So I was sitting around my house about 20 minutes thinking, “damn, I wish I had a nice cold pop to wash down this pizza (which I had heated up for lunch)”. Then it hit me, I did! I completely forgot about the SodaStream machine that I had been given to try last week after attending an event that they held with Rob Stewart (you may know him from the documentary Sharkwater) so I decided to give it a try.

I had already tried making sparkling water with the machine when I first opened the box, but decided I would try the pop feature to see how it tasted. The machine came with a cool pack of 9 different flavours to try, so my girlfriend and I opted to go for the Orange-Mango. After about 5 minutes of fiddling around for the instructions (though it turned out to be just as easy as I suspected) I had a nice cold glass of Orange-Mango pop in front of me. It was delicious! Basically like an Orange C-Plus with a hint of mango. (EDIT: I’ve since learned after making this video, the syrup is supposed to go in AFTER the carbonation process. Oops!)

The SodaStream Source is a beautiful piece of machinery designed by Yves Behar (as they state on the box). After un-boxing it, I was surprised about how big it was in person (about a foot and a half tall). I had been concerned I wouldn’t be able to find a place for it in my house because I already have so many kitchen appliances, but when I discovered it did not even need to be plugged in (I am still trying to figure this one out) I managed to find a nice spot for it on the end of my bar:

Soda Stream Review

Inside the box you will find the machine itself, a CO2 tank (makes 60L of sparkling drinks and replacement cost is $20), a reusable carbonating bottle and a 9 flavour sample pack:

The machine is very easy to set up and within minutes you can make your own sparkling water by using just regular tap water! This is one of the features I like the most, because for about $0.20 you can make 1 liter of sparkling. To compare this to a bottle of perrier, it is about $3 less and you don’t have to worry about stocking a bunch of bottles at your house. Here is a glass of sparkling water that I made:

To use it, all you have to do is fill the 1L carafe to the fill line with tap water, push it back against the machine where it will lock in place, hold down the portion over the bottle until it reaches the desired carbonation level, add any syrup if you want a flavour, then drink your new carbonated beverage. It really is that easy!

THE NUMBERS: Does SodaStream Save Money?

One of the things that interested me the most about SodaStream was determining if it would save me money. Here are some numbers for typical costs associated with SodaStream:

SodaStream Machines Start From: $99.99 (For a list of all SodaStream machines, click here)
SodaStream CO2 60L Cylinder: $34.99 new or $17.99 Replacement/Exchange
SodaStream Soda/Juice Mix: $6.99/500ML (makes 12L)
SodaStream SuperFruits: $7.49/350ML
Additional Carbonating Bottles: $15.99 for 2 or $17.99 for 3
(Machine tested in this review is the SodaStream Source (White Metal): $189.99)

So, does SodaStream save money?

Based on the above (ignoring the cost of the machine which you will need to make a few hundred litres before you really start to see a savings) a 1L bottle of pop works out to $0.78 ($0.20 worth of CO2 + $0.58 for mix). This price is great, and there is a definite convenience factor, plus SodaStream doesn’t create waste like other bottles of pop since everything is reusable. So, yes SodaStream can definitely save you money, but depending on which machine you choose it will take a bit of time to notice the savings due to the machine cost.

On the other hand, if you are a sparkling water drinker, SodaStream DEFINITELY saves you money! You will likely be able to recuperate the cost of the machine after making about 70 bottles of sparkling water at home. At $0.20 per L of sparkling, there is NOTHING in the grocery store that cheap! Even the store brand stuff is at least $1.50.

BENEFITS

- SodaStream is great for the environment. A single bottle can reduce up to 2000 bottles per family of 4 in waste each year (Did you know: It takes a plastic bottle 400 years to begin decomposing!)
- Better for you – SodaStream producs do not contain high fructose corn syrup or aspartame. Syrups are sweetened using a combination of sugar and sucralose
- Convenient to be able to make carbonated beverages from your home
- Over time can save you a lot of money
- Stylish design makes a great conversation piece
- Huge selection of syrups, including their new Kraft line which has: Koolaid, Country Time Lemonade & Cristal Light

NEGATIVES

- Initial investment is quite high as SodaStream machines are not cheap
- 1L Carafe size seems small for me as I drink a lot
- SodaStream products are not carried as wide spread as other soda products (products can be found at The Bay, Walmart & Canadian Tire among some other stores in Toronto)
- If you are using it just for sparkling water, it is very inexpensive! If you are making some juices it can get a bit more expensive, though still cheaper than buying pop from the store.

MY EXPERIENCE

I have loved all the experiences I have had with my SodaStream so far and think this is a truly great product. I look forward to using it more over the summer, and it is a great way to make sure you always have mix around the house for those summer parties!

Check out their latest ad which was apparently banned from the Superbowl and takes a shot at Coca-Cola and Pepsi:

SODASTREAM GIVEAWAY

When my girlfriend and I left the SodaStream event last week they gave us each a SodaStream machine to take home. She was kind enough to let me giveaway the other machine so one lucky reader of CheapDude.com will have a chance to try it for themselves! The machine weighs a bit so I am afraid I am unable to ship it anywhere (it would cost a fortune and I don’t think I can ship a CO2 canister) so the winner will have to be able to meet me in Toronto somewhere to pick up the prize. If you are ok with that, please enter the following giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest Rules: The Prize: 1 winner will win a SodaStream Source Starter pack valued at $189.99. This contest is open to anyone (except residents of Quebec), but you must be able to meet in Toronto before June 3rd, 2013 to get your prize. I will not be shipping the product as this would be far too expensive and there are issues with shipping CO2. You must be at least 18 years of age to enter and may only enter with one time. I reserve the right to eliminate any entries which I feel are attempting to gain an unfair advantage and you must enter using the same name and be able to prove your identity upon claiming the prize. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. We hereby release Facebook of any liability. Winner will be contacted by email 48 hours after the giveaway ends and you will have 24 hours to arrange a pickup time. If you cannot do so in this time, a new winner will be selected.