I always wanted a soda stream when I was a kid, but never had one. I was jealous of my friends at school for many years, so when I saw the new designs I had to have one.
It's a great product. It looks very elegant. The body is mostly black plastic with a silver chrome drop plate, and metal cover for the top section. The CO2 cartridge fits snugly into the main part of the stand and it doesn't take up much space.
I find still water boring so unless I have something interesting to drink, I don't drink enough fluids. There's a great range of soda stream concentrates so it would be hard to get bored of them. I don't drink sugary stuff and the sugar free options are great. Ginger beer, cola, lemonade, tonic water... plenty of others. It's handy to be able to throw a G&T together without worrying about running out of tonic. You can also experiment with your own stuff. I've made ginger beer and lemonade with fresh juice, and made bubbly wine from the flat stuff. Endless experimentation!
The green credentials are impressive too. We send a lot of plastic bottles to landfill, and one small bottle of concentrate makes 12 litres of drinks. The cartridges are recyclable.
Replacing cartridges is easy too - you can order new ones from the Soda Stream website, then you just return the empties for a deposit refund. Most supermarkets also sell them.
I bought this particular model a long time ago after having one of the original kind that fell into disuse. It is smart enough to earn a place on my very crowded kitchen surfaces and used at least every other day. I fizz up Evian still mineral water and if I want flavour, I dilute with Cranberry and Raspberry cordial, or 'Fizzy Birena' as my Grandson calls it - Ribena to you and me! I sometimes add a slice of fresh lemon to plain water if I am being particularly virtuous. I have never enjoyed the branded soda stream concentrates, but find ordinary cordials a better option.
I recently bought a newer model - Soda Stream Crystal because I wanted a glass carafe rather than the somewhat ugly plastic bottles, but it cost a fortune and does not work nearly as well as the old model - it simply does not make the water properly fizzy so I will be returning it, although I do not know whether this is a fault with the design or my particular machine.
The advantage of having one of these machines is that you can control the strength of flavours and the amount of sugar in your fizzy drink, rather than having to accept the massive amounts of sugar found in regular fizzy drinks
Ah soda stream! I was so excited when I bought this two years ago. I brought it home from the shop and set it all up so it took pride of place in the middle of my kitchen. I got some of the special syrup that you can buy separately to make up the drinks and used it every day... for a month!
Now, it lives in my cupboard, the novelty is gone.
They are a good idea and great for nostalgia sakes, and I think make an excellent present. But for practical, day to day use? Not for me. They're too fiddly and when you run out of gas or syrup, it's easy to lose interest.
Once you've set up your soda stream, you fill the special bottle that comes with it up with water and add the syrup (sold separately, although sometimes you get one or two free with your machine). You then pump it with the gas, and there you are- you have a lovely fizzy drink!
Except, some of the syrups are not very tasty at all. The fruit ones tend to be OK like orange etc. but the fake tasting cola is not nice at all.
The one tip I would give though, is that instead of buying the syrups, use an ordinary bottle of diluting juice, that way you can have your normal favourite juice, but with some bubbles thrown in!
I have a Soda Stream. It is currently living........ in the corner of the cupboard under my kitchen sink. It is probably covered in dust as it has been in there for about 10 months now......
Here is why: I got this for Christmas last year. It was a complete surprise, the surprise being that it wasn't something that I wanted, or indeed would ever want.
As far as I am aware, it is a novelty item. I used it a few times on Christmas Day - New Year last year, as you do with Christmas presents, and I can't think that I have used it since.
The Soda Stream itself is kind of cheap feeling, it just feels a bit flimsy and I would have expected it to be a bit more solid feeling seeing as you are messing around with liquid and gas and stuff!
It isn't particularly difficult to use, I'll give it that. You fill the one liter water bottle up with regular tap water, screw it back into the machine, and pull the arm of the machine to add the fizz to your water. The machine buzzes to let you know when it is fizzy enough! You then use a syrup to add your flavour. I have had trouble a few times when removing the water from the machine in that it fizzes right up and goes everywhere. Other times though it has been absolutely fine. I just didn't seem to be able to get the knack of it.
To date (and by that of course I mean "last Christmas") I have only used the cola syrup, a lemonade one and a cranberry / raspberry.
