Ceylon, A delicate & authentic variety of Cinnamon that is grown only in Sri Lanka. Whereas Cassia, a thick & cheaper type is also widely popular in the global market.
Ceylon is made from the bark of the Cinnamomum Verum tree which requires at least four years of growth time before harvesting. Producing it demands hours of hard labor while the skilled workers are few and found only in the native land.
With thick layers and stronger flavor, Cassia originated in China and the Southeast Asian region. This comes from a tree called Cinnamomum Cassia requiring an average effort to be made.
In Fact, in the international markets, they are used interchangeably and are often confused.
Both the spices are alike in appearance and it is difficult to differentiate between the two. Yet there are many ways by which differences can be spotted as Cassia has a darker brown-red color and rough texture while Ceylon is light and kind of fragile but is more expensive and considered a better variety, also Ceylon has a sweeter flavor.
The most important difference is the presence of Coumarin which is more in Cassia.
As far as the processing is concerned, obtaining Ceylon from the bark is far more complicated that makes it more bona fide and expensive. The thinner the bark the more valuable it is.
The quills are so fine that small pieces are stuffed inside the bark to keep it from breaking. This process is absent from Cassia as its bark is already very chunky.
The most valuable Ceylon grade is called Alba which is 6mm-7mm wide while the leftovers are ground Cinnamon that is the cheapest form.
It is said that the biggest competitor for Ceylon is Cassia.
Nevertheless, the overall demand for Cinnamon is ever increasing in the cosmetic & healthcare industry making it an ever growing popular spice.