Princess Time Toys Blog

Saturday, August 23, 2008

We're making our own Cola and LOVING it!





Soda Club USA


A week ago we posted about the cola machine we purchased from

Soda-Club
. At the time we'd received the machine and one
container of carbonation, but that was it, leaving us feeling a little wary of
the company and their ability to deliver. At the time I told the others that the
soda better be worth the wait because I wasn't happy so far with their customer
service.


Well, the soda syrups and spare canister arrived on Friday and we've been
enjoying home-brewed soda ever since. I hate to say it, but WE LOVE IT! We
wanted to hate it because of our poor experience with the company, but we have
very little bad to say about the product.


We purchased three flavors - Diet Cola, Caffeine-Free Diet Cola, and Diet
Pink Grapefruit. Since we only drink sugar-free here it was an easy decision for
us. I personally prefer soda with caffeine in it in the morning and then later
in the day switch to caffeine-free because if I don't, I'm up until 4am with my
mind racing.


HOW IT'S DONE


Soda Club USA
I
tried the Diet Pink Grapefruit first because I was here alone and I was
"coked-out" for the day. I'd watched their 4-step, 30-second video previous to
buying the machine, so I didn't need instructions, but had I required them they
were attached to the bottle. I used filtered tap water that I keep in the
refrigerator in a large Britta pitcher. You don't need to use filtered water but
using cold water certainly helps as it makes it ready to drink instantly.




I
loaded the canister in the back of the machine by depressing the two buttons on
the side of the machine and then pulling backwards. I pulled too hard and pulled
the entire back off, nearly breaking the nubbin on the bottom that held it in. I
probably should have read the directions and that wouldn't have happened.


I filled the plastic container with the filtered water but wasn't careful
about the "fill line". Something I learned quickly is important. I loaded the
jar onto the machine by pushing the top button in, which tilts the top of the
machine toward you, and then screwing the bottle into place. I have a
neurological disorder so this wasn't particularly easy for me, but a normal
person shouldn't have too much trouble. I found that if I pushed the top back to
the fullest position I could use both hands to screw the bottle on. I'm very
grateful that the containers are only 1 liter. I couldn't have done it with a
larger container.


Once the container is in place, you simply press the top button down until it
makes a horribly loud noise. Once that happens you press it approximately 3 more
times to obtain the correct carbonation. I found that the amount of carbonation
depends on the flavor used through trial and error.




When
you push the release button to pull out the container it gives off a refreshing
pssssssssssst sound and your waters shows bubbles. Next you add one cap full of
the syrup of your choice, cap the bottle, and GENTLY rock it back and forth to
mix the soda and syrup. The entire process take 3 minutes and that includes the
clean-up time because I spill almost every time.


SHORTFALLS

My one and only complaint about the process is the syrup cap. The design is poor
and it makes me spill every time. I've resorted to using a separate measuring
cup because of it. Well, I do have one other small complaint - the coloring in
the pink grapefruit syrup. My 1970's white counter top keeps getting stained
pink from my spills. Luckily my Caldera scouring powder takes care of it.


WHERE YOU CAN GO WRONG



  • Don't fill the container with water above the fill line. The results are
    an overflowing container when you pull it off to add the syrup.

  • Don't add the syrup too quickly - it causes it to fizz-up and overflow.

  • Don't try to make it when someone's on the phone or sleeping because
    it's LOUD!

  • Be cautious "shaking" after you add the flavoring. Just enough movement
    to mix it, but not enough to cause it to explode upon opening.


OUR PERSONAL MIXES



  • For the staff members that like Diet Coke, the 3-press carbonation and 1
    cap full of syrup is just right. We've done blind taste tests and most
    everyone finds them to be comparable and couldn't tell which was which.

  • For those that prefer Diet Pepsi, we found the perfect combination to be
    5-press carbonation and 3/4 -cap syrup.

  • For the Diet Pink Grapefruit the standard 3-press carbonation and 1 cap
    full works perfectly. It smells and tastes just like pink grapefruits and is
    so refreshing!


Overall we highly recommend this. Will we save money? Most assuredly. If we
were just can drinkers maybe not, but we were soda fountain, Big Gulp and Mc
Donald's drinkers, and at $2.00 for a McDonald's soda every day (sometimes 2
times a day) we're definitely going to save big. But more importantly, the
amount of garbage we're going to produce will be greatly reduced. The amount of
cups and cans in our garbage had grown to embarrassing proportions.


So, after the bad customer service I've forgiven them because the quality of
the product is so fabulous. We can't wait to purchase additional flavors and
containers so we can have fresh soda for on the go as well.


Soda Club USA


Enjoy! We are!


Connie, Queen of Princess Time Toys

*Photos (C)

Soda-Club


**We were not compensated by the
company in any way for this review, however, if they'd like to send us
sugar-free syrups to taste-test, we'd be happy too!




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