It became very apparent to us early on, that not all cinnamon's are the same. People starting questioning us on whether or not we used "True" or "Real" Cinnamon quite regularly. To be honest, prior to Golden Grind, we were not aware there was such a difference in cinnamon's and as all of our attention was on turmeric and getting the best quality turmeric we could find, we had probably neglected cinnamon a bit. Since though, we have dived deeper and done a lot of research on this wonder spice.
Turns out all types of cinnamon belong to the genus Cinnamomum, so there really isn’t a “fake” cinnamon. But, the typically referred to "true" cinnamon comes from one specific species, cinnamomum verum, a native to Ceylon. The other type of cinnamon, commonly referred to as Cassia, is derived from several different cinnamomum trees. Cinnamon of course is the bark of the plant, which is ground up in order to consume, and its nutrients are found in its intrinsic oils.
Structurally the two are very similar, it is just noted that Ceylon cinnamon has the benefit of being low in coumarin.
But probably the more important factor here is knowing the difference between fresh and quality cinnamon versus industrial ground, stale or filled cinnamon.
You see, most powdered cinnamon that you buy at the store is manufactured with an industrial grinding process, which tends to dilute the value of nutrients contained in the plant. Worst still, sometimes manufacturers may even add agents like flour to stop it from caking.
So this is why understanding where your cinnamon is coming from is most important. And Zac Balmain, Particle Cinnamon knows this better than anyone....
1. What's your cafe and what's your role
My cafe is Particle Cinnamon and my role is the Manager/Barista
2. Tell us about your brand and café
Particle and co is a brand I have created with my partner Cat Lethbridge. The brand umbrella consists of a cafe that's 100% Vegan, gluten free and refined sugar free and a cinnamon business that specialises in the highest quality cinnamon from Sri Lanka and that is ground fresh to order.
3. What do you know about cinnamon that everyone should know?
Cinnamon is very special for its flavour and health benefits- though not all cinnamon is created equal. Cinnamon and coffee is interestingly very similar. You have Robusta coffee which is strong, earthy and woody and you have cassia cinnamon which is strong, woody and earthy. On the other spectrum you have arabica coffee which is more fruity, sweet and delicious and Ceylon cinnamon which is sweet fruity and floral and of course delicious.
4. How did you fall in love with cinnamon?
I fell in love with Alba cinnamon after recognising the flavour profile of Alba was so different from other cinnamon varieties I've tried from around the world.
Being a barista for 4 years prior I was fascinated already with flavour profiling.
I knew coffee was popular though speciality coffee had flooded the market and was becoming a little bit boring. Taking what I had learnt from my coffee experiences and applying it to cinnamon was so exiting and knowing that cinnamon was extremely healthy was such a bonus!
5. Current hospitality trends are you loving?
I would say the vegan movement in Melbourne is a thing I am proud to be apart of and I am loving every single minute of it.
6. Which current hospo trends give you the SH*TS?
Nothing really I can think of. I like diversity and you can't hate on people for trying new things.
7. Which brands inspire you?
The brands that inspire me are the ones that have symbiotic relationships - Just like in nature, a symbiotic relationship means creating a relationship between two businesses which is mutually beneficial for both parties. My favourite brands that are doing this well are;
Olinda springs- that supplys Melbourne with the highest quality natural flowing spring water. We use Olinda springs water in all of our 6 house made nut mylks, teas and table water at Particle cinnamon.
Raw Eatables- a small organic farm located just outside Melbourne. These guys are supplying Melbournians with some seasonal fresh, organic fruit and veg.
8. Who is your ultimate person to have dinner with and why?
The ultimate person to have dinner with would have to be Gary Yourofsky he is an American animal rights activist and lecturer.
I am very inspired by this man and he has influenced me in my life so much so we would have a great vegan dinner together.
9. Favourite way to have GG?
My Favourite way to have golden grind is to have it with my porridge. I add a tea spoon of the goods and mix it in my organic oats and top it off with delicious crunch nuts fruits and seeds.