Jun 25, 2010
12:25 AM | Posted by Elana | Edit Post
CLOSEDAre you addicted to soda but can't stand how expensive it is? Then you really need to switch to SodaStream, where you can turn plain old tap water into your favorite flavors of soda in seconds.
Here is what the SodaStream website has to say about it... "Making carbonated water and soft drinks is simple! Turn tap water into sparkling water in under 30 seconds, with no clean-up. Enjoy the freshness and convenience of homemade soda and protect the environment at the same time. No heavy bottles to carry, store at home or throw away. Fizz to your taste and add the flavor of your choice to make your favorite drink. Simple to clean and reuse. With a variety of colors and silhouettes, you'll be sure to find a soda maker to match with any decor."
SodaStream was nice enough to send me a soda maker along with a *ton* of flavors to try... Here are all of my goodies! They sent me the MyWater Flavor Essence Variety 3 pack, Regular Cola, Diet Cola, Zero Cola, Energy Drink, Orange Mango, Lemonade, Root Beer, Diet Lemon Lime, Diet Pink Grapefruit, and Diet Cream Soda.
Setup of the soda machine took no time at all! I had it up and running in less than 5 minutes, and probably less than 2 minutes. And the machine comes with two 1 liter bottles with caps. That way you always have one waiting to be used, or you can have two different types of drinks in your fridge at the same time. The bottles are 100% reusable (until they expire), so there's no storing tons of bottles or throwing away bottles.
The first flavor we tried was the Zero Cola, because my nanny is addicted to Coke Zero. We were buying (no joke) four or five 2 liter bottles every week, and she was finishing them all easily. The first time we used the machine we were really just figuring out how it all worked. You need to press the button on the top of the machine to create the fizz, and it talks about a "buzzing" sound in the directions, but I wasn't pushing down the button hard enough to make the buzz. When I finally figured that out, the rest was easy. Just remember, WATER ONLY goes in the bottles when you're creating the fizz. The flavoring goes in AFTER it's carbonated, and DO NOT add extra carbonation once the water is flavored. When you do add the flavoring, pour slowly (but not too slowly) so nothing drips out. My nanny likes a lot of fizz, so we press the button to buzz four times, and then add the flavoring. We discovered that the soda is a bit too sweet if you add exactly the amount of flavoring the instructions require, so we fill the cap to just below the line and it's perfect that way. My nanny says it is a pretty good replacement for regular Coke Zero, but it's a bit sweeter (even a little too sweet). It's also much less expensive. Even if she goes through one entire SodaMix bottle a week, that's only $5 versus $6 or $7. (I actually know she hasn't gone through the whole bottle yet, and it's been more than a week.) Plus, if you buy 9 SodaMix bottles, the 10th is free...so really it's only $4.50 per SodaMix bottle. I give the Zero Cola flavor an 9/10, because my nanny thinks it's a bit too sweet.
The next flavor we tried was the Diet Pink Grapefruit, which is supposed to be a replacement for Fresca. I happen to *love* Fresca, but I can't drink it in pregnancy because it's made with aspartame. But not the SodaStream version!! No aspartame here, and it does taste like Fresca. My nanny added a bit too much fizz, since she was originally going to make her own soda, but I convinced her to make one for me instead before the flavoring went in. Other than that it was delicious with just the right amount of sweetness and flavor. I believe it actually has more grapefruit flavor (and probably more actual grapefruit juice) than Fresca, which is good. YUM! I give the Diet Pink Grapefruit flavor a 10/10!
We then tried the Diet Lemon Lime flavor, which is supposed to taste like Diet Sprite. And it does! It's just the right amount of sweet, and I honestly would not be able to distinguish between the SodaMix and a glass of actual Sprite. So far, I am really impressed at how well SodaStream has recreated the tastes of the brand-name sodas we are so used to drinking. I give the Diet Lemon Lime flavor a 10/10!
My husband likes flavored seltzer, so I made for him the Orange MyWater. It calls for a 1/2 tsp of flavoring for 1 liter of seltzer, but my hubby said that he couldn't taste the flavor with that amount. So, I added another 1/2 tsp. He still said that the flavor was very light and that he probably wouldn't buy it in the store. Oh well! Maybe he'll like another version of MyWater better; we'll just have to see. Our babysitter also tried it, but had the same comment--not enough flavor. They give the Orange MyWater a 5/10, because you can't really taste the orange the way you would be able to do with store brands. We could always add more, but if you're using half a bottle of MyWater to flavor just 1 liter of seltzer, it would become very expensive.
We also tried the Orange Mango SodaMix. It was mmm mmm delicious. I happen to looooove mango, and I've been craving oranges like they're going out of style. This definitely satisfied. Not too sweet, and just the right amount of citrus. It's not a diet flavor, but it only has 35 calories in an 8oz glass! That's *way* better than any other regular soda I've ever seen. And it's made with real sugar, not high fructose corn syrup, and there's only 8g of sugar per 8oz glass. My cereal has more than that per serving! I give the Orange Mango flavor a 10/10!
- No lugging bottles, no storing bottles, and no empty bottles to be thrown away
- If you are a big soda drinker, like my nanny, then the starter kit and SodaMixes will pay for itself within a year...easily.
- The soda maker takes up very little counter space.
- You can add as much or as little fizz as you want.
- The flavorings actually taste like the "real thing".
- The non-diet flavorings have fewer calories, less sugar, less sodium and less caffeine than regular soda from the store.
- They use real sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup, and they use Splenda instead of aspartame for artificial sweetening.
- It's very easy to set up and very easy to use.
- It's economical and eco-friendly!
- It is a hefty "start-up" cost, even though the savings over time can really add up.
- You will need to refill the carbonator bottle, and that can be expensive, but you only need to refill it once for every 120 liters of soda.
- The Fountain Jet Seltzer Starter Kit is $99.95 ($$$$) (This includes the soda maker, one 60 liter carbonator and two carbonating bottles)
- SodaMix flavors are $4.99 - $6.99 ($$$)
- 3-packs of MyWater are $9.99 ($$$)
Or, you can win a Fountain Jet Soda Lover's Start-Up Kit (winner's choice of black/silver, white or red/silver), a sample pack of flavors, and 3 full-sized flavors of the winner's choice!
Mandatory entry: (if you do not do this, the rest of your entries do not count!)
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This giveaway will close on July 9, 2010 at midnight.
You must live in the US to enter. The winner will be picked via random.org and will have 48 hours to respond to my email or another winner will be chosen.
Make sure to leave me your email address with at least one of your entries so I can email you if you win. If your email address is on your blogger profile or on your blog that's fine too. If I cannot find your email address, I will mention that when I post the winner of the giveaway, and you'll have 48 hours to email me or another winner will be drawn.
We were sent the SodaStream Fountain Jet and SodaMix flavors free of charge for the sole purpose of this review; no other compensation was received. All opinions expressed are my own.