I hope this ceramic battery-heated mug will solve my problems. Every morning I have one glorious cup of coffee. I heat the milk in a pan, watch so it doesn't boil over, then pour it into a big ceramic mug. I use instant coffee with maple syrup to complete the experience. But I can't carry my coffee with me into the living room, so sometimes, when I leave it and return to finish my coffee, it's already cooled down to a not-quite-feisty-hot temperature. This cute, but expensive, little invention may solve my problem. Yes. I ordered one. No. I can't afford it. Let's just hope that it works great and gives many happy returns.
Thanks for the well-wishes, electricguy and ladylimpsalot. I know I'll have fun giving it a try. I'm a little concerned about using the internet app that controls the temperature. Also, the cup apparently doesn't hold much volume, whereas I like a large mug of coffee and that's what I'm used to making. But what I really like is that the Ember cup can heat coffee with milk and maple syrup, since the heating element is separate from the liquid. I'd already been thinking about buying a heating element that would heat the water for making coffee, but when those are used, they can't be used to re-heat the coffee, much less once milk or syrup have been added to the water. Another reason for my preocupation with hot coffee is that hospitals and nursing homes intentionally serve luke-warm coffee. This mug would allow me to have a nice hot cup of coffee while in a hospital or nursing home.
Post by electricguy on Dec 25, 2017 12:22:39 GMT -8
vintage , I did some looking around at Amazon.com you can buy different sites cups 13 ounces, 16 ounce, 20 ounce and 30 ounce cups to go along with that system of keeping your coffee or drinks warm. The price seems to be the major consensus, with people who gave a review at Amazon.com. Happy hunting with alternative methods – one way that I thought of was maybe you could buy a plastic party cup and put that in the coffee mug to keep your drink warm.
Save me the frusration of searching. Can you give me the links to those larger sizes? Plastic party cup,...nope. Gotta be as completely non-toxic as possible. Plus, a separate cup would negatively affect heat transfer. And btw, I don't actually have any more money to spend on a larger size right now. But I'd still like to view them.
P.S. Is it just me, or is it significant that "electricguy" and my electric toaster avatar keep having these conversations?
Why not just a insulated travel mug? Keeps it warm or cold and you carry it with you. I also have a fold up cup holder. Look for stuff under bike equipment. Since anything for a wheelchair is about double.
Another reason for my preocupation with hot coffee is that hospitals and nursing homes intentionally serve luke-warm coffee. This mug would allow me to have a nice hot cup of coffee while in a hospital or nursing home.
It turns out that the Ember needs to start out with super-hot coffee to work effectively. It won't turn luke-warm coffee into hot coffee. From what I'm finding online, it's best to put piping hot coffee into the mug. The mug will remove the excess heat and store it for bumping up the coffee temperature later, when it starts to cool down. Ember doesn't explain its technology, but a customer wrote a great review explaining it below. I'd thought that the battery would heat up the water, but that isn't how it works.
"Customer Review 5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding How an Ember Mug Works Makes It Work Better! By Ed Harrison June 20, 2017 I have had my Ember mug since November 2016 and absolutely love it, so I was curious about some of the 3 star and lower reviews. Upon reading these, it is clear that a number of purchasers (and potential purchasers) don't fully understand how the mug actually works. Ember really needs to do a much better job of explaining this (probably with a cute, animated video), but here is what is actually going on:
It looks like many people think that this is a battery operated/heated mug - not an unreasonable asasumption since you do, after all, have to charge the battery. What really happens is much more interesting. Inside the walls of the mug is something that is called a Phase Changer Material (PCM). When I brew a cup of coffee in my Keurig coffee maker directly into the mug, the initial temperature is about 175 degrees with a target of 140 degrees. What the Ember mug does is to extract the heat from the coffee and store it in the PCM. In this case, the material starts out in a waxy form and liquifies as it absorbs heat. This fairly quickly cools the coffee down to the desired temperature, but in the process the PCM becomes a heat storage "battery". Once the coffee reaches 140 degrees and starts to cool, the mug senses this and extracts heat from the PCM "battery" and uses that to maintain the temperature rather than directly heating the coffee using normal battery power.
