For a long time I’ve been contemplating getting a SodaStream or something like it for multiple reasons. There are the obvious ones, the fact that it’s more environmentally friendly than buying and discarding plastic bottles all the time and in the long run it’s loads cheaper than conventional soda. There are also the less obvious ones, like the ability to try very exotic soda flavors or even create your own. I recently purchased a SodaStream Jet because it was on sale and the time was right, so it’s time to take a look at all of its ins and outs and find out what it’s all about!
I really wasn’t kidding when I said that there were tons of exotic flavors. SodaStream produces more than 100 different flavors, which can all be seen in this pamphlet that came with the machine.
All of their flavors are sweetened with real cane sugar rather than with high fructose corn syrup, so they’re a bit healthier for you than normal soda would be and it’s really hard to beat the taste of real sugar. That is with the exception of a certain selection of flavors that are sweetened with stevia, which is a sweetener derived from the plant species, Stevia rebaudiana.
Using The SodaStream
It’s actually a really easy machine to use. You may need to watch a video online to understand exactly what you’re aiming for, but it’s deceptively simple. Basically, you fill the BPA-Free carbonating bottle with cold water and shoot carbon dioxide into the bottle until you get a “buzzing” sound three times. I say “buzzing” because it’s really more of a farting sound and it’s unmistakable once you know what to listen for.
One thing that surprised me, although I guess it shouldn’t have, is the fact that it doesn’t require any electricity at all. It’s a standalone machine that you can put anywhere in your house which is a huge plus in my opinion. Of course you want to keep it in or near the kitchen, but you aren’t tethered to the counter or any particular surface near an electrical outlet. All you need is a can of CO2 and a pocket full of dreams (or some flavor syrup).
SodaStream Costs And Such
The SodaStream Jet, the model that I purchased retails for $79 but you can buy it right now on Amazon for $69. It comes with the machine, a full can of CO2, and 6 sample flavor packs which will each flavor one liter of soda.
One bottle of SodaStream syrup, which will make 12 liters of soda, will normally run you around $8, but I purchased one recently for under $5. Additionally, the CO2 bottle, when purchased outright will cost you $30, however there are ways to get around that.
Firstly, you’re able to exchange the bottle at many of the fine retailers below (and others) for just the cost of the gas, meaning you save the cost of the empty bottle, which will be refilled and reused. The cost of 60L of gas will usually run you about $15, so about half the normal cost of the 60L bottle.
Additionally, according to Terrence Lui, a Google employee, you can save yourself even more dough by refilling the bottle yourself. Of course the nozzle on the end of the bottle is proprietary, but it is removable and if you buy dry ice from your local grocery store (frozen CO2) it will run you about $3 for the equivalent amount of CO2 and all you have to do is drop it into the bottle and let it melt (sublimate).
At the end of the day, if you pay full cost for everything, it has been calculated that you will pay $0.25 for each 12Oz of soda (1 can), or $0.25 for each 1L bottle of sparkling water. If you assume an average of $6 for a 12 pack of name brand soda ($0.50 per can) that will mean you will pay off your initial purchase (assuming you paid full price) after the equivalent of 240 cans. If you drink 6 cans per week, that’s 40 weeks or about 10 months. After that you’re just saving money and of course, saving the world.