Honey is a universally loved and versatile sweetener due to its incredible taste and texture. But if you thought that honey is just honey, you are in for a big surprise!
There are many different types of honey and each one has distinctive taste, consistency, flavor, and uses. Furthermore, each variety has specific nutrients and can offer different health benefits when consumed regularly.
Generally speaking, honey can either be raw or processed. Raw honey is more natural and unlike processed honey, it still contains all beneficial nutrients and antioxidants.
In this article, we’ll list the most popular types of honey and help you understand subtle differences between different varieties. Continue reading to learn more about each honey variety and its uses!
Basic Categories of Honey
There are many different types of honey and they can be classified in several ways. Based on the nectar source honey can be classified as:
Local honey is made from nectar that was collected from one area or region, such as a specific mountain range.
Single-origin honey is produced on farms, where bees are allowed to access nectar from just one type of flower.
Multi flower honey is produced from a variety of different flowers and herbs. These types of honey can vary in color from light to dark brown and have distinctive flavors.
If you ever saw several honey varieties next to each other, you have probably noticed that there is a huge color difference. Depending on the color honey can be classified as:
In most cases, darker types of honey have a stronger and richer aroma. They are less sweet and have a sharp, almost tangy flavor.
Light types of honey range in color from almost clear to white, pale yellow, golden, orange, and red. They generally have a mild, floral flavor that depends on the way the nectar is collected and whether the honey is a single-origin or multi-flower.
25 Different Types of Honey
There are more than 300 different varieties of honey! Some are mild, others are strong, some are better for baked goods, while others can be eaten straight from the jar.
Here are 25 different and popular types of honey you should try:
The light-colored aster honey has a thick and smooth consistency and a distinctive floral scent. It tends to crystalize quicker than other honey varieties and is best used as a sweetener for drinks or eaten straight from the jar.
Acacia honey is a light and clear type of honey that retains its liquid form for a long time due to a high fructose concentration. This popular honey variety has a sweet and delicate floral flavor and its low sucrose content makes it a great choice for diabetics.
Collected from California avocado blossoms, avocado honey doesn’t taste like avocado fruit. This dark-colored honey has a rich and buttery flavor and is great as a salad dressing when mixed with other ingredients.
Ironbark is a premium eucalyptus honey variety which is collected from Eucalyptus crebra blossoms in eastern Australia. Amber-colored, flavorful, and dense, ironbark honey is great for baking and is a good glaze for barbecue meats.
Buckwheat honey is probably the strongest and darkest honey variety. It is rich in iron and contains more antioxidants than lighter types of honey.
Buckwheat honey is most commonly used for mead production or as an all-natural sweetener for drinks and desserts.
Mainly produced in California, sage honey has thick consistency, mild flavor, and light color. Since it is very slow to granulate, sage honey is often blended with other honey varieties to slow down granulation.
Blue Gum Honey
Amber-colored and dense, blue gum honey is a eucalyptus honey variety that is collected in South Australia and Tasmania. This honey has subtle minty and cool undertones and is great for toast and wafers.
Macadamia honey is collected from the floral nectar of the macadamia nut tree. It’s deeply colored and has a distinctive aroma and subtle nutty flavor that goes well with fruit salads, ice creams, and tea.
Sourced from cream-colored basswood blossoms found through North America, basswood honey has a light color and a strong, biting flavor. Due to its woody scent, this honey works well with teas, marinades, and salad dressings.
Collected from New Zealand’s South Island, dandelion honey has a dark amber color and a strong, slightly tangy flavor. It has a distinctive floral aroma and can be eaten straight from the jar.
Another eucalyptus variety, Jarrah honey has a deep amber color, stronger eucalyptus flavor, and caramel aftertaste. Research has found that Jarrah honey has a higher activity level which makes it a good remedy for wounds, burns, and skin infections.
Pine Tree Honey
Pine tree honey is a type of forest honey that’s made from honeydew instead of flower nectar. It is rich in vitamins and minerals and has a strong aroma and a slightly bitter taste.
Orange blossom Honey
Orange blossom honey is sourced from fragrant blossoms of the sweet orange tree. It has a light color, mild citrusy flavor, fresh fruity scent, and is an ideal sweetener for teas.
Sourced throughout the United States and Canada from purple and blue blossoms, the alfalfa honey has a mild floral aroma. Light in color and sweet, this honey variety is ideal for baking or used as a sweetener for tea, lemonade, and other drinks.
