Ember Ceramic Mug review

We use affiliate links. If you buy something through the links on this page, we may earn a commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

ember mug 1

Hot beverages like coffee, cocoa, and tea are obviously meant to be enjoyed when the beverage is hot. But if you don’t chug your mug of joe minutes after pouring the cuppa, your hot beverage quickly becomes lukewarm. I usually get up at least twice to reheat my mug of tea in the microwave before I’ve consumed it. There has to be a better way to keep your drink at the perfect temperature from the first sip to the last drop right? Ember thinks they have solved this problem, so I ordered one of their Ember Mugs and am here to share my experience with it.

What is it?

The Ember Mug is an 8-ounce mug that has a built-in heating element that will keep the contents of the mug at the right temperature for your beverage.

What’s in the box?

ember mug 2

Ember Mug
Recharging saucer
AC adapter


Capacity: 10oz.
Weight: 0.75lb
Size: 4.2 x 3.25 x 4.3 inches
Temperature range: 120° F – 145° F
IPX7 rated (fully submersible under water)
Cleaning: hand wash only

Design and features

ember mug 4

At first glance, most people would mistake the Ember Mug for an ordinary white ceramic coffee cup. But the Ember Mug is actually made of stainless steel with a FDA food grade ceramic-reinforced coating.

ember mug 5

The bottom of the mug reveals a non-slip base, a power button, and gold rings.

ember mug 6

The rings are electrical contacts that connect to the saucer which is used to recharge the Mug’s built-in rechargeable battery.

ember mug 9

Connecting the included AC adapter to the saucer and then setting the Ember Mug on top will cause the status LED on the base of the mug to glow red to indicate that the Mug’s batteries are recharging.

ember mug 8

After about an hour and a half, the mug’s battery is completely charged and the status LED glows green.

Once fully charged, you’re ready to start using the Ember Mug. However, you might want to wash it first! But only wash it by hand because it’s not dishwasher safe due to the electrical components inside. The saucer should only be wiped clean and not submerged in water.

To use the Ember Mug, all you have to do is pour in your hot beverage and enjoy. By default, the mug will keep the beverage at a temp of 130° F degrees from full to the last sip. If you want to customize the temperature, you will need to install the iOS or Android Ember app and pair the mug with your mobile device.

The app has temperature presets that you can choose for different beverages, or you can choose any temperature from a minimum of 120° F to a maximum of 145 °F.

ember mug 10

Using the Ember Mug

The first time I used the Ember Mug was at home before installing the app. I boiled water on the stovetop like I always do and poured the water into the Mug over a tea bag. I waited a few minutes, removed the tea bag and moved to the couch where I sipped the tea for 90 minutes or so. Every time I wanted a sip, the tea was still hot which was great. I didn’t have to get up and reheat the tea in the microwave which helped me improve my couch potato skills. The only troubling thing that I noticed was that the LED on the mug started glowing red after an hour to let me know that the battery was getting low. I was surprised that the mug’s battery only lasted for 60 minutes because the tea in the mug was hotter than the set temp, meaning the mug was not having to use any juice to keep the tea at the right temp.

The next day I took the Mug to work with me and that’s when more problems with this product started becoming apparent to me.

First of all, at work, I don’t have access to boiling water like I do at home. I do have access to a hot water machine, but the water is only 160° F at its hottest, which isn’t the right temp for brewing the black tea that I prefer. Since you can’t put the Ember Mug in the microwave to heat the water to boiling, which is what I have been doing several times a day with a traditional mug when I’m at work. I filled my glass mug with water and put it in the microwave to boil the water.

Once the water was boiling, I put the teabag in the Ember Mug and dumped the water from my 10-ounce mug into the Ember Mug. Problem #1: The Mug’s true useable capacity is only about 8-ounces instead of 10-ounces and Problem #2: I made a mess pouring water from the glass mug into the Ember Mug.

Here’s a history of the temps using the Ember Mug and an IR thermometer which I pointed straight down into the center of the mug.

  • 160° F degrees out of water machine in a glass mug
  • Microwave glass mug of water 1.5mins to a temp 185° F degrees. Transferred water to Ember Mug with a teabag.
  • 167° F degrees after 3 mins steeping. The status LED starts pulsing white to show that the temp is either over or under the desired temp.
  • 152° F degrees 5 mins later
  • 142° F degrees 5 mins later
  • 130.5° F degrees 10 mins later – The status LED glows solid white to show that the desired temp is achieved.
  • 129.5° F degrees 3 mins later
  • 123.5° F degrees 3 mins later – The status LED is pulsing to show that the contents are below the desired temp.
  • 127.5° F degrees 15 mins later
  • 125.5° F degrees 15 mins later
  • 126° F degrees 5 mins later and the cup is empty.

