What is the Best Honey for Tea?
One of the most common uses of honey today is to use it in tea. Honey is an excellent replacement for sugar. It is known that honey is more easily digested and will not cause tooth decay like refined sugar does. This is why honey has gained in popularity in recent years to become the number one sweetener in the USA.
In this article, we will help you decide which honey is the best for tea. There are so many honey varieties available. Read on to discover the best tips for pairing your favorite tea with honey.
Types of Tea
To begin, consider the type of tea you will be enjoying. There are as many different varieties of tea as there is honey. But the five main categories of tea are black, green, oolong, pu’erh, and white. Within each category, you can find different varieties, but they will all have similar characteristics. Knowing which category of tea you are drinking will be the biggest factor in deciding which honey to use.
Honey Tips By Tea Category
Here is a list of tea categories with tips for selecting the best honey.
- Black Tea – Black Tea is rich in flavor and full-bodied. Because of this, you can select a strong to medium flavored honey. The flavor profile of the honey is not likely to overpower the flavor of the tea. Try a nice Hawaiian Kiawe Honey in hot tea. The creamy Kiawe honey will dissolve easily in hot tea. Kiawe will impart a light mesquite flavor to the tea. Also, Buckwheat Honey is an option for the darkest teas. Buckwheat honey is the highest in antioxidants to give your tea a healthy boost.
- Green Tea – With Green Tea you are getting into a more complex flavor profile. The best honey for this tea should be mild in flavor. This will prevent you from overpowering the flavor of the tea. One option would be Orange Blossom Honey. This sweet, citrusy, honey is widely available. If you crave something unique, try Cherry Flower Honey. This honey is harder to find, but worth the effort as it will impart a fruity flavor to the tea.
- Oolong Tea – Of all the teas, Oolongs have the most complex flavors. For this reason, you should only pair them with the most mild honey. I recommend Acacia Honey for sweetening an oolong tea. The naturally mild Acacia will bring subtle overtones of vanilla to the tea.
- Pu’erh Tea – As early as the Tang Dynasty, Pu’erh Tea was sweetened with honey in Tibet. Pu’erh is similar to Black Tea in that it is full-bodied. Try pairing it with a rich honey such as Chestnut, or a spicey honey like Leatherwood.
- White Tea – White Tea has a delicate flavor profile. Therefore, it should only be paired with mild honey. Try Raw Tupelo Honey for a buttery lift. Also, Lavender Honey would be a great option for a mild floral note.
Adding Honey to Tea
In general, you want to pair darker honey with dark teas and lighter honey with light teas. However, there are always exceptions to the rule. So don’t be afraid to experiment to find the best honey.
Keep in mind that boiling water can destroy the nutritional value of honey. Allow hot teas to cool to 120-140°F before adding honey.