Saturday, June 11, 2011

The SodaStream Home Soda Maker

Sodastream Soda Maker and Syrups

A few years ago I was reading a political blog (no joke) and in an off-topic thread they asked readers to share what “unusual” products they enjoyed.

One reader talked about the SodaStream and how it was totally awesome to make her own soda at home. I’d never heard of this thing, so I started looking into it myself.

After a good bit of research and number crunching, I decided that the SodaStream was indeed, awesome, and worth trying out. Well, both my hubby and I absolutely love it! ^_^ It has been a fantastic addition to our kitchen and we use it every day. 

If you’ve never even heard of SodaStream, here’s what you need to know. There are several SodaStream models, but they all work on the same principle. You essentially have four parts.

  1. A canister of CO2 to provide carbonation.
  2. Reusable bottles to hold the water.
  3. The soda maker itself, where all the fizzy magic happens.
  4. Flavorings! A bottle of syrup makes 12 liters of soda, and a pack of the MyWater flavorings is enough for 60 liters of flavored water!!

Cold water holds carbonation better than room temp water, so it’s best to keep any unused bottles in the fridge. When you’re ready to make soda, screw the bottle into the soda maker and push the button! (Or pull the lever. It depends on the model!)

The really cool thing is that you can choose how fizzy you want your drink! With the Sodastream Fountain Jet you push the button until it makes a loud BZZT!! (That’s the one I have.) The fizz is measured by the number of buzzes! “Standard” is three buzzes, but in my home we go for four.

After the water is carbonated, unscrew it from the soda maker and measure out your soda syrup or water flavoring. (The caps for the syrup serve as measuring cups.)  This is another area where you can customize it to your liking. ^_^ If you want a stronger flavor, add more syrup! Too strong? Don’t add as much syrup the next time.

Here are a few things that appealed to me.

  • No aspartame. Not even in the diet drinks!
  • No HFCS.
  • Takes very little space to store a LOT of soda.
  • The bottles are reusable for up to three years, which means less waste!
  • Has 1/3rd the carbs of regular soda. (I’m a diabetic, so carbs are important.)
  • No electricity needed!

If you drink a lot of soda then you’ll be quite impressed with the storage factor. Here’s an actual shot of the top of our lovely fridge!

soda syrup storage

The basket on the left holds five bottles. Next to it is an old CD holder, and that holds eight bottles total. (We like to stock up.)

That right there is enough syrup to make 156 liters of soda. To have the same amount of store bought soda you’d need 78 two liter bottles!!! o_O

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the room to store 78 two liter bottles. But the space on top of my fridge? I can swing that! 

And for the record, there’s a wide, WIDE range in prices for the various models. I have the cheapest one and it’s totally fine. ^_^ If you can afford swanky, go for it!


The Downsides

You can probably tell that I love my SodaStream, but it does have a few issues.

Exchanging the CO2 canisters can be a hassle. Currently we live in a  neighborhood, and we just do an exchange where they pick up the empties and drop off new ones. (We pay, of course!) But we’ve had a few times where they didn’t pick up the empty canisters and we were told to just hang on to them until the next time we did an exchange. >_<

People who live in apartments don’t usually want to leave the canisters by their door, but thankfully more stores are starting to do exchanges. Alas, the stores in my area only exchange the smaller, 60 liter canisters. (I use the 130 liter so we don’t have to switch it out as often.)

With the cost of CO2 canisters and the syrup, the soda is about the same price as name-brand 2 liter soda. If you use cans then this is a WAY better deal. But if you’re a bargain shopper who only buys 2-liters when they’re on sale and you have coupons, then you won’t save any money with a SodaStream.

But as previously mentioned, you’ll save a TON of storage space.

The syrup is increasing in price. This part really bites, IMHO. When we first got our Sodastream Fountain Jet the syrups were all $4.99 a bottle, and often we found them online at Kohls for $3.99. Right now 27 of the flavors at are listed at $6.99! Plus, they’re adding a new line of pure-sugar syrups, which is great! But the bottles are $9.99 and they make only 6 liters of soda. :(

Luckily my favorite flavor (Dr. Pete) is still $4.99, but I dread the day they bump it up. This is practically the only stuff I drink!

The root beer and ginger ale syrups are weak. This is personal preference, but we can’t stand the root beer. >_< Even at max fizzyness (10 buzzes) it still has no bite. Bleh. As for the ginger ale, we like the flavor, but it takes 1 1/2 caps to make it good. I’m not sure what the issue is there.

But despite the downsides I must say that my only regret is that we didn’t get one sooner! If you really get into it I suggest you search online for sales and buy in bulk. Usually you can at least save in shipping if you do that. has several models available, and many of the accessories. Check out the slideshow below to see my top picks! ^_^


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