My habit of sipping coffee slowly tastes better than ever.
To say I’m a slow coffee drinker is an understatement. I drink my coffee (OK, my latte) so slowly that I always ask for a to-go cup at restaurants and cafes because I know I won’t finish it at the table. I drink my lattes so slowly that they reach room temperature and then get cold; I drink them so leisurely that sometimes I forget about them, walk away, come back an hour later, and then finish them off. I’m no stranger to a lukewarm or cold coffee, but sometimes I wonder: Wouldn’t my coffee beverage of choice taste better if it was warm the whole time?
I never was sure that would be the case—I usually don’t take the time to reheat my coffee once it’s gotten cold and instead just cringe at every sip—until I got the Ember Mug 2. This temperature-controlled coffee mug is smart in the technological sense, with a built-in battery and heating implement that keeps your beverage at your preferred temperature. A connected smartphone app allows you to set the temperature to anywhere between 120 and 145 degrees Fahrenheit and track how hot your coffee is; it even has presets for certain drinks (such as a latte or black coffee) and temperature recommendations for brewing tea. That’s right, tea drinkers: You can brew your tea straight in the mug, no kettle required.
The Ember Mug 2’s battery lasts an hour and a half (80 minutes if you get the larger, 14-ounce option) and is easily recharged by placing the mug on the included charging coaster. At my workspace, I keep the coaster handy and place the mug on it when I’m not actively drinking. That way, the mug stays charged and is ready to go if I want to take it to a meeting with me. (If I don’t, my latte stays perfectly warm until I get back.) The mug even recognizes when it’s empty, so once you take your last perfectly warmed sip, you don’t have to worry about turning it off.
Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug 2, $100; amazon.com.
My Ember Mug is sturdy—sleek, in fact—with a matte black, stainless steel finish that’s completely hand-washable. (With the electric heating implement, it’s not dishwasher-safe.) The app is straightforward and easy to use, and it reacts quickly: If I take a sip and realize my latte is too hot, turning it down almost immediately is easy. The reverse is true, too: The mug heats my drink almost instantly, even if I forget to turn on the heater immediately. Thanks to the Ember Mug, instead of drinking my coffee cold, it’s the just-right temperature from the time I pour the milk to the last sip.
Overall, the Ember Mug actually does what it says it will do, with little to no frustrations—in a world where many so-called smart products aren’t actually that smart, it’s refreshing.
The only downside is the cost. Some mugs can cost as little as $5, but for a smart mug, you’ll have to pay top-dollar: $100 for the standard-size mug or $130 for the larger size. Is it worth it? If you use the mug every day, really hate cold coffee, and plan to take good care of your temperature-controlled mug, it certainly is—you can order one on Amazon here.