Being an avid lover of Japanese culture, I have a soft spot for green tea, but I’ll admit that I can be a bit picky about it (especially boxed teabag varieties in grocery stores… some of the first teas I ever had to chuck in the garbage were grocery store teabag green teas, because certain brands were so unpalatable to me!) So I was pretty excited to get to try out the looseleaf variety, especially a flavored one, since one of the few boxed teabag grocery store green teas I do like is Celestial Seasonings Decaf Mandarin Orchard Green Tea.
So when I was at the Spice and Tea Exchange on Pier 39 in San Francisco last September, I picked up their Decaf Mango Tea. The ingredients include organic green tea, mango pieces, lemon peels, safflower threads, calendula petals, and natural mango flavoring, and it is a naturally decaffeinated green tea. Normally green tea offers so little caffeine it doesn’t bother my head much, but I knew I’d be attempting a medication detox for my migraines in the coming months (which I successfully went through in November), and since caffeine can aggrevate the rebound headache effect in the nerves, I was specifically looking for decaffeinated teas on that particular shopping venture. Even though I’m now past that and can have caffeinated teas again, this particular blend makes for a great evening drink, and I’m admittedly a heavy nighttime tea drinker.
Look at those big chunks of mango!
I brew this tea with water heated at 175 degees F and I give it a short steep of three minutes; despite being a green tea, it will have a rich orange color!
It will still smell reminescent of green tea, but you won’t be able to mistake the mango tones, and the taste is a pleasant mix of both; you can definitely still taste the distinct flavor of green tea leaves, but the brew has the sweet, fruity zing of mango. If you are familiar with the Celestial Seasonings Decaf Mandarin Orchard Green Tea, then you’d probably love this; just replace the orange taste with mango, and imagine a much more fresh-tasting experience.
If you don’t like the taste of green tea but have wanted to get into drinking it for its health benefits, a tea like this might be a good gateway due to its fruity flavoring (add a little sugar and it’s quite sweet!) Yes, you can still taste the flavor of green tea, but much like using creamer to acclimate oneself to blacker coffees, you’d be surprised what a little fruit flavoring can do!
This tea is on the pricier side even for Spice and Tea Exchange (which is already pricy!) at $6.95 for a 1 oz. sampler (pictured below) and $25.95 for the 4 oz. bag (and it looks like the prices have since gone up slightly on their website, unless it just costs more to order online!) While it is good, I’d have to say there are lots of quality looseleaf tea sites out there with flavored green teas at a much better value (though finding naturally decaffeinated ones, if that is a major selling point for you, can be a little trickier). I’ll definitely be looking at more flavored green teas in the future!
For what it is worth, though, the tea does resteep amazingly well, and I manage to get several cups out of a single infusion without sacrificing much flavor at all, so I’m making that one ounce sampler last quite a long time!
As I’m sipping on my cuppa of green tea, I feel like reflecting on the last year (after a whole month into the new year… I know, I’ve never been the most punctual). Actually, I got the idea from xoxJennxox’s The Tart ISBI: Year in Review, 2016, in which she brings up the fact that last year WordPress sent out those nice little Year in Review posts to everyone with cool stats for our blogs on them, but this year… Nope! I guess 2016 was just that bad they couldn’t be bothered.
So I went through and gathered up a few interesting tidbits myself.
Last year, this site had 5,944 views from 1,327 visitors. Hey, not bad for a small site that only managed to update once a month! (And if you are shocked at the low amount of activity for 2015… though my Blogaversary is celebrated in April, as that is when my first part of Cat Chronicles debuted, it actually debuted on Livejournal! Yes, Livejournal. I know that no one remembers that host, but from May to November, that was the home to my site before I made the move to WordPress, so “Sim Stories” only lived on WordPress during 2015 for two months. Not really enough time to pull proper stats. :-P )
And here is where all those views were coming from! Not particularly surprising, as I have reading circle members in Canada, the Netherlands, and France, and the rest of us in the United States! (Such a diverse bunch, and I love them all!) I also have a dedicated reader from Russia (I see you, chealsycat)! I can see quite clearly that my friend in Norway does not read my site… proof you just can’t get your non-Simming friends to check out your work. ^_~ (I have evidence Morgan, don’t think you are getting off easy just because you are a Viking!)
Can this be taken as a fair representation of cat-lovers world-wide? Eeh… probably not, but still interesting, hahahaha!
And what posts were they visiting? I am very happy that Sims Pride 2016 is, to date, the most successful post on this site. It was my first time trying to run a community event, and honestly, I did not think I had what it takes to try to run one, because I’m just not that popular or well-known in the Sims community. After the event I still heard a lot of people say, “Oh, I never heard about that or I would’ve participated” so I still didn’t manage to get the word out as well as I should’ve despite all my best efforts, but, for its first year, it still got a lot of participation, a lot of people dropped by to see the community coming together to share themselves and their diverse Sims, and I heard nothing but positivity about it, so I’m really happy about it and plan to do it again next June.
As for my actual writing, unsurprisingly there are a lot of my short stories in there, since they are read by the dedicated group that follows the Monthly Simlits Short Story Challenges thread every month, but despite that it seems For the Love of Furbabies has struck a special love, and for that I’m grateful, as I was really hoping that would be a story that those “outside the Simlit community” could also connect with and enjoy. The very first chapter of The Cat Chronicles did quite well, though none of the following chapters ranked quite so highly, which makes me wonder if a lot of people dropped it after the first chapter; I’ll admit when I started that story I had just started playing Sims 3 and my screenshot abilities are total ass. And they continue to be that way for pretty far into the story. I feel so much shame about that now, but there is no way I can fix that as that particular story is 99% unscripted and simply moves with the flow of what the characters of the game give me, and I can’t make those particular events happen again to get better images. All I can say is I really appreciate all those readers that have stuck with me over the last year on Shadow’s journey!
And where are people finding my blog? By and large, folks are coming from the Sims forums, and if you are a Simlit author and still haven’t signed up there, I would highly recommend doing so! There is a really bustling, great community for Simlit authors there, and we are sort of separated from the bustle and drama of most of the other areas of the forums, if you are worried about that. There are two really awesome sections for Simlit at the forums and you should check them both out, as there are useful resources for authors in both: Stories and Legacies (this is where you can find my Stories and Legacies Index, a giant library of Simlit links where you can submit your own site, and also the Monthly Simlits Short Story Challenges thread) and the The Sims 4 Stories and Legacies (this is where you can find A Quick Guide to Simlit, the Freezer Bunny Book Club, and Reading Circles).
Woo, look at everyone who is using the WordPress Reader! I’m a WordPress Reader addict myself, so that’s awesome! I really wish I could see which Tumblrs were linking to my site though, so I could visit them and follow if they are interesting! What a missed opportunity there, WordPress…
Thank you so much to all sites that link to my humble little blog; every visit means so much to me!
And the biggest shock of all… people are still finding this site from my old, original LiveJournal site?! This just goes to show, people, don’t delete your old websites! You don’t know how much my heart cries every time I go to a Simlit site and get the “This WordPress has been deleted” message. -_-;; Look at how effective just sticking a link from a dead site to a new one can be! (I’m seriously shocked anyone is still finding that old Livejournal, considering no one visited it before, hense why I moved to WordPress in the first place! Irony, that…)