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Ember Mug 2 review: Perpetually perfect cuppa

A wonderful intersection for the caffiene addicted and the gadget obsessed. 

Ember mug in gold
Ember Mug 2: Gold
4.8 out of 5 stars
Black, white, copper, silver, gold, rose gold
Battery life
3.5 hours
Anula Wiwatowska
Mar 25, 2024
Icon Time To Read4 min read

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Quick verdict: Ember Mug 2

There are cheaper ways to keep your beverage warm for longer, but nothing as thoughfully put together, or joyous as the Ember Mug 2. Despite the admittedly high price tag, the Mug 2 is the perfect gadget for tech lovers who revel in the perfect cuppa.

pro Simple UX
pro Excellent battery life
pro Just joyful
con Big battery pack and no USB options
con Final sip can be too hot
con It will be the most expensive cup of tea you’ve ever had
Ember Mug 2 in gold on a wooden table

You know that perfect sip of tea? When the water has cooled down enough that you can taste the flavour, but is still warm enough to send the heat trickling through your body. Imagine that perfect sip every time- that is the Ember Mug. The rechargeable, app-controlled mug lets you set the ideal temperature for your drink and consistently maintains that temp until the cup runs dry. It is an overly engineered solution to an inconsequential problem, but it is joyful, satisfying, and the UX is just simple enough to balance it out.

There are few things in life that are more luxurious than 15 minutes to yourself with a good cup of coffee. Though it might be a small one it is a luxury nonetheless, and the Ember Mug really is targeted as a luxury product. Starting at $170 and ranging up to $255 depending on the finish, it is an expensive way to enjoy those 15 minutes, and turn those 15 into around three and a half hours if you’re a slow sipper. That is how long a fully charged Mug 2 will last off the charging coaster- a full three and a half hours maintaining your beverage at 57 degrees celsius. It far outperforms its promise of 1.5 hours, although higher temperatures may drain that battery quicker. 

Coupled with the charging coaster, Ember promises all-day battery life which should be a given if you have a piece of tech charging for most of the day. Regardless of the marketing speak, Ember’s accompanying charging coaster is thoughtfully designed; it is simple, sleek, and hardly looks like a charger at all; how they all should be really. As long as it’s plugged in, plopping the Mug 2 atop the charger will start amping it back up, and takes around 2-3 hours to be fully charged. My only qualm is the rather hefty wall plug which measures in at 4cm x 4cm x 8.5cm. That is about the size of three iPhone charging bricks. It takes up a good amount of plug real estate so if you’ve got limited space you’ll need to get creative with the daisy chains.

Each Mug 2 comes with three interchangeable wall plugs; Australian, European, and USA but it doesn’t have USB or USB-C. My desk feels like the perfect place to pop the mug for the day, and it seems like a missed opportunity not being able to just plug the charger to my setup and control it through a desktop app.

Ember app work flow screens

Controlling the Mug 2 via its smartphone app is however incredibly simple. There is always the possibility that a seemingly simple piece of tech will overdo it in the app department; I’ve seen it in TVs, and air purifiers. Apps that are created simply to track your data without offering any meaningful additions to the technology, or apps that have been packed full of more than you’d ever want from them. Ember tows this line well and focuses on the basics; just a side scrolling temperature gauge, a quick selection screen, and a hidden health feature you can easily ignore. Allowing push notifications lets Ember ping your phone when your cuppa makes it to your ideal temperature but you can also keep an eye on the glowing LED indicator on the front of the Mug. When it stops flashing you’re ready to sip. 

Out of the box Ember Mugs are programmed to sit at 57 degrees celsius when it detects liquid in the mug. When brewing a milky coffee the milk is steamed to 60 degrees celsius, and added to a shot of espresso brewed at around 95 degrees celsius. When combined the serving temperature ends up at around that 57 degrees mark, so if you like a warm coffee from your local cafe then chances are 57 will be the perfect cup. If that is the case then you don’t even need to download the app technically speaking. Note that once you do get down to the dregs they can be significantly warmer than the rest of the liquid since they are so close to the heating element. Approach your final sip with caution.

Even though the Ember Mug 2 is heavier than any other mug in your cupboard, it is thoughtfully designed. The heft sits at the bottom making the mug difficult to accidentally tip over, although it may trick you into thinking you have more tea left then you actually do. It is well insulated, maintaining the residual warmth just enough to make it cosy to touch but not so hot that it burns your fingers or makes you hold it in some weird way while you’re moving it from the kitchen. Unfortunately it is hand wash only, but I have found that even frothed milk doesn’t cling to the surface so it’s a quick wash regardless.

Is the Ember Mug 2 worth buying?

The Ember Mug 2 is easily the most thoughtfully designed piece of tech I have tested in a long time. Both the technical side (user experience and battery life) and the practical elements (washing up and insulation) consider the user in all parts of the Mug’s use cycle. While that seems like a simple task, it is one that tends to fall by the wayside in favour of other motivators driving big tech.

While yes, it is a complicated solution to a straightforward problem, the simplicity of the execution makes it somewhat of a marvel. For people who really care about their coffee and tea, or people who just love a good gadget, the Ember Mug 2 will warm your hands, stomach and your soul.

How much does the Ember Mug 2 cost in Australia?

The Ember Mug 2 starts from $170 in Australia, but you can almost certainly nab a bargain from choice retailers.
Anula Wiwatowska
Written by
Anula Wiwatowska
Anula is the Content and Social Media Editor within the extended universe. Working in the tech space since 2020, she covers phone and internet plans, gadgets, smart devices, and the intersection of technology and culture. Anula was a finalist for Best Feature Writer at the 2022 Consensus Awards, and an eight time finalist across categories at the IT Journalism Awards. Her work contributed to WhistleOut's Best Consumer Coverage win in 2023.

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