A stand-alone model from AGA. This unit comes in three different models which is actually the same machine in three different colours and finishes. The most expensive and most beautiful is stainless steel and then there is a red and white version.
AGA’s bottles for carbonic acid contain 425 grams, and they are accompanied by the usual ”to be refilled only by AGA” text designed to scare others from refilling the containers.
This is a good machine however the seal in the capsule sometimes comes loose which can be quite annoying. AGA claims that it is designed this way so it can be machine-washed, if the seal is not properly in place carbonated water will spray everywhere.
Even though this may be a very good machine, Sodastreams best machine (Sodastream Design) allows much more carbon dioxide to be added to drinks for people who have this preference. AGA claims that one bottle of acid gives 60 litres of sparkling water however in tests done both by The Swedish Consumer Agency and myself this has proved to be closer to 55 litres, or about 7.7 grams per litre. This is due to the release of superfluous pressure. In-line systems on the other hand manage with between five and seven grams.
As retailers do not bother to weigh the gas cylinders that are given to them to sell (weight is labeled on each bottle when they arrive), it is fair to say that the customer may be paying for varying amounts of gas when they purchase. To help customers with this problem, I will be purchasing bottles, weighing them and posting all my results on the website.
As a European I feel a certain pride in AGA however it is unfortunate that they have fallen in to the same track as Sodastream. It is obvious that manufacturers of soda machines also want to sell carbonic acid but why does this have to be so costly? Why not challenge Sodastream and refill their CO2-bottles? AGA doesn’t scare easily but it is obvious that they have chosen to maximize their profit instead of making an effort for the environment. AGA should move their refilling stations to their retailers or at least put refilling stations in the local areas thus becoming a role model of environmental consciousness. .
Through this policy of maximized prices, AGA only encourages the appearance of competitors as per the ketchup effect. A more sensible pricing on carbonic acid would give AGA a higher market share as well as increasing the size of the market as a whole.
The big score for AGA is not in selling soda machines, but in selling carbonic acid. They could have given away free machines and still made money. They could have charged for a punch card of ten or fifteen refills, and given away Wassermaxx’s worth 100 Euros. AGA’s carbonic acid is a by-product from the manufacture of Absolut Vodka, and so their carbonic acid costs next to nothing. What remains of cost to AGA is the filling and transportation however even these costs are very low as carbon dioxide bottles are made from aluminium.
For flavouring the carbonated water, http://allfreightfree.com/en/sparkling-water-flavor-34/ are great.