I then set the mug on the saucer to charge it. For my next test, I went with green tea which can steep at the temp out of the hot water machine. I also installed the Ember app so I could compare what it thinks the beverage temps are vs. what my IR thermometer reports.

  • 142° F degrees 8:46am
  • 132° F degrees 8:54am – app shows 136
  • 125° F degrees 9:04am – app shows 132

The app reports a higher temperature than my IR thermometer. Not a big deal though. What is a big deal is that the app loses connection with the Mug and it has to be paired again when you want to use it to check the temp or customise it. Almost every time that I would launch the app, it would not reconnect to the mug. I finally got frustrated and stopped using the app altogether since I am fine with the default temperature setting of 130° F degrees.

What I like

  • Perfect hot beverage temps from the first drink, to the last drop.
  • No cables to plug in for charging. Just set the mug on the saucer to charge.

What needs to be improved

  • Capacity
  • Battery life
  • App loses connection to the mug

Final thoughts

I had high hopes for the Ember Mug at work and thought it would be the perfect solution to my lukewarm tea woes. Unfortunately, the fact that the mug doesn’t hold that much liquid and the battery life is too short makes the Ember Mug an expensive novelty item. Sure, I could just place the Mug on the charging saucer and not worry at all about battery life. But then I can also buy a cup warmer like this one from Amazon for less than $10. Disclaimer: I’ve never used a cup warmer plate, so I don’t know how well they really work. But, the cup warmer can be used with any mug including my favorite glass mug which I can use in the microwave to boil water to brew my tea. I plan to order one and try it.

When it’s all said and done, the Ember Mug is a nicely made product but needs to have a larger capacity and at least double the battery life before I would recommend it.

Update 2/2/18

I ended up giving the Ember Mug to my buddy at work and he loves it because he has a small coffee maker on his desk and pours the steaming hot coffee directly into the mug.

I ordered myself a “dumb” cup warmer from Amazon. I paid $19.99 to get one that has a switch on the bottom that turns the warmer off when nothing is sitting on it. I thought that would be safer than me trying to remember to turn it off before going home each night. The idea was good, but this warmer didn’t work for me because I don’t use a flat bottomed mug. I use a glass mug like this one from Target. Oh well, I’ll just continue warming up my cold tea in the microwave above my desk.

Update 3/7/18

My friend at work has been using the Ember Mug every day since I gifted it to him over a month ago and he just commented to me yesterday that he still likes his mug. It hasn’t delaminated as some people mentioned in the comments or had any other issues or problems.

Updates 12/07/18

Bill: I have been using the ember mug Julie reviewed for 10 months now. Once I figured out the timing for powering off (5 seconds), powering on (2 seconds), and Bluetooth active (more than 5 seconds), I was able to keep my coffee hot and delicious. The mug continues to function well and I would recommend it to anyone who likes to keep their coffee hot.

Julie: No delaminating at all right? Everyone complains about that problem.
Bill: Nope. my secret is I don’t wash it very often.

Price: $79.95
Where to buy: Amazon
Source: The sample for this review was purchased with my own money.

38 thoughts on “Ember Ceramic Mug review”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. Nicely done, Julie! I thought about these for Christmas gifts, but many of the reviews had the same issues as you, namely capacity, temp control and battery life. Thanks for the cup warmer tip.

  3. One tip I have for battery life is not to turn the mug “on” until the beverage has cooled a bit – to around the mug’s holding temp. I’m not sure if the ceramic mug is the same as the travel one, but the literature (and graphics on the display) indicate that the travel mug actively works to cool a hot beverage to the set temperature, which would (I’d think) use more battery than just letting it passively cool.

    My hope is that they figure out how to use the ceramic coating on the inside of the larger travel mug.

    1. I don’t think the mug tries to cool the beverage. I didn’t read anything about an active cooler. Also, the instructions tell you to turn it on only once. It would be pretty difficult to turn the mug on while it has liquid in it because the button is on the bottom of the mug and requires a bit of pressure to activate it.


        My ember mug is delamination
        Not sure if that’s safe I still use it
        I love it! I have to scoop pieces out here and there. Had it a year
        Now maybe longer always hand wash. Dont want to use it like anymore and I miss it! Might look for other options. Any input?

  4. I bought one of these and accidentally destroyed it within three days. It sets you up for destruction. It feels so much like a real mug and when you first fill it, the beverage loses so much heat from the ceramic, your brain does what it normally does with a regular mug…put it in the microwave. If there is any other pressing though in your head, you will microwave this thing at some point. In 20 seconds it is destroyed. I’m not sure ceramic is the best way to go because it is so easy to forget this is a special mug. A steel mug your mind is already programmed to not put in the microwave.

