In one of the stories, when Raggedy Ann finds a wishing pebble, she wishes for a magic soda-water fountain. She and her friends have the loveliest time drinking soda from the fountain, enjoying all sorts of flavors, right in their living room! They poke holes in their little cotton mouths and her and Raggedy Andy drink fifteen glasses of soda-water. (They were the especially magic kind that never give anyone a stomach ache.) I think this was my favorite book.
Indulge me for a moment while I admit that... when I found out about Sodastream home soda machines, I thought of Raggedy Ann and Andy and their magic soda fountain. Getting the chance to review one was like a little girl dream come true. Yes, I have my own magic soda machine, right on my counter!
We were sent a Fountain Jet kit including SodaMix flavorings and MyWater flavor essences to try out. Set up of the machine was not hard at all, although I wasn't quite sure I had gotten the carbonator in completely. It helps to read the instructions and FAQs online - they give more info than the instruction booklet that comes with it. To carbonate the water, all you do is press a button at the top of the machine until you hear a loud buzzing noise. You can then mix flavoring in, or make your own concoctions, which is what we do. (Only water can be carbonated with the machine.)
The first time I used the soda machine I was a little freaked out wondering if the carbonator was in right. I knew it was supposed to buzz, and was listening for that. It didn't buzz with the first press, and then was hissing (freaking me out even more, lol). I pressed again and my finger ended up slipping down in and getting stuck. I had to press the button down with my other hand to be able to pull my finger back out. Ross and my mom were laughing hysterically at me being so jumpy with this machine. I should have been making a video blog of it. I haven't had any trouble with it since, then again, if Ross is around, I usually make him press the button.
Here are some of my thoughts on the SodaStream home soda machine:
- I like that it doesn't use any electricity or batteries.
- The buzzing noise is LOUD - it sounds like an elephant blowing his nose and scares the baby.
- The bottles are BPA free.
- I love that I can fill the bottles with my Berkey filtered water and therefore have Berkey filtered soda.
There is a store near me that sells SodaStream machines and refills the carbonators. It costs $18 to refill a carbonator there. If you don't have a local store, you can go through the website where $45 is the cheapest option but you get two carbonators. $18 divided by 60 (the number of liters of carbonated water you can make with one carbonater) = 30 cents per liter of carbonated water. This is not including the price of the machine, or shipping. The cost goes up slightly, depending on what you use to flavor the soda with. Compare this to the cost of a store bought soda and its a steal, especially when you compare it to healthy sodas!
We honestly don't like the soda flavors - they all contain Splenda. I'm not a big fan of Splenda for health reasons, and the mixes do have a Splenda aftertaste. We do enjoy making sodas our own way though. I absolutely love real homemade cream soda using this recipe. Another easy way we make soda is to mix a spoonful of frozen juice concentrate into carbonated water (this tastes almost exactly like Izze).
In summary, I love having my own magic soda machine. I do think the machines are rather pricey, the initial cost is hard to swallow. However, if you regularly buy soda, the machine would pay for itself eventually. We are enjoying making our own sodas and its a fun conversation piece with company.
Update: I contacted SodaStream about the finger pinching incident and they are actually sending me an upgraded model. They have great customer service and responded quickly to my questions.