SodaStream Jet Stream: DIY Seltzer and Soda
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.