Can You Add Honey To Hot Tea?

If you’re feeling under the weather, you may be wondering can you add honey to hot tea. Although this is a soothing combination, there are things to keep mind.

Can you add honey to hot tea
Adding honey to hot tea is a soothing combination

With the flu season underway, you might be wondering can you add honey to hot tea. Whenever I have a cold, I love nothing more than a nice, soothing, hot cup of tea with a bit of honey for flavor. This combination helps me feel better almost instantly, even though I know it doesn’t do anything to help my body rid itself of the infection. 

Recently, however, I learned about the idea that adding honey to hot tea could defeat the purpose; this mostly pertains to adding honey to scorching hot tea and rendering any benefits useless, but most people don’t serve their tea boiling hot. So, if you love a good cup of hot tea with honey when you’re sick or just staying inside during a rainy day, here’s everything you need to know about this combination. 

Why Is Tea With Honey So Popular? 

I know I’m not the only one who enjoys tea with honey. This beverage is practically synonymous with homemade cold relief recipes, but why is that the case? Why isn’t some other sweetener as widespread as honey? 

The truth is, it’s hard to say how far back tea mixed with honey goes, but both ingredients date back thousands of years, so it’s likely that ancient people used to mix the two, and the tradition has carried over into the modern day. 

One reason why tea with honey may be so popular is that there are so many options and combinations available. There are over 1,500 tea varieties grown and cultivated, and honey can come with different flavors and additives. Also, the bees that make the honey can affect its flavor, as can whether it’s raw or pasteurized.

You can enjoy endless possibilities by experimenting with various tea blends and types of honey to discover the perfect combination that suits your taste buds. The distinctive flavors and versatility of tea and honey have made this beloved beverage a favorite among tea lovers worldwide.

You might also be wondering can you put honey in coffee.

The Health Benefits Of Tea And Honey

Most people drink tea with honey when they’re sick since it acts as a natural way to relieve a sore throat. However, the results go beyond just a simple home remedy. Here are some of the top health benefits you can get from both tea and honey.

Tea Health Benefits

Can you add honey to hot tea?
All tea can have at least some positive effect

Researchers and scientists have been studying different types of tea for centuries, so we’re getting pretty good at understanding how they can help various bodily functions. Because there are so many varieties, some teas will be healthier than others, but it seems that all tea can have at least some positive effect. Check out our guide on the best tea to drink when sick.

  • White Tea: This is the most unprocessed tea variety and is native to China and India. The legend of the birth of tea says a camellia Sinensis leaf fell into the cup of a Chinese emperor who was drinking hot water. He liked the flavor so much that he started drinking it regularly, and tea was born. White tea has many antioxidants.
  • Herbal Tea: There are dozens of varieties of herbal teas, and they get their name because they’re a blend of herbs, spices, and plant leaves, buds, or petals. Chamomile is a type of herbal tea, and it can help relieve menstrual cramps and improve your sleep. Other herbal teas can improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels, while some can help relieve indigestion and liver health. 
  • Green Tea: Unlike other teas, matcha tea is processed and turned into a fine powder, so the beverage is thicker and more flavorful than others. Green tea can help with your circulatory system, lowering blood pressure and improving heart health. Matcha green tea has tons of antioxidants.
  • Black Tea: This is from the same plant as white tea, but the leaves are dried and fermented, giving them a different flavor and adding caffeine to the mix. Since the leaves are the same, you still get lots of antioxidants, as well as anti-inflammatory benefits. 
  • Oolong Tea: Oolong undergoes some processing to change its appearance and flavor profile. The primary benefit of oolong is that it contains I-theanine, an amino acid that can help manage cognitive disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. 

Honey Health Benefits

Did you know that there are over 300 varieties of honey available around the world? Because honey is a natural byproduct of bees, it can change based on the flowers they pollinate and the types of bees making the honey. 

As with tea, honey can have some incredible health benefits, such as: 

  • Cough Suppressant: Some types of honey (i.e., citrus honey) can act as a natural cough suppressant. Best of all, they can even alleviate chronic symptoms like a nighttime cough. 
  • Gastrointestinal Relief: Honey can provide relief for different gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea. While it’s not a cure for any of these conditions, honey can make them easier to manage. 
  • Neurological Disorders: Some studies illustrate the benefits of honey as a potential antidepressant, anti-convulsant, and anti-anxiety treatment. It may even help with memory disorders like Alzheimer’s. 
  • Topical Ointment: The natural properties of honey can help the body heal, which is why ancient Egyptians used it as a topical ointment for cuts and other wounds. Honey is naturally antibacterial, and it acts as a barrier between the wound and the air. 

Raw Vs. Pasteurized Honey

A pile of honey in small container in supermarket
Pasteurized honey is pretty common on most grocery store shelves

Pasteurization is the process of heating food like honey or milk to kill off any bacteria and make it safe to eat. While pasteurization is crucial for milk, it’s not necessary for honey. In fact, because honey never spoils, you can enjoy some honey that was made thousands of years ago. 

That said, pasteurized honey is pretty common, especially when looking on most grocery store shelves. Unfortunately, heating the honey to such high temperatures kills many of the beneficial compounds, so pasteurized honey is not as healthy. 

This result is likely why some people claim that you can’t add honey to hot tea since it will break down the essential compounds inside. However, unless you’re drinking tea at incredibly high temperatures, it should be fine to add honey to your tea. 


  • Jonathan

    Jonathan is an avid coffee drinker, although he's known to knock back a few energy drinks too. He's been a writer for over seven years, which is why caffeine runs through his veins. Find Jonathan on WriterAccess.