Tips for Making the Perfect Cup of Cinnamon Herbal Tea

Cinnamon herbal tea is an ideal tea to begin with if you're delving into the world of making teas from herbs and spices you have on hand. 

A most beloved spice around the world, cinnamon is a favorite in sweet and savory dishes, and makes a delicious and exceptionally beneficial tea, as well. So simple and rewarding to make from scratch, cinnamon tea is a comforting, rejuvenating brew whether enjoyed hot or iced. 

Cinnamon Herbal Tea Tips | The Tea Talk

If you are thinking of (or already love) making your own cinnamon herbal tea from ground cinnamon or cinnamon sticks, here are some helpful tips for choosing, storing, and using cinnamon for tea. 

Buying Cinnamon 

Which type of cinnamon is best? 

Cinnamon is made from the bark of the Cinnamon tree, which is dried and then rolled into sticks (or "quills") or ground into powder. Ceylon cinnamon and cassia cinnamon are the most well-known and available types of cinnamon.

Ceylon cinnamon, which is considered "true" or "real" cinnamon, is produced in Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and Seychelles from only the inner bark of the Cinnamomum verum tree. Cassia (or "imitation") cinnamon is produced mainly in Indonesia, China, India, and Vietnam from the inner and outer bark of the Cinnamomum aromaticum tree. The two trees are related, but there are some differences between these two cinnamons.

While cassia cinnamon is less costly and easier to find (especially in North America), you may decide that the quality of Ceylon cinnamon makes it worth the extra effort and expense to find and purchase (especially if you drink cinnamon herbal tea regularly). 

Ceylon cinnamon is sweeter and lighter in color, with a more subtle aroma than cassia cinnamon. If you buy Ceylon cinnamon sticks, you will find they are softer, smoother, and a bit more crumbly than cassia sticks.

Choosing cinnamon for cinnamon herbal tea

When buying cinnamon, keep in mind that cassia cinnamon contains higher levels of a naturally occurring ingredient called "coumarin," which research suggests may be harmful in large doses for some people. Ask your primary care provider about good cinnamon choices for you. 

Since your local grocery store may only carry cassia cinnamon, check health-food or specialty foods shop (local or online) if you would like to try Ceylon cinnamon. 

Other tips for buying cinnamon

  • Let your senses guide you when choosing cinnamon. Inhale deeply - does it smell fresh, sweet, and deeply rich? Take a small taste if you can - is it sweet and spicy, with a bit of a bite? If the answer is no, look for another source of cinnamon. 
  • If possible, choose organic cinnamon. The "certified organic" label ensures no harmful ingredients have been used during harvesting or processing. 
  • When you buy cinnamon tea, the type (or types) of cinnamon used should be included in the description. If no type is listed, it's most likely cassia cinnamon. 

Storing Cinnamon

Once you've brought your cinnamon home, ensuring it's stored properly will enhance its taste and boost its shelf-life, too.

Both cinnamon sticks and ground cinnamon keep best and last longer when stored in a sealed glass container in a dark, dry, cool spot (like a refrigerator). This will help to keep cinnamon fresh and potent for a long time.

    Consider discarding unused ground cinnamon after about six months and cinnamon sticks after one year (cinnamon quills have a longer shelf life than ground cinnamon). A good test is aroma - if cinnamon no longer smells fresh, it may be time to discard it and purchase new. 
Cinnamon Herbal Tea Tips | The Tea Talk

Using Cinnamon

If you prefer to grind or grate a cinnamon stick when you're making cinnamon herbal tea, use a spice grater or grinder, mortar and pestle, or coffee grinder. Grind just as much as you need to ensure fresh ground cinnamon for each cup of tea and, if you use a coffee grinder for spices, why not keep a separate grinder just for this task? 

And, keep in mind that cassia cinnamon sticks are thicker and harder than Ceylon sticks, so they may not grate or grind easily.

Cinnamon is a lovely addition if you prefer tea blends... Victoria Zak, in "20,000 Secrets of Tea," calls cinnamon "A Spice for Blends," and you'll find that adding cinnamon will enhance almost any other tea or tea blend. 

Cinnamon herbal tea is soothing and beneficial and, whether your tea is pure cinnamon or a delicious blend with cinnamon as one of the star ingredients, you and your home will feel just a little bit warmer when you brew a cup or a pot of this beloved herbal tea.

| Related:  Herbal, Spice, and Fruit Teas Pinterest Board

If you're craving some comforting, aromatic cinnamon tea, try this simple recipe to make your own hot or iced cinnamon tea from scratch. Cinnamon tea is also a perfect base for a delectable, nourishing tea smoothie

And, as with any new tea you're thinking of adding to your tea routine, have a chat with your natural healthcare practitioner about cinnamon tea for you (and you can learn more about some cinnamon tea precautions on our Cinnamon Side Effects page, too). 

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