Should You Put Honey in Coffee?

Last Updated on February 11, 2024

As a coffee lover, there are many different sweeteners you can put in your coffee. Some people prefer sugar, others like artificial sweeteners, and yet others like to add syrups to their coffee.

One lesser-known addition is honey. Honey has been used as a natural sweetener for centuries, and it has some unique benefits that other sweeteners don’t have.

should you put honey in coffee

In this blog post, we will explore the history of honey in coffee, the health benefits of using honey as a sweetener, and how honey can alter the coffee taste when added. We will also provide a recipe for those who want to try adding honey to their coffee in an interesting way.

Who knew making honey coffee could be so fascinating?

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Where Did Honey in Coffee Originate?

It’s a tradition that might be centuries old: putting honey in coffee. Some believe it could have originated in the Middle East, with Arab traders introducing the practice of combining honey and coffee to Europe.

Others think using honey to sweeten coffee started after Europeans first started drinking coffee, as a way to improve flavor and let those who couldn’t afford sugar, still enjoy a sweetened cup of brew. No matter where it originated though, many people now see adding honey to their morning or mid-day cup as something special.

Why Use Honey Instead of Sugar in Your Coffee?

Honey provides an interesting and delicious way of sweetening coffee. Unlike refined white sugar, unprocessed honey contains antioxidants, providing an additional layer of flavor with a touch of sweetness that’s not too overpowering.

When blended properly with the naturally occurring flavors in roasted coffee, it creates a beverage that is as healthy as it is delicious. In addition to its subtle sweetness, honey helps seal in the aroma of the coffee and enhances its overall flavor so you can enjoy each cup to the fullest.

Calories in honey vs sugar

If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to sugar in your morning cup of coffee, honey is an interesting option. A single teaspoon of honey contains about 21 calories, while a teaspoon of sugar contains about 16 calories.

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Honey also has more natural sweetness than refined sugars, so you may be able to get away with using less for the same level of sweetness. Keep in mind that these numbers can vary slightly depending on different factors like the type and quality of honey or sugar used.

Is Honey Good for You?

Yes, honey in moderation is good for you. Not only is it naturally sweet and tasty, but adding honey to your coffee can provide numerous benefits to your overall health and well-being.

Honey is rich in antioxidants and contains vitamins and minerals that can help reduce inflammation, strengthen the immune system, protect against infection, and so much more.

Plus, the natural sweetness of honey makes it the perfect substitute for sugar in coffee.

Keep in mind that honey has a high sugar content, my friend. As such, it should be consumed in moderation, making up no more than 10% of your daily calorie intake. For example, if your daily total calorie goal is 2000, and you were going to use only honey as a sweetener, you’d want to consume slightly less than 3 tablespoons for the day.

Types of Honey to Use in Coffee

types of honey to use in coffee

Have you ever wondered about all the types of honey that can make your coffee sweeter and more flavorful? Whether you like a bolder or lighter sweetness, there are several different kinds of honey to try!

Raw Honey

Unlike white or brown sugar, natural raw honey adds a subtle floral sweetness that can make your morning coffee even more refreshing and indulgent than ever before. Its light flavor won’t overpower the rich taste of your favorite coffee beans, so it’s worth giving honey a try if you’ve never tried it before.

Plus, since raw honey is sweeter than sugar, you may find that you don’t need to add as much of it – meaning that you get the same amount of sweetness with fewer calories!

Acacia Honey

Some coffee enthusiasts crave the rich, deep flavor of certain types of honey in their cup of joe. To experience this nuanced combination for yourself, try adding a teaspoon of acacia honey to your next cup.

Acacia boasts a light, floral aroma and a delicate sweetness that won’t overpower your favorite roast. Many say that this particular type of honey enhances the natural sweetness and depth of flavors in the coffee without distracting from its complexity.

Blossom Honey

If you’ve ever enjoyed the complex flavor of a bouquet of freshly-blossomed flowers, imagine your morning coffee enhanced by the same aroma. Blossom honey adds a subtle sweetness to coffee without altering the bold nutty and chocolate flavors that are typical of robust coffee varieties.

