Review: The SodaStream Art Is the Best Sparkling Water Machine
It's the most advanced carbonation device we've ever used — and it's on sale this week for Mother's Day
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Making sparkling water at home isn’t the sexiest idea in the world — sure, it’s good for the planet, but outside of the occasional use for cocktails, I found most of the carbonation devices rather bulky or clumsy to use.
The SodaStream Art has changed my mind.
Recently launched, Art is a beauty and makes, somehow, exquisite carbonated water. And it looks great on my countertop.
We got to try Art as part of a package deal with the NYC bar Dante (a one-time World’s Best Bar), which provided some limited-edition cocktail kits to go along with their sparkling water maker. Sadly, that package has sold out, but I’ll mention what I liked about it (and didn’t) in case SodaStream decides to partner up with that bar again.
- Available in four colors
- Dishwasher safe, BPA free, reusable bottles
- Cordless — manual operation
- New “Quick Connect CO2” technology for fast, “one-click” cylinder insertion
- Free shipping
- 30-day risk-free trial
- 3-year warranty
- Size: 6.8 ” x 16.9 ” x 9.6″
- 3.69 lbs (no cylinder / bottle)
- Like other soda devices, this is an eco-friendly addition to your home: One cylinder carbonates up to 60L of sparkling water. That’ll also add up in savings if you’re used to buying individual soda bottles.
- The process for carbonation — pull the lever down for one second, repeat 3-5 times — provided a tactile rush. Plus, the carbonation was far more satisfying than previous models or other brands I’ve tried. This is the ideal “fizz.”
- It’s a beautiful and sleek device that would like right at home next to, say, a Breville espresso maker
- The new Quick Connect design means attaching the CO2 canister is ridiculously simple. The company provides a thorough instruction book and even a QR code that leads to a how-to video, but you won’t need either of these to get started.
What kind of works:
- The Art is a handsome product, as we mentioned. But it’s also quite big for a soda maker — that handle may feel sturdy, but you’ll need to account for extra space on your countertop.
- The Dante Cocktail Kit — which, again, is sold out — offered three delicious recipes and arrived with a bunch of bitters, syrups and concentrates (and a shaker). However, the kits did not include all the required ingredients for each drink (the lack of booze was understandable, but the other missing ingredients were not); as well, the recipes did not list any mixing advice, including whether the ingredients — before adding the fizzy water — should be shaken or stirred.
- The add-on flavors SodaStream offers in general range from pretty good (SodaPress Pink Grapefruit) to adequate (their fruity “Drops”) to undrinkable (Diet Cola). Honestly, I’m happy just to stick to plain sparkling water.
- Like any soda maker, you’ll need to replace your gas cylinders every few months. The CO2 bottles are $30 new and $15 for refills, which you can either do by mail or at a number of stores nationwide (we’ve done this before at both Staples and a local homebrewing store).
What needs works
- The Art utilizes a different CO2 cartridge than my previous soda maker. Yes, it makes for a quick connection, but it’s also frustrating because there are enough use cases for my old model that I’ll want to keep both, which means I’ll be juggling between two types of gas cylinders.
- I also own a DrinkMate — a cheaper competitor — which allows me to carbonate almost any liquid. SodaStream, meanwhile, suggests that using anything other than water could screw up the machine (debatable, as I’ve seen plenty of people hack their devices, but I’d be worried about voiding a warranty).
- The price. The basic SodaStream Art package is $130 and arrives with a single cylinder and a 1L bottle. For $40 more, you should get the Hydration Pack, which arrives with five bottles (three 1L and two 0.5L). Competitors, like Philips, can be as little as half the price (although the CO2 isn’t included). However, this week is a great time to buy one, as you’ll see below.
The SodaStream Art is the best-looking and most thoughtfully-designed carbonation device we’ve ever used. And it’ll eventually save you money — if you drink a lot of sparkling water. This week, SodaStream is taking an extra 20% off their soda makers, in honor of Mother’s Day. Whether it’s for you or mom, I highly recommend you buy one … but if you want to experiment with fizzing anything besides plain water, we’d recommend looking at the DrinkMate.
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