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K-Cup portion packs were invented by Colby College roommates Peter Dragone (Class of 1979) and John Sylvan (Class of 1980).  This form of single cup brewing system is a product of Keurig, Inc. Initially used only for coffee, k-cup varieties now include coffee, tea, hot chocolate, iced tea and coffee, as well as fruit drinks, lemonade and apple cider. Each K-Cup is a plastic container with a coffee filter inside. Ground coffee beans are packed in the K-Cup and sealed air-tight with a combination plastic and foil lid. When the K-Cup is placed in a Keurig brewer, the brewer punctures both the foil lid and the bottom of the K-Cup and forces hot water under pressure through the K-Cup and into a mug. Keurig licenses its K-Cup technology to coffee roasters and tea makers such as Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Diedrich/Gloria Jeans, Timothy's World Coffee, Van Houtte, Caribou Coffee, Celestial Seasonings, Bigelow Tea Company, Twinings, Tully's, Coffee People and Newman's Own.
Keurig's patents on the original K-Cup design expired in September 2012. Keurig holds at least one additional, still-active US patent and another patent application, detailing improvements that have subsequently been incorporated in their K-Cup design.
Keurig K-Cups come in a range of varieties. They offer single-origin coffees from Costa Rica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Colombia, Brazil, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Sumatra. They also offer custom coffee blends, Organic Coffees, Fair Trade and flavored coffees. And a variety of roasts including Extra Bold Roasts - with 30% more ground coffee, Dark Roast, Medium Roast, Light Roast, Flavored, Decaf, Fair Trade Certified and Organic Coffee Roasts.
K-Cups also offer English Breakfast, Chamomile and Earl Grey decaf, Chai, Peppermint and Mango tea, from a wide range of companies such as Bigelow, Cafe Escapes, Celestial Seasonings, Gloria Jean's Tea, Timothy's Tea and Twinings Tea.
They also offer premium hot chocolate from brands such as Cafe Escapes, Green Mountain Coffee, Timothy's and Ghirardelli Chocolate Company.