Its floral essence also blends deliciously with any additional milk or cream you might use. Experimenting with different types of blossom honey is a delightful way to enhance your favorite cup of caffeinated bliss.

Buckwheat Honey

Imagine adding a touch of sweetness to your morning cup of coffee with the unique flavor of buckwheat honey. This type of honey is known for its distinctive robust and nutty taste, but also has a hint of coarseness that helps balance out the spicy and mellow flavors found in different types of coffees.

By adding this flavor combination to your coffee you are creating something truly special; a cup with an unexpected nuance, not too sweet yet still full of flavor.

Clover Honey

Clover honey provides a gentle sweetness. Its sweet, floral flavor pairs especially well with black coffee and light-roasted Arabica beans.

Keep in mind that more isn’t necessarily always better; adding just the right amount of clover honey can lend your coffee notes of lemon, orange, or even date without overwhelming the original flavors of the bean.

Fireweed Honey

Fireweed honey is an intensely sweet and floral honey that tends to taste almost creamy when added to hot beverages. It has aromas of delicate herbal flowers and a hint of citrus.

Additionally, fireweed honey has undertones of licorice and licorice-like herbs, adding complexity to its flavor. Combined with the richness of coffee, this fun combination is sure to light up your morning cup of joe.

Manuka Honey

Trying manuka honey in your coffee is an absolute must for any coffee aficionado. If you’re a fan of sweet and savory flavor profiles, a spoonful of manuka honey will make you smile!

The natural sweetness and caramel-like notes of the honey will give your cup of joe a unique depth and complexity. To add even more interest to your drink, try adding a pinch of Himalayan pink salt or some smoked sea salt – the contrast between sweet and salty really intensifies the flavor.

Tupelo Honey

Wondering what tupelo honey would taste like in your morning cup of coffee? It has a very complex flavor which ranges from sweet, to smoky and slightly acidic with pleasant nutty notes.

The flavor will pair beautifully with your favorite dark-roasted coffee beans, adding smoothness and depth to the cup. With tupelo honey in your next brew, you’re sure to start your day off right!

Wildflower Honey

Wildflower honey is a delicious addition to coffee. It has a mild sweetness that adds an extra layer of flavor without overpowering the taste of the coffee. As compared to other sweeteners, wildflower honey has subtle notes of florals and fruits that add even more complexity to your cup.

Depending on your taste preferences, you may find that it pairs best with medium or dark roasts for a rich but balanced flavor. 

Is There a Down Side to Adding Honey to Coffee?

If you’re looking for a sweeter alternative to refined sugar in your cup of joe, honey might be a great option. Although adding honey to coffee can be delicious, it’s important to note that it still contains natural sugars and calories, so keep that in mind if you’re trying to watch what you eat.

And, honey does contain some antioxidants and other beneficial compounds that may provide health benefits, but it has also not been scientifically proven to do so.

Generally speaking, adding small amounts of honey to coffee a few times a week is considered safe but drinking sugary beverages, in general, should always be enjoyed sparsely and in moderation.

Coffee with Honey Recipe

So, if you’re curious about adding honey in coffee and want to create a drink that has some interesting nuances and spices, here is a simple drink from our friends at This recipe makes 2 servings.

What you’ll need:

What to do:

  1. Take a saucepan and put in the coffee, milk, honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg (if you like the taste of it)
  2. Heat until hot but not boiling. Stir regularly.
  3. Remove from heat and add the vanilla.
  4. Serve immediately.

Conclusion: Honey in Coffee

So, what do you think about adding honey to your coffee as a sweetener? We’ve given you some pros and a couple of cons to consider, and that is always a wise way of making a decision.

If I were going to sweeten my coffee I’d definitely use a natural type of sweetener such as honey, and experiment with a few different types as well. How about you?


Should You Put Honey in Coffee?