I've had the chance to test the Ceramic Mug over the last few weeks, following an announcement that Ember's mugs now calculate your approximate caffeine intake and sync it to Apple's Health app, and are now being sold in Apple stores. In that time, I've found the device to be a helpful companion for my daily cups of tea and coffee, although there are some aspects of its design that will hinder its usefulness in the long run.
Setup is largely a breeze with Ember's mugs; all I had to do was power on the Ceramic Mug, plug in the charging coaster to the included AC adapter with a barrel plug, and set the mug on it to fuel it up. Using the Ember iOS app, I searched for and found the mug, paired it, named it, and customized its front-facing LED color.
In terms of setup, that's really it; you can wait for the mug to finish charging, but if you'll be placing it on the charging coaster as you drink, the initial setup process is shortened even further. Once the mug is on, you never have to worry about powering it on or off again since it automatically goes into sleep mode when not in use.
Initial Use and Ember's iOS App
Using Ember every day is pretty simple as well. Once everything is synced between your mug and the app, just add your favorite hot beverage to the mug and the Ember app will automatically ask what you're drinking. For my first cup, I steeped a bag of herbal tea within the Ceramic Mug, and followed a push notification from Ember on my iPhone to set what I was drinking.
I had to connect to the Ceramic Mug every time I opened the app (requiring a simple tap to connect prompt), and afterwards the home screen displayed a color gradient that went from light gray (or "Empty") to a deep red as the temperature in the cup increased.
There's a section for temperature presets, and I added three new ones: Herbal Tea, Green Tea, and Decaf Coffee. These presets allow you to select a custom temperature to maintain as you drink your beverage, with Ember recommending most between 130 degrees and 140 degrees for the sweet spot of a hot cup of tea or coffee that won't burn your mouth. I found 135 degrees to be my own personal favorite temperature for most drinks. For temperature presets, there is only room for eight total. You can choose to manually set the temperature by sliding your finger along the bottom of the app as well.
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