Top positive review
299 of 312 people found this helpful
Works perfectly when used correctly
on May 21, 2013
I don't seldom write reviews, but since I nearly avoided this purchase because of the lackluster reviews for the Revolution, and because I had many of the problems other reviewers had on here, I feel compelled to share my experience.
I purchased my Revolution from W&S and have had it for about three days. Here are some points I would like to share:
(1) Build Quality - this unit is mostly plastic. At $200, there's no reason it shouldn't have all-metal housing and steel fittings. It isn't that complicated a machine, and I'm guessing their margins are very high at this price point. I've been waiting for the Breville version of the Sodastream to be relased, but my patience ran out, and I suspect it will probably cost something near $500. I don't know how long the plastic will hold out, but we are careful with the unit, and I wouldn't be surprised to see it last 5+ years with daily use.
(2) Carbonation - one simple rule: use tap water. Everyone has an opinion here, but I've burned through a cannister of testing and spoken with Sodastream directly, and I'm here to tell you that, in ideal settings, room-temperature water will carbonate indentically to chilled water. The reason why you should use room-temperature water is because the carbonation process reduces the temperature of the water near the tip to near-freezing. If the water is already chilled, the tip tends to freeze and restrict the release of CO2 into the water. The result is poorly-carbonated water. The reason why people are using chilled water is because they think it will carbonate water better. It does not. What chilled water does is *hold* carbonation better. To achieve optimal results, one needs to carbonate room temperature water and then refrigerate it. At the highest setting (level 4), the water is so carbonated it's hard to drink. With the glass tilted into my mouth, bubbles are popping in my nose with mini explosions continuing on into the back of my throat. That's how I like it, and it's more than store-bought sparkling water can deliver.
(3) Soda mix taste - I've only tried the cola so far, and I like it. It's not quite exactly Coke, but with the high carbonation and, if sufficiently chilled, it's nearly impossible to tell the difference. I'm going to order some of the essences as well as more of the naturally-sweetened cola.
(4) Value - Some folks have done a lot of calculations here, so I won't try to repeat their detailed process. My back-of-envelope calculations tell me that if savings are your top priority, you certainly should be looking at a lower-cost model, and preferably, a used unit in good working condition. At $200 plus mix costs plus carbonator costs plus expiring plastic bottle costs, this is more of a convenience to those of us who are tired of hauling, storing, and disposing large quantities of plastic bottles and aluminum cans. I suspect after two years of heavy use, I should break even, which is great, but my primary reason for purchasing this unit was to have sparkling water on-hand all the time and without the hassle.
(5) Access to Local Carbonator Exchanges - I didn't do this before making the purchase, but I got lucky. I would strongly advise you go to the Sodastream site and use their mapping tool to determine if there are stores local to you that have carbonator exchange programs.
For me personally, the carbonation issue was the biggest. The less-than-perfect carbonation followed by the observation that the tip was freezing had me putting the unit back in the box with one hand and calling the company with the other, and all because a number of people online have been erroneously stating that you should use chilled water with the machine. Hopefully this review will clear things up for some folks.