Here in Melbourne we are officially in winter and I am definitely feeling the cold. The early morning wake ups to do lunch boxes, getting kids off to school on week days, extra curricular activities on the weekends whatever the temperature may be outside.

Having to get the kids around means a lot of travel time, or waiting around which gets a little harder on cold winter mornings. So when the opportunity to review the Ember Travel Mug 2+, I was not about to pass it up to anyone else.

Ember Travel Mug 2+


First Impressions

The Ember Travel Mug 2 visually looks similar to the original, a tall travel mug to fit into a car cup holder. It measures 200mm tall and at the widest point (at the top) is 80mm. It tapers a little about 1/3 of the way down the mug to 70mm.

It comes in black matte finish and a piano black glossy lid.

Two gold coloured rings on the bottom of the mug serves as the charging contact. It matches the two pin on the charging coaster so it will always be charging when placed into the holder.

The LED display, when in the off mode, is completely hidden from view in keeping with the minimalist styling. Only when you wake up your Ember will you see the information.

Not surprisingly it carries a little bit of weight at approximately 430g, without your beverage.

Ember Travel Mug 2+


Getting Started

When the Ember first came to my attention a little while ago, the weather was much warmer and I was not really forward planning into the colder months. At the time much of the decision making around the kids activities was up the air anyway.

As autumn waned and we head into winter, I realised a few things. Firstly my coffees never sit there long enough to get cold (unlike my partner’s). My cup of Chinese tea that I have around mid-morning is never a large enough cup and always gets cold before I get to the bottom. I like to sip on this one rather than gulping it as though my life depended on it. I save that for the coffees.

Then there is getting old and feeling the cold. Rather than heating up the whole house for me working alone at home, a hot cuppa, throw some extra layers on will do right? Oh lately I also steal the Stoov from my partner’s chair when she’s not around.

With the Ember Travel Mug 2+, I can solve one problem – keeping my tea warm.

Ember Travel Mug 2+

You don’t have to, but you really should – install the Ember app on your smart phone. This of course, requires pairing the Ember to your phone and all that good stuff. The process isn’t onerous but for whatever reason I had to kick it off and pair it twice before everything got going. I am going to blame the app right here already and I will explain myself as to why in the gripes section later.

The app of course, will give you firmware updates when they become available. The Travel Mug 2+ did not have one when I am doing this review. It also allows you to give your Ember a personalised name that can be displayed on the LED screen.

It of course allows you to control the temperature of the liquid in the mug, for a range between 50C to 62.5C in 0.5C increments.

There are also temperature presets for your favourite beverages. Your personal taste being just that, yours, so the app allows you to modify any of the existing settings. It is just a label and a temperature and you can have a maximum of six at any one time.

There is also a tea timer with three presets so you can be told that your tea has been steeped for the optimal amount of time before you start drinking.

Ember App
Ember App
Ember App
Ember App
Ember App
Ember App
Ember App
Ember App
Ember App
Ember App


In Use

It is important to note that the Ember Travel Mug 2+ is not a kettle, so don’t put cold water in and expect it to get up to temperature.

The sensor inside works on detecting a drastic temperature change to recognise the presence of liquid. Ember’s recommendation is to pour in a liquid at a hotter temperature than what you set it to be.

The Travel Mug is too tall to fit under the group handle of my espresso machine. But as I said earlier, I drink my coffee like my life depends on it so it rarely needs to be kept warm.

To make my tea though, I have been treating it like a normal mug – throw in my tea leaves and hot water. I have to pop the spill resistant lid on and then set the temperature. It’s taken me a few goes but I think I am pretty happy with my tea set at 61.5 C.

The cup measures the temperature of the liquid being poured in. In the app the background colour reflects the reading, for hotter liquid, the colour is a bright orange. And it fades down to a grey when empty.

There is a power button on the bottom of the mug which really is only needed for the first start. It will go into a sleep mode automatically when you have emptied the contents.

When it is in sleep mode, you can tap on the Ember logo to do various tasks.

