Kamahi honey has traditionally been one of New Zealand's most under rated honeys. While it is produced in both the North and South Islands, most Kamahi honey is produced on the West Coast of the South Island. Here Kamahi trees (Weinmannia racemosa) form a significant part of the forest canopy, growing to around 25 metres at maturity. As Kamahi grows throughout New Zealand other competing nectar sources (and their contribution to nectar composition) vary from location to location. For example North island Kamahi can be produced at the same time as Rewarewa and Manuka so Kamahi from this region can tend to be darker because of the influence of these two darker nectar sources.
Prior to market differentiation of different honey types facilitated by our in house laboratory, Kamahi honey was extracted as the main Spring honey type and little effort was made to separate other honey types. In the West Coast region mentioned above, one of these other types is Quintinea (Quintinea acutifolia), a honey with a very bitter aftertaste. It is likely that this honey type is the source of Kamahi's early reputation of a poor quality honey. Our laboratory techniques enable us to separate this flavour profile from the good quality Kamahi honeys we select to represent this excellent honey.
While quite a strong flavoured honey, Kamahi is in fact a honey with very complex flavours and after tones that send honey gourmets into paroxysms of delight. Cooking and baking recipes, where it is desirable to have an identifiable honey flavour, benefit immensely from these flavour sensations.
Towhai (W. silvicola also known as Towhero), is another close relative of kamahi found only in the North Island. The two honeys are similar but flowering for kamahi is late October to December, while Towhai flowers later into Summer (Dec to Feb in the Southern Hemisphere).
Kamahi averages 37.2mm on the Pfund Scale with a standard deviation (SD) of 10.7mm. It has a more yellow hue than the Pfund grader standard.
Kamahi has a lower than average fructose.
Glucose 31.9% (SD 2.3)
Fructose 36.8% (SD 2.1)
Sucrose 1.8% (SD 2.0)
Maltose 2.3% (SD 1.2)
This profile has an above average tendency to crystallize (for New Zealand honey types) and we produce it as a creamed honey for this reason.