For those of you who don’t live in the UK, you may not realise that for the last few years we’ve been living through some kind of miniature ice age, staring forlornly out of our condensated windows as the rain beats against the glass and makes small splashes in the puddles and churned up mud in the garden. Forced to wear bowler hats, carry out umbrellas, drink even more tea and talk about the weather even more than usual, we’ve shrank as a nation back from the outside, trapped indoors with our tins of baked beans, in-laws and over politeness.
But now at last, the great turtle, that most masterful of cricket bowlers in the sky, has at last relented and good times have come again. Sunshine in all its vitamin D dispensing glory has returned to this blighted kingdom and everywhere you look there is the sight of the lesser-spotted English-person peeping from their burrow, slowly divesting themselves of three layers clothing and exposing their anaemic skin to the risk of pink face. Read more »
It occurred to me this week that one of the reasons that making your own fizzy drinks is so much fun is that the noises a SodaStream makes are most excellent. From the gurgle of pouring water, to the whoosh of injecting carbon dioxide to the hiss of opening a bottle, it’s all auditory gold.
With this in mind I thought I’d provide a few SodaStream noises for your enjoyment and reference. Read more »
I’ve finally drunk enough of my old flavours (even the ones I don’t like) that I have freed up enough room in the soda cupboard to allow for a new order of SodaStream flavours. A parcel from the fine folks at Sodastream UK arrived this week. I’ve tried to pick a range of styles of flavours, including some recent inventions to allow for some choice reviewing: Mojito for the sake of weirdness, Dandelion & Burdock for a respectful nod to the venerable old-skool and one of the new ‘Natural for kids’ range, Strawberry, to see whether healthy equates to good. Whether any of these flavours will be ‘natural’ or even better ‘good’, remains to be seen, but I’m delighted to finally get my hands on some Cherry flavour, tentatively interested in the new Cola recipe and speculate that ‘Xstream Energy’ flavour has the potential to be the downfall of empires and/or the breaker of Olympic records.
I’ve got a new flavour order on its way from the good folks at SodaStream which contains such wonders as Mojito flavour and Cherry Flavour and to be doubly prepared, I’ve just equipped myself with a new cannister of CO2 in readiness for some new reviews.
Until the new flavours arrived, I figured the best way to pass the time was by presenting you with a picture of a dinosaur themed Sodastream scene (inspired by a weekend trip to the National History museum). I spent some time trying to think up a good caption for the picture before I realised that you could do a lot better than me. So, I invite you to let me know your caption by leaving a comment below and I will pick the best one at some point in the coming weeks. The prize is likely to include respect from your peers, a review dedicated to the person of your choosing and raised self-esteem (possibly yours, possibly mine).
A couple of weeks ago, much to my delight, my esteemed colleague Bobert forwarded me a clipping from a newspaper from 1926 showing an advert for SodaStream (see picture to the left) and it got me thinking about the origins of SodaStream. I knew the product went back further than my first glimpse of the brand in the 1980s, but I realised that I didn’t know much about the Sodastream story and that it was high time I donned my best investigative deerstalker hat, whipped out the old reporters shorthand notebook and biro and did some hard-nosed reporting on the origins of the great purveyor of fizz. So, here is my breakdown on the history of SodaStream:
Since mankind has been bathing in natural spring water, people have been extolling the virtues of doing so and given that some mineral water is naturally fizzy due to the presence of carbon dioxide, we can safely assume that humans have been drinking fizzy water since the dawn of time. Where we think of the Egyptians watching their boundary stones and whipping their slaves in the pursuit of constructing giant stone monuments we should see them satiating their thirst on a glass of fizzy water, flavoured by honey, lemons or rosewater. Where we dream back to Cleopatra facing off against the romans and bathing in milk we should imagine she did so, comforted by a glass of pop. We don’t know a huge amount about these drinks, but we do know that up to relatively modern times it was common to provide distilled drinks such as beers or other alcohol to ensure that the water was safe to drink and that flavouring water has existed as a practice from ancient times, as much to prevent it tasting foul as to add to the interest.
The invention of carbonation
The prodigious chemist, inventor and chum of Benjamin Franklin, Joseph Priestley (1733-1804), spent a period of his life investigating gases and is credited with the discovery of oxygen (though he named the gas with the rather cumbersome title of dephlogisticated air), along with hydrochloric acid, nitrous oxide (laughing gas), carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide. In 1767, no doubt parched from his efforts generally discovering everything, Joseph produced the first drinkable manmade glass of carbonated water, using a process involving suspending a bowl of water above a beer vat at a local brewery in Leeds, England. The refreshment produced from this experiment enabled him to concentrate on various experiments related to electricity and carbon dioxide over the next few years, before in 1772 he realised it was high time he published his findings in the paper “Impregnating Water with Fixed Air”, but he never exploited the business potential of making fizzy water, believing at the time (erroneously) that the best use of his product was in the preventing of scurvy on naval vessels. Read more »
Unless you’ve had your advertising shields set at maximum for the last few weeks you are likely to have noticed that Christmas is back and apparently here to stay. If you are like me you will spend the next couple of weeks procrastinating before hitting the shops in a frenzy of angst and confusion, wondering whether your brother in law would enjoy Piers Morgan’s bumper book of patronising put downs or whether Mum would like a bread maker. Seriously guys no-one wants to bake their own bread!
However, everyone likes to make their own fizzy drinks and that is a fact. If you are thinking of buying yourself or your loved ones a SodaStream drinks maker, rest assured, you won’t look back and you will remain hydrated and happy forever more. The question is though, which model to pick up – should you lean towards lean pvc utility or decadent chrome. I reckon they all work – they all successfully produce a bottle of fizz, so the decision here is about how easy they are to use and how good they look next to your espresso machine/food processor/slow cooker (delete as appropriate) So then, here’s my round up of the best SodaStream models of 2012 Read more »
Many people thinking about buying a SodaStream for themselves, a friend or loved one, will be worried about whether they will get much use out of it. Will it become a daily fixture in family life, constantly churning out bottles of fizzy water to a keen audience of soda pop fans or will it join the juicer, the smoothie maker, the cheese slicer, the George Foreman grill and the home-sushi-rolling kit, taking up space and gathering dust?
Well, it’s a personal choice I guess, but for me the answer is the former… I’ve had my SodaStream drinks maker for just over one year and I’m still filling my fridge with home made fizz on a regular basis. At a rough count, I’ve fizzed 155 bottles in one year, which is a credible average of around 3 bottles a week. Just what the doctor ordered! Read more »
I’ve had to take a temporary hiatus from reviewing the armoury of flavours at my disposal due to the premature expiration of my recent gas cannister. I fizz a lot of bottles, but I have a rough sense of how many I’ve carbonated and a definite feeling that the last cannister was perhaps only 50% as durable as the previous. This has temporarily dented my enthusiasm and I’ve scheduled the inevitable trip to Robert Dyas for next week and will be searching for a cannister which has the distinct high pressure aura of a metal carbonator from outer space. Read more »
Having reviewed a number of the official SodaStream flavour range I thought it was high time I put together a top ten based on the delectable bunch of flavours I’ve drunk so far. This top ten will no doubt change as I try even more, so I will come back and edit this post down the line. For now… here are the best SodaStream flavours in the land. Read more »