thursday soda stream review
Thursday, February 19, 2015
good morning. very VERY cold morning. below zero air temps.
i would like to tell you about my experience with soda stream. i bought one recently because i have been trying to find something that would help rob stop drinking pop. he has an ongoing issue with coke--he stops for awhile, but then it comes back. i know he would like to break ties with it altogether. so the other day i don't remember why--if i heard a radio ad or what--the idea of a soda stream occurred to me. i went online and read reviews and decided to take the plunge. end result--it was a good decision for us.
first off--i decided to buy the more expensive one (there are a ton of models) because several of the reviews i read recommended it. the one i bought is made of metal rather than plastic, and they had a bundled package that included the regular size CO2 tank (there are 3 sizes of tanks--a "trial size" one, and a regular size and then a large one, which i think is about twice the size of the regular one). it also contained two of the special bottles and two sample boxes of the "flavorings" to make your own carbonated beverages.
okay--first--mine was nicely made, doesn't take up hardly any counter space. it has little lights that blink when your bottle is carbonated--you can choose your level of carbonation. you MUST use the proprietary bottles. installation is really simple, you take the protective cap off the CO2 tank and screw it into the back. done.
operation is easy to figure out, and there is a decent set of instructions. you can also watch youtube--there are several uploads there.
basically you flip the arm forward. lock in your bottle and push it back against the console. push down on the top until you get the carbonation you want, lock the top back into its upward position, flip the arm and bottle forward and take the bottle off. at this point if you want flavored water you add the flavor (never before pressurizing) and cap the bottle. it works best with cold water.
result? well--after trying a few of the flavoring syrups--which are just--well--UGH--we got some flavored essences that are non sugared. meh. not bad, but not worth the 10 bucks we paid for them. our "go-to" is just plain soda water. rob likes it super bubbly and really cold. it would also be good just to squeeze a lemon or lime (the real thing) into it. i heard of some study (doubtless funded by the company) that claims people drink more water if they have one of these. i actually would tend to believe that. it turns out a very nice end product, and we filter our well water, so the taste of the water to begin with is very good.
now the caveats:
the CO2 tank runs out. you have a few options--any store that carries this product has an exchange program--you go to customer service and pay about half what you would pay for a whole new tank--the going price for exchanging the small tank is 15.00. we have been using ours for about a month--charging one or two bottles each day and the tank is still going. if you have a lot of kids in the house or you go through a lot of this--you would want the bigger tank, which sells for more in the first place, and costs about double to charge (29.00) it is essentially twice the size of the small tank. another option we plan to explore is the idea of getting a larger cylinder of CO2 from a gas supplier and filling our own tanks. it can be done for a lot less money. the overall consensus i read was that it isn't necessarily cheaper, but you have more control over the end product you or your family are drinking. that being said--i read the labels on the syrups--every single one contained acesulfame and some of them contained another sweetener--might have been splenda. can't remember exactly. there were some v8 fusion type drinks that might have only had fruit juice--different stores seem to carry different stuff. after looking at the options we decided to just go the plain soda water route.
so that's my experience with soda stream. so far we are happy we bought it--ours cost about 130.00 but there are several models that are cheaper. also--the NON dishwasher safe bottles with the silver lids keep the bottles pressurized better than the blue bottles with the black lids. those lids keep your soda fizzy until you drink all of it.