Ceylon cinnamon, also known as “true cinnamon” or “pure cinnamon,” is a spice treasured by the world since ancient times. It is one of the first traded spices of the world. If you look at the history of cinnamon, you will be amazed to know that it is a spice that is mentioned in the Bible as well! Belonging to the family of Lauraceae, Ceylon cinnamon comes from Cinnamomum verum – the kind of cinnamon tree that is native to Sri Lanka. True cinnamon is the most expensive, rare, but the safest variety of cinnamon in the world. Due to its unique color, delicious flavor, and splendid aroma, Ceylon cinnamon has gained an outstanding reputation in the international market. These particular qualities have made Ceylon cinnamon products a necessity that is sought after by the world endlessly.
What are Ceylon cinnamon products?
Ceylon cinnamon products are products that are produced using various parts of Cinnamomum verum tree. A variety of value added cinnamon products is available in the international market. These products include cinnamon powder, cinnamon sticks, cinnamon oil, and cinnamon tea.
However, the most commonly available cinnamon in the market is cassia cinnamon. This variety of cinnamon is cheaper, coarser, and less fragrant. Be careful when you buy Ceylon cinnamon from local stores because most of these stores sell cassia cinnamon instead of Ceylon cinnamon.
Did you know that a wide range of industries in the world use cinnamon based products? In the past, Europeans used cinnamon with pepper to preserve food. At present, the culinary world uses cinnamon products exclusively. Besides, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries use cinnamon products widely to manufacture the perfect pharmaceuticals or cosmetics. These are just a handful of information about cinnamon-based products.
To know more about Ceylon cinnamon products, keep reading!
Some Interesting Facts about Cinnamon!
- Cinnamon was much more expensive than silver in the time of the Roman Empire, and, at one point in history, people considered it more valuable than gold.
- Ancient Egyptians used cinnamon for embalming mummies, for enhancing foods, and for medicinal purposes. They also included cinnamon in their gifts to temples.
- Not all cinnamon is the same. There are two primary varieties of cinnamon, namely Ceylon cinnamon and cassia cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka, while China, Vietnam, and Indonesia are the countries that mainly produce cassia.
- Sri Lanka produces 80% – 90% of Ceylon cinnamon and exports to the world market. The name “Ceylon cinnamon” is derived from the former name of Sri Lanka – Ceylon.
- In 1270, Zakariya al-Qazwini mentions for the first time that cinnamon grew in Sri Lanka in his work “Athar al-bilad wa-akhbar al-‘ibad” (“Monument of Places and History of God’s Bondsmen”).
Ceylon Cinnamon Products
Now let us look in detail at the following Ceylon cinnamon products:
- Ceylon cinnamon sticks
- Ceylon cinnamon powder
- Ceylon cinnamon essential oil
- Ceylon cinnamon tea
Ceylon Cinnamon Sticks
Ceylon cinnamon sticks, also known as Ceylon cinnamon quills, are obtained from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum verum tree. These sticks contain multiple thin layers of cinnamon bark and are rolled like a cigar. Like many other whole spices, these sweet-fragranced cinnamon sticks last longer than cinnamon powder.
Difference between Ceylon Cinnamon Sticks and Cassia Cinnamon Sticks
|Ceylon Cinnamon Sticks||Cassia Cinnamon Sticks|
|Inside is filled||Inside is mostly hollow|
|Thinner paper-like bark with multiple layers||Thicker bark with no many layers|
|Easy to break||Hard to break|
|Tan brown in color||Reddish dark brown in color|
|Smells mild yet sweet||Smells strong|
Most of the time, cassia cinnamon is traded under the name “Ceylon cinnamon,” as most people are unaware that there are two varieties of cinnamon. So keep these characteristics of the two cinnamon varieties in mind the next time you buy Ceylon cinnamon!
How are Ceylon Cinnamon Quills Manufactured?
Producing cinnamon sticks is mostly a hand-crafted process. It involves the labor of many skillful artisans in the field. In short, the production of Ceylon cinnamon sticks involves the following stages:
- The soft outer bark of Cinnamomum verum tree is removed using a fine rounded rasp knife.
- The inner bark is then carefully removed in large sheets, cut into strips, and air-dried.
- These strips are curled into what is known as cinnamon quills.
- The curled quills are placed inside one another (the best whole quills are placed on the outside. The center is filled with broken pieces of bark).
- The quills are further dried in ovens or baked outside under the sun to achieve the required “tan.”
