My coffee maker has a replaceable water filter. The manufacturer wants $14.95 for two of them. All they are is a small bag of charcoal, or that's what it looks like to me.
We have our own water distiller and it has a small charcoal filter in it and I ran into the same problem with the filters being so expensive. I found out the top came easily off the filter and had probably the same charcoal you are talking about. I found that they sell the charcoal in water conditioning stores. I paid @ 5.00 for a container that will last at least a year. Quite a savings. I don't know what the bags you are talking about, but I'm sure you could refill them or make some. Call a few stores in your area, for the charcoal.
It's most likely activated carbon, which is the same as activated charcoal. For your purpose, it will have to be food-grade.
You might could find the activated charcoal in pet supply stores, where it is used in aquariums.
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We have an excellent Cussinart coffee maker. It is probably 7 years old, and came with a charcoal filter. The charcoal needs to be replaced. Where and how do you buy a small amount of charcoal? I plan to wrap it with a coffee paper filter.
By Lois B.