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  • Keith Barker

Honey, please pass the honey!

Updated: Apr 26, 2018

Honey is awesome in tea, but not all honey is suited for tea. Why, you ask? Well, there are quite a lot of honey varietals and I will talk about only a few of them in this blog. Some honeys are very strong and will alter the delicate flavor of the tea, thus loosing the reason you wanted to drink the tea to begin with.

Wildflower Honey

This is probably one of the most common honeys on the market and is used widely as an all purpose honey for cooking, grilling, and many people like to eat it right from the jar.

Some naturalists feel that honey made from the nectar of local wildflowers can relieve you of seasonal allergies. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine reports that local honey is often eaten by allergy sufferers -- with the belief that it boosts the immune system and acts much like an immunization by building up your body’s antibodies to allergens and pollen.

However, wildflower honey has a stronger flavor than other varietals and therefore can alter the flavor of tea. If you enjoy a strong cup of tea such as an English Breakfast, you might enjoy a wildflower honey in it.

Chestnut Ridge Tea Co. stocks Wildflower honey in the store and is also available online, stop by and sample this honey and purchase a bottle to take home with you!

Sourwood Honey

The Sourwood tree (Oxydendrum Arboreum) is also called the Lily of the Valley tree or the Appalachian Lily tree, growing 40 to 60 feet tall with a diameter of one foot. The leaves are oblong, pointed at the apex and have a sour taste. Flowers are white bell-shaped and hang in clusters 5-6 inches long at the end of the branches. Sourwood is most abundant in the mountains of North Georgia and Western North Carolina. The Sourwood tree blooms in late June through the month of July, during a period when few other flowers are blooming.

Sourwood Honey is an extra light to amber color and extremely aromatic with distinctive rich honey flavor. It is premium in the honey industry, winning best honey in the world numerous times. Our honey comes from the North Georgia Mountains and is by far the best honey we’ve ever experienced. When it comes to quality and taste, no other honey can match our Sourwood Honey. Get this reserve honey today before it’s sold out!

I personally prefer this honey over all others for general use, its fantastic on a hot buttered biscuit, slice of toast or drizzled over fried chicken! Sourwood honey is also great in a lot of Black, Assam, and Rooibos teas.

Chestnut Ridge Tea Co. stocks Sourwood honey when its available to us, we often sell out very quickly because it is such a popular honey. It is usually available mid year and we recommend that you don't wait to purchase. When it is available it will be in store and online, stop by and sample this fantastic honey and purchase a bottle to take home with you!

Gallberry Honey

Georgia and Florida take a well deserved pride in their gallberry honey. As its name says, it’s a monofloral honey made from the nectar of gallberry – a bush that grows only in those areas.

Gallberry is a name given to two related plants: Ilex coriacea and Ilex glabra, both native to coastal areas in the United States from Virginia to Texas, both shrubs in the Holly family(Aquifoliaceae). Both providing good quality nectar for honey bees to collect.

Ilex coriacea gives a mild flavored, light colored honey, mostly in Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia. Ilex glabra is more frequent and therefore the correspondent honey is more common, and its honey more highly-rated. Yet the flat-woods of eastern and southern coastal regions of North America are relatively small and this is why this honey variety is not commonly available everywhere.

This is a delicious honey and can be used in all flavors of tea. It pairs particularly well with Green and White teas as it doesn't overpower the fragile White tea flavors.

Chestnut Ridge Tea Co. stocks Gallberry honey and is also available online, stop by and sample this delicious honey and purchase a bottle to take home with you!

Orange Blossom Honey

Generally described as a "juicy" honey, orange blossom honey can vary in color and flavor from year to year. Beekeepers transport their hives to the blossoming orange groves of Florida each year in the early spring so the honey bees can collect the unique fragrant nectar. The beekeepers separate this special nectar from the other spring honey and quickly extract this golden liquid as soon as the orange trees lose their blossoms. Overall, the flavor is delicate and sweet, with unique citrus hints. Orange Blossom Honey's special fragrance makes it a memorable honey that often becomes a favorite among customers.

This honey is medium bodied and has delightful citrus notes. Straight from the Tampa region of Florida, this true Orange Blossom Honey is loved by many for its uplifting taste! Our favorite tea honey, try some today and fall in love!

Use this honey in any of your favorite teas but it pairs exceptionally well with fruit flavored teas!

Chestnut Ridge Tea Co. stocks Orange Blossom honey and is also available online, stop by and sample this juicy honey and purchase a bottle to take home with you!

Southern Cotton Honey

This unique honey comes from the blossoms of the cotton plant. When they first appear, cotton blossoms are pure white or creamy. Over the next few days, the blossom turns pink and then red before drying up and dropping off within a week. A cotton boll takes the place of the flower, eventually cracking open to reveal the tufts of white cotton on the inside.This honey is sourced from Southern Georgia, not too far from the Florida state line.

This light delicate honey is pure Southern Georgia at its best! With buttery notes and a tangy finish, you’re sure to love this seasonal honey! Please note that this honey will granulate faster than other honeys, if this occurs simply place the bottle of honey in a sunny window and allow the sun to gently dissolve the granulations. Never EVER microwave honey or put it into a boiling pot of water!!

Cotton Honey is another light and mild flavored honey that will pair very well with any tea, but especially Green and White teas as the honey is mild and will not overpower the flavor of your tea.

Chestnut Ridge Tea Co. stocks Southern Cotton honey and is also available online, stop by and sample this fantastic, unusually light honey and purchase a bottle to take home with you!

Why raw honey is better for you

Raw honey is the most original sweet liquid that honeybees produce from the concentrated nectar of flowers. Collected straight from the honey extractor; it is totally unheated, unpasteurized, unprocessed honey. An alkaline-forming food, this type of honey contains ingredients similar to those found in fruits, which become alkaline in the digestive system. It doesn't ferment in the stomach and it can be used to counteract acid indigestion when mixed with ginger and lemon juice, it effectively relieves nausea and supplies energy.

Raw Honey Granulates Over Time and is Not Crystal Clear

Usually raw, unfiltered raw honey can only be purchased directly from the bee farm, but now some supermarkets are jumping on board with a few raw honeys on their shelves.

Characterized by fine textured crystals, it can look cloudier and contain particles and flecks made of bee pollen, honeycomb bits, propolis, and even broken bee wing fragments. Raw and unfiltered honey has a high antioxidant level and can usually granulate and crystallize to a thick consistency after a few months. It is sometimes preferred as a spread on bread and waffles, or dissolved in hot coffee or tea. However, most consumers are naturally attracted to buying and eating crystal clear and clean honey, but unfiltered honey which can sometimes look cloudy and unappealing has far more health benefits than pasteurized and filtered honey.

The honeys we stock at Chestnut Ridge Tea Co. are purchased directly from the bee farm and are all natural, unfiltered, raw honeys just the way nature intended it to be!

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