Pros and Cons of Sodastream

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Given the time of year, with many people wondering “is the SodaStream the last minute present to buy for my friend/sibling/parent/colleague (delete as appropriate)”, I thought it might be a good idea to give a list of benefits and drawbacks of owning and using a Sodastream.

Pros Cons
Making drinks is fun, the process, the noise, it’s great for kids and adults! Making drinks and then waiting for them to chill takes time
Good for the environment* Have to wash bottles
Cheaper* Inevitably, not quite as good as the real thing for some flavours (e.g. Coke)
New models look good in the kitchen and don’t take much space You may not want to stump up for the penguin, the nicest looking of the range
Flavours stocked in a range of commonly found stores and these days internet ordering makes it easy to get flavours Storing lots of flavours (if you like having a lot of variety like me) takes up space
Wide range of official flavours with more launching all the time No evidence yet of the brilliant 80s Schweppes and Irn-Bru tie-ins
As well as making drinks with the official flavours you can invent your own concepts Fizzy lemon barley may not turn out to be a good idea
Amount of fizz and amount of flavour is under your control Potential for over fizzing or underdosing if you step outside the guidance
Having access to fizzy water is a great thing in itself Quality of your tap water (or willingness to use mineral water) may affect quality of your drinks
Bottles hold onto their fizz for a long time – innovative cap design Bottles run out quickly if you have a few guests
Making drinks and always having great drinks in the fridge is an easy habit to pick up Running a gas cannister out and not bothering to replace it for a bit can see your Sodastream neglected just like your George Foreman grill and your smoothy maker
Product feels retro yet innovative Some people just shrug their shoulders and feel it is completely pointless
Flavours stocked in a range of commonly found stores and these days internet ordering makes it easy to get flavours Storing lots of flavours (if you like having a lot of variety like me) takes up space

* More research and evidence to be discussed on these claims in the future.

Well there you have it, that’s my list for now. I will update it as I think of more. From a personal perspective, I am addicted to my SodaStream and I would advise anyone thinking about getting a SodaStream as a gift to buy one if the intended recipient has perhaps at least two of the following attributes: Likes fizzy drinks. Likes retro or alternative/ironic themes. Environment conscious. Has sense of humour. Likes to keep up with household gadgets. Likes making cocktails. Likes fizzy water.

Merry Christmas!

4 Responses

  1. Mikel says:

    Another set of questions….

    If you use your SodaStream, then put it away, with gas still in the tube… does it leak? Or is it a fact that you need to “waste” the rest of the gas, due to not being recommended of storing the canister tubes of gas?

    How do you “de-mineralize” your SodaSteam, if you have hard water? Do they recommend a certain way to do this…. like put vinegar in a bottle?

    How flimsy are they? Can they last 20 yrs or are they toast after 1 season of heavy use? Can you move them to storage without worrying it will snap in half?

    How is the customer service? This is my number one factor for any product. If there is customer service that yells at me (like the modern 2012 practices of most retail and service businesses), it’s not worth my time. In other cases, I couldn’t understand someone from Pakistan, due to heavy accent. Please advise me on this issue, it’s ultra important to my buying this product.

    Soda storage- does the soda go flat quickly, or can I drink the 2 glasses a day apart, like the 2 Ltr bottles?

    Sustainability of the products- Does it look like this is a “fly by night” company? Or do they plan on having SodaMix and Carbonators (gas tubes) everywhere for years to come? If I have to drive 120 miles to get flavor, 5 yrs down the road… it’s not worth it either.

    Please advise us all about these issues. Pros and cons didn’t cover these issues. This is important to my purchasing and recommending this product to others.

  2. popsicle says:

    Hi Mikel,

    I don’t think I’m best placed to answer some of these questions – this website mainly deals with the fun you can have with SodaStream not so much anything practical. You may wish to check out http://www.mysodastreamreview.com which has some more factual content. However, here goes:

    I would assume a gas cannister needs to be used up within 1 year.

    The bottles come apart so can be thoroughly cleaned – I would have thought vinegar would work perfectly, but I live in a hard water area and after a year of use my bottles still look fine to me.

    They are about as sturdy as other household equipment – e.g. food mixer, smoothie maker. Not durable enough for professional use, but I make about 1 bottle every 2 days and would expect my unit to last at least 5 years.

    I’ve not had to deal with anyone in customer service. I bought my Sodastream unit in John Lewis (where the service was ok), since then I have bought flavours online and cannisters in Robert Dyas and both have been pleasant enough.

