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SodaStream Soda Maker – Positives and Negatives
I’ve been hearing a lot of advertisements lately for the SodaStream Soda Maker, and while I usually don’t like any sort of kitchen gadgets that are “make it yourself” products, this particular product had me slightly curious.
The advertisement claims it’s easy to use and will lower costs for a family that drinks soda. As all soda drinkers are aware, even when soda is on sale, the tax and refund value make it so that soda is still a costly expense.
This is what I've learned:
The SodaStream Jet soda maker only weighs 2.58 pounds. The measurements are 16.7 x 5.3 x 7.9 inches. This makes it so that storage isn’t too difficult.
The SodaStream Jet soda maker doesn’t require batteries or electricity and includes one carbonator that is good for making up to 60 liters of soda and two reusable plastic bottles.
The SodaStream Jet starter kit does not include the packages of flavor for making soda, but is ready to make sparkling water/seltzer, and the flavor packages are fairly inexpensive. There are 25 different flavors of soda, without the high-fructose syrup. There are diet and caffeine-free flavors and an energy drink. There are also several different flavors for use with the sparkling water/seltzer.
How to Make Sparkling Water:
- Load the carbonator into the soda maker.
- Fill the bottle with cold tap water and put it in the soda maker.
- Pump the button a few times to add some fizz.
How to Make Soda:
Follow steps 1-3 then:
- Add one capful of soda mix per liter of sparkling water.
- Shake gently.
Does it Save Money?
The only downfall with the soda maker, from what I’ve read, is that you have to refill the carbonator with the manufacturer directly. Other countries do offer the refills in stores, but the few stores in the United States that offer them are often out of stock.
The manufacturer offers a carbonator exchange program, much like the gas tanks for barbeque exchange programs. Since, of course, this will involve mailing, the manufacturer does include a box, but does not pay for shipping, either way. The more you exchange at one time, the lower the shipping costs will be. The cost is $59.99 to exchange two 130-liter carbonators and $29.99 to exchange two 60-liter carbonators. The manufacturer offers free shipping with orders of $75.00 or more.
For cost-comparison, sometimes grocery stores have 12-packs of soda on sale at 3 for $9.99. If you bought six 12-packs, this would total almost 26 liters for about $25.00 (with a California tax-rate); whereas, you can purchase 120 liters of soda for $29.99 plus shipping through SodaStream. So, it definitely is cheaper.
There are several stores that sell the SodaMaker products: Bed Bath and Beyond, BJ’s, Bloomingdales, Crate and Barrel, Kitchen Collection, Le Gourmet Chef, Macy’s, Sears, ShopKo, Sur La Table, Williams Sonoma, and Amazon.com. The problem is that not all of the stores that offer the starter kit offer the carbonators as a refill purchase. Some of them do, but they aren’t always in stock.
As far as the taste is concerned, most reviews from Amazon.com indicate the taste is the same, if not better because it is “fresh”.
All-in-all, the SodaStream soda maker definitely does seem cost-effective and is environmentally friendly. Due to gaining popularity, hopefully the carbonator refills will soon be readily available in the United States, which seems to be the only hassle of this product-- forcing consumers to buy in bulk--so, you have to have some money in order to save some money.