Innovation is not easy.
Most of us can come up with good ideas, possibly while drinking coffee with friends at Starbucks. But taking that idea from a group chat, designing the actual components, making it a viable product, and releasing it into the market takes time and foresight.
That’s why the Ember Cup impresses me so much. I’m a coffee and tea drinker and tend to consume those beverages at my desk. I’ve tested various sizes before, but the new six-ounce model caught my eye because the price tag is a bit lower, and I tend to drink about six ounces in one sitting anyway, then eventually head back to the kitchen or break room for more.
The problem is that the coffee or tea almost always gets cold, especially during meetings. The Ember Cup costs $99.95 for the black model and about $30 more for the copper version. I love it. The cup is small enough to transport around all day and, at six ounces, means you can fit enough coffee (e.g., beyond the average espresso amount) to stay caffeinated.
The Ember Cup uses a small charging pad, akin to what you might use for your phone. Set the cup on the cradle, and it will charge right up. You sync to the Ember app on your phone (to use Bluetooth, press and hold until the light turns blue). When you are ready to use the cup with hot liquid, you grab it from the cradle. In the app, you can set the temp to a desirable amount (I liked about 140 degrees).
In all my testing, the cup kept the liquid nice and toasty the whole time I worked, and I never had any issues where the charge failed, or the coffee or tea didn’t stay hot. I was a bit surprised by that, especially since we have a policy here at Gearadical where we always mention something we don’t like about a product. In 20 years of testing gadgets, I know there is always something I don’t like. With the Ember Cup, it used to be that the higher-priced models didn’t seem that affordable — the largest model is about twice the price.
Yet, at just about $100, I could see investing in this six-ounce version. Here’s my logic. I tended to drink the entire cup because it stayed hot in all of the tests I performed with tea and coffee. Not just warm, by the way, but actually hot enough to keep drinking.
That means significant savings on buying more coffee and tea. It’s unlike me to drink the entire cup, and there’s usually some wasted amount. During a week of testing, I tended to drink the whole cup and started noticing that I was burning through less coffee.
The cup will keep heating your liquid for about 1.5 hours, although you can also keep the cradle around at your desk and it will stay charged all day long. Also, one surprise is that it will heat liquid that is not quite hot enough. If you are a pour-over fan like me, you know temp is a challenge.
I’m now a bigger fan of Ember Cup since I tested the smaller, more portable, and lower-cost version. I had no trouble at all and no concerns about the cup overheating. The cup auto-senses when you are out of coffee or whatever drink you like. (I sometimes just drank hot water.)
It’s an amazing product. I guess the only (required) comment is that if you don’t like to drink hot liquid, this might not be the product for you.