My habit of sipping coffee slowly tastes better than ever.

By Lauren Phillips
March 18, 2020
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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.

 Black 10-ounce Mug

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.

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