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SodaStream vs. Twist & Sparkle

I have the SodaStream and like it except for having to deal with refilling the cartridges. A pain to exchange. I'm also not getting the amount of liters they say I will. I came across a gizmo on Amazon called Twist & Sparkle that has good reviews. It uses those single small disposable cartridges. It doesn't take up that much room and is about $35. What I like is that you can fizz any liquid but milk, unlike the SS which you can only use water in. I don't like that you have to hold the top for about a minute until it finishes fizzing.

Has anyone tried both? What are your thoughts on these? Which do you prefer and why?

Thanks!

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  1. Where is Twist & Sparkle made? SodaStream is the product of an Israeli company, for the info of those who may be boycotting.

    6 Replies
    1. re: ellabee

      Not sure where the pieces are actually manufactured, but if you dig a few levels down in the website, you come up with:

      "Our parent company, the iSi Group, is the world’s largest manufacturer of high-quality cream and food whippers, soda siphons, and their respective chargers and was founded in Vienna in 1811. "

      They appear to have separate websites for USA/North America and Germany.

      1. re: ellabee

        Just to clarify the above regarding boycotting, SodaStream's main factory is located in Ma'aleh Adumim, West Bank.

        1. re: Pedr0

          FYI, Ma'aleh Adumim is an Israeli settlement in the West Bank, so it is definitely Israeli-made.

        2. re: ellabee

          Israeli made...you just cause me to want to go purchase one.

          Thanks!

          1. re: ellabee

            Yeah well, in the West Bank...Israeli made in the disputed territory. As a Jew, this offends me. Why don't they make it in Israel proper? If you need to put bubbles in your water or whatever, give me an ISI product any day

            1. re: paseo

              Just to get all the facts straight. SodaStream is made in Israel or in an Israeli settlement. Not important!! The important thing is that they employ many Palestinians, fostering cooperation among the employees and allowing those Palestinians to earn good money. Some 500 West Bank Palestinians work at the site, in addition to 400 Arabs from eastern Jerusalem and a mix of 200 Israeli Jews and foreign workers, including refugees from Africa.
              They love the jobs! One said he made enough to buy a home.

          2. I have a soda stream and like everything about it, except for their soda mix flavors and the fact that you can only carbonate water. I've been seriously considering getting a twist and sparkle because it's only about 50 bucks last I checked and I can carbonate things other than water. I'd still keep my soda stream for water though, because it's much cheaper per bottle for the co2.

            I don't see these products as an either or.

            8 Replies
            1. re: rasputina

              though they say you can only carbonate water, tea has the same viscosity as water and carbonates fine, jasmine tea is very pleasant carbonated :P Make sure to chill the tea over night and carbonate as iced tea, don't carbonate hot tea!! :P

              1. re: rasputina

                Those soda mix flavors are just disgusting.

                I like that Sodastream refills those gas cylinders. Certainly better than throwing yet more stuff into landfills.

                1. re: Pedr0

                  +1. It bugs me to no end that even the non diet SodaStream flavor syrups have artificial sweetener in them. Yuck. I have never tried them for that reason.

                  I don't quite get what the complaint is with the Soda Stream CO2 cans. Who cares if you're not getting the number of liters they say? By my view it's still a way better deal overall than the alternatives, all things considered.

                  I have an iSi cream whipper, the biggest one so it takes two of those little cartridges to charge it. I find them wasteful, futzy and a PITA. And expensive.

                  1. re: splatgirl

                    The Naturals line they sell doesn't have the artificial sweetener. But it has limited flavor choices. We tried a couple of those and the lemon lime and orange ones are liked here.

                    1. re: rasputina

                      ohh thanks for the tip! I never bothered to look at their offerings after my initial turn off WRT the artificial sweetener. Good to know there is an alternative now.

                    2. re: splatgirl

                      You don't have to use the SodaStream flavorings. There are many flavors you can use that are sweetened with stevia. Amazon carries many of them.

                      1. re: blondelle

                        I am not really a sweetened soda drinker, myself, but I like to have some fun options for when kids come and some of the SS flavors seemed like they could be interesting. I'm partial to my homemade syrups (which kids typically don't like), or Monin brand in the bottle. I just thought it was/is extremely lame and a bit deceptive of SS to pimp the whole "made with real sugar" aspect and then put gacky chemical sweeteners in there, too.

                        1. re: splatgirl

                          They have a new flavoring out that is all sugar I believe.

                2. I'm genuinely curious as to what other liquids one would want to carbonate besides water.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: linguafood

                    Juice and juice mixtures, mainly.

                    I secretly want an Isi for this, and it's the main reason I might get an Isi over a Sodastream, even though I know that making these kind of individual beverages is completely useless unless you throw huge parties, which I don't:
                    http://vimeo.com/30962663

                    1. re: jctl27

                      Ah, gotcha. One of my favorite summer drinks is apple juice mixed with carbonated water - very popular in the fatherland. I like a good squeeze (2 oz.) of lime in my water, too.

