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The Finest Temperature Management Mugs of 2022

The Temperature Journey of a Normal Mug of Espresso
  Temp. After 10 Minutes Temp. After 20 Minutes Temp. After 30 Minutes Temp. After 40 Minutes Temp. After 50 Minutes Temp. After 60 Minutes  Temp. After 70 Minutes  Temp. After 80 Minutes  Temp. After 90 Minutes 
Normal Mug of Espresso: Begin Temperature 174°F 136°F  111°F  101°F  95°F  90°F  87°F  85°F  82°F  80°F

Should you’re questioning in case you ought to take into account a temperature management mug, take into account the speed at which espresso cools. Not like lots of the different Serious Eats reviews I’ve done, this overview lent itself properly to a management group: a mug of espresso merely left on the counter. In the course of the temperature maintain check, the place I examined every mug’s capability to carry scorching espresso (taking the temperature each 10 minutes over a 90-minute interval), I additionally measured an everyday ol’ cup of espresso to see how its temperature modified over time:

I can’t declare this was performed very scientifically. (I don’t know what the temperature inside my house was, for instance, and if that contributed to a slower or quicker cooling fee. And I used an amber mug made by the parents at MANUAL, and I can’t say if these outcomes can be the identical if I examined in a porcelain or ceramic mug.) Nonetheless, it looks as if espresso loses about 40 levels within the first 10 minutes, 25 extra levels after 20 minutes, and so forth (see above). The speed at which espresso loses warmth is excessive when espresso may be very scorching, after which it slows down because it cools. 

After I noticed these outcomes, I used to be much more satisfied {that a} temperature-controlled mug may very well be a worthwhile funding since espresso loses a lot warmth so rapidly. Anecdotally, I additionally know this to be true. The primary few moments you’re ready for espresso to chill can really feel like an eternity, however the second espresso reaches a perfect temperature (extra on this under), it’ll proceed to lose warmth. The moments between the proper temperature and unpleasantly cool could be a telephone name, a fast query from a colleague, or a toilet break. That is all to say: Seeing a mug of espresso’s temperature drop from 136°F (after 10 minutes) to 111°F (after 20 minutes) was sufficient to persuade me that, for the correct individual, these temperature management mugs are a great way to unravel a quite common drawback. 

135°F Appeared to Be The Candy Spot

All through testing, I tasted every mug’s espresso repeatedly to judge any taste variations.

Severe Eats / Ashley Rodriguez

Nearly all of the mugs we examined began at a preset temperature of 135°F. A few of the mugs couldn’t be adjusted in any respect, hovering on or across the 135°F marker it doesn’t matter what. I wished to know why. 

People understand completely different flavors from the identical meals relying on temperature. We did a deep dive on how temperature affects flavor, and the analysis remains to be evolving, however right here’s a abstract of what we discovered: objects which are too scorching will masks taste whereas objects which are too cool will uninteresting them. There’s no uniform understanding of the connection between temperature and taste (our article notes, for instance, that “beer turns bitter when warmed from its typical serving temperature; espresso, then again, has been discovered to style much less bitter when cooled down from piping-hot.”) however it does appear there’s a candy spot between simply above physique temperature and slightly below our warmth threshold (round 150-160°F, however that’s additionally not an excellent scientific vary and actually relies upon by yourself private preferences). 

At one level, the National Coffee Association really helpful a serving temperature between 180-185°F, and some articles I learn latched onto that vary. Their present web site doesn’t appear to replicate that vary, however I’d guess they meant that drip espresso must be served, not essentially consumed, between 180-185°F. Their web site factors to a study that shows most people prefer their coffee at around 140°F. One other research bought extra particular, indicating that 136°F was the ideal temperature. So, 135°F isn’t far off.

All The Mugs Carried out the Similar Job—However They Had been Nonetheless Totally different

The OHOM mug, proven right here, solely labored on its charger.

Severe Eats / Ashley Rodriguez

I discovered it barely tough to check every mug as a result of virtually all of them carried out comparatively the identical. All of them did what they stated they’d do—preserve espresso heat—however operated very otherwise.

Two of the seven mugs (the OHOM and the Hurkins) are mainly espresso heaters: they solely work when the mug is on the heating pad. For some motive, with each fashions, the heating pads doubled as telephone chargers. I’m unsure who requested for this. 

The Glowstone mug lacked any kind of digital interface or app, which I did not discover to be intuitive.

