Honey in Green Tea: Benefits, Type of Honey, How to Add It


Tea Facts /

You can add all kinds of treats to green tea, one common ingredient to add is something to sweeten the sometimes bitter taste. Honey in green tea can add that little bit more. There are in fact a number of benefits to adding honey to green tea.

So let’s dive into adding honey to green tea and all the benefits that come with it, as well as how best to make it and other important honey-related factors…

Adding honey to green tea not only sweetens the bitter taste, but also provides additional antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. It brings anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and antiseptic properties. And can aid the digestive system. Add half a teaspoon to lukewarm green tea.

I wrote an article about adding sugar to green tea, I’m building upon that article and knowledge now by focussing on honey …it’s just so much better than sugar – as you’ll discover.

I also wrote recently about whether you can add milk to green tea, and while you could do this, I perhaps wouldn’t recommend adding both milk and honey.

Needless to say that green tea is an extremely healthy drink all on its own.

You don’t actually need to add anything to gain so many benefits that green tea offers. But sometimes you might just want to add a twist, and honey can bring its own set of health properties to the party!

There are a couple of important guidelines you need to adhere to when adding honey to your green tea in order to achieve the full health properties and benefits. It’s just two golden rules…

The two simple guidelines are:

  1. It must be raw honey, processed honey does not provide the same effects.
  2. You should not add honey to hot green tea. This will negate any health benefits that honey might provide. Instead, add honey when your green tea is lukewarm, or tepid.

Let’s look at the first guideline in a bit more detail because this is important if you want to make the best use of honey in green tea.

Which type of honey to add

Processed sugar or processed honey do not work the same way… as you will see below when I discuss it further. Processed honey just has so much goodness extracted from it.

The type of honey to use is:

  • Natural raw honey
  • Unfiltered
  • Unpasteurized
  • Zero Additives
  • Zero Preservatives

And you don’t have to go rob a beehive or keep bees yourself to get this type of honey. You can simply get it from Amazon, I’ve added a “shortlist” of the type of honey you need to help you select the natural and best.

Also, remember that honey is much sweeter than sugar, so you will need less of it. As a rule of thumb, a half teaspoon of honey is equivalent to a full teaspoon of sugar.

Honey has fewer calories too. So in fact, if you’re fasting, then there are ways you can include honey and not break your fast.

honey for tea

Processed sugar is not a substitute for honey

You could add sugar to green tea.

But it’s not ideal. Here’s what happens to processed sugar. It’s harvested, washed, and crushed. It is then sprayed and soaked in hot water, milled, and then has the juices extracted.

Chemicals are then used such as calcium carbonate, calcium sulfate, and carbon dioxide as part of the process to purify, and lighten the sugar. It’s then boiled, centrifuged, dried, and then packed.

You’d be right in thinking there isn’t much goodness left in the sugar once it’s undergone this process.

I labor this point, only because when it comes to the benefits that honey provides, processed sugar – and even processed honey is not going to deliver nearly as much.

So, let’s get going with the benefits and medicinal properties of raw honey in green tea.

Benefits of honey in green tea

Over and above the benefits of green tea alone, here’s what adding honey can do for your green tea and you.

1. Adding honey makes green tea less bitter

Some green teas are more bitter than others. Particularly those that have undergone less oxidization there is essentially more plant material in the finished product.

Bitterness is one of the primary reasons that people do not stick to drinking green tea. It is an astringent taste, especially some of the really bitter green tea you can buy such as Kuding Cha, or Pu-er sheng.

So straight away adding honey will sweeten the taste, taking the edge off the bitterness. Honey, over and above sugar is probably the best ingredient you can add to attain this and to soften the bitter edges of the tea.

I talk more about types of tea in my easy and fast track Tea Sommelier Course. Which is also on the Apple Book store and Amazon.

2. A sweeter taste encourages you to drink more green tea

As a by-product of a sweeter taste, adding honey makes your green tea more palatable. If your green tea is more palatable, you are more likely to drink more green tea. Which means gaining greater overall and consistent health benefits.

3. Honey adds vitamins and minerals to green tea

Raw honey contains a wealth of untouched vitamins and minerals. We should use raw honey because processing honey destroys a lot of the health-giving properties that it brings with it.

