. We keep these around for when people stop by the office so we don't have to wash up after them. Flip it upside down and cut out the bottom. I used a folding box cutter, you use whatever works for you.
Step 3: Step Three:
Take the filter, and poke into a vaguely cone shape. Stuff that into the bottom of the toss-away cup, and fold about 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch over the lip. Use a rubber band, or paperclips, or whatever, to secure this in place. You HAVE to secure it in place, or you'll just make a mess later. Also, the slight point in the filter is important, otherwise the brewing coffee will run down the side of the toss-away cup, and generally all over the counter as it flows over the edge of the mug instead of /into/ the mug. Found this out the hard way.
Step 4: Step Four:
Put in whatever quantity of coffee grounds you would use for a single cup. This might take some experimentation. I use about two tablespoons. If it's a little strong you can always dilute a little.
Step 5: Step Five:
Carefully prop the loaded toss-away cup / filter on top of your empty mug. Our toss-away cups are spot on for my mug. You mileage my vary. I've tried to come up with a good way to secure this more, but nothing great's come to mind yet. Honestly. I only had one wipeout using this method, and I sneezed as I was pouring. Just try not to be an oaf on the next step and you should be fine.
Step 6: Step Six:
CAREFUL! BOILING WATER! I use water from the espresso machine (it's got a button and a spout for just water. Comes out screaming hot). You could nuke water, use a kettle, whatever. It's important that you have a bit more water than you want coffee and it should be pretty hot. Slowly and carefully pour the hot water into the top of the device, until it's just about to the rim. It should drip brew pretty quickly, actually. As it empties out, add more of the water until you've added it all. Revel in the lovely smell of fresh brewing coffee.
Step 7: Step Seven:
Voila! Coffee! Fresh brewed, and only enough for you, so no sharing necessary! Be careful! Since this brews so fast it'll likely be quite a bit hotter than you're normally used to (depending, of course, on the water you used). Cream and sugar as you like (or don't) and enjoy!
All told, I can fire up a cuppa like this in a minute or two. Beats the heck out of waiting for the machine, plus this way I don't throw away most of a pot of coffee.