                      1. re: jctl27

                        Why would it be useless unless you throw parties?

                      2. re: linguafood

                        I had some leftover red wine, I thought I could carbonate and make a spritzer / sparkling red ...DO NOT DO THIS!
                        I'm still finding red stains on my ceiling.

                        1. re: sbs401

                          No worries. I would never think of carbonating red wine.

                      3. So swapping out a charger at Bed, Bath & Beyond or Crate & Barrel or Staples or Macy's is a pain but using single-use disposable cartridges (at a cost of about $1/liter) is a convenience?

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: ferret

                          Got to agree on this. SodaStream uses a high capacity pressurized cylinder that has to provide a hugely greater number of uses that the small cylinders that Twist & Sparkle uses. Somehow SodaStream is even able to provide refills without any hazmat shipping fees which would be necessary if they shipped by most common package carriers.

                          I make a wine preservation device that uses the same kind of cylinders as SodaStream, so I'm very familiar with all these comparisons.

                          1. re: ferret

                            You can get the chargers for 38 cents each shipped in bulk online and someone said they found them found them for 33 cents. I never get the 60 liters promised by SS.

                            1. re: blondelle

                              There's also no guarantee that you'll find the carbonation from a single disposable to be to your liking.

                              1. re: blondelle

                                blondelle, and others using isi siphons, what brand cartridges do you use? it seems that amazon sells two brands, leland and mosa, but some people complain of off tastes with both. this kayser brand seems promising http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8170...

                                i'm delighted to have received an isi, totally think the carbonation is adequate, and anticipate getting through the 10 pack of chargers i have very quickly. but before i buy 100-300 chargers, it'd be helpful to get more info!

                            2. Good to know there is a different brand out there. I bought my Sodastream about 2 months ago, while i love the convenience of having soda water at home all the time, i think the company is such a ripoff. $100 for a piece of plastic and almost $20 to refill the cartiage?

                              14 Replies
                              1. re: Monica

                                Twist and Sparkle is much more expensive per bottle of soda water and generates a lot more trash because the co2 cartridges are single use and not refillable unlike Soda Stream. So if you think SS is a rip off I don't see how T&S isn't.

                                1. re: Monica

                                  By that reasoning the Twist & Sparkle is $50 for a plastic bottle. The $100 Sodastream gets you 2 bottles (which can be reused effectively for at least 2 years), a carbonator which will last for (up to) 60 liters and the device itself.

                                  1. re: Monica

                                    Just as an observation, my take on the "ripoff" price of a refill is that SodaStream is partially charging you for the special handling involved in delivery of a high pressure cylinder (required by the US Dept of Transportation). I make and ship a product that uses a high-pressure cylinder exactly like theirs (these things are filled to something like 1800psi, which is how you are able to get so many uses from them), and both FedEx and UPS charge most shippers a $25 "Dangerous Goods" handling fee on top of ground shipping charges.

                                    Somehow SodaStream is absorbing most/all of that cost or has a special contract based on their volume. When you return the empty it is no longer "dangerous", but shipping filled cylinders is not as simple as you might think.

                                    1. re: Midlife

                                      Even if a bottle of SodaStream carbonated water cost EXACTLY the same as a bottle of carbonated water from the supermarket, the convenience of not having to haul a crapload of full bottles of water home when I go shopping definitely makes it worth it. That and also not having to fill up my recycling bin with plastic bottles every week AND being able to use my own untreated and freshly drawn well water - there's just no contest. And the fact that it really doesn't cost as much per bottle as even club soda from the store that's been who-knows-how-long sitting in plastic on the shelf makes it a no-brainer. Whenever I see a friend put a bottle of Pellegrino on the table I want to lecture them about it. But I don't.

                                      1. re: Nyleve

                                        Not sure that you were taking issue with anything I posted, but I was explaining why SodaStream's cylinder refill price is not just for pumping some CO2 into a cylinder and putting it in a box.

                                        A recycled cylinder is, I agree, a plus in this equation as well.

                                        1. re: Midlife

                                          Oh I wasn't taking issue with anything at all. I was completely agreeing with you. But I realize now it looks like I was responding to your post - sorry. Not what I intended.

                                    2. re: Monica

                                      My local Bed Bath & Beyond charges $15 to exchange the Sodastream cartridge and they're stocked under the checkout register counter just steps inside the front door. . . extremely convenient.

                                      1. re: Stephanie Wong

                                        For what it's worth, I just exchanged an empty Sodastream cartridge for a full one at Bed Bath and Beyond and was able to use one of their (ubiquitous!) $5 coupons, reducing the cost to $10.

