Ember Mugs are battery powered mugs that keep your coffee at the perfect drinking temperature down to the last drop. However, they aren't perfect and one of the major issues people have is the inside coating flaking or delaminating.
Obviously if you're spending $100 or more on a coffee cup you don't want bits of ceramic breaking off into your coffee. Gross!
Why does this flaking/delamination happen with Ember Mugs and what can you do about it?
If your Ember Mug is flaking or delaminating this is a manufacturing issue and is covered under warranty. You'll usually notice cracking or flaking of the ceramic on the bottom of the cup (where the heat source is). If you have this issue contact Ember customer support for a replacement.
In this article we'll look in more detail about why this flaking and delamination happens and what you can do about it if it does.
Is It Normal For Ember Mugs to Flake/Delaminate? Why Is It Happening?
Ember Mugs are not meant to flake or delaminate however this is a fairly common problem with the mugs. So if you're noticing it on your mug you're not the only one.
But why does this happen?
Ember Mugs have a stainless steel interior that is coated with a ceramic layer. This is done to avoid any metallic taste that may come from the stainless steel.
I personally drink coffee out of stainless steel and don't notice this difference but my best friend HATES stainless steel and can taste it from a mile away.
The Ember Mug keeps your coffee (or other drink) hot through a heating element on the bottom of the mug.
This heating element will cause both the stainless steel and ceramic to expand and contract as temperatures change. Over time this can lead to cracking in the ceramic coating. Like how a cement pavement can crack in the hot sun.
This doesn't happen to all Ember Mug but it does happen enough that there are a lot of negative reviews on Amazon talking about this and Ember are well aware of this problem. See other problems with the Ember Mug.
The problem seems to be more common with the original version of the Ember Mug and less common with the Ember Mug 2. So you need to make sure you're purchasing the 2nd version. Learn the differences between Ember Mug 1 and Ember Mug 2.
You can also click the affiliate links below which will take you directly to the Amazon listings for the Ember Mug 2.
What To Do If Your Ember Mug Has Flaking/Delaminating
Ember Mugs are backed by a 1 year warranty that covers you against manufacturing defects.
Flaking or delamination of the ceramic is a manufacturing defect and isn't your fault.
This is good news because it means your mug is covered under warranty.
Ember also has pretty decent customer support and will most likely replace your mug if you have this issue.
If your mug is outside of that 1 year warranty then you will unlikely be able to fix the delamination problem.
Your options here are just to continue using the mug with this issue or you can try to remove the ceramic leaving just the stainless steel underneath. However, this would be quite difficult to do.
The ceramic is stronger than most metals so it's not as easy as simply scraping off the ceramic or rubbing it off with steel wool. Honestly, I could not be bothered doing this.
Is It Dangerous To Drink From a Flaking Ember Mug?
A major concern I would have if my Ember Mug was flaking was whether or not it would be healthy for me to continue drinking out of the mug with the ceramic coming off.
The answer is…probably.
It is unlikely that a flaking or delaminating Ember Mug poses any health issues. The stainless steel underneath is safe to drink from and any ceramic flakes accidentally consumed should pass through your body quite easily.
Underneath the ceramic coating is stainless steel which is considered completely fine to drink hot beverages from. I've done a full article on if Yeti stainless steel mugs are safe to drink from and all my research showed that yes stainless steel mugs are fine to drink from.
So I personally wouldn't be worried about that.
I couldn't find any documentation on exactly what type of ceramic coating them use and whether or not it is different from the ceramic used in things like regular coffee mugs, plates, bowls etc.
Assuming there aren't any harmful chemicals in the ceramic coating my concern would be accidentally swallowing a ceramic flake in my coffee or tea.
I found this article where someone has swallowed some small bits of ceramic and a doctor responded to their concerns saying:
There is really nothing to worry about. The pieces are sufficiently small to go through the entire digestive tract without any problem. Even pennies have been able to go through the intestines of children who accidentally swallow them without any major problems. My suggestion is to sit and wait. Only seek further medical attention if anything else should come up and not because you swallowed these tiny pieces. I hope this reliefs your fears.
While I would prefer to drink from an Ember Mug doesn't have any delamination problems I wouldn't be worried for my health if my mug did start to have bits flake off.
Will an Ember Mug With Flaking Still Work?
If the ceramic coating is flaking off your Ember Mug this should NOT affect the Ember Mugs ability to work and keep your coffee (or other beverage) at the perfect temperature.
Ember Mugs have a heating element on the bottom of the mug that heats up your beverage and maintains it's temperature.
This heating element will still work even if you're missing some of the ceramic coating. In fact, it'll be able to heat your drink easier without that layer of ceramic.
Still if you have this issue you should contact Ember customer support and get the issue fixed or get your mug replaced if it's still under warranty.
Alternatively if your mug is outside of the warranty period you may need to buy yourself a new one.