I drink a lot of seltzer water (club soda, sparkling water or,
as my daughter calls it "fizzy water") - plain water filled with
sparkling spheres of burp-o-licious carbon dioxide. I fill a paper
shopping bag with empty cans a few times a week. As you can
imagine, the cost of purchasing all that seltzer, plus lugging all
the cans into the house, not to mention the waste of all those cans
(yes, we recycle, but still) weighs heavily. I even had to get a
second trash-can sized recycle bin to hold all the empties for
weekly pickup. Oh, and yes, I had to keep all that stuff cool in
the fridge as well.
For a while, I kicked around either purchasing a commercial
seltzer water maker like you might find at a bar, or building one
of my own out of a CO2 tank, a regulator and whatnot. In the end,
the convenience of a boxed set at Bed Bath and Beyond for $99 won
I've now had the Sodastream Genesis since 7/18, so I thought I'd
write about some of my impressions.
I love it. I now have on-demand seltzer water whenever I want,
without lugging cases of cans around and filling our recycle bin
with empties. It's relatively compact, requires no electricity, and
carbonates my water as it should. It's simple to use and there's
nothing involved or overly fancy about operation.
I put off getting one of these because I didn't like the idea of
buying into a "system" that required proprietary bottles and
carbonator canisters. Once I got past that, I was good.
The "more! bigger!" corner of my brain tells me it may have been
better to get the larger unit, the SodaStream Fizz, but those were not available
locally. The Fizz can use the larger 130L CO2 tanks (carbonators),
where the Genesis can only use the smaller 60L carbonators. Time
will tell how often I have to swap tanks.
In any case, you can order the units online, but it will be more
convenient to you if you can pick up the carbonators (CO2 tank)
locally in a pinch. My local Bed, Bath and Beyond allows me to
exchange my empties right there, in-store, for the same price you
pay online (with the bonus of no shipping fees). You can even use
coupons in the store.
BTW, every time I read "carbonator", this is what I picture
(yeah, I know, carbonite vs. carbonate)
…although, wookie laments aside, the SodaStream does sound a bit
like the carbonite freezing chamber when you use it. See the video
below to hear it yourself.
Tips for working with your SodaStream
Use filtered water. Our fridge has a good filter in it which
results in water that tastes good to begin with. If you start with
nasty water, you'll end up with nasty water with bubbles.
Skip the flavors and develop a taste for plain seltzer (or maybe
with just a squeeze of lime). Your brain will thank you in the case
of diet soda, your gut and butt will thank you in the case of the
sugar stuff. Oh, and see here for another reason not to drink so much
If you drink as much seltzer as I do, pick up a package of two
extra water bottles, or maybe even two of those packs. The reason
is the water has to be cold (the colder, the better) in order to
carbonate. Seriously, if you can get it just about to freeze, or
even with a little ice in it, it'll be better. If you drink a lot,
you won't have enough time for the bottles to chill in between with
just the stock two bottles. I have four bottles, and I'll typically
fill some with a mix of ice and water when I put it in the fridge
if I plan to use them within an hour or two. I go through between
two and four bottles per day, typically three.
Remember. Do not put the bottles in the dishwasher or wash
with hot water. For that reason, I recommend that you not
drink directly from the bottles, but instead use them to pour the
carbonated water into glasses when you want some. Unfortunately, I
rarely follow this rule, so I have more hand-washing to do.
Expect to get a little spray from the bottle when carbonating.
Not much, but enough that you won't want to keep the SodaStream
next to your computer or your prized boxed set of G.R.R. Martin
hardbacks. I've found that the warmer your water, the more spray
Pay attention to the fill lines on the bottles: Fill them too
high and you'll blow water out when carbonating, fill them too
little, and the needle won't be submerged
Don't follow the instructions and use three pumps - two is
almost always enough. The spurt you hear is CO2 going out the
release valve and being wasted into the air.
Here's a YouTube video showing the process of exchanging the CO2
tank and filling up a bottle.
Genesis in my home office
Does it Save Money?
Total initial cost: $100 for Sodastream, $20 for two water
bottles. Spare CO2 bottle = $30 Total = $150. My well water is
I'm not sure on that yet. If you figure I was going through
around 12 cans of seltzer per day, for $3-$4 per 12 pack, the
SodaStream will pay for itself after about a month. After that, the
carbonators cost only $15 (if you exchange your old one), so it'll
be in the black after just a few days of use. In theory, the
carbonators last for 50-60 liters, which is around 15 to 25 days
As it turns out, the first carbonator was on its last legs on
8/4, so 16 days following the "3 burps per bottle" approach
recommended in the manual. The second, with which I used just two
burps per bottle, lasted until September 19, but we had a vacation
and and I had a Redmond trip during that month. So, figure around
4-6 weeks depending on how many pumps of CO2 you do per bottle and
how much you drink. That's a decent deal.
Also, I used to waste a bit of the canned seltzer because it
would go flat so quickly. The SodaStream drink bottles do a really
good job of keeping the fizz in long enough to finish drinking.
So yes, it saves money, even when you pick up the second (or
even a third, if you want) pack of drink bottles.