I have looked at these machines online and it seems they retail for around £60 which I personally just think is a lot of money.
The soda syrups are around £3 a bottle and each bottle will make you up about 12 litres worth. so yes, this works out a cheap way to get fizzy drinks.
But you have to weigh that up against the fact that it tasted cheap too. To me it did anyway.
None of the flavours I had tasted particularly good. And that was how my soda stream ended up in the cupboard. So it's just the one star from me. Sorry
I never had a sodastream as a kid, and confessed to my husband I was utterly jealous of my cousin who did. Result: when they got reduced down to silly prices (ours was £20) he acquired one for my birthday.
Nostalgia value aside, what is it good for? Well, if you spend a lot of money buying the official sodastream concentrate you can.. make something which tastes sort of like a supermarket own-brand soft drink, but costs three times as much and you need special equipment for. Um. Yay?
Our best use has come from trying things which aren't official. Water made fizzy makes a far better alcoholic drinks mixer than lemonade, and without th aftertaste you usually get with fizzy water. We've had some enjoyment out of using different juice concentrate (non-official) - blackcurrent and liquorice was a winner - and I've heard of people using it to make "sparkling" wine which is tempting. It IS undeniably good fun, just for the nostalgia and novelty factors, and kids would probably enjoy it. If you can snatch it up for the kind of price we did (try the official website) it may well be worth £20. However, don't look for any real practical application beyond that or you may be horribly disappointed.
My husband received one of these a few years ago as a Christmas present. It was a bit of a tongue-in-cheek joke because he mainlines fizzy drinks - he's been known to drink four litres or more of an evening. So you'd think that it'd be our most used piece of kitchen equipment, but to be honest, we go through phases where we use it every day, then other times it has sat gathering dust. The drinks that it produces are equivalent or superior to those you can buy in a shop, and come in a range of sugared and sugar-free flavours. But it does take slightly more work than opening a shop-bought drink, which let's face it, takes zero effort, so how much we've used it has depended on how much time we had on our hands.
The kit we received consisted of a drinks-maker, carbon dioxide canister, a special bottle and a selection of different flavour samples. It took is five or ten minutes to put it all together, once that was complete it was ready to use. I fact it took us longer to realise that it didn't need to be plugged in or charged or anything like that. For some reason I had expected a power source to be involved somewhere, and was pleasantly surprised to find out that there wouldn't be another trailing cable in our kitchen. We joked that my husband could even use it while I drove home that night.
Operation of the sodastream seems straightforward; fill the bottle with water, screw it onto the drinks maker, press the button on the top and you're done. For whatever reason, my husband can't get the fill level/bottle tightening right and ends up making a mess all over the counter. It's really not that hard, and he's a smart guy! But there is a knack to it, a knack that he never mastered, so I have sole responsibility for making the drinks. I would be more useful to me if I could make drinks in bulk, but as only one bottle is provided, it is necessary to decant the drinks first, another fussy step. It is possible to buy extra sodastream bottles, but standard drinks bottles do not fit the drinks maker nor are they recommended.
The carbon dioxide canister I cannot comment on, as in the three years we have had this machine we haven't needed to replace it. The syrups come in a variety of flavours and are quite tasty when added to bottle of carbonated water. Syrups can be bought in many stores in the UK, but since we've moved to Ireland I cannot find syrup bottles in any shops. I can either buy them online, and pay for postage, which makes the drinks maker uneconomical, or make my own. I have chosen to make my own, which it turns out is quite easy to do, and makes the whole process much more frugal and therefore worthwhile.
This drinks maker is an unobtrusive design which doesn't take up too much space on the worktop. However, it is taller than I expected (about 43cm to the highest point of the lever on the front) and only just fits under my kitchen cupboards. I have the SodaStream Genesis which costs £59.99 (at the time of writing). It is available in a few colours including white, grey and the brushed metal finish in the photo above. It came with a CO2 canister and sodastream bottle - I also bought a spare which I would highly recommend as the bottles can't go in the dishwasher and you may want to make more than one litre of drink at a time, or have a spare bottle of water chilling in the fridge ready to be soda-streamed.
