Mayor Bloomberg may have looked great during the recent hurricane, his image definitely improved thanks to his excellent ASL translator. But we haven't forgotten about his "war on soda". It's not a terrible idea to encourage portion control, and especially for kids. But we aren't kids- and we enjoy breaking the rules a little by carbonating our beverages in sizes larger than encouraged. Imagine: when big sodas are outlawed, only outlaws will have them. Join us, and a different sort of homebrew revolution.
Speaking of Revolution, that was the most recently-tested home carbonation product in the well-known Sodastream line. But we had some issues with that model, such as the need for electricity and the higher cost, so we were excited to hear that the brand was going to release a new machine with a sleeker and more minimal design. The Revolution was pretty swanky and we definitely appreciated the easy and consistent ability to create our sodas with different amounts of carbonation, but we were still disappointed to find the same bulky plastic frame that we recognized from the previous models.
However, with the introduction of the Sodastream Source, gone are the days of counter inefficiency. For their newest fountain carbonator, Sodasteam partnered with Yves Béhar, a designer, entrepreneur, and sustainability advocate well-known for his strategic approach to enhancing brands through environmentally conscious design. The Swiss designer, whose mantra is “reduce and refine” helped do precisely that just in time for the season's shopping. The Source has a streamlined look and feel, making it suitable for the even the smallest and hippest New York apartment kitchens.
The Source is rectangular and narrow, with no LCD screen and thus no way to tell how much carbonation is left in the canister. But that's not a big deal, and the canisters and bottles are the same as always (though you still cannot use the special glass carafes made for the Penguin and Crystal models, the latter of which we reviewed previously). While it still boasts the same ability to convert flat tap water into delicious and sparkling water in just 30 seconds, this machine offered some welcome surprises. With just one hand, you can slide the cleverly redesigned carbonating bottle into the machine and lock it into place with a single push. Gone are the days of struggling to line up the screw-top mouth of the slippery bottle with the machine and then twisting. The new system is, in a word, elegant.
Also a new and welcome addition: the Source allows you to view the strength of carbonation with a back-lit LED display on the front of the machine, requiring no electricity or batteries. Simply hold down the carbonation until your desired fizziness level is reached! The indicators are subtle, lighting up only when in use, and are immediately clear.
While Sodastream has yet to disappoint our staff, we think this sleek redesign is a great step for the DIY carbonation brand. And at just $130-$150, the Source sits snuggly in the middle of the company's price range. Available now in stores and online in both black and white models. Below we've embedded an introduction to the new model so you can learn a bit more about the design.