For the vitamin geeks out there, here’s a list of the vitamins and minerals raw honey provides. It’s surprising the wealth that it contains…

Vitamins in honeyMinerals in honey
Thiamine (B1)Sodium (Na)
Riboflavin (B2)Calcium (Ca)
Niacin (B3)Potassium (K)
Pantothenic acid (B5)Magnesium (Mg)
Pyridoxine (B6)Phosphorous (P)
Folic Acid (B9)Selenium (Se)
Ascorbic acid (C)Copper (Cu)
Phyllochinon (K)Iron (Fe)
Manganese (Mn)
Chromium (Cr)
Zinc (Zn
vitamins and minerals in honey – source

Honey is a vitamin and mineral feast is what it is!

And this is another reason why we don’t add sugar. Sugar is mostly empty calories and maybe some energy. You will likely find only trace elements of vitamins and minerals in processed sugar.

Even raw sugar will not provide the same level of minerals and vitamins that raw honey provides. So regardless of what tea you’re drinking, always opt for the right kind of raw honey instead of sugar.

4. Raw honey adds nutrients to green tea properties

Honey contains a number of nutrient benefits, these include nutrients such as glucose, fructose, maltose, and sucrose.

5. Honey boosts important antioxidants in green tea

Namely organic acids and phenolic compounds like flavonoids. These add to the wealth of antioxidants already found in green tea to simply boost its antioxidant benefits even further.

Antioxidants help to fight free radicals in the body – the bad guys! They protect cells from damage that can lead to blood clots, atherosclerosis, and even cancer. 

6. Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antiseptic properties

Antibacterial: You can help cleanse and detox the body by consuming a small amount of honey. The antibacterial properties act as anti-oxidant helpers when it comes to keeping both good and bad bacteria in our bodies in check.

Anti-Inflammatory: Inflammation is something that can be helped from the inside as well as the outside. Honey brings anti-inflammatory properties to green tea to soothe sore throats and aching muscles.

Anti-fungal: Honey in green tea means you also benefit from the Anti-fungal properties that honey brings. In part due to the antioxidants, we must use raw honey because processed honey destroys these benefits.

Antiseptic: Raw honey boosts green tea with natural antiseptic properties. This helps boost the immune system and fight – or better still – prevent infections.

7. Digestive system is helped and often treated with honey

Raw honey is often recommended to help with digestive issues such as diarrhea. It’s considered to be a natural prebiotic. It provides nourishment to the good bacteria within the intestines, proven to be important for digestion …but also overall good health.

Now we’ve covered the benefits of adding honey to green tea and you’ve now got the right kind of honey. So let’s go on to how to add it…

But first, there are 7 billion people on the planet that really need to know this, what say we Pinterest it? I’ve got just the pin! 🙂

benefits of honey in green tea

How to add honey in green tea

As I mentioned earlier honey and hot tea don’t mix well.

Do not add honey to hot green tea. Honey is heat-sensitive, when honey heats up it will break down and vital properties will be lost. To gain the full benefits, wait until the green tea has cooled to touch temperature before adding honey. The same applies to cinnamon and other ingredients.

Honey is fine if it gets cold. If during storage it goes below 50°F (10°C), it will crystalize but still retains its natural ingredients, and simply warming to room temperature can easily revive it.

When subjected to heat, however, above 104°F (40°C) honey not only loses some flavor profile but also its antimicrobial and antibacterial capabilities.

Despite popular myths, honey does not become toxic when heated. Not to the extent that it becomes poisonous. It simply becomes less effective and renders the enzymes, minerals, vitamins, and other components largely useless.

Do not boil the honey with the water as you might with the ingredients of Chai. Honey should only be added when your green tea is lukewarm or just hot enough to cup in your hands. And in smaller amounts than sugar remember.

If you want to add honey to your green tea when the tea is a little hotter, then there are ways in which you can heat the honey up to achieve this, but these methods may be overkill unless you want to get all geeky about it.

Here’s what I do…

Like many people, I like my tea to taste slightly more on the sweeter side. So I add honey. Just a little is enough to temper the bitter taste.

But I think the main thing to remember is that drinking green tea is really, really good for you. As is white tea, and even yellow tea …which all apply the same rules here.

If that means adding another minor ingredient to facilitate taking them, then that’s fine with me.

As I mentioned in my adding sugar to green tea article, it’s down to personal preference. And that’s the beauty of tea drinking. There are no hard and fast rules and who can judge you!

If this does work for you, then that’s no reason to go mad on green tea though. After all, there are only so many cups of tea per day you should really drink.

But in the end, I’d rather someone add sugar and drink green tea, than not drink green tea at all. It just makes sense. Maybe honey in green tea means tea becomes so popular that one day everyone will want a copy of my tea sommelier course! Well, maybe!

Anyhow, I hope this has helped you enormously, and don’t forget to get hold of the right honey and I just know this will work for you.

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