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I love my Sodastream fizzy water machine

I gave it a month before posting. But I am so glad I finally bought this gizmo. Had been thinking about it for, literally, years. I am incurably addicted to fizzy water so I'd been buying either expensive imported fizzy water or big bottles of club soda for my fix. I always felt guilty and stupid about the waste of disposable bottles, the unconscionable transportation cost and the fact that I should be drinking our own, homegrown beautiful well water.

So I bought the Sodastream water carbonator. It's a unit, about the size of an average coffeemaker (a little taller). You put a CO2 cartridge into the back - which should carbonate about 60 litres of water - fill the two supplied re-usable bottles with cold water, attach them to the unit and in about a minute you have a bottle of fizzy water. You control the amount of fizz you like - I like mine pretty bubbly. I LOVE this machine.

It's not free. The unit cost about $100 (ish) in Canada and it comes with one carbonator cartridge and two bottles. I bought two additional bottles (about $18) and just yesterday two additional carbonator cartridges. The cartridges cost me $34 each, but when I return them empty and pick up a full one, it will only be about $16 for each one. There's a deposit that you only pay once.

I love that I'm drinking my own water, it has no added sodium or anything that isn't already in the water and I don't have to throw away or recycle zillions of empties. It was a great investment and will save a bit of money in the long run.

Just wanted to share in case anyone else is considering this unit.

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  1. thanks for reminding me about this. i posted this thread last year, inquiring about fizzy drinks. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/501214

    which particular model do you have? the cheapest one? how sturdy is it? do you see any need for a more expensive model, for any reason? how much are you making each day?

    sodastream site: http://www.sodaclubusa.com/default.ht...
    on sale, too!

    2 Replies
    1. re: alkapal

      I have the basic model, Sodastream. It comes with two plastic bottles. To be honest, at least part of my reluctance to buy this thing was because of the plastic. But it's not that kind we're not supposed to be using - sorry brain bloop, can't remember what it's called - and besides, the water only sits in the bottle for less than a day before refilling. I make about 2 litres a day if it's just me and my husband. With company, we go through a lot more.

      The unit itself is sort of crappy plastic, but I keep it in a back room where I have my spare fridge so I'm not looking at it all the time. And I can't see it getting a lot of rough treatment, so I do hope it will last a while.

      1. re: alkapal

        I had (past tense) an expensive ISI. jillp's husband likes fizzy water so he is using it now. I started thinking about overall cost and found La Croix less expensive over all and has finer smaller bubbles than from my own production. I do love my ISI cream whipper though.

      2. Dude, can you try and carbonate some other stuff for us, as a test?

        I want to know what fizzy tea, coffee and milk taste like. If you could provide this information, I'd be grateful. And remember - you only live once!

        4 Replies
        1. re: Soop

          The instructions clearly warn you not to carbonate anything but water, and to add any flavorings afterwards. I have tried adding concentrated OJ to pre-carbonated water, but it fizzled all over the counter and didn't really work out. Maybe I'll try again with concentrated apple juice.

          1. re: Soop

            This was my thought at first also. Not milk (aack!) or tea, but nice juice or some other refreshing thing or other. But I really really don't want to mess this thing up so I'm not going to do your dirty work for you - sorry Soop. You'll have to experiment on your own machine.

            I haven't bothered with the sample pack of soda flavours yet. We're really not big pop drinkers. In the summer, maybe.

            1. re: Nyleve

              I've had mine for about 4 months and agree that it's great. My brother-in-law lives in Europe and works for a supplier of the gas cylinders so they've been using it for a couple of years.

              We use the soda syrups and they're very good. On the plus side, even their non-diet syrups use a blend of sucrose (not corn syrup) and Splenda so a serving is only 30 calories.

              I've been exploring other flavoring options and Whole Foods has a few no-sugar-added juice concentrates which I'll try soon.

            2. re: Soop

              Carbonated milk? You can look for "Doogh" in middle eastern grocery stores which is a carbonated yogurt soda...

            3. I love mine too! Carbonated water for 4 people at each meal and in between meals too! Good North-side Calgary Bow River carbonated water, not the silly imported european stuff or the cheap salty club soda stuff.

              The syrups (for pop) aren't bad. The "regular" ones are half sucralose half sugar sweetened, so not as tasty as full-sugar pop but a lot less calories. The "diet" ones are all sucralose, no aspartame, so better tasting (IMHO) than most diet pop.

              Mostly, I like not having to lug heavy containers from the store and the bulky containers back to the bottle depot.

              My only complaint is that they won't ship me the syrups or the cartridges. I have to make a special trip to the one store in Calgary that is the regional dealer. As a person who mostly shops by bicycle, on foot, and on the internet, this is a royal PITA, (but not as much of a PITA as buying carbonated water on foot.) I have three CO2 cartridges on the go, and keep the empty ones in the car so I can refill them if I happen to be in that area of the city on a weekend.

              I bought mine 6 months or so ago and it's definitely paid for itself two times over already.

              I keep wanting to invent my own syrups, to make my own pop. I've googled around for some recipes, but haven't found anything particularly useful yet. I think the thing to do is to start with some aromatic bitters and some citrus juice.

              Also, we keep limes and lemons in the fridge (ordered on the internet, of course, from spud.ca) and often squeeze a slice into a glass of water when serving.

              1 Reply
              1. re: JAbraham

                mmm, i know one juice i'd like to amp up with carbonation: "simply apple."

              2. We bought a Penguin recently and love it! It's more expensive than the basic models but we wanted the glass bottles and since it sits out on our dining buffet we preferred the look. So far(3weeks) we've been thrilled with it.

                We also drank a lot of Pellegrino and with the cost and the bottles didn't feel good about it. Now we just fizz a glass carafe from our regular drinking water and off we go. No trips to the store, no cases to lug, no glass bottles being shipped aorund the world and recycled.

                We only use ours for water as we're not soda drinkers. But with a yard full of citrus trees we always have something on hand to squeeze in for a bit of refreshing flavor.

                2 Replies
                1. re: ziggylu

                  I'm no "Earth nut" but the idea of lugging countless bottles and cans from the store and disposing of them - not to mention the environmental costs of shipping water to the stores in the first place finally got to me.

                  And my sons are both drinking sparkling water - when at least one of them was an exclusive Coke drinker - as their beverage of choice.

                  1. re: ziggylu

                    I live in Vancouver and thinking of buying the Penguin. How does the carbonated cartridges work in terms of getting new ones. Do we need to mail the old ones back or is there a store we go to? Just wondering how much trouble it is and if it will be worth it. Thanks!

                  2. We get a better deal in the US, a 3-carbonator swap for $38, or about 21 cents a liter.

                    Williams-Sonoma stores will do a 2-bottle swap for $30.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: ferret

                      Why am I not surprised? I was in NY a couple of weeks ago and tried every Williams Sonoma in the city for carbonators. They were all out. Every single one.

                      Oh well.

                      E.

                      1. re: Nyleve

                        The initial kit is also pretty cheap here. $119 for the machine, 3 carbonators and 4 bottles -- with free shipping. So even with the cost of the unit it's under 70 cents per liter (dropping precipitously with your 2nd batch of carbonators).

                        It took me nearly 3 months to go through my first carbonator, but I suspect that will change as the weather gets warmer.