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SodaStream Soda Maker

Product Name: 
SodaStream Soda Maker -- Jet
Manufacturer: 
SodaStream USA
Review Summary
Make your own soda at home!
No bottles or cans to throw out, makes soda without electricity, and the reusable bottles are BPA free.
The soda maker itself is a little expensive, but it pays for itself if you drink a lot of soda or seltzer.

What better party trick than to turn water into soda within a few minutes? 

First and foremost, the SodaStream soda makers are fun and cool.  The Jet model (which I am reviewing), is super easy to use.  Put in ice cold water, press the top three times to carbonate, add flavor, and shake.  Viola -- soda!

For someone who tends to drink lots of soda or fizzy water, SodaStream is a good investment.  The Jet model starts at about $99.  Flavor prices vary, but most fall around $5, and you can make quite a few bottles of soda with each bottle of flavoring. 

As for the greenness of it, it is by far a greener option than buying lots of bottles and cans of soda.  Their bottles are reusable and BPA free.  The carbonation comes from a recyclable carbon dioxide cannister, not electricity or batteries.  

The downside, to me, are the syrups.  They don't quite match up to their well-known counterparts (i.e., the diet cola couldn't be mistaken for Diet Coke) so if you are a Coca-Cola purist, don't expect it to taste just like Coke.  The flavors sold on the SodaStream website are "natural" but, unfortunately, not organic.  The good thing is that the flavors contain no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.  (There's also no high fructose corn syrup!)  The non-diet sodas are lower in calories, but that's because they all contain Splenda.  I'm not a huge fan of Splenda, particularly the aftertaste associated with it.  That said, when doing some taste testing with friends, the favorite flavor was the Orange Mango.  It tasted less like Splenda than the others we tried.

When I asked a SodaStream Account Executive about the use of Splenda, they said that sugar and other artificial sweeteners are simply bigger and heavier than Splenda so it doesn’t concentrate down as far.  

The folks at SodaStream said that there are currently no plans to offer organic flavors, but perhaps down the road they will.   Let's face it, soda is never going to be healthy, but some can be "less bad" for you. 

The Jet model is the most popular, but they also offer an Eco model.  It's made of 85% recycled plastic and has greener packaging materials.   Even with the Jet, the packaging did have minimal plastic.  It was mostly paper which I was able to recycle, and no Styrofoam peanuts.  

So, what's the verdict?  Consider me a fan.  It's quick, easy, fun, and eco-friendly.  I think it's best for those who like simple seltzer with a slice of fresh lemon, versus people wanting to emulate Diet Coke at home.  I like that if I want to treat myself to a glass of soda, the only guilt associated with it is because of the nutrition factor, and no "green guilt" because I'm creating extra waste from bottles or cans.  

FTC Disclosure:  I received some samples courtesy of SodaStream USA for review.  

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