This Sleek Smart Mug Is Perfect for People Who Are Always Reheating Coffee
This cool coffee gadget is worth splurging on.
Finding the perfect gift is hard. You want to get something the recipient will actually like and use, but if you go too practical, it won't feel special or gift-worthy. After many years of struggling with gift-giving, I think I've finally learned the recipe for the perfect gift. It should be something functional, but not essential; something that improves daily life, but not something they'd typically buy for themself.
Does anyone need a fancy smart mug that keeps coffee heated to the perfect temperature for hours? No. Would they use it every single day if you gifted them one? Absolutely.
As a daily coffee drinker who frequently reheats my coffee, I couldn't help but be intrigued by Ember's temperature-controlling smart mug after seeing them everywhere this year. Mariah Carey even included one in her Amazon gift guide. My colleague and HGTV producer Karen Webb, an avid tea drinker, and I gave the mugs a try to see if they're worth the hype (and the money). After testing the mug for three months, we're convinced one of the mugs would make the perfect gift, even if it's one for yourself.
How It Works
The Bluetooth-enabled mug connects to your smartphone where the Ember app lets you set the temperature to your ideal heat using their patented technology. The app will notify you when the perfect temperature is reached. Adjusting the temperature in the app is super easy, and you can even save presets for your go-to beverages if you prefer different temperatures for tea, coffee, lattes, etc. No more reheating coffee three times in the morning before getting out the door or in between meetings at the office.
The mug comes with a charging coaster that will keep it heated while plugged in, and the latest version mug has an extended battery life that can maintain the temperature for 1.5 hours off of the charging dock.
The mugs are available in 10-ounce and 14-ounce sizes and come in black, white, and most recently, copper (albeit for a bit more $$$). Ember also makes a to-go travel mug for $180 that allows you to adjust the temperature just by tapping a "+" or a "-" on the mug.
The Biggest Pros of the Ember Mug
We love the sleek design. "I love that it looks like a high tech product," Karen says. "I feel like I am drinking from the iPhone of coffee mugs."
More importantly, we love that the function lives up to the look. We've both been using the mug for about three months, and it genuinely kept our favorite drinks, coffee with cream for me and green tea with lemon for Karen, heated to the perfect temperatures. Karen says, "I treat drinks like I am waiting on an avocado to get ripe; The drink is either scalding hot or ice cold. I can never time it right, and I love that Ember sends me a notification when it is cooled off enough to drink and then maintains that ideal temperature."
While we didn't really find ourselves using this feature that often, the app can connect to the Health app and track your caffeine intake, which might come in handy for pregnant women or anyone watching their caffeine consumption.
The Biggest Cons of the Ember Mug
This is a minor drawback, but because of the battery, the mug is not dishwasher or microwave safe. Obviously, the whole point of the mug is you won't ever need to microwave it, but not being able to stick it in the dishwasher is a little inconvenient. Karen noticed that darker teas stained the white mug pretty easily, so if you order the white one, you may want to rinse it out right away to keep the crisp look.
The mug can sense when it's filled with liquid, but sometimes it seems to shut off a little prematurely even when on the dock, making the last few sips not quite as warm as the rest. "I wish they had a light warm feature for when it feels empty so it didn’t surprise you every time you’re nearing the end and wait a little too long to finish drinking," Karen says.
Is It Worth the Price?
The Ember mug solves a universal problem that is room-temperature coffee. At $100, it's probably the most expensive mug you'll ever buy, but it very well might be the last one you buy because you won't want to use any other mug. We think the mug is worth the price and really would make the perfect gift for anyone in your life who drinks warm beverages.