Two years ago, a good friend of mine bought me a kitchen appliance that seemed like a good idea, but one that I was originally sceptical about – the SodaStream Spirit, the cheapest sparkling water machine in the SodaStream range. This device is now my most used kitchen appliance, far outweighing how often I use my kettle, microwave, oven, or toaster. It has completely taken over my life and, honestly? I’m letting it.
Please know I’m writing this with at least a semblance of self-awareness. I’m fully aware that the SodaStream is one of those kitchen wonder devices that’s super trendy to talk about, and then kind of just moves into the background. I’m just writing from experience here.
If you’re anything like me, get a SodaStream. I’m a soft drink fiend – and you know who owns SodaStream? PepsiCo. You know what you can make with a SodaStream? Pepsi Max – my most drunk drink.
With all that in mind, I’m going to try and convince you to buy a SodaStream. If you haven’t considered it before, this is my attempt to convert you.
If you’re unfamiliar with how a SodaStream works, it’s basically a streamlined water carbonator. You need to own one of SodaStream’s sparkling water makers, which costs between $119 and $249, which carbonates water using a CO2 gas canister (the first one of these canisters is included with the machine).
When the canister is out of CO2, you take it to a participating retailer (like Coles, Woolworths, or even some petrol stations) and exchange your old one for a new one – this costs about $19, and spares usually cost $36. The canister has no expiration date, by the way, so don’t worry about not using it.
Keep in mind, you also need to buy SodaStream’s proprietary bottles, as these are the only bottles designed to work with the sparkling water makers. These cost between $15 and $18, (and are more expensive elsewhere), but you’ll usually get at least one included with the purchase of a machine.
Oh, and for flavouring syrups? PepsiCo’s name-brand flavourings (including Pepsi, Mountain Dew, and 7Up) are usually about $8, and there are a lot of other flavourings to choose from. You usually put a cap of these flavourings into a 1L bottle after you’ve carbonated it. On the syrup bottle, PepsiCo claims that its name-brand syrups can make up to 9L, but this can vary if you’re using less syrup at a time.
This is something I would actually encourage. I use half the recommended Pepsi syrup per serving – half the cap – per litre of carbonated water, effectively giving me 18L of Pepsi. It tastes almost exactly the same, believe me.
In my experience, as a daily soda drinker, I’ve been needing to replace my canister once every month, at a cost of $19 per month. Personally, I drink 18-28L of Pepsi Max every month, too (which seems like a lot when I’m putting it into writing), and that leads to a monthly cost of, at minimum, $27.
If we were to simply crunch the numbers, sticking to buying bottled soft drinks might be more economical. A 2L Pepsi Max bottle costs only $3 from Coles, which is obviously cheaper than the 400ml syrup on offer from SodaStream. That being said, the CO2 canisters are rated at about 60L of sparkling water, which quickly comes in line with the per-bottle cost of Pepsi Max if you’re drinking carbonated drinks as much as I do – and actually comes in at a cheaper price if you’re being as conservative with syrup servings as I am.
That’s an extremely broad statement, by the way. Part of the brilliant thing about owning a SodaStream is that you can make your drinks as sweet or as carbonated as you want. There’s no pressure to use more or less syrup, and it all just comes down to your own taste. If it’s not as sweet as you want, that’s fine – just add more syrup next time. Again, the CO2 canisters don’t expire, so there’s no pressure to use the SodaStream any more than you need to in a given month.
And, of course, it’s much better for the environment to be using the SodaStream bottle than to be buying a new plastic bottle when you run out of sparkling water or soft drink. The company refills the metal CO2 canisters and redistributes them through the company’s retail partners, and with the flavouring syrup coming out of a small bottle, that’s the only plastic you’ll regularly be buying (and some of those bottles are actually made from glass).
SodaStream says the proprietary plastic bottles should be replaced after three years, while the glass bottles can be used indefinitely.
So… Yeah. Do it. It doesn’t need to be a SodaStream-branded bottle, but SodaStream definitely has the most widespread replacement program in the country, so it might be a good one to start with.