  • Tap the Ember Logo 1x to see the current temperature of the liquid in the Ember. If no liquid is present, the Ember will display EMPTY or COLD
  • Tap the Ember Logo 2x to see temperature slider (press + or – to raise/lower the set temperature)
  • Tap the Ember Logo 3x to see mug’s name. This can be customised in the settings section of the Ember App
  • Tap the Ember Logo 4x to see the Ember’s current battery level

The Travel Mug 2+ has a 355ml capacity and up to 3 hours of battery life. The capacity is on the upper end of a typical mug which has a range of 180-300ml.

Battery life of course, depends on so many factors but the Travel Mug 2+ has gained an extra hour over the OG.

Ember Travel Mug 2+ coaster

I don’t take three hours to drink anything. What the Travel Mug 2+ does though, is making sure that my cuppa is good from the first to the last drop. Rather than having the last half of my tea being tepid and cold, it is much more enjoyable with it being kept at my preferred temperature.

Better yet, as a travel mug, I can grab it and jump into the car to take it anywhere with me. School run when I am still drinking? No problems. Cold mornings in the park with the kid at sport? Challenge accepted.

The inside of the Travel Mug 2+ is stainless steel and pretty well insulated. With the spillproof lid on but the drinking bit open, it took about an hour for my tea to cool from 93C to 61.5C. Thermodynamics is a hard physics, you can get your drink to cool down faster by leaving the lid off for a bit.

Speaking of the lid, it is important to note the distinction on spillproof – it does not mean you can flip it around upside down and expect no leakage.


Other Features

The app also has a small number of recipe suggestions which is neither here or there for me.

The big ticket item is the Apple Find My integration. The Travel Mug 2+ comes with support for Apple Find My network. An Android heathen like me won’t get to use it, but it is a handy to have for the Apple users.

The Travel Mug 2+ is hand washable, but not machine wash. The lid can be machine washed though.

Ember Travel Mug 2+



My biggest complaint with the Ember is the app itself.

From the moment I installed it to finally getting my mug set up within the app, I found it a little clunky. It works, but for some reason I ran into issues with pairing. I turned off a couple of little quirks on my setup and it paired, but then when it came to saving the custom mug name, it got stuck and the process never finished, at least on the screen.

Then after I started from scratch again, I got through the problem from the previous attempt. Then the app immediately crashed out.

Going back into the app to check to see what the mug name has been set to, I went to change it and the app became unresponsive … but somehow the name save did happen.

After all that, it seems to run a bit better and I could make changes without running into issues. But … first impression counts. I’m a tech reviewer so I will persist through significantly more than you average user.

The second complaint is the charging coaster uses a DC power plug, not even a micro USB port. Unfortunately that means keeping tabs on yet another unique charger if you want to keep your Ember working.

Also not sure why we are not standardising on Qi charging. Sure the aesthetics of the double gold ring is nice, but it’s on the bottom of the mug. The Qi2 standard would put to bed any issues about alignment when charging and allow road warriors to recharge on the go without the coaster or the car adaptor.

The spillproof lid is also a little painful to wash. There doesn’t seem to be a way to pull it apart to deep clean so make sure you keep on top of it. The glossy finish is also a fingerprint magnet.

Ember Travel Mug 2+ bottom



There are 355 reasons to love the Ember Travel Mug 2+. For Apple users there is an additional reason with the Find My support. For me though the 355ml of beverage at my perfect temperature is pretty good.

It catches a bit of attention at the park because whilst everyone else is focus on their exercises and looking after their mental health, I am sipping on a nice cuppa and treating my mental health one sip at a time.

The enjoyment does come at a cost of $0.84 per ml. The Ember Travel Mug 2+ has a RRP of $299 which is pretty hefty. Just the charging coaster is worth $70 if you buy it standalone. If you are the type to enjoy your drink and take a long time to drink it, this can make for a very indulgence gift to yourself or a loved one. And that is the key word, the Ember Travel Mug 2+ is a bit of a indulgence.

DRN would like to thank Ember for providing the review unit. I am going back to sip on my temperature controlled tea. Oh wait, my partner has taken it for her coffee. Guess I can’t joke about her future iced coffee anymore when I hand her her morning cuppa.