Thursday, May 9, 2013

Cinnamon Tea (Iced or Hot)

My husband and I had the privilege to vacation in Costa Rica a couple of months ago. One of many activities that we enjoyed was going to Rainforest Spices.  Of all the things people can do on vacation you probably wouldn't think that going to a large spice garden would be an the top of the list. However, I'm happy to say that my husband was more than willing to do this with me, and we both had a great time, tasted great food, and learned so much. Rainforest Spices is a large sustainable, organic spice garden that cultivates vanilla beans (more recipes with those later), Ceylon cinnamon (the allegedly true cinnamon), ginger, cardamom, and cocoa. Our tour was able to sample some great foods made with these spices. By far the most exciting and eye-opening taste experience was the iced cinnamon tea! I bought a bunch of Rainforest Spices' Ceylon cinnamon so that I could make the tea at home. My recent house guests were wowed and delighted by this beverage choice.  I think this will have to be a staple in my refrigerator. You can contact Rainforest Spices to see if you can purchase from them directly or use google to see what other sources you can find.  If you can score a good quality Ceylon cinnamon to make this tea, I don't think you'll be sorry.


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Cinnamon Tea (Iced or Hot)
1 1/4 oz cinnamon bark pieces
2 quarts of water


1. Measure 1 1/4 oz. of Ceylon cinnamon bark pieces.



2. Place cinnamon sticks in 2 quarts of water breaking the sticks into smaller pieces (yet not creating powder). This will help to create better flavor in the tea.



3. Bring to a boil for 2 - 3 minutes.



4. Remove from heat, cover, and let simmer for 3 - 5 hours (the longer the better)



5. Pour the steeped tea though cheese cloth.





6. Chill in clean container in the refrigerator.



NOTE: There is some debate over the differences and health benefits between
different species of cinnamon. You can get some basic background about that on here (on Wikipidia).

Bottom line there are at least four major species to consider:


  • Cinnamomum verum ("True cinnamon", Sri Lanka cinnamon or Ceylon cinnamon)
  • C. burmannii (Kirintje, Padang Cassia, or Indonesian cinnamon)
  • C. loureiroi (Saigon cinnamon, Vietnamese cassia, or Vietnamese cinnamon)
  • C. cassia (Cassia or Chinese cinnamon)


BOTTOM LINE: At Rainforest Spices they cultivate Ceylon cinnamon which they informed us takes longer to grow than Cassia cinnamon. We watched as someone took a large knife to a tree branch to peel the bark just like someone would peel a potato.  


Once the layer under the bark was exposed they peeled the next layer - the cinnamon layer -  into another container.


That's the part that ends up in a bag for sale in the spice shop.


NOTE: if you enjoyed this post you might want to check out these Link Parties at: Sunny Simple Life and The Self Sufficient HomeAcre.

3 comments:

  1. Nice this is a great tea idea that I would love to drink cold or hot. Thanks for sharing this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I like it cold best. It's actually so light and refreshing you don't even need sugar!

      Delete
  2. This looks lovely! Thank you for sharing at the HomeAcre Hop! We'd love to have you back this morning: http://blackfoxhomestead.com/uncategorized/the-homeacre-hop-25/

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