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BREAKING!

Ever since it launched its first homemade sparkling water machine back in 2014, Aarke, just like other competitors such as SodaStream or DrinkMate, is trying to constantly improve its soda making machines and present new versions of their flagship models every now and then. In the last quarter of 2020, Aarke presented their new model, The Aarke III.

Our team of experts has taken the time to test this new model – we bought, set it up, examined its parts, and most important tasted the soda and replaced carbonators over and over again- all in order to bring you the most comprehensive review of the Aarke 3 model. Well…. The first thing that most of us would agree on, is that it is just a beautiful piece. The Swedish company has succeeded in designing a stylish, modern and elegant soda maker. We would dare to say that it is a nice addition to the countertop for most of the kitchens, and those days when you had to hide the plasticky soda maker back in the closet after usage are definitely over.

We bought the matt black model which for some might seem a little “solid”, but the Aarke III is also available in 5 other colors: Chrome black, white, gold, steel and copper, which in our view is absolutely beautiful.

Aarke 3 vs. Aarke 2

In addition to the smooth design, there are a few things that distinguish the Aarke 3 from the earlier model (Aarke 2)

Materials

The first thing that comes to mind is the fact that the Aarke 3 has many more steel parts than normal plastic parts. This is more than a cosmetic change: The stainless steel nozzle is more solid and stable, and the overall feeling is that the carbonation process is more precise than before. The plastic bottom of the bottles was also replaced with a metallic bottom. On the other hand, these stainless steel parts tend to be glossy and polished at first, then scraped and “misty” later. After 2 months of use, our one is still brilliant, but if you are not a stainless steel enthusiast, you better avoid this model.

The bottles

The cool design did not jump the PET bottles. Those new bottles have a new metal base and a screw-in mechanism which, according to the company is designed without any glue thus allowing better recycling of the bottles at the end of their lifetime. Refined bottles are easy to hold even when they are full, but there has been no major change from the old ones. Ensure that your bottles are not cracked (may happen!) otherwise you could get trully poor carbonation.

Lever Damper

The lever sensitivity is crucial when using such a soda carbonating machine. A lever that is too hard to press is tiring, might limit some people from using the machine, and takes all the fun of the soda-making process. More importantly, it controls the amount of gas used for carbonating and therefore has a major impact on the frequency of carbonator cartridge replacement. Aarke has made a great job with this new lever damper, which is easy to use and allows a more controlled release of pressure from the bottle after carbonation is complete. The carbonating process with damper is obviously different than Sodastream’s “push of a button” but even our eleven-year-old tester (and taster!) managed to complete the carbonation without any significant difficulty.

In terms of size, the Arrke 3 is the same size as the Aarke II: it is 6″ W x 10.2″ L x 16.3″ H, weight 6.34 Pounds and just like the other soda carbonating machines in this category, would not take a lot of space on your counter.

The setup of the machine and carbonating process stays exactly the same. For those of you who have Aarke III as their first-ever soda making machine, follow these steps:

  • Setting up Your Aarke Carbonator III – Time needed 7 minutes

How to setup Aarke Carbonator III

  1. Remove the dripping water tray
  2. Insert the gas bottle inside the machine
    (Do this through its bottom, and fasten it tightly by screwing counterclockwise)
  3. Return the dripping water tray to its place
  4. Fill the bottle with cold water up to the filling line
    (Do not add juice or syrup at this stage!)
  5. Attach the bottle to the machine by screwing counterclockwise
  6. Pull down the lever until you hear the carbonating sound
  7. Slowly release the lever
    Letting the lever go only halfway up at the end of each carbonation ‘cycle’, which saves gas if repeating the cycle more than once
  8. Repeat that up to 3 times to determine the level of the desired bubbling
  9. Unscrew the bottle
  10. Enjoy!

Testing the Aarke Carbonator III

Our team tested the Aarke 3 during the last months and reports that on average a CO2 carbonator was able to produce 58-59L of aggressive bubbling sparkling water. That is quite efficient yet remember that the amount of soda per gas bottle really depends on how strong you like your soda water. Light bubbling soda fans would be able to produce almost 3-4L more from each bottle. If we already mentioned carbonator bottles have in mind that when you order the machine, it DOES NOT come with any bottle. The Aarke III is using the standard 60L Sodastream CO2 cartridges which are available online almost anywhere, and in our opinion, it is a shame that such bottle is not supplied as part of the purchase.

Aarke and SodaStream

In fact, when you buy Aarke III, it includes besides the machine itself only 1 PET bottle. This is quite disappointing as well, as we would expect that Aarke would treat those customers who chose to go with a top-notch machine a bit better. Furthermore, the new BPA free bottles are frequently out of stock, which makes the situation even more tricky. Luckily, we have tried and managed to have the SodaStream bottles working with this machine as well (not the slim ones!), yet it is not ideal. Remember that the PET bottles are not suitable for dishwashers and should be cleaned manually.

