Why Adding Honey to Your Coffee: 7 Delightful Reasons

Vietnamese Coffee Exporter
Why Adding Honey to Your Coffee:

Why Adding Honey to Your Coffee: Are you worried about refined sugar but don’t want to give up sweetening your coffee? Or do you wish there were a few more vitamins and minerals in your morning brew? Or maybe you just want to coax different flavors from your cuppa joe? In all cases, adding honey in coffee could be the answer!

We’ve long enjoyed this natural sweetener on toast or in tea, but how does it fare in coffee? Well, it turns out there are some pros and cons. In this article, we’ll cover the good and the bad when it comes to honey and coffee, so you can decide if you want to try it for yourself.

Honey and Coffee Pairing Ideas

The History of Honey and Coffee

It should come as no surprise that humans have a long history with honey, dating back well before the advent of beekeeping. In the early days, people simply foraged honey from beehives. Before the invention of refined sugar, honey was the sweetest thing anyone had ever tasted and was considered a gift from the gods. Most early civilizations had some myth centered on this delicious natural sweetener.

Determining when people first added honey to coffee is impossible, but the Egyptians were likely the first to sweeten their coffee in the early 17th century. They created a brewing method in which ground coffee, sugar, and water are brought to a boil, yielding a sweet and syrupy brew. This type of coffee remains popular throughout the Middle East.

Early in coffee history, naturally sweet and carefully cultivated arabica coffee beans were not as prevalent. Instead, dark roasted robusta blends dominated. These naturally bitter brews, still common in many European regions, benefited greatly from sugar to temper their bitterness. At the time, refined white sugar was a luxury reserved for the wealthy, so it seems likely that honey would have been experimented with in this era, especially given the long history of adding honey to tea.

Today, we have both better quality coffee and many affordable sweeteners. However, modern fears of processed sugar have led to honey coming back into fashion.

Honey in Coffee Benefits

Most people consider adding honey to their coffee for the health benefits. Let’s take a look at how honey distinguishes itself from other sweeteners. If you’re concerned about your sugar or calorie intake, drinking black coffee is your healthiest option.

When compared with sugar, honey actually has more calories per unit volume—a teaspoon of honey has 21 calories while a teaspoon of sugar has 16 calories. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. There are far more important considerations when it comes to health than just calories. Also, 5 extra calories a day is largely meaningless anyway.

First of all, the sweet molecules in honey are different from those in white sugar. Honey tastes sweeter, so you can add less of it to your coffee. It’s also processed faster in the body, making it less likely to be stored as fat. Honey has a lower glycemic index than sugar, so it won’t impact your blood sugar as much, reducing the risk of a sugar crash.

Importantly, honey offers added nutrients. It is naturally antibacterial, rich in antioxidants, and contains numerous minerals and vitamins. Like all natural products, it provides benefits we don’t fully understand due to complex interactions between these healthful nutrients.

The combination of honey and coffee is powerful. Coffee is already rich in antioxidants, and when paired with honey, the two create a health bomb.

Is Honey Good in Coffee?

So, we know coffee with honey conveys potential health benefits. But if you’re a coffee lover, you’re probably just as interested in how it tastes. Compared with white sugar, honey has a much stronger flavor, which can clash with the taste and aroma of coffee. However, according to coffee researcher and author Isabelle Mani SanMax, honey also has the potential to blend harmoniously with your coffee, bringing out pleasant notes you didn’t expect.

Honey, brown sugar, and other sweeteners can add anything from caramel to vegetal notes in the cup. Whether you like honey in your coffee is a matter of personal taste. Fortunately, there are many kinds of honey and varietals of coffee to experiment with. Don’t give up if you don’t love the first honey and coffee combination you try.

Flavor Philosophy

The flavor of honey varies depending on which flowers the bees visit. Some of the most common are acacia, alfalfa, blackberry, buckwheat, clover, fireweed, and wildflower.

– Acacia and clover honeys are very light and clean tasting, making them an obvious first choice for pairing with coffee.
– Alfalfa, blackberry, and wildflower honeys bring more flavor to the party, with fruit and spice notes.
– Buckwheat and fireweed honeys have much stronger flavors and are more likely used on toast or in marinades, but there’s no reason not to sample them in your coffee, especially paired with a robust darker roast.

A good reason to use stronger honey is if you want the honey flavor to shine instead of just adding sweetness. For example, try flavorful honey in a honey latte recipe.

For something unique, consider coffee blossom honey, which has fruit and caramel flavors. Many coffee farmers also beekeep, as bees are crucial pollinators. Now, some farmers are starting to collect and sell their honey, offering a new taste experience. Imagine pairing single-origin coffee with single-origin honey from the same farm!

How to Add Honey to Coffee

There are two types of honey available: raw and regular. Raw honey is unpasteurized and retains more nutrients, making it the healthier option. If you’re switching to honey out of fear of refined sugars, look for raw honey.

Regular honey, found in every grocery store, has been pasteurized to kill any yeast cells, which might cause it to ferment eventually. Pasteurized honey stays liquid longer, which is useful when dissolving it in coffee.

Adding honey to your drip coffee or Americano is as easy as adding sugar. Just stir in a teaspoon or two, depending on your taste. Some evidence suggests that super high heat can destroy some of honey’s health benefits, so you may want to let your brew cool a bit first.

Honey has a huge advantage over sugar when dealing with cold drinks, like iced coffee or cold brew. Sugar doesn’t dissolve well in cold water, but pasteurized honey that is already liquid makes an ideal choice.

Why Adding Honey to Your Coffee: Final Thoughts

If you enjoy a little sweetness in your morning brew and you’re trying to steer clear of refined sugars, honey is a great option. Not only does it add sweetness, but you’re getting additional vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants too! Just be sure to pair the right honey with the right coffee for the best flavor.