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

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Nov 8, 2018 at 11:16 AM.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Ember first began selling its temperature control Travel Mug back in 2015, allowing customers to personally control the temperature of their favorite hot beverage from their smartphone, and keep the drink hot for as long as an hour when it wasn't sitting on a charging pad. Ember also sells the Ceramic Mug, which provides all of the same benefits of the Travel Mug but in a size and shape that's aimed for use in your home or at your office.


    I've had the chance to test the Ceramic Mug over the last few weeks, following an announcement that Ember's mugs now calculate your approximate caffeine intake and sync it to Apple's Health app, and are now being sold in Apple stores. In that time, I've found the device to be a helpful companion for my daily cups of tea and coffee, although there are some aspects of its design that will hinder its usefulness in the long run.


    Setup is largely a breeze with Ember's mugs; all I had to do was power on the Ceramic Mug, plug in the charging coaster to the included AC adapter with a barrel plug, and set the mug on it to fuel it up. Using the Ember iOS app, I searched for and found the mug, paired it, named it, and customized its front-facing LED color.


    In terms of setup, that's really it; you can wait for the mug to finish charging, but if you'll be placing it on the charging coaster as you drink, the initial setup process is shortened even further. Once the mug is on, you never have to worry about powering it on or off again since it automatically goes into sleep mode when not in use.

    Initial Use and Ember's iOS App

    Using Ember every day is pretty simple as well. Once everything is synced between your mug and the app, just add your favorite hot beverage to the mug and the Ember app will automatically ask what you're drinking. For my first cup, I steeped a bag of herbal tea within the Ceramic Mug, and followed a push notification from Ember on my iPhone to set what I was drinking.

    I had to connect to the Ceramic Mug every time I opened the app (requiring a simple tap to connect prompt), and afterwards the home screen displayed a color gradient that went from light gray (or "Empty") to a deep red as the temperature in the cup increased.


    There's a section for temperature presets, and I added three new ones: Herbal Tea, Green Tea, and Decaf Coffee. These presets allow you to select a custom temperature to maintain as you drink your beverage, with Ember recommending most between 130 degrees and 140 degrees for the sweet spot of a hot cup of tea or coffee that won't burn your mouth. I found 135 degrees to be my own personal favorite temperature for most drinks. For temperature presets, there is only room for eight total. You can choose to manually set the temperature by sliding your finger along the bottom of the app as well.

    Click here to

    Article Link: Review: Ember's iOS-Connected Ceramic Mug Keeps Your Coffee and Tea Warm for Hours
  2. now i see it macrumors 68020

    Jan 2, 2002
    I'm waiting for a smartphone connected toothpick
  3. OldSchoolMacGuy macrumors 601


    Jul 10, 2008
    Add this to the list of things no one asked for nor needs.
  4. SeminalSage macrumors member


    Nov 10, 2016
    Needs? No, definitely not. Want? Yes.

    This is a perfect example of the over indulgent kind of thing my wife and I save for Holiday presents.

    Just one persons perspective.
  5. OldSchoolMacGuy macrumors 601


    Jul 10, 2008
    This fellow would be a great source for you then.
  6. entropys macrumors 6502


    Jan 5, 2007
    Brisbane, Australia
    A perfect gift for the man who has everything. Also

    Additionally, the Ceramic Mug isn't dishwasher safe, but a quick wash under warm water with a soapy sponge has been working well for me.

    All these cool man cave features and not dishwasher safe? Deal breaker!
  7. cknibbs macrumors regular

    Dec 12, 2012
    I thought that too... and then my wife and splurged and bought two. We have 4 kids and are constantly getting interrupted. I haven’t microwaved my coffee in almost a year because the ember keeps it the perfect temperature. If you guzzle your coffee or don’t drink hot drinks at all then an ember mug seems useless, but they are definitely one of the most used and most appreciated smart devices in our home. Is it a necessity? By no means. But I’d miss it if it were gone.
  8. tridley68 macrumors 6502


    Aug 28, 2014
    Whats next adult toys controlled by your I phone or tablet LOL.
  9. zantafio macrumors regular

    Apr 8, 2014
    what's next? a toothbrush? a bottle of water? a scale?
  10. judyg951 macrumors regular


