Aarke Carbonator 3

Sodastream has always made horrible, tiny, sharp little bubbles that sting your tongue and throat. Fix it.

Aarke Carbonator 3

Making sparkling water at home has mostly been a matter of 'buy the least bad looking Sodastream'. Unfortunately, Sodastream has also always made horribly sharp bubbles that sting your tongue and throat. This mouthfeel is pretty standard for canister-driven pressurized carbonation. But if you've had Fever Tree or any high quality carbonated soda water you've definitely experienced the superior smooth bubbles that commercial forced carbonation methods produce.

If you want to make actually good sparkling water at home with an appliance that also looks aesthetically pleasing, then I'd try the Aarke Carbonator. They've got a bunch of nice color options and they produce these nice fat bubbles that mimic something you'd get in a decent sparkling water like a Gerolsteiner or Vichy Catalan. It's even superior to S. Pellegrino but don't tell any Italians I said so.

The Aarke also uses bigger, but still standard, CO2 cartridges that have a much longer life than the normal smaller countertop Sodastream products do. So, less swapping. The lever action situation means you can calibrate how many pulls gives your desired ratio of bubble too.

I had to go with the plastic bottle variant because that's what fit in my bar, but they also make a fancier glass bottle version that's taller. All good solutions until you go whole hog with the in-tap fizzy water dispenser.