K-cups are a type of filter -- sold loaded with coffee, tea and other beverage mixes -- made for Keurig beverage makers. However, the K-cups tend to be expensive and can create a lot of waste that ends up in a landfill. You can create your own homemade K-cup filters by reusing the K-cup once you have brewed a cup of coffee. It creates less waste while brewing another flavorful cup of coffee, tea or cocoa.
K-cups are a small plastic container with a coffee filter and ground coffee inside. The cup is sealed with an airtight foil. The foil and the bottom of the cup are pierced when the cup is loaded into the K-cup brewer chamber. Pressurized water that is regulated at an optimal temperature for coffee brewing flows through the K-cup. A stream of brewed coffee lands in a coffee cup below.
The K-cup is meant to be disposable. However, the plastic cup and the filter it contains are durable enough to be reused several times. Cut the foil top from the K-cup and remove it. Dump out the used coffee grounds. Rinse out the cup and filter. Fill the cup about three-quarters of the way with fresh ground coffee. Seal the cup with two plastic adhesive seal squares. The seal squares replace the foil top and ensure that the coffee grounds do not leak into the brewed coffee. Place the newly sealed K-cup into the brewer, and wait for the single cup of coffee to brew.
The homemade K-cup filters are convenient and easy to prepare. Once you have refilled the K-cup, you can store it anywhere -- at home or at work. Just pull the K-cup out and place it in the K-cup brewer. These homemade filters are relatively inexpensive and work well when they are sealed correctly. You can also use your own favorite brand and flavor of coffee, tea or cocoa.
You must be diligent about rinsing out the used K-cup and filter. The original airtight foil seal keeps out bacteria and prevents mold from growing on the filter. The filter must be dry before refilling the K-cup with coffee grounds, especially if you do not intend to use the K-cup immediately after filling it. Mold and bacteria can grow inside an incorrectly sealed reused K-cup. The coffee grounds can leak into the coffee if the seal has even a tiny opening anywhere around the outside of the K-cup. Coffee grounds can also leak into the coffee if the K-cup is filled to the brim with coffee grounds.
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