After the raging success of the "Source" machine, Sodastream have once again partnered with world-renowned designer Yves Behar to redefine their home drinks carbonation drinks system.
Minimal by design, and ultra-simple to use, Play is available in six vibrant colors, allowing consumers to add some personality to their home with a great kitchen accessory designed for every countertop. Play is the first home carbonation system to feature the new "auto-lift" slider, along with the popular "snap-lock" mechanism, making it quick, simple and easy to use.
Add to that a growing range of flavours, and Summer is calling!
I have been thinking about buying a new sodastream machine for a while now, as the one I had was very outdated and starting to give up the ghost! When I got given a voucher for xmas I decided with all the sales around it was a perfect time to invest in a new machine. I couldn't decided between the play and another model but after reading the reviews here my mind was set on the play model.
I was very excited to discover the play was offered in red so it matched the rest of our appliances. As soon as I got it home I was in such a rush to get it out and have a play I had to remind myself to stop and read the instructions first. They were super easy to follow and within minutes we were all set up and ready to go.
Straight away I was impressed with how easy the machine was to use. I really like the slide up and lock into place feature, no more thinking you have got the bottle in the right place and letting it go and having water go everywhere. The manual suggested different amount of pumps depending on how fizzy you wanted it so it took a couple of plays till I got it just how I wanted it. My husband also had a play and we discovered we like different amount of fizz in our drinks. With the play model it is a lot easier to get the amount of fizz just right for individual likes.
For ease of use and for the look I would recommend the play machine to anyone. The fact it comes in a range of fun colours and in plain black means it is right for any kitchen. Looking at the different machines instore I also found the play to be more slim line and compact than some of the others it takes up less room on my bench than the older model I used to have.
I was so excited when I got my Sodastream play, I ripped it out of the packaging, like any school kid would a new toy! The first thing that caught my attention was the bright blue colour, this machine was a thing of beauty! I was so keen to give this a go, as my last experience with a Sodastream must have been 20 years ago, and this little beauty was nothing like the machine of my childhood.
I read the instructions, and gave it a whirl, I guess I didn't read it properly as when I pressed down there was a minor explosion and the bench, me and the floor was splattered in water. The kitchen resounded in giggles as my children thought this was hilarious. I was undaunted and we gave this Sodastream Play another try, another read of the now slightly soggy instructions, and I understood how to lock the bottle in place, (which is actually ridiculously easy) and we were off.
I liked the way there were 'fizzing' instructions, one for gentle bubbles, two for 'normal' and three shots for 'super' bubbles! I did the two shot special and then added the flavouring. By now the children were crowding around, they were just as excited as I was, we gave our sodastream a try, and we were delighted with our drink! The Sodastream Play was worth the wait. It is definitely not the Sodastream of my childhood, it is easy to use, and so convenient. We keep cold water in the fridge, and if we fancy a 'fizzy' the machine is always there and ready to go, brilliant!
My last Sodastream machine was brilliant - easy to use, very effective, stylish in a minimalist way... but I always had trouble screwing the bottle in properly and my youngest son wasn't able to operate it at all. That infernal threaded bottle neck was always determined not to seat itself with any ease.
Then along comes the "Play" - just as minimalist, even easier to use, and it had a great multi-jaw gripper lock system, that removed the need to screw the bottle in... you just push the bottle up and the snap-lock system grabs the bottle and pulls it in tight - no twisting required! Removing the bottle afterwards was just as easy, grab the bottom of the bottle and pull it towards you, and the jaws unlock and release the bottle easily. No mess, no fuss, and most importantly - no upset kids! Yes, even my 6yr old can use it safely and effectively! (Under adult supervision of course, it is a pressurised system after all.)
Does *this* unit have any glitches or hiccups? Unfortunately, yes. I found the big, bulky pressurisation button (that ENTIRE cube on the front face) to be awkward to use and it didn't want to return to its fully-up lock-&-release position of its own accord, I had to push it up the last 10-15mm to get it to lock back. While this is a tiny thing, and had no effect on the functionality and ease of use, it was a slight blemish to an otherwise spotless design. Maybe I just got one with a weak spring or something, I dunno.
I liked the new design of bottle, and was grateful that this unit will accept and use the older style bottles, even though it is very clearly advised not to. But I am cheap and utterly into recycling and upcycling stuff, so I didn't want to waste all the bottles I had bought for the old machine - which I gifted to one of our reviewers who really wanted to get one but couldn't justify the cost. So, while I can say that you ARE able to reuse the older-style bottles, it is not advisable in case of sudden pressure blow-out situations caused by the snap-lock to incompletely seal them into place. Do this at your own risk - it's not covered under warranty.
Overall, despite the slight wrinkle of the pressurising button, and the garish bright yellow that just does NOT suit my kitchen decor (Hey, beggars can't be choosers and I'm just happy to have it) I would have to say that this is quite possibly the best entry-level Sodastream machine you could wish for. I was also pleased to see that this unit also happily takes the bigger 60L gas bottles now available, and even came with a 'free upgrade at next swapover' voucher, meaning you can hand over your old 30L bottle and get a 60L bottle for only the cost of the gas refill. #Nice
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