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My morning coffee routine is admittedly one of the most important parts of my day: I start my Keurig minutes after waking up and enjoy a steaming cup of coffee to get me ready for a productive workday. But no matter how much I enjoy the coffee itself, distractions during the day prevent me from ever actually drinking much of it — once I finally go in for a sip, I’m scowling over how cold it is. And as someone who prefers their coffee at a burn-your-tongue temperature, it’s not an ideal moment.
Despite trying out a variety of insulated mugs and tumblers, I just couldn’t maintain the hot temperature I wanted. Tired of seeing my half-full mugs of coffee laying around the house, my fiancé gifted me the Ember Mug in hopes I’d enjoy my hot coffee for more than a few minutes at a time. The mug itself is able to maintain my drink at my desired temperature — it’s currently set at 145 degrees Fahrenheit, the highest it can go — and it’s been a blessing during cold winters working from home.
SKIP AHEAD Other smart mugs and mug warmers to consider
The Ember Mug2 is a high-tech mug, but not intimidatingly so — the Ember app allows you to control the temperature of your drink with the swipe of your finger, and it displays both your selected temperature and the current temperature of the drink inside your mug (it uses four precision sensors to detect both the temperature and the amount of liquid in your cup). As your drink gets hotter, you can see the temperature rising on the app and, minutes later, you receive a push notification once your ideal temperature has been reached.
The selected temperature can range anywhere between 120 degrees and 145 degrees Fahrenheit, which isn’t exceedingly hot, considering coffee is typically served between 160 degrees and 185 degrees Fahrenheit. While I would prefer coffee that’s a few degrees hotter, I’ve found the 145 degree setting to be good for casual and comfortable sipping, especially since it remains consistent.
The app also includes a variety of temperature presets, ranging from 131 degrees Fahrenheit for a latte to 138 degrees Fahrenheit for green tea. You can also add your own custom preset temperature, so you can select it each time you brew a specific drink. I occasionally enjoy brewing tea before bed, so I’ll use the Tea Timer feature on the app that lets me select a preset timer for brewing green, black and herbal teas.
I also don’t feel like I'm compromising on style when I use this mug. It’s made of stainless steel and features a sleek, scratch-resistant ceramic coating that’s safe to hand-wash and comes in your choice of three colors — white, black and gray. It includes a similarly sleek, 4.4-inch charging coaster that takes up relatively little space. I’m even able to customize the color of the LED light that indicates when my preferred temperature has been reached.
The mug is available in two sizes that determine how long the battery lasts: The 10-ounce mug can last up to 1.5 hours, and the 14-ounce can last up to 80 minutes, according to the brand. Since I have the 14-ounce version, the built-in battery life is reasonably long, but not as much as I’d hoped — especially since the battery life is based on a target temperature of 135 degrees — and the 6-foot-long charging cord can be a hassle when there’s no nearby outlet. According to the brand, the battery life also depends on a variety of outside factors, such as pour temperature, cold additives like creamer and ambient temperature.
The good thing is that the Ember Mug can still heat your drink even when it’s charging on the coaster, and it has a two-hour auto shutoff if the mug isn’t in use to save on battery.
Other smart mugs and mug warmers to consider
The Ember Mug doesn’t have much competition in the app-controlled smart mug space, but there are still several high-tech and more affordable mug warmers on the market to consider. Below, we’ve compiled highly rated options that can help keep your drinks hot this winter.
The Mr. Coffee Mug Warmer can keep your drink warm for hours and features an on/off switch with an indicator light that lets you know when it’s ready for use, according to the brand. At less than $15, this 17-watt mug warmer is a more affordable alternative to the Ember Mug without all the smart bells and whistles. The Mr. Coffee Mug Warmer has a 4.3-star average rating from more than 41,000 reviews on Amazon.
This mug warmer and matching mug set from Select reader favorite brand COSORI features an LED display that shows the temperature of the heating plate as it heats your drink. According to the brand, the temperature of the heating plate ranges from 77 degrees to 230 degrees Fahrenheit, and the mug is built from stainless steel to retain the heat. The warming plate isn’t limited to just the included mug, either — COSORI says you can use the plate to heat any flat-bottomed mug or cup. This set has a 4.5-star average rating from over 4,500 Amazon reviewers.