Customer Review

5,351 of 5,570 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why You Should and Should Not Buy This Product, November 16, 2011
This review is from: Sodastream Fountain Jet Soda Maker Starter Kit (Kitchen)
So obviously you're reading this hoping to understand why you should buy this product and why you shouldn't. And you've read a bunch of reviews and there doesn't seem to be a middle ground. Seem's either people hate it and tell you to beware, or love it and highly recommend it.... so you're confused....correct?

Well, read this review from someone who understand technological things and simply isn't some person looking to get soda for 10 cents per liter bottle. If this is what you're looking for, it isn't going to happen. At least not unless you own a carbon dioxide supply company.

So why should you buy this?

1. First off, it does work as advertised. Once you connect the CO2 cartridge, there's not much more to set up, other than put some water (preferably spring or filtered COLD water) in the liter bottles (or 14 oz bottles sold separately), inject the "proper" amount of carbonation into the bottle and then add whatever amount of flavoring you wish. I say "proper" amount of carbonation because the soda maker (at least the ones bought recently - I have the "Dynamo" model and this review was written in Nov 2011) will add carbonation to the point where the pressure will force the unit to make a sort of "buzzing" sound which indicates that the maximum carbonation has been added into the water, and the excess is being forced out to create that "buzzing" sound.

2. The ability to add carbonation up to the point where the SodaStream "buzzes" or "burps" brings up another plus. You can add less carbonation than the SodaStream maxes out at, in which case you won't hear the warning sound. But when you do this, you create carbonated drinks which have varying amounts of carbonation in them. If you desire less, you can make carbonated drinks with less.

3. Flavors. A third plus. Yes, some people don't like the flavors that SodaStream provides. But these are the same people SodaStream were probably never going to satisfy anyway. SodaStream provide a bunch of flavors....cola's (diet/reg), Dr. Pepper-like flavors (diet/reg), Sprite and Sierra Mist-like flavors (diet/reg), Orange, Energy, Grapefruit, lightly flavored unsweetened "MyWater" flavors, etc., etc. The point is, as a 3rd plus, you can use their flavors or you can experiment and try anything you like that will flavor your soda. I use Mio water flavorings which provide excellent, low calorie alternatives. If you don't like their flavors, then don't complain and knock the technology. Be creative and leverage what the SodaStream gives you....which is convenience and flexibility/options.

4. Green. A fourth plus is that you refill plastic bottles espcially designed for use with SodaStream soda makers. Because of this, you don't buy cans or 2 liter bottles from the store, in some states paying a redemption free for the right to lug this stuff home, then drinking your soda and then accumulating all these cans and bottles to take back to a redemption center, or worse, throwing them away and filling a ton of landfills.

5. Health. A fifth plus...or at least it can be. People really shouldn't drink too much soda. At least soda with sugar in it. It leads to obesity, diabetes, etc. Yes... you can flavor water with stuff like Mio or add some juice from an orange or lemon. But not only does it not taste as good as a soda, you just know that flat water based drinks are missing something. And what's missing is that carbonation and the SodaStream will add that for you, and allow low calorie flavored drinks to taste better and be better for you!

6. Space. A sixth plus is space. That's obvious. You don't have all the bottles and cans sitting around, and the SodaStream unit only takes up a small amount of counter space.

7. Convenience. Yes you do save time and hastle from going to go to the store to lugging around bottles and cans of soda, this one is sort of a wash. See the reasons why you don't buy the SodaStream. But at the same time, those who claim that it's hard to find replacement CO2 cartridges, don't get out of the house much. In California at least, you can get replacements at any Staples, Macy's, Bed Bath and Beyond, Sears, Costco, and Target (to name a few). What may be issue is returning the unused cartridges, since not all stores that carry the cartridges, support sales and exchanges of the old cartridge. But what i do is simply collect the unused ones, and then periodically go to a store that does accept them.

So now lets address why you shouldn't buy the SodaStream. Or better yet, lets address why you don't buy the SodaStream.

