Yes, Mexicans drink tea. A country well known for its tequila and mezcal also drinks hot beverages. Among most common teas are chamomile, lemon and cinnamon. This post is about why I returned from Mexico with cinnamon in my luggage!
Cinnamon tea or té de canela was what I was looking for when traveling in Mexico end of last year. To prepare this tea all you really need is, well, cinnamon. You just have to get it right – it’s Ceylon or locally referred to as Mexican cinnamon used for this infusion. Just to be sure that I got the right type of cinnamon sticks, I bought them from two different spots and cities: a local market in Mexico city and a small grocery store in Mazatlan on the Pacific coast. Double luck!
Do you have the right type of cinnamon?
This post helped me to compare the cinnamon I had. In the picture below you see the differences between the first two cinnamon sticks from Mexico and cinnamon bought here in a grocery store in Belgium. Mexican (aka Ceylon) cinnamon has a light tan brown colour, multiple layers and easily brakes. Cinnamon on the right is dark brown, forms only a few layers and is very hard. You can easily find true cinnamon in Europe, just look at condiment shops or other eco and health shops.
How to prepare cinnamon tea?
Once you have the right type of cinnamon, it’s very simple to prepare this tea.
For 2 cups take some 500 ml of water and bring it to boil.
Then add 1-2 cinnamon sticks and leave it boiling on a low heat for about 10 minutes.
Next, remove the pot from the heat and leave it for another 5 minutes or so.
Cinnamon is sweet enough so normally you wouldn’t need sugar – I didn’t use any sugar. In Mexico, it’s common to add a spoonful of honey. Just look what intense red colour my cinnamon tea was!
Why cinnamon tea?
This rather ordinary and inexpensive infusion brings a number of health benefits. Research suggests that cinnamon helps to regulate glucose levels in blood, stimulates appetite, and improves digestion.
I have also written in “5 Simple Ways to Make Yourself a Nice Cup of Tea” about using cinnamon in your teas – it’s a good combination!
Some Mexican recipes that helped me prepare my cinnamon cuppa (in Spanish):