To make your drink you screw the bottle into the machine (incredibly easy), pull the lever approximately three times (until you hear a loud "buzz"), remove the bottle and then add a capful of your chosen sodastream mix, or enjoy au naturel if you are just after some sparkling water. From start to finish is probably less than a minute. The syrups I have tried have been very nice and, though less fizzy than shop bought drinks, after a week or so I found I preferred this as it doesn't leave you feeling so bloated. A wide range of flavours are available, from Cola to Dr Pete to lemonade or mixers such as Ginger Ale. You can also get quite a few diet versions of the drinks as well as cocktail mixes such as mojito and comsmopolitan. You can buy the bottles of syrup for around £3.50 and each bottle will make 12 litres of drink - definitely cheaper than other brands, though you do of course have the upfront cost of the machine and the ongoing cost of the CO2 canisters (this machine holds a canister which makes around 60 litres of drink, depending on how fizzy you like it). When the canister runs out you can return it to SodaStream or Argos (and some other shops too like Lakeland I think) and pay £10 for a full canister. If you want a spare canister, you can get one from for around £20.
The bottles are easy to clean, as is the machine; the drinks are refreshing and tasty and it's all achieved with a minimum of fuss and hassle, I would definitely recommend a sodastream to anyone!
I am sure many of you reading this review will empathise with me and nod you head. As a child there was three things that I really really wanted and I am sure every year my list to Santa would contain the following things:
--> Cabbage Patch Kid doll with the dummy
--> Mr Frosty
--> Soda Stream
I never got any of them, despite, I am sure, massive tantrums and throwing myself on the floor like a brat, saying phrases like "It's not fair" and so on. Well guess what... I have one of those lusted after items right now... Let me introduce you to Mr Soda Stream!!! Can you imagine my Can you imagine my excitement when the box arrived along with three different flavours to make? I was almost doing cartwheels... Almost, in my head I was doing them!
Inside the box, which is fairly hefty and quite heavy was this beautiful, black, shiny soda stream which has has undergone a bit of a makeover and is now, you have to admit, rather stylish in looks and it is because:
"Recently voted one of UK's Cool Brands, SodaStream is all about making smart, simple soda. Source's innovative new design features include a 'snap-lock' bottle system, meaning drinks making is quicker, easier and more intuitive, while an LED display provides instant visual feedback on the level of carbonation".
As soon as I was home, the box was opened, the contents were out and within a few seconds I have put relevant bits in place and now had my fully assembled Soda Stream in front of me begging to be used. Now, I can be a bit dim at times, I can't help it, I've got blonde hair, blue eyes and well you know the rest... I am almost stereotypical! I spent a while, I'm not going to lie, looking for the plug to plug it in.... Yes I did... Obviously you don't need to plug a Soda Stream in (bonus) because it is all controlled by the gas bottle (produces 60 litres of drink), and it is so easy to use I was quite shocked.
As you can see, you simply fill the 1 litre SodaStream carbonating bottle with tap water* and then place it in the SodaStream as shown below. Once you have clicked everything into place, press down on the top and you'll hear a bit of noise which signals to you that carbonation has begun, then depending on how fizzy you want your drink to be, keep pressing until the three rows of LED lights are lit and then release the button as you can see in this video on the Soda Stream homepage.
Once the bottle has been removed it is time to choose your flavour and if like me you are a little indecisive this might prove to be too exciting because there are over 50 yes FIFTY flavours to choose from and they range from:
--> Traditionals - Cream Soda, Root Beer, Dandelion and Burdock to name a few of those
--> Colas - Sugare Free, Diet and plain Cola
--> Fruit - Grapefruit, Red Berry, Lemonade are again just a few to choose from
--> Mixers -Tonic Water, Bitter Lemon and so on...
--> Clear - like flavoured fizzy water with a choice of 4 flavours including Kiwi and Pear
--> Naturals for the kids - Apple, Strawberry and Orange & Peach
--> Energy - yes make your own Red Bull, well sort of, tastes similar but less sweet.
If all that isn't enough you can also make cocktails! Someone send over Tom Cruise right now! When I got my little kit, the three bottles I was sent Margaritas, Mojito and Cosmopolitan as shown below and again you make them as you would any other flavour but, should you want to be a little more adventurous get our your spirits and get adding it!