Severe Eats / Ashley Rodriguez

The Glowstone, then again, solely operated off its charger, and displayed a pink mild when on the “splendid” temperature (their web site signifies that’s between 140-150°F, however there’s no digital interface, and I famous that the temperature did drop over time). The ionMug had three temperature settings and heated espresso each off charger (for as much as three hours) and on the charger (it’ll flip off after three hours of inactivity, however all you might want to do is transfer it to remind it to maintain heating). Each Embers and the VSITOO are app-controlled (arguably, these are the one “sensible” mugs due to their app connectivity), and even amongst that group, the Ember Journey could be managed through contact features on the mug itself. 

The Ember’s app was straightforward to make use of and allowed you to simply tailor your temperature and save a number of preset temperatures.

Severe Eats / Ashley Rodriguez

However, regardless of usability variations, most mugs had been capable of maintain temperature at 135°F for no less than 90 minutes (the Glowstone had a bizarre design characteristic the place the temperature started to very slowly taper off across the 30-minute mark, however it was clearly nonetheless being heated because the temperature drop was very slight, about 5 levels each 10 minutes, after which dropping down dramatically after 60). If the mugs had been on their chargers, most (besides the OHOM and the Glowstone) had been capable of preserve a constant 135°F for 4 hours.

It is OK If You Assume a Temperature Management Mug Is Foolish (It Is, Certainly, Each Foolish and Nice)

Severe Eats / Ashley Rodriguez

One of many causes I wished to do that overview is due to a video made by James Hoffmann. Hoffmann runs a profitable YouTube channel the place he talks about enjoyable—and generally offbeat—espresso subjects, from reviews of common products to making espresso in tourist spots across London. He reviewed the Ember Mug in 2018, and admits that it’s a foolish product, however that he likes it and accepts any and all teasing related to that. “I get that in case you noticed me with this, [you] would wish to tease me,” he says, “and it’s best to.” 

Hoffmann is partially responding to the not-so-warm (ha!) welcome the Ember obtained when it debuted. I’m not kidding: Google “Ember mug” and “foolish” collectively and also you’ll discover Reddit threads and articles questioning why on the planet somebody would need this mug (one article even goes as far as to say you’d should be an “idiot” to buy this mug). Ember took off via a well-funded IndieGoGo campaign, and like many crowd-funded tasks (notably in espresso with probably the most well-known flop being the promise of the ZPM, which promised professional-grade espresso machines for the house for $400 a pop), individuals had been skeptical. 

I can’t say for sure the Ember was the primary temperature management mug, however it definitely paved the best way for folk to take pleasure in persistently scorching espresso with out sticking it within the microwave. Espresso’s chemical make-up modifications and compounds breakdown because it cools, so reheating a cup of espresso is like placing collectively a bit of glass you smashed right into a zillion items: it’s not going to come back out the identical. And sure, oxidation will happen with any espresso you merely let sit out, regardless if it’s in a temperature-controlled mug or not, however it received’t degrade in the identical approach as a totally cooled—then reheated—espresso will. 

All that is to say that you don’t want a temperature-controlled mug. I’d argue you want a good gooseneck kettle to make a great pourover, or a decent machine to make great espresso at house, however you completely don’t want a temperature management mug to take pleasure in espresso. I really feel like with articles like this, the pure response is to bristle on the suggestions and make a remark like, “I’d by no means pay X sum of money for that.” You don’t should: having or not having one is not going to make or break your espresso expertise. As a substitute, I’d classify this as a extremely pretty luxurious, an merchandise that made ingesting espresso higher in a approach that I hadn’t anticipated. 

The Standards: What to Search for within the Finest Temperature Management Mug

Severe Eats / Ashley Rodriguez / Amanda Suarez

We appeared for mugs that delivered on their acknowledged promise: did they preserve espresso at a nice temperature over an prolonged time frame? We checked out how lengthy they took to cost, how lengthy they saved espresso scorching, how versatile they had been, and any sensible features. We additionally assessed how straightforward they had been to make use of: did they require any particular directions to ship on their acknowledged job? 

We additionally checked out how they delivered data: some mugs signaled that they had been totally charged, wanted charging, or had been at their splendid temperature via a sequence of colours and flashing lights, which weren’t at all times intuitive. Lastly, we appeared on the design of the mug and in the event that they had been straightforward to scrub and deal with (some bought scorching to the contact) and nice to drink out of. 

The Finest Temperature Management Mug: Ember Journey Mug

What we appreciated: For starters, the Ember Journey Mug is the one mug that depends on old school design: travel mugs on the whole can preserve espresso hotter for longer, which I noticed demonstrated in my testing. After the mug ran of out battery (which took about three hours) its tapered form meant that espresso cooled at a a lot slower fee than any of its opponents. Additionally, due to this design, much less espresso was uncovered to oxygen, so it oxidized at a a lot slower fee. I discovered that a lot of the mugs tasted comparatively the identical after 90 minutes, save the Ember Journey, which was superior to the others. 

