Airborne Manuka Honey has a robust rich flavour with overtones of caramel and malt. Contains more than 70% manuka pollen. All honey labelled as manuka must be tested by an MPI-recognised laboratory to make sure it meets the new manuka honey definition.
Manuka honey is produced in New Zealand from two closely related plants, both of which are commonly referred to as manuka.
The most common honey source of these is Leptospermum scoparium. Other names for this plant include kahikatoa (warrior wood), red tea tree, and red manuka.
The other honey plant source is a mix with Kunzea ericoides (reclassified from Leptospermum ericoides in 1983) and is called manuka and kanuka. Its also known as white manuka, makahikatoa (white warrior wood), white tea tree and heath like manuka, (ericoides means heath like). A botanical review "A revision of the New Zealand Kunzea ericoides (Myrtaceae) complex" published in 2014 splits this one species into 10 with K. ericoides now confined to the North West of the South Island. K. robusta is now the most common Kunzea in New Zealand.
Both the manuka and kanuka plants have historically been used by Maori and early European settlers for medicinal purposes. These include use of the bark as a poultice, for colds, for flu, and stomach aches. Both plants are also called "tea tree" from the practice of making a tea from the leaves.