If you understand this is how it works, then it is easy to understand why some people are not happy with the battery life. Basically, the hotter the initial temperature, the more storage capacity in the PCM "battery", and the longer it can maintain the coffee at the desired temperature. My coffee maker at my cabin is a smaller unit that requires me to brew the coffee into a measuring cup and pour it into the Ember mug. I also noticed that the initial temperature there is about 154 degrees. That means that the Ember mug at my cabin can't maintain my ideal coffee temperature for as long as it does at home because the PCM "battery" is not as fully charged. In fact, one day I got busy and forgot to pour the coffee into the Ember mug until it was just under 140 degrees. Normally I would expect the mug to quickly heat the coffee to the desired 140 degree temperature, but with essentially no PCM "battery" charge, it took longer than usual to get to the desired temperature and I am sure it would not have maintained the temperature for very long.
So, once you understand this, you will realize that want to brew directly into the mug if possible and transfer it to the charger until it is ready to drink if you can do that. If not, as soon as your coffee is brewed, make sure you transfer it into the Ember mug as soon as you can and it will be able maintain the desired temperature for the maximum period of time. If you do this, I think you will find that you will have no issues with how long the Ember mug can maintain the desired temperature. Ember really needs to explain this to customers. In addition to a video on their website, a simple "How Your Ember Mug Works" sheet will go a long way to solving this issue.
A couple of other comments and one suggestion for Ember Mug II. I actually had a problem with the electronics in my original mug. I found that Ember customer support was very responsive and when they couldn't fix the unit, they quickly sent me a replacement. I also had a problem with the lid in the replacement mug not locking open after a few weeks and they replaced that quickly as well. This is a first generation product so I am pretty tolerant of issues like this as long as the company is responsive, as Ember was.
My suggestion for Ember is to make the next version use wireless induction charging, so there are no issues with the bottom of the mug needing to stay dry to make good contact with the charger.
Post by electricguy on Dec 29, 2017 12:49:58 GMT -8
vintage, Sorry it took me so long to respond to your post. I was trying to find through my browsing history at Amazon where I had found the different sizes. Which I know I was looking at originally, now, however, that merchandise is nowhere to be found on the Amazon site. All I can find is the size you have and a 12-ounce mug. And also, I see by your latest post on this thread, that you too have searched the Amazon site and found the answer to your other questions, about the initial brewing temperature and maintaining your preferred drinking temperature.
I am sorry if I inadvertently got your hopes up. As far as my screen name electricguy in your avatar, it does take electricity to make a toaster work as intended. Ultimately, I do not know if I am the answer to your question, or the question to your answer, or nothing at all.
Thanks for the research, electricguy. When I couldn’t get answers from the Ember site, i started reading all the “users” posts that i could find,...and found the one i posted above. Reading about it, I finally realized that Ember would be perfect for someone with a fifteen-minute break from their computer to go get a cup of hot coffee, but not for my own purposes. This morning I emailed Ember, asking them to email me a return label.
I was a customer service operator for ten years. In that ambiance, I had two fifteen-minute breaks and a half hour lunch during my eight-hour shift. I think that the Ember would be perfect for that scenario. Once the break was over, there was no way to go get another cup of coffee and no equipment to heat up what we already had. Also, sometimes I would get my coffee and bring it back to my station, log in, and get a couple of twenty-minute-long phone calls. So then, I would just look longingly at my cup of coffee, cooling down despite the thermal cup that my company provided us. The Ember has its valid uses. Sigh. I’ve just decided that, for me, it wasn’t what I wanted, and that it cost too much to keep it as a “conversation piece”.
Post by electricguy on Dec 31, 2017 15:07:58 GMT -8
I agree Vintage, in some instances it may be very useful. Although, I personally would find it hard to justify the cost also. I personally have a Stanley stainless steel thermos which does an excellent job of keeping my coffee hot. I usually have to have the CNA's add ice to a cup of coffee before I drink it. The thermos can easily keep beverages hot for up to 12 hours or longer. This at a cost of less than $30. Being it is stainless steel you would not have to worry about any mishaps of dropping it and it has a handle which would make it easier, I believe, for you to pick back up with your grabber.
One thing I did like about Ember was that the mug was ceramic, not plastic or stainless steel. I believe you, electricguy, about your stainless steel thermos keeping your coffee hot. But in past years, I have come to the conclusion that it isn’t healthy to eat or drink out of stainless steel. I’ll quote here from the CureZone, an ‘alternative therapy’ site, which I realize is far from universally accepted. “pp120 : Don’t eat carcinogenic metals : “Cook in glass or ceramic pots, not stainless steel, which releases chromium and nickel, two of the most carcinogenic metals.” 1999 : The Cure for All Advanced Cancers www.curezone.org/forums/fm.asp?i=1749318