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SodaStream: Yes or no?

SodaStream: Yes or no?
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  • SodaStream: Yes or no?

    Post #1 - December 11th, 2011, 1:43 pm
    Post #1 - December 11th, 2011, 1:43 pm Post #1 - December 11th, 2011, 1:43 pm
    Wandering through Costco yesterday, I happened across a SodaStream demo & ended up buying two. Now I'm rethinking my decision. I'd love to get some feedback from others:

    SodaStream as a present: My sister-in-law loves Mendota brand lemon seltzer water. I've only ever seen her drink it in cans and I've only seen her drink Medota. I don't know if her can/brand choice is due to flavor, price, availability, convenience, etc. She doesn't seem to drink other soda at home, though I've seen her order fountain drinks at restaurants or drink a can of soda if we're at someone else's house. My brother drinks a bit of soda, but not habitually. I also have a 4-year-old nephew who drinks a lot of water or watered down apple juice. They try to minimize how much sugar he eats. But I suspect he's probably approaching the age when he'll become aware of other beverages & start requesting them. As a family, they recycle.

    My thinking of the pros & cons of this as a present:
    Con: SiL may not want to change from cans to bottle.
    Con: SiL may not want to change from her favorite flavor.
    Pro: Environmentally friendly, less stuff to lug from the grocery store.
    Pro: Cost savings (particularly since the machine itself is a gift) over store-bought seltzer.
    Pro: Homemade soda seems to have lower sugar than commercial stuff, so might appeal to them as parents vis a vis my nephew.
    Con: The model I bought included a 130L tank. And I have to carry this to St. Louis via air, but I'm assuming it's banned by the airlines. So I'd have to buy a new tank in St. Louis before giving it as a gift.

    SodaStream for my personal use: I drink a ton of water--it's my primary beverage each day. I usually drink it filtered at room temp. In summer months, I'll buy ginger ale or tonic water as a mixer for drinks. I also may buy Diet Coke in cans for periodic summertime drinking. If friends come over & ask for a soda, often I have nothing to offer (though there is a vending machine in my condo building).

    My thinking re. the pros & cons of drinking this:
    Con: It's almost entirely an extra expense. I probably spend $15 a year on non-alcoholic fizzy beverages for consumption at home. I don't need an extra incentive to increase my water consumption.
    Pro: Because I drink soda infrequently, there's a good chance that when I want ginger ale or tonic water, I find my supply is flat/expired/I don't have any. Could buy the flavorings & just keep them on hand when I have it.
    Con: I tried one of the samples flavors last night (diet cran-raspberry) and thought it tasted like generic soda (like the cheap flavors you buy at Aldi...I mistake I made once in my life).
    Pro/Con: Space is tight in my condo. SodaStream takes up about the same amount of space as a 12-pack of soda, which I periodically have around.

    If you're not a SodaStream user, but mimic my brother's family, would you want one as a gift? If you have a SodaStream, would you recommend it in either of my situations? Anyone have a SodaStream & feel like it was a waste of money?
  • Post #2 - December 11th, 2011, 3:27 pm
    Post #2 - December 11th, 2011, 3:27 pm Post #2 - December 11th, 2011, 3:27 pm
    It's hard to know what reasons work for different people, but I love my SodaStream.

    It is eco-friendly, as you note. I only use it for making seltzer (and their natural fruit essences are every bit as nice as the flavors in store-bought flavored seltzers). Not having to carry, store, or recycle all those bottles is a joy. (I drink from 1 to 2 liters a day, so either I shop frequently or have the whole pantry full of bottles.) Also, since the SodaStream bottles don't have the BPA that most plastic bottles have, I'm not as concerned about what horrible things they may or may not discover about BPA.

    I have a couple of extra bottles and keep a few flavors on hand, so that if folks come over who actually want soda, I'm ready for them.

    For those who are concerned about such things, the sugar in SodaStream flavors is, in fact, sugar, and not high fructose corn sweetener, and the sweetener in the diet versions is Splenda, and not aspartame. Granted, you're better off without lots of sugar or Splenda, but if you want sweeteners, both of these are better options than what is most commonly found in commercial sodas.

    So I'm a complete addict. I've had mine for a year now, and I haven't gotten over the joy of that "ssssshhhh" sound when you release the bottle after adding the CO2 to the water.

