Both of the following things are true: $199.95 is a totally ludicrous price to pay for a mug, and Ember’s new Tumbler looks pretty great. The Tumbler is a 16-ounce black travel mug (the biggest one Ember has ever made) that claims to be able to keep your beverage at exactly the temperature you want it for hours at a time. It comes with two lids — a twist-off one with a handle and a sliding one with a mouthpiece — and Ember says it can handle even your rugged commuter lifestyle. The battery lasts three hours, and you charge it by placing the Tumbler on its charger / coaster accessory. It’s available for presale now and ships on September 22nd.
It’s a travel mug, is the long and short of it. A travel mug that pairs with an app that you can use to heat your drink to the exact degree you want, between 120 and 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Is that worth $200? Up to you! All I can tell you is that everyone I know who has an Ember thinks it’s a ridiculous luxury — and loves it to bits.
Ember has been selling products since 2016, all based on the same temperature-controlling technology. Clay Alexander, the company’s founder, has talked about eventually bringing the tech to dishes and other objects, but so far, Ember has stuck to drinking: in addition to the original Ember Mug and the Travel Mug, Ember also has a temperature-controlled baby bottle. More recently, Ember has also been fashioning itself as a health company, integrating with Apple Health to track caffeine consumption.
The larger, more rugged Tumbler fits right into Ember’s lineup — the most recent Travel Mug still only holds 12 ounces of liquid, which is just not enough coffee — but also might face the most challengers. Other travel mugs may not be able to control temperatures to the degree, but your average Yeti or Zojirushi can keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold pretty much all day. And while three hours of battery life is nice, that may not last through your full Saturday hike. (It’s also worth mentioning that Ember products sometimes have a longevity issue — the battery capacity seems to dip pretty aggressively after a couple of years of use, which is normal for batteries but a bummer for such an expensive mug.)
Still, there’s nothing quite like telling your mug that you like your coffee at 135 degrees, no more and no less, and sitting down at your desk 90 minutes later to find it still at the perfect temperature. The Tumbler, like everything else Ember makes, is a silly guilty pleasure of a device. And I still want one.