As a devoted honey lover, I’m always on the quest for that ultimate jar of sweet, amber delight. It was during this pursuit that I discovered Steens Manuka honey, a brand that has since become one of my favorites.
Originating from New Zealand, Steens is a top producer of high-grade UMF Manuka honey with an impressive 34 years of beekeeping experience under their belt.
As one of the founding members of the UMF association, they continue to play a pivotal role in the industry. Steens’ unique cold processing technique ensures that their honey retains its nutritional properties by avoiding exposure to high temperatures.
I still remember the first time I tried Steens Manuka honey. I was battling a nasty cold and a friend suggested I give it a try to soothe my sore throat. I skeptically took a spoonful, and to my surprise, not only did it taste amazing, but it also provided instant relief! From that moment on, I knew I had found something special.
In this blog post, I’ll be diving deep into my love affair with Steens Manuka honey, exploring its unique flavor profile, impressive health benefits, and why it’s worth every penny. Join me as I unveil the secrets behind this liquid gold and how it has become an indispensable part of my daily routine.
My Review of Steens Manuka Honey
In this review, I focus primarily on their UMF15+ variety—the one that most people are looking for as a daily immunity boost.
Taste and Appearance
Right off the bat, I was struck by its deep, dark brown color and the thick, opaque texture that sets it apart from other store-bought honeys. The aroma was pure and enticing, and I couldn’t wait to taste it.
Upon tasting Steens Manuka honey, I was immediately impressed by its unique flavor. It wasn’t sickeningly sweet like clover honey, but it still carried a pleasant sweetness. The slight medicinal taste of the honey clearly indicated that it was genuine Manuka.
As for the consistency, I found it to be quite pleasant. It wasn’t too hard, and I could easily scoop it out with a spoon or knife. The texture was somewhat grainy, likely due to the small crystals from the raw honeycomb. This was a pleasant surprise, as it added a nice contrast to the smoothness of the honey.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy Steens is by mixing it with my tea. It dissolves quickly in hot drinks, and it adds a wonderful depth of flavor. I’ve learned to make sure my tea isn’t too hot before adding the honey, as I don’t want to lose any of the valuable nutrients that make this honey so special.
I’ve also experimented with Steens honey in various other dishes, like pairing it with peanut butter and banana for a scrumptious snack. One thing I appreciated about this honey was that it never crystallized heavily, ensuring a consistent and enjoyable experience each time I used it.
In my experience, Steens offers a wide range of manuka honey grades to cater to different preferences and needs. Here’s a breakdown of the various grades I’ve come across:
- MGO 40+, 85+, and 120+: These are the basic grades of Steens manuka honey. For newbies and people who prefer a milder taste, they’re an excellent starting point.
- UMF 10+ (MGO 263+): This grade has a slightly higher concentration of beneficial compounds and a bit of a grittier texture. My young friend prefers this grade, as it’s a nice balance between taste and potency.
- UMF 15+ (MGO 514+): This is the grade I personally prefer, as it offers a great balance between taste and cost. It has a higher UMF rating, which means it has more antibacterial properties, but it’s still reasonably priced.
- UMF 20+ (MGO 829+): This grade is even more potent than the UMF 15+ and has an incredibly smooth taste. It’s perfect for those who want a stronger manuka honey experience.
- UMF 22+ (MGO 971+): As we move up the scale, the UMF 22+ grade offers an even higher concentration of active compounds. It’s ideal for those who want to maximize the therapeutic benefits of manuka honey.
- UMF 24+ (MGO 1122+): This grade is quite rare and has a high concentration of active compounds. I’ve tried it for its antibacterial benefits, but it’s quite expensive.
- UMF 27+ (MGO 1282+): This is the top-of-the-line grade offered by Steens. It’s extremely rare and is perfect for those who require the highest concentration of active compounds in their manuka honey. The price is again on the high end of the scale.
In terms of taste, I have experimented with various grades of Steens and found that UMF 15 is my favorite. I also use Steens UMF 15+ for its therapeutic properties. For instance, I mix it with a bit of shea butter to help heal and manage occasional psoriasis outbreaks on my ankles. Additionally, I use this grade as a lip balm to help heal cold sores, chapped lips, and minor burns.
To sum it up, Steens manuka honey comes in a variety of grades, ranging from low to superior high grades. Each grade offers a unique taste, texture, and potency, allowing you to choose the perfect honey for your preferences and needs.
Purity and Authenticity
Steens is one of those brands I trust, as they have the UMF (Unique Mānuka Factor) trademarked symbol on their packaging. This symbol indicates that the honey has gone through a rigorous four-factor testing process, ensuring it meets the strict standards set by the Unique Mānuka Factor Honey Association (UMFHA). This is crucial for me, as I refuse to buy honey without the UMF rating. According to the UMFHA website, their license number is #2204.
