One of my many fans (3-4 out there) requested information about a product I own called a SodaStream soda maker. For those of you that do not know what this is, or why you would want one let me tell you.
Maybe a year and a half ago I started to drink soda water with a lime. I would get it whenever I would go to a bar and then started to crave it at home. My options for that were to buy 1 or 2 liter bottles at the local grocery store. If I needed it in a bind I would get a liter at the 7-11 for about $1.79! This started to get expensive so I researched what my options were to make my own seltzer water online. It seemed like there were really only 4 options:
- Get an old fashioned Soda Siphon – You know like the 3 Stooges would use to spray each other in the face. While these are stylish they are not all that practical. First off they contain a few parts which need to be cleaned out, and second they need disposable CO2 cartridges like you would need in a paintball gun or mini bike inflator. You can get a Soda Siphon for about $40 online, and the Co2 cartridges run about 50 cents each in bulk. Each liter requires one cartridge, so about 50 cents per liter. I liked this option but did not like all the waste it would generate.
- Build my own carbonation system using a bulk CO2 tank. This is the cheapest solution in the long run, but it requires a bunch of extra equipment and is a but bulky and industrial. You need a larger CO2 tank, that you can get a beer brewing store. You also need regulators, some hose, and you need to hack some soda bottles. The initial cost for this is probably around $150-200, but you can do it with a 5-50lb co2 tank which means YEARS of bubble water, for pennies per liter. I am not an expert at this, but here are some nice tutorials (found here). In the end it seemed like a lot of work and equipment for my already cramped house.
- Get a commercial soda system. This is what they would use at a restaurant or bar. This would probably be the coolest system, but also the most labor intensive and expensive. It could easily run into the thousands of dollars, and take some serious hacking of my kitchen to get it installed. The plus side I would have a bad ass soda gun and an unlimited supply of bubble water. It would also require all the equipment in the homebuilt method, plus a compressor, and more. So I did the following:
- Get a SodaStream Soda Maker. The units range from non offensive to pretty cool looking. The starting price is about $100 and should have enough CO2 to carbonate around 100 liters of water. So it is about $1 a liter to start, but when you get refills it is about 25 cents per liter. To me this seemed like a great compromise; little to no waste, a decent price, and no crazy equipment. Here is my review.
I love my SodaStream, there I said it. This is a product that works like it is supposed to. It is a relatively simple product, with a really specific purpose, but it does a great job. The first unit I ordered was the “Fountain Jet Soda Value Kit”. I would not recommend getting this kit if you only want to make seltzer / soda water at home. It comes with a bunch of things that you do not need. Anyhow this kit cost me I think $130. It now is at $149, but there are coupons available.
It took maybe a week for the kit to arrive and here are my unboxing photos:
You can see that it came with 2 gas tanks, the soda maker and a bunch of soda mixes. Now when I mentioned I would not recommend the “Soda Value Kit” it is based on all those soda mixes. I am not really a fan of them. I like just plain old soda water myself, so if you are drinking just soda water, get yourself one of the Seltzer kits instead of the soda kit.
Now you might be wondering how the SodaStream actually works. It is pretty easy, and there are not really any moving parts. You have one large tank of CO2, a sturdy plastic bottle, and a button to dispense the gas into the bottle and a little tube that goes into the water in the bottle.
You pretty much fill the bottles with water, refrigerate them, then take the cap off, put it on the machine, and hit the button. Here is a video I made myself, filming it with one hand while making soda with the other. It is really that simple!
Like I said, I love having a Soda Stream at home, and have given them as gifts.To date I have actually purchased 3 Soda Steam machines. I have given one to my sister as a gift, my old one to my girlfriend for her office, and a beautiful orange one for myself.
I think I have now ordered 10 tanks of gas which last me about a month each, less in the summer since I drink more than one liter of soda water a day. My next project will be testing various ways of refilling the tanks myself to further reduce the costs. It will be interesting, and costly, but it should pay for itself in the long run, as well as lower the cost of making soda water to all the people I know who have gotten themselves a SodaStream.
Now that you see how it works, and why you should get one, all you need to do is order one. You can get a SodaStream directly from SodaStreamUSA.com, but be sure to try out a few of these coupon codes if you are planning to buy a machine or gas:
SodaStreamUsa.com Coupon Codes:
BESTFRIENDS – This will Save you $10 Off a new machine
SAVEBIG – This will save you 10%
MAKESODA – This will save you $10 on a new machine
FREEMIX – This will allow you to get a free soda mix, you should be able to stack this with another coupon code, just enter this one in first and make sure you have a soda mix in your cart
Code MIKE or PATRICIA – should give you free shipping.
Do you own a SodaStream? What do you think of it?