- Manuka honey is a rich, natural alternative to plain table sugar that provides a few extra benefits sugar just doesn’t offer.
- Some of the most common types of tea include black, oolong, green, white, and herbal.
- Our favorite Manuka honey tea recipes include lemon ginger tea, iced black sweet tea, apple tea, spiced tea, milk tea, and masala chai tea.
Honey can be used in endless ways to elevate a dish or drink, but stirred into a cup of tea is a common favorite use around the world — it tastes lovely and helps to soothe your mind, body, and soul.
The best part? There are seemingly infinite teas your honey is just waiting to be added to. Your routine morning cup doesn’t have to be the same every day — here are six tea recipes to try with Manuka honey.
Why Use Raw Honey in My Tea Instead of Sugar?
Some people prefer sugar in their tea, but nature's nectar has a lot more to offer in terms of wellness benefits and overall depth of flavor.
Table Sugar Doesn’t Really Have Anything To Offer
Highly processed sugars like standard table sugar have been shown to have negative health outcomes, such as changes in blood sugar, body weight, and inflammation, especially since it's often overconsumed in the typical American diet.
A natural sweetener that works in tune with your body can be a good alternative — honey is known as nature's oldest healthy indulgence.
Raw Manuka Honey Contains Natural Beneficial Compounds
Store-bought pasteurized honey won’t offer the same benefits as proper raw honey. Pasteurizing honey means heating it, which results in the loss of some of the beneficial compounds it otherwise could have offered.
Companies typically pasteurize honey to prolong the crystallization process (crystallization isn’t bad for the honey in terms of quality, but makes it less marketable on supermarket shelves). Sometimes, commercial honey manufacturers also use this process to help dehydrate honey that was prematurely harvested and may still be in a more liquid state.
Allowing the bees to dehydrate the honey can prolong the overall process, but we don’t mind waiting, and we know our bees appreciate it too. We allow them to work in harmony with the ecosystem, as opposed to us intervening with the natural cycle of things.
We also leave our genuine Manuka honey raw so it retains its natural beneficial compounds.
Genuine Manuka honey has high levels of Methylglyoxal (MGO), an organic compound that comes from the nectar of the Manuka tea tree and possesses antibacterial properties. The MGO found in Manuka is responsible for many of the benefits that Manuka honey offers, so the higher the MGO level, the more potent and flavorful your Manuka honey will be.
On top of Methylglyoxal, Manuka honey contains other naturally occurring beneficial compounds such as oligosaccharides (a natural prebiotic) and Leptosperin (a highly active antioxidant), making our Honey With Superpowers™ a true superfood.
Because of these compounds, varying MGO ratings of Manuka honey can help support the digestive system, support your immune system, help provide feelings of energy, and serve as a daily source of overall wellness support.
Manuka Honey Offers a Unique Sensory Experience
Manuka honey is also uniquely sensory because of its distinctive flavor profile and texture.
Its thick texture, robust caramel flavor with floral notes, and delicate amber color will refine anything it’s drizzled onto, not just your tea.
While our attention today will be focused on amplifying your favorite warm refreshment, tea is just the beginning of what Manuka honey can elevate.
What Are the Best Kinds of Tea To Add Honey To?
Of course, your tea choice is a determining factor in the taste of your beverage, despite what else you plan to add. There are tons of different tea types, and each one will be unique in both flavor and potential benefits it has to offer.
Some types of tea can offer anti-inflammatory effects, are loaded with antioxidants, can provide energy boosts, and much more, making the honey-tea pairing a powerhouse of possibilities that can work harmoniously to give you just what you’re looking for.
Plain black tea might not be known for having the most complex flavor profile, but it makes for a great base and can complement Manuka honey's intricate flavors quite well. If you want the tangy, subtle bite of your honey to be the star of the show, black tea varieties can help bring that out.
Look for black tea blends with fruit flavors for a more complex blend — peach, apricot, and strawberry go particularly well with honey!
Oolong tea is mainly produced in China and Taiwan and is semi-oxidized. You can expect genuine oolong tea to resemble a black tea, but much stronger in taste and intensity, with a slightly bitter, roasted aftertaste.
When mixing with Manuka, brew a strong half-cup of oolong, mix in the Manuka, then serve iced to counteract the natural bitterness of this combination and help bring out the sweet.
Black and oolong teas have a more malty taste, whereas green tea offers more fresh, grassy tones. Green teas are oxidized during their production process, making their flavor much lighter.
Additionally, green tea has a high antioxidant content, which offers health benefits like supporting balanced cholesterol levels and immune function.
Honey green tea is a popular combination, particularly served iced. As a bonus, you can stir in fresh berries to both up the flavor and antioxidant profile of this nutritious and refreshing drink!
This light, delicate tea is even more refined in tea flavor compared to green tea, and is one of the most minimally processed types of tea since it’s harvested before the tea plant’s buds even bloom.
When mixing Manuka into white tea, less is more — Manuka’s complex flavors and richness may outshine the taste of the white tea, so opt for a half teaspoon if you’re looking to enjoy this combination.
Herbal tea typically combines botanicals like seeds, fruits, flowers, bark, herbs, mints, spices, roots, and berries to create a blend that is generally caffeine-free and medicinally beneficial. Herbal tea has the broadest taste as it has tons of different ingredient combinations.
One popular herbal tea is chamomile tea, which many people drink to help them get to bed.