    1. I am embarrassed to admit that I have now fried three Ember mugs by distractedly putting them each in the microwave. This happened over a period of several years because I had one of the early mugs. The latest one was yesterday. I love the product and I am under a lot of pressure from my wife not to get a fourth one because the smell is so bad when the mug fries in the microwave. If I were Ember I would be working on a way for the mug to sound an alarm with its smartphone app the moment it detects microwave activity. It might not save the mug but it would certainly reduce the amount of noxious fumes generated in the microwave, a generous dying act.

  5. The coating is coming off the inside bottom of my mug. I assume the exposed surface is stainless steel? Is this dangerous to use? Can it be toxic.

    1. I have the same problem with my mug. After 3 weeks the coating is coming off. On my opinion not a good thing.
      I will definitely stop using it.

    2. Same here…after a month of VERY CAREFUL HAND WASHING only, the inside bottom of the mug is cracked and a lot of peeling has occurred. After paying $79 I am not impressed. Battery life is also pretty poor! I really cant be bothered to go through support…I’ll just throw it away and go back to regular cups! Novelty item but the fun doesn’t last long!

  6. I received the mug for my birthday in Feb. Within days the ceramic coating was coming off. The company replaced it but now the mug won’t charge. Love this mug when it works but they really need to iron out the kinks.

    1. That’s disappointing that so many people are having issues with the coating. So far the one I gave my friend is not having that issue. But he has noticed that it has started powering off by itself occasionally.

  7. I’ve had my Ember mug for about 3 months nows. I was using it every weekday to drink tea. I always washed it by hand, with a sponge. However, a few weeks ago, the ceramic coating has cracked, and now I don’t want to drink out of the mug anymore because I’m concerned the ceramic coating will continue to come off into my drink. This is very unfortunate, and Ember so far has not replied to my warranty request. I’m usually happy to be an early adopter, but I would have hoped that the company was more responsive in recognizing problems early on.

  8. Hi Julie…appreciate your website and your readers comments. Got my ember ceramic mug for Christmas 2017! Today I am returning the mug for an exchange for a second time, customer service is very very good. I love the mug and am willing to tolerate the problems l’ve had so far: inside of the mug surface chipping, and most recently the charging saucer contact points lost their springiness to be able to make contact with the base of the cup.
    So, each time the company has sent me a postage paid label. They also send the replacement immediately so I don’t have to be without my cup for very long. I do agree with the other comments that the battery life could be improved, I’m not a power coffee drinker so the capacity is very adequate, the Bluetooth connection can be weak, and now the weak contact points. Anyway, maybe the third time will be the last…but as long as ember is willing to replace it, I’m willing to keep trying!!

    1. The chipping issue is well known. So far this hasn’t happened on the one that was sent to me. I gave it to a co-worker who uses it every day. It’s good to know that they stand behind their product and that they will send a replacement.

  9. I got this as a gift. I, too, love it when it functions properly. However, after a few months the charging base broke and the company sent a replacement. Then a few weeks later it would not hold a charge. I tried everything g the tech support suggested (reset, recharge, re-pair with the app) and was still losing the full charge overnight intermittently but I did not want to leave it on the charger all night (why should I have to). I sent it back for them to test and they did not lose the charge (duh, they only tested it once) but sent me a new one because they noticed the ceramic coating was wearing off. I did not notice this…was it just a rationalization to send me a new one? Anyway, it all works well now if I a) turn off the heater on the app after it’s fully charged for its rest in the cupboard overnight and b) reset and re-pair it to the app about every 3 or 4 days. I’m sure glad I didn’t pay for it myself!!

  10. Theresa Napolitano

    I am on my 2nd mug since Christmas, the 1st one has chipped on the inside of the mug and now the 2nd one is starting to chip. I will have them replace it because of my job I am constantly having to leave my office frequently and I am thrilled to come back after awhile and still have hot coffee.

  11. I am on mine third mug, got it as a Christmas gift. First one started delaminating, second one I made it a point to use a plastic spoon thinking I did something wrong with the first one. However the second one stopped charging, I’m guessing it’s the same issue everyone else has had. I’m on my third one, this time the black color and it is very inconsistent, some weeks it works great others not so much. It won’t connect at times,
    I have to reset and repair, when it is working I do enjoy it. Now it needs an update, I do everything I’m supposed to do and the update doesn’t take for whatever reason. I want to really give this company a high-five however it’s thumbs down on both hands. You have to honestly believe that they spent a boatload of money on testing, I don’t believe for one second that these issues were not known before it went to market.

