I will warn you now, this is probably the least “tech” review I have ever done. Still, I think it’s pretty relevant to some of our readers, so if you’re interested in making your own soda or if you drink a lot of Red Bull and want to save some cash, keep reading.
The Sodastream is an interesting idea. Basically, you pressurize water with CO2 until the gas dissolves, then you add soda mix, and you’re done. It’s as simple as that. Why then did I choose to take a look at the Sodastream? Because it can make a lot of stuff exactly as you want it, and it can often be much cheaper than the pre-made alternatives.
The Sodastream we got came with several Soda Mixes. These included “Cola Free,” Energy Drink, Ginger Ale, Root Beer, and a few others. It also came with some MyWater Essence mixes which have only natural ingredients (flavor extracts?) and are mixed in a much lower concentration with the water.
There really isn’t much to say about the system from a soda standpoint besides the fact that it makes soda for about $0.25 a cup, which is usually significantly cheaper than the cost per can. Soda is often on sale however– I’ve gotten 12-packs of Diet Coke for $2 each which is just $0.16 a can. That doesn’t happen often though.
The non-Diet versions of the Soda Mix contain half the calories in sugar as normal soda– and it uses real sucrose instead of high fructose corn syrup. The way Sodastream keeps the calories down is due to the addition of fake sugars. If you are afraid of the effects of Splenda (sucralose), stay away from everything except the MyWater Essences.
The Diet variations have sucralose too, but obviously more. I think they taste pretty good. Cola Free (Coke Zero alternative) tastes very good. It’s not exactly the same, but it is close enough that I don’t really care. I do really enjoy the fact that I can customize the level of carbonation per bottle. One of my least favorite aspects of soda is the level of carbonation. I shake bottles to reduce fizz. With Sodastream, I don’t have to. I can add less myself.
Because you self-mix, you can make your drinks more watered down too. This can help if you’re weaning off soda for a diet or just think they taste too strong.
The real appeal of the Sodastream is the ability to make energy drinks for $0.25 a cup. Red Bull goes often for $2 per 8.4 oz can. Amazon has it for a little over $1.80 a can. Sodastream’s Energy Drink tastes almost identical to Red Bull but costs more than a dollar less per serving. It’s a great alternative.
The Sodastream does a great job of making soda. The possibility of making Red Bull will make my late nights and jagerbombs just that much more fun. If you’re a chronic energy drink consumer, this should be on the top of your list. The same goes for those who want to control what they drink.