The main difference between Ceylon cinnamon and cassia cinnamon is that Ceylon cinnamon is of superior quality than cassia cinnamon.
Cinnamon is a spice we obtain from the inner bark tree species from the genus Cinnamomum. It is used as an aromatic condiment and flavouring additive in a wide variety of cuisines. Cinnamon is produced by harvesting, drying, fermenting and then removing the outer layer of the tree’s bark. As it dries, the inner bark curls into thin strips, or quills. There is a variety of cinnamon in the global market.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Ceylon Cinnamon
– Definition, Features, Properties
2. What is Cassia Cinnamon
– Definition, Features, Properties
3. Difference Between Ceylon Cinnamon and Cassia Cinnamon
– Comparison of Key Differences
Cassia Cinnamon, Ceylon Cinnamon, Cinnamon, True Cinnamon
What is Ceylon Cinnamon
Ceylon cinnamon is a rare and expensive spice which is native to Sri Lanka. It originates from Cinnamomum verum, a moderately sized, bushy evergreen tree. Ceylon cinnamon is also called sweet cinnamon or true cinnamon. It is tan-brown in colour and has many tight sticks with soft layers. It also contains more than eighty chemical components. Moreover, the naturally dried inner bark of the cinnamon tree is derived from a handcrafted process. The unique texture and features of cinnamon and its authentic method of processing makes Ceylon cinnamon gives a characteristic flavour and aroma over other varieties of cinnamon. In fact, Ceylon cinnamon is of far more superior quality than cassia cinnamon.
Ceylon cinnamon is the fourth most expensive spice in the world. 80%-90% of the world’s true cinnamon production belongs to Sri Lanka. When compared to cassia cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon has a milder flavour and aroma; this is because 50–63% of its essential oil is cinnamaldehyde. Its delicate and mild sweet flavour is perfect for desserts. Ceylon cinnamon is rare in comparison to other varieties of cinnamon and is highly expensive.
What is Cassia Cinnamon
Cassia cinnamon is a variety of cinnamon derived from the cassia bark tree. (Cinnamomum cassia or Cinnamomum aromaticum). Cassia originated in Southern China and is also known as Chinese cinnamon. However, they come from Eastern and Southern Asia, in regions in Vietnam and Indonesia. In fact, cassia cinnamon is much more common than Ceylon cinnamon on the global market.
Cassia tends to be a dark reddish-brown colour with thicker sticks and a rougher texture than Ceylon cinnamon. Moreover, it has a strong flavour and aroma than true cinnamon. This strong flavour comes from the high cinnamaldehyde content in cassia. Cassia cinnamon is of lower quality than true cinnamon and is relatively less costly.
Difference Between Ceylon Cinnamon and Cassia Cinnamon
Ceylon cinnamon is a rare and expensive spice which is native to Sri Lanka while cassia cinnamon is a variety of cinnamon originating from the cassia bark tree.
While Ceylon cinnamon is light to medium brown in colour, cassia cinnamon is reddish-brown in colour.
Moreover, Ceylon cinnamon has a mild flavour with a hint of sweetness while cassia cinnamon has a strong spicy flavour.
Ceylon cinnamon is soft and quite easy to break while cassia cinnamon is hard and difficult to break.
In Ceylon cinnamon, there are thin layers of bark rolled into multiple layers while in cassia cinnamon, there are few thin layers naturally curled into a bark.
Ceylon cinnamon is rare and therefore expensive while cassia cinnamon is more common and less costly.
Furthermore, Ceylon cinnamon has a high coumarin (around 5%) content than Cassia cinnamon.
While Ceylon cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka, cassia cinnamon comes from Eastern and Southern Asian regions like China, Vietnam and Indonesia.
Ceylon cinnamon is of superior quality than cassia cinnamon. While Ceylon cinnamon is light to medium brown in colour, cassia cinnamon is reddish-brown in colour. Moreover, Ceylon cinnamon has a mild flavour with a hint of sweetness while cassia cinnamon has a strong spicy flavour. Thus, this is the summary of the difference between Ceylon cinnamon and cassia cinnamon.
1. “True Ceylon Cinnamon from Sri Lanka.” True Ceylon Spices, Available here.