I have had so much fun with this machine, it is constantly in use in my house, especially as I have given up caffeine now for over 3 months and SodaStream state:
"Choose from over 50 specially formulated mixes, so you can make fresh soda, with 50% less sugar and carbs than leading (store bought) drinks. Make it the way you want, more or less bubbles, more or less sugar, it's your choice! "
So there you have it, my brand new toy, my childhood want has been granted and I absolutely love it. The SodaStream is priced at £129.99 and is available from places such as John Lewis, Argos, Robert Dyas, Amazon and Asda, Sainsburys and Tesco to mention a few. Plus from SodaStream themselves.
*SodaStream Source lets consumers enjoy delicious soft drinks while reducing bottle plastic bottle waste. Using water direct from the tap and a reusable carbonating bottle, Source can save the average UK home 1,000 wasted plastic bottles per year.
The soda stream maker can turn still tap water into fizzy water in seconds you can then add all kinds af flavourings to the water to make your own soda! these flavours include, lemonade, red berry mix, cola, cream soda and many more.
I purchased a soda stream maker last christmas due to having a large family and getting through many different fizzy drinks per a week with us all drinking and liking different ones. with the soda stream maker there is alot of flavours to choose from and with having the cap on tight you can keep the drink in the fridge for up to two weeks still being fizzy. making soda stream is very simple to make by filling up the one litre bottle, screwing it onto the soda scream maker and holding down the button until hearing the noise. then measuring out the soda stream cap and pouring it into the drink, after shaking it the drink is ready to enjoy.
My kids love soda stream and really enjoy 'making it' and choosing the flavour they want. the soda stream may seem exspensive at first but if you drink alot of fizzy drinks it is sure worth it in the end and is alot more friendly to the envioment. Each flavour only costs around £3 and makes at around 12 litres. this works out around 25p per a litre witch is alot cheaper than the supermarkets. I have never had a problem with my soda stream and enjoy using it. I would reccomend this product to anyone!
I had one of the delightful Soda streams back in the day, the lovely brown and cream colour scheme. What was not to like? I bought one of these new ones about 6 months ago, mainly to prove to my children that not everything I endured as a child was horrible, I have shown my kids the TV programs, the music, the fashion I was clutching at straws to say the least here.
They have upgraded the look of the Sodastream and I have to give them five stars for that if nothing else. It is very fashionable and really looks the part, I have one of the black ones but the other colours are vibrant and look very good. I paid £49.99 for mine from Curries, I know they can be more expensive than that and I thought £50 was bad enough; you have to look around for cheaper ones.
It would be nice if you could get the refills at a cheaper price but unfortunately, the refills, will put you back around £20 a go. This was the main reason I stopped using my older version, I thought £5 for a refill bottle of gas was expensive back then, I would happily pay that now! The Soda Stream is easy to use, and replacing the gas is easy too.
The flavours of the drinks haven't really changed that much, they still taste nothing like the original brands but if you wanted that you would spend less and buy them in bottles wouldn't you? The reason the Soda Stream works is because everyone likes the idea of actually making your own fizzy drinks themselves, this allows companies to charge the earth! Its ok for making fizzy water but when you can buy a litre of that for 20p, do you really need to spend £20 to make your own?
When my son first started on about wanting a Soda Stream I was very reluctant. As a grown up I didn't see the fascination with getting a bottle of water, pumping gas into it then adding what I thought would be disgusting flavoured syrups. I was also very concerned about the price which seemed very high for what it is.
However........... I found a soda stream on offer in Argos just before Christmas last year for around £30 with added offers on syrups. I also did a Google search and found websites which offered discounts on buying several bottles of syrups in one go and, at the time, I bought 12 bottles of syrups which worked out at about £3.50 per bottle. I don't know now which site i used but a little patience and searching should provide bargains. The cost of the gas bottles was a bit worrying but once I realised that I got a sizeable discount when returning the empty bottle in exchange for a new one it made it much more affordable. Bottles can be exchanged in all sorts of places - my most local ones being Sainsburys and Robert Dyas which cost me about half price each time. Plus the gas bottle lasts a lot longer than I originally though. Our first bottle lasted over the Christmas period and beyond.
As for the syrups, there is such a huge choice of flavours now, including ranges of natural flavours and sugar free. We have tried the regular flavours as well as some newer flavours, such as red berry, and have found them all to be good quality flavours without the cheap, nasty after taste i had been expecting.
