Why People Are Going Crazy for This $150 Thermos From Starbucks

An Ember on a woman’s desk.
Ember can cool down your coffee by 20 degrees in just eight minutes. (Image: Ember)

If you think your $25-a-week coffee budget is enough to meet all of your caffeine needs, you might want to think again. Starbucks recently introduced a mug that costs a whopping $150 — and it’s flying off the shelves!

What could possibly warrant an investment pricier than a Cuisinart? The sleek, matte-black Ember maintains the temperature you desire your coffee to be — all day long. You heard it right: The days of lukewarm brew are over.

Not only does the Ember keep your coffee hot, it also cools it down so you don’t have to keep cursing your barista every time you inevitably spill it on your hand. Ember founder Clay Alexander aptly describes this struggle.

“The typical Thermos keeps coffee hot for five hours, but by ‘hot,’ that means anywhere from 100 degrees to 212. That’s a pretty big spread,” he tells Delish. “When you first pour the drink in there, it’s so hot it burns your mouth, then it gradually gets to the temperature you like, but it’s only there for a little while before it cools even more.”

Whereas other tumblers might take 45 minutes to cool your latte by 20 degrees, the Ember can get your coffee sippable in just eight minutes. How? It uses special technology called phase-change cooling.

“Like a candle, when [the phase-change cooling material] gets too hot, it goes from solid to liquid, rapidly absorbing the heat to cool down the coffee, then it stops when it hits the temperature you’ve set,” Alexander says.

A barista hands an Ember to a customer.
Ember’s app will tell you when your coffee has reached the desired temperature and how much liquid is left in the mug. (Image: Ember)

Of course, the Ember comes with an app that’ll notify you when your coffee reaches your desired temperature and tell you how much liquid is left in the mug so that you can time your next cafe trip perfectly in order to keep the endless stream of caffeine flowing.

Now that humans have finally harnessed the power to control the temperature of coffee, the question of how hot we should set it becomes vital. Lucky for you, a study reported on by the Washington Post found the sweet spot: 136 degrees.

Unfortunately, the 12-ounce thermos only holds a charge for two hours, so be sure to bring your charging coaster to work.

What’s next for Alexander, aka the genius who totally gets us? Self-refrigerated water bottles, self-warming baby bottles and self-heated dinner plates, to name a few projects. “Self-heated dinner plates: They’re going to be big,” he says. “The tech locally zones the heat, so if you put a hot steak down, it’ll stay warm, but if you put a cold salad next to it, the salad will stay cool.” OK, our minds are officially blown.

What Do YOU Think?

Will you be investing in this genius invention? What’s your weekly coffee budget? How do you take your coffee, and how do you keep it from getting cold (or scalding you) during the day? What do you wish Alexander would invent? Let us know in the comments section below.

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