The cinnamon tree or shrub belongs to the Cinnamomum genus that contains over 300 species. Two main species are the Ceylon Cinnamon, also known as True Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) and the Cassia Cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia).
Ceylon cinnamon is a small tree belonging to the laurel family. The tree is native to Sri Lanka (former Ceylon) and now widely grown in tropical climates.
Possesses much the same qualities and constituents as Cassia Cinnamon.
The bark, that contains a volatile oil, is peeled from the branches and left to dry and ferment for 24 hours.
The outer layer is then scraped off and the inner bark curls into quills as it dries. Ceylon cinnamon has a slight citrus flavour. It's pale in colour and thin.
Cassia cinnamon - also known as Chinese cinnamon or cassia bark - belongs to the laurel family.
The tree is native to China, Vietnam and Sumatra and possesses much the same qualities and constituents as Ceylon Cinnamon.
Cassia is sweet, aromatic, pungent and slightly astringent. It's thick and reddish brown.