Nearly a year on my son still loves making his own drinks and as a result he is now taking in more fluids than he was before without filling up on sugar and additives.
The soda stream is still holding its price and prices start at about £40 in most places, but as it has survived nearly a year in my mad house and is showing no signs of wear and tear I am hopeful that it is a product that will last for a long time yet. Plus it's a great way to have a big variety of fizzy flavours in the house ready for Christmas as the 500ml bottles of syrup take up a lot less room than 2l bottles or loads of cans and provides way more fizzy.
A highly recommended product which this initially reluctant mum is very glad to have in her house.
~ SodaStream ~
As a child I always really wanted a SodaStream and guess what? I never got one :(. But as an adult I hadn't really given them much thought until my son started going on and on about wanting a SodaStream, remembering my poor deprived (Joke!) childhood, I told him I would buy one for him when funds allowed. It was very close to Christmas last year and inbetween decorating our house and buying presents there was never much spare cash for anything else, so my son said he would ask Santa to bring him one, aww poor deprived child like me! Anyway he mentioned it one day whilst in my mums house so she decided as she didn't know what to get him for Christmas that she would buy him the SodaStream. That was fine with me, I think she must have been feeling guilty all these years about not buying one for her lovely daughter when she asked for one!!!
So I saw the SodaStream before my son did as I was with my mum when she bought it. It was purchased in Argos for £39.99, at the time Argos were also throwing in a 12 pack starter kit which usually retails at £12.99. The machine we got was the SodaStream Jet 60 Litre fizzy drinks maker. It looked rather impressive and I knew my son would be over the moon with it. It was then taken home and wrapped up ready for Christmas so it was seen again then until 'the big man' brought it on Christmas Eve.
On Christmas morning my children have way too much stuff so we have started to split the presents rather than keeping them all here. We give ours at home, then my mum and nan give theirs in my mums house when we go there, and so on, that way the children can tell what comes off who and can personally thank the person that bought them whatever it is they are bought. So the SodaStream wasn't opened at home and my son was quite disappointed that Santa had managed to miss the very thing he really wanted, so you can imagine his excitement when he opened his presents in my mums to find a shiny and fantastic SodaStream! He was thrilled with it and went through the different flavour drinks he could make using the starter pack.
Included in the starter pack were the following flavours ~
* Cranberry & Raspberry
* Lemon & Lime
* Cola Zero
* Diet Cola
* Ginger Ale
* Diet Lemonade
* Energy Drink (like Red Bull)
My son's first choice was Apple, so we unpackaged the SodaStream from it's box and set about setting it up. This was a really simple process. The gas bottle is included and this needs to be clicked into the back section of the machine, you access this by removing a plastic cover, it then clips back into place to hide the big bottle. It also came with one carbonating bottle which has it's own lid.
The unit we have is white and silver in colour. It's quite a versatile colour and won't look out of place with any kitchen decor.
The bottle screws into the top piece of the unit and you have to direct the nozzle into the bottle, this allows you to add the gas to the bottle of water.
To use the machine, you simply fill the bottle with tap water to the marked fill line then screw it into the unit, after doing this you simply press in the silver button on the top of the unit and this releases gas into the water, I have to say at this point, the very first time we used it my son was terrified of the loud sound it makes, especially when enough gas has been let into the water, it kind of chuggs!
After this though my son came to expect the noise and has been fine using it since. If you don't feel that you have pressed enough gas into the bottle then you simply have to push against the front of the unit and this tilts the bottle and lets a little air escape so that you can carry on filling it with gas. This is also the way you can easily remove the bottle from the unit.
After carbonating the water you then have to flavour it, the starter pack had 12 different flavours included and each of the little bottle shaped blister packs held enough syrup flavouring for one bottle. You simply have to snap off the top and slowly pour the syrup into the water, make sure you take it easy as it is likely to fizz up and spill!
Once you have added the flavouring you have to turn the bottle upside down so you mix the flavouring, and then it is ready to drink.
Since using up all the starter pack flavourings I have since bought bottles of the flavouring and these come in short dumpy white plastic bottles, they have a cap that acts as a measuring cup and they will make about 12 litres of soft drink. They retail at around £3.99.
