The Ceylon Cinnamon tree grows to around 49 feet in its natural state and grows best in sandy soil. It has a thin bark due to being harvested early for commercial purposes. The flowers are white with oval-shaped fruit, which becomes bluish with white spots when ripe. The leaves are shiny and leathery on top and dull on the underside, and when crushed, are spicy and hot to taste.

One of the biggest advantages of Ceylon Cinnamon (also known as Mexican Cinnamon) is its ultra-low Coumarin levels. Coumarin in high doses can cause liver failure, so for people who take cinnamon daily, Ceylon Cinnamon is the preferred choice.

Main Ceylon Cinnamon Types: Sticks (Quills), Quilling, Chips and Powder 


Ceylon Cinnamon 5" Cut


Cassia Cinnamon is predominately used (70%) in North America. Indonesia is the leading supplier of Cassia Cinnamon because it is much cheaper than Ceylon Cinnamon, which tends to be expensive. After all, it is handcrafted and rolled in multiple thin layers. Cassia Cinnamon is from a hard bark tree, which is spicy, smells strong, and is sometimes bitter.

An important distinction of Ceylon cinnamon is due to a chemical called coumarin, a natural plant chemical that acts to thin blood. There are much higher concentrations of this chemical in Cassia than any other cinnamon. People who are currently prescribed blood thinners are not recommended to use cinnamon as it is toxic to the liver and kidneys. Due to Ceylon having a sweeter, more delicate flavor than Cassia, it makes it preferable when flavoring desserts and light dishes.


Ceylon cinnamons are graded according to their density, blemishes, essential oil content, and other factors. That is why you should use the standard method of measurement (SLS-81), which set by the Sri Lanka government. This will help you when selecting the best Ceylon cinnamon.

Alba grade is the highest grade of Ceylon Cinnamon Sticks grade and is produced using the finest and thinnest inner bark of the Ceylon Cinnamon tree. The cinnamon tree used uses bark harvested within 6 months and has a pencil-like appearance. Also, as it is the highest grade, it is very rich in cinnamon’s unique taste and aroma. The cinnamon tree used uses bark harvested within 6 months and has a pencil-like appearance. Also, as it is the highest grade, it is very rich in cinnamon’s unique taste and aroma.

C grade is one of the top four commonly produced Ceylon cinnamon grades. The branches are harvested from 6-12-month-old trees from the last harvest date. The stick has a pale-yellow color and sweet taste. This is a popular grade, which is greatly in demand for its smoothness and exquisite fragrance.

M grades consists of selected sections of, of course, cinnamon with reddish-brown patches on the surface of the quills. It is harvested from 12-month-old trees from the last harvest date. Compared to Alba and the C grades, M4 and M5 have a higher Cinnamaldehyde content.

M grades most popular among South American countries – especially among Mexican customers for its exquisite fragrance and sweet taste.

H is one of the largest produced grades in the Sri Lankan Cinnamon industry.  It is harvested from 18-month-old matured branches from the last harvest date.  It comprises of the finest and most expensive portions of the rough cinnamon bark.  Subcategories of H1 are H2.

Due to the maturity of branches, H1, H2, and FAQ have the highest amount of Cinnamaldehyde.  An H1 stick has good finishing and is strong when compared to H2 and FAQ.  It is most popular in the South American market.

Ceylon Cinnamon Alba
Ceylon Cinnamon Powder


Ceylon Cinnamon Powder is made using quilling’s, chips, and offcuts. There is no industry standard for powder grading, and the quality depends on the percentage of quilling. The higher the quilling’s percentage, the higher the quality and pricier.

There are some myths that sticks could be used to make quality powder. However, sticks are carefully made by hand-rolling quilling; it would be very expensive and useless to use these for powders. Also, to make a high-quality, sweet-tasting cinnamon powder, only the quilling’s that are used in H and M grades must be used. This is because Alba and the C grades are made from young tree branches, which are usually only six months old and contain very low Cinnamaldehyde (oil).


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