We Tried It: SodaStream

We Tried It: SodaStream

Wouldn't it be nice to never have to buy soda cans again? Thanks to SodaStream, you don’t have to. SodaStream can turn tap water into sparkling water, or any of your favorite soft drinks, in less than 30 seconds.

But does it “taste just like Coke”?

To most testers, the Cola tasted "just like Coke," but one test subject noted, “a die-hard Coca-Cola fan would taste the difference.” The lemon-lime tasted so similar to Sprite that another test subject said, “I probably wouldn't be able to tell that this wasn't Sprite if I didn't know." In addition to brewing flavors similar to most name-brand sodas, SodaStream offers a variety of mixes to suit any preference.

Is it easy to use?

SodaStream is very user-friendly. You fill the bottle with water, press the fizz button, add your favorite flavor and voila! Your soda is served. We tried the Fizz model ($149.95), which includes a chip that displays the level of carbonation in each drink you make. It also monitors the amount of CO2 left in your carbonator so you know when you're due for a refill. Not every model includes this feature, so for some, finding the right level of fizz could be a challenge.

Despite this, an advantage to the SodaStream is that you can make your soda as bubbly (or not bubbly) as you'd like.

Is it worth the cost?

The price of the SodaStream is more complex than the commercials make it out to be. On top of purchasing the soda maker itself (which ranges anywhere from $79.95 for a basic model to over $200), you must continually purchase carbonators. The carbonators are essential to the function of the SodaStream, as they are the source of the CO2.

Each purchase of a soda machine includes a carbonator, but after using it, you’ll need to exchange your old (recyclable) bottle and purchase a new one. If you exchange your carbonator for a new one at a local retailer, it costs about $15 (each carbonator yields roughly 60 liters of soda water).

Factor that, along with the price of your soda flavors, which vary from about $2 to $12, to decide if this machine is worth your investment.

Does it make life more convenient?

It's a matter of personal taste. After trying the cola flavor, one tester said, “It tastes exactly like normal Coke, but why would I want a two-foot machine on my counter that makes me make my own soda? I’ll buy the can for a dollar.” Another said, "I would love to have one of these around to make the sparkling water alone."

The SodaStream definitely offers a unique way to customize your soda, and after trying it, we can confidently say it works. Whether it's worth the investment is up to you.

Have you tried a SodaStream? Tell us what you think!