Ceylon Cinnamon Vs Cassia

Mainly there are two type of varieties of cinnamon named as Cinnamon and Cassia.
Therefore Cinnamon and Cassia are like cousins and these are the two oldest species known to mankind. Out of these two types, Cinnamonum verum is considered as the true cinnamon while, Cinnamon cassia is a low quality cinnamon.

Ceylon Cinnamon or True Cinnamon

BOTANEAL NAME       :Cinnamonum Zeylanium Blume
SYNONYM                    :Cinnamonum Verum
FAMILY                         :Lauraceae

Cinnamon was one of the first spices priced and enjoyed by man since the early days of civilization. It was precious not only as a flavoring agent for food, but was esteemed as a medicine, as a perfume and as one of the aromatics burned as incense. The Egyptians were importing cinnamon nearly 2000 years before Christ; wealthy Romans luxuriated in cinnamon scented baths. Every medieval magician kept mentioned it in their herbals, and even now use it medicinally.

Ceylon Cinnamon

Cinnamon is one of the most
important tree spices in Sri Lanka.
It consist of layers of dried pieces
of the inner bark of the branches
and young shots from the
Cinnamonum zeylanim.

Ceylon Cinnamon

Cinnamonum Zeylanicum
Native to Sri Lanka
Mild, subtle, delicate, flowery, complex; lively, warm & sweet; citrus overtones.
Rich, light golden yellow/brown buff colour; slight mottling Formed into complex ‘quills’ comprising layers of thin bark, like paper, packed inside a single strip of bark and rolled into the form of a tube. Delicate, fragile – easily broken Beautiful, visual appearance is important product attribute
Up to 2% essential oil Bark oil maximum cinnamic aldehyde content 80%; eugenol content 10% Low to zero coumarin (generally less than 15 mg/kg in the bark; up to 0.3%, rarely 0.7% in the essential oil)

Other Varieties of Cinnamon

Cinnamonum cassia
C. burmannii
C. lourerii
Native to Indonesia/ China/ Vietnam
Intense, harsh, simple, sweet, slightly bitter, astringent and mucilaginous. Slight bitterness and astringency on the taste (astringency from high tannin content of outer bark). Lacks liveliness and complexity of cinnamon.
Uniform dark brown colour Thick bark; coarser, single layer of bark rolled into a simple stick or quill. Very hard. Not easily broken.
Up to 4% essential oil Bark Oil is up to 90% cinnamic aldehyde; only trace amounts of eugenol High coumarin content – up to 4400 mg/kg in the bark; up to 11% in the essential oil

What is Coumarin?

Coumarin is known to cause liver and kidney damage in high concentrations. True Ceylon cinnamon has negligible amounts of coumarin. Ceylon Cinnamon has between 2-5 ppm of coumarin compared to Cassia (2000-5000 ppm). Ceylon Cinnamon has between 0.001-0.005 milligram of Coumarin per tea spoon. Cassia has atleast 1000 times more Coumarin than Ceylon Cinnamon. All other varieties of Cinnamon, except Ceylon Cinnamon, have much higher coumarin content.