I must apologize to my readers for failing to write about the SodaStream several months ago when I first purchased it, but I have been so busy drinking soda that I have neglected to do so.
It’s a soda maker, plain and simple. If you’re just looking for carbonated water, it can do that. If you want delicious flavored sodas you can do that too. There are sugar-free, diet syrups that are pretty tasty (Diet Cranberry is awesome and I also like the Diet Root Beer), but there are also regular syrups that are sugary. We don’t buy those generally, but I’ve tried them and they are good.
The starter kit comes with a 6-flavor sampler pack and everything you need to get started. Retailers like Staples and Target and some grocery stores have the syrups.
The negatives: some parts are expensive to replace. The CO2 tank needs to be replaced every several months: you give them your old one and $15 (at any SodaStream retailer) and they’ll give you a new one. Also, if you want additional bottles to store your soda in, those are $15-20. So we don’t bother with those simply because we can kill the 1-liter in an hour and then go make something else.
Overall, the jury is out as to whether this is a cost saver. We probably spend more on this than we did on sodas before simply because we drink more now .But it certainly beats having to carry them home, and it’s nice to have the flexibility to make whatever you want whenever you want it.
The newer models have some cool features like a counter that tells you how many CO2 pumps you’ve used and when your tank is nearing replacement time. This is also useful so you don’t get caught off guard with a dying tank, but it’s also not hard to tell when it’s running low because you’ll notice less carbonation.
Overall it’s a great buy at this price – lowest I’ve ever seen it anywhere – but also a great buy if you go for one of the newer models instead.