“Jet” Soda Maker Review and Buying Guide
“Jet” Soda Maker Review and Buying Guide
I’m a huge soda lover who favors diet colas and all-natural sodas. I also drink a lot of plain seltzer and club soda, either by themselves or with a bit of scotch, wine, or another tasty alcoholic beverage. With the prices of soda going up every month I began looking for ways to reduce the amount of money I was spending on soft drinks. When I found the SodaStream Jet soda maker I thought I may have found the perfect money-saving solution.
The SodaStream machines are very cool appliances that take up very little space in your kitchen and can taken anywhere because they don’t require electricity to work. They hook up to a smallish CO2 canister and inject carbonation into plain cold tap or bottled water. Mine came with two reusable liter-sized plastic bottles and lids that are specially made for pressurization. They are supposed to last about 3 years but can’t be washed in the dishwasher or they’ll be ruined.
The special SodaStream CO2 canisters are relatively small, although there is a “double size” option I haven’t used yet. Each on of the normal sized bottles will make about 60 liters of soda, but that can be increased if you like less carbonation in your soda water (like I do). They have a special valve that prevents you from getting them refilled like a normal CO2 canister. So you have to order new ones from best SodaStream or find a local authorized retailer that sells them. Currently it usually costs less than $15 for a refill but the bottles themselves cost about twice that.
Using the Home Soda Maker
This little appliance is surprisingly easy to use, especially compared to other at-home carbonation systems I’ve used in the past. You just screw the CO2 canister into the back of the SodaStream and screw the plastic soda bottle into the front. Then you just press the “carbonation” button until you hear a low buzzing sound. 3 buzzes produces standard soda carbonation. You can adjust the level of carbonation to your personal taste preferences by doing fewer or more buzzes. The entire processes take about 30 seconds. Then you remove the soda bottle from the machine and you have plain soda water. You can drink it or put the cap on and store it in the refrigerator. Or you can add flavoring to make the soda of your choice, anything from diet cola to ginger ale to fruit-flavored sodas and everything in between.
One of the best things about the SodaStream in my opinion is the ability to create low-sugar sodas by simply adding less flavor syrup. Obviously you can do the exact opposite if you prefer very sweet, high-flavor soft drinks. I also like to just add fresh juices or extracts for a delicious 100% natural “healthy” soda. Also, it’s great not having to buy and carry lots of heavy soda bottles, six packs, and cases of cans. The SodaStream is definitely a back saver!
The biggest drawback of this product, in my opinion, is being forced to purchase the special SodaStream CO2 gas canisters. You really need to have at least 1 extra canister on hand at all times just in case the in-use one runs out at an inconvenient time. I’d much prefer to be able to take my gas canister to the local hardware store and just have them refill it quickly and cheaply. Also, you really need to order extra plastic soda bottles, especially if you or your family drinks a lot of soda. It’s nice having at least one empty for those times when you want to make a special flavor for a special drink or event.
For the price, I think the SodaStream Jet is a really good bargain. It allows you to make fresh, delicious, personalized soda in the comfort of your home anytime you want. I would definitely recommend it to soda lovers and families with kids who drink a lot of soda pop. Just make sure you understand the limitations regarding the special CO2 canisters and the SodaStream plastic soda bottles. Spend a little more to get extras of both and you shouldn’t run into any problems. And even if you do, the company backs up their product with a very good warranty!
- Easy to Use – A big bottle of soda can be made in less than a minute or two.
- Customized Soda – You can easily adjust the amount of carbonation, flavor, and sugar to your own personal tastes.
- Small and Portable — Takes up very little counter space, requires no electricity, and can be taken almost anywhere.
- Environmentally Friendly — No plastic soda bottles in the trash!
- CO2 Canisters — SodaStream has their own special carbon dioxide canisters that you must order directly from them when you run out of gas.
- Soda Bottles — The special plastic SodaStream soda bottles aren’t dishwasher-safe so must be washed by hand.
- Syrup Flavors — Some people don’t like the flavors of the SodaStream syrups. Many contain sucralose instead of aspartame.
- Water Problems — You must use very cold chilled plain tap water or bottled water, which aren’t always available (especially when traveling).
- Traveling & Shipping — It’s nearly impossible to fly with or ship CO2 bottles because of hazardous materials laws.
Bottom Line: The SodaStream Jet is a unique, useful, and fun product that lets you make your own soda at home but it does have a few drawbacks you should be aware of before purchasing!