Saturday, August 20, 2011

Soda Stream

A few weeks ago, I received a Soda Stream soda maker to review. At first I was skeptical because I've seen stuff like this before and never believed the soda could taste like the real thing. But I brought it home and gave it a whirl and... it tastes just like real soda! It's also kind of addicting.

Here's how it works without getting too technical:
1. You carbonate the water in the special liter bottle using the carbonator.
2. You pour flavoring into the carbonated water. There are TONS of soda flavors - lemon-lime, cola, root beer, cranberry-raspberry.
3. Give the bottle a shake.
4. Drink up!

It's super easy to use and best of all, none of the flavors are made with high-fructose corn syrup AND none of the diet flavors are made with that nasty (and migraine triggering) chemical aspartame. Yay! I can drink diet soda again! Right now I'm enjoying diet cranberry-raspberry soda. Yum!

You can buy Soda Stream machines and soda mixes at the Soda Stream website or Bed, Bath & Beyond (among several other stores). They are a bit pricey. On the Soda Stream website the Genesis machine, which is what I got, starts at $99.95 for just the machine, the 1-liter carbonating bottle and the carbonator. Bottles of the soda mix make up to 12 liters of soda (or the equivalent of 33 cans) and run anywhere from $4.99 to $9.99. You can also buy more carbonating bottles if you want to have different flavors handy. A twin-pack of carbonating bottles costs $19.99 at the Soda Stream website. (You can probably get most of this stuff on sale at Bed, Bath & Beyond or Kohl's, which also sells the soda mix. And we all know that everyday is sale day at Kohl's.)

But the cost is worth it and you'll actually save money in the long-run. You do have to replace the carbonator after making about 60 liters. Most Bed, Bath & Beyond stores let you bring in your old carbonation unit and exchange it (for a fee - it appeared to be $14.99 at a BB&B in NY) for a new one. Or you can do the buying and exchanging at the Soda Stream website, which has different exchange/reorder options and costs a bit more than at BB&B. To exchange a carbonator and get a spare one, it's $44.99 on the Soda Stream website. (None of the Kohl's near me do the exchanges.)

This is definitely something I probably wouldn't have picked up on my own (so thanks to the PR folks for getting a hold of me) because it is rather expensive to start out. But maybe you could ask for it for a Christmas gift or a birthday gift or a wedding gift (or you could gift it to someone for one of those occasions). It's a lot of fun, it's easy to do, and there are a range of delicious soda flavors to choose from. Like I said, I'm kind of addicted to it.

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