Last year we had the pleasure of reviewing the Fountain Jet Home Soda maker from Sodastream (see review HERE). I think it’s safe to say that the entire family has enjoyed the Fountain Jet, so much so, that nearly everyone in our extended family have purchased their own units! For our family, Sodastream is a no brainer that offers the convenience of making soda at home, while saving families hundreds of dollars per year in the process. We were so excited to once again, be given the pleasure of reviewing another soda maker from Sodastream: The Penguin!
About the Penguin
The Penguin whimsically combines form and function in an elegantly designed countertop device. Sleek and stylish, the Penguin is about the size of a coffeemaker and effortlessly transforms water into sparkling water or soda in just seconds with no clean up. No more carrying, storing and disposing of bottles and cans. A tasteful addition to any kitchen, dining room or bar area.
I have to tell you that I was a bit skeptical of the glass bottles that comes with the Penguin. Primarily I was intimidated by the thought of dropping one, however the highly stylized look of the Penguin outweighed my fears. When the Penguin arrived, I immediately pulled out the glass carafe and after feeling the weight and thickness of the bottle, my fears were eliminated. Now, although I have not tried this, nor do I suggest you do, I do not think that dropping the bottle would actually break it unless you purposefully slammed it on the ground. With that being said, I moved onto the rest of the unit. The Penguin resembles…well…a Penguin and it’s silver and black color offers a versatile unit that will go with many different decors. Our package came equipped with a co2 bottle, two glass carafes, 3 full bottles of soda and a 10-pack soda sampler.
Putting the Sodastream to Work
Preparing the Penguin for use is really quite simple. Simply screw the co2 cartridge into the back of the unit and your ready for use. The glass bottle can then be filled with ordinary water. Once filled, the carafe sits inside of a metal cradle and the top of the Penguin then encloses the entire glass carafe and locks into place. With a few simple pushes of the penguin’s beak your ready to press the carbonation release button and the excess carbonation is released while making a cool “soda machine” sound. I’m not sure exactly why I think that’s so cool…but it is! The unit can then be unlocked and the glass carafe can be removed. See step by step directions below:
Open the Penguin and remove the glass carafe. Fill the carafe with cold water up to the fill line.
Place the carafe into the stainless steel flask.
Pull the horn downward until it meets tightly with the flask. Then, using the locking lever, turn the flask clockwise until the horn is locked with the flask.
Push the carbonating lever downward several times in firm, short bursts. The water is carbonated when you hear the Penguin’s signature whistling “chirp” sound. One chirp means the water is lightly carbonated; five chirps will make super-fizzy seltzer.
Press the pressure release button, open the flask by turning it counter-clockwise and remove the carafe from the Penguin. Enjoy!
Turning Ordinary Tap Water into Soda
Once you’ve added a little bubbly goodness, you can move on to transforming your carbonated water into soda. Sodastream offers a very large variety of soda’s that resemble everyone’s favorite soda’s. Simply fill a cap full of your favorite soda and slowly pour into the glass carafe. I want to emphasis slowly, because if you pour the syrup in too fast, it will bubble over and you’ll have a not-so-lovely mess! This rule only applies to syrups that contain sugar, as the diet sodas do not bubble over. Once your syrup is in your carbonated water, you simply replace the cap and turn it upside down a few times…DO NOT SHAKE IT! A few turns upside down will mix up the syrup and shaking the bottle will just upset your bubbly goodness!
Replacing the Carbonators
Many of you may be wondering how to replace the carbonators once they run out and the process is really quite simple. Simply call customer service or visit Sodastream’s online store and once you place an order for your exchange, you will receive an email with step by step instructions, including how to properly leave your empty carbornator on the front porch for your UPS man. They take care of the rest! Pretty easy, right?
Tell Me More
There are a few features that I would like to point out about the Penguin unit. First, the glass carafe allows for longer carbonation than the other models that come with plastic bottles. I have yet to open a carafe that had lost it’s carbonation and that’s a huge bonus in our house, as it typically takes me a few days to finish a bottle of soda. The tops of the glass carafes have a rubber stopper, that resembles a a helmet (it’s really rather cute) that fits tightly inside the lip of the carafe (much like a champagne stopper) creating an airtight seal that locks in the carbonation. The glass bottles allow for much colder sodas as the glass bottle seems to chill the soda more-so than the plastic bottles. After trying both the plastic bottles and the glass bottles, I would certainly opt for the glass bottles.
With it’s sleek design, eco-friendly nature and small size, the Penguin offers families a fun way to make soda at home and save hundreds of dollars a year in the process. The array of syrup flavors offered by Sodastream is quite vast and every member of the family is sure to find one he/she loves! My personal favorite is orange-mango and it’s by far the best soda I have ever had the pleasure of sipping, and I say that with full confidence. As with all products, there’s always at least one feature that is not too favorable and I have to say that the lids on the syrup bottles can be rather frustrating. The lids are designed in such a way that you must pour the syrup in quickly, to avoid making a mess everywhere and unfortunately, sugary syrups must be poured slowly, creating a bit of clean-up once the process is finished. This however, is my only complaint about this machine and I would not only purchase one for myself, but would also purchase one for a friend and recommend the Penguin to everyone I know!
The Penguin by Sodastream retails for $249.95 and can be purchased at www.sodastream.com. Use code: BESTFRIENDS to save $10 off your purchase! Each Penguin starter kit includes the following:
* Penguin Sparkling Water & Soda Machine
* 2 60 liter Carbonators
* 2 Penguin Glass Carafes
One VERY lucky “Deal”ectible Mommies reader will WIN a Fountain Jet Starter Kit from Sodastream and 3 soda flavors (winners choice) ARV $109.95! Simply visit Sodastream and tell me what 3 flavors you would choose and your entered to win!
The Fountain Jet Starter Kit includes the following:
* Fountain Jet Home Soda Maker
* 1 60 liter Carbonator
* 2 Carbonating Bottles
* 2 SodaMix flavors (your choice) – each bottle makes 12 liters of soda
Extra Entries: Please Note that the intial entry must be completed before any extra entries will be counted.
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The boring stuff: Giveaway open to US residents only (Hawaii and Alaska excluded..sorry). Giveaway ends on June 23rd at midnight. Winner will be chosen using random.org.
Disclaimer: I was provided with a Penguin starter kit to facilitate my review. My thoughts and opinions remain my own!