There are many different types of honey around the world, each with its own distinctive taste and aroma. Everything depends on what blossoms the bees have gone to when collecting their nectar.
That said, even honey that comes from the same hives can have distinctly different flavors from one year to the next because of different climatic conditions like different rainfall patterns and temperatures. You may be surprised to learn the differences between raw honey vs processed honey, much less all the different types of honey we list below.
While all honey has beneficial properties in terms of health benefits, some are better than others. In this post, we will have a look at 25 best types of honey, chosen for their flavor and health benefits.
Types Of Honey: Based on Extraction Categories
Before we get down to the different types of honey and their uses let’s have a look at the different forms of honey. Many of these different types of honey come from how the beekeeper harvested the honey in the first place.
This is literally a piece of the comb, taken straight out of the hive. If you are really into the whole food way of eating, honey doesn’t come in a more natural form. The comb is made from beeswax and is entirely edible.
According to Livestrong, the honeycomb is made up of long-chain fats that help to lower bad cholesterol. The article cites a study where the levels of LDL were reduced by between 21% and 29%.
Comb honey contains the most pollen and might also contain some Royal Jelly – a highly nutritious substance used to feed the queen bee and larvae.
This is the form that we are most familiar with. The caps are cut off the combs, and the combs are put into an extractor. The result is a clear liquid that most of us know and love.
This is a honey “powder.” The honey is dried or frozen to remove the remaining moisture content. This is normally found in commercial products like teas, cosmetics, etc. where honey would be beneficial but where they need less moisture.
This is a very creamy form of honey that is a mixture of liquid and granulated honey, whipped together so that it is light and easy to spread.
This is where a piece of honeycomb is placed into a jar of liquid honey.
Categories Of Honey: Based on Raw vs. Pasteurized Honey
There are two main categories of honey – raw and pasteurized honey.
Raw honey is honey that has not been pasteurized or subjected to high heat. It is honey in its more natural form and is preferred by many because it retains all of the natural health benefits of honey.
This is honey that has been subjected to high heat. The reason this is done is to kill off fungus and bacteria in the honey. Unfortunately, it also wipes out beneficial enzymes as well and also destroys some of the nutrients in the honey.
Types Of Honey: Sweet, Natural Varieties
Okay, let’s get down to the names of honey varieties that taste good and that are great for your health.
- Acacia: This is for those with a real sweet tooth and those who like a more traditional honey taste. It is great for everything from teas to baking.
- Alfalfa: This is lighter honey and also suitable for use daily. It has more of a floral scent and tastes a little spicy.
- Avocado: You wouldn’t think that the buttery goodness of avocado would team well with honey but don’t be put off. The only thing that this honey has in common with the fruit is that it is thick and buttery. It is very rich and maybe too strong to be used on its own. It’s not ideal for tea, for example, but works well in a salad dressing.
- Basswood: This is more of an acquired taste. It tastes strong and has a strange watery consistency. You may like this if you prefer your honey to have a bit of a bite to it.
- Blackberry: You will definitely detect fruity tones when eating this. It has a pleasantly tangy flavor that would suit those that prefer honey that is not too sweet.
- Blueberry: This honey is a good option if you want something that is not quite as fruity tasting as the blackberry, but that has a good, balanced flavor. It is lighter honey that is not cloyingly sweet.
- Buckwheat: This is another one that is something of an acquired taste. It works well when making a marinade or sauce and also when baking. For most people, the taste is too strong to sweeten tea or eat on its own.
- Clover: This is the honey you are most likely to find in the store. It has a very light flavor that works well for day to day use and has slightly floral undertones.
- Coffee Honey: This is more unusual but try it if you do find it. It has a very rich flavor, and you will find that a little goes quite a long way.
- Eucalyptus: The flavor here really does vary a lot from region to region. It is lighter honey but can have a slight menthol aftertaste. It is not too strong and certainly not unpleasant but works well in herbal teas and baking.
- Fireweed: This is one for the foodies out there. It has many different notes of flavor and tastes rich and creamy. It is fantastic when used in preparing meat for the barbeque.
- Heather: This can act as a nice palette cleanser and is ideal for those who are not into really sweet honey. It can have a pungent aftertaste so it might take some getting used to but it works really well in baking.
- Linden: This has a clean flavor and is one of the more delicate variations of honey. The scent reminds you of the forest making it a great addition to herbal tea.
- Macadamia: This honey is nice and sweet and is reminiscent of the nut itself. It smells really good too.
- Manuka Honey: This honey is on this list not because of its taste but because of its strong medicinal properties. According to Medical News Today (names of honey), scientists at the University of Auckland have been investigating its potential application as a treatment for antibiotic-resistant infections. This honey is from New Zealand but known worldwide as a fantastic anti-bacterial agent and wound healer.
- Orange Blossom: If you can get the real thing, it is really worth getting a bottle to use in baking and as a day to day honey. It has a really nice aroma to it.
- Palmetto: This is another of the slightly more unusual versions, but it has a nice sweet flavor that doesn’t overwhelm you.
- Royal Yemeni Honey: If you are a honey connoisseur, you need to see if you can get your hands on a bottle of this honey. Be warned, though; the real stuff is really expensive – it’s a special occasion kind of honey but is highly prized for its amazing flavor.
- Sage: The flavor will depend on what kind of sage the bees visited but, surprisingly, this honey is usually pretty sweet and will go with a lot of different dishes.
- Sourwood: This is really great tasting honey. It is has a rich, creamy, texture and has undertones of caramel. It works with just about everything in the kitchen.
- Tupelo: If you like sweetness, but don’t want it to overpower the other flavors, this is a good option.
- Wildflower: The flavor will depend on the actual flowers. This can be one for the more adventurous as the flavors can vary widely from one batch to the next.
What it all boils down to is this – there are many different types of honey out there, and there is sure to be at least one that will suit everyone’s taste. Do yourself a favor and go to a few different farmer’s markets and see what different options are out there – see which ones you like best.