Sales in soda have dropped dramatically in the last few years. Americans are fast turning to alternative beverages as a result of trying to improve their diets and lifestyle. Obesity rates have leveled off in school-age children, according to a large government survey. So what are people drinking if they are not buying soda? You could speculate on bottled water, but maybe the answer lies in the ability to make your own at a lower cost and in a healthier way. Small upstarts like SodaStream are blowing up the conventional methods of getting soda.
There are a few ways to approach homemade seltzer makers. Carbonation is the key to the whole process. Home carbonation will save you hassle and expense. It takes less than 30 seconds to whip up a fresh drink. Depending on how handy you are and what your preferences are, it doesn’t take long to bring this setup into your life. Choose from one of the three options below:
- Do It Yourself: If you are one of those who can build anything, and are comfortable with gadgets like regulators, clamps and tubing, you can find excellent step-by-step Instructables tutorial for your own carbonated water maker. Truetex.com has even more in-depth instructions for building a perfect system.
- The Old-Fashioned Way: This is a simple system that uses the old school seltzer bottles with an attached C02 cartridge to carbonate the water. You can even find the vintage glass versions of these bottles online. Using this method requires you follow directions precisely or face an exploding bottle. If you wonder who actually does it this way, check out this guy who swears by this method.
- The Best Way: Homemade seltzer makers such as the line of SodaStreams are truly amazing little machines. With one touch you can have a bubbly drink. The C02 cartridge attaches to the main machine and in less than 30 seconds produces the result; all you have to do is stir in flavor. These machines make economical sense because they are convenient and cost efficient. Since they come with plastic or glass bottles, you won’t worry about recycling all the bottles nor cans you have accumulated.
- Quick Tip: There is an important difference between seltzer water and club soda even though the differences are small. Club soda’s flavor includes the addition of mineral-like ingredients such as potassium bicarbonate and potassium sulfate.
Do You SodaStream?
The mad rush to get one of these carbonation machines is on. SodaStream is the first choice in starter kits for making homemade soda. With over sixty different flavors, you can get wildly creative. If you need a low-calorie beverage, you have the control to monitor how much sweetener goes into your drink. For adults who love mixed drinks, they have the opportunity to be their own mixologist and experiment with a wide variety of combinations.
- Easy to use for adults
- Very compact
- Reasonably well built
- Good carbonation
- Relatively small initial investment of about $80
- You choose flavors and amount of carbonation
- Not so easy to use for children, but with a little help, making soda is fun to do together
- Adjusting level of carbonation involves guesswork and experimentation
- CO2 refills at $15 a pop which makes upfront costs more, yet save money over time
- Water should be pre-chilled for quicker and more effective carbonation
- Keep carbonated water into fridge to keep it chilled
If you are still unsure, listen to what consumers say about this fun endeavor. If you are going to do something crazy different in 2016, shake up your life with the addition of one of these machines. Guaranteed to get the interests of the whole family, all while providing healthy alternatives.
“I like the SodaStream because it tricks me into drinking juice! I'm not a fruit/juice person as I have no sweet tooth. But half a glass of juice mixed with carbonated water makes for a very refreshing, not-too-sweet drink. We do that exclusively and don't buy any other flavoring. I used to buy seltzer by the pack to do this with so it's definitely a cost savings. Plus we got our SodaStream as a gift! Good all around.”
“Overall this was a pretty good explanation of how the economics break down. My wife has a SodaStream which she uses to make flavored seltzer (no sweetener). It's what she drinks almost exclusively, so it's convenient to have and reduces our plastic recycling. The economics are slightly different when you compare store flavored seltzer and the costs of SodaStream seltzer, but overall it seems to be close to even. She saves some money by purchasing the SodaStream brand seltzer flavoring from their online outlet section and exchanging the 60L CO2 canister at Bed Bath & Beyond where it's $10 when you use a $5 off $15 coupon.”
“You're forgetting the environmental costs as well. There's no waste with the SodaStream. No plastic to recycle, no driving to the store and back. No hurting your back lugging 3 bottles of 2-litre soda. The SodaStream system is perfect for someone who doesn't own, or doesn't want to own a car. Given cars will cost thousands of dollars a year to operate, that's both good for the environment and the pocket book?”
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