Anyone using SodaStream?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by CRyan, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

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    Pretty cool product. For those that don't know, its basically a small kitchen appliance that makes carbonated bevarages on demand. Cheaper than buying coke (or whatever) on sale at the store and much easier (imo).
    I got the thing because I can be a gadget freak (fits this hobby), but have used it for almost a year now because its so much easier than going to the store to buy coke. I haven't bought a can or bottle for the past year. I am more of a diet drinker and their diet cola is so much better than diet coke or pepsi. But their diet mt dew isn't so great and that was always my favorite.
    So anyone using it? Any recomendations on syrups?
    BTW, one of the unforseen positives of this thing is making tonic water. Most of liqour I consume is with Tonic and I always have to go to the store to get more becuase Tonic water does not last more than a day or two once you open it. This thing lets me make it on demand.
     
  2. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    How long does it take to make a beverage? How does it work out, cost-wise? Got a link for their home page?
     
  3. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Thanks for the thread. I heard an ad for this on the radio one night and have been meaning to investigate it. We drink LOTS of Diet Soda at my house and I have always toyed with the idea of getting some kind of home soda factory.

    Glad to hear you like their diet cola product.



    http://www.sodastreamusa.com/
     
  4. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

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    You fill a cap with syrup, screw in a water bottle to the system, push a button 12 times, unscrew the bottle and pour in the syrup. It takes about 45 seconds and that includes getting the syrup out. I can be half asleep, realize I don't have any available and not get irritated that I have to make it.
    MSRP:
    Co2 - $15 for 60 liters of soda
    Syrup - $4.99 for 12 liters of soda
    = $39.95 for 60 liters of drinkable soda, $0.24 for a 12oz can, $1.33 for a 2L bottle.
    Real World: (coupons and sales always)
    Co2 - $12
    Syrup - $3.99
    = $31.95 for 60 liters of drinkable soda, $0.19 for a 12oz can, $1.07 for a 2L bottle.
    The main thing I would suggest is to get the system on sale - It is not worth $99. We are coming up on the time to get a deal on one. And make sure you have a place local (like bedbathbeyond) to get the Co2.
    http://www.sodastream.com/
     
  5. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Sounds simple enough. You fill the bottle with cold tap water?

    Why push the button 12 times? Manually pumping the CO2 into the water?

    I'm surprised--based on your math--that the savings aren't better.

    I can usually buy a 12-pack of Diet Pepsi for $3 (sometimes cheaper) so that I'm paying about 25 cents per can. I figured it would work out to a much greater savings over the long haul...considering the rather expensive up front costs.
     
  6. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    And then, when you make some, you store whatever you don't drink in the bottle in which you made it and stick it in the fridge? Are they 2 Liter bottles?

    We already own a Waring Pro "professional ice crusher" Very cool. It just takes standard ice cubes and turns them into crushed ice. We got it on a great clearance deal from a local store.
     
  7. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

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    Yes, it is manual. The savings comes when you factor in that you have to buy 12 packs at full price on occasion which for me is $4.99. I went through all of that when deciding to buy. I think I figured in buying at full price 1 in 5 twelve packs.
    But in reality, I use it now because of convenience and the cost is the bonus. I don't have to worry about going to the store for soda but once every three months depending on usage.
    And if you are into it, the waste aspect is nice - You keep using the same bottles instead of going through all of those aluminum cans.
    Oh and yes, you keep bottles of water in the fridge ready when you need them. So its a matter of rinsing one out after using it, filling it up with water and putting it back in the fridge.
     
  8. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

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    They are one liter bottles which is nice because I use them before going flat. And yea, just keep them in the fridge. I like the idea of the ice crusher. I swear I want a nugget ice machine in my next house.
     
  9. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    One liter bottles sounds a lot more convenient that two liter bottles--for both fridge space' sake and based on amount of use.

    And, that's a good reminder about eliminating the need to go to the bottle/can return at the grocery store so often because of a system like this.

    Hmmmmm.
     
  10. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    After quitting soda for years, I recently bought one of these. It's great. I use filtered water. I always have one cold uncarbonated bottle in the fridge ready to go. The seltzer is great (no salt, filtered water, you know where it comes from) and cheap, and the soda is much healthier (no corn syrup, a fraction of the salt, no aspertame or sacchrine in the diet flavors; only spenda). My favorite regular flavors so far are the Diet Grapefruit, Root Beer, Cream Soda and Lemon Lime. But especially good are the Sparkling Naturals. They are made with all natural ingredients and pure cane sugar. They are a little more expensive, but the Root Beer, Apple Mango and Black Currant Pear are outstanding.
    The main reason I got it was after giving up soda, I got kind of sick of water. I wanted a healthy alternative that I can control the sweeteners and ingredients, The Sodastream syrups are good, but I'm also trying some of the online recipes. I made Ginger Ale syrup from scratch, and it was outstanding. Even adding fruit juice, like filtered berry concentrate, is really good and good for you.
    By the way, make sure you have a store near you that carries the CO2 tanks and has an exchange program. Otherwise, you will pay full price for the tank or have to mail order. I use my local Bed Bath & Beyond. The Sodastream site has a list of others.
     
  11. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

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    I haven't taken the time to make my own syrup yet - Mostly because the recipes generally have sugar. But I keep meaning to do it. Have any links for sugar-free recipes?
    And everyone I know who has tried this thing has loved it. I think the main hurdle for people is they believe it will be time consuming when in reality it's quite a bit easier than shopping for it. I am actually worried that Bed Bath & Beyond will stop carrying it. Will certainly be less practical if there is no place local to switch the little tanks.
    The ONLY dissapointment with it so far has been one of the flavors. Their Diet Mountain Dew variation sucks and that was my primary soda before getting it. The colas are so good that I don't miss it much now but I do wish that flavor was better.
     
