SodaStream Jet Stream: DIY Seltzer and Soda

06/06/2009 at 10:00 AM ET

I have a weakness. Soda. Seltzer. Bubbled beverages that can’t be gotten from a tap, and therefore have to be purchased. So, I am guilty of indulging in plastic bottles that a) cost money, and b) though they can be recycled, it would be better if I didn’t have them at all, and c) the schlepping is a drawback in and of itself — the sheer annoyance of knowing that it’s on my list that week and I’m going to have to lug it all home.

All three weigh on my mind when I am purchasing bottled beverages, especially when my alter ego just snidely reminds me that there is an alternative that, though it doesn’t have bubbles or taste, comes right from the tap and avoids all of these pitfalls.

Enter SodaStream ($90+) — a sleek and powerful counter top device that carbonates chilled tap water into seltzer right in my kitchen, and also provides me with a variety — over 60 choices — of flavors to add, recreating almost all soda varieties available in any supermarket — caloric, diet, and flavor essence.

Pros: So easy to use. My two kids were running around my house having a crazy morning, and I still managed to get it out of it’s box, setup, and working in under 15 minutes. Cheaper. Better for the environment. (Better for my back too!)

The seltzer is good on its own. The directions include suggestions for “average” carbonation or “extra fizzy” and I imagine over time, I will try out and perfect the right amount of bubbles for me.

The flavor essences (no sugar or artificial sweetener) were good. Provided just a hint of smell/flavor, and very comparable to the supermarket varieties of similar product.

I feel thrilled that I won’t be buying and subsequently recycling hundreds of plastic bottles, cutting down the carbon footprint of my drinking habits. The carbonator itself is even recyclable, and simply gets refilled when yours is empty. Each flavor bottle contains enough syrup to make 12 liters, and costs just $ .57/liter.

Additionally, the company recently came out with their own version of the energy drink, which I haven’t tried but thought I would mention due to their increasing popularity (and expense, usually more than $2/bottle in stores!)

Cons: So far, I don’t like the Diet Cola flavor. It might take getting used to (it uses Splenda) or I might just never like it, but for me right now, it isn’t a diet soda replacement.

However, the other flavors haven’t disappointed, and I find myself enjoying the seltzer with just flavor essence much more than I thought I would, cutting down on the need for soda at all!

The machines themselves come in various models (they start from $90 and go up from there depending on number of accessories) to satisfy a range of consumer preferences.

— Lisa

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Showing 9 comments

candykane on

I finally got mine and I love it so do my kids. The only thing I don’t like is that it is hard to screw in the bottle

paula on

We’ve had it for over a month now….absolutely love it!

Es on

We’ve had one of these for a couple of years now, and love it. We just use a squirt of lemon or lime juice for flavor. We’ve reduced our recycling volume by a lot, and the canisters last a long time. It’s a little more involved to order replacement canisters, but its no more of a hassle than lugging cans from the grocery store. I think the overall costs work out to be much less, even though we drink more seltzer now than when we had to buy it.

steph on

We’ve had it for over a year and love love love it!

Molly on

We’ve had ours for almost two years now and we love it. We drink it plain or mix it with fruit juice to make juice spritzers. The only thing you might want to let your readers know is that even the “regular” soda flavors contain Splenda. My sister gets headaches and hives from artificial sweeteners and had a particularly bad spell after trying the cola flavoring.

Mrs. R. on

My parents and brother & wife have them, and they LOVE them! We’re going to get one for my in-laws for xmas this year. (we have a kegerator so my husband just fills a keg with water and pumps CO2 into it for me when we’re out of beer for the taps).

Mel on

We’ve had ours for almost 2 months and I’ve come to like the Diet Cola. It took some time to get used to. We have tried alot of flavors and like them all.

Melissa on

I just purchased this at a store that was closing, and I only spent $15, and I also purchased several of the carbon bottles for $4 each. I am totally in love with the soda stream! It is so easy and I am longer spending money on buying selzter water everyday, plus the reusable bottles are cute!

Summer on

I just wanted to add my two cents…we bought this about a year ago after seeing it at the California State Fair and we absolutley love it. Not only has it cut down our recycling, but it’s so much healthier than the name-brand sodas we were drinking (no nutrasweet, no HFCS, less calories). It also saves us gas and time (we used to run out to get a big gulp quite a bit!).

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