As fall progresses and evening temperatures drop, a warm cup of tea is a great way to relax at the end of your day. With this in mind, we have sampled and then paired a number of honey varieties with different teas. Here are some of our favorites.
When brewing the tea, use fresh water (not re-boiled) as it has more oxygen. Let the tea seep for 2 to 6 minutes, depending on the tea variety and personal tastes. Wait until the tea is cooled down to about 100 degrees before adding the honey. This will ensure that the beneficial properties of the raw honey are not degraded.
Basswood Honey with Mint Tea. Basswood honey has fruity notes, which are fortified and complemented with a strong brew of mint tea.
Orange Blossom Honey with Rooibos Tea. Rooibos tea is a dark red and robust herbal tea, with hints of citrus. These flavors work very well when paired with orange blossom honey. We recommend the Rooibos Tea with Madagascar Vanilla from Celestial Seasonings. Citrus honey also goes well with rooibos tea.
Sage with Chamomile Tea. Chamomile tea, well-known for its calming effect, is a rather mild herbal tea. For these reason, we think that sage honey is a perfect match. Sage honey is a non-assertive honey that does not overpower the mild chamomile flavors.
Holly Honey with Jasmine Flower Tea. Jasmine tea comes from the highly fragrant flowers of the jasmine bush. These flowers are picked early in the morning, when the petals are tightly closed. Because this tea is very aromatic, it should be paired with an equally assertive floral honey such as our holly honey.
Sourwood Honey with Black Tea. This is a hard one, because there are dozens of different blends of black tea. Most of them, however, are stronger in flavor due to the longer oxidization and fermentation of the tea leaves during processing. For this reason, a stronger honey like sourwood is a good match. Thyme honey would also work well here.
Acacia Honey with White Tea. At the other end of the spectrum from black tea, you have white tea, which is made from very young tea leaves (or even unopened buds) that have been minimally processed with steaming and rapid drying. Due to its very light flavor, it should be paired with a very light honey, such as acacia.