Ember Travel Mug review – CNET

There’s a goldilocks zone for sipping hot beverages. Coffee or tea that’s just out of the brewer will scald your tongue. And lukewarm drinks aren’t as satisfying as they could be. The $150 Ember Travel Mug ($149.95 at Amazon.com) is designed to solve this first-world dilemma. The container uses sophisticated electronics and clever engineering to actively regulate its internal heat. The ability lets the Ember warm and cool liquid to a precise temperature you specify.

The good news is that the Ember actually works. The bad news, besides its outrageously steep price, is that it doesn’t work for long. Away from its powered cradle the Ember quickly runs out of juice, and heat. The 12-ounce container doesn’t hold much, either. Both are serious flaws in any travel mug no matter how fancy. So unless you like pouring money down the drain, you’re better off sticking with an ordinary $20 thermal mug.

A 21st-century cup?

At first glance the Ember Travel Mug may look like an ordinary single-serve thermos. On closer inspection it quickly becomes clear that this vessel is anything but commonplace. Tall and slender, the mug has an exterior that’s all black. About a third of the way down its length the Ember tapers to an even thinner width. This change in diameter is subtle but important. The mug narrows slightly above where your fingers naturally fall and helps to stabilize your grip.