This site works better with JavaScript enabled!

[ Plant part | Family | Aroma | Chemistry | Origin | Etymology | Discussion | Bottom ]

Indonesian Cinnamon (Cinnamomum burmannii [Nees & T. Nees] Blume)


botanicalCassia vera
BelarusianІнданезійская карыца
Indanezijskaja karyca
BulgarianИндонезийска канела
Indonezijska kanela
廣東桂 [gwóng dùng gwai], 假肉桂 [gá yuhk gwai], 山玉桂 [sāan yúk gwai], 土玉桂 [tóu yúk gwai], 野桂 [yéh gwai], 陰香 [yàm hēung]
Gwong dung gwai, Ga yuhk gwai, Saan yuk gwai, Tou yuk gwai, Yeh gwai, Yam heung
廣東桂 [guǎng dōng guì], 假肉桂 [jiǎ ròu guì], 山玉桂 [shān yù guì], 土玉桂 [tǔ yù guì], 野桂 [yě guì], 陰香 [yīn xiāng], 阴香 [yīn xiāng]
Guang dong gui, Jia rou gui, Shan yu gui, Tu yu gui, Ye gui, Yin xiang, Yin xiang
DanishIndonesisk Kanel
DutchIndonesische kaneel
EnglishJawa cassia, Fagot cassia, Padang cinnamon
EsperantoIndonezia cinamomo
FrenchCannelle de Padang
GalicianCanela de Xava
GermanPadang-Zimt, Indonesischer Zimt
HungarianIndonéz fahéj, Jávai kasszia
IndonesianKayu manis Padang, Ki amis
Korean쟈바 계피
Chyaba gyepi, Jyaba gyepi
LithuanianBurmano cinamonas
MalayKayu manis Padang
PolishCynamonowiec burmański (plant)
RomanianScorțișoară indonezianăScorţişoară indoneziană
RussianИндонезийская корица
Indonezkaya koritsa
SpanishCanela de Java
Thaiอบเชยชวา, อบเชยอินโดนีเซีย
Ob choey chawa, Ob choey Inadonisoey, Suramarit
VietnameseQuế rành, Quế trèn
Que ranh, Que tren
Cinnamomum burmannii: Indonesian cinnamon
Indonesian cinnamon
Cinnamomum burmannii: Cinnamon flower
Flower of Indonesian cinnamon   © Gerald Carr

Used plant part

Stem bark.

Plant family

Lauraceae (laurel family)

Sensory quality

Strongly aromatic; like Ceylon cinnamon, it shows only marginal bitterness and astringency, but it tastes darker and lacks the exciting overtones that are so unique for the Ceylon variety.

Main con­stituents

The essential oil from Indonesian cinnamon bark (1 to 4%) is dominated by cinnamaldehyde, but does not contain eugenol. Slime content is 8%.

In difference to Ceylon cinnamon, the leaves of Indonesian cinnamon also contain cinnamaldehyde. The roots, however, contain camphor as also found in Ceylon cinnamon roots.


The plants is of Malesian distribution. It was first cultivated in Western Sumatra (sumatra barat), in the region around the city Padang. Still now, most Indonesian cinnamon is grown in Sumatra.


Most languages have no separate words for different types of cinnamon; if a distinction is to be made, then this is achieved by the use of qualifying adjectives. See Sri Lanka cinnamon for the word cinnamon and Chinese cinnamon for cassia.

Some names of cinnamon in European languages relate to Latin canella small tube, pipe (also source of English cannula), referring to the form of cinnamon quills: French cannelle, Spanish canela, Finnish kaneli, Scottisch Gaelic caineal, Dutch kaneel, Latvian kanēlis and Bulgarian and Greek kanela [канела, κανέλα]. Akin is Portuguese canforeira cinnamon tree (literally bearer of pipes).

Latin cannella is a diminutive of canna, borrowed from Greek kanna [κάννα] reed, which comes from Semitic tongues (Akkadian qanû [𒄀] tube, reed). The ultimate origin might be Sumerian gin reed. Old Hebrew qaneh [קנה], obviously also belonging to that group, appears in the Old Testament where it denotes, among others, an aromatic usually identified with calamus (Acorus calamus), but it has also suggested that lemon grass is meant.

Selected Links Zimtaldehyd Sorting Cinnamomum names (

Cinnamomum burmannii: Cinnamon trees in Sumatra barat (Tanah Minan)
Landscape with Indonesian cinnamon trees in Western Sumatra
Cinnamomum burmannii: Indonesian cinnamon tree
Indonesian cinnamon tree with flowers (this year’s leaves are red)
Indonesian cinnamon bark comes close to the best Ceylon quality, and is in fact often traded as Ceylon cinnamon (which has better reputation and higher price). Although most agree that Ceylon cinnamon is the best, Ceylon and Indonesian cinnamon types are rated similarly and much above the cassia (Chinese cinnamon), at least in Europe; in the USA, amazingly, cassia is the more common quality, although for baking many cooks switch to Ceylon cinnamon. Cassia has a coarser fragrance, a somewhat bitter and astringent taste and contains much more mucilaginous components. It is very difficult to judge the value of Vietnamese cinnamon; in Europe, is has poor reputation.

Rather surprisingly, Indonesians do not use cinnamon frequently. It sometimes appears in sweets, or is added to (Indian or Arabic influenced) meat stews in small amounts; a well-known example is rendang, a spicy beef stew very popular in Western Sumatra (see galanga).

Ceylon cinnamon is traded in form of slender and fragile quills, composed of very thin (thickness one millimeter or less) bark layers. The colour is a light reddish–brown.

Indonesian cinnamon, in contrast, is much thicker (1 to 3 mm) and therefore less easy to break. The quills are outside reddish–brown, similar to Ceylon cinnamon, but the inner side of the bark is much darker gray–brown.

Chinese cinnamon or cassia is normally not peeled that carefully as the former two; therefore, the outer surface looks uneven and rough, dark brown in colour. Sometimes, originating points of branches are discernible. The bark chunks are very thick (3 mm to 1 cm), strong but brittle; it does not roll up regularly and is sold in small pieces or irregular shape.

Vietnamese cinnamon or Saigon cinnamon looks similar to the Chinese species, but the pieces are usually smaller and thinner; on the outer surface, remainders of lichen growth are frequently discernible.

Unicode Encoded Validate using the WDG validator Validate using the VALIDOME validator

Top   Plant part   Family   Aroma   Chemistry   Origin   Etymology   Discussion   Bottom