1. To save money. While i know you will save money per liter, my feeling is that if that's the primary reason you're looking to buy the SodaStream, i don't recommend it. It's not signifant enough in my humble opinion, to warrant spending around $100 to $130 for a SodaStream unit, another $30 (minimum, less tax and shipping if you purchase the cartridges online).

2. Convenience. Despite the convenience "pluses" i mentioned earlier, as i stated, this is sort of a wash because you still have to go and return cartridges, and purchase syrup/flavoring, albeit less frequently than buying soda depending on how much you used to buying at one time.

Hope this information helps. One last note. In California where we have to pay a 5 cent redemption fee per can, this tilts the money saving and convenience to the "plus" side. A 24 pack adds another $1.20 at the cash register, and then you have to store the sticky cans and bottles until you can accumulate enough to make it worthwhile, to drive to the local redemtion center to get your cash back. That's incentive enough alone to purchase a SodaStream!!!
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Comments

Tracked by 24 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 237 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 5, 2012 5:43:33 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Jun 1, 2014 11:49:34 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2012 8:57:55 AM PST
doogie_esq says:
Nice try homeschool.... Just because someone has better things to do than sit around posting hundreds of comments in Amazon, and has only one post, doesn't mean it's from the manufacturer. If you don't buy the soda stream, I could care less. But if you want a good comprehensive and independent review from someone objective with a bit more tech savvy than the average reviewer, than read the review and decide for yourself. I enjoy my soda stream and just wanted to help sway others who may be teetering. If anyone has questions about my experience with the unit, feel free to ping me....

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 25, 2012 6:25:21 PM PST
A. Lawler says:
Wow, conspiracy theory much homeschool? If this was a spam review, why would they say that it doesn't really save you money and isn't more convenient, going against major claims by the company? I thought this review was very honest and informative. I've been buying stuff from Amazon for 7 years and rarely have time or motivation to write reviews. Automatically assuming that all 5 star reviews written by someone with only 1 review has to be from that company is straight up paranoia.
Anyway, I wanted to post how to make your own soda flavor syrups here because I thought this was the best review for this product and that doogie_esq might be interested. I don't like the flavors that come with the SodaStream, but I've now weaned myself off of the really sugary syrupy sodas, so I make my own! It's really easy, you can make your own infused simple syrup by boiling a cup or less of cane sugar or honey with a cup of water and whatever you want to infuse the flavor with (usually fruits or herbs). You can store a big bottle of the syrup in the fridge to make up to ten liters per batch, depending on how sweet you want it (I've been using 2 tablespoons per liter for ginger). There are a lot of recipes on line, of which I can't post a link to due to Amazon restrictions, but search for "infused simple syrup". My current favorites are peeled ginger and rhubarb, but there's a lot more that I need to try. I also mix glasses of half fruit juice and half carbonated water. I used to buy tons of soda water to do this with, but now I can just make it at home, which makes our recycling bin overflow much less.

Posted on Mar 5, 2012 3:56:34 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jun 16, 2012 11:12:47 AM PDT
Steve says:
This is the best review on this product to date. This review tilted me to buy because it tells it straight. Now that I have had this product for over a month now, I can say this review is accurate. There is enough, yet not too much info here for most anybody to figure out if this product is for them or not. In my case, a family of 4 in a burb of Chicago, it works for me. We were getting 12 packs of 12oz cans for couple of reasons. Not to worry about "flat" soda. We can get 1 and 2 liter bottles cheap but once opened they go flat fast no matter how tight you put the cap back on. None of us drink a liter or two at a time. So the cheap liter bottles are not cheap anymore because once flat, nobody will drink it. On the green side, we give the cans to the "metal guys". Sure to be recycled and gives them some pocket change. We no longer have to lug cases up 2 flights of stairs and don't pour flat soda down the sink. Everyone in the family can make their favorite whenever, however they want. Now for the down side. Three out of four of us like our stuff with max fizz so we only get about 46L out of a 60L carbonator. I can get major brand 12oz cans on sale with purchase of 5 12packs or more @ $.25 a can. Using sodastream with max fizz and a $5 12L flavor mix will be about $.32 per 12 oz. With average fizz, $.25 per 12oz. The carbonator carts are like gas grill propane tanks. If you want to make sure you never run out of gas, you will need to buy a "spare" @ $30. After that you just pay for the gas @ $15. So after buying a spare cart, and some bottles (strongly recommend 1/2 liter vs. 1 liter), some flavors, maybe tax and/or shipping, real start up cost is still under $200. I have a store 1 mile from me that carries exchanges @ a flat $15 plus flavors from sodastream and other companies so the convenience is a major+ for me. I don't miss catching the sales and lugging 5 cases at a time up 2 flights of stairs. Well worth the investment for me, but maybe not for someone else. If looking just to save money, this system is not for you. But in the long haul, the cost is not much more than the "super sales" on brand sodas and you can customize your fizz and flavor without waste.

