Adding the fizz

I’m trying to get back into using my SodaStream, but there are supply chain issues…

John I. Carney
6 min readFeb 26, 2021

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This is one of the current SodaStream models, the Fizzi, with a CO2 bottle and two of the proprietary drink bottles in which water is carbonated.

I had wanted a SodaStream ever since I first heard about them. A few years back, I finally bought one online.

My timing was a little off — just a few months before my purchase, the Walmart here in Shelbyville had stopped carrying SodaStream equipment and flavorings. You could still exchange your CO2 canisters at the customer service desk, but that was it. There was nowhere in Shelbyville to buy the flavor syrups, spare drink bottles, or that kind of thing.

I got around this for a while by ordering the syrup from Walmart’s website and choosing the “ship-to-store” option, which meant free shipping as long as you didn’t mind stopping by Walmart to pick up the merchandise.

At some point, though, the ship-to-store option was no longer offered for the SodaStream syrups. I was also concerned that Walmart wasn’t going to keep exchanging the canisters forever, since the local Walmart had no other connection to the product. I put the machine away and stopped using it.

If you’re not familiar with SodaStream, it’s a home appliance that uses a tank of carbon dioxide (CO2) to carbonate water (and only water — trying to carbonate juice, wine, or anything that’s already flavored could clog up the works and will void your warranty). Most of the models are not electric, and don’t have to be plugged in. Every so often, you have to swap out the CO2 tank for a new one, a process not unlike swapping out propane tanks for your gas grill.

You fill one of SodaStream’s proprietary and reusable bottles, and then attach it to the machine to carbonate a serving of water. One push of the button produces light carbonation; two pushes, medium; and three pushes would be about the maximum the water will take. Then, you add whatever flavor you like — or no flavor at all, if you enjoy club soda (I do, especially in hot weather). SodaStream sells its own proprietary flavors, although there are other products you can try as well.

What’s the point? There might be a cost savings compared to single-serving cans or bottles of the brand name sodas; there’s not much, if any, cost savings compared to store brand sodas or two-liter bottles. But there…

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John I. Carney

Author of “Dislike: Faith and Dialogue in the Age of Social Media,” available at http://www.lakeneuron.com/dislike