Review: Ember’s iOS-Connected Ceramic Mug Keeps Your Coffee and Tea Warm for Hours

Ember first started promoting its temperature keep an eye on Travel Mug again in 2015, permitting consumers to in my view keep an eye on the temperature in their favourite sizzling beverage from their smartphone, and stay the drink sizzling for so long as an hour when it wasn’t sitting on a charging pad. Ember additionally sells the Ceramic Mug, which gives all the identical advantages of the Travel Mug however in a dimension and form that is aimed for use in your house or at your place of work.

I have had the danger to check the Ceramic Mug over the previous couple of weeks, following an announcement that Ember’s mugs now calculate your approximate caffeine consumption and sync it to Apple’s Health app, and are actually being bought in Apple retail outlets. In that point, I have discovered the instrument to be a useful spouse for my day by day cups of tea and espresso, even if there are some facets of its design that can impede its usefulness in the end.


Setup is in large part a breeze with Ember’s mugs; all I needed to do used to be energy at the Ceramic Mug, plug within the charging coaster to the incorporated AC adapter with a barrel plug, and set the mug on it to gasoline it up. Using the Ember iOS app, I searched for and discovered the mug, paired it, named it, and custom designed its front-facing LED colour.

In phrases of setup, that is in point of fact it; you’ll wait for the mug to complete charging, but when you’ll be able to be striking it at the charging coaster as you drink, the preliminary setup procedure is shortened even additional. Once the mug is on, you by no means have to fret about powering it on or off once more because it mechanically is going into sleep mode when no longer in use.

Initial Use and Ember’s iOS App

Using Ember each day is lovely easy as smartly. Once the entirety is synced between your mug and the app, simply upload your favourite sizzling beverage to the mug and the Ember app will mechanically ask what you are consuming. For my first cup, I steeped a bag of natural tea throughout the Ceramic Mug, and adopted a push notification from Ember on my iPhone to set what I used to be consuming.

I had to hook up with the Ceramic Mug each and every time I opened the app (requiring a easy faucet to attach urged), and afterwards the house display displayed a colour gradient that went from gentle grey (or “Empty”) to a deep crimson because the temperature within the cup larger.

There’s a bit for temperature presets, and I added three new ones: Herbal Tea, Green Tea, and Decaf Coffee. These presets permit you to choose a customized temperature to deal with as you drink your beverage, with Ember recommending maximum between 130 levels and 140 levels for the candy spot of a sizzling cup of tea or espresso that may not burn your mouth. I discovered 135 levels to be my very own non-public favourite temperature for maximum beverages. For temperature presets, there’s simplest room for eight general. You can make a choice to manually set the temperature by means of sliding your finger alongside the ground of the app as smartly.

With the tea and sizzling water within the Ceramic Mug, Ember requested me which one of my presets must be put to paintings and I tapped Herbal Tea. The mug then started cranking down the temperature from round 190 levels to my preset, and on the identical time I scrolled down even additional at the app domestic display and set a tea timer. In this segment, Ember supplies three timers (Green Tea, Black Tea, and Herbal Tea) that can time how lengthy you must steep every tea kind.

There can simplest be three tea timers, so I deleted the Black Tea choice and changed it with Ginger Tea. You additionally cannot pass above 9 mins 59 seconds within the timer, so my standard Ginger Tea steeping time of ~12 mins wasn’t supported.

After all of this (which sounds in depth, however after your presets are stored, takes mere seconds), you’ll shut the app and pass about your paintings. Ember notifies you when your most well-liked temperature has been reached within the Ceramic Mug, and when your tea has completed steeping.

I did to find those notifications to be slightly unreliable, from time to time getting one that requested what I used to be consuming when the mug hadn’t been touched alone or a liquid, and from time to time by no means getting any notification referring to my temperature preset being reached. Thankfully, the tea timers have been all the time urged.

In the settings, you’ll exchange the LED colour once more, alter its brightness, learn the battery stage, exchange the temperature unit, flip off notifications, and make sure that the mug is up-to-the-minute.

Otherwise, the central Ember app is a barebones revel in, and I in point of fact appreciated the blank design and easy-to-understand vertical interface (except for for the black chin that the central a part of the app offers to iPhone X and fresh units). The very backside of the app additionally supplies a listing of drink recipes, however there may be simplest five and none piqued my hobby sufficient to offer them a check out.

Apple Health and Caffeine Tracking

When you create a preset, the Ember app asks you to select the drink kind, taste, most well-liked consuming temperature, and logo, and on this final class I discovered the app missing. There are simplest three tea manufacturers to choose between (Starbucks, Caribou, and Lavazza) and six espresso choices (the former three plus Peet’s Coffee, Costa Coffee, and “Other”).

The simplest logo I drink of those is Starbucks, and no longer very frequently, so when I used to be construction my tea presets I used to be compelled to select a logo that did not particularly relate to my favourite tea. This by no means negatively affected my consuming revel in with Ember, however it seems that that it may well be a part of the explanation why the guidelines fed to Apple’s Health app changed into in large part inconsequential.

With one week of use, Health advised me I used to be consuming a mean of 157mg of caffeine every day, which is wildly erroneous. Each of this present day I drank one cup of both natural tea, inexperienced tea (weekdays), or decaf espresso (weekends), which must no longer have long gone any place above 40mg of caffeine on the best level. Because I used to be opting for random manufacturers in my tea presets that did not particularly relate to my tea, I assumed the caffeine depend may well be getting misrepresented within the shuffle, however Ember tells me a computer virus within the app could also be at play, with a repair coming quickly.

According to the corporate, a glitch associated with natural tea presets and caffeine monitoring is throwing off this information. The natural tea computer virus nonetheless does not give an explanation for the extraordinary readings for my inexperienced tea, which used to be Starbucks’ Jade Citrus Mint Green Tea, however it might doubtlessly be associated with the similar glitch.