    Sep 11, 2016
    sunny So. Ca.
    My son and wife gave me one for my birthday this year. Something I never would have bought for myself, but I love it! My coffee or tea stays as hot as I want it too. It even survived an accidental trip through the dishwasher.
  11. RecentlyConverted macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2015
    How about, make the tea, drink the tea. Problem solved.
  12. zantafio macrumors regular

    Apr 8, 2014
    How was humanity able to drink beverages before the advent of app connected mugs?
  13. RecentlyConverted macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2015
    Not sure if you are joking (can't get nuances from posts) - - one of many
  14. OldSchoolMacGuy macrumors 601


    Jul 10, 2008
    Have you ever had a normal insulated mug? Most keep the beverage just a you want it for hours without issue. No need to plug them in or use an app. Even if you're a slow drinker who takes 2 hours to enjoy a single cup, any normal insulated mug should do.
  15. huck500 macrumors 6502


    May 10, 2004
    Southern California
    If you put milk in your hot tea, this thing will bring it back up to temp and keep it there. Insulated mugs can't do that. I got one for my wife, who's Scottish, and she LOVES it. She used to microwave her tea multiple times, and now it just stays hot. I mean, go ahead and snark, I get it, but it's a pretty amazing product for a heavy tea drinker.

    That said, we've returned two of them for the chipping issue, but white mugs... you won't see any chipping in a black mug because the surface under the ceramic is black. It's not a huge deal, and they just sent us new mugs without asking for the old ones, so great customer service, but if black mugs are the long-term solution that kind of sucks.
  16. tridley68 macrumors 6502


    Aug 28, 2014
    yes i was joking good catch.
  17. kakinc macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2018
    We already have that
  18. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
  19. tridley68 macrumors 6502


    Aug 28, 2014
    i know i was joking but good catch .
  20. imwoblin macrumors 6502

    Jun 9, 2007
    I received an Ember Mug as a Christmas gift last year and thought it was the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of.
    Now, a year later, it’s my go to coffee mug for use day in and day out. It keeps you’re coffee hot to the last drop.
    The only hiccup is the charging saucer tends to collect moisture, and caused the saucer to fail. Ember replaced it within two days.
    All said, it really works!
  21. - rob - macrumors 6502

    - rob -

    Apr 18, 2012
    Oakland, CA
    I’m sure this seems like peak capitalism to some but I drink coffee and have dealt with this issue of keeping it at a particular temperature for a long time.

    For mugs I have used these insulated glass ones. Except my cat has somehow knocked both off the counter and they shatter crazy everywhere. They feel delicate, big and aren’t cheap.

    I have also been gifted the plug in small mug sized hot plate but I didn’t like having to remember to turn it off or having a hot surface on my desk. It felt like a fire hazard.

    For tea I have a digital thermometer that I’ll get to about 145 degrees by mixing in cool water against a portion from the kettle.

    So frankly this home mug sounds pretty good to me. Idk how many other people bother w temperature on their beverages like me but I’m thinking about getting one of these.
  22. rdowty macrumors 6502a


    Oct 5, 2008
    I have one. The battery life or charge rate could be better but I use it at work and notice when I'm at home that I end up chugging my coffee instead of sipping it because it gets cold. The cup only holds 8 ounces so I feel like I'm wasting about 20% of my coffee pod each time I use it though.
  23. cknibbs macrumors regular

    Dec 12, 2012
    This is incorrect. An insulated mug keeps the coffee very hot for a good period of time, and once the coffee is at a preferred temperature it only stays that way for 5-10 min. Then it’s gross and too cool. The ember actually cools your drink to the temperature you want it and then holds it at that specific temperature. When I brew coffee at work in my insulated mug I can’t even touch it for the first 30 min. I actually don’t use the app. I just set my preferred temp and all my drinks get set to that temperature. It’s like a set it and forget it kind of thing.
  24. CJM macrumors 65816


    May 7, 2005
  25. dwman macrumors 6502


    Nov 15, 2007
    San Francisco
    I got one of these as a Christmas gift last year and while I generally like it, the charging pins in the saucer dropped below the surface after a few months rendering connectivity with the bottom of the mug useless. This seems to be a common issue based on some threads I was reading. Ember did send me a replacement for free which was nice, but the interior of the mug is chipped like crazy.
    Also, battery life is about one hour tops without putting it back on the charging saucer. It's a nice gimmick and works well, but honestly, if I hadn't received it as a gift, I would not have bought one for myself.

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