Review: SodaStream Source
It’s an interesting year for SodaStream, with Samsung fridges about to receive an injection of the soda-water making gadget, and the appliance itself receiving a refresh by one of the world’s most talked about designers, Yves Behar. Is the Source worth having in your home?
The next generation of the SodaStream carbonation system, Source takes the classic product and updates the design, bottle locking mechanism, and bottle.
A plug still isn’t needed, but the machine is now taller than before, while the front features three simple light-up indicators to show how much carbonation you’re injecting into the water.
The SodaStream Source box contains one SodaStream bottle, one 60L CO2 cylinder, and several sample flavour pods inside good for one litre of soda each.
Easily one of the most used gadgets that even the GadgetGuy himself owns, the SodaStream has long been a product that we can get our heads around.
It’s not even that we’re obsessed with the sugar hit of a soda pop and love being afforded the ability to make our own, but there’s also the added bonus of having all that sparkling water available at different fizziness levels.
For the latest SodaStream, the company tapped the talents of Yves Behar, a designer who has worked with Samsung, Jawbone, Puma, and Prada among others, and is responsible for the design of the XO laptop in the One Laptop per Child project, also known as OLPC.
With a high profile designer on board, the classic SodaStream has been redesigned to make it easier to use and maintain, while encouraging people to make soda at home and reuse bottles, rather than buy more carbonated beverages and add to the plastic waste.
It still takes the same elongated metal cylinders filled with enough CO2 to make 60 litres of soda, and some of the design changes can apparently be seen on the back of the appliance with an easy pull away section that allows you to easily insert the canister underneath the unit, screwing it in to keep the can in place.
This is pretty much the only consumable outside of cordials or flavouring needed for the SodaStream, as one canister is filled up with a set amount of gas. You can buy new cylinders outright when one is spent, or exchange the cylinders when they’re finished for a new one at a lesser price.
Once the cylinder is screwed in place, you merely take your bottle, which is now slightly redesigned to match the contours of a classic soda bottle.
The old bottles still work here, so that’s good news for people with a surplus of the things, and us, since our review unit arrived with the older style. Looking at the press images, though, we’re reminded of a drop of water with this model, and it’s almost a nod to the fact that you’re essentially saving the environment with this machine.
There is a slight change to how the bottle is mounted in the unit, however. Rather than push the bottle and screw it in to mount it to the soda injection needle, you merely have to push the bottle opening in the mouth of the machine and then push the bottle back, with the “flower lock” keeping it in place.
To carbonate, you push the head of the appliance – the section that sits at the top – down for a set amount of time, with the three bubble indicators lighting up depending on the amount of fizziness you desire, from slightly fizzy, to moderately fizzy, and ending with quite fizzy.
When you’ve finished with the carbonation, the machine makes a rather loud squealing noise, indicating carbonation is in the bottle, and you’re free to take the bottle out by pulling the container forward and removing it from the lock.
The product couldn’t be any easier to use, and is insanely simple to work with, producing sparkling water in a matter of seconds without leaving the house. From there, you can choose to add different flavourings if you want to make different types of soda.
We’re not huge fans of the flavours SodaStream makes, but cordials seem to work well enough regardless, making it possible for you to make your favourite normally still-water drink into something else with carbonation. Or you can just stick with your own sparkling water, which we’re told is the more adult thing to do (pfft).
The only thing wrong with the Source comes down to its design, and it’s not an issue with it being wrong, but rather it just won’t appeal to everyone.
Left in the kitchen of GadgetGuy’s offices, quite a few people remarked on the design, and how they preferred the original simple and small white SodaStream they had seen time and time again.
Yves Behar’s redesign of the SodaStream is certainly more modern, and we can see it fitting into kitchens built with an air of minimalist aesthetics than one of classic formica bench tops or wooden cabinets.
A redesigned SodaStream still makes carbonated beverages as well as the old ones, and we’re glad for that, but the design may not appeal to everyone.
It’s still an excellent system, and now the locking mechanism is so easy to use, even your kids will be able to make drinks without your help. Say hello to the dentist for us.