When the idea emerged of bringing a soda-making machine into our house, I was skeptical. We push back firmly when the kids ask for a Coke or Sprite in the restaurant, and we keep no soda in the house. We break down for parties, and occasionally the kids get their wish when we dine out.
That said, I like a Pellegrino whenever possible.
So it was with some trepidation that I unpacked the Soda Stream “Penguin” model. Our daughters were excited, but I wondered if we were on the road to ruin. Or at least the road to keeping our dentist fully employed.
After several weeks of non-stop use, I can report that we are very pleased and our dentist will not be seeing any more of us than usual.
Of the several models offered by Soda Stream, the “Penguin” is probably the most elegant. Its clever design is coupled with Soda Stream’s only model utilizing glass carafes. Indeed, I was a recent guest at the Paramount Studio executive dining room, and the unique carafes used to serve the bottled water attested to the studio’s sagacity.
I have now completely stopped buying bottles of sparkling water. This is a pleasant savings. When coupled with the environmental aspects (no longer am I supporting the long distance hauling of water from one place to another), I think Soda Stream has nailed a corner of the market. Indeed, their whole concept also leverages the growth of home espresso machines. The idea of hand making one’s coffee (self-styled barista for a few minutes) is not too far from the process of fixing up a carafe of soda.
The process is quite simple, and it takes only a few tries to get the hang of making soda. By keeping both of the supplied carafes in the fridge, the cold water is ready for its transformation. Drop the carafe into the cylinder, close the sealing chamber and then press down on the beak-like handle. After a few carafes, you get the hang of how long to hold the handle; the greater the time the more the fizz.
The kit comes with several flavors (ginger and orange/mango), which we have used occasionally. I have taken to drizzling in a bit of orange juice, and I get pretty close to an Orangina and the taste of being in Europe. But most often I go with a steady supply of Pellegrino-style sparkling water.
Soda Stream offers 30 flavors, and their website lays out the impressive dietary statistics when compared to Pepsi, Coke and the like. Models range in price from $99 to $249, in the long run, are a great value both in terms of the pocketbook and the environment. The carbonators included with the models eventually need replacing through the Soda Stream Company. This is an astute ‘razor and razor blade’ business model, but all in I am pleased with our “Penguin.” Its style meets with the crucial WAF (Wife Approval Factor) for kitchen use and the kids love the process and result.