About Cinnamon Tree Organics


Eat well. Feel good.

Hey there!

Thanks for visiting Cinnamon Tree Organics. We’re here to put flavor and value back into America’s spice cabinets while restoring equity and power to small organic farmers in Sri Lanka.

What’s wrong with the spices at my grocery store?

A little bit of history...

The spice trade is one of the world’s most ancient industries. It opened up the globe as European traders first sailed the seas to secure spices from the East.

Over the centuries, the supply chain put in place by colonizers settled into a system fraught with inefficiency, inequality and bureaucracy. And the spice growers at the very bottom of that chain rarely receive fair compensation for their hard and important work.

A lesson in supply chains...

Many small farmers sell their crops to large farms or auctioneers, who sell those collections to a buyer or processor. Processors buy inventory from several large farms and distributors, mill it in quantities that allow for economies of scale and then sell it to exporters.

Spices change hands an average of 15 times in this system. And every time, small batches from individual farms are mixed to make larger batches and stored in abysmal conditions. They could be irradiated to prolong shelf life and get added artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and anti-caking agents.

That’s all done to produce a large shipment that is uniform in appearance and can hold up to the long journey around the globe. The system makes it impossible to trace the origins and increases the risk of contamination.

It can take up to five years for spices to reach the shelf at your grocery store. By then, the natural oils, flavors and fragrances — to say nothing about health benefits — have long been dead.

What are single origin spices?

Single origin means single source. Spices are grown in a few places around the world, and each place has its own terroir and growing and processing practices. This produces different qualities in the final product.

A single origin spice comes from a single farm or farmer cooperative in a single farming area, where several farmers collectively cultivate the same spice varietal. Working in community, the small farmers can grow heirloom seeds chosen for their high quality and potency rather than aim for quantity.

That means single origin spices are much more potent and flavorful than regular spices. You can really taste and smell them as you have never before. The vibrant colors make your dishes pop.

Why Cinnamon Tree Organics?

We bring transparency and traceability to spices and guarantee freshness and potency.

“Single origin” and “single estate” are descriptors already being used for chocolate, coffee, olive oil and wine. When you buy single origin coffee, you know you will enjoy a superior-quality cup, learn how the beans get their unique taste and how the coffee growers were compensated for their work. Spices should be much the same.

Where?

All our spices are sourced from Sri Lanka, where we grew up. The South Asian island is home to many heirloom varieties of common spices like turmeric, black pepper and ginger. The most famous, Cinnamomum zeylanicum — also known as Cinnamomum verum, true cinnamon and Ceylon cinnamon — is also native to the tropical island. In fact, Sri Lanka supplies over 90% of the world’s true cinnamon.

How?

We work closely with the growers, spending time on their farms, learning about the crops and cultivation practices and getting to know their employees. We try to understand their concerns, supply chain challenges and effects of competition from conventionally grown low-quality, high-yield spices.

What?

Our spices come to us directly from the farms as soon as they are harvested, which means they are fresh, potent and amazing. All of our farmers grow their spices organically and add no external agents while growing, harvesting, drying or processing. What you get is pure spice.

What’s special about spices from Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka is a tropical island smack dab in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Its two seasons of monsoon rains allow our farmers to harvest many crops twice in the same year. That means Cinnamon Tree Organics spices are always fresh.

The tiny island also has many micro-climates, including sandy beaches, tropical rainforests, cool mountains and dry grasslands, creating suitable growing environments and rich soil for different types of crops. With these conditions, spices grow without the need to clear vast amounts of land or spraying of chemicals (although it hasn’t stopped some people). In fact, in many suburban and rural home gardens, spices like black peppercorn, cardamom and nutmeg grow like weeds.

Where are you located?

We are headquartered in Germantown, Md., and will ship anywhere within the United States in one week or less, depending on the USPS shipping option you choose. We rely on USPS and are grateful for the services they offer small businesses like us.

What will I find on Cinnamon Tree Organics?

Hungry for more?

Welcome to the Cinnamon Tree Organics family! We’re so thrilled to have you.