A Real “GREEN” Machine SodaStream’s Home Soda Maker
By: Edward Jackson (Senior Editor)
Update: June 26, 2010 12:30AM ET: This contest is now officially closed. Congratulations to Meredith G. of Atlanta, GA. Meredith, you have been hosen based on the rules. We have sent out emails your way to further verify your identity. After which, you are required to contact us ASAP with all validating information. You have approximately one week to contact us, otherwise, another winner will be chosen at random. Congratulations once again and a big thank you to our friends at SodaStream for the great prize!
Back in April MRT was invited to the Pepcom EcoFocus 2010 where everyone was showing off all their newest Green Products. SodaStream was one of the one’s that caught my eye. This machine brought me back to when I was a kid and how my Mom made us Homemade eggcreams. Yummm! Wanna win one? You know the drill. Comment below on why you’d love one (commenters must be subscribed to our weekly newsletter by signing up on the right side of this page.) Retweets on Twitter also count! I’ll be picking one very lucky winner on June 25th to win a SodaStream package of their own worth $225.
I really don’t drink tons of soda, but I do like to have it occasionally. However, I love flavored water, especially seltzer, (I’m bit of an egg cream nut) and I’ve even been known to add a dash of mango juice to seltzer.
Soda is expensive, and seltzer can be too, even the generic brands. I go through flavored water so quickly that it takes up tons of space in the cart, the trunk, the pantry and the fridge. Not to mention the space in the recycling bin.
One reason I like to have soda on hand is to be able to offer it to guests. Keeping a few 12 packs on hand again, takes up a lot of space in the pantry, and trying to keep a few of each type cold takes up a ton of space in the fridge. If I buy 2-liter bottles, it goes flat before anyone can drink it, and that’s money down the drain.
You can read here about how SodaStream helps the environment including less packaging waste and less pollution from transporting the packages.
I was very excited to find this at my door. It was packaged with bubble wrap that I enjoyed, and some other cushioning materials that I can reuse. See, that’s kinda like being “green” too right?
I also got four Soda Mix flavors, and 3 My Water flavors!
Each bottle of mix isn’t much bigger than a single can of soda, but it makes the equivalent of 33 cans! Each bottle sells for $4.99-$6.99 and makes 12 liters of soda.
All of the bottles in my pantry took up about the same amount of space as a 6-pack of soda, but the 4 bottles would make over 132 12oz. cans worth. Each tiny bottle of My Water mix makes 20 1-liter bottles.
The FAQs say to keep unopened bottles in a cool, dry place, and for the “coldest soda,” you should keep opened bottles in the fridge. The MyWater bottles say to refrigerate after opening, and to use within 6 weeks of opening. I am used to things requiring refrigeration after being opened, so I decided to store them in the fridge just to be on the safe side. They didn’t take up much more space than a few cans of soda.
The SodaStream website says “SodaMix bottles feature a “best before” date which relates to optimal taste. Rest assured that sodamix can safely be consumed well beyond this “best before” date, however peak taste is ensured by consuming prior to this date. Sodamix will typically arrive at your home with about 3-4 months remaining prior to the “best before” date, therefore please order no more than a 3-4 month supply of sodamix.”
My kit came with one 60 liter Carbonator. The spare/exchange deal works just like propane tanks. Exchanging a cartridge this size costs around $15.00. Getting a spare is slightly more. Looking at their online store, it appears you can’t exchange just one of the smaller ones, so I would have to do the buy 1 spare/exchange 1, which is regularly $49.99, on sale for $39.99. The shipping charge is $7.99, and shipping your empty back is free. If you don’t ship it back, you can be charged a $15 fee (basically making it a spare rather than an exchange). You can also search for a retailer and look for one that sells spares and/or exchanges. For me, the nearest to me is about 15min. away or if I don’t have the time I can just order online.
In any case, installing it was very easy. With only three steps to do…
Threading the cartridge into the top half.
Slip both into the bottom.
Give a lil twist, until you hear a “click” and you’re done!!!
The Pure has a drip tray that’s easily removable for cleaning.
The Pure comes with two BPA free, reusable PET bottles.
Much sturdier than a store bought soda bottle.
The caps have a rubber seal, keeping the seltzer or soda fizzy for much longer than store bought.
They cannot be washed in the dishwasher…
You are supposed to be able to use each bottle for up to three years. The bottles conveniently have the discard date printed on them, mine say to discard after July 2013.
To carbonate, fill the bottle to the fill line (no more than that!!)
Tip the nozzle out.
And thread the bottle on.
The instructions said to press the carbonating button in short presses, all the way down until you hear a loud buzz. 3 buzzes provide average carbonation, repeat for extra fizz.
This took me a little bit of practice. I initially wasn’t pulling the lever hard enough, and I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to be hearing.
I took a quick video to show you…
I was told that the “buzz” sounded like something else, and I think that’s pretty accurate!…lol
All you have to do is pick a flavor and pour into the cap… On the side is markings for the size you are going to make. I brought mine to about here.
Hold your bottle of fizzy water at a 45 degree angle, and slowly pour 1 capful of SodaMix in. It was kinda hard doing this and taking pictures as well…lol
Tighten cap and gently rock the bottle back and forth to mix then enjoy.
I set up a taste test with the age range of 8-year old to Adult.
The 8-year old kid was excited, since she’s only had sips of soda a few times. It’s actually quite amusing since she really doesn’t like soda. She makes a disgusted face, but forces out a “yum” or similar, before refusing another sip. I think she wants to keep her options open to try some the next time, instead of being reminded that she doesn’t like it.
I really wasn’t sure if the rest of the adults would like any of these. All of the SodaMix flavors contain splenda, even the “regular,” non-diet flavors. Not many of them are a big fan of artificial tasting flavorings, but a couple was really bothered by artificial sweeteners as well. The MyWater flavorings contain natural flavors only, no sweetener (though they tasted sweet to some).
The “regular” flavors don’t contain any High Fructose Corn Syrup. However, I do wish there were flavors sweetened with cane sugar or stevia.
I also really enjoyed the Diet Energy drink. I thought it tasted and smelled sorta just like Red Bull. The next morning after this taste test, I mixed some up and took it with me on the ride to work, in one of the reusable, aluminum bottles.
I loved the orange and lemon-lime MyWater flavors. I thought just a couple of drops to a full glass was great and that it would taste great in “still” water as well. Even friends liked the lemon-lime, and that is not their cup of tea (seltzer sorry…lol).
I think this would be great for a party. You could mix different flavors, even use them as alcoholic drink mixers.
The machine is small, sleek and very lightweight. I have it out on my counter instead of being hidden away like my other small appliances!
It actually looks great with my stainless appliances.
I figure two liters of this soda costs between $1.45 and $2.00 between soda mix and a large CO2 cartridge (exchange-including shipping). This is slightly greater than the typical “stock up” sale price on name brand soda in 2L bottles, at my local store. However, we would end up throwing away about half of that two liter bottle, making the SodaStream much more cost effective for anyone. That’s totally aside from the convenience and storage factor. The energy drink is much, much more cost effective and the savings on seltzer is huge.
SodaStream says you can use tap water, but I would use filtered water if your water quality is not up to par.
Aside from the obvious “green” component of using SodaStream, there’s all that money and back-breaking you’re saving in the long run. To be completely honest….Right now, I’m having a blast using this! Before I invest in more CO2 cartridges or SodaMixes, I want to see if I’d continue to use it after the novelty wears off, or if it collects dust! But hey, the warmer weather is here and parties will be going on all summer, and this unit is light enough to bring to all of them.