I have considered buying a SodaStream for a very long time, but as long as it was possible to buy a 2-liter of store brand diet soda for $.50ish, I could not justify the initial expense, because even without it, the syrup didn’t save much.

Lately, though, even store brands are closer to a dollar and name brands are nearly $2. I’ve taken to buying fountain drinks almost exclusively, because if I’m going to pay that much, I might as well have the good stuff.

A couple of days ago, though, I reached my breaking point and yesterday took my 20% off coupon to Bed Bath and Beyond and purchased the $99 SodaStream Genesis. They have other, higher-priced models, but I didn’t see the point. I’d hoped to get the red one, but they didn’t have any in stock. In fact, the one that I bought was the only one that they had left.

The system comes with a base, a carbon dioxide canister, and the top mechanism that allows you to dispense the carbon dioxide without hurting someone.

The system comes with a base, a carbon dioxide canister, and the top mechanism that allows you to dispense the carbon dioxide without hurting someone.

It also comes with twelve soda samplers and three water flavors.

It also comes with twelve soda samplers and three water flavors.

It also comes with two one-liter bottles.

It also comes with two one-liter bottles.

The instructions said to use “ice cold” water, so we put these in the refrigerator overnight. They can’t be dishwashered, no bigs since we don’t have one, but they also can’t be washed with hot water. In fact, there is a mildly frightening warning on the bottle that the containers are “dangerous” if used in a dishwasher.

I didn’t understand that when I read it, but I do now…

You start by putting the base, cartridge, and dispenser together.

SodaStream 003

This doesn’t require any power, because basically the CO2 propels itself and this is mostly a safety system. It makes me glad that I didn’t buy the more expensive models, because I’m not sure what modifications would make this “better.”

The first thing you do is carbonate your water. Apparently you have to screw the bottle into the dispenser. Otherwise…

We learn by doing.

We learn by doing.

Once you actually screw the bottle in, you carbonate the water. I was a little gun shy at first because of this warning

SodaStream 004

This instruction conflicts slightly with the instructions on the flavor syrup, which states to “buzz” the soda five times.

Confession here: We wasted our first batch because we did this wrong. When you “press firmly and quick release,” a jet of CO2 shoots into the liquid. I wouldn’t call it a “buzz,” but we counted each of those. And our first batches of drinks were… well, we didn’t get the hype.

Mentally trouble-shooting later, I realized that perhaps this “buzz” was a release valve of some type, and I was right. We’d “pumped” 5 times, and when I waited for the “loud buzz,” the first time I had to pump more than 30 times to get one buzz, and then it happened pretty quickly after that. The second batch was MUCH better.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Pump the button and fill the water with carbonation!

Pump the button and fill the water with carbonation!

Can you guess which is mine and which is Daphne's?

Can you guess which is mine and which is Daphne’s?

The root beer syrup smelled amazing.

The root beer syrup smelled amazing.

You fill the cap with the syrup, then slowly pour it into the bottle.

SodaStream 012

Daphne suggested doing this over the sink. Good idea, because some dripped out.

I did NOT do mine over the sink. Yeah.

I did NOT do mine over the sink. Yeah.

Once we made these the correct way, they were very good. I’m interested to see if I can acclimate to Sucralose; I prefer the taste of Aspartame, and yes I know how “bad” it is for me, so I’m trying to do this instead. All of SodaStream’s “diet” syrups are sweetened with Sucralose, no Aspartame at all. I had read that the Zero is better than Diet, so started with that.

The drinks are crisp and taste very “normal.” We’re looking forward to trying all of the sample flavors.

 

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