Honey & Tea Pairings for National Honey Month
September 3, 2021
Happy National Honey Month! September traditionally marks the end of the honey collection season for American beekeepers. To celebrate, discover our favorite delicious honey and tea pairings and learn about the surprising history of this ancient natural sweetener.
Premium Honey & Tea Pairing Suggestions
100% New Zealand Manuka Honey: Manuka honey is a special type of honey that comes from New Zealand and Australia, and is renowned for its superior taste, aroma and distinctive golden color.
Suggested tea pairing: Organic Immunity SuperGreen Tea
Rare Hawaiian Lavender Honey: Certified Organic Kiawe Honey is infused with organic dried lavender blossoms for a true culinary treat. Drizzle over fresh fruit, fine cheeses, bread or ice cream.
Rare Hawaiian Ginger Honey: Delicate Kiawe honey is infused with zesty ginger powder, yielding a flavor profile that is warming and deliciously sweet.
Chai Spice Honey: This blend of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and luscious premium white honey will add sweet, warm spiciness to any cup of tea.
Suggested tea pairing: British Breakfast Black Tea
Lemon Creme Honey: The bright flavor of summer lemons is carefully blended with smooth, premium honey. Stir into your favorite tea to add a bit of tart-sweetness with a creamy finish.
Suggested tea pairing: Lemon Chamomile Herbal Tea
Vanilla Bean Honey: The lush flavor of ripe Madagascar vanilla beans is folded into the thick, rich texture of premium white honey. Tastes delicious stirred into tea or slathered on scones.
Suggested tea pairing: Downton Abbey® Estate Blend
Origins & History of Honey
Honey was humankind’s first sweetener. It is produced by honey bees (genus Apis), which originated in Southeast Asia. The earliest record of a fossil of the honey bee dates back thirty-four million years. Cave paintings in Spain from 8,000 years ago depict humans foraging for honey and honeycombs. In the Eastern European nation of Georgia, honey remains have been discovered on the inner surface of clay pots dating back 5,000 years. It is believed that these ancient cultures included honey in burial rites so it could be brought into the afterlife.
The first written records of beekeeping were discovered in Egypt. Bees were kept at sacred temples to produce honey for offerings, mummification and other religious uses. The ancient Egyptians also used honey to sweeten cakes and other foods. Beekeeping was widespread among the ancient Greeks, who believed Zeus and the other Olympians dined on honey in the form of nectar and ambrosia, the drink of immortality. Similarly, the Romans used honey in healing, cooking and as offerings to the gods.
The Indigenous peoples of the Americas harvested honey from the stingless meliponini bee for thousands of years prior to the arrival of European colonists. The Maya viewed honey as a gift from Ah Muzen Cab, the god of bees and honey. They used honey to treat wounds, as well as to prepare a ceremonial beverage called balché. Mexico remains one of the world’s largest producers of honey today, with nearly half coming from the Yucatan peninsula.
Fun Facts About Honey
- Symbolically, honey represents divinity, abundance, prosperity, unity, joy, health and good fortune.
- The average bee colony produces 60 to 100 pounds of honey per year, yet the average worker bee only makes one-twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime.
- Honey has antibacterial properties due to its concentration of hydrogen peroxide.
- The term “honeymoon” is derived from an old Scandinavian custom of gifting newly married couples with large quantities of mead (a beverage made from fermented honey) during their first month of marriage, or one moon cycle.
- Bees depend on honey to survive the winter, yet a productive colony produces two to three times what it needs to consume during the colder months.