The Bottom Line
- Environmentally friendly
- Easy to use
- Doesn't take up much space on the counter
- Users can adjust the level of fizziness in their soda
- Water must be chilled before using
- Soda in the bottles loses carbonation within a few days
- Can only be used on plain water (add flavorings afterwards)
- Bottles are not dishwasher-safe
- Machine and bottles are made of recyclable materials; CO2 cylinder can be traded in for full ones
- Comes with 2 1-liter reusable BPA-free plastic bottles and lids, as well as a CO2 cylinder good for about 60 liters of soda
- Does not require electricity or batteries
- 24-month warranty includes free repair or replacement for faulty workmanship or inferior materials
Guide Review - SodaStream Jet Soda Maker
My husband is a huge fan of soda, particularly those fruit-based, all-natural sodas they sell at gourmet and natural foods stores, and even just plain old seltzer water. The problem is, the cost of those sodas adds up, and lugging the bottles home from the store (plus out to the recycling bin when they're empty) can be quite a chore.
So when I saw the SodaStream C100 soda maker, I thought it would might be a good solution. And, for the most part, it is.
The SodaStream is a non-electric countertop device that pumps carbonation into water via a CO2 canister that is included with the machine (Note: Don't do as I did and try to either travel with or ship your SodaStream – CO2 cylinders are considered hazardous materials and are pretty impossible for the average consumer to transport). The SodaStream also comes with two 1-liter plastic bottles and lids. The bottles are BPA free and are reusable, which makes them very eco-friendly. Plus, they last for 3 years (bottles are even marked with the "use-by" date). Extra bottles are available for purchase separately, and once you've used up your CO2 canister, you can exchange it at an authorized retailer for a new cylinder, and pay only the cost of the gas (at my local kitchenware store, this ends up being only around $13, whereas buying the cylinder itself is twice that much). The company claims the carbonator will make 60 liters of soda water, depending on the amount of carbonation used for each bottle (A larger cylinder is also available that carbonate up to 110 liters of water).
Using the SodaStream is simple: You screw the CO2 cylinder into the back of the machine (the canister can stay in place until it's empty), then screw a bottle of chilled water into the front of the machine. Then, press the carbonating button a few times until you hear the machine buzz. Three buzzes will yield standard carbonation (which seems as fizzy as a just-opened can of soda), more or fewer buzzes will give you more or less carbonation according to your preference. Then, unscrew the bottle from the drinkmaker and either drink it immediately, or cap it and refrigerate it for later. The SodaStream can only be used to carbonate plain water, but for flavored soda, you can add syrups, juices or extracts to the bottle or to your glass.
I found only a few drawbacks of the SodaStream. For one, you need to chill your bottle of water first, which can be a drag if you are making multiple drinks and only have 2 bottles, or if you want a spur-of-the-moment beverage. Second, the bottles must be washed by hand. And finally, I wish the user manual had a few recipes for making your own soda concentrates. SodaStream sells its own line of soda concentrates, but they are all filled with artificial ingredients, which makes me itch to create my own (Although I do like that the sweetener for the diet versions is Splenda rather than aspartame). But for around $99 for the kit, I think the SodaStream is a fun and useful accessory for soda lovers.