The thing I find best to do when making up the drinks is to fill the water bottle and place it in the fridge until the water is nice and chilled, that way you are making up nice chilled soft drinks.
Don't add the syrup flavouring before carbonating as you will end up with a big fizzy mess, as I did one time!
Another thing my children like is when I add squash to the carbonated water, they love this and it makes for a cheaper alternative to buying the flavourings.
I haven't yet needed to buy another canister of gas but a new cylinder will set you back around £20 or you can have an exchange for around £10, I think this involves a refill of gas so be sure to take your empty canister with you.
Overall we have loved having the SodaStream, it's quite useful and not just a gimmick!
Thanks for reading :o) x
~~~ Sodastream Genesis ~~~
I am such a kitchen gadget fanatic and if I have no reason to buy myself something, I'll buy it for someone else instead, just so I can get my fix. With this in mind, I purchased a Sodastream from the Genesis range for my eldest daughter (21) last Christmas. She's rather addicted to fizzy drinks and still lives at home so it means I still get to use it. Yay!
The recommended retail price for this item is £69.99 but I managed to buy the Metallic Chilli Red one, from Tesco's for the unbelievable £21.99 or so (I think it was a misprice, lucky me). Even luckier for me, it was only the red one reduced at the time, although it comes in plastic grey and white versions; and red goes wonderfully in my kitchen. I told you it was for me really, disguised as a present for my daughter. ;)
~~~ Setting Up ~~~
Christmas morning my daughter was delighted with her gift and rushed to set it up. Inside the box was the machine itself, the gas cylinder to allow US to make up to 60 litres of soft drinks, a sodastream bottle and a form which should be filled out to register your purchase. I also purchased her a gift set of 12 different flavours, in miniature sized cartons. Typically, she unwrapped this first, and it gave the game away somewhat.
Setting up the machine before first use is extremely easy. First of all we had to hold down the button on the back of the machine, and pull the top part of the unit upwards. The two halves of the unit are then separate and fitting the canister is easy. This just screws into place, and drops back down into the hole created in the bottom half of the sodastream. The whole thing clicks back into place, and away we went.
Making the drinks is simplicity itself and my youngest daughter, then aged 8, used to ask to do it (supervised of course), but the novelty has worn off a little lately. Using the sodastream bottle provided, you fill with water up to the indicator level on the side of the bottle. Then you need to press the button on the front of the machine. This in turn will then angle the top of the machine, allowing you to push the drinks bottle firmly into place and screw it tightly. After lowering the unit back into place and checking the bottle is still firmly fixed, you press firmly down on the button on the top of the appliance. This releases the gas and carbonates the water. In our household we tend to like a fizzier drink and use four short pumps of gas per litre; you could use more or less according to requirement.
~~~ Concentrates ~~~
We use the Sodastream branded concentrates for the more obscure flavours that you can't blend yourself, such as cola (diet of course) or dandelion and burdock. They even do a range of flavourings which will add just the merest hint flavour and make them more like those H20 FruitShoots that you buy for the kids.
We've yet to try the isotonic range of hydrating concentrates for during and after sports and gym workouts, but that's because I don't personally think they offer any benefit.
As you can see there is whole range of flavours and versions to keep your taste buds satisfied. The 500ml concentrates will make up to 12 litres of soda, and cost around £3 - £4 depending where you shop, so they are not too expensive. These can be found at most supermarkets, and lots of retailers on the high street too - Argos, Lakeland and Robert Dyas to name a few.
For the more basic flavours and to save some pennies, we use Robinson's squashes and add these to the carbonated water. There is no discernible difference to those of the branded ones, both the concentrate and the readymade fizzy drinks in the supermarket, yet it works out a whole lot cheaper. I estimated once, purely for my own interest, that 1 litre of drink using the branded concentrate worked out at about 16p. I would imagine it would cost less than 10p if you used ordinary squash, depending on what brand you use, it could be even cheaper.
We don't tend to measure the concentrate/squash out now as we've been using this so long, we can do it by eye. If it is a little weak though, you could always add a bit extra. We pour this in while the bottle is tilted, like you would a pint of beer. Afterwards we tip it over, and over again to mix the contents rather than giving it a good shake and having the bottle explode.
