Hi, my name is Brigitt, and I have a seltzer problem.
For a very long time, the top shelf of my fridge was completely overrun by seltzer cans, and even worse, my recycling bin was in constant need of emptying. But, as I told myself, hey, it’s a better vice than Diet Coke (a lifelong love affair that finally ended in my mid-20s).
It wasn’t just the overabundance of concerning recycling that bothered me, though: I hated the fact that I was spending at least $8 per week on glorified water. It doesn’t sound like a lot of money, but it certainly adds up—I was spending over $400 per year on the stuff!
So when my husband and I registered for our wedding, I made it a point to put the SodaStream Source ($70) on the list, which claims to make sparkling drinks in under 30 seconds while protecting the environment by reducing bottle and can waste. My husband wondered why we needed it; my friend told me she never used hers; my mother-in-law asked if we had enough counter space—but she bought it for us anyway. And thus began my love affair with the seltzer maker.
How the SodaStream Source measures up
Despite the negative feedback, I opened the seltzer maker the second we got it. It really didn’t fit on our counter—it encroached on the one surface area I had at my disposal to prep dinner—but I loved it enough to make it work.
I started making seltzer every night when I got home from work. To make the seltzer, you simply fill the included bottle with water to the indicator line (I use filtered water from my Brita, twist the bottle onto the machine, push it back against the silver lever, and press down on the top of the appliance until the first LED indicator light illuminates—just about 30 seconds.
One of my favorite things about the SodaStream Source is that there are three different levels of carbonation. I always go for the most carbonated—I love those bubbles—but it still takes only 30 seconds to make my beverage.
A single batch is almost always sufficient since the included bottle holds one liter (that’s almost three cans of seltzer, which lasts me most of the day). If I ever have seltzer left over, the bottle comes with an air-tight top that makes it possible to store in the fridge overnight—the soda does fall a bit flat, but it works in a pinch.
As for the flavors, my standby favorite brands and flavors are Canada Dry’s raspberry or Polar’s black cherry seltzer, but I’m not a fan of the syrup the SodaStream comes with. Luckily, there are some flavored drops you can put in, and you can also "steep" your seltzer with fruits and herbs.
Is the SodaStream worth it?
I can’t claim that my SodaStream habit doesn’t cost me anything. Though it was a gift, the SodaStream I have generally runs about $60. And there is a small cost associated with upkeep, since you have to replace the the 60-litre carbonator canister about every three months.
A carbonator is only about $15 if you trade it in at the customer service counter at Bed, Bath, and Beyond: The $30 price tag listed online is for when you want to buy an entirely new carbonator, so you have a spare. In total, it costs me about $60 per year to operate the SodaStream—a far cry from the $400 I had been spending previously. It's worth every penny.
Prices are accurate at the time of publication, but may change over time.