    Bottles stay fizzy for 2 to 3 days.

    Hard to say how long this will last. SodaStream died out in the eighties. Now it’s back. Being able to order flavours off the internet makes it much more sustainable and easy in my mind.

    I might write some fuller posts on some of these bits at some point, thanks for making me think about it.

  3. Luke says:

    Thanks for mentioning my site in your reply above “Popsicle”. I noticed a recent visitor of my site was referred by this page and thought I’d drop by. Thanks for the shout out! You’ve got my personal email address now so feel free to reach out to me if you like.

    Mikel,

    I thought I would take a few moments to answer some of your questions while I was here.

    Descaling: To be honest, this is not something I’ve had to worry about. I have extremely hard water here but I filter the water before using it with this Sodastream. Our water in South Florida tastes horrible! If it is used to make beverages with Sodastream, you end up with horrible tasting beverages. For this reason, I recommend using filtered water with the Sodastream. You can pick up an inexpensive water filter that will work just fine for most people. If you’re happy with your water without filtering, I would just make sure you keep your Sodastream Model clean by wiping it dry after each use. Some models (like Penguin and Crystal) will be more likely to have scaling than others (Genesis, Fountain Jet, etc.)

    Sturdiness of Units: I have not felt any of the Sodastream models I’ve personally tested to be flimsy. I can’t tell you for certain how long they will last but I can tell you I’ve had my Penguin for over two years and it has survived the excessive use and abuse of my family, friends and guests without any problems. My Fountain Jet (used in the office) is right at two years old and has really been abused, even dropped, by fellow coworkers and is still going strong. You should have no concerns about moving or transporting the units as long as you employ some common sense. We have taken ours on vacation, to group gatherings, parties, etc. without any issue.

    Sodastream Customer Service: Here in the United States, Sodastream’s customer service has been excellent. Like any company, some agents are better than others but I’ve contacted them directly on many occasions to ask questions for my site and assist visitors of my site with questions, concerns or problems they’ve encountered. Sodastream has responded appropriately 100% of the time. If you have a problem with your machine, they will troubleshoot the issue with you and if necessary, replace your machine at their expense while it is in the Warranty period. I cannot comment on Customer Service outside the Untied States but I would assume the experience would be similar.

    Soda Storage: You’ll find that properly carbonated and stored beverages made with the Sodastream will stay fresh and last longer than your average two-liter bottle. I’ve had beverages stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days as part of my initial testing and been pleased with the results. The reality, however, is that since you make your carbonated beverages when you wish to use them, you’ll rarely find yourself storing it for more than a day or so before it is consumed. I recommend storing bottles of water in the refrigerator so they are chilled and ready to carbonate then making each bottle fresh as you need them.

    Sustainability: I have no concerns about product sustainability at this time. Sodastream’s popularity and growth have been amazing and although they fizzed out in the past, they never went out of business. Their recent growth has been amazing and they look like they will be around for many years to come. I also wanted to point out that you don’t have to use Sodastream’s Sodamix. Just about any liquid flavoring or soda syrup will work. You can even make your own homemade Soda and beverages. Many of the visitors to my site use the Sodastream with bulk brand name flavors they purchase at warehouse stores (like Costco, Sam’s, etc.) to make the same flavors you could buy commercially in the store. I also have section on my site that discussed alternatives to Sodastream’s flavors. After you have a bit of experience, you’ll find your imagination can take you just about anywhere you want to go with a Sodastream.

    Good luck with your Sodastream adventure. There are many things to consider when trying to determine if Sodastream is right for you. I cover many of these on my site in addition to the points listed above. Feel free to drop a line and use my Contact Me page should you have any additional questions.

    Thanks again to “Popsicleā€¯ for the shout out on your site, it is most appreciated. – Take good care, Luke

    • popsicle says:

      Thanks for your detailed reply Luke. Let me re-iterate to anyone interested, that Luke runs the best fact filled Sodastream site in the US and anyone interested in Sodastream should definitely check it out. My site focuses more closely on my opinions and feelings about the flavour range and aims to be the best site ‘this side of the pond’.

      … and to follow up on the comments on water quality. Tap water is ok here in London, but I did recently purchase a water filter jug to try it out. I think it has made a difference: it’s nice to have ice cold water ready to go for my soda creations and I reckon that less minerals in the water is equalling more fizz.

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Number of gas cannisters used up 4

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