~~~ Bottle of Pop ~~~
The bottle has a seal within the lid that stops the gas from escaping. In the past when we've bought a bottle of readymade fizzy drink, you can go back to it a couple of days after it's been opened to find that it's flat, not so with this; and besides were it ever to become flat, you could always fizz it up again.
Having one litre sized bottles is perfect, as this means they can be stored quite easily in my fridge, already for when needed and wonderfully chilled. Replacement bottles are available at an extra cost if you should like to have several flavours on the go at one time.
~~~ My Recommendation ~~~
All in all, after thinking that this would be more of a gadget and over time be relegated to a cupboard, I must say that this machine has been a resounding success, and a pleasure to have in our home. Its classic lines and modern detailing along with its usefulness, has meant this has pride of place out on the kitchen work surface with all my other prized appliances.
I give this product five stars and offer you my highest recommendation. These might have been something of a fad when I was growing up in the 70's, but with trying to save the environment (all those plastic bottles to recycle) and people trying to be more money conscious at the moment, one of these Sodastream machines will pay for itself in no time at all.
I am something of an impulse buyer and generally I like to 'keep up with the Joneses' or have something better than them...! This can be a slight problem when it comes to kitchen storage space as I have lots of gadgets and little room for them. However, a recent kitchen reshuffle meant that I had a little more storage space on my kitchen worktops and so I convinced myself that I NEEDED a Sodastream drinks maker and promptly picked one up from Asda when doing my shopping. If I remember correctly I paid around £39.00 for my drinks maker complete with everything you need to get started and this also included two bottles of soda stream juice needed to add to water to make refreshing soft drinks. The full price of my particular model, the '1012111442' (as Amazon tells me) was £49.90 at the time in Asda but there was a special offer running and this ultimately swayed my decision as I do like to save money. Should you want to pick this up for yourself it is currently around the £45.00 mark on the Amazon UK website.
Within the large box my Sodastream drinks maker came in there was the machine itself, the gas cylinder to allow me to make up to 60 litres of soft drinks, one plastic sodastream bottle (mine had the lid missing and so I had to go back to Asda to get that rectified) and one licence which should be filled out and posted off to register your drinks machine/gas cylinder. I personally never bothered with this and I can't actually remember if I still have the licence anyway in my home.
Setting up my machine was very straight forward. Basically my machine is a silver and black one with a large button on the front, two buttons on the left and right hand sides and a button on the top that you press to release the gas. Setting this up involved placing the gas cylinder in place, now this made me a little nervous but there were no problems at all, I had to place the back on to the unit by just clicking the bottom in to place and then sliding and clicking it in to a secure position. Again this made me a little nervous just because of the bottle of gas but I needn't have worried as it was very straightforward after all. The first time you put the gas cylinder in place there is a cap that needs to be removed and this is what made me feel a little nervous, however all was fine and I was just being a bit of a wimp really!
To actually use the machine to make soft drinks is also very simple. Using the plastic drinks bottle provided just fill up to the squiggly 'fill to here' indicator, press the front button on the machine and this will then angle the plastic nozzle that goes within the drinks bottle. Then push the drinks bottle in to place and then screw it in at the top of the plastic nozzle. You can then lower the button back down in to its normal position and the bottle will be fixed in place and standing upright. Then on the top of the machine there is a button that you have to press down, very firmly I might add, to release the gas in to the bottle. Each machine is different here (my Mum and my sister have different machines to me) but my particular machine allows you to press the button and then it makes a loud juddery noise to indicate that the water is now carbonated. You then slowly press the button on the front again to move the position of the bottle, untwist the bottle and there will be a slight hissing noise as gas is released and then you can make up your soft drink. If you are using the Sodastream liquids then all you need to do is measure out a capful (or more depending on the strength you want) and then you slowly pour this in to the bottle (too fast will cause the liquid to fizz and overflow everywhere) before putting the lid on and gently tilting the bottle to ensure everything is evenly mixed. In addition to using the Sodastream liquids we also keep bottles of already carbonated water in the fridge before using them to mix with standard orange squash (or any other squash really) as we would with plain water and this gives a nice fizzy orange that we have come to love in our house.
