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Alternatives To SodaStream
There are alternatives to soda stream. Mister Fizz says, "No matter who made the contraption, all a home soda maker does is make soda at home." So don't get hung up on how pretty your home carbonation tool is or how impressed your neighbors will be when they see it. Be more concerned with how functional it is, how cheap it is to operate and how green it is. A great alternative to SodaStream is the Soda Stick. It's smaller than your CO2 container, and smaller than a soda bottle - only 6" long. Sodastream units are so large, your CO2 container actually fits inside them! The Soda Stick simply screws on top of your CO2 container.
There's no shortage of sodas. They're not hard to find. You can buy an ice-cold can or a bottle anywhere in America. In case you're considering making soda yourself, you'll be glad to know it's not rocket science. But since they're cheap and easy to get, why bother making your own soda at all? Well, there are several reasons. If you buy commercial name brand soda syrups, you can make your own single serving sized sodas for one-fifth of the retail price. And, unlike making your own ice-cream at home (which never turns out as smooth as the commercial products made at the creamery), homemade name brand soda tastes exactly like what you buy off-the-shelf. And if making a bottle of carbonated water without flavoring, it will cost you only 2-cents to make the same amount you might pay a dollar for at the store. Aside from making seltzer and soda being fun, when you control the ingredients, you can make them to suit your own taste and lifestyle preferences.
What should you look for in a soda maker? Here are some questions you should ask. Is it quick and easy to use? And when you're finished with it, can you pick it up with one hand and hide it away in a cabinet or drawer? After carbonating your soda, do you have to disconnect your soda bottle from the contraption, releasing all the pressure you just finished putting into it? Can you carbonate anything you want in a single step in the bottle? Or are you limited to carbonating just plain water and forced to add flavorings after-the-fact? That one limitation alone makes it impossible to carbonate natural fruit juices. Can you get replacement plastic bottles for free? Or do you have to pay $8 for a single plastic bottle if you lose one? If you want to make 50-60 single serving sized bottles ahead of time for a party, can you get all your bottles for free? Can you use any size bottle you want? Can you use anybody's beverage-grade CO2 gas? Or do you have to pay 3-6 times the local rate for gas because your soda maker uses a CO2 container with tricky, proprietary fittings on it that only a single company can refill? You wouldn't buy a Chevy® if only General Motors brand gasoline costing $12-$24/gallon could be used with it, would you?
Beverage companies know what consumers want and expect in a CSD (carbonated soft drink). It's a hundred-million dollar industry. It pays for them to know. They know what flavors you like. And they know which advertising works best to attract you. Big Soda has all the facts and their ducks in a row. Before forced carbonation techniques and equipment became readily accessible and affordable for home use, Big Soda pretty much had the American consumer in its bottle. Only restaurants and commercial/institutional kitchens were allowed to enjoy the economic advantages provided by beverage machines that carbonate their tap water on the premises and dynamically add soda syrup to create you an icy cold Coca-Cola® made fresh and just in the nick of time. Remember that they're mostly ice when served, and the restaurant has 8-9 cents in actual cost of the drink they sit on your table and charge you a dollar for. You can thank Big Soda for designing that business model, making the restaurateur an offer he couldn't refuse. Now you have the same opportunity, without a $4000 beverage dispenser.