With healthy living on the rise, a number of coffee enthusiasts have switched to using honey in coffee. I mean, who doesn’t love delicious honey on fresh sourdough!? And If we love coffee and honey, why shouldn’t we love them together? Or so the argument goes.
In this article, we will consider this phenomenon and the related health benefits as well as the impact on taste. Basically, we will tell you our answer to the question: can you put honey in coffee?
Why put Honey in Coffee?
To put it simply, for the health benefits. While people have used honey with coffee for centuries now, its recent rise in popularity is linked to the presumed health benefits.
With the release of That Sugar Film in 2014, we all became aware that we tend to consume far more sugar than we realize and that its impact on our bodies is not negligible but significant.
And so, even in the last decade, it has become far more common to come across people who are going ‘sugar-free.’ However, this caused a problem for coffee lovers who were used to sweetening their cup of joe with sugar. They wanted sweet coffee but preferably without destroying their bodies in the process.
Enter honey. Honey is not processed; it is natural and can be completely organic. And it functions similarly to a sweetener.
Sugar vs Honey
As you will likely be aware, honey vs sugar is a false dichotomy because honey is made up of sugars.
Honey is mainly made up of two sugars; fructose and glucose. Glucose is a basic sugar that burns very quickly in the body and is unlikely to turn into fat. Fructose is slower burning but can still be used relatively quickly by the body.
In comparison, white table salt has more complex sugars known as disaccharides. While these are broken down into glucose and fructose, they take longer to burn and so are more likely to turn into fat.
So although honey is made up of sugars, they are better sugars that are less likely to lead to weight gain. Similarly, the sugars in honey are lower on the glycemic index and have less impact on blood glucose levels.
Interestingly, honey actually has more calories than regular table sugar. A teaspoon of honey contains around 21 calories, while a teaspoon of straight sugar only contains about 12 calories. However, the math isn’t quite so clear cut because the sugars in honey taste sweeter, and so less honey is needed compared to using refined sugar in coffee.
The Health Benefits of Honey in Coffee
Three different health benefits are regularly associated with honey.
Minerals and Vitamins
Unlike sugars or artificial sweeteners, honey provides a number of minerals and vitamins. Honey has a range of naturally occurring vitamins, including B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and of course, the much-valued vitamin C. Similarly, honey contains several minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, magnesium, and sulfur. Those honey bees knew what they were doing, and honey is a treasure trove when it comes to nutrients.
Honey also contains antioxidants such as phenolic acids and flavonoids that improve overall cell health. Honey can help boost antioxidant activity within the body. Antioxidants help reduce inflammation and can protect against a range of chronic conditions. So honey is also good for the cells that make up your body.
Raw honey also contains pollen which has been proven to boost the immune system and reduce allergies. So the presence of honey in coffee may even help you fight the seasonal symptoms that ruin your life.
While these health benefits are all real and scientifically proven, the amount of honey you are consuming in a cup of coffee is unlikely to add significant benefits. Is honey good in coffee? Well, it is undoubtedly better than sugar. But it is still packed with sugars and calories. If you are going for healthy, then skip the additives altogether and drink your coffee black.
Does Honey Taste Good in Coffee?
Of course, if you are a true coffee lover then the million-dollar question is how does it taste? Is honey good in coffee? Or will this simply ruin my morning hit to make me feel a bit better about my health?
And the answer depends on a range of factors. In particular, it depends on your specific flavor preferences and the type of honey used.
The truth is that different people have different preferences in taste and palate. Certainly, honey is stronger than sugar, and so more likely to impact the taste. However, whether that is a negative or positive impact is up for grabs. And so some people swear by it that it only adds to the flavor of good coffee, while others claim it clashes sharply.
To be completely honest, you won’t really know until you have tried it for yourself. So give it a shot, and then you will see whether you are a fan or foe of honey in coffee.
The second major factor is what honey you are using. Saying all honey is honey is just as naïve and heretical as saying that all coffee is coffee. It is simply not true. To start with, there is pasteurized honey or raw honey. Raw honey is straight from the hive and is often sourced locally. It tends to be more expensive but nicer tasting with less processing and more health benefits.
Pasteurized honey can be found in any old grocery store and has been processed to kill yeast cells. So if health is your primary concern, then always go for raw honey.
But beyond that, there are more types of honey than words I have in me tonight. There is acacia, a very sweet honey often paired with coffee; dense blue gum, the delightful alfalfa, the potent fireweed or buckwheat. So if you try honey in coffee and it doesn’t do it for you, then don’t give up just yet. It may simply be the type and flavor of honey that you are using.
Honey in Coffee- The Vedict
In summary, can you put honey in coffee? Yes, you can, and it may make your morning brew more enjoyable. Honey in coffee is healthier than table sugar as a sweetener and can aid your immune system, cell health, and nutrient levels.
The taste is debated, with some loving it and some hating it. So we recommend giving it a try. Start by adding around one teaspoon of honey to your morning brew, then see what you think. Don’t be afraid to try a few different kinds of honey, and make sure you always try to go raw rather than pasteurized.
Let us know what you think. Do you like honey in coffee? Are you a fan or foe? And which type of honey do you use?