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June 11, 2013

SodaStream Soda Maker Review

A Delicious Obsession Disclosure Banner
Did you know that in 2005, Americans spent $10 billion on bottled water [according to the Food & Water Watch Organization]?! 206 billion liters of bottled water were consumed globally in 2008 [as stated in the Zenith International Global Bottled Water Report]. According to the US Recycling Institute, more then 80% of bottles throughout the U.S. do not get recycled and unfortunately end up in land fills. 

I'll admit, I'm a big soda drinker. It's my #1 preferred drink, but it's quite ridiculous how much money we spend on it and how fast we go through it. It makes my day if I find a sale or a good coupon to use; it's not very often that happens though. It definitely made my day when I was given the opportunity to try the SodaStream.

I'm sure many of you have heard of this, saw it advertised on TV, or even on your store shelf. When I first found out about it, I thought it would be interesting to try. I was curious to see if their flavors tasted just like the flavors they say to compare them to. It would also be fun to find out if it would really save money. These are the 2 top questions people have before purchasing the SodaStream. Curious to know what my results were? Keep reading for my review!

What is the SodaStream? The SodaStream is an at-home soda maker that is sold in many retail stores nationwide. You can turn ordinary tap water into your favorite soda, sparkling water, and more! They have 3 recently added flavor lines - Crystal Light, Kool-Aid, and Country Time. You can save money and the environment by using the SodaStream. It only costs .25 per 12 ounces of soda (the size of a regular soda can) and .25 per liter of sparkling water.

Flavors: There are over 60 flavors to use with the SodaStream. All flavors are concentrated. Check out their website for additional flavors - Sparkling Naturals, Sparkling Tea, Kool-Aid, Country Time, and Crystal Light. 
-Regular: Regular flavors contain less sugar, calories, carbs, and sodium compared to canned/bottled soda. They are also free of high-fructose corn syrup. Each bottle of flavor makes the equivalent to 33 cans (or 12 liters) of soda! 
Cola, Cherry Cola, Cream Soda, Fountain Mist (compare to Mountain Dew), Ginger Ale, Root Beer, Lemon Lime (compare to Sprite), Dr. Pete (compare to Dr. Pepper), Cranberry Raspberry, Orange, Grape, Tonic, Orange Mango, Lemon Iced Tea, Lemonade, and Peach Iced Tea.
-Diet: Diet flavors are sweetened with sucralose (known by the brand name Splenda) and acesulfame. Unlike top brand diet flavors, SodaStream Diet flavors do not contain Aspartame.
Diet Cola, Diet Cherry Cola, Diet Cola with Lime, Diet Grape, Diet Fountain Mist (compare to Diet Mountain Dew), Diet Orange, Diet Caffeine-free Cola, Cola Free, Diet Cranberry Raspberry, Diet Cream Soda, Diet Ginger Ale, Diet Grape, Diet Lemon Lime (compare to Diet Sprite), Diet Orange, Diet Dr. Pete (compare to Diet Dr. Pepper), Diet Pink Grapefruit (compare to Diet Fresca), Diet Root Beer, Diet Tonic, Diet Lemonade, Diet Lemon Iced Tea, and Diet Peach Iced Tea.
-Energy Drink: There's no reason to spend $2 + on canned energy drinks when you can make your own at home for .25 a serving! One bottle of Energy Drink mix will make up to 50 - 8 ounce servings. Contains vitamins B6 and B12, Niacin, Folate, Riboflavin, Vitamin C, Caffeine and Biotin. 
Energy Drink (compare to Red Bull), Diet Energy Drink (compare to Sugar-free Red Bull), Cranberry Energy Drink, Mango Energy Drink, and Crystal Light Wild Strawberry Energy Drink.
-MyWater Flavor Essences: Each 40 ml bottle will make up to 20 liters of sparkling water or flavored seltzer water. They are unsweetened and are made with all-natural flavor. Available in packs of 3. You can control the amount of fizz and flavor - making the perfect drink!

Benefits of SodaStream: The SodaStream is better for the environment - it causes less waste, which means less cans and bottles ending up in landfills. It lessens the production and transporting of plastic bottles and  aluminum cans, which means less pollution. The CO2 carbonators are available in two sizes and can make up to 60/130 liters of soda or sparkling water per carbonator. Once empty, SodaStream will accept them back so they can be cleaned, inspected, refilled, and reused. You can exchange your empty carbonators at many local retailers. 

Additional benefits -
  • The SodaStream does not use electricity or batteries. It simply runs off a CO2 cylinder and the press of a button. 
  • There are a variety of styles and colors to choose from. You can match your soda maker according to your taste, decor, or budget.
  • No more hassle with carrying or storing heavy and bulky cases of bottled water or soda. The SodaStream machine is lightweight and takes up less space. Flavor bottles can easily store in a cupboard until ready to use (once opened they must be refrigerated).
  • No more dealing with empty cans or bottles being thrown in the trash, filling up recycling bins, or building up on counter tops. Each flavor bottle can make up to 12 liters - that's equivalent to 33 cans! The carbonating bottles are reusable for up to 2 years (the glass carafe for the Penquin model can be used indefinitely if taken care of properly) and they are even BPA-free. The bottles come with a fizz-preserving cap that allows your drinks to remain fresh longer then store bought soda or water.
  • Save money. It will only cost you .25 to make 12 ounces of soda or 1 liter of sparkling water. As stated above, each flavor bottle can make up to 12 liters. That's a lot!
  • Carbonating bottles are available in 1 liter and 1/2 liter sizes. 1/2 liter sizes are not compatible with all models though.
My thoughts: I am a huge fan of the SodaStream. It definitely makes drinking soda more convenient and even fun. I like being able to add how much carbonation and flavor I want.  It fits nicely on my counter and doesn't take up much space at all. I have a cupboard specifically for my flavor bottles and they store perfectly in it. The flavors that I have tried taste just like top brands - Cola tastes just like Coke Cola, Energy Drink tastes just like Red Bull, Ginger Ale tastes just like any other Ginger Ale drink I've had. I haven't tried all of the flavors so I can't comment on all of them.

It's very easy to use - all you have to do is fill up the carbonating bottle with water up to the line, screw on to the machine, press the carbonating button 3 times (give or take, depending on your own desire) till it makes a buzzing noise, remove bottle, add your flavoring (amount depends on type of flavor and your own desire), and gently shake. It's also very easy and quick to assemble. I only had to remove the plastic wrapping from the CO2 cylinder and screw into the back of the soda maker and replace the cover. 

The carbonating bottle is a little hard to clean - I found it easier to clean with a baby bottle brush. They have to be washed by hand since the integrity of the bottles will weaken if exposed to extreme heat. In other words; they are not dishwasher safe. The machine itself is easy to clean; it just needs an occasional wipe down. 

The price of the machine I received (the Fountain Jet) is pretty reasonable - it starts at $79.95 and it's their cheapest model. Their most expensive models are the Penguin and Revolution, which start at $199.95. The price of the flavors vary; it depends on flavor and store location. They range from $4.99 to $9.99 a bottle. CO2 carbonators also depend on store location, but it also depends on the size of cylinder you choose. You can purchase a pack of 2 60 liter carbonators will retail around $59.99, while a 130 liter carbonator will retail around $49.99. 
  
So to answer my above questions... Yes, the SodaStream will save you money and the flavors (that I've tried) are just as good as store bought soda!


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