  12. I love this mug. Got it for Christmas last year and it’s my favorite gift. I use it everyday, working from home, with my Keurig – so no transfer issues. I did have the saucer pin issue and they promptly replaced it. Found out here that the chip in the bottom of my mug – which only just occurred – is a common issue, so I’ll call for s replacement (thank you). But I remain undettered. Asking for the travel mug this Christmas.

  13. Four weeks and no problems. Coffee drinker, no tea for me. Generally happy with the mug. Since I generally work from two locations in the same building it would be nice if I had an extra charging plate, however, eliminating battery issues. Ember also make a travel mug with 2 additional fl. oz. and a copper mug (no ceramic coating to crack?). After reading the comments here, I anticipate some problems, but good to hear that Ember support is ‘supportive’.

  14. When not in use do you leave on charger all the time? I charge overnight, use in morning, wash, set aside until bed then put back on charger. Is this the way it is suppose to work?

    1. It’s probably not a good idea to leave the mug on the charger all the time. Just like your phone, it’s not good for the battery to always be at full capacity. However, the way you describe using it is better than leaving it on the base 24/7.

  15. Thanks so much for this article! I was just gifted an Ember (white) mug and am using it for the first time. The iOS app was showing “EMPTY” even though it was full, so I googled “Ember app showing empty” and somehow found this page. I solved the “EMPTY” problem by quitting the app (double-tapping the phone button and swiping up) and restarting the app. Then the cup reached the desired temp (54.5 C). I feel like that isn’t hot enough so am slowly boosting it higher. I’m glad you did those tests for temperature accuracy, because I don’t really believe the app.

    I have a Nespresso Vertuo machine for coffee. I used a coffee pod that extracts 5.07 fl oz. With the foam the Vertuo machine makes, it was almost to the top of the cup. My favorites pods extract 7.5 fl oz. I’m worried those are going to overflow the cup. Guess I’ll find out once I replenish my supply and give it a try. I always want to warm my cup in advance, and I typically boil water and put it in my cups to warm up the cup, then empty it out and brew the coffee into the cup. I was hoping Ember would solve that and I wouldn’t need to do that any more. This morning I tried just using hot water from the tap to heat the cup, which is quicker than boiling water in my electric kettle.

    The challenge for me is to drink slowly enough to enjoy the hot beverage for longer. This 5.07 fl oz cup is almost gone in the time I’ve written this post. I hope the 7.5 fl oz pods don’t overflow the cup!

    Anyway, thanks again for your informative article.

  16. We’ve had three mugs which have functioned well, but the two that are in daily use have both quit charging due to the spring loaded connectors failing. The mugs gave also lost finish despite delicate handling. They are nice to have, but it seems that durability is a problem.

  17. Does anyone know how I can get in touch with a live person at Ember? I emailed them and haven’t received a response yet. I went on the website and don’t see a chat option nor a customer service phone number. I received my mug as a birthday gift a little over a year ago and the bottom or the cup is peeling. I know it is out of warranty, but I also just gave one as a gift to my husband for Christmas and am now sorry I did.

  18. I just received my mug as a gift. I love it so far, but as a low-tech kind of person, I have trouble with:
    1) knowing if it is off or on. I wish there was a separate “power” light, so I know if I am turning it off or on.
    2) I did not know that I should NOT leave it on the saucer.
    3) no, I won’t be putting an app on my phone for a coffee warmer but it is nice to know if I need a temp change, the option is there.
    I hope it gets easier to use. My mug holds a 12 ounce serving of coffee with lots of room to spare, (or prevent me from spillage on the way to my desk!)
    I have graduated to this from a “mug warmer” plate, which I always worried about leaving on accidentally.
    So far I like it but for the above items.

  19. Ember is one of the latest designed mugs. We love it for its performance. They are very good at keeping your coffee to be hot always. Thanks for reviewing it.

  20. I got my mug last Christmas as a present (8 months ago), nearly all the coating has come off from the inside but i still use it ALL the time, pretty much all my cups are redundant in the house now, i bought my partner one for her birthday in February and it hasn’t peeled at all, my 3 daughters all want one now!
    I do wonder though how safe it is with the bare metal showing that looks a bit rusty!

  21. This is the most overpriced non-performing product I’ve seen in a long while. I received it as a Christmas gift. The length of time it keeps coffee warm is really deficient. I’ve used the thing for a few months. Sometimes it charges and sometimes it doesn’t. I’ve tried calling the company and only get a recording with a list of email addresses. I joined a chat and asked for a phone number. They do not offer phone support. I explained that I had already tried all suggestions to solve the issue that are on their website, but he still took the time to ask me one by one. Now, he wants me to take pictures and email them. I’m of the opinion that this company produces a poor product and then doesn’t care enough about their end users to provide good support.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *