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The Best Smart Mugs | Temperature Control Mugs For The Perfect Beverage

The Best Smart Mugs

Say goodbye to lukewarm coffee forever. I like my coffee either iced or hot - There's nothing worse than a cup of coffee that's in that in-between-zone. What a wonderful world we live in today, though, because now with Smart Mugs, we're able to keep our cup of coffee at the perfect temperature without the need for reboiling it.

We've all been there. The coffee is served, we're waiting for it to cool down, and then life happens. We get so busy doing what we have to do that we completely forget about our cup of coffee. A couple of hours later, when everything is done, we return to that cup of coffee only to find that it's barely drinkable.

Now, before we get into how Smart Mugs are going to solve this problem of keeping our coffee warm as well as what are some of the best Smart Mugs out on the market today, let's try to understand why room-temperature coffee tastes so bad and what is the optimal temperature to drink coffee.

Why Does Lukewarm Coffee Taste So Bad?

It's a pretty interesting question when you think about it. An iced coffee tastes good. A hot cup of coffee tastes good. But that in-between temperature? Barely drinkable! Why is that so? There haven't been any scientific studies on it but researchers have a couple of theories.

One possible theory is that certain taste receptors are most sensitive in the 20 - 35 degree Celsius (68-95 degree Fahrenheit) range. These taste receptors don't register molecules when temperatures are either much hotter or much colder than this range, so we don't taste them.

What this means in practice is that hot or cold coffee may taste less bitter to us than coffee at room-temperature because the bitter taste receptors on our tongue aren't as sensitive to the bitter molecules in coffee when it is hot or cold.

Another possible reason that scientists believe could be the cause of bad tasting lukewarm coffee has to do more with smell than taste. They note that even a very bitter espresso tastes good when it is hot because of the pleasant aroma that it has. Without its pleasant aroma, it's easy to go from a pleasant taste to an awful taste.

When coffee is hot, it releases more aromatic compounds, which have a strong impact on taste. Milk also tastes worse at room temperature, so if you drink your coffee with milk, it is no wonder that lukewarm coffee tastes so bad.

What Is The Optimal Coffee Drinking Temperature

perfect temperature to drink coffee

So, if room-temperature coffee tastes so bad, what exactly is the best temperature to drink our coffee at? Thankfully, researchers at The University of Texas have looked into this very question. According to a sample size of 300 participants, they found that the preferred drinking temperature for their coffee was 140+/-15 degrees F (60+/-8.3 degrees C).

This is important not only from a taste perspective. It's really important when it comes to preventing burns. Hot beverages like tea, coffee and hot chocolate are often served at very hot temperatures - between 160 degrees F (71.1 degrees C) and 185 degrees F (85 degrees C). Far hotter than what's actually needed.

Even a short exposure to any liquid at these high temperatures can cause significant burns. You might be familiar with the case of the lady who sued McDonald's when the coffee she spilled on herself caused serious third-degree burns in her pelvic region.

Given the considerations of taste as well as safety, researchers identified the optimal coffee drinking temperature as roughly 136 degrees F (57.8 degrees C).

The Best Smart Mugs

Lucky for you, we no longer have to sip our very hot coffee in the hope that it has cooled down enough to drink. At the same time, we also don't have to worry that our coffee has cooled down too much that it doesn't taste nice any more. Smart mugs take the guesswork out of drinking our favorite beverage so that we get a consistent positive experience every time.

This is the probably why you're reading this article so without further ado, here are the best smart mugs available on the market today.

Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug

Ember Smart Mug
The Ember Smart Mug - Black
Probably the first name when you think of smart mugs is Ember and that's probably because you've seen them around. Can't quite put your finger on where you've seen them before? They have a very popular tie-up with Starbucks and so it's very likely that you've seen them around in a Starbucks.

The Ember Mug keeps your hot drink at your preferred temperature. It starts of at 135 degrees F and you can adjust it up or down to anywhere between 120 degrees F and 145 degrees F.