                                        1. re: janeh

                                          I've done the same -- although lately what I've seem to be getting is 20% off 1 item coupons. Guess BB&B is trying to encourage higher $ sales & I'm just not looking in the right places?

                                          1. re: Stephanie Wong

                                            They are most often found on the back of their seasonal brochures.

                                            1. re: blondelle

                                              Anyone who buys a 20% off coupon is wasting money. I've successfully asked for it on my visits and have yet to be denied.

                                              1. re: ferret

                                                I'm curious as to why you'd think anyone would BUY a BB&B coupon.......... and where. BB&B sends endless numbers of them to customers at no cost.

                                                1. re: Midlife

                                                  Maybe because the post from Stephanie Wong suggested buying them on ebay?

                                                  1. re: ferret

                                                    No, ferret, I did NOT suggest buying on eBay. Mine were emailed or snail-mailed to me.

                                                    I was present when a customer asked the cashier for a discount, his request was denied.

                                    3. The cartridges for the Twist 'n Sparkle are available in bulk for low cost. I started this thread as I wanted to know the difference in the finished product, and if it was a pain to use the Twist 'n Sparkle. Do you have to hold something down for a minute with the T 'n S? Thanks!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: blondelle

                                        I have a Twist-n-Sparkle. You don't have to hold the top on for a minute - you insert the gas cartridge in the top, then screw it on to the container. This pierces the cartridge, releasing the carbonation. You leave it screwed on for about a minute, while the excess gas slowly hisses out. Then you unscrew the carbonation top, and put the "storage" cap on.
                                        I like having the ability to carbonate juices, though I don't do that as much as I thought I would. Mostly these days, I carbonate water, and add a dash of bitters for slight flavoring without sweetening.
                                        A note about the cartridges - the Leland brand are sometimes too short to work well in the T&S. They have a warning note on the Amazon product page about this now. I get around it by using a thin shim in the carbonation head - works fine.

                                      2. I have both the Sodatstream and the Twist & Sparkle (T&S). I use the Sodastream at home, but one day saw the T&S on sale for $30 at Bed, Bath, & Beyond. I like them both for different reasons. As mentioned, The T&S can carbonate other things other than water, plus it is much smaller, and allows it to stash it in a desk drawer at work. I don't like that the cartridges are one shot, but I give them to a plumber friend of mine who brings them in with the other scrap steel he sells when replacing pipes. At least that way it doesn't go into a land fill.

                                        The Sodastream, I have had for at least 4 years (not sure when I bought it, exactly) but I have had it a long time, I had to replace the bottles, as they expired (but still worked)... I like that with the Sodastream that you can control the level of carbonation. I also like the big gas bottle, the full sized bottle lasts me at least 6 months or more.

                                        I use the sodastream flavors for both of them, but I always did like diet soda better than sugar soda. Some of the other flavors I use include the Crystal Light packets, or any powdered drink mix. I mix a with a little water first to dissolve, or sometimes go straight into the bottle. My favorite is fruit punch! I have even tried the new Gatorade Mio flavoring, but found it too bitter in the soda...

                                        1. Sure you don't mean the Twist 'n Shrapnel? Pulled from the market. They've been exploding in customers' faces. Not a good plan to dump the entire unbridled contents of a bulb pressurized anywhere from 850PSI inside up to 1500PSI into a plastic bottle. Sure, if everything's perfect, there's nothing to worry about. But what if an older forgetful person (like me!) wants to fizz up some hot lemonade, someone mentally challenged decides to try it on a hot cup of coffee or a curious child decides to try it out on hot chocolate? Kaboom! If you're gonna get a carbonation device, I strongly suggest you get one with a built-in pressure regulator. It just makes sense to incorporate a safety mechanism like that. Then, no matter what concoction someone tries it on - hot or cold - no one's gonna get burned, soaked or deafened in the process.

                                          1. We had a similar device and it was a pain in the but and a lot more expensive. We love our soda stream.

                                            1. Twist 'n Sparkle has been recalled. The bottle may explode. If you have one return it to the place of purchase, or call ISI (the manufacturer) at 800-645-3595.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: RisingSun

                                                My wife and I attended a party where a Soda Stream Source was in use. I hadn't seen one before, and after speaking with the owner, I purchased one. Very minimalist.

                                                I read that this model was designed by the same person that designed the Jawbone mobile phone ear set, a Suisse working in San Francisco, USA. I do not own one, but have seen them many times, and they are impressive to look at.

                                                The Source is similarly well designed, easy to use, easy to clean, and requires no electricity. We use it now primarily for soda water, carbonated apple juice ( similar in taste to our milk-based Rivella ), Energy drink ( similar to Guarana from Brasil ), and Diet-Cola.

                                                We now mix what we like, when we like, and the savings is not purchasing and recycling a large amount of glassware or plastic bottles. I have read cautions about not using warm water in the bottles, but ours is quite cold coming out of the faucet as it is.