The Sweetest Wood in the World
Wars were fought over it. Rare, exotic and very difficult to acquire, it was reserved only for monarchs and Gods. Considered as sacred as Myrrh, even a small hint of it overpowers your senses. Ancient Egyptians used it as a part of their embalming rituals. This spicy tale is about cinnamon.
The same Sri Lanka which is going through such an unfortunate economic crisis was once the only place where the real cinnamon grew. It brought them riches beyond imagination. The Portuguese, the Dutch, the French and the British fought tooth and nail for this alluring spice. This rich spice may seem like just a sweet way to flavour puddings, or a lovely fragrance for fresh rolls, but its complex flavour is a reflection of its storied and world-changing status. It is the story of how wealth and power shifted from the east to the west.
If legend is to be believed, the way to get the spice was quite fantastic. It is said that the bird Phoenix made its nest only with twigs and branches from the cinnamon tree. However, the nests would be on very high clifftops. To acquire cinnamon, people would throw iron balls to dislodged some of the cinnamon twigs. Cleopatra is known to have used cinnamon amply to enrich her charms. Cinnamon is an aphrodisiac which does well in love potions also. Rare and difficult to obtain, cinnamon was a mysterious, foreign, faraway dream.
At Second Chance House, we have a young, flourishing Cinnamon Tree, but alas, no phoenix resides here. We have a wind chime on it that reminds us of the mystical beauty of nature. I assume a fengshui believer planted it as the tree supposedly brings abundance and fortune. The cinnamon tree also has a spiritual connotation and it supposedly makes your instincts sharper.
Next to the cinnamon tree, we have a small hawaghar (gazebo). It is here that most of our business meetings are held with new, unknown people. Call me a dreamer, but I get the feeling that the tree somehow influences us, guides us and helps to better evaluate risks and benefits.
As we walk under the tree, we are treated with a waft of beautiful fragrance. This is because the fallen leaves get scrunched and release the ambrosial perfume into the firmament. By the way, these very leaves, when dried are used as bay leaves.
Another interesting titbit is that a ‘cinnamon word’ is a word that an author loves and uses quite frequently. I wonder what my ‘cinnamon word is?
It was this tree that inspired the Dorje Kashmiri Kahwa. Dorje Green Tea is infused with cinnamon, saffron and our very own secret ingredient. The cinnamon in the concoction makes it a cup fit for kings and Gods. The soothing aroma and flavour are a treat for the senses.
Write to me at Editor@Dorjeteas