    Again -- don't know how others will react, but I find it to be a real blessing.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #3 - December 11th, 2011, 3:29 pm
    Post #3 - December 11th, 2011, 3:29 pm Post #3 - December 11th, 2011, 3:29 pm
    Oh -- and I don't know what the Costco prices are like, but compare them to Bed, Bath and Beyond's -- because you can use those 20% off cards even for refills for the SodaStream at BB&B.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #4 - December 11th, 2011, 3:34 pm
    Post #4 - December 11th, 2011, 3:34 pm Post #4 - December 11th, 2011, 3:34 pm
    Cynthia wrote:Oh -- and I don't know what the Costco prices are like, but compare them to Bed, Bath and Beyond's -- because you can use those 20% off cards even for refills for the SodaStream at BB&B.


    I've been thinking about this as well b/c we love sparkling water.

    I would probably make my own ginger syrup for ginger ale.

    The Costco one, I was told, is a larger cannister, that isn't normally sold in other retailers.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #5 - December 11th, 2011, 3:35 pm
    Post #5 - December 11th, 2011, 3:35 pm Post #5 - December 11th, 2011, 3:35 pm
    Cynthia wrote:Oh -- and I don't know what the Costco prices are like, but compare them to Bed, Bath and Beyond's -- because you can use those 20% off cards even for refills for the SodaStream at BB&B.


    Thanks for the suggestions, Cynthia! Costco is just selling the initial package (Dynamo deluxe machine + 12-flavor sampler + 130L canister + 2 1-liter bottles) for $99, nothing else. The woman doing the demo also suggested using BB&B discount coupons on flavorings, etc. But from a quick skim of their website, it doesn't look like I can get the 130L canister refilled anywhere close to the city. (Mail order refill/exchanges are $29 for the large canisters.)
  • Post #6 - December 11th, 2011, 3:38 pm
    Post #6 - December 11th, 2011, 3:38 pm Post #6 - December 11th, 2011, 3:38 pm
    pairs4life wrote:
    Cynthia wrote:Oh -- and I don't know what the Costco prices are like, but compare them to Bed, Bath and Beyond's -- because you can use those 20% off cards even for refills for the SodaStream at BB&B.


    I've been thinking about this as well b/c we love sparkling water.

    I would probably make my own ginger syrup for ginger ale.

    The Costco one, I was told, is a larger cannister, that isn't normally sold in other retailers.


    Yeah -- that 130L tank sounded pretty massive. I actually prefer the smaller tank. It makes 60 liters, so it would have to be replaced twice as often, but it's easy to lift and move and replace.

    That said, I'll go check the Costco version.

    As for ginger syrup -- it works well with that -- and I also sometimes use fruit concentrates, like the black cherry concentrate from Vitamin Shoppe. But mostly, I just drink the sparkling water. It's very refreshing.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #7 - December 11th, 2011, 3:42 pm
    Post #7 - December 11th, 2011, 3:42 pm Post #7 - December 11th, 2011, 3:42 pm
    chgoeditor wrote:
    Cynthia wrote:Oh -- and I don't know what the Costco prices are like, but compare them to Bed, Bath and Beyond's -- because you can use those 20% off cards even for refills for the SodaStream at BB&B.


    Thanks for the suggestions, Cynthia! Costco is just selling the initial package (Dynamo deluxe machine + 12-flavor sampler + 130L canister + 2 1-liter bottles) for $99, nothing else. The woman doing the demo also suggested using BB&B discount coupons on flavorings, etc. But from a quick skim of their website, it doesn't look like I can get the 130L canister refilled anywhere close to the city. (Mail order refill/exchanges are $29 for the large canisters.)


    Refills of the smaller canisters -- which can be exchanged at any BB&B -- are $14.95 -- less the 20% discount. For me, it sounds as though the smaller canister is the way to go, as I'm not sure I'd ever use it again if I had to mail in the empty canister.

    I did buy a second canister, however, so that I always have a back-up, if I run out at an inconvenient time.

