If you're interested in upping your coffee game, want to consume mindfully, or are simply looking for great natural alternatives to sugar, it's time to try honey in coffee!
There are billions of ways to get your caffeine fix, but we all know that they're not created equal.
Maybe your favourite brews are a world away from cream-laden coffees, or you're all about sticky foamy caramel lattes.
Either way, honey is a great sweetener, and it's not congested with all the bad stuff you'll find in its synthetic counterparts.
Today the coffee connoisseurs at Hoxton Coffee explain why we'd recommend you try a dash of honey in one of our signature roasts (or develop your custom spin on the combination!).
Is Honey in Coffee Good or Bad For Your Health?
Ah, we were waiting for this! Let's be clear - healthy and low-calorie products are distant cousins, and they're not exactly friendly.
The downside, if you will, to honey is that it does have a fair few calories (about 64 per tablespoon).
You're not going to drizzle a spoon of finest Manuka on a Proper Strong coffee and call it a weight-loss brew.
However, if we take a step back and compare honey, sugar and the army of artificial sweeteners angling to convince you that low-calorie is king, we get a very different picture!
The Benefits of Honey as an Organic Coffee Sweetener
Natural products are always, in our humble opinion, best.
Fans of Hoxton know we don't beat around the bush, and we don't mess with low-quality ingredients.
We think the best coffee is great for your health, the environment, and everything in between.
Here's a quick rundown of why honey might be that champion ingredient you're searching for:
- It's jam-packed with nutrients (depending on the nectar, of course!). Think Vitamin A, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Zinc, Iron, and Vitamin C - everything that's right!
- Honey has antimicrobial properties and has been used as a traditional medicine for years. Ever made a lemon and honey drink to cope with a cold or cough? It's always been a go-to for illnesses.
- The antioxidants in honey are a secret weapon against a raft of common issues, meaning it's a strong contender in the battle against free radicals and some of the scariest conditions on the market.
- Suffering from hay fever? Try a smidge of locally sourced honey on your toast, and you'll start to become desensitised so that you won't sniff your way through summer ever again.
We could go on (and on!), but we've made our point; honey is deliciously sweet, incredibly healthy, and if you're not fussed about the calories - or even if you are - it is a considerably beneficial ingredient.
Why Honey Over Other Coffee Sweeteners?
Now, there's no use demonising products that, for some people, might be a convenient answer to silky smooth coffee without sugar.
Cane sugar itself doesn't have to be harmful, and if it's the only added sugar you eat and it's sustainably sourced, it isn't necessarily a hugely problematic ingredient.
Our issue is that we're so used to gloopy syrup and buckets of sugar we begin to lose the flavour and intensity of exceptional coffee, and it's way better to choose a premium blend rather than disguising bitterness with a cube or two.
Artificial sweeteners are everywhere we look, but they do raise an eyebrow or two.
Did you know that synthetic sweeteners could cause digestive issues, migraines, blood sugar problems, increased appetite, and even depression?
Yeah, it's not a great price to pay for a cup of Joe in the mornings.
There's also the depth of taste you get with honey that makes it something special and the knowledge that you're making craft beverages that are truly positive for Mother Earth.
Which Honey Works Best in Coffee?
For our vote, raw honey is ideal, directly sourced from the hive without being pasteurised and stripped of some of those nutrients we talked about.
Without preservatives or unpronounceable additives, you get a taste that packs a punch - add it when the coffee isn't piping hot to make sure it doesn't break down.
It's also well worth sampling different kinds of honey to see which flavour profile works with your preferred blend - or using alternative raw honey with different strengths.
Of the popular types of raw honey, we'd say you should check out these:
- Acacia is a sweetness bomb and ideal for gently enhancing everyday brews.
- Clover honey has no bitterness, and it's a clean and mild option.
- Avocado - collected from the flowers, with a buttery taste that's not dissimilar to those bullet coffees that are the staple of keto lovers.
- Tupelo honey is brilliant for spiced winter coffees, with a slight cinnamon scent.
- Manuka honey can get seriously pricey, but it's also one of the most potent honeys and a big plus if you're emphasising health benefits.
- Palmetto honey - caramel and fruity undertones, with a surprisingly powerful flavour.
This list is far from exhaustive and just a glimpse into the array of honey you can try with coffees, so it's a case of mixing and matching and coming up with that awesome combination made in heaven.
Is There a Market for Barista Coffee Sweetened With Honey?
In a word, yes, honey is a gold standard product for sustainable produce, natural health augmentation, organic sweetness and local sourcing.
It goes beyond simple sweetening, adding texture, character and intensity to great quality coffees, and is an excellent way to create a recipe that stands apart.
Let us know how your coffee/honey experiments go - and remember, always BEE creative, and you'll design a unique concoction that surpasses every expectation.