- The quills are graded as Alba, Continental, Mexican, or Hamburg according to their appearance (broken or entire quills), aroma, and flavor.
- Finally, the graded quills are exported to foreign markets.
- A mechanical dryer is used to complete the drying process in humid climates or during the rainy season.
- Stems with diameters of less than 5cm are removed and used for oil distillation. These are not used to prepare cinnamon sticks.
Uses of Ceylon Cinnamon Sticks
Unlike Ceylon cinnamon powder, we cannot use Ceylon cinnamon sticks in bakery products and desserts. But don’t be disappointed. There is a range of ways how you can use Ceylon cinnamon sticks!
Use it as a stirrer
This is a great way to add cinnamon to your daily diet. Gently stir your cup of coffee, tea, cocoa, and even a cocktail with the aromatic stick and let the spice infuse the drink.
Add a piece of cinnamon to your Asian curry
No Asian curry is perfect without a piece of Ceylon cinnamon. You can use a whole stick or break it into pieces and add it to the curry. It will make the aroma and flavor of the cinnamon stick come out, and your curry will taste extra delicious!
Make flavored water
Adding a cinnamon stick to a pot of water on medium heat gives a touch of refreshment to it. Once you add the cinnamon stick, bring the pot to a slow boil. To heighten the flavor, add a slice of orange too!
Perfect for making cinnamon stick tea
Steep the stick in boiling water for about ten minutes before adding the teabag. For better benefit, slow boil your cinnamon stick tea.
Immerse the stick in a jar with liquids like honey, maple syrup, and liquor, and wait a few days. You will witness the pleasantest aroma and flavor from the drink! You can try this even with water. Check the infusion daily and take the cinnamon stick away when it gets to the level you desire by.
You can also use a cinnamon stick in broths, soups, and stews – especially when they include beef or chicken. It will give a perfect fragrance to the dish.
Another perfect way to add cinnamon to your daily diet is to drop a whole stick when boiling rice, semolina, legumes, or lentils.
It is vital to store cinnamon sticks properly to preserve their qualities. If not stored correctly, the quills will lose their freshness and flavor. But with proper storage, you can preserve its qualities for at least twelve months.
Use the following methods to store Ceylon cinnamon sticks:
- Keep the cinnamon sticks in a tightly sealed glass container
- If it is in a packet, then close the opening of the packet tightly with a clip.
Keep the cinnamon stick bottle or packet in a dry, dark place away from direct sunlight.
Ceylon Cinnamon Powder
Ceylon cinnamon powder, also known as ground Ceylon cinnamon, is one of the major Ceylon cinnamon products. A low-calorie spice, Ceylon cinnamon is also low in protein and fats. The low coumarin content in Ceylon cinnamon makes it a safe and healthy product. The flavor of Ceylon cinnamon powder is milder than that of cassia.
How is Ceylon Cinnamon Powder Manufactured?
Powdered cinnamon is produced by grinding the dried inner bark of Cinnamomum verum tree.
The culinary world uses ground Ceylon cinnamon very commonly. Following are some instances where it is used:
In bakery products
Ceylon cinnamon powder is used in the bakery industry when baking cakes, cookies, pastries, and toasts.
Just add a sprinkle of ground cinnamon on top of your apple pie, pumpkin pie, ice cream, or pudding, and it will do the magic just like that!
To prepare cinnamon water
You can use ground cinnamon to prepare cinnamon water. For this, all you need to do is add half a teaspoon of powdered cinnamon to a cup of boiled water. Now stir it well, cover the container, and let the water cool. To get rid of the cinnamon particles, strain the mixture using a fine-mesh strainer.
Flavor and aroma quickly disappear from ground cinnamon as the powdered form is more vulnerable to spoilage. With proper storage, you can prevent the loss of color, flavor, and fragrance of ground cinnamon as long as possible.
To prevent spoilage of ground cinnamon,
- Keep the cinnamon powder in an air-sealed bottle
- Keep away from sunlight, moisture, and high heat
- Keep the cinnamon powder bottle in a cool, dry place
- Do not refrigerate
What will You Get from Two Teaspoons of Ceylon Cinnamon Powder?
Two teaspoons of cinnamon contain:
- Just 12 calories
- 5% of daily recommended intake (DRI) of calcium
- 2% DRI of iron
- 40% DRI of manganese
- 10% DRI of fiber
Cinnamon powder also contains magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, selenium, sodium, zinc, niacin, and vitamin K in small amounts.
How to Make Ceylon Cinnamon Powder at Home?
For this, you need Ceylon cinnamon sticks.
