Do you love honey? Are you interested in trying mead? Are you looking for a special gift made in Hawai’i? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you need to check out Mānoa Honey and Mead’s sweet shop in Wahiawā.
Located on a tiny side street in Wahiawā, it’s a tiny and bright space that showcases everything from various flavors of honey, honeycombs, and mead.
Honey is harvested from different parts of O’ahu, which helps to give them their different flavors, as the bees hang out on different plants and flowers. Mānoa produces honey flavors such as White Kiawe Creme, Christmas Berry, Macadamia, Pele’s Gold and ‘Ōhi’a Lehua.
They also produce specialty items such as Cacao Nibs with Honey, Rum Barrel Aged Honey, and a variety of wellness products that can be used as dietary supplements.
The Cacao Nibs with Honey has a slightly bitter (think dark chocolate) flavor. It tastes great with toast.
The Rum Barrel Aged Honey is a collaboration with Kō Hana Rum. I was told that Kō Hana drops off the oak barrels that the rum is aged in, and the honey is put in the barrels to take on its flavor. After trying it, I can say that it’s a very light and subtle flavor. I was also told that eating it with cheese makes for a delicious pairing.
The one wellness honey that I’ve tried is Mana. It’s a thicker mix of Royal Jelly (a honey bee secretion used to feed larvae and adult Queens), bee pollen, propolis, maca, and of course raw honey. Each ingredient has its own reported benefit. 1 Tsp per day in the morning is the recommended amount for adults. Super sweet and thick, you can take it straight by the spoonful, or put it in your tea.
Out of all the products offered, I was most curious about the mead. I did a quick search to find out what exactly mead is, and found that it’s an alcoholic drink made from fermenting honey. Mānoa Mead is an effervescent, refrigerated drink served cold. On my visit, it was available in Pineapple Sour, Punch, Lilikoi Session, Ginger Honey, and Java Plum Rosé.
I picked up a bottle of the Lilikoi Session and Punch. I was told that Punch is the sweetest of the offerings. As of now, I have only tried the Lilikoi flavor, and it was absolutely delicious. It wasn’t very sweet, and it had a light lilkoi taste.
I was visiting during my work day, so I need to go back to try one of their Mead slushies that they have in-store. It looked so tasty and refreshing, but it does have alcohol, so I’ll be back on a day off!
You can also find Mānoa Honey & Mead products at Foodland and Whole Foods on O’ahu. If you visit the actual Honey & Mead store in Wahiawā, you will find the prices to be slightly lower, as you’re buying directly from the manufacturer.
Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried Mānoa Honey & Mead products before, and if you have any favorites.