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Enter a cafe or bar in Spain, including those on the industrial estates which cater for the rough tough workman, and ask for "Una manzanilla", and you will be served a glass of hot camomile tea . The current trend for herbal teas has never gone out of fashion in Spain and it is a common sight to see camomile being gathered in the hedgerows and fields when the flowers are in full bloom. The gathered gold and white heads are used to make a calming drink which is in much demand at any time of the day when you are feeling a bit nervous or, as a soothing alternative to tea before bedtime, which is how I have used it for many years.
Twinings, which is a rather superior tea and coffee merchant, make the best camomile teabags that I have tried. Their "Moment of calm", pure camomile teabags come in an attractive pale blue box on which is shown a picture of the attractive daisy like flower heads which make this delightful tea.
The box is easily opened by pulling the cardboard "zip" and lifting the lid and inside you will find 20 white teabags which smell faintly like apple (manzana in Spanish). Although the box is pretty I tend to put the bags into an airtight container once opened.The bags are quite large in size and filled with a generous amount of the herb which can move around well in the bag once hot water has been added.
Twinings suggest leaving the bag in freshly boiled water, one per person for up to 3minutes and to add sugar or honey if you wish. I also cover the top of my cup or mug as this retains the essential oils that could otherwise evaporate away. You will see a faint film or droplet of oil on the top of your drink which will be full of camomile essence.
Twinings camomile gives a particularly rich golden colour, the taste is quite hard to describe. It is nothing like ordinary tea but has a mild almost apple like taste, it will certainly not offend your taste buds and at 2kcal per 100ml of brewed infusion , is an almost calorie free, completely natural drink
I drink camomile tea just before bed time and find that it's caffeine free and calming properties really help to improve my quality of sleep. Twinings is a very good brand and I buy it when it is available rather than some of the Spanish brands which can be a bit feeble if a lot cheaper. If you do fancy trying camomile for a change, do start with Twinings. Just remember never to add milk and that it can make a refreshing cold drink as well. Sweet dreams!
5 out of 5 stars from me
Thanks for reading my review which may also be posted on Ciao
Readily available at many supermarkets.
Naturally caffeine free with all natural ingredients