You can add one to two teaspoons of honey to coffee as a healthy sweetener.
But there are a few things coffee lovers should keep in mind before deciding to make a habit of it. Here are some of the positives and negatives of using honey in your coffee.
Why Should You Use Honey In Coffee?
Most people reach for white granulated sugar for their coffee sweetening needs, but comparatively, honey is not only healthier but also has a few health benefits that granulated sugar definitely doesn’t have. For some, you don’t need to use as much honey as you do sugar to get a sweeter coffee.
However, honey has a more powerful flavor than granulated sugar, and this flavor can possibly make its way into the coffee. Some people like the flavor that it adds, but others say that it may ruin the coffee entirely.
Originating in Spain, there is a type of coffee called Cafe con Miel, which translates literally to “coffee with honey”. It is considered a delectable and indulgent beverage, typically consumed after dinner as a light treat, but can be enjoyed any time. Though its name translates as coffee with honey, there are more than just these two ingredients that go into a proper Cafe con Miel.
While some recipes can vary depending on someone’s tastes and preferences, they are usually prepared with freshly made and piping hot coffee, milk, honey, nutmeg, vanilla, and cinnamon. Sounds absolutely enticing to me!
Unfortunately, I cannot tell you whether you will enjoy honey in your coffee or not because it’s all about personal preferences. I can say that if you don’t like the flavor of honey already, then you probably won’t like honey in your coffee.
But even if you don’t like the flavor of honey, recipes like the Cafe con Miel may help mask the flavor of the honey without taking away the sweetness and fuller body, it can add. It’s worth a try, and you may even find a new favorite!
Health Benefits Of Honey
If you wish to consume honey for your health, make sure you find a great source of raw, organic honey.
What’s the difference between regular honey and raw honey?
Regular honey is usually processed in several ways. It might be filtered to remove pollen or other debris and pasteurized to kill any yeast naturally found in the honey, so it has a longer shelf life.
These processes, however, also remove or destroy the enzymes, antioxidants, and pollen, which offer health benefits. They help protect against allergies, have antibacterial properties, and reduce cellular damage in your body.
Raw honey has been carefully collected and packaged without processing, so it’s still full of all its life-giving benefits. If you can source it locally, that’s even better, as it will have pollen from the local plants, helping to protect you from environmental allergies.
You might also be interested in our guide on why put coconut oil in coffee.
Honey Is High In Refined Carbohydrates
While honey, in its raw form, contains many nutrients, it has one big downside, which is that it is mostly made up of sugar with no accompanying fiber. This means it digests super fast, raising your blood sugar.
Honey is mostly made up of fructose, with smaller amounts of glucose and sucrose. Fructose is sweeter than both of these, giving honey its intensely sweet flavor.
The nutritional benefits of raw honey do place it slightly lower on the glycemic index than plain white sugar, but it’s still pretty high up there.
If you like the sweetening effect of honey in your cup of joe but don’t want the extra calories or are trying to maintain some weight loss, a healthier alternative is an artificial sweetener like Stevia.
Honey Has A Strong Flavor
Honey has a strong, distinctive flavor courtesy of the way bees make it. It tends to be full of pollen from whatever plants the bees have been feeding on.
Plants like acacia offer a milder honey taste than plants like buckwheat, so it’s a good idea to pay attention to the types of honey available to you.
Orange blossom or blueberry honey gives a lovely fruity flavor and aroma, while buckwheat gives a very strong, pungent, molasses taste, and manuka honey being the strongest of all, will give your coffee a bold, intense flavor. The stronger flavors do allow you to use less honey in your coffee than a milder flavor will.
If you’re worried about altering the taste of coffee, you may wish to stick to milder kinds of honey, such as clover, acacia, or alfalfa. If you want sweetness without disrupting the flavor of your coffee, plain sugar may be a better choice.
The Viscosity of Honey
Honey has an unusual texture compared to many other sweeteners. It’s thick and viscous, unlike granulated sugars. This makes it more difficult to dissolve in cold liquids.
If you want to add honey to your coffee, stick to adding it to hot coffee drinks. It will struggle to dissolve in a cold brew or iced coffee but will dissolve much faster in something like a traditional latte.
Honey’s unique syrupy texture does have one benefit: It’s great for a sore throat. So if you’re trying to work with a sore throat and need to soothe it, try drinking a cup of coffee with a small amount of honey added to coat your throat.
The Final Word On Can You Put Honey In Coffee
If you’re thinking of adding honey to your coffee, start with a teaspoon of honey. Do you like the flavor, or are you going for a medicinal effect, like improving your allergies? This will help you decide if you prefer to buy raw local honey, or if processed honey from a grocery chain is preferable. A typical cup of coffee doesn’t need more than a teaspoon of honey to get the full effects. With honey, less is definitely more!
Honey can be a great addition to your morning or evening coffee as long as you know why you’re adding it and what type you should use to get the best effect. Don’t be afraid to try a little in your coffee and see how you like it! Now read our companion article about honey in tea.
FAQs About Can You Put Honey In Coffee
Can you put honey in an iced coffee?
You can, as long as you add it while the coffee is hot. It will not dissolve very well in chilled coffee and will settle at the bottom of the glass instead of evenly dissolving into the coffee.
How does honey coffee taste?
Coffee with honey tends to have an intensely sweet taste. Its strong flavor profile can overwhelm the flavors of more delicate coffee types such as espresso.
What Is The Difference Between Honey And Sugar?
In scientific terms, granulated sugar is 50% fructose and 50% glucose. Honey is 40% fructose and 30% glucose, while the last 10% is made up of water, pollen, and various vitamins and minerals, including magnesium and potassium.
This makes honey slighter and more nutritious than sugar, with slightly less calories. But it’s still a refined carbohydrate, and it’s a good idea to watch your consumption.