Basic Kits for the Aarke Carbonator III

You might be able to find in some online stores extended kits:
STARTER-KIT: Includes machine, 1 PET bottle & 1 Sodastream gas bottle.
PRO-KIT: Includes machine, 2 PET bottles & 2 Sodastream gas bottles.
In our opinion, you’d better stick to the basic purchase since both the bottles and the bottles can be bought online separately at lower prices than offered on those packages.

The price for Aarke 3 varies from $219 to $249, depending on the color. It is great to see that Aarke offers this new model in a lower price range than the Aarke 2, which is sold for $230 for standard colors and up to $350 for some colors. We believe it is a great value for the price, yet have in mind that there are great other soda makers that are cheaper, like the Sodastream Onetouch.

About the Aarke Carbonator III

Design – Beautiful, functional, sleek, and modern. No doubt it is a 5 stars design
Ease of use – very good. The new lever damper makes it a real pleasure.
Heavy-duty – the additional stainless-steel parts turn this model a good candidate for heavy-duty usage but it still early to say. We will update in the future.
Carbonation – Efficient.
Taste – Perfect.
Accessories – provided with no gas bottle and only 1 bottle. Requires additional purchases
Price – not cheap (starting from 219$) but good value for money

Damper lever- the sensitivity of the lever is crucial when working with such a soda carbonation machine. A lever that is too difficult to squeeze is tiring, could limit some people from the use of the machine, and takes all the pleasure of the soda manufacturing process. Most importantly, it controls the amount of gas used for carbonation and thus has a major impact on the replacement frequency of the carbonator cartridge. Aarke has made a great job with this new lever damper, which is easy to use and allows a more controlled release of pressure from the bottle after carbonation is complete. The carbonating process with damper is obviously different than Sodastream’s “push of a button” but even our eleven-year-old tester (and taster!) managed to complete the carbonation without any significant difficulty.

In terms of size, the Arrke 3 is the same size as the Aarke II: it is 6″ W x 10.2″ L x 16.3″ H, weight 6.34 Pounds and just like the other soda carbonating machines in this category, would not take a lot of space on your counter.

The plant installation and the carbonation process remain exactly the same. For those of you who have Aarke III as your first soft drink machine, do the following:

Installation of an Aarke Carbonator III.
We need seven minutes.

  1. Configuration of Aarke Carbonator III.
  2. Remove the drippings from the tray.
  3. Place the gas bottle into the machine.
  4. Make it through the bottom and fix it well by screwing it counter-clockwise.
  5. Reinstall the dripping water tray.
  6. Fill the container with cold water until it reaches the filling line.(No juice or syrup should be added at this point!)
  7. Secure the bottle to the machine by tightening it counter-clockwise.
  8. Shoot the lever until you hear the burning noise.
  9. Loosen the lever slowly.
  10. Allow the lever to move only mid-height at the end of each carbonation ‘cycle’, saving gas if the cycle is repeated more than once.
  11. Do this up to 3 times to determine the desired boiling level.
  12. Loosen the bottle.
  13. Enjoy!

Testing the Aarke Carbonator III

Our team has tested the Aarke 3 in recent months and reports that on average a CO2 carbonator could produce 58-59L of aggressive bubbling sparkling water. This is very effective but keep in mind that the amount of soda per gas bottle really depends on the strength you like your sparkling water. Light bubble pop fans could produce an additional 3-4L from each bottle. If we have previously mentioned the carbonator bottles- have in mind that when you control the machine, it does not come with any bottle. The Aarke III is using the standard 60L Sodastream CO2 cartridges which are available online almost anywhere, and in our opinion, it is a shame that such bottle is not supplied as part of the purchase.

Aarke Vs SodaStream

As a matter of fact, when you purchase Aarke III, it includes besides the machine itself only 1 PET bottle. It’s very disappointing too, because we expect Aarke to treat customers who have chosen to go with a high-end machine a little better. In addition, the new bottles without BPA are often out of stock, which makes the situation even more delicate. Fortunately, we tried and succeeded in running the SodaStream bottles with this machine (not the finest!), but it’s not ideal. Keep in mind that PET bottles are not suitable for dishwashers and must be cleaned by hand.

Starter kits for the Aarke III Carbonator.
You could be able to find in some extensive online store kits:
STARTER KIT: Comes with machine, 1 PET bottle and 1 Sodastream gas bottle.
PRO-KIT: Contains machine, 2 PET bottles and 2 Sodastream gas bottles.
We think you’d better stick to the basic purchase since bottles and bottles can be purchased separately online at lower prices than those available on these packages.

The price for Aarke 3 is $219 to $249, depending on the colour. It is great to see that Aarke offers this new model in a lower price range than the Aarke 2, which is sold for 230$ for standard colors and up to 350$ for some colors. We think that’s a great value for the price, but remember that there are other soft drink companies that are cheaper, like Sodastream Onetouch.

By admin

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