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What Are the Different Types of Honey?

Reviewed by Laura Myers, RDN on Oct 11, 2018
Written by Sabrina Wilson
Different Types of Honey

Exploring the world of honey is an eye-opening experience. Honey is so much more than just a sweetener, and should be lauded for all of the valuable properties it offers. For many people, their only experience with honey is the over-processed honey that’s sitting on the grocery store’s shelves in a cute little bear squeeze bottle or a glass jar with flowers on the label.

For honey connoisseurs, these are probably a little on the generic side. Although they taste great to someone who doesn’t know honey, they may taste bland to a connoisseur. If you are one of those folks, it’s time to widen your honey horizons. Let’s learn what the different types of honey are and what purposes they serve.

1. Clover Honey

Clover honey is produced by both Canada and New Zealand. There’s a good chance that you may have enjoyed this honey previously as it’s a very popular honey that is widely available. This type of honey will typically be lighter in color from white to light amber tones as the nectar from the clover comes from white blossoms.

The taste of this honey is mild with a touch of floral sweetness. It adds a nice flavor while not overwhelming your taste buds. You may notice a little aftertaste that is on the sour side. This honey is great for baking and kitchen purposes.

2. Manuka Honey

If you’ve heard of honey being used as medicine to heal wounds, it’s probably Manuka honey you’re hearing about. This comes from New Zealand’s Manuka tree, and is only sourced from this area. This honey is amazing what it can do that rivals some medications. It has been found to have antibacterial properties, and is able to combat infections such as MRSA that can be a very scary subject considering how antibiotic resistant some strains are becoming.

Having this honey as a potential aid in this battle is heartening. Manuka has a taste that isn’t for everyone as it may taste a bit more medicinal compared to the other honeys listed. However, it can’t be beat for the benefits it offers.

3. Sourwood Honey

You may have heard of the miracle sour honey from Brazil a little while back that was supposed to be so amazing that it could cure cancer. Sadly, that was just a tall tale trying to get people to click on articles and create buzz. However, this may have put them onto the trail of sourwood honey. Now, you can explore the beauty of this American native honey.

Sourwood honey comes from sourwood trees that are located in the Appalachian Mountains. The Appalachian Mountains run from Northern Georgia up to Southern Pennsylvania. As the flowers the nectar comes from are white, you can expect this to be another honey that comes in a very light color.

Don’t get scared away by the name as this doesn’t have a sour taste. This honey has a scent that evokes anise, spices, and sweetness and will leave you with a pleasant aftertaste that lingers. Some say that it has almost a butter or caramel flavor. This is very tasty as a spread on bread.

4. Buckwheat Honey

Buckwheat honey is a very dark honey that resembles the molasses and malt that it tastes like. This honey is another with a very strong flavor that is not popular with everyone, and it can have a lingering aftertaste that stays with you. This is produced in New York, Ohio, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania from buckwheat flowers.

This thick honey is rich in iron, and has more antioxidants than its lighter counterparts. Mead makers enjoy using buckwheat honey when it comes to making their honey mead, and will produce a mead that is very flavorful.

5. Rosemary Honey

Cooking with the herb rosemary is lovely, and it can pack a pretty powerful punch. The same is true when it comes to rosemary honey. This honey will be a light yellow. If you’re looking for a honey with a strong sweet flavor, this could be the right choice for you.

Rosemary honey is also useful when it comes to cardiovascular issues. It’s believed to assist with liver function, digestion, high blood pressure, and gout.

6. Dandelion Honey

Dandelions aren’t just weeds that need to be eradicated in your backyard as people are starting to realize the benefits of these greens. If you’re looking for a whipped honey, dandelion honey may be perfect for you. Dandelion greens are becoming more popular as they can be a healthy choice. Honey made by bees using yellow dandelion flowers will create a very vivid yellow honey that is rather different.

Many people love the taste, but it’s not for everyone. This honey has some nice side benefits in that it can help to improve liver issues and digestive problems. For instance, constipation, gastritis, or colitis can be improved by adding a teaspoon of this honey to some mineral water for a daily drink. You should find that your digestive system will right itself in just a few days to a week.

7. Acacia Honey

Acacia honey is a rising star with people buying honey in America. It comes from the Black Locust tree that is located in Europe and North America. It’s another very light color honey, and offers a very sweet taste, but it’s not too strong that it’ll overwhelm what you add it to.

That makes it very attractive to tea drinkers that want that little bit of sweetness with their tea, but want to still be able to taste the tea itself. In addition, it doesn’t change the scent of the tea as some tea drinkers savor the aroma just as much as the taste.

This honey and tea combo should be very relaxing, and when used with Valerian or chamomile herbal teas will help to get you the rest you need. Another reason this tea is popular is that it remains liquid longer than some other honeys because it has a high concentration of fructose, but as it has a low sucrose level, it can be a good choice for diabetics. This honey can help as an anti-inflammatory, improve liver function, and help your intestinal tract function well.

8. Eucalyptus Honey

Eucalyptus plants are for more than just feeding cute koalas, but can also have nectar gathered by bees to be used to make honey. Eucalyptus honey comes from Australia and is also produced in California. The color of this honey will vary, and this is a popular honey when it comes to headaches and colds.

The taste of this honey is different from most of the honeys on this list as it has more of a herbal flavor than many of the others, and you may even notice the taste of menthol. This can be a great honey to add to your tea when you’re feeling under the weather.

9. Sage Honey

Sage is a type of perennial that grows natively throughout America. It is easily recognised by its woody stem and very strong roots system. While the colour of this plant and its flowers can differ widely depending on where and how it is cultivated, it is most commonly found to have soft ovulate leaves that are deep green on top and almost white on the bottom. Moreover, its flowers tend to range from a soft purple colour, to a very light pink.

If a sage plant is not harvested for its leaves, then bees have the potential to collect nectar from its small delicate flowers. This typically occurs during early spring to late summer, and results in a sweet balanced honey that is very light in colour which is often typified by its unique floral after taste.

Sage honey has become increasingly popular as it actually takes on the antifungal and antibacterial properties of the sage plant, boosting immune system function and helping to improve digestive health.

10. Lavender Honey

The lavender plant is one of the most easily recognised on this planet. With its long thin stems, and tiny purple flowers, this perennial is extremely hard to miss. Furthermore, it has commonly been used in natural remedies for thousands of years, where it has been thought to enhance mood and promote mental health, improve sleep quality, and even treat headaches.

With this in mind, lavender honey is simply honey that comes when bees collect the nectar of these incredible little flowers.

Lavender honey is extremely light in colour, and often has a bright yellow tone to it. While its flavour isnt overly sweet, it contains absolutely zero bitterness, making it one of the lightest tasting honeys avai