In all you will likely be able to tell that using the Sodastream drinks machine is very straightforward. The bottle that comes provided with the drinks machine is a 1 litre one and more are readily available with me recently buying 2 for under £10.00 including delivery from Amazon. It is worth mentioning that these bottles have a 'use by' date on them where it is recommended that you discard them by this date. I believe this is because of plastic leakage but they generally have a good two years on them so I'm not too worried about that and will happily discard them around this time and replace them. Another thing to remember is never to submerge these bottles in water as a) it is not recommended on the bottle and b) there is a large plastic end on the bottles and I have found that on the one occasion my husband soaked them by accident that bubbles and water collected underneath this and because I could not take the bottom plastic piece off I ended up discarding the bottle because I was worried about it being full of germs and unsanitary. The bottle has a fantastic lid on it and this keeps the carbonation within the bottle, we fill up a couple of bottles at a time and store them in the fridge (perfect for those warm summer days) and we've not had any problems with the water going flat quickly or anything like that. There is always a nice fizz when we open up a bottle although they don't normally last more than a day or two in our home anyway.
There are lots of bottles of Sodastream mixing liquid available and some of the ones that we have tried are apple juice, Diet cola, lemonade, lemon & lime, cherry, cream soda & orange but there are lots of others available and we buy these for around £2.50-£3.50 a time, however our local Robert Dyas stocks them and they regularly have a line or two on promotion and recently we picked some up for just £1.00 each what was fantastic. Each bottle makes either 6 or 12 litres of carbonated juice depending on the particular flavour and we have found this to be reasonable value for money.
The gas cylinders are easy to get replaced where we live and all we did was took our old cylinder to Sainsburys and then swapped it for a new one. Because you get a credit for returning the old cylinder it cost us around £6.00 to get a new cylinder and then we can make up to 60 litres again. Because we only press the gas button until it makes the first of the loud noises 60 litres is definitely around what we have been receiving so far and so this works out very cheap for us, even if we do use the mixing liquids from Sodastream too.
Some of the mixing liquids are not to my taste but my husband has loved all of them so far. I am able to use this with the orange squash that I always buy and that definitely does give it a little kick. I have also used the carbonated water with wine to make a nice spritzer and this has been good for me too. I did initially wonder if this would become another fad product for us however we probably use the carbonated water at least 5 days a week, sometimes more, and when my nieces and nephews come to visit they love being able to choose a different drink each and then make it up with my help. Because my sister has one of these machines too (a slightly different model) the children already know roughly what to do and it makes a visit to their Auntie's house even more exciting. I love knowing that I can provide a fun drink for the children and because there are drinks designed especially for children this makes it even more fun and means that they don't want sugar packed cola when they come to visit and instead are happy with whatever drink they can make up themselves.
I like knowing that we are using far less packaging now and when we get our food shop delivered there are not tons of plastic bottles to lug up the stairs, also, we have reduced our recycling significantly too which can only be a plus for us. It probably works out around 40p or less per litre of drink that we make but if we are using our normal squash then it works out at around 15p per litre. This may not be as cheap as the cheapest orangeade or diet cola available in Asda or Tesco that we can purchase however it is convenient and we are reducing our recycling too so we don't mind the cost.
In all this has been a time and energy saver in our home. We can have fizzy drinks whenever we want without having to go down to the supermarket and lug lots of bottles up the stairs when we get home. We can also have lots of different flavours at any one time, mix flavours and even just make up some fizzy juice or a white wine spritzer if we want to. This is nothing but a benefit for us in our home and so I am giving this Sodastream drinks maker 5 out of 5 stars.
*Absolutley love this product, Sodastream itself ranges in price, ive seen it from £24.99 right up to £89.99, but when you actually have it you see why..
My youngest son would not drink anything other than coca cola, aged 6 he generally didnt like anything else(clearly all in the mind) .. Untill we bought this, id spoke to a friend before and advised to give this a little try. What kid wouldnt like the thought of turning water into fizzy juice?
It does as it says, turns tap water into fizzy water in seconds & its fun to watch too, you fill the bottle up, screw it in press a button & waa laa its fizzy, you get so many syrups for it aswell and around £2-£3 - depending on shop it is just the same as buying a bottle of juice anyway.
Lots of people have said soda stream is dear etc, but when you take your empty gas canister back you get money off the next one & they last a good ammount of time.
I really would recommend this product, especially for kids too as you know what some are like thinking there drinking fizzy juice like adults & its drunk in seconds :)