Tips for Tasting Honey

by | May 30, 2016 | Aggie Life, Food, Spring 2016

Sure, it’s sweet, but honey can produce a multitude of specific flavors. In fact, UC Davis researchers have come up with 99 descriptors — think root beer, leather, lime and, yes, cat pee — on the Honey Flavor Wheel. So how can you taste at home? Amina Harris, director of the Honey and Pollination Center at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, offers a few pointers for zeroing in on your personal preference.


Just like in wine tasting, judge the aroma first. “We assume we love honey, but we don’t always know what we love about it!” said Harris. So concentrate on the fragrance first.


Let your room-temperature honey sit on your tongue. The smell will go inside your nose and allow you to evaluate the changing flavors. Swallow and consider the aftertaste.

Taste again

“The second taste often reveals another flavor,” said Harris. With over 300 species of honey-producing plants in the U.S., the options are truly unusual.