Let me just start this post by saying, we're really not a soda-drinking family. We keep soda in the house for birthdays, and ginger ale when someone is sick, but other than that we do not buy it. These days, you read so many articles about how soda alone adds an average of 10 pounds a year to people who drink it frequently. I'd also heard that the chemicals in soda are strong enough to rip the paint off of a car, so putting something like that into our systems did not seem like a good idea. However, thanks to SodaStream, our family is now enjoying perfectly healthy soda that can be made right at home and tastes just like the real stuff!
When our SodaStream system arrived, we were amazed to see just how much comes with the system! Not only do you get the phycial SodaStream and the 60 liter carbonater, but you also get 3 SodaMix bottles in the flavor of your choice, and a 12 pack of SodaMix variety samples. We were lucky enough to receive some extra SodaMixes (8 total!), as well as a 3 pack of MyWater flavor essence bottles to make flavored carbonated water!
Set-up of the SodaStream is very easy! The directions are easy to follow, and we had ours together in no time flat! On the night we put together the SodaStream, I was suffering from a major allergy attack, so all I was craving was a cup of ginger ale. How perfect! To use the SodaStream, you simply fill one of the carbonating bottles with water and screw it into the SodaStream. Next, you press the carbonating button and well ah! Unscrew the bottle of water, and add a cup-full of your favorite SodaMix flavor to get home-made soda in no time! Using the SodaStream couldn't be easier, and both of the older kids have no trouble whipping up a liter of soda whenever they want!
The ginger ale was delicious, and tasted just like the brand names you can find with the store! I found that will the Cola Free, Root Beer, and Lemon-Lime flavors, all could be compared to brand-name sodas in the store! SodaStream also offers a variety of fruit-based flavors, such as Diet Pink Grapefruit and Black Currant & Pear, which were both flavors that we tried and loved! The sparkling naturals flavors, such as the Black Currant, are made with all-natural ingredients! Orange & Pinnaple and Cranberry-Raspberry were some other new flavors to us that you can't really find in a store, and we liked them as well. The flavor we received that I really don't care for is Green Tea Pomegranate Peach. It was just a little too sweet for me, but it really wasn't a big deal since all the other flavors are wonderful!
As I alluded to in the beginning of this post, the soda made with the SodaStream contains none of the harsh chemicals in real soda. The Cola Free, which is the flavor we received that is comparable to Coke Zero, has zero calories, zero grams of sugar, and only 30mg of sodium! Since all of these sodas are water based, (you use water right from your tap,) I feel a lot better about drinking them frequently and letting the kids have them whenever. The regular, non-diet sodas, such as the Ginger Ale and Root Beer, have only 35 calories per serving and 8 grams of sugar!!
The SodaStream will save you money, there's no denying it. I really feel that we will never have to buy store-bought soda for our family again, and since we have so many SodaMixes I think it will be a very long time until we run out! The SodaStream itself is quite skinny and sits right on our counter, but could easily be stored in a cabinet if we ever needed to. SodaStream is also great for the environment, because it eliminates the need for plastic bottles and tin cans, many of which end up in landfills. Since you make the soda in the 1 liter plastic bottles provided, you have an automatic bottle for your soda if you were ever to bring it anywhere!
The greatest part of the SodaStream is the convenience. I have access to 10+ kinds of soda, without having to store the giant 2-liter bottles anywhere. If I come home and want a cup of Coke, I can have fresh and healthy cola that tastes just like the real thing in less than 2 minutes! SodaStream is great for entertaining too, because everyone can have whatever type of soda they want without the host/hostess having to buy it all beforehand!
I would recommend the SodaStream for any family, and for people of all ages. If you're a soda skeptic like me, you won't feel guilty letting your children have this soda because you make it yourself, and the diet flavors especially really are not bad for your health in any way. College dorm rooms would also be a great place for the SodaStream since refridgeration isn't required; college kids will love just being able to have a bottle of soda and be done with it! Tired students will also love the energy-drink flavors. The only clean-up involved is washing the carbonating bottles if you're switching flavors, but really not any hassle! Regular soda drinkers could save a lot of money with a SodaStream, and will save the gas from driving to buy more!
Buy it: If you're interested in purchasing a SodaStream for yourself or a friend, simply head over to Sodastreamusa.com! The SodaStream systems range in price from around $80 to $200, and can also be purchased at retailers like Staples, Best Buy, Macy's, and Kohl's! The SodaStream would make a great gift, and would be great to have for barbeques this summer (hint hint Father's Day!)
*I received on SodaStream unit to review, all views and opinions expressed are strictly my own