Smaller and cheaper than the other products in the range, the Ember Cup is a stylish self-heating mug that keeps drinks warm from the first sip to the last. This version is designed for milk-based espresso drinks, so it isn’t quite as versatile as the Mug.
- Maintains heat well
- Looks great
- Easy to configure
- Quite small
- Self-heatingThis is a self-heating coffee cup, which is just big enough to take regular espresso-based milk drinks.
I’m a big fan of the Ember range of self-heating mugs. As one that will make a hot drink and then wander off to return to a cold one, I find the Ember Mug 2 a brilliant way to keep my drink hot right to the last sip.
Joining the ranks is the new Ember Cup, a smarter-looking and smaller heated mug, designed for espresso-based drinks. I love the look, but the very small capacity isn’t always ideal for the style of drink that I have.
Design and features
- 178ml capacity
- App controlled
- 50°C to 62.5°C temperature range
The regular Ember Mug 2 is designed to look and feel like a regular mug, complete with a handle, but the Ember Cup is built to be different. Handle-free, this mug looks like the kind of cup you’d get at an upmarket coffee shop, which is exactly the look that Ember is going for.
I’ve got the copper version on test, which looks beautiful, but there’s a plain black version, too. Aside from the colour, both versions operate in the same way.
Looks aside, the big difference between this version and the Ember Mug is capacity. Here, there’s just 178ml of capacity. Externally this cup seems big, but there’s only a smaller space available inside, as the rest of the cup is taken up with the battery and heating element. In comparison, the smaller Ember Mug has a 295ml capacity and the larger one 410ml.
The reason for the smaller capacity is that Ember says the Cup is designed for espresso-based drinks, such as cappuccinos, flat whites and cortados. A typical cappuccino will be somewhere around 150ml to 175ml, comprised of equal parts espresso, milk and froth.
For the majority of milk-based drinks, this cup is just about the right space, with its wide top and curved body making it relatively easy to add milk into a shot of espresso.
If you want something that can handle larger drinks, you’re out of luck. A standard ‘mug’ is around 230ml, the volume poured by the larger Nespresso Vertuo capsules; here, that would overflow the Ember Cup.
Core to the Ember Cup is the app and self-heating ability. Once connected via Bluetooth to your phone, the app lets you set the target temperature for your drink, either choosing a temperature between 50°C and 65°C or using the pre-set options, such as coffee or tea.
Once the liquid is added to the Cup, the heating element turns on, pinging a notification to your phone when it’s at the correct temperature to drink. The Cup then maintains this temperature until you’ve finished drinking; intelligent sensors turn the Cup off when it’s empty, although there’s a power button you can use to manually turn it off.
Visually, the LED lights up a solid colour when the mug’s at the right temperature, too. Via the app, you can adjust the LED colour, which is handy if you’ve got multiple Cups or Mugs in the house, as each person can have distinguish theirs with a unique colour.
The app also gives you firmware updates, which does feel odd, and certainly not the stuff that the future was supposed to be made of; still, they’re important and help improve the quality the Cup and its heating.
- Keeps warm for 90 minutes
- Indefinite performance via charging coaster
With the battery fully charged, via the charging coaster, the Ember Cup will keep drinks warm for up to 90 minutes. If you really need more time than that, keeping the Ember Cup on its charging coaster will keep it hot indefinitely.
Of course, there are natural limits to this. A black coffee will last a good amount of time; a cappuccino or other milk drink, will lose its foam and start looking a bit sad if left for too long.
I found that battery life was spot on for my needs. I could walk away from a cup of coffee and still have it at 57°C an hour later. When I’m working in the Trusted Reviews Home Tech Lab, I tend to have periods of setting up tests; with the Ember Cup, I can walk off to do a test and still come back to a hot coffee.
Capacity wise, I poured a 150ml Nespresso Vertuo capsule and, with the foam, this came right to the top of the cup. As I said earlier, the capacity is right for smaller drinks and standard sized milk ones, but it is quite small if you want a ‘proper’ mug full.
Should you buy it?
If you want something stylish for smaller expresso-based drinks, this mug ensures your drink stays hot right to the final sip.
If you like the idea of a self-heating mug but need more capacity and flexibility, check out the Ember Mug instead.
Yes, the Ember Cup is an expensive mug, and that alone will put some people off. If you like a hot drink and often find yours goes cold before you finish, then the money is worth it. I use my Ember Mug 2 all of the time, and find it brilliant for keeping the first sip and last sip the same, particularly on a busy day when I’m up and down from my desk all of the time.
With the Ember Cup, you get a cheaper entry point (this is £50 less than the Mug), but with reduced capacity. If you drink smaller cups of coffee, and milk-based espresso drinks, this will be spot on for you, but the overall size is low. If you need more flexibility, as I often do, the regular Ember Mug (in either size) makes more sense.
How we test
We test every mug we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.
We test any compatible smartphone apps to see how easy they are to use and what features they offer.
We measure how well a cup maintains its target temperature.
We see how long the battery lasts under normal conditions.
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This model holds 178ml, which is about the average size of regular espresso-based milk drinks.
It lasts for up to 90 minutes, which is more than enough time to finish a drink; if you place the mug on the coaster, it will stay hot indefinitely.