There are two ways to grind cinnamon sticks into a nice fine powder:
- Use a spice grinder or a coffee grinder.
- Use a rough and heavy mortar and pestle.
Ceylon Cinnamon Oil
Ceylon cinnamon oil is the oil extracted from certain parts of Cinnamomum verum tree. There are two types of Ceylon cinnamon essential oils:
- Cinnamon bark oil
- Cinnamon leaf oil
Cinnamon Bark Oil
Each cinnamon stick contains only a small amount of oil. To produce the best quality Ceylon cinnamon bark oil, skilled artisans select clean cinnamon barks of the right quality. Although the wastage is high in this process, the end product is very refined.
How is Cinnamon Bark Oil Manufactured?
Ceylon cinnamon bark oil is manufactured by extracting oil from the bark of Cinnamomum verum tree.
Smashed or broken cinnamon sticks are subjected to steam distillation, and oil is collected through a separator.
How to Make Cinnamon Bark Oil at Home?
You can use either Ceylon cinnamon sticks or Ceylon cinnamon powder to make cinnamon bark oil. However, it is better to use Ceylon cinnamon sticks than Ceylon cinnamon powder because cinnamon sticks provide a richer flavor than powdered cinnamon.
- Ceylon cinnamon sticks
- Carrier oil such as olive oil
- A glass jar
- First, sterilize the glass jar using warm water and dish soap, followed by a bath in boiling water.
- Next, place the cinnamon sticks vertically in the jar—pack as many sticks as possible.
- Pour the carrier oil into the jar gently until all the sticks are immersed in it. Have at least an inch of oil above the tops of the cinnamon sticks.
- Tightly seal the jar, shake it, and place it in a sunny spot for up to three weeks.
- Shake the jar daily to infuse the base oil with the cinnamon.
- After 3 – 4 weeks, remove the cinnamon sticks from the jar.
- Now your Ceylon cinnamon bark oil is ready to use!
Storing Your Home-Made Ceylon Cinnamon Bark Oil
Your pantry or the fridge is the best place to store your cinnamon bark oil. You can extend the shelf life of your oil by refrigerating it.
Components of Cinnamon Bark Oil
Cinnamon bark is rich in aldehydes. Cinnamaldehyde is the main component of cinnamon bark oil.
It is cinnamaldehyde that gives that unique aroma and flavor to cinnamon bark.
The eugenol content in cinnamon bark oil is low.
Ceylon cinnamon bark oil is used for the following purposes:
- Foot massage
- Food flavoring
- To make candles
- Scenting pine cones
- Cinnamon bark oil is relatively non-toxic. However, as it is rich in aldehydes, it can be a skin irritant.
- The oil must be diluted well and used with care as it can even burn sensitive skin.
- Avoid using the oil during pregnancy.
- Do not use the oil around children under five.
Cinnamon Leaf Oil
Ceylon cinnamon leaf oil is ideal for regular use. It is lighter and much cheaper than cinnamon bark oil.
How is Cinnamon Leaf Oil Manufactured?
Oil from the leaves of Cinnamomum verum tree is extracted through steam distillation.
Fresh leaves take longer to process. So, once the leaves are collected from the tree, they are left to dry for several days. Then they are subjected to steam distillation, and the oil is separated. The distillation process takes 3 – 4 hours.
Components of Cinnamon Leaf Oil
The main component in leaf oil is eugenol (65% – 92%).
Cinnamon leaf oil is low in cinnamaldehyde content. The leaf oil is graded according to the eugenol content.
More than 40 chemical compounds are present in cinnamon leaf oil apart from eugenol and cinnamaldehyde.
- Keep the cinnamon leaf oil in tightly closed containers.
- Place the oil containers in a cool and dry place, away from sunlight.
- If stored for more than 24 months, check the quality before use.
You can use cinnamon leaf oil
- as an insect repellent
- as a mouthwash, facial scrub, and shampoo
- as an additive in soaps
- as a constituent of many toiletry
- as a disinfectant
- in aromatherapy
- to a lesser extent, to flavor confectionery
- Ceylon cinnamon leaf oil is a possible irritant. Dilute the oil well if you are using it on a topical application.
- The oil can be acidic as it has a powerful scent; use it sparingly with caution.
- Do not use cinnamon leaf oil around children or babies.
- Do not use it around people with impaired liver function or clotting disorders.