Posted on Mar 22, 2012 4:09:46 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Mar 22, 2012 4:13:33 PM PDT]

Posted on Mar 22, 2012 4:11:48 PM PDT
J. Dickenson says:
This is one of the best reviews on a product I have EVER read! Thanks for spending the time and concisely answering every single one of my questions. I don't know what the other comments RE: this review the others are referring to, but I must say, I've never written a review (because I'm too lazy, or don't wish to spend the time), but I read them before making any important purchase. So, my hat's off to all of you who do take the time to write reviews!

I want to buy a soda-making machine for my hubby's birthday. I knew they existed, but that's all. So, last night I spent an hour trying to find reviews and trying to learn about them. Then I read this, and Bingo! ...Research finished.

We do not drink flavored sodas- don't really like them and I'd rather spend my "special treat" calorie intake elsewhere (however, I love the suggestion about ginger and I remember I made some Italian soda a long time ago- so I may check that out again!). We do add soda water to our alcoholic drinks, however, it drives me nuts to start to make a drink before dinner, and not have soda, or find it's flat. Also, it seems to me the little bottles of soda (never get the large as they go flat before we begin to finish them) are very expensive for what you get. AND, I'd rather be greener. Also, I don't care what it looks like, as this will be concealed behind the bar doors. In fact, I don't like the cutesy Penguin.

So, since I've never left a review (or comment), I figured I'd do my part by adding this small one, as a way to say thanks for abbreviating the time I spent online, researching this purchase!

Posted on Apr 11, 2012 9:32:26 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Dec 8, 2013 11:14:07 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 11:08:49 AM PDT
DJF007 says:
I concur whole heartedly. Good thought and research went into an excellent product review. Wish there were more like this. After having read this, I think I will give the product a try but will try and get my local fire extinguisher refilling station to get an adapter from Sodastream that will allow local refills and avoid the otherwise high cost shipping of CO2 containers for refilling. I go through about 3 liters of basic soda water a week around my house so we have no syrup required. But with that volume of soda water, this product should save a lot of trips to the market and hauling around and disposing of a lot of plastic. Seems like a good choice for us. I will take the time to post an update on whether I can get an adaptor or not.

Posted on Apr 26, 2012 11:11:36 AM PDT
DJF007 says:
Outstanding pro/con review. Sure wish there were more like it.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 27, 2012 12:15:54 AM PDT
doogie_esq says:
Thanks Dennis. I was trying to be honest and helpful to others who might be interested in the Soda Stream. I did some early research into alternative carbonation refill options and found several as I recall, but decided that it sounded complicated.... It probably is easy though... Just lazy to try one of the options.

By the way, after having a substantial amount more time and experience with our Soda Stream, I have some updated thoughts I can add.... First, for my family, generally the small bottles provided by Soda Stream are still too big on average. Most of the time I think we'd prefer a 12 oz size as a max, but I believe the small bottles are closer to 16. So one think others may wish to look into, are 3rd party container options. Something tells me though, that alternatives may not exist.

Secondly, one thing that others may wish to consider is that most of the Soda Stream flavors, are sugared with corn syrup, which may be undesirable to health conscious folks looking to limit their intake of possible genetically modified ingredients. If so, the pros of the Soda Stream still hold, but I would then seek alternative flavoring sources..... Which do exist....

Hope this additional info helps others decide....! :)
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