Product: SodaStream Fizz
Rating: Strong Recommend*
After reading our colleague's review of the SodaStream Pure and seeing the SodaStream machines in action at an Earth Day event, we knew we had to get our hands on the SodaStream Fizz. With a new LCD display, the rather low-tech SodaStream machine gets a bit of a tech upgrade which is very useful in creating the absolutely perfect to your taste, fizzy drinks.
After unpacking the Fizz which SodaStream sent for us to run through its paces, we were surprised at how uncomplicated the machine was to set up. We're not sure what we were expecting, but it is really really simple. Unscrew the C02 canister, screw it into the back of the Fizz, and voila you're ready to start making fizzy drinks.
The C02 carbonator is rated to make 60 or 110 liters, the equivalent of anywhere between 170-310 cans of fizzy drinks, of course this depends on exactly how much fizz you use during each drink making session. While in some households it might take half a year to run through one canister, our super fizzy sparkling water household started running low after a few months. As mentioned in the review of the Pure, these C02 carbonator canisters can be recycled by sending them directly to SodaStream, who will send pre-paid return boxes for delivery, where canisters in good condition are cleaned, refilled and reused. An exchange for two units costs $29.95.
Compared to some of the other appliances in our kitchen, the Fizz is a bit big. Thankfully though the Fizz does not require any power which made it easier to find a home for it in our kitchen. The Fizz is easy to move around the kitchen because it is very light. The lack of heft in the unit is due to it being made out of plastic, which also makes it stand out among our stainless and glass appliances. Unlike some of the other SodaStream models that we have seen, the Fizz has a LCD display which lets you know how much C02 is left in the canister and how much fizz you have added to your soda.
Once the C02 canister is installed, you simply fill the 1 liter BPA-free carbonating bottle up with water to the indicated line and screw it into the Fizz. It took a few tries the first time to get the bottle screwed in properly, but once we got the hang of it it was a snap. It's important to make sure that the bottle is properly connected otherwise it will make a mess. The C02 is added to the water by pressing down on the lever. With each lever press the display will let you know how fizzy the drink is by showing an arrow next to the bubble level. This member of the household prefers her drinks with a level 1 fizz while my partner like his with a level 3 "and beyond" fizz.
After adding the desired level of fizz to the drink, you have the option of adding a flavour either via the essences or syrups. The essences add a pinch of flavor like lime and are perfect for creating slightly flavoured seltzer. There is a dizzying array of flavour syrups available including the Sparkling Natural line which contains no artificial colors, flavours, or sweeteners and there is something for pretty much every taste. These syrups are also fantastic for experimenting with at home cocktails, just add your spirit of choice! Our favorite combination is using the Black Currant & Pear and adding Hendricks Gin.
Since many of the syrup flavours lend themselves to comparisons with store bought options, here is how we thought they compared. Cola Free tastes a lot like a slightly less sweet Coke Zero, Energy resembles Red Bull enough to fool a non Red Bull addict, and Sparkling Natural Cola tastes a lot like Whole Foods 365 Cola.
The syrups, like the essences, are added after the water is carbonated. For most of the flavours you cannot go wrong with following the indicator line on the cap, however, for some, like the colas, do not do this. The colas, in particular the Sparkling Natural Cola, will cause your fizzy water to explode if you use the amount of syrup called for and do not add it slowly to the carbonated water. Ask us how we know. Adding can be a messy process, and we really wish these bottles and caps had spouts to make it easier. Of course you can always skip the syrups altogether and use the essences or as Gregory suggested use fresh squeezed juices, citrus zest, or agave sweetener.
As with the Pure, the criticisms we have are few. We also found the plastic design to leave something to be desired and were not enthralled with the sticky reside left by the sticker that came one the unit. However, the ease of use and convenience of having the Fizz outweigh all of our small issues with the device.
Since we live in a walk up apartment, lugging bottles of sparking water up the stairs was never a fun time. Our household drinks a lot of sparkling water and the Fizz has been a godsend during the summer months when the last thing we want to do is schlepp bottles up the stairs. If your household is anything like ours, then being able to customize the amount of carbonation in your drink is a great thing. Instead of relying on remembering how many times to push the lever for each person, we just remember our desired bubble levels as indicated by the LCD display. We love the Fizz so much that when it came time to give my mom a gift for her birthday, we decided on buying her one.
Pros: Very easy to use, flavours taste comparable to most store bought sodas, LCD displays important info, reduces waste in long run, no more schlepping bottles, and no power needed is to run the device.
Cons: Unit is rather tall and feels plasticky and a bit cheap, the soda flavours can be messy to add.
(Images: Joelle Alcadinho)
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did loan us the product for testing and review purposes.