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SodaStream Crystal Sparkling Water Maker Starter Kit, Black and Silver
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- Contents include; (1) Crystal Sparkling Water Maker, (1) Mini CO2 Carbonator (makes up to 9L of sparkling water), (1) Glass Carafe, and a 60 Liter CO2 Carbonator mail-in rebate.
- CO2 Carbonator Compatibility: 60L, which can be exchanged at several of your favorite retailers
- Requires no electricity or batteries, seal and push to carbonate
- Carbonating Bottle Compatibility: Glass Carafe (Dishwasher Safe). Food or drink made: Seltzer water
- For troubleshooting and warranty information please contact a Sparkling Water Specialist at 1-800-763-2258
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From the manufacturer
Love Your Water
SodaStream allows you to turn plain water into sparkling water in an instant. With SodaStream, you have the flexibility to create your own sparkling drinks by adjusting the fizziness and flavor level to your personal taste.
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The Sodastream Crystal seamlessly combines elegance & functionality in this stylish art deco design. Wrapped in Titan stainless steel, the Crystal lets you carbonate sparkling water and serve up delicious, better-for-you beverages, in a stylish glass carafe that will dress up any dining table. Contents include; (1) Crystal Sparkling Water Maker, (1) Mini CO2 Carbonator (makes up to 9L of sparkling water), (1) Glass Carafe, and a 60 Liter CO2 Carbonator mail-in rebate.
Top reviews from the United States
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I am going to cross compare the Penguin and the Crystal in this review, because I have now used both.
I bought the Penguin in June, 2009, and it lasted until the summer of 2015, so about six years. At that point, it just stopped working. Though the "beak" of the penguin, which was used to pump CO2 from the carbonator into the carafe, looks quite fragile, it actually never broke off. Something else inside the Penguin just stopped working.
When I bought the Penguin starter kit, it cost $249, which is $70 more than this starter kit costs, but the Penguin starter kit had $90 more product than this Crystal starter kit. It included:
1. The Penguin machine.
2. Three full-sized 60L CO2 carbonators (value $90).
3. Three glass carafes (value $45).
4. Three packs of "MyWater Essence," which are basically packets to use to make homemade soda (value $7-10).
Currently the Penguin starter kit includes, for the same recommended retail price I paid in 2009:
1. The Penguin machine.
2. One full-sized 60L CO2 carbonators (value $30).
3. Two glass carafes (value $30).
From about 2009-2011, you could get carbonator exchanges delivered right to your door, but within a couple of years, SodaStream stopped offering that. Fortunately, they have managed to make them available through Walmart, and there are Walmart stores all over the place. Also, apparently, in select parts of the USA, SodaStream is starting to once again offer home delivery of carbonator exchange. Unfortunately, they don't offer this in my part of the country. (Note that for carbonator exchange, you take your empty carbonator into a store that offers that service, turn in your empty carbonator and exchange it for one that is full.)
This is what you get with the Crystal starter kit:
1. The Crystal machine.
2. One miniature carbonator (no resale value).
3. One glass carafe (value $15).
4. One 60 Liter CO2 Carbonator mail-in rebate (value $30).
So, basically, you get $90 less of product for $70 less in cost than I paid in 2009, which I suppose one could mark down to inflation. I also have to admit that SodaStream has kept the price for a new carbonator at the same level of $30 over the past 8-10 years, and likewise for the price of $15 for a carbonator exchange.
A big problem with the Crystal kit not containing even one full-sized carbonator is that you will need to immediately acquire at least one full-sized carbonator and, preferably two. You can't buy them at Walmart, but they are offered here on Amazon. Unfortunately at an inflated price (I don't think that Amazon does price matching, but it's worth asking).
I find the Crystal harder to open up in its back side to insert/replace a carbonator than the Penguin. However, the front side of the Crystal is a bit easier to use when I insert a carafe into it to pump CO2 into the carafe. Also, the method of pumping the CO2 is easier for the Crystal than for the Penguin, though it doesn't whistle as loudly and obviously as my old Penguin did when a carafe was adequately filled with CO2.
My main complaint as a former owner of the Penguin, who has six carafes in my home that I used for the Penguin, is that because SodaStream has changed the bottle caps used on the current carafes (identical for the current Penguin model and the Crystal model), they no longer make or sell the much better fitting caps used on the former Penguin carafes. The old caps featured a short plug piece that fit into the bottle top, as well as screwing onto the bottle, and this plug does a terrific job of holding in the CO2 fizz for up to two days. These new screw-on caps barely hold the fizz in the carafe for a day. I personally think that SodaStream modified the cap, not to improve the product, but rather to ensure that customers use more CO2. That's where the real cost mounts up for this machine, purchasing new and exchanging carbonators.
1. it leaks and drips water after carbonation ... the water then builds up in the deep bottle holder and is hard to clean out with a paper towell
2. water capacity in the bottles is less than traditional plastic bottles
3. capacity size of carbonator is less/smaller ... you simply can't use the large carbonators in this unit!
4. it has more plastic and spring-loaded moving parts ... and that means more potential to break
5. the raising face also means the unit won't function under most cabinets when used on a kitchen counter
So why get this sodastream model? Well, it looks fantastic, hides it's innards when not in use, and many people prefer glass over plastic. So I'm not saying I hate it (that would be one star). However, I would have liked to have seen a real upgrade when this one is a downgrade in many ways.