Thursday, June 19, 2014

I'm the guy who's still using his Sodastream!

Yes, you knew there was a guy who got a Sodastream for Christmas and was still using it, and I'm proud to say it's me!
It's mine and you can't have it.

I was quite happy when Santa left me the Sodastream, because I'd been wanting to try one, but it's the kind of thing I would never buy myself. There were a couple of reasons:

1. There are far more gizmos for kitchen counters than there are kitchen counters. Millions of Ronco products migrate to closets because of that and never see the light of day again.

2. Products like this come and go as a fad, and if you really like it and the whole thing fails, you can't get the refills. Sometimes it doesn't matter because you don't have to get dedicated products, like the wok fad in the 80's. The father of a friend of mine got a wok and started wokking everything in sight. The cat wouldn't go in the kitchen anymore. But suppose the whole Keurig thing had bottomed out and you couldn't get the K-Cups---it would have been a disaster for people who had the machines. (Yes, I know you can use regular coffee in the reusable K-Cup but no one does.)

3. My main motivator for a purchase like this is to save money, but it never works. Homebrewing produces quality beer at a higher price than you would pay for quality beer from the craft-beer store, for one example. The Ronco Home Cheesery doesn't save you money with homemade Gouda. (Well, if it existed, it wouldn't.) And while Sodastream's Web site puts in a plug for value, I don't think they're serious. Its TV ads don't pretend you'll save money on soda. They stress that you won't have to haul home the bottles. After buying the carbonation canisters and the syrups, I figure I break even.

4. Sometimes the novelty product just doesn't work, or produces something so awful its mother would disavow it.

And that brings us to the review. Do I like the Sodastream? Yes, I do, which is why I've used it for six months continuously, and why I've put up with idiot kids at Best Buy to get refill cartridges, and why I've scoured Best Buy and Walmart and Bed Bath and Beyond and so on, looking for flavors I want to try.

To Bed, Bath . . . and Beyoooooonnnnd

And I like soda.

But do I like THIS soda?

Yes and no. Bear in mind that I seldom drink sugared soda as we go to the reviews:

Plain seltzer: I like plain soda water, or using it to add a touch of fruit juice or some MiO flavor or something. Carbonate some tap water with the Sodastream and you're in business.

Diet orange soda: Very good. Like a good store-brand orange soda.

Diet ginger ale: Ditto.

Diet root beer: Also good.

Diet Dr. Pete: Sodastream's answer to Diet Dr Pepper; quite tasty.

Diet cola: Tastes like licking a manhole cover. Like many store-brand colas, the cola taste in the Sodastream colas is horrible. At least the diet stuff. That goes for their diet cola, diet cola with lime, diet "free" cola (Coke Zero knockoff).

Diet Fountain Mist: This Mountain Dew imitator is pretty grim, although I found that mixing it with other flavors improves it. They could hardly make it worse. Or could they?

Diet energy drink: They did! Are regular energy drinks like Red Bull this nasty? God help us, this stuff is such a foul, sickly brew you'd think it had better cure malaria or something. Bleccch.

Diet Ocean Spray cranberry: Very nice, actually. A five-calorie beverage with a refreshing fruit flavor.

Diet tonic water: I liked it. Mrs. Key hated it. Did not try it with gin. A little lime juice is a nice touch, though.

Part of the problem with some of these is that they make them with Sucralose or even worse, Stevia. I've tried the Diet Coke Sweetened with Sucralose and found it weird, and the same thing is going on here. They treat it like it's a good thing to not use aspartame, but I much prefer it to Sucralose. Maybe you can't make soda syrup with aspartame.

And Stevia is like the annoying neighbor who thinks he's an environmentalist because he drives a Subaru and likes to show off his grungy toes in his mandals. Let's just leave that there.

Anyway, looking forward to trying the Diet Cream, various sparkling teas, Diet Crystal Light Fruit Punch, and Diet Lemon-Lime. Can't find the Diet Cream---another problem with the product is actually finding the varieties.

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