A couple of months back, yes I am slow (the soda stream is not a new product) I came across the Sodastream on the internet. Huh, cool, make your own soda. I had never really thought about it, but we do drink a lot of different flavors of soda, so this might be worth the price. I contacted Sodastream, and was provided with a red Fountain Jet Sodastream model for review.
There are currently being 9 different models for sale on the Sodastream website. There are different add ons to the basic model that do everything from monitor the CO2 level in the onboard tank, to set the desired CO2 level in the bottles that you are making, to allowing you to use glass carafes for your soda. The other models of the Sodastream can be seen on their website.
To understand what you might be purchasing, let’s first look at what the sodastream system is comprised of:
[box type=”shadow” ]The Sodastrem Jet Fountain itself. The unit I received (fountain jet), is constructed of plastic, and is the most basic model sold by Sodastream. The heart of the soadstream is that it basically carbonates water so that flavor can be added. The sole purpose of the Jet model is to add CO2 to the water and there are no electronic gauges or gadgets on this model. [/box]
[box type=”shadow”]The CO2 carbonator This is what powers the Sodastrem Jet, and this is what you will have to refill, apart from buying the specific flavors of syrup that you wish to make. The starter kit that I received contains 1 that is pre-filled and ready to go. It is about $15 to exchange for one and this can be done at most local retail stores like Target, Walmart, etc. If you wish to purchase a spare bottle ( I would think this would be a must so that you are ready to go if you run out), they are about $30 to buy a pre-filled one. [/box]
[box type=”shadow”]The bottles The Fountain Jet comes with 1 refillable bottle (1L). It is NOT dishwasher safe, and according to the instructions should only be washed with cool water and soap. I have read other reports of bottles that were washed in the dishwasher that came out as mush, so I would say this is not just a precaution, but a must. You can buy extra bottles in a pack of 2 for $20 or a .5L bottle for $15. [/box]
[box type=”shadow” ]The Sodastream Flavors I guess the flavor, at least to me, is the most important part of the unit. This is also where there are going to be a large range of varying opinions on what is good. I can say that there are a wide variety of flavors that are available with the Sodastream. “Regular Flavors” include Traditional cola, root beer, ginger ale, orange, Dr. Pete, Lemon Lime, Orange Mango, Grape, Tonic, just to name a few. Some are comparable to a nationally known counterpart, others are original flavors. I could name them all, but they are constantly being added to. So for a complete list of all of the flavors that are available visit the Sodastream Flavors page.[/box]
How does the Sodastream work?
There are 4 basic steps to create a Soda with the Sodastream.
- Fill the bottle with water. (Colder is better because it will hold the CO2 longer and make a better tasting drink.)
- Screw the bottle into the unit.
- Press the botton on top 3-5 times to carbonate.
- Add the flavor to the bottle (pour it slow, or it will get messy)
What does the Sodastream cost?
Basic Unit : $80.00, including 1 bottle, some samples, and a CO2 carbonator
Flavors: These can vary in price, but expect to spend about $7-$10 for each bottle of flavorings that will make about 12 – 33 servings
CO2: These are exchangable and cost about $15 to exchange for a refill
Bottles: Like I said above, I would like to have at least 1 extra bottle. These are $15-20 a pack.
What do I like about the Sodastream?
- It’s easy! Once you make one bottle of water, it is easy peasy.
- I like the fact that they come in 1L and even .5L bottles. Many times with traditional soda in 2L bottles, it will go flat before we have a chance to drink all of it. With the provided 1L bottles, this is not a problem for our family.
- There are a growing # of flavors. I REALLY like the Black Currant & Pear, THIS FLAVOR ROCKS! (and might even be better with a little vodka mixed in). The root beer is good, the regular cola is ALMOST as good as the name brand, and the energy drink is really good. I didn’t care for some of the diet drinks, but I’m not a diet drinker.
What would I change about the Sodastream?
- I wish your could use standard bottles, this would make it even better. I could recycle some of the bottles that we already have.
- More unique flavors, I would like to see more flavors, although the# is constantly growing.
So the $64,000 question is… Would I buy a Sodastream ?
YES! It is a little cool, mixed with some practicality, dashed with a touch of novelty. I did some rough calculations, and as a pure price saving measure, you have to drink A LOT of soda before it pays off. However, it is extremely easy to use, the flavor selection is decent, and most of the flavors that I tried are very tasty!
If you have any questions or comments about the Sodastream, please leave them below.