The mug has a 1-hour battery life on a single charge but most people sip their coffee at their desks so it is hardly a factor. If you keep the mug on the charging coaster, you could keep your beverage at the specified temperature all day.

The mug comes with a smartphone app that allows you to preset your preferred temperature, adjust the temperature of your beverage and even to receive notifications on your smartphone.

So one question that often comes up is whether you can use the mug without the app. The answer is that yes, you can use the Ember Smart Mug without the app, but you wouldn't be able to use all its features.

Most importantly, you wouldn't be able to set your preferred temperature and would be stuck with the default 135 degrees F. This also means that you won't be able to reheat a room temperature drink like you could with the app.

Is the Ember Mug safe? It is made of stainless steel with a ceramic coating that's meant to reduce scratching. The mug is safe to hand wash. You will want to keep the mug out of the dishwasher in order to protect the finish but the lid is top rack dishwasher safe. For cleaning purposes, if you should need to, the Ember Mug is IPX7 rated and fully submersible up to 1 meter deep.

The Smartshow Smart Temperature Control Ceramic Mug

smartshow smart temperature control mug
The Smartshow Smart Temperature Control Mug
If Ember is the first name that comes to mind when it comes to Smart Mugs, what are some of the alternatives on the market? Well, there are a couple of good ones and the Smartshow Smart Temperature Control Ceramic Mug certainly gives Ember a run for its money.

For starters, it is able to regulate the temperature of your beverage over a wider range of between 95 - 149 degrees F. It also has a much longer batter life of between 2-8 hours when fully charged. Although, similar to the Ember, it can last all day if it is left to charge on the coaster. 

Another thing we like about the Smartshow Temperature Control Mug is the fact that you can adjust the desired temperature through the button on the handle. This way, you're not forced to rely on the app. The LED temperature display on the mug is also a nice touch. 

There's no need to turn the mug on or off. It wakes up when it senses movement or liquid and automatically enters sleep mode when it is empty.  

Heating can take a while for most mugs but the S3 claims to have a mug bottom that is made of soft heater film and a heating area of up to 70%. What this means is that the heating efficiency of the S3 mug is roughly 30% higher than its competitors. 

Is the Smartshow Temperature Control Mug safe? Like the Ember, it is also made of stainless steel with a ceramic coating to reduce scratches. It is probably better to wash this by hand than to use the dishwasher.

Cosori Coffee Mug Warmer and Mug Set

Cosori Coffee Mug Warmer Set
Cosori Coffee Mug Warmer Set
From the makers of one of the best-selling coffee warmers on the Internet, comes a coffee warmer along with its own mug, in a set. With this warmer and mug, you will be able to keep your coffee between 77 to 158 degrees F.  

Unlike the Ember and Smartshow smart mugs, the Cosori requires the mug to be on the warmer in order to keep the beverage at the specified temperature. Once you lift it up, the cooling begins. 

One thing we like about the Cosori mug is how elegant it looks. Stainless steel instead of ceramic does have a nice feel to it although it can get scratched a little more easily. Another downside of the stainless steel versus ceramic is that it can get a little too hot to drink when you put your lips to the mug.

While you can use an ordinary mug on the warmer, it works better with a stainless steel mug like the one sold in the set. You can also buy the mug separately from Cosori if you should so wish. 

Making adjustments to the settings are done via the touch controls on the coffee warmer which features an LED display. One thing we really liked was the ability to switch between °F and °C. The Cosori also keeps it simple with no app.

To preserve the life of the mug, it is better to wash it by hand than to use the dishwasher. This is pretty consistent across all the smart mugs.

Smart Mugs - The Perfect Gift?

Buying gifts is hard and one of the hardest things about buying gifts is that people tend to have everything they need already. The really cool thing about these Smart Mugs is that it solves a problem that you didn't even know you had!

Before you know it, you will be wondering about how you even managed to get by without one. So if you're looking for a gift for someone who loves coffee this holiday season, consider getting them a Smart Mug.  


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