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February 12, 2013

A little while ago we mentioned to you that we received a SodaStream Genesis unit for Christmas and how much we love it. Many of you also expressed how much you love your SodaStream unit and many of you said you would love to try it. Of course, there always has to be a few nay-sayers in the group. I decided that since so many of you were interested in this product, that I would do a review! It only makes sense, right 🙂

side-by-side

I contacted SodaStream and let them know how enthusiastic we are about their product and my upcoming review. They were so happy to hear that we were so happy, that they very generously offered to sponsor the review with a SodaStream Source! This kit came with the SodaStream Source unit, CO2 Carbonator, Reusable bottle & Flavour Sample Pack with 9 flavours!

 

And guess what – SodaStream has also offered SaveaLoonie readers an exclusive coupon code to save 30% off your purchase of a Green Fizz Starter Kit at SodaStream.ca. But we aren’t done yet! This amazing company has also sponsored a prize for you! How awesome is it that!?! One lucky fan will receive a SodaStream Green Fizz Starter Kit and 12 Flavour Sample Pack!

prize

But before we get to all of that, let me prove to you how awesome SodaStream really is! I was basically already done writing the review for the Genesis model when we found out we were receiving the Source model, so I decided to leave what I had already done and add in information about the Source model. It will be like a detailed comparison.

Design

SodaStream makes their units in a handful of different models, each with a unique design. The model we had initally, the Genesis, is light and compact. It is easy to store anywhere even in a small kitchen or office. The unit is a little too tall to fit under our kitchen cupboards but does fit perfectly under the cupboards in our small office kitchenette. It is sleek and simple with none of those icky, hard-to-clean cracks & crevices. A simple, quick wipe down after use is all it needs. If you’ve had a spill or you just feel the need to, you can pop out the base plate of the unit and wash it.

baseplate

The SodaStream Source unit has all of the same wonderful properties as the Genesis model but improved upon some of the flaws we found (I’ll discuss them in the sections below). The one issue with the Source that we didn’t have with the Genesis, is the reusable bottle that comes with the kit. The Genesis bottle is entirely plastic, the Source bottle has a stainless steel base. The problem is, the edge of the bottle base is sharp and if you run your finger along it the wrong way it could slice you. I much prefer the plastic bottles.

One of my favourite things about SodaStream is that it is 100% energy free and is super eco-friendly. It uses no electricity or batteries and you can exchange the CO2 cartridges and get a full one for a reasonable fee. You reuse the soda bottles and the syrup bottles are recyclable! So much better than all of those bottles and cans.

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The 1L reusable bottles are the perfect size for Ryan and I to split or to grab and take in the car. The starter kit comes with one bottle but we picked up a 3 pack so we could have extras. We just fill up the bottles with tap water and put them in the fridge. When we want a drink, we just grab a bottle and whip up a SodaStream. The whole process doesn’t take more than a few minutes and you have a cold, refreshing drink.

Does It Work?

Yes.. yes it does. In fact, SodaStream works so well that we have basically stopped buying name brand pop and fizzy water and I couldn’t be happier!

Using a SodaStream is really as easy as a push of a button! Start by filling up the reusable bottle with tap water. You can pre-chill the bottles if you want or you can get right to making soda!

bottle-in

To use the Genesis model, you start by screwing in the bottle to the unit. It’s not really hard to do but if you don’t get the angle quite right it can be tricky. The Source unit has corrected this problem by implementing a locking mechanism. All you have to do is position the bottle and press it back to lock it. This step is important. You want to be certain your machine is locked in or else you will have a big mess on your hands.

Once you bottle is in position, press the carbonating button. Each unit works a bit different and upgrades have made it much easier. On the Genesis, you push down and quickly release the button. You keep doing this until you hear 3 loud buzzes. The instructions aren’t very clear on if the buzzes are suppose to be 1-2-3 or if you are suppose to release then repress after each buzz.

The Source unit eliminates this issue with a digital display! All you have to do is press and hold until the LEDs light up for your desired fizz level. No buzzes. I have to say though, these machines are loud! I would not recommend using one in a room next to a sleeping baby or anything. Each is loud in their own way and Jack (our dog) does go a little crazy when we use it. I think he’s really confused by the sound LOL Ryan says, “the noise really makes you feel like you are part of the bubble making process”. The loudness wouldn’t hinder me from recommending it to anyone, but I felt it was something I should mention.

fizzing

Anyways, once you have carbonated your bottle, you have to release it from the machine. Again, this is loud and if it’s your first time using it, can be a little frightening. When you release the bottle, the excess gas escape in a big way! The Genesis isn’t so bad but the Source is really loud! Using the Source unit, I noticed you really want to be sure you have a good grip on the bottle before you release it because it basically falls right out! Since you have to unscrew the Genesis model it doesn’t really have that problem.

pouring

It’s time to flavour your water! Pick your flavour and pour the required amount into the cap (it doubles as a measuring device). This part can get messy if you’re not careful. Tip the carbonated bottle slight on its side and hold it over the sink (preferably). Now SLOWLY pour in the flavour mix, and when I say slow, I mean slow! If you pour the syrup in too fast, you get a bit of a foam explosion out of the top of the bottle. It will take a few tries to get your technique just right.

