In today’s world of pervasive technology, it was about time someone invented a travel mug that would actually keep your coffee hot while driving to the office.
What is the point of a coffee thermos if your rich hot brew turns into cold, sludgy soup upon arrival?
Travel coffee mugs need to do better than that to be worth the money. Otherwise, you might as well stop by McDonald’s and pick up a cheap coffee in insulated cardboard for your morning pick-me-up.
In our search for the best travel mug, we found an amazing space age travel mug that uses the latest technology to not only keep your coffee hot, but to keep it at the perfect temperature.
Enter the Ember Temperature Control Travel Mug
The Ember travel coffee mug is perhaps the best travel mug ever made. It is not cheap – the suggested retail price is $149.95. But, if coffee is your favorite thing, then this magnificent mug might just be worth the splurge.
(Of course, the Ember Travel Mug will also be great for keeping tea and hot soup warm.)
Ember Mug Basics
What you get with your Ember mug is, of course, the mug and an app that you use to control the mug from your Android or Apple smartphone. The Ember device includes a total of seven temperature sensors to monitor the heat of the liquid inside and make sure it stays at the right level of “hot” for you. With temperature presets available on your smartphone app, it is easy to quickly set the right temp for your daily java.
A microprocessor controls the heating system. Yes, that means that a tiny coffee computer is actually embedded inside your ember mug!
The high-tech thermos also features a rapid cooling system to help cool your coffee if it is too hot.
A Secret as to How the Advanced Ember Mug Technology Works
The Ember mug is able to maintain precise temperatures by using a special material on the inside of the mug called Phase Change Material (PCM).
Why is PCM called “Phase Change” Material? Different types of substances change into different forms depending on the temperature. Water, for example, can become solid in the form of ice in freezing temperatures, then it becomes liquid at temperatures above freezing, until the heat reaches the boiling point, at which point water becomes steam or vapor (a gas).
That change between frozen, liquid, or gaseous is a phase change.
Any material that changes phases like that can become a PCM or Phase Change Material. Water can be used as a PCM, for example.
PCMs are a great way to perform heating and cooling because they may not need an outside energy source.
In the case of the Ember travel mug, the lining of the cup incorporates Phase Change Material that sucks up energy from the coffee itself when it is first poured into the cup. This is used, in part, to lower the temperature to the desired, drinkable level.
Once that heat is absorbed into the PCM, it stays there, and then can be used to reheat the coffee as the liquid’s temperature lowers.
The bottom line is that this Phase Change Material enables the coffee to stay at the desired temperature for a long period of time without using energy from the battery.
In practical terms, it means that if you pour super hot coffee into the cup first, then your Ember mug will have a bit of extended life to it. This is because that extra heat extracted from the coffee (to cool it to a drinkable temperature) is now stored in the PCM.
Other Benefits of the Ember Travel Mug
The Ember mug’s heating capacity will last for approximately two hours with needing to be recharged. (This might be slightly longer if you put very hot coffee into the mug.)
With a matte black finish, the mug is easy to hold and won’t easily slip through your fingers. The lip of the mug is not thick and obtrusive as with traditional coffee mugs. And, many users report that the lid is extremely secure and sturdy, and can roll around the floor of your car without spilling a drop.
The mug comes with a charger base that can keep the coffee hot indefinitely when the mug is placed upon it. You can also buy a second charger based (separately) to have one at home and one at the office.
Ember: The Best Travel Mug
In the final assessment, the Ember mug is perhaps the most advanced travel mug ever created. While it is expensive to buy, its many happy customers attest to this little luxury being well worth it.
Feature image via WireCutter