    Of course, I live alone, so that might make a big difference in how often I need refills, vs. someone with a family. Even drinking two liters of fizzy water a day, I still only need to go to the store once a month for a refill -- but a family might use up the canister too quickly to feel that it's really convenient.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #8 - December 11th, 2011, 3:43 pm
    Post #8 - December 11th, 2011, 3:43 pm Post #8 - December 11th, 2011, 3:43 pm
    Cynthia wrote:Yeah -- that 130L tank sounded pretty massive. I actually prefer the smaller tank. It makes 60 liters, so it would have to be replaced twice as often, but it's easy to lift and move and replace.

    That said, I'll go check the Costco version.

    As for ginger syrup -- it works well with that -- and I also sometimes use fruit concentrates, like the black cherry concentrate from Vitamin Shoppe. But mostly, I just drink the sparkling water. It's very refreshing.


    I'd describe it as the size of a kitchen fire extinguisher. It has some noticeable heft, but weighs less than my KitchenAid mixer. Probably 5-8 pounds.

    Mmmm...ginger syrup sounds great. Will have to make a batch.
  • Post #9 - December 11th, 2011, 4:22 pm
    Post #9 - December 11th, 2011, 4:22 pm Post #9 - December 11th, 2011, 4:22 pm
    We've had the small one for two years and couldn't live without it now.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #10 - December 11th, 2011, 6:24 pm
    Post #10 - December 11th, 2011, 6:24 pm Post #10 - December 11th, 2011, 6:24 pm
    We bought one this fall and absolutely love it. 1) no lugging cans or bottles of seltzer home; 2) nothing to recycle; 3) a lot less expensive than buying seltzer; 4) no worry about running out.

    We have not tried any of the SodaStream flavors, as we mostly drink straight seltzer, or spritz in lemon or add some juice. We did buy extra empty bottles, so that we can have cold water ready to be turned into seltzer at all times.

    We like the large CO2 canisters, since they need changing less often. We have a UPS Store near our house, and I love their simplicity; mailing packages could not be simpler (I buy things at the grocery on impulse for my son in college, nuts, dried fruit, chocolate -- I stop at the UPS store on my way home, and they provide a box and have my son's address in their computer -- if only everything in life were so simple -- but that is off topic...). So I anticipate mailing back canisters to exchange will be simpler than going to a store.
  • Post #11 - December 11th, 2011, 8:11 pm
    Post #11 - December 11th, 2011, 8:11 pm Post #11 - December 11th, 2011, 8:11 pm
    Do a search for Soda Stream rebate, they are offering $10 back as well. With the BedBath and Beyond 20% coupon this is a good deal.
    We LOVE our Soda Stream. Can't do without it. LOVE IT.
  • Post #12 - December 11th, 2011, 8:41 pm
    Post #12 - December 11th, 2011, 8:41 pm Post #12 - December 11th, 2011, 8:41 pm
    Another thing to sit on your counter, IMHO.
  • Post #13 - December 11th, 2011, 10:33 pm
    Post #13 - December 11th, 2011, 10:33 pm Post #13 - December 11th, 2011, 10:33 pm
    razbry wrote:Another thing to sit on your counter, IMHO.


    Yes -- but it takes up a lot less space than all the bottles and cans of water I used to buy, so I feel I'm still coming out ahead, in the "space race." ;-)
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #14 - December 11th, 2011, 11:26 pm
    Post #14 - December 11th, 2011, 11:26 pm Post #14 - December 11th, 2011, 11:26 pm
    When I was spending a lot of time in Nevada and Utah, I saw a similar device at the Nevada State Fair in Carson City. The major difference was that unlike the Soda Stream system, they offered the actual syrups (Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, etc.) Soda Stream does not offer cannisters in any of the displays that I have seen at this point.

    It seems to me that it would be less expensive to purchase a soda siphon to produce the seltzer and purchase the juice concentrates and syrups that you want to use.

    http://www.creamright.com/category/soda-siphons.html

    What makes me uncomfortable with the Soda Stream is that you have to buy the equipment, the syrup, the CO2 and everything else from Soda Stream.

    I would suggest that you read the reviews over on Amazon:

    http://www.amazon.com/review/R2LD10TAEE ... 10TAEEJ5O7


    I drink about a six-pack a month so for me, this product woudl not make sense.
  • Post #15 - December 12th, 2011, 2:43 am
    Post #15 - December 12th, 2011, 2:43 am Post #15 - December 12th, 2011, 2:43 am
    Cynthia wrote:Refills of the smaller canisters -- which can be exchanged at any BB&B -- are $14.95 -- less the 20% discount. For me, it sounds as though the smaller canister is the way to go, as I'm not sure I'd ever use it again if I had to mail in the empty canister.



    If SodaStream goes out of business, are there other canisters available which can be used ?

    Thanks!

    Ron
  • Post #16 - December 12th, 2011, 10:15 am
    Post #16 - December 12th, 2011, 10:15 am Post #16 - December 12th, 2011, 10:15 am
    I had a soda siphon about 30 years ago. I loved it. I wonder where it is now?
  • Post #17 - December 12th, 2011, 11:03 am
    Post #17 - December 12th, 2011, 11:03 am Post #17 - December 12th, 2011, 11:03 am
    Needless to say, folks have gotten tired of sodastream's monopoly. Do a google on "refill sodastream canisters"' and all sorts of good stuff comes up, including this:

    http://co2doctor.com/

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #18 - December 12th, 2011, 1:03 pm
    Post #18 - December 12th, 2011, 1:03 pm Post #18 - December 12th, 2011, 1:03 pm
    RonJS wrote:
    Cynthia wrote:Refills of the smaller canisters -- which can be exchanged at any BB&B -- are $14.95 -- less the 20% discount. For me, it sounds as though the smaller canister is the way to go, as I'm not sure I'd ever use it again if I had to mail in the empty canister.



    If SodaStream goes out of business, are there other canisters available which can be used ?

    Thanks!

    Ron


    Yes. I have a friend who is modifying his SodaStream so he can use much larger CO2 canisters. He said there are sites that offer kits for doing this -- so you have the convenience of the delivery device (because it's much less "invasive" than having a fountain dispense installed), but you can go for months without replacing the canister.

    That said, SodaStream is a hugely successful corporation selling this stuff all over the world, so I don't imagine it going away suddenly.

    However, even if it became impossible to use it at some indefinite point in the future, I'd still want to have it now.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #19 - December 12th, 2011, 1:25 pm
    Post #19 - December 12th, 2011, 1:25 pm Post #19 - December 12th, 2011, 1:25 pm
    I really want to thank everyone for their comments & constructive feedback.

    I just spoke to my brother, and it turns out he was also thinking about giving my sister-in-law a SodaStream for Christmas. So I will be giving her one of the units I purchased.

    Personally, I'm still on the fence about it. As a devoted water drinker, I don't need a machine to help me drink more water. I guess that's the great thing about Costco purchases. I'll probably keep it through the New Year to get a good feel for how much I'm likely to use it, and return it if it ends up collecting dust.
  • Post #20 - December 12th, 2011, 4:56 pm
    Post #20 - December 12th, 2011, 4:56 pm Post #20 - December 12th, 2011, 4:56 pm
    Cynthia wrote:
    RonJS wrote:
    Cynthia wrote:Refills of the smaller canisters -- which can be exchanged at any BB&B -- are $14.95 -- less the 20% discount. For me, it sounds as though the smaller canister is the way to go, as I'm not sure I'd ever use it again if I had to mail in the empty canister.


    You can generally get ahold of CO2 from various gas dealers around the city as you need CO2 for soda dispenser and medical applications. If you get one of them, remember that they need to be secured to a wall.
  • Post #21 - December 12th, 2011, 5:34 pm
    Post #21 - December 12th, 2011, 5:34 pm Post #21 - December 12th, 2011, 5:34 pm
    razbry wrote:Another thing to sit on your counter, IMHO.


    Do you have one?

    Does anyone know how it compares, in cost, to a soda siphon?

    I don't imagine I would use their syrups, but since I made Green Zebra's pink peppercorn & thyme soda and I can't stop canning things I can certainly see using my own syrups for sodas, when it wasn't used for fizzy water.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #22 - December 12th, 2011, 7:47 pm
    Post #22 - December 12th, 2011, 7:47 pm Post #22 - December 12th, 2011, 7:47 pm
    Cynthia wrote:For those who are concerned about such things, the sugar in SodaStream flavors is, in fact, sugar, and not high fructose corn sweetener, and the sweetener in the diet versions is Splenda, and not aspartame. Granted, you're better off without lots of sugar or Splenda, but if you want sweeteners, both of these are better options than what is most commonly found in commercial sodas.


