Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Soda Stream Review - Way Cool Christmas Gift! #sodastream

Soda Stream
Fountain Jet - $79.99

I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to review the Soda Stream.  See…  My family are sodaholics.  I’m not proud of it, but it’s a fact.  I know, I know.  Bad mom.  I shouldn’t let them drink soda for so many reasons, but I’d be lying if I said we didn’t.
Me, personally, I have to have my caffeine fix about hourly to subsist.  So, short of buying stock in the major soda manufacturers, I’m sure we fully contribute to their success.
Soda Stream is a home soda maker.  You use cold tap water, the carbonation canister in the Soda Stream, and any of the over 25 flavors to make your own liter of soda.  I didn’t believe it – how can this be?  However, when it arrived, I was amazed, and the kids loved it!
Soda Stream sent me their Fountain Jet ($79.99 retail), ten bottles of soda flavors, a selection of three MyWater flavor essence, and their starter kit that includes single serving flavors for us to test drive.  What a generous selection!

The first thing we did was get busy making Cola.  This was the key – if it was good, then we were hooked.  It was really good!  They sent us the “Naturals” variety made with cane sugar.  We all enjoyed it!

The Soda Stream bottle that comes with the machine is very durable; however, it is NOT machine washable. You can buy carbonating bottles that are. You can also buy bottles that are only half a liter for single servings.  We went out and got a two pack so that we'd have travel size for in the car!

Of course, you can make a liter of sparkling water and not add flavoring directly to it. By doing this, each person can add the flavoring of their choice. Pretty slick, huh?
To show how easy it is to use, Youngest allowed me to film him making his first liter of soda.  Attaching the soda bottle to the device is a bit of a challenge, but once you get used to it, it’s simple.

Of the flavors sent to us, the cola, root beer, and the fruit varieties were a hit.  I’m a diet fiend, and, I must say, the diet cola was not a favorite of mine.  It tastes a bit like store brand diet soda.  I can drink it, but not a favorite.  The diet fruit and tea flavors, however, are good.  What is impressive is that Soda Stream sodas are already lower in calorie than popular brands, so, if you're looking to save calories but prefer sugared sodas, this is the way to go!  You get lower calories, carbs, sugar, sodium and caffeine.

If you're looking for caffeine, Energy drinks are available with 80mg of caffeine.  I've never had an energy drink, but we made it and my oldest son says it tastes very similar to Red Bull.  I didn't like it, but he said it was great! 
As for the flavor essences, we’ll have to let you be the judge.  I like the idea of adding fruit flavor to sparkling water, but we are a sweet-toothed family so we don't like water additives without sweetener.

I would note that the “Naturals” are more expensive.  When I first received a combination of small and large bottles, I assumed it meant the large bottles made more, but that isn’t the case.  Large bottles are the Naturals – they cost $9.99  and make 25 servings or 6 liters.  The smaller bottles cost $4.99 and make 50 servings or 12 liters.  That means one small bottle costs half as much and makes twice as much.  I know some people really want the cane sugar instead, so I appreciate the choice.  However, I’m frugal, so I’m sticking with the smaller bottles.

That being said - in the long run, Soda Stream is cheaper than buying soda off the shelf.  This is especially true since soda prices went up.  Without a sale, 12-packs can be $4 - $5 or more!  Ridiculous!  $5 for 33 cans is a bargain in my book.  Of course, you have to consider the cost of the carbonation, but even with that - the sodas end up being about $0.25 per serving with no cans to mess with!

Another aspect of Soda Stream that I really appreciate is accessibility.  You can find Soda Stream and its supplies at common retailers like Target, Best Buy, Staples, etc.  Just click here to find out where you can find them in your area.  Accessibility is important for refilling your carbonation canister - they do it on exchange and it normally runs around $14.99.  Of course, as noted above, you get 60 liters or 30 two liters (for perspective) before having to do a refill.

I wish I would have gotten this sooner - this would be a great gift for my sister.  Now I have to wait for a birthday since I've already sent her my Christmas Gift (yay! Black Friday!).

If you like ordering online, Soda Stream does offer a buy 10 soda mixes get one free deal.  My favorite number is Free - but, you know that! 

*** I received a Soda Stream and soda mixes free from Soda Stream #sodastream in exchange for my honest review. 

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