Friday, May 06, 2011

Reuse your Keurig KCups and Save Money!

I'm tight with my family's money.  I'm cheap when I need to be and strive to be a lot more frugal because I want to remain a stay-at-home mom.  However, I love my coffee and tea.  My husband and I love our Keurig but I don't love how much those little K Cups cost and I really enjoy drinking my own coffee.  I'm lucky enough to have some great Kona coffee that my friends brought to me from back home in Hawaii.  So what's a tight, cheap, and frugal woman to do?  Reuse my KCups, that's what!

Since I first got my Keurig coffee brewer, I was on a mission to figure out how to enjoy it more cheaply.  I started off by rinsing out the used coffee grounds, letting the filters dry, then refilling with my own coffee and covering the top with Glad Press N Seal or the My-Kap lid.  The My-Kap leaked all over the place so that was disappointing but the Glad Press N Seal worked wonderfully until the filters finally failed.  Now what?  Figure out a way to make a new filter.  I actually got the idea of paper replacement filters on the My-Kap web site.  They give full instructions on how to do this with Melitta cone filters.  I made up my own method using regular basket filters that I've already posted about on this blog.  However, these filters sometimes failed resulting in coffee grounds in our cups.  Not acceptable! 

For a couple of years, I have been using reusable cotton muslin filters, that I created, to make tea.  Why couldn't I use this same idea to make reusable filters for my Keurig?  Why not!  So I did!  I've been using them over and over for a couple of months now and am so excited that I couldn't keep the idea to myself.  I wanted to give them a chance to fail so I could fix them before I released them, but so far I haven't had a single problem at all!  In fact, they're working so perfectly.  No grounds in my coffee, the needle that punctures the bottom of the KCup does not puncture the cloth, the coffee isn't weak, the filters are so easy to use and clean.  These filters have also given me another opportunity to try the My-Kap lids in conjunction with Glad Press N Seal with very satisfactory results.  I've also tried using them with just the Glad Press N Seal and a polyurethane hair elastic band with great results as well. 

Oh, and they work wonderfully with the My K Cup attachment that Keurig sells.  A lot of people complain that this attachment makes weak coffee because of the way the filter basket is made.  The coffee is forced out of the sides of the basket rather than down the center like the original K Cups.  My filters solve this problem, too!  In fact, because you don't use the filter basket, only the cloth filter, you can put more coffee into the attachment, the coffee is forced down the center of the cloth filter, resulting in stronger, more flavorful coffee! 
I've listed my reusable K Cup filters in my Etsy store.  I hope this helps others who want to reuse their K Cups, too!

Monday, May 02, 2011

New reusable tea filter/infuser

I don't know why it's taken me this long to put these up in my Etsy store but they're finally there.   I have been using them for a couple of years now and they're great!  Very inexpensive to make or buy, so easy to use, easy to clean, portable, eco-friendly, and make really great tasting tea.  Sure, disposable "sack" type filters work well but I'm glad I don't have to worry about running out.  I love the idea that I can use these over and over.  I'm going to try and make coffee in one, too.  Not the same one I make tea in, mind you.

Every time I see little tea balls or spoons, I can't help but think that even though they're cute, they don't make the most of the tea leaves that are put into them.  They don't have room to bloom and impart their maximum flavor.  These cloth infusers give the leaves so much room to move, it's almost like they're swimming around in my cup.  It's so cool to see how big, open, and fluffy the tea leaves are that come out of them when I'm done brewing.  Ooooh, I need a picture of that!  Okay, I'm back.  Had to get a picture of that!  LOL  I know I'm biased, but they're great!

One of my older filters...they're prettier now!

Before - 2 tsp Abundant Berry loose leaf tea