6 Manuka Honey Tea Recipes We Love
Now that you’ve got a little background on Manuka honey and the different types of tea you can add it into, all that’s left to do is collect your supplies and try out some of these easy recipes.
While we personally love a cup of black tea and Manuka honey for its cozy comfort and flavor, we understand that tea becomes a staple in the chillier months, and people are looking for ways to spice up their cardinal drink.
Here are a few warming recipes to try this winter.
1. Lemon Ginger Tea
This recipe is especially helpful if you’re fighting a runny nose or scratchy throat. Brew your tea of choice, then add a heaping teaspoon of Manuka honey, a slice of fresh lemon or lemon juice, and about a quarter teaspoon of grated ginger root (you can go half if you love ginger’s strong, spicy taste!).
Not only will these ingredients taste delicious paired together, but the honey lemon tea may also aid in soothing a scratchy throat and provide relief for tummy troubles.
2. Iced Tea
If you’re not someone who enjoys their tea warm, that’s completely okay; you can always drink it iced. You can either make it hot and cool it down or use a cold brew method if you’ve got some time to spare.
While sweet tea from the store or a restaurant is usually chocked-full of syrupy artificial sweeteners, you can make a healthier version yourself right at home and sweeten it with your ingredient of choice.
We love to use Manuka honey — it offers a natural energy boost thanks to its natural sugar content, while adding a new flavor profile to classic iced tea. If you’re serving iced tea to guests, you can also garnish it with a lemon slice or even fresh hibiscus flowers for additional flavor notes.
3. Apple Tea
This concoction is similar to apple cider, just minus all the added sugar. Apple tea can be a staple this fall and winter; it’s ultra comforting and, thanks to the Manuka, can help energize you through your day.
This recipe is straightforward — simply add a cup of apple juice to your already boiling teapot. You can add apple pie spices and cinnamon if you want more spice, and if you want a little caffeine or more tea flavor, you can also mix in plain black tea.
After removing from heat, finish it off with about a heaped teaspoon of Manuka per six to 10 ounces of tea, based on your sweetness preferences.
4. Spiced Tea
A cup of spiced tea will surely warm you on a cold winter's day. If you like a bit of spice in your beverage, this recipe is for you.
Everyone has their herbs of choice, but cinnamon and cloves are the traditional stars of spiced tea. That said, you can add anything you’d like!
The type of tea you use will also ultimately affect the final flavor profile, so choose wisely. We find that chamomile and echinacea pair well with the added spices, with the added benefits of helping you sleep or helping you get over a cold, respectively.
5. Milk Tea
Depending on what part of the world you reside in, this trick may sound like old news, but making what ultimately can be thought of as a tea latte can bring you a whole new tea experience.
To make milk tea, you’ll first create a tea concentrate by brewing twice your regular amount of tea in about a fourth of the amount of water you usually use. For example, you might brew two teabags of black tea in about two ounces of hot water to get your tea concentrate.
Then, for the remaining ¾ liquid, heat your choice of milk or milk alternative, stir in one to two tablespoons of Manuka, then add the tea concentrate.
If you want iced milk tea, stir your Manuka in with your tea concentrate, and instead of heating the milk, pour over a glass of ice, then stir in the concentrate.
We find that milk tea complements the creaminess and richness of Manuka honey quite well!
6. Masala Chai
Like spiced tea, masala chai is home to cinnamon and cloves, as well as cardamom, ginger, and much more, giving it a robust flavor that’s particularly warming in the fall. You can drink hot or iced masala chai, but many prefer sipping on this drink warm.
Masala chai starts with a concentrate; you can purchase this at most grocery stores or make it at home. Making it at home starts with boiling water and spices — it’s fairly simple and will make your home smell wonderful!
Homemade Masala Chai Concentrate Ingredients:
- Cardamom pods
- Whole black peppercorns
- Whole cloves
- Fresh ginger, sliced
- Hot water
- Cinnamon sticks
- Allspice (optional)
- Brown sugar
- Star anise
- Vanilla bean
- Black tea bags
- Manuka honey
Remember that measurements will vary depending on the amount you want.
Once you’ve bought (or made) your concentrate, all you have to do is prepare your cup of tea, which you can drink on its own or turn into a latte. Simply add one part concentrate and one part water (or milk for a creamier result).
If you plan to enjoy it warm, add your ingredients to a saucepan and stir until warm. If you’re using milk, be careful not to scorch it. If you’re pinched for time, combine these ingredients in a mug and microwave for one minute or so.
Iced masala chai is even easier; simply use the same measurements in a glass with ice cubes and enjoy!
Tea is inherently tasty, and when paired with the right honey, it can be just as good for your overall wellness as it is for your tastebuds. While we think Manuka honey is delicious enough to eat straight from the spoon, we love it in tea too.
Now it's time to drink up one of your newfound tea recipes!
Looking for more articles on how to use your Manuka honey? Explore Manukora’s blog here.
Looking to get high-quality Manuka honey for your new favorite tea ideas? Shop Manukora’s genuine New Zealand Manuka honey here.
Oligosaccharides Isolated from MGO™ Manuka Honey Inhibit the Adhesion of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia Coli O157:H7 and Staphylococcus Aureus to Human HT-29 cells | MDPI
Raw honey vs. regular honey: Benefits, risks, and uses | Medical News
The dangers of sugar | Harvard Health