  12. Hugh Jackes

    Hugh Jackes Supporting Actor

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    I drink a ton of unsweetened iced tea. Has anyone carbonated that? Any comments on its taste?
     
  13. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

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    Taste is certainly subjective. I know someone who uses this to carbonate their own mineral water. I personally find it disgusting, but thats all he drinks. That said, I tried carbonating tea and quickly poured it down the sink.
    I completely forgot about an incident I had with the SodaStream a few months ago. It is very important of course that you first carbonate the cold water and then pour in the syrup. I simply was not thinking or paying attention and did it in the reverse. I have a 21' ceiling directly over where I have the sodastream and when I unscrewed the bottle, soda hit that ceiling. HORRIBLE! Took an extension ladder and an hour to clean up the mess.
     
  14. Hugh Jackes

    Hugh Jackes Supporting Actor

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    Good safety tip, thanks.
    And thanks for the opinion about the tea.
     
  15. Nathan_F

    Nathan_F Second Unit

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    I bought one of these for the family for Christmas. My boys are fascinated with it so far and have enjoyed some of the sample flavors.
    One of the tips I have figured out is that I bought my own dishwasher-safe 1L bottles since the official ones cost $10 each. I keep cold water in the fridge in these bottles, then transfer to the SodaStream bottle for carbonating. Pour the carbonated water back into my own bottles and then flavor. Essentially only using the official bottle for filtered water, not soda. Should help it last as well I hope.
    Has anyone tried the Dr Pepper or Mt Dew knockoffs from SodaStream? I liked the regular cola, but my wife thought it was too much like Pepsi and not enough like Coke. I felt it had more flavor than either. My boys liked the rootbeer, which I found to anise-y. I'd like to try a homemade recipe for that or others. I would be interested in any recipes people have used.
    I also found this site, which seems potentially promising: http://www.prairiemoon.biz/fulflavlissa.html
    Any other tips or recipes out there?
     
  16. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Finally.
    My son just gave a SodaStream machine to my wife and I for a combined birthday/anniversary gift (all three holidays are within days for the two of us). He also gave us a couple extra of the one liter bottles and three bottles of syrup (diet cola, diet "Doctor Pete", and cola free).
    We just broke it in and tried out the Diet Cola syrup (our drink of choice is usually Diet Pepsi (or Diet Coke).
    The ease of operation is a big plus. A lot easier than I thought it was going to be.
    We are still drinking our first glasses of the diet cola and going back and forth on the taste. For one thing, it's a lot better than I thought it was going to be. Better than an off-brand diet cola, for example. My son says he has done a fair amount of research and says it is somehow possible to get real Diet Coke syrup somehow through Sam's Club, I guess. May have to investigate that (although we are not current Sam's Club members).
    For you folks who have had the machines awhile: have you done any tweaking of the amounts or tried out any of the different home recipes?
    Here's our little "Soda Station" in the kitchen next to the fridge with the Soda Stream and that Ice Crusher I mentioned earlier in the thread:
    [​IMG]
     
  17. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    I've been using mine for about a year now. I generally by the "Coke Zero" syrup and the fruit flavor add-ins for water... makes it Perrier like. I hate straight water, so having sparkling water is at hand is a great way to get my water intake. I buy through Bed bath and beyond, unless I want a syrup flavor they don't carry in-store, because just about everyone has the same prices, and the extra 20% off is always nice. I bought two cylinders initially, and hit up BB&B for a refill cylinder when one is empty. They are $12 after the coupon. I did the math at one point, and the system paid for itself after a 2 or 3 of the 60L CO2 cylinders. I have 4 of the 1-L bottles, and I try to always keep 2 uncarbonated bottles chilled at all times, 1 for soda, 1 for sparkling water. In addition to the cost savings over store-bought soda (or even seltzer), it's also resource-saving, as even if you are a recycler, you aren't going through aluminum cans and plastic bottles on a daily basis.
     
  18. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

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    I am still using mine and have had no thoughts of going back to buying premade soda. It is just too easy and I keep getting deals on the syrups so it is cheap. I have not done any experimenting except to try less and more syrup - their recomendations have always turned out to be the best in my experience. I can share one bad experience though - my wife likes the energy drinks and they do not play nice with the other flavors. They really do taint the bottle for quite some time. If you make the mistake of using the bottle for cola next, that taste will not leave your mouth for quite some time.
     
  19. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I just wanted to update this thread with a mini-review.

    One of my new favorite drinks recently has been Diet Snapple's Half & Half (Iced Tea/Lemonade). Well it was recently brought to my attention that Soda Stream has a Country Time Lemonade/Iced Tea Mix. I tried it out and it is fabulous. I do NOT carbonate the bottle of water ahead of time and just mix the syrup with my Brita-filtered water. It is SO GOOD. Completely comparable to the "original" Diet Snapple product to which I had become so attached.

    I have been a heavy Diet Pepsi drinker for years. Part of this switch to Diet Snapple has been to decrease carbonation in the evenings and also the result of a lengthy, very recent hospital stay (the sodas--outside of diet ginger ale--just weren't tasting "right" to me).

    EDIT: My wife is still a big fan of the Cola Free drink. And I WAS a big fan of the Diet Dr. Pete (but I haven't got back to it since being discharged from the hospital).
     
  20. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    I usually use those water "enhancers" with my Fizzini. Haven't tried any actual SodaStream syrups yet. The Fizzini refill CO2 cartridges are pricey, though. $15 for a pack of 10. I need to find out whether it's compatible with generic seltzer charger cartridges.
     

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