Now shake, rattle and roll that bottle (gently) to mix up the drink. As you can see in the picture below, the syrup settles at the bottom. We’ve found the rolling the bottle back and forth works the best. Let it sit for a second or two and away you go!

shake

While some flavours (cola, lemon-lime) don’t quite match-up to the big name brands I don’t mind at all, they are still delicious. As a matter of fact, I actually prefer some flavours (orange, root beer) over the name brand. They don’t have that heavy syrupy taste and I find the SodaStream stay carbonated longer than a store-bought bottle.

*Not From Experience Tip* It clearly says this in the instructions and on the unit but every one gets a little curious sometimes right. My advice, follow the rules, DO NOT add the syrup before you carbonate the water. If you just can’t contain your curiosity, search YouTube for SodaStream Explosion and you will get the picture. Unless you like spending hours cleaning your kitchen and potentially causing damaged to your oh-so-awesome SodaStream unit!

Durability

As I mentioned above, the SodaStream is incredibly easy to take care of. A quick wipe down with a damp cloth after each use will keep it looking like the day you got it!

The only real criticism I have about the Genesis unit, is that it can be a bit on the unstable side. Since the base is so light and the top is bigger and heavier it can be a bit tippy if you give it an unexpected bump. While ours hasn’t fallen over, there have been a couple of close calls.

side-by-side

This issue is greatly improved with the Source unit. It has a heavier base and wider column. The unit is far more sturdy. The minor cost difference is totally worth it for this product. The Source looks, feels and operates like a superior machine to the Genesis. If you plan to use your SodaStream a lot, this is something you would definitely want to consider.

If you think you just want to get it to have on occasion, the Genesis unit is absolutely perfect. It does the trick and in reality is the only unit from SodaStream I have ever seen on sale in a store.

Something else I wanted to note. If you look carefully at the small print on the reusable bottles, they have a “Do Not Use After” date. As with anything, these bottles won’t last forever! The expiry date is about 2 years from time of purchase, which isn’t bad at all.

bottle-expiry

Dollar Value

And here it is, what is all comes down to, the bottom dollar. When we mentioned our SodaStream, we had several people say that it was too expensive. While the start up cost may seem high, the dollar value is most definitely there! Let me break it down for you!

Starter kits range in price from $79.99 – $279.99 with the average kit costing $129.99. Your starter kit will give you everything you need to make 60 litres of fizzy water.

You will also need some syrups to flavour your water. You can get everything from cola & ginger ale to fizzy water flavours and cocktail mixes! These average around $6.98 a bottle. Each bottle (soda syrup) will provide 12L of flavouring. So you would need about 5 bottles of syrup to match up with your canister. Works out to around $35.

Math time..

$129.99 (starter kit) + $35 (syrups) / 60 bottles = $2.75 / bottle

So that’s not too bad.. about double what you would pay for name brand pops. But wait, it gets better. Now that you’ve run out of syrup and CO2, head back to the store and exchange your canister for a new one and pay only $19 (at Walmart) and pick up 5 more bottles of syrup. Now lets do the math…

$19 (canister) + $35 (syrups) / 60 bottles = $0.90 / bottle

MUCH better, right?! Now you are basically even with store prices. Mix it up with fresh fruits or homemade flavourings to limit your syrup consumption and extend your Loonie even farther! And don’t forget, instead of having 60 plastic bottles in the recycling bin, you have 5 small ones. Those reusable bottles are great!

So there you have it folks! As I look back at what I’ve written so far, I notice despite my best efforts my compulsion to over-type has run rampant through this review. I will wrap it up by saying we love, love, love our SodaStream and now one lucky SaveaLoonian is going to get to love theirs too! Enter to win a SodaStream Green Fizz unit with 12 Flavour Sampler Pack by clicking below!

 

[button radius=’3px’ background=’#54b9e4′ border=’#54b9e4′ color=’#ffffff’ link=’http://www.savealoonie.com/win-a-soda-stream-green-fizz-starter-kit/’ window=’yes’ size=’big’] CLICK HERE TO ENTER SAVEALOONIE’S SODASTREAM GIVEAWAY [/button]

You can shop SodaStream.ca and save 30% off your purchase of a Green Fizz Starter Kit using the exclusive coupon code savefizzgreen at checkout! Valid until March 1, 2013.

Do you have a SodaStream unit? Share with us what you think about it by voting above and leaving us a comment below!

[quotes]The product reviewed and prize for giveaway were supplied by the company. No other compensation was received. The opinions in this review are my own and have not been influenced in any way.[/quotes]

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February 12, 2013

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