As a ways as decaf espresso is going, there is no option to inform Ember you are consuming a decaffeinated cup of espresso, so the readings at the weekends (whilst nonetheless top) make extra sense. All in all, I used to be specifically taking a look ahead to this facet of the Ember Ceramic Mug since I have not too long ago began looking at my caffeine consumption, and I discovered it lovely pointless at the moment.

Ember tells me that it is running on an replace to the app that can deal with a few of these problems, together with the addition of a decaf choice and solving the natural tea caffeine monitoring glitch. I requested about extra espresso and tea manufacturers being added quickly, and used to be advised that the Ember app’s portfolio of manufacturers and drinks will build up as time is going on.

Usage Over Time

In use, the Ember Ceramic Mug stored my natural tea at a superbly sizzling 135-degrees for precisely one hour and 4 mins earlier than the app warned me that the mug used to be low on battery. At that time I used to be simply over midway during the drink, and stored the usage of it with out charging the mug and discovered that the entirety stayed great and heat till I used to be completed.

Otherwise, with the charging coaster on my table, for the following few days I merely set the Ceramic Mug down at the coaster after every sip and stored it charged all the time. With this technique, you’ll necessarily stay your tea or espresso heat all day.

This would possibly sound like overkill, however I have all the time been a sluggish sipper in terms of tea and espresso, who prefer to increase one cup over a minimum of two hours as opposed to consuming a couple of cups in one day, and for this explanation why I in point of fact discovered myself endeared to the Ember Ceramic Mug. It’s unquestionably extra of a novelty than a need to resolve this downside, however now that it’s been solved, I have discovered it tough to return to my common mugs.

But there are downsides, the most important being the Ember Ceramic Mug’s 10ouncessize. I personal a selection of mugs that span from 8oz to 25ounces, however I usually finally end up the usage of 12ounces+ mugs every day. Because of this, it used to be tough to get used to the Ceramic Mug’s 10ouncesrestrict, specifically within the realm of espresso.

If you’ve gotten a device that has a 10ouncespreset, that can supply sufficient liquid to fill the Ceramic Mug just about to the rim, with little room for cream or different components. If it is early within the morning and you are strolling your espresso again on your table, this additionally method the Ceramic Mug can simply overflow and drop liquid, which is a possible downside for the charging coaster.

Unlike common coasters, Ember’s charging coaster comes with a caution label that states water and different liquids may cause injury to the coaster, asking you to dry your mug every time earlier than it is positioned at the coaster. This is as a result of the uncovered prongs at the coaster that hook up with the ground of the Ceramic Mug to start up charging.

Although no longer advisable by means of Ember, I have been consuming espresso and tea out of the mug as I all the time do, no longer being concerned about droplets falling down the perimeters of the mug, however a minimum of ensuring no huge deposits of liquid shape within the middle of the coaster, and to this point all the gadget has been running flawlessly. It’s nonetheless a irritating necessity of existence with Ember to need to double test that your mug’s coaster is dry each and every now and then.

In regards to its design, the Ceramic Mug feels very top rate and cast, and I will be able to see why Apple is permitting it to be bought on its retail retailer cabinets along different third-party merchandise. There’s not anything distracting or busy at the face of the mug, the Ember brand is refined, and the interplay between the mug and coaster is dependable and pleasant. The mug itself is somewhat bottom-heavy because of the heating era sitting on this segment, giving all the more thing heft than an ordinary mug, however it is one thing I realized upon the primary pickup and temporarily forgot about.

I have learn a couple of experiences of customers seeing flaked ceramic on their mugs through the years, however Ember’s buyer reinforce has temporarily changed those broken mugs, and the similar has been stated for coasters that forestall charging. Although I have simplest had my Ceramic Mug for about two weeks, I have not noticed both of those problems seem. Additionally, the Ceramic Mug is not dishwasher protected, however a snappy wash below heat water with a soapy sponge has been running smartly for me.

Of route, there are tumblers available on the market which can be a lot less expensive than Ember and reach an identical effects, however tall mugs are extra of a comparability for the Ember Travel Mug, which I did not have a possibility to check. For a conventional no-cap, at-home mug to stay your drink heat there are some possible choices to Ember available in the market, however no longer many. You may pass for a $24 Yeti Insulated Camp Mug, which guarantees to stay a drink chilly or sizzling “till the final sip,” or spend money on a $10 espresso hotter, which warms any mug from beneath.

Bottom Line

None of Ember’s pageant as of but have a attached iOS app with granular temperature controls and timing options, so it nonetheless feels value a top rate, however no longer slightly the top rate that Ember is charging. The Ceramic Mug prices $79.95 and the Travel Mug prices $149.95.

Although my revel in with the Ceramic Mug has been in large part sure and I will be able to stay the usage of it, a worth level of round $50 would sit down higher, specifically given the loss of complete liquid resistance at the charging coaster, small 10ouncessize, and buggy caffeine monitoring.

There’s nonetheless a cast product on the core of the Ceramic Mug, with quite a lot of concepts that Ember may iterate on in attainable long term updates, like including a 12ouncessize, waterproof coaster, and most likely extra design choices. For now, buying the Ember Ceramic Mug will take advantage of sense for individuals who love to slowly drink tea or espresso out of a mug, and those that are into IoT attached merchandise typically.

How to Buy

The Ember Ceramic Mug is to be had to buy on for $79.95 in White and Black. You too can purchase the Ceramic Mug in Black on for the similar worth.

Ember supplied with one Ceramic Mug for the needs of this evaluation. No different reimbursement used to be won.

Tag: Ember

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