Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug 2 review: Your perfect cup of joe all day

Ember Smart Mug 2 Front
(Image: © Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

iMore Verdict

Bottom line: The Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug 2 comes in either 10 oz. or 14 oz. sizes and it maintains your coffee or tea at your preferred optimal temperature for around 80 minutes. It connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and the app allows you to select or customize preset temperatures in a few taps.


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    Two sizes and colors to choose from

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    High quality materials

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    Maintains temperatures between 120°-145° Fahrenheit

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    Battery lasts around 80 minutes

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    Charging coaster keeps drink hot all day

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    Connects via Bluetooth, app easy to use


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    Battery life may vary

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    Bottom of mug cannot be wet when on charging coaster

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With many of us staying at home or working from home more these days, that means less trips to Starbucks or your local indie coffee or tea shop. I know I've been foregoing Starbucks altogether lately, and I can't work from my little coffee shop with great bagels anymore, so I've been saving some money and making my morning coffee at home everyday. But one thing I noticed when I make coffee at home is that I would often get so distracted with work sometimes that by the time I remember I have coffee, it's no longer hot, and instead, it's lukewarm or even cold.

That's why I picked up an Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug 2 a few months ago, and I'm never going back.

The perfect cup of joe every morning

Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug 2: Features

Ember Smart Mug 2 Charged

Ember Smart Mug 2 Charged (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

The Ember Smart Mug consists of high quality stainless steel with a scratch-resistant ceramic coating. Depending on what you drink with your Ember Smart Mug, like other ceramic mugs, there may be staining on the interior. This may be more visible on the white version, but I have the black one so it doesn't show any stains (at least from what I can tell).

The mug itself has a nice heft to it due to the materials that it's made from. The 14 oz. size seems to be the best size for most people, as it leaves plenty of room for your beverage and any cream or sugar if needed. The 10 oz. version is a little bit too small, but could work for someone who doesn't need a big cup of coffee or tea. It's recommended to go with the larger version if you are using something like a single serving size Keurig, as I am.

I cannot drink my coffee or tea any other way. It's amazing to have the last drop be as hot as the first sip.

In order to charge the Ember Mug, you'll need the charging coaster, which is included with every mug and it's redesigned from the original version. It takes approximately two hours for mine to fully charge up the mug, which lasts for a little over an hour (they advertise 80 minutes) on a single charge. However, you can optionally just place your mug in the charging coaster to keep the drink at optimal temperature for as long as you want. As a safety measure, the mug will go to sleep after two hours of inactivity, but restarts that timer once you pick it up off the charging coaster.

Ember Smart Mug 2 Custom Led

Ember Smart Mug 2 Custom Led (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

There is a smart LED on the front of the mug that informs you of when your optimal temperature is reached (solid white), when the battery is low and needs recharging (red), and when the battery is fully charged again (green). You can also personalize the Ember Mug by setting the smart LED to your favorite color, which displays in-between various status. While it's charging, it breathes a dimming red light, and it'll pulsate with the white color while getting to your preferred temperature.

Ember App Screens

Ember App temperature display, settings, custom LED screens (Image credit: iMore)

In order for all of this to work, though, you will need to pair the Ember Smart Mug with your smartphone through the Ember app. The process is pretty easy, as you just need to follow the instructions in the app and just hold down the power button on the bottom of the mug for a few seconds. Once your phone and Ember mug are paired, it should stay connected without issue. You can also reset your Ember mug if needed.

It's important to note that the Ember Smart Mug is hand wash only (with warm, soapy water and a soft sponge), so you can't just stick this in your dishwasher cycle. After washing, you must dry it completely before placing it back on the charger. Otherwise, you may have some issues since the charging contacts on the bottom of the mug and the coaster are delicate.

I'll never drink my coffee with a regular mug again

Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug 2: What I Like

Ember Smart Mug 2 Charging Coaster

Ember Smart Mug 2 Charging Coaster (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

I've been using my Ember for the past few months, and I cannot drink hot coffee and tea at home any other way. For me, I drink with my mug off the charging coaster at my desk or in the living room table because I don't have the space for more dangling cables. The battery lasts over an hour for me this way, and it's usually enough for one cup of coffee with cream or tea.

Once you use an Ember Mug, there's no going back.

Honestly, it's a bit life changing that my last drop of coffee is still hot (or warm if I forget that the battery is low) by the time I get to it. No more cold coffee for me! That is, unless I specifically want some iced coffee, of course.

YMMV with the battery life

Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug 2: What I Don't Like

Ember Smart Mug 2 Bottom

Ember Smart Mug 2 Bottom (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

While Ember advertises 80 minutes on the Smart Mug 2, that doesn't feel accurate every day. I feel that it is usually about an hour, but the last 20 minutes is a hit or miss. I often get a warning notification on my phone that my battery is low about an hour in, and I'm not even halfway through my drink yet.

The mug's battery also discharges the moment you take it off the charger, so I am guessing that the missing battery time is going to the time my cup spends sitting there as my Keurig brews. It's a little annoying, but I wish the battery lasted a tad longer for situations like that. I think it would feel like it lasts longer if you brew a pot of coffee and then just pour it in to your Ember Mug, so it may be due to the fact that I'm using a Keurig machine.

I also think the 10 oz. size is a joke — it's just way too small! My single serve Keurig can load up to 12 oz. of water, and that's leaving just barely enough space for the amount of creamer I want in my 14 oz. Ember Mug. I really think that the 14 oz. should be the starting size, with a larger 16 or 20 oz. size available, and just get rid of the 10 oz. entirely. It's just way too small for most people.

You'll also have to exercise extreme caution with the bottom of the mug after washing it — if it's wet at all, it won't properly charge on the coaster. So just be careful after hand washing!

The biggest pain point of the Ember Smart Mug is the price — it's not cheap. But it's definitely one of those things that you didn't know you needed until you actually use it. Still, it has a hefty price of admission.

This mug is life changing, seriously

Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug 2: The Bottom Line

While this fancy mug costs a pretty penny, I think that it's worth it if you drink coffee or tea at home, and often get tired that it's cold by the time you finish it. Yes, one could argue that the person should just drink the beverage faster, but some of us like to sip and savor our morning coffee or tea. I also just like to have a mug of coffee while I work to help me feel energized and focused. And if you're burying yourself in work (as I often do), you may forget about your drink until it's too late.

The Ember Smart Mug is made from premium materials, the charging coaster can keep your drink at optimal temperature all day, and the battery life is pretty good if you don't use the coaster while drinking. The app itself is easy to use, and being able to customize your own LED color and temperature presets is a breeze. Seriously, once you use an Ember Mug, there's no going back.

Christine Chan

Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed. When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.