The Ember Journey can also be the “smartest” mug. Though each the Ember and the Ember Journey use the identical app to regulate temperature, the Ember Journey shows temperature readings in actual time (the Ember mug simply has a lightweight on the underside that flashes completely different colours, which had been tough to recollect and interpret). After I initially poured espresso into the Ember Journey, it gave me a studying of the espresso’s present temperature. Nonetheless, there was a threshold: after I poured chilly water, the mug merely learn “chilly,” however it additionally flashed the phrase “empty” to point when there was no liquid. 

The app for the Ember comes with preset temperatures for quite a lot of drinks: it’ll maintain liquid at a perfect temperature for issues like tea, and you’ll set your most popular temperature setting or simply depend on one of many defaults already programmed. Not like the opposite sensible mug, the VSIToo, you may additionally set the Ember to precisely the temperature you need (together with its app continuously disconnecting each time I entered a special room, the VSIToo solely means that you can tweak the temperature in nine-degree increments). Total, I’m unsure you may ask way more from a sensible mug than the Ember Journey: it gives a lot greater than any of its opponents. 

Severe Eats / Ashley Rodriguez

What we didn’t like: In fact, the Ember Journey is the most costly mug I examined. At $200, it’s undeniably expensive.

A part of my testing concerned letting the mugs sit on their chargers over a interval of 4 hours. As a result of the Ember Journey is designed to enter sleep mode after a sure interval of inactivity, it was tough to “remind” the mug I used to be nonetheless utilizing it. I needed to decide it up and fiddle with the app just a few occasions earlier than the mug kicked again on. 

I didn’t thoughts ingesting out of a journey mug, however my companion famous that he’d desire to make use of a mug with a deal with. He jogged my memory that many individuals are seemingly utilizing these sorts of mugs at work, however I countered with the truth that a journey mug can nonetheless be loved at an workplace, whereas an everyday mug with a deal with can’t go on the highway or match right into a automotive mug provider. I believe that’s extra a difficulty of desire moderately than a ding on the mug itself. 

Lastly, though you may set your splendid temperature right down to the diploma, the temperature vary is proscribed. The mug will solely preserve liquid heat between 120-145°F, so if you’d like one thing hotter or cooler, this mug can’t do it.

Key Specs

  • Capability: 12 ounces
  • Weight: 2.4 kilos
  • Temperature Vary: 120 to 145°F 
  • Battery Life: 3 hours
  • Charging time: Roughly 2 hours

Severe Eats / Ashely Rodriguez

The Finest Funds Temperature Management Mug: ionMug and Charging Coaster

Black temperature control mug

What we appreciated: As a result of life is all about stability, I now current to you the least costly mug I examined. 

The ionMug appeared remarkably like lots of the high-end mugs, with a matte black end and a digital interface. It solely supplied three settings: you may set it to maintain your espresso scorching at 135°F, 140°F, or 145°F, however it has simply as lengthy of a battery life because the Ember Journey and works constantly when left on its charger. Like lots of the mugs, it wanted to be “reminded” it was nonetheless on throughout our four-hour charging check, however merely shifting the mug a bit was sufficient to show off its sleep mode and restart the warming characteristic. 

The ionMug can also be regular as a rock. Different mugs fluctuated in temperature now and again, however the ionMug barely wavered, maintaining at a gradual 133°F (it was programmed to 135, and I felt {that a} +/- vary of two levels was acceptable) at virtually each temperature examine interval. The ionMug can also be the one mug below $100 that may very well be used off its charger: the opposite two, the Hurkins and the OHOM, must be on the charger to warmth and nonetheless value greater than the ionMug. 

As you may see, a part of the “5” is gone.

Severe Eats / Ashely Rodriguez

What we didn’t like: I examined all these mugs 4 to 6 occasions. Particularly, I actually wished to see if the ionMug would present early put on and tear, one thing I used to be nervous about because of its low worth level. Though the mug held up in efficiency, I did discover that the digital interface was beginning to put on (after I set it to warmth at 135°F, half of the “5” would not flash). A few of the Amazon evaluations I learn for the mug indicated that it didn’t have the perfect lifespan and that the charging divots on the underside of the mug are simply broken. 

I’m not completely satisfied that the battery received’t simply fail after just a few extra makes use of (particularly based mostly on the evaluations I learn), however I couldn’t get it to that time throughout testing, so I can’t say for sure if the battery points had been because of poor craftsmanship or just utilizing the mug incorrectly. The guide signifies that the ionMug is secure to make use of below operating water, however I wager you shouldn’t actually do this (I cleaned every mug with cleaning soap, then rapidly ran water solely within the mug, not exterior of it. I additionally by no means submerged the mugs—I couldn’t wrap my head round every of those mugs having steel or a battery and throwing it into water). 

