Battery lasts up to three hours
360-degree leakproof lid
Only 12-ounce capacity
Stainless steel interior affects drink taste
Only one color option
We purchased the Ember Travel Mug² so our reviewer could put it to the test. Keep reading for our full product review.
You probably have a travel mug to keep your morning coffee warm on those days you’re on the run, but travel mugs often lose heat quickly, and you end up with lukewarm or cold coffee. That’s where the Ember Travel Mug² steps in, using a high-tech design and smart technology to keep your drink at the perfect temperature for the entirety of your commute.
We tested the second-generation Ember Travel Mug for several weeks, closely examining its performance, ease of use, design, and cost. Keep reading to find out what we thought.
Design: Slim, sleek, and simple
The Ember Travel Mug² measures 7.9 x 3.14 inches and weighs 15.2 ounces, which is slimmer and lighter than the brand’s first-generation travel mug. This change is in part thanks to the new touch-sensitive control panel that replaced the previous manual dial.
The mug’s slim design is complemented by an overall sleek look. The top of the mug is slightly wider than the bottom, making it easy to hold, even without a handle. The unit comes with a matching charging coaster, both of which are coated with a matte finish. We found that the coating not only makes the mug comfortable to hold but also helps improve your grip, preventing accidental drops.
The lid is one of the mug’s best design features. It requires a simple push to open it, and the lid allows for a 360-degree drinking experience, allowing users to sip their beverage from any side of the mug. We found this to be most useful especially when driving, as we could lift the mug from any angle and begin drinking—no need to search for the side with the opening. Lastly, the lid is completely leakproof, which we can confirm to be true. We had no spills or leaks throughout testing.
What we didn’t like about the design is its lack of color choices—the only available option is black. We would have liked at least one alternative, especially considering regular Ember Mugs come in white and copper.
The lid is one of the mug’s best design features. It requires a simple push to open it, and the lid allows for a 360-degree drinking experience.
We also didn’t like the material used inside the mug. Similar to many other travel mugs, the Ember Travel Mug’s interior is made of stainless steel, which can impart a certain metallic flavor on the beverages it comes in contact with.
Connectivity: App is useful, but not necessary
Unlike the regular Ember Mug, it’s possible to use the Ember Travel Mug² without the Ember app. We were able to use the mug’s touchscreen controls to change the temperature instead of using our smartphone, which was convenient when driving.
To get the full Ember experience, however, we’d recommend pairing the Ember Travel Mug with a smartphone. To set it up, we had to press the power button on the bottom of the mug for five seconds. Then, we opened the Ember app and chose the “pair new device” option to begin the process. This setup took just a couple of minutes, and after the mug has synced with your phone, you can adjust the temperature of your beverages from the app.
The Ember App is well-designed and easy to use. There aren’t too many extra features on the app that might make it confusing or overwhelming—it mainly serves as a temperature gauge for the mug. The app will also notify you when the set temperature has been reached. We found this to be a nice feature, as it let us know our drink was ready to sip, eliminating any possibility of burning our mouth.
Performance: Keeps coffee hot for hours
Overall, we found the Ember Travel Mug² to be amusing and easy to use, and it did a good job keeping beverages warm. The mug can keep drinks hot for up to three hours, depending on the pour temperature, ambient temperature, desired temperature, and if creamer was added. We also liked that when we tapped the Ember logo located on the top portion of the mug, it allowed us to access the temperature gauge, battery percentage, and a rotating Ember logo.
One major downside is the travel mug’s low capacity, which is a mere 12 ounces.
We tried using both tea and coffee in our mug, and it took some experimenting to figure out what our ideal drinking temperature was. Because of the mug’s stainless steel interior, we preferred using it for hot tea—we didn't notice as strong of a flavor difference as with coffee.
One major downside is the travel mug’s low capacity, which is a mere 12 ounces. Many travel mugs can hold 20 ounces or more, and for serious coffee drinkers, 12 ounces may not be nearly enough to get you through the morning. We found this to be one of the most inconvenient features of this mug, especially considering the price.
Features: Touchscreen and long-lasting battery
As mentioned, the Ember Travel Mug’s touchscreen is convenient for those times when you don’t necessarily want to pull out your phone. Instead, you can simply tap the mug and make any necessary temperature adjustments right on the side of it. Tapping the Ember logo once will allow you to view the current temperature, and tapping twice brings up the temperature adjuster.
Another handy feature is the long battery life, which is roughly three hours. This is twice as long as regular Ember Mugs and perfect for taking your drink on the go. The Ember Travel Mug also has a sleep mode, which can sense when it isn’t in use, and it will turn off on its own, extending the battery life.
Cleaning: Hand wash
Caring for the Ember Travel Mug² isn’t too difficult. The main body must be washed by hand, but the lid is dishwasher safe. We didn’t have any issues cleaning it, but we were careful to avoid using any abrasive cleaners, per the manual’s recommendations.
The Ember Travel Mug’s touchscreen is convenient for those times when you don’t necessarily want to pull out your phone.
Price: So expensive
If you want to keep your morning coffee at the exact perfect temperature for hours, you better be ready to shell out some serious cash. Retailing for around $180, the Ember Travel Mug is no small commitment! It certainly delivers warm coffee and a fun user experience, but we think it’s overpriced considering its small capacity and basic stainless steel design.
Ember Travel Mug vs. YETI Rambler 20 oz. Tumbler
The YETI Rambler 20 oz. Tumbler with the Magslider Lid is an extremely popular travel mug that retails for around $30. The YETI boasts a 20-ounce capacity, while the Ember Travel Mug² can only hold a maximum of 12 ounces.
The main difference between the two mugs is Ember's smart technology, which is used to warm beverages to the user’s ideal temperature, whereas the YETI relies on double-wall vacuum insulation to keep beverages hot or cold. With the YETI, there is some unpredictability regarding the beverage’s temperature, but it’s still able to maintain hot temperatures for several hours. Overall, the YETI is a much better deal, as it provides a larger capacity with a similar experience for a significantly lower cost.
The Ember Travel Mug² is a high-tech drink holder with a fun touchscreen, but it’s fairly gimmicky and too pricey to justify, especially since many inexpensive travel mugs can keep drinks warm for just as long.
- Product Name Travel Mug²
- Product Brand Ember
- SKU TM191200US
- Price $179.95
- Weight 15.2 oz.
- Product Dimensions 3.14 x 7.9 in.
- Color Black
- Capacity 12-ounces
- Warranty 1-year limited warranty
- What's Included Travel mug, charging coaster, and AC power adapter