    Note, though, that if you are splenda sensitive (as I am), ALL their flavors, diet and regular, with the exception of the "natural" line and the fruit essences, have splenda in them.

    I still love ours, don't get me wrong, but I find it very frustrating that when I DO want a soda, I have to keep the (must-be-refrigerated) natural syrups on hand. I use it plenty for just seltzer though.

    My husband, who the item was for, does not have the same problems with splenda that I do and partakes of their whole line.
  • Post #23 - December 12th, 2011, 11:13 pm
    Post #23 - December 12th, 2011, 11:13 pm Post #23 - December 12th, 2011, 11:13 pm
    jlawrence01 wrote:What makes me uncomfortable with the Soda Stream is that you have to buy the equipment, the syrup, the CO2 and everything else from Soda Stream.


    You have to buy "equipment" from someone if you intend to carbonate your own water, so that argument is silly. You certainly don't have to buy syrup from SodaStream. Coca Cola was offering smaller containers (smaller than 5 gallons) of their syrups for a while but they seem to have stopped selling them. Search Google and you'll find lots of options.
  • Post #24 - December 13th, 2011, 9:33 am
    Post #24 - December 13th, 2011, 9:33 am Post #24 - December 13th, 2011, 9:33 am
    jlawrence01 posted a site for the soda siphons. Looks like they run about $40.00 If you don't drink a lot of soda, and still want this option, this might be the way to go.
  • Post #25 - January 3rd, 2012, 11:54 pm
    Post #25 - January 3rd, 2012, 11:54 pm Post #25 - January 3rd, 2012, 11:54 pm
    I love my soda stream.
    I often mix the carbonated water with juice (half n half)
    or make my own syrups. I dont like the aftertaste in the soda stream offerings.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/06/dinin ... ecipe.html


    Doing the canisters by mail isnt hard. I just would place the order online, set my old one out in the lobby (condo building)
    and the delivery person of whatever company they use comes by, picks up my used one, leaves the new box. easier than driving to bbb.

    I have the smaller cannister but it seems to last a while.

    I just got the "homemade soda" book, and am itching to try some new recipes :)
  • Post #26 - January 4th, 2012, 7:52 am
    Post #26 - January 4th, 2012, 7:52 am Post #26 - January 4th, 2012, 7:52 am
    I tried some ginger ale at a friend's house. It seemed kind of flat to me. I prefer seltzer water mixed with my own flavors.
    i used to milk cows
  • Post #27 - January 4th, 2012, 10:51 am
    Post #27 - January 4th, 2012, 10:51 am Post #27 - January 4th, 2012, 10:51 am
    teatpuller wrote:I tried some ginger ale at a friend's house. It seemed kind of flat to me. I prefer seltzer water mixed with my own flavors.


    Not knowing more about your example, it's hardly an indictment of the SodaStream. The whole point is making what you want, which means you can adjust the fizziness or flavor. "Flat" speaks to carbonation and not flavor. There are ginger ale syrup recipes all over the Internet and they can bu used with any carbonated water, including the SodaStream. The advantage being that you can carbonate on-demand and make it more or less carbonated depending on personal preferences.
  • Post #28 - January 4th, 2012, 11:00 am
    Post #28 - January 4th, 2012, 11:00 am Post #28 - January 4th, 2012, 11:00 am
    Exactly right spiney. My wife and I differ appreciably on our favorite fizz levels: I chill that Britta water waaaay down and give it a max blast; TODG uses it warm, and doesn't even saturate the water.

    Different strokes, eh?! :)

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #29 - January 4th, 2012, 11:43 am
    Post #29 - January 4th, 2012, 11:43 am Post #29 - January 4th, 2012, 11:43 am
    He maxed out what the water would take. Yes the water was cold. Maybe his was broken.
    i used to milk cows
  • Post #30 - January 4th, 2012, 12:17 pm
    Post #30 - January 4th, 2012, 12:17 pm Post #30 - January 4th, 2012, 12:17 pm
    teatpuller wrote:He maxed out what the water would take. Yes the water was cold. Maybe his was broken.


    When I got a demo, the woman suggested carbonating it to full pressure, then releasing the pressure, then giving it a few more buzzes. Not sure if everyone else does that, but it seems to get very fizzy.

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