As a Christmas gift this past December, I was given a 14 oz. Ember Mug2. The Ember Mug is a wifi-connected mug for keeping hot drinks hot for longer than a good old fashioned ceramic mug. What really sets the Ember Mug2 apart from other heated mugs is that it allows for controlling the temperature of the beverage. Select your preferred beverage temperature from within the Ember app on your phone, and the mug does just that: holds the beverage at that temperature.
What I Really Like (Pros)
In setting out what I really like about the Ember Mug2, I should be clear that the following are not presented in any particular order. The feature that I enjoy most varies over time, especially as I continue to enjoy this gift. (Perhaps I will revisit this post in a few month’s time to update the pros and cons.)
- The battery does last a long time – something like 90 minutes or so. To be clear, I don’t really rely on the mug battery alone very often as I keep the charging coaster on my desk. So, I am using the charger to my coffee, tea, and more hot for hours.
- The mug has a wonderful feel and weight. It feels like a proper coffee mug. I have the black mug and I love holding it. It is bottom-weighted and feels like ceramic to the touch.
- Being able to adjust the temperature is so nice. I drink my coffee and tea at 145º F. Yet I find that with non-caffeinated teas, as I get towards the bottom of the drink, 145º feels too hot. Being able to dial that back to 139º enables me to enjoy the tea to the last drop. (NOTE: As I have a borderline phobia of spilling drinks on my work desk, I just started using the sliding lid. The Ember Mug does not need a lid to help regular temperature. I am spill worrier.)
What I Like – Bonus Section
About a month or so ago, I picked up the clear plastic lid for the Ember Mug. My initial reason for getting the lid was my deep fear of spilling a hot beverage all over my desk, keyboard, and everything else on my desk. I really do worry about that a lot. Too much probably. So, drinking out of an open (read normal) mug always felt risky and dangerous to me. Risky and dangerous in an unsettling way. With a good lid on the Ember Mug, I achieved a safer drinking environment and was immediately less concerned about desktop spillage.
After a few days of using the mug, I noticed an unexpected but genuine benefit of using the lid. The lid dramatically reduces the glasses fog when I drink from the mug. Hot beverage = steamed glasses. Ember Mug + lid = much less steam on glasses. The relatively low price of the lid (~$15) makes it a great buy for as much as I use the mug.
What I Do Not Really Like (Cons)
- Because of the heating elements, when I drink my coffee or tea down to the bottom, and then leave it on the charge, the remaining grounds or tea bag tends to get baked to the bottom or side of the mug. That makes for more scrubbing when I clean it. Admittedly, this is not a huge issue but it does make for a little extra work with each cleaning. (The mug is not dishwasher-safe.)
- The Ember Mug needs to be charged to work when not on the charging coaster. When I forget to set the mug back on the charger after cleaning, I find myself missing it when I can’t use it because it lacks a charge and I do not want to sit in my office. This is not a huge complaint, but it speaks to the value and enjoyment I get from using the Ember Mug.
A Health Change with Ember Mug2
With the arrival of 2023, I made a commitment to drop sugar from my daily coffees. About 18 months ago, I stopped eyeballing my sugar as I poured it into the coffee. When eyeballing it, I probably used about 1 teaspoon or so – maybe a a little more. In switching to a measured amount of sugar, I began adding a ¼ teaspoon of sugar. Dropping sugar levels in my coffee was an effort to improve my daily health practices. Eliminating sugar from my coffee altogether seemed like the logical next step. (I make a lot of pizza, so reducing my sugar intake elsewhere is a good practice for me.)
Some back of the napkin math here:
¼ teaspoon per cup x 2 cups of coffee per day x 355 days (I don't drink coffee every day) = ~177 teaspoons or 744 grams of sugar per year
That’s a good amount sugar to eliminate if I could get along without it.
With the new Ember Mug, I did switch to drinking coffee without sugar. Given the reasonably small impact that ¼ teaspoon of sugar had on the taste of the coffee, that was an easy enough transition. Admittedly, I did slightly miss that little bit of sweet in the first cup of the day, but with my second or third cups of coffee, I did not miss the sugar at all. That got to me to wondering: could I also ditch milk from my coffee?
I don’t like lukewarm coffee. I can tolerate milk and coffee at lukewarm temperatures as I finish the drink. But not with black coffee. Hot black coffee? Yes, if it is a good coffee bean. Iced black coffee? Yes. Lukewarm black coffee? Ick! With the Ember Mug’s heating functionality, I could keep my black coffee hot as long as I want.
As of the publishing of this blog post, I am three weeks into drinking black coffee – no milk and no sugar. And I am liking the flavor of coffee more, and mostly not missing the milk at all. The Ember Mug is playing its part in the success of this transition. Being able to enjoy hot coffee from the first sip to the very last has empowered me to leave both milk and sugar behind.
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Last updated: 26-Mar-2023