Cinnamon bark oil vs. cinnamon leaf oil
Here are some of the significant differences between Ceylon cinnamon bark oil and Ceylon cinnamon leaf oil.
|Ceylon cinnamon bark oil||Ceylon cinnamon leaf oil|
|Color||Light yellow||Medium yellow|
|Aroma||Sweet and refined||Spicy and strong|
Ceylon cinnamon tea is a healthy beverage prepared using Ceylon cinnamon sticks, Ceylon cinnamon powder, or Ceylon cinnamon tea bags. A rich source of potassium, cinnamon tea also contains manganese, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, and vitamins such as vitamin B2 and vitamin B9.
If you want to absorb all the nutritional components of cinnamon, then Ceylon cinnamon tea is the best choice for you! Golden in appearance, this aromatic and flavorful beverage will keep you very much refreshed throughout the day!
As cinnamon tea is naturally caffeine-free, you can enjoy it at any time of the day. What’s more, low coumarin levels in Ceylon cinnamon make the tea safe to consume!
How to Make Ceylon Cinnamon Tea?
Making a cup of delicious Ceylon cinnamon tea is no big deal!
All you need is a Ceylon cinnamon stick and a cup of water.
Note: You can use Ceylon cinnamon powder instead of cinnamon sticks, but the latter is better and less messy.
- Pour the cup of water into a saucepan and add the cinnamon stick to it.
- Bring the pot to a boil.
- Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Turn off the stove and remove the cinnamon stick from the pot.
- Strain the tea to remove small particles of cinnamon.
- If you desire, you can add lemon juice and honey to the tea.
- Serve warm! (You can also cool it to make home-made iced tea!)
To make the tea taste more delicious, accompany it with a dessert like crème brulee or chocolate apple pie!
Cinnamon tea is more effective when you combine it with a healthy diet and daily exercise.
Up to now, we have talked about four Ceylon cinnamon products as we promised earlier. To spice your read up a bit, we thought of adding some extra toppings!
Ceylon Cinnamon and Coffee
People often overlook cinnamon as a complement to coffee. But in reality, with a touch of cinnamon, your coffee will transform into a delicious and healthy beverage with an extra boost of energy! If you ever wonder what the best cinnamon for coffee is, no doubt it is Ceylon cinnamon, as it contains a significantly less amount of coumarin!
But wait! As cinnamon contains fibers, it does not dissolve in coffee or any other liquids. Then how to add it to your cup of coffee?
Here are some ways:
- Immerse several cinnamon sticks into your whole bean coffee container. It will give a delicious cinnamon flavor to your future cups of coffee.
- If your coffee has a layer of whipped cream, sprinkle some cinnamon powder on it. It will produce a soothing aroma as you sip your coffee and will keep you refreshed.
- You can also add a sprinkle of cinnamon powder to your ground coffee and prepare it as usual.
- The easiest way is to add a whole Ceylon cinnamon stick to your coffee and stir the coffee gently using it. It will give both the mouthwatering aroma and a delicious flavor to your cup of coffee!
The next time you make your coffee, make sure to try one of these methods!
This is our comprehensive and interesting read on Ceylon cinnamon products. If you read the complete article, your brain would have gathered a wide range of knowledge about Ceylon cinnamon by now! From the history of Ceylon cinnamon to preparing cinnamon-based products on your own, now you know everything you need to know about Ceylon cinnamon! We hope you enjoyed the read!
Which brand of Ceylon cinnamon is the best?
Ceylon cinnamon products are available in a wide variety of brands. Among these, many brands are popular among people. So we cannot name just one brand as the best brand. However, the following brands can be considered exceptionally good:
- Frontier Co-op
- Simply Organic
- Burma Spice
- Cinnamon Vogue
Where to buy Ceylon cinnamon?
The most commonly available cinnamon in the market is cassia cinnamon. But Ceylon cinnamon is available in many physical as well as online marketplaces. The following is a list of stores from which you can buy Ceylon cinnamon:
In the US
- Whole Foods
- Spice Jungle
- Cinnamon Vogue
In the UK
- Ceylon Cinnamon
- Buy Whole Foods Online
- Cinnamon of Ceylon
- Spice Mountain
- Forest Whole Foods
- Yarra Valley Impex
- The Spice People
- The Source Bulk Foods
- The Spice Library
You can buy pure Ceylon cinnamon products from any of these stores. However, always keep in mind the differences between Ceylon cinnamon and cassia cinnamon. For instance, cassia cinnamon is reddish dark brown whereas Ceylon cinnamon is light to medium reddish brown in color. Such physical properties will make it easier for you to distinguish between the two varieties.