Steens is also a Registered Exporter of New Zealand. It has registered with the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI), which provides the standard definition for manuka honey exports. This extra certification ensures that the Manuka honey I’m buying is authentic.
In addition to the UMF rating, Steens also rates their products using the MGO (Methylglyoxal) standards, which provides further assurance of the honey’s quality. Their commitment to maintaining the natural properties of the honey is evident in their minimal processing approach.
One feature I appreciate about Steens is their transparency in allowing customers to track their pot of honey using a provided batch number. By entering this number on their website, I can verify the honey’s production and authenticity. However, I do wish they would provide more detailed information about the actual hives, processing plant, storage location, and conditions, as I believe this would further justify the premium price.
One of the things I appreciate about Steens is their minimal processing approach. They only process their honey once, scraping the honeycomb from the bee frames, which includes crystallized honey, pollen, bee bread, and wax. To separate the wax, they use temperatures that would naturally occur within the beehive and centrifugal force. After a coarse filtration process to remove any impurities, the honey is ready for packaging and consumption.
In order to ensure that their honey is free of harmful residues, Steens regularly tests its batches for Glyphosate by meeting the maximum residue levels (MRLs) set in countries like the United States, New Zealand, the EU, and the UK.
While browsing their website, I couldn’t find any explicit evidence of sustainable and ethical sourcing practices. It’s something I’d love to see added to their website, as it’s important for me to know that the products I purchase are responsibly sourced.
As for customer feedback, it’s clear that I’m not the only one who loves Steens Manuka honey. With over 3000 reviews on Amazon, it’s evident that this brand has garnered a loyal following of satisfied customers who appreciate the high-quality honey they offer.
Packaging and Size
When I received my Steens manuka honey, I was pleased to find that the package was in excellent condition. The honey is stored in BPA-free plastic jars, which I appreciate for their safety and eco-friendliness. The jar itself is made of soft, squeezable plastic, making it easy to handle and use.
In terms of visual appeal, Steens stands out from other brands as their jars are opaque, while most competitors have black jars. I’m not certain if this difference has any impact on the honey when exposed to sunlight, but it’s an interesting distinction.
One feature I found particularly helpful was the presence of both batch and trace codes clearly marked on the label. This makes it easy to track the product’s origin and ensure its authenticity.
When opening the jar, I noticed it was filled to the lower rim, giving me a generous amount of honey. There’s also an easy-to-peel inner seal, which adds to the overall convenience of using the product.
Steens manuka honey is available in three size options: 7.9 oz, 12 oz, and 17.6 oz jars. Additionally, they offer bundles of 2, 3, and 4 packs for those who want to stock up. For their multi-floral entry-level grades like MGO 40+, they provide squeeze bottles and sachets as packaging alternatives.
My only wish is that the honey came in larger containers, considering the price. It would be nice to have the option to purchase a bigger jar if desired—but overall I was very pleased with their packaging.
Price and Value
When comparing the cost of Steens Manuka honey to other brands, it is evident that it is on the pricier side. A 7.9 oz jar of UMF 15+ honey is priced at US $49.49, which is approximately $10 more expensive than some competing brands.
The below chart compares the cost of Steens UMF 15+ manuka honey to other popular brands on the market.
However, there are ways to save on the cost, such as opting for the Subscribe & Save option, which offers a 20% discount. Additionally, you can get free shipping within the U.S., and discounts for buying in bulk or bundles.
The honey can also be found online for $44.85, offering a slightly better deal. While the price may seem high initially, I’ve learned that a small amount of this honey goes a long way, meaning that the jar will last for a considerable amount of time.
Pros & Cons
- Unique flavor, not too sweet
- Available in different UMF strengths
- Great to apply to cuts and other minor skin injuries
- The price is a bit high
- This is not a diabetic-friendly product
- A bit grainy
In essence, Steens Manuka honey is a high-quality offering from New Zealand, a leading producer of exceptional UMF-certified honey. They offer a range of both monofloral and multifloral varieties, with the most potent ones being monofloral.
The honey’s texture is noticeably thicker compared to other brands such as Manukora and Comvita, but they all share a unique herbal medicine taste derived from the manuka flower.
Steens honey is minimally processed, boasting a pleasantly sweet flavor. Although it took some time to adjust to the taste, it has now become my go-to sweetener.
The potential medicinal benefits of Steens Manuka honey are impressive. After using it to treat my son’s wounds from a skateboard accident, they healed within just five days. It has also proven effective for cuts, burns, and soothing minor throat and oral irritations.
Though it comes with a higher price tag than other brands, the exceptional quality and potential health benefits make this manuka honey a worthwhile investment.