After Larry David's spite goes up in flames, along comes the Ember smart mug

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A mere $99.95?

Serious people go for one of these.

For George Osborne it was a Byron burger and chips, with the upmarket chain undermining his bid to convey a man-of-the-people image. Philip Hammond settled for a personalised Emma Bridgewater mug emblazoned with his name.

But the current chancellor, Rishi Sunak, appears to have gone one step further in the traditional pre-budget photo opportunity by posing with a “smart mug” costing £180.

A series of snaps released by the Treasury show Sunak at work, with the expensive gadget on his desk as he pores over the details of the mini-budget he will deliver to the Commons on Wednesday.

The Ember travel mug, reportedly a gift from his wife, Akshata Murthy, the daughter of a billionaire businessman, retails for up to £179.95 online, with a product description boasting that it “does more than simply keep your coffee hot”.

It adds: “Our smart mug allows you to set an exact drinking temperature and keeps it there for up to three hours, so your coffee is never too hot, or too cold.” The 355ml mug is apparently dishwasher safe and even includes a charging coaster.

I think I bought my Mom a heating pad for her coffee mug for Mother’s Day back in the 80s for a couple bucks.


Yeah, but does it gobble up her personal data and transmit it to the corporate servers for analysis and ultimate sale to affiliates? It’s really just for keeping coffee hot? I don’t see a minimum viable product.

Btw, I have zero evidence that this mug does so, but damned if it doesn’t seem to be the underlying intention with nearly everything these days.


If you’re sitting with your coffee long enough to need this, then it’s going to make your coffee taste like the dregs of the coffeepot that’s been sitting on the heating unit too long.


I don’t find this THAT ridiculous. $80 (the video said $80) for a rechargeable heating device with it’s own wireless charging saucer is not unreasonable. I wouldn’t buy it, because I drink my coffee fairly quickly in the form of cafecito. But it’s not Juicero level of ridiculous.

“Spite House,” oddly enough, is also the title of a remarkable book about Bobby Garwood, an American soldier who was believed to have defected to the enemy in the Vietnam War. It’s complicated.


No of course not. But it will ONLY accept certfiied Ember brand SmartWater ($9.99/litre) for use in making the coffee. The SmartWater contain proprietary nano-chips that signal the mug that the coffee has been properly prepared and that the Ember smartmug can give the best experience possible. These nano-chips are harmless when consumed because of the fact that there’s nothing to see here it’s all good.


Its secret ingredient is tap water :shushing_face:


Well thanks. Seeing Rishi Sunak with it has put me off this product for good.

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My sweetie LOVES her morning coffee. She likes it hot. I got her one of these, and at first she was not a fan - she’s very frugal and while not as tech-phobic as she pretends to be, she’s an old fashioned gal.

She LOVES her coffee mug. On weekends we often lay about reading our devices and sharing a cup of coffee and the last sip is as hot and wonderful as the first sip. It doesn’t get burnt.

It may be a bit pricey, but for some people this is a very good product.

So it appears that that’s his pore-over coffee.


My work here today is done.

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That guy is drinking a thing made with a tea bag, not sure what kind of coffee that is. Anyroad, if you leave your tea bag in hot water for too long, it’s gonna taste horrible. FYI.

I was gifted a Yeti coffee mug, 20-ish ounces. It keeps my coffee undrinkably hot for about 2 hours, then cools a smidge. By 1PM (n normal office operating days), it’s still drinkably warm, but I don’t consume caffeine past noon. So maybe don’t buy a fire hazard to keep your coffee too hot? :woman_shrugging:

(The current knock-offs of the expensive name-brand double-wall cups do just as well, as far as I’ve observed.)

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I actually looked at some of your other posts to check if you are a bot or not. I don’t think you are… The way you wrote this is just vague enough to read like a focus group-ed bit of ad copy, but specific enough to relate to.

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$99.95? What is that in species extinctions?

My Contigo cup is similarly over-efficient, but for $10 I got a double-wall cup filled with the same substance found in outer space!

It’s a bit creepy, though. If I put iced tea in it, it keeps it cold without needing to be reset. How does it know?


For $100 you should be able to urinate in that thing and have it diagnose your UTI. And it should project wiggly wavy video on the ceiling, network on earthquakes information, and answer your whispered questions about the density of osmium, and how many babies in a litter of red pandas, and vibrate.

The best coffee and/or hot chocolate drink mugs ever are the mason jars left over from spaghetti sauce. The threads at the top are a non-slip grip. They stay the right temperature for a long time because they hold enough hot chocolate coffee, and not six effete little slurps.

There’s a clever hack I saw on YouTube. If you microwave the cup on high for 15 minutes, it permanently reboots the firmware to accept ordinary water.