Reporting Jennifer Antkowiak
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — You’ve probably seen the commercials for the SodaStream, the store displays or maybe on a home shopping channel.
A lot of stores were really pushing them over the holidays and maybe you’ve been wondering if it’s worth the money.
SodaStream claims to be a revolutionary at-home pop-making system with several benefits.
Father John Skirtich is Pastor of St. Maurice parish in Forest Hills, for a while, he’s had a little problem.
“I’m a well-known pop lover, and I’ve had to struggle over the years giving up pop, which is why I usually give it up for lent,” he said. “Some years ago I switched to exclusively diet soda and that helped out with weight, and other things, but I just love pop. I love the bubbles, I love the taste, I love the caffeine if it’s a diet cola … What do we do for pop-a-holics?”
Maybe we can help.
“Introducing SodaStream,” the products commercial says. “The revolutionary home soda maker that lets you turn water into fresh sparkling water and soda in seconds.”
The SodaStream is sold in a bunch of different configurations. We found a big set that included the unit itself, extra bottles in different sizes and a bunch of sample and full size regular and diet drink mixes.
The unit also comes with a CO2 canister that creates the fizz. There are a lot of care instructions and safety precautions that come with that.
Set up is pretty easy, just tip the top back and screw in a bottle filled to the line with regular cold water. Then lower the bottle and press the button untill you hear a loud buzz three times.
The SodaStream buzzes until it’s done.
Then you tilt the top back and unscrew the bottle.
“Woah, woah … it’s fun making it,” Skirtich said.
This first run through, we pressed it a few more times for camera purposes, then the flavoring of your choice. We went with a caffeine-free diet cola and we recruited East Catholic School Principal Sister Judith to help with the taste test.
“Caffeine-free diet,” Skirtich said. “It’s not only what I need, it’s what Sister Judith needs. I don’t want my principal hyped up on caffeine all day, that’s not good for the kids, it’s not good for her.”
After adding the flavoring, gently shake the bottle to make sure it’s mixed.
“Well it fizzes, huh?” Skirtich said. “It fizzes, but we actually did put a lot of carbonation into it.”
Lesson learned. Stick to the directions and keep it at three button presses. But then there’s the matter of taste.
“Oh wow,” Skirtich said. “That tastes just like diet cola. Yeah, tastes great.”
“OK,” Judith said. “It dates like diet pop. It even tastes sweeter than diet pop.”
They both agreed that it was fizzy enough and tasted good.
We also tried with full strength cola.
“It tastes good,” Skirtich said with a laugh. “Tastes even better than the diet one.”
Sister Judith agreed.
As for ginger ale, “It smells like ginger ale. It does, it tastes just like ginger ale.”
All that taste and no high fructose corn syrup, no aspartame in the diet flavors, plus 2/3 lower carbs, calories, sugar and sodium than name brands.
Father John likes that and the environmentally-friendly aspect of the system, you reuse the bottles.
Would kids be able to tell a difference in taste? We took some samples to a few students.
They were surprised to find out that what they drank came from a SodaStream machine.
So, healthier, great-tasting drinks you can make at home that are financially and environmentally friendly, does SodaStream really do that?
“It does really do that,” Skirtch said. “Thumb’s up.”