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Soda has long been characterized as an evil, villainess product that does no good. It rots teeth, melts insides, turns children into crazed maniacs, and has been known to shatter relationships – kidding on the last one. Okay, so that characterization is grossly inflated. After all, there are worse things for you in life, such as cigarettes, drugs, and perhaps even some juice products. So I say, indulge, drink soda, just practice moderation. As they say, guns don’t kill people, people kill people. If you’re looking to upgrade your kitchen in other ways, take a look at the best salt and pepper shakers too. For another solid breakfast item, you should also read our review of the Popcake.
If you recall, Shawn Kline recently reviewed the Sodastream Fizz. It’s the basic Sodastream without any bells and whistles. I, on the other hand got my mitts on the fancier Sodastream Revolution. It’s a $200 device that includes an LED display that shows you how much CO2 is left in the included 60l carbonator. Compare this to the Soda Stream Fizz review to determine what’s best for your house. If you prefer your drink with ice, take a look at how to make SuperIce with the Superman ice cube tray. If you’ve got other kinds of cans to crush in your kitchen you should also read our review of the automatic can crusher concept, no more bruised foreheads.
How much CO2 you’ll get from each carbonator will vary with how fizzy you prefer your soda to be. A total of 4 settings can be chosen when carbonating with the Revolution simply by pushing one of four buttons. Sodastream recommends that you chill the water before adding carbonation as it tends to hold the fizz longer and better. I tested the Sodastream using both tepid and cold water and didn’t notice a drastic difference. Nevertheless, the 60l carbonator is designed to make 60 liters of soda water. However, your distance will drop in the event you choose the highest fizzy setting for each soda making experience. Mine lasted me about 8 weeks, and I used it to make soda water probably three times a week.
Included are two reusable bottles. You don’t want to wash them with hot water or put them through the dishwasher as this will degrade the reusable, food grade plastic. They’ll eventually expire as they can only withstand the rigors of reoccurring pressure again and again, where upon they’ll weaken and fall apart. That said, Sodastream sells a version with glass bottles that we assume will never need to be replaced.
Adding fizz or carbonation is a simple process, though you’ll want to take some care. First off, you can’t and don’t want to carbonate anything but water. Otherwise you’ll end up with a soppy mess as the CO2 causes all other liquids, alcohol included (trust me, I tried), to froth over. The included bottles are designed to fit directly into the Revolution. When in place and pushed back you’ll hear a slight click. At this point you shouldn’t be able to remove the bottle without pulling it forward again. If this is done correctly you can then add carbonation to your heart’s content.
When one of the four buttons is pushed the Revolution’s display will mimic the carbonation process through a set of rudimentary onscreen graphics. Expect to hear a hissing and sometimes whistling noise. Don’t worry, this is normal. When the process has finished a slight air release noise will be emitted followed by a tone indicating that your soda water is ready. From there its as simple as adding the syrup of your choosing and enjoying homemade soda.
Sodastream was kind enough to send me a wide variety of flavors that ranged from Cola Zero, to diet Cola, to Ginger Ale, to Root Beer and more. They also included water flavoring, which is 100% calorie free unlike the aforementioned non-sugarfree syrups. How much syrup you add will depend on your taste buds, but the more you add the less fizz it will hold. In fact, I’d recommend that you add the syrup to each glass full as you see fit, as the bottles will hold fizz a bit longer.
From a flavor standpoint the Colas aren’t on par with Coke or other brand name soda products. However, that isn’t to say they’re bad, just expect to adjust your taste buds accordingly as the Cola is a bit more like Tab, and the Rootbeer doesn’t have the same refreshing bite I’ve come to expect from a Barqs. The syrup bottles should last quite a long time, long after you’ve replaced the CO2 a few times. According to Sodastream, the cost for soda water is just $.25 per liter and flavored sodas for about $.25 per can. Of course that doesn’t include any shipping charges, and you’ll want to exchange your used CO2 canister to continue to reap the savings, which all can be done via local retailers or via Sodastream’s website.
So you could very well just use the Sodastream Revolution to make soda water. That’s what I largely did, unless I had a guest who asked for a glass of actual soda. And that’s what makes the Sodastream Revolution so versatile and useful. Instead of buying a whole bottle of soda, which will inevitably go flat, or taking up space with cans of soda, I could simply whip up a fresh glass on a per order basis as necessary.
Sure, the flavors aren’t an exact match to that of name brand sodas, but it’s a palatable taste to say the least and such a simplified and fun process that it’s a caveat that I can easily overlook. I’d prefer to have glass bottles as they’re safer from a health standpoint and are more opulent looking compared to that of plastic. But, the plastic bottles are light weight, and if you’ve got kids in the house then it might make more sense in the event that they happen to drop them.
Bottom line: a fun experience that will save you money, add more pop to your celebrations, and provide you with a new found sense of convenience for parties and soda chugging guests.