Highly popular and sought after, sourwood honey comes from the nectar of the flowers on the Sourwood tree. This light-colored honey variety has a sweet buttery flavor and leaves a caramel aftertaste.
And while some people claim that this honey tastes sour, many honey enthusiasts report that this variety is as sweet as any other honey.
Also known as Queen of Honey or Southern Gold, Tupelo honey is a premium honey variety produced in Southeastern U.S swamps. Usually light golden or amber in color, this honey has a greenish tinge and remarkably mild flavor.
Due to its high fructose content, Tupelo honey is one of the sweetest honey varieties and rarely granulates.
Leatherwood honey is sourced from leatherwood blossoms, a type of eucalyptus native to Australia and Tasmania. This honey variety has a unique taste and a strong floral flavor which works well with teas, cakes, muffins, and coffee.
Mostly produced in Michigan and New England, blueberry honey is sourced from white blossoms of the blueberry bush. Generally light amber in color, this honey variety has a nice flavor with a hint of tanginess, and a blueberry aftertaste.
Blueberry honey is great table honey and ideal as a sweetener for breakfast meals such as oats, pancakes, or cereals.
Heather honey has a reddish-orange or dark amber color and very thick consistency. It has a floral scent and one of the strongest and pungent flavors of all honey varieties.
Due to its smoky and tangy aroma, heather honey is commonly served with ham, chicken, seafood, cold dishes, or strong black coffee. Furthermore, heather honey has strong antibacterial and anti-microbial properties and is used for treating wounds and infections.
Sourced from the flower of tea tree bush native to New Zealand’s coastal area, Manuka honey has antibacterial properties. Mostly used as medical-grade honey, this variety is an effective remedy for stomach ulcers, colds, indigestion, acne, and pimples.
Manuka honey has a robust aftertaste that lingers for a while. But the intensity of its flavor can vary from one brand to the other, depending on where the nectar was sourced.
Fireweed honey is sourced from a tall herb that grows in the open woods of the American Northwest. This light-colored honey variety has a sweet, smooth, and compound flavor.
As one of the most popular honey varieties, fireweed honey is great for baking, cooking, glazing, and grilled meat.
Also known as Honeydew honey, beechwood honey is collected from New Zealand’s South Island. This variety is made from the sap that’s produced by aphids on the beechwood tree which is later collected by bees and used to make honey.
Dark in color and distinctively sweet and aromatic, beechwood honey is used as syrup for pancakes, fruit salads, or mixed into smoothies. When regularly consumed, it is known to improve the immune and digestive system and is commonly used as a supplement.
Mostly produced across New Zealand and Canada, clover honey is one of the most popular and widely available honey varieties. Clover honey varies in color from white to amber-gold depending on the location and the source.
It has a thick texture and mild, sweet floral flavor that leaves a pleasantly sour aftertaste. Due to these traits, clover honey is most commonly used in baking or as an ingredient in salad dressings and light sauces.
Originally sourced in Australia, eucalyptus honey is now also produced in California. Eucalyptus honey is widely available and its color varies greatly depending on the location.
However, this honey variety has a specific herbal flavor and will leave a cooling menthol aftertaste. Eucalyptus honey is traditionally used for its anti-flu and cold properties, but you can also use it to sweeten your tea.
Linden honey is sourced from small yellow blossoms of a linden tree that is commonly found throughout Denmark. This honey variety has a light yellow color and a delicate and fresh woody scent.
Linden honey has a mildly sweet flavor and can sometimes leave a slightly bitter aftertaste. This honey variety has a wide range of applications and is primarily used as a remedy for colds, fevers, sore throat, cough, and bronchitis.
What Is the Best Type of Honey?
Unrefined, raw honey is by far the best and the healthiest type of honey you can consume. It is loaded with a wide variety of nutrients that can improve your overall health.
Unlike regular honey which is pasteurized and then filtered, raw honey is only strained from impurities. Once the beeswax and dead bees are removed, raw honey is bottled and ready to be enjoyed by honey-loving customers.
The most impressive thing about raw honey is that it contains over 30 different polyphenols that act as antioxidants. Research has shown that these antioxidants have many health benefits and can reduce inflammation, lower the risk of heart disease and cancer.
There are many different types of honey, and each one comes with unique flavor, consistency, and color. And although most people think of honey as inherently sweet, some varieties have tangy, strong, and even herbal aftertaste.
Also, the quality and health benefits of honey can vary and depend on the type and methods of processing. Raw organic honey is by far the best option!
And if you store honey correctly, you will be able to savor it for a long time and experience all the health benefits it has to offer.