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Manuka honey gives you a nutrient-packed sweet kick in your coffee that you won’t get with sugar alone.
Sugar processing is hugely impactful on the environment, but our manuka honeys go through minimal processing.
Hot water can destroy the beneficial enzymes in manuka honey. Make sure your water is below the recommended temperature before adding honey.
Not just a sweetener, manuka honey brings so much more to your morning brew.
Antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals to name a just few things.
But spooning manuka honey into piping hot coffee isn’t the best way to get both the flavour and the health benefits it’s known for.
So here, we break down what manuka honey with coffee brings to the table, and how to best enjoy it.
In this guide to drinking honey and coffee:
- Honey vs. sugar
- Making your coffee with honey
- How to find the right honey for your needs
What’s Honey Got That Sugar Hasn’t?
Sugar alone has very little nutritional value. In fact, it really just gives us energy.
It’s an important part of a healthy, balanced diet. But there are other ways to get your sweet kick with a little added extra.
You can add manuka honey to your coffee for a nutrient-rich alternative to sugar.
Are you ready to super-charge your morning brew, naturally?
Here’s what manuka honey has to offer.
Honey and sugar are carbohydrates, both primarily comprised of glucose and fructose.
But manuka honey also contains small amounts of:
- Amino acids: The building blocks of protein which are essential for our bodies to grow and recover.
- Enzymes: Proteins that promote chemical reactions within cells. They can speed up the metabolism and regulate our bodily processes.
- B vitamins: Enzyme-enhacing vitamins that help your body with processes like releasing energy from carbohydrates and transporting oxygen.
- Vitamin C: A powerful antioxidant that helps limit infection and heal wounds, provides a base for collagen production and making hormones, and even the chemical messengers used by the brain and nervous system.
- Minerals: Required for numerous bodily functions including bone structure and fluid regulation.
- Antioxidants: Natural or artificial substances that can inhibit or delay damage to cells. Many of the antioxidants found in honey are flavinoids which have anti-inflammatory properties.
That’s quite a natural punch that honey is packing.
And since it contains more fructose than glucose, you don’t need as much honey for your sweet tooth.
Don’t worry, eat happy.
Do you know how sugar is processed?
Of course, it varies across the world. But there’s a lot to it, including:
- Extensive washing after harvesting with huge amounts of water.
- Crushing into smaller strips of cane that are sprayed with hot water.
- Milling and extraction to compress the fibres and separate the juice which is collected in large vats.
- Purification which involves a process called sulfitation, followed by carbonation or alkalinisation (adjusting pH levels) to separate the juice and sugar materials.
- The juice is heated and mixed with calcium hydroxide to purify and clarify.
- The clarified juice is boiled in vacuum evaporators ready to go through crystallisation.
- Centrifugation then separates the substance into sugar crystals and molasses. The crystals are washed again.
- These are then dried in huge, hot air dryers and separated into sizes for packaging.
Doesn’t feel very natural, does it? And think about the environmental impact of all those steps.
Honey can be pretty processed too, but not ours.
Between our hives and our consumers, we:
- Use a low-speed centrifugation process (separating honey from any non-honey matter) which purifies without pasteurising it and losing any of the good stuff.
- Cream the honey so that it lasts longer and doesn’t granulate on your shelf.
- Put it into a jar and add a label.
Nothing but honey.
With manuka honey, you get more than just a hit of sweetness.
Manuka honey has a delicious earthy flavour. Not as intensely sweet as other honeys, it’s much more subtle and well-rounded.
Typically thicker and creamier, it goes well with the bitterness of coffee.
A jar of manuka honey can be used for so many things.
In fact, we listed 176 of them in one of our blogs.
Psst… Do you get seasonal allergies? Adding manuka honey to your routine could help with that too.
The Best Way To Make Your Coffee With Honey
When we extract our honey, we keep temperatures below 35℃ (the average temperature of the beehive).
Like with any biological compound, high sustained heat can destroy the methylglyoxal that is associated with antibacterial activity in manuka honey. So you don’t want to spoon it straight into a cup of boiling water.
Nearly all enzymes are destroyed at 47℃ (116℉). The average kettle boils at between 60-100℃ (140-212℉). So if you’re adding manuka honey to your coffee, you’ll want to let it cool a little first.
With that in mind, here’s how to make the perfect cup of coffee with honey:
- Boil your water.
- Let it cool as you brew your coffee. You want to get it as far under 47℃ that you will still enjoy drinking.
- Once you’ve hit that sweet spot, add your manuka honey. It’s typically sweeter than sugar, so you may not need very much.
- Optional extra: add other flavours, for example:
- Sea salt
Choosing Your Honey
The higher grade manuka honey you buy, the more potent the potential health benefits will be.
If you are only using the honey in your coffee, sticking to lower UMF™ grades may work for you:
Sources referenced in the text (in order):
Why is manuka honey more expensive? New Zealand Honey Co.
Sugar, Health Direct.
Sucrose vs. glucose vs. fructose, Healthline.
Honey vs. sugar, Healthline.
Essential amino acids, Healthline.
Enzymes - an overview, Science Direct.
B Vitamins: the nutrition source, Harvard.
Vitamin C: the nutrition source, Harvard.
Minerals, NZ Nutrition Foundation.
Antioxidants in depth, National Institutes of Health.
Flavinoids - an overview, National Library of Medicine.
How sugar is processed, IFT Foundation.
Sulfitation process, Science Direct.
A review of the crystallisation of sugar, Springer.
Sugarcane industries, WWF.
What’s the deal with organic honey? New Zealand Honey Co.
The benefits of manuka honey, New Zealand Honey Co.
UMF™ honey and the UMFHA, New Zealand Honey Co.
The ultimate guide to NZ honey varieties, New Zealand Honey Co.
Monofloral vs. multifloral manuka honey, New Zealand Honey Co.
176 ways to use manuka honey, New Zealand Honey Co.
Eat the rainbow for natural wellness, New Zealand Honey Co.
What is the best manuka honey for your face? New Zealand Honey Co.
Research into the ingestion of honey for seasonal allergies, National Library of Medicine.
Decoding UMF™, New Zealand Honey Co.
Research into honey’s medical properties, National Library of Medicine.
Research into the antibacterial activity of manuka honeys, National Library of Medicine.
Raw food vs. cooked food, Healthline.
How much UMF™ is enough? New Zealand Honey Co.