The 8 Best Soda Streams
8. Play Home Starter Kit
- sturdy carbonation head
- works with optional syrup pumps
- co2 cartridge is difficult to insert
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
7. Power Metal
- 1-liter bottle included
- pop-in loading system
- requires an electrical outlet
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
6. Crystal Starter Kit
- dishwasher safe bottles
- bottles made from high-quality glass
- lids break easily if dropped
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
5. Jet Black and Silver
- dozens of syrups available
- takes just 30 seconds
- loading mechanism requires two hands
|Rating||4.1 / 5.0|
4. Genesis Sparkling
- very quiet operation
- canisters are easy to replace
- twist-lock insertion and removal
|Rating||4.1 / 5.0|
3. Source Sparkling
- comes in black or white
- snap-lock bottle loading
- no guesswork involved
|Rating||5.0 / 5.0|
2. Fizzi Fountain
- great for kicking the cola habit
- excellent housewarming gift
- includes rebate for co2 canister
|Rating||4.7 / 5.0|
1. KitchenAid Sparkling Beverage Maker
- 60-liter cylinder included
- looks great in any setting
- comes in a variety of vibrant hues
|Rating||4.9 / 5.0|
Ditch The Cans and Bottles
A soda stream, or any other home soda making, device uses a pressurized cylinder filled with carbon dioxide to add pizzazz to plain water. These devices are designed to shoot the pressurized carbon dioxide directly into the water to create carbonation or "fizz."
The average soda maker has three basic parts: a base machine, a pressurized carbon dioxide cylinder or other container, and a bottle that can be filled with water.
The base machine is designed to have the carbon dioxide container and bottle attached to it so that it can shoot the carbon dioxide directly into the water.
It is a relatively simple process that has been used by soda makers for over a century, and has recently become a staple in many homes.
For the consumers who prefer soda to carbonated water, or simply need a little flavor with their water, there are many flavors available in concentrated form. Many of these flavors are produced by popular drink companies or by the soda maker themselves. They can be added to the carbonated water to create a delicious, flavored beverage that rivals the average store-bought soda.
SodaStream is the brand that seems to dominate the majority of the market of soda makers, and their brand has more or less become the noun associated with the product–a la Xerox or Tissue–, but companies like Hamilton Beach and iSi have developed incredible products that can also appeal to the soda maker on the go.
What Do I Need to Know Before I Buy?
If you are in the market for a soda maker, you are going to run into two different types: soda siphons and soda maker appliances. Both of these types are featured on this page.
A soda maker appliance (like the SodaStream Crystal) uses a carbon dioxide container placed inside the machine to shoot carbonation into the water bottle. It's a counter top appliance that is easy to use and great for people who drink soda or carbonated water on a regular basis.
Soda siphons (like the iSi Soda Siphon) are more portable and have less parts. They use replaceable CO2 cartridges on a piece attached to the bottle to shoot the carbon dioxide into the water. They are smaller than the soda maker machines but can sometimes be messier and more difficult to use. However, if you want your soda on the go, the soda siphons are the choice for you.
When you are choosing your soda maker, consider how easy or difficult it is to get the carbon dioxide refills or to locate and purchase the soda flavors that you like. Most manufacturers of soda makers also produce CO2 refills, but there are other types of refills available that are sometimes more affordable and compatible with the brand name options.
You can opt to purchase the recommended soda flavors that are produced by your soda maker's company, or you can research how to create and make your own soda flavoring so you have sodas that are unique to you.
Finally, make sure that you consider the design of your chosen soda maker and determine if it is right for your particular needs. Is it sturdy? Will it stand up to the amount of use you have planned for it? Do you need something portable, or do you want something that is going to add to the appearance of your kitchen?
Once you have considered all of the available options, you'll be ready to make your purchase.
History of the Soda Stream
The first carbonation machine was invented in 1903 by Guy Hugh Gilbey. He worked for the London gin distillers, W&A Gilbey Ltd. He called his invention the "Apparatus for aerating liquids." This invention was only sold to people of upper class society. Even the English royal family used it.
It wasn't until the 1920s that flavors for these carbonated beverages were put on the market. The two most popular flavors were cherry and sarsaparilla.
SodaStream developed and marketed a carbonation machine for home use in middle class families in the United Kingdom in 1955. The company later expanded their reach to many other countries including Australia and New Zealand.
SodaStream used the slogan "Get busy with the fizzy" in the 1970s and 1980s to sell their machines to homes all across the United Kingdom. They were hugely popular and a status symbol for any home fortunate enough to purchase one.
As of May 2012, the SodaStream soared to popularity in the United States, and could be purchased in over 2,000 Walmarts across the country.
While SodaStreams have been a brand new fad for Americans during the past few years, they are a source of nostalgia for the United Kingdom and other European countries.