Key Specs

  • Capability: 12 ounces
  • Weight: 1.6 kilos
  • Temperature Vary: 135 to 145°F 
  • Battery Life: 3 hours
  • Charging time: Roughly 2 hours

Severe Eats / Ashley Rodriguez

The Competitors

  • Hurkins Smug: The Hurkins carried out simply fantastic, however its indicator mild was very faint, so I had bother telling if it was on. The Hurkins solely labored on its charger. 
  • OHOM Self-Heating Ceramic Mug: Just like the Hurkins, the OHOM did not have a battery and solely labored on the charger. Made from ceramic, this was one of many extra enticing mugs I examined and it is available in a spread of colours. Many of the mugs got here with a journey lid—this one didn’t, and, regardless of shifting it round to inform the charger it was nonetheless in use, it went into “sleep” mode round three hours. 
  • Ember Mug 2: The great ol’ Ember carried out simply fantastic, however you get so many extra options for a couple of dollars extra with the Ember Journey. It was a bit of exhausting to infer the completely different flashing colours, however the mug carried out properly and saved espresso tasting contemporary and scorching. You probably have your eye on this mug particularly, you will not be disenchanted by it.
  • Glowstone Smart Mug 2: This most resembled an precise mug and was the one mug that was dishwasher-safe. However the design selections felt unusual: for some motive, it solely labored off the charger, and displayed a shiny pink mild to point that espresso was at a perfect ingesting temperature, however did not enable customers to regulate the temperature, nor did it show the temperature. 
  • VSITOO S3 Pro Temperature Control Smart Mug with Sliding Lid: This carried out about in addition to the Ember, however customers might solely decide temperatures in increments of 9 and the app wasn’t as straightforward to make use of as Ember’s. Each time I walked from one room to a different, I bought a notification asking me to reconnect the mug and app.. 


Will a temperature management mug warmth up chilly espresso?

Sure—though this wasn’t a part of our testing protocol, I did enable among the coffees to go chilly, often by letting the mugs get to sleep mode, and turned them again on. All of them had been capable of carry espresso up again to temperature, besides the Glowstone, which wanted to be emptied and refilled once more (I’ve to say I’m unsure I did this proper: the instructions to the Glowstone had been fairly sparse so I needed to do some Googling and guessing. If there was a special approach I used to be supposed to do that, I by no means figured it out). 

I’ll say that letting espresso get cool after which scorching once more isn’t splendid. Espresso compounds break down as they cool, so heating up a once-cold cup will yield a stale and lifeless mug. 

Why not simply use a hotplate?

You possibly can undoubtedly purchase a hotplate on your mug, however have you ever ever smelled an previous espresso carafe sitting on a hotplate? That’s what your mug will scent—and your espresso will style—like. 

What temperature-controlled mugs do is preserve espresso at a perfect ingesting temperature with out bringing them to a temperature the place the liquid rapidly evaporates or the espresso begins to steam and bake. I couldn’t discover any science or analysis on how espresso compounds would change if, let’s say, we set the mugs to 160°F as a substitute of 135°F and held it at that temperature (this might be a superb experiment), however I think about there’s a temperature threshold the place the espresso goes from being pleasantly warmed to cooked. I’m simply unsure the place that line is. 

There are hotplates accessible the place you may management the temperature, however as a result of they don’t include their very own mugs, you have got a special drawback: these mugs are going to get scorching. I believe that’s why I don’t perceive why you’d purchase a Hurkins or OHOM mug—the 2 mugs that solely work on their chargers—moderately than a hotplate that’s appropriate with any mug. Each fashions solely work with the chargers they arrive with, and each mugs had been fairly scorching to the contact anytime they had been in use. Moreover, they provide no temperature variation, so it looks as if they restrict themselves unnecessarily.

Does holding espresso at a protracted temperature impression the espresso negatively?

Sure, however truthfully? Not by quite a bit. In comparison with a freshly-brewed cup of espresso, the coffees I tasted two, three, even 4 hours later had been fairly nice, and I anticipated them to degrade way more than they did.

I thought-about among the issues I prized in previous evaluations I’ve written, like double-walled insulated carafes with coffee brewers. I like double-walled carafes as a result of they preserve espresso scorching with out baking or exposing the espresso to further warmth, and whereas these mugs do use warmth to maintain the espresso heat (they achieve this gently: it’s simpler to maintain one thing at a constant temperature than to carry it up from room temperature or colder), I assumed, “if I care a lot about maintaining espresso heat after it’s brewed, why am I not excited about find out how to preserve it heat after it’s poured?” I don’t suppose I’d have ever thought-about shopping for temperature management mug till I did that first style check, and now I’m going to order one for myself. 

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