Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms

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Recent Tasting Notes

98

It took only one sample for this matcha to win me over. Officially, one of the best matchas I’ve ever had which is even more impressive considering how old the sample was.

The dry powder smelled fresh, sweet, and fragrant. It frothed easily and had a rich green color. Although I intended to make a latte with it, I first tasted the prepared matcha and was surprised by how delicious it was on its own. Smooth and creamy without any bitterness and the in-your-face umami of most matcha. It’s the only matcha I’ve ever been able to tolerate on its own. Was tempted to have the rest of it straight but decided to go ahead and have it as an iced latte. A little sweetener, a few ice cubes, and a splash of oat milk and it was outrageously good.

Definitely going to hit up Obubu for my next matcha order. Thanks for the sample Cameron B

Flavors: Evergreen, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 1 tsp 3 OZ / 100 ML
Cameron B.

Ooh that’s exciting, I’ve never tried any of their matcha!

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80

Sipdown! (11 | 420)

Finishing off an old packet of this one. Still has plenty of flavor left though!

It’s a very savory sencha, with a lot of deep-steamed vegetal notes. Mostly intense, slightly bitter greens like kale or chard, layered with umami.

It’s pleasant, but a bit heavy and one-dimensional compared to other Obubu sencha I’ve had recently. I see it’s a shaded tea which explains the intensity of flavor. But it’s not one I would order as they have many other sencha that I like more. :)

Flavors: Bitter, Kale, Savory, Spinach, Thick, Umami, Vegetables, Vegetal

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 45 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 240 ML

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83

Another one of the green teas that I bought during a random craving. This one is really nice! None of that weird latex flavor I get in so many green teas. This is fresh, vibrant, and spinachy.

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85

Sipdown! (8 | 417)

So I was saving my last packet of this to send to a friend, but I got my fall subscription package today, and inside were five more packets! So I’m finishing off this last older sample and I’ll send out one of the fresh ones.

Just wrote a note about this yesterday so I don’t have much more to say. I think this is a very well-balanced sencha that’s easy to drink. It has a nice combination of freshness and umami without being too heavy, and a creamy nuttiness that’s really yummy.

Flavors: Apple Skins, Creamy, Grass, Nutty, Smooth, Soybean, Spinach, Sweet, Umami

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 45 sec 5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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85

Another not-technically-sipdown note. I only have one more sample packet of this one, and I’ll be sending it to an Instagram friend as part of an Obubu sampler. Spread the Obubu love!

I haven’t been drinking many sencha or Japanese teas in general lately, so this just blew my mind when I took a sip. I guess I forgot how much I love sencha and its depth of flavor. This is so rich and buttery, making me think of kabocha or butternut squash as well as nuttier notes of edamame. Umami is there of course, but somewhat subdued. There’s a lot of vegetal sweetness here, and even as the tea cools not much bitter to speak of. Also some dry grass and hay, but in a sweet and comforting way, like lying in a pile of fresh, clean hay. Spinach lends depth and a nice, rich bottom note alongside the buttery squash.

Second steep has a touch more astringency and is a bit more refreshing with grass and nori notes. Still scrumptious!

So much nom. And there was much rejoicing.

Flavors: Butter, Butternut Squash, Dry Grass, Hay, Kabocha, Pumpkin, Seaweed, Soybean, Spinach, Squash, Sweet, Thick, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 45 sec 5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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75

My first time trying an autumn picked sencha. I didn’t even know this was a thing. Gotta hand it to Obubu Tea Farms for such an eclectic selection.

The appearance of the leaves is one of the strangest I’ve ever seen in Japanese green tea. It’s a mixture of twigs, stems, and flat yellow and green blade like leaves that sort of resemble a broken dragonwell. The leaves emit a strong seaweed aroma. Once heated, this turns into kelp and popcorn.

The brewed tea produces a light green, clear infusion. Gentle toasted nori and sakura flavor. Slight umami. Very smooth. Subsequent steeps bring out brothy notes along with more seaweed. It remains smooth and full bodied without any bitterness.

This sample is quite a few months old by now. Curious as to how it would have tasted at peak freshness.

Thanks for another interesting sample Cameron B

Flavors: Sakura, Seaweed, Vegetable Broth

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 g 4 OZ / 117 ML

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97

Thank you Cameron for this sample.

Made the best iced hojicha of my life using this tea! I cold brewed 2g for 16 hours or so. What resulted was an incredibly delicious, refreshing iced tea. Super smooth, luxurious texture with caramel notes and a deep raisin sweetness. Ambient brew wasn’t quite as amazing as the cold brew though. It was a little murkier and had oily mouthfeel.

As an unroasted green tea fanatic, I’m usually not big on hojicha. But with teas like this, it won’t be long before I’m pulled to the dark side.

Flavors: Caramel, Raisins, Tobacco

Preparation
2 g 8 OZ / 251 ML
gmathis

What a lovely description!

Cameron B.

Come to the dark side! ;)

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75

Backlog.

Had this one a while ago at work and jotted down a few sparse notes. It’s quite similar in appearance and taste to the other Obubu teas I’ve sampled. Long, unbroken dark green leaves that share many flavor characteristics with Chinese greens. Aromas of autumn leaves and boy choy. Very light in color and taste. Flavor is mostly green bean and sautéed veggies. Doesn’t have much of the grass and umami typically found in Japanese greens.

Thanks for the sample Cameron. I’m just about done with all of the Obubu senchas and looking forward to trying the houjicha samples next.

Flavors: Bok Choy, Green Beans, Vegetables

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 14 OZ / 400 ML

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#tiffanys2021sipdown Tea #175 overall / Tea #46 for April
An Ode To Tea, W is for Wakoucha by Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms (black tea) (gifted by Cameron aka @tea.n.pugs) 13/23
Thursday 4/29 — WOW-color me impressed. Cameron sent me a lovely package with lots of different teas. I vowed to try everything even the ones that might not normally be my wheelhouse. I will say this again and again, but black tea is not my favorite. I brewed up the whole sample packet (5g? 10g?) in small plastic pitcher (maybe 32 oz of water?) cold brew and I adored it. It was so light, but not like light like on flavor but like airy? I don’t know. I’m terribly bad at describing things but this was so delicious. I wish I would have experimented with this more. Looking forward to trying other teas from this company and putting them on my wish list of companies to try in future.
#tiffanydrinkstea #tiffanys2021 #tiffanysfaves #tiffanyinthe614 #tiffanysteasipdown #sipdownchallenge

Tiffany :)

Oh, let me double check the packaging and I might have to delete and repost. Thanks regardless Cameron! :D

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75

Sipdown! (56 | 260)

Finishing off the set of sample packets from a tea club shipment from last year. Also my first time trying this tea!

The leaves of this tea are quite small and broken, and steep up to a bright but cloudy green-yellow liquor. It has a strong, intense vegetal flavor that reminds me of fukamushi sencha, along with a pleasant nuttiness. No bitterness or astringency to speak of.

I had this a few hours ago and didn’t really take notes, so I’ll have to write a better tasting note next time, ha ha…

https://www.instagram.com/p/COHWxpoASYB/

Flavors: Grain, Smooth, Spinach, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 0 min, 45 sec 10 g 10 OZ / 300 ML

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Grabbed a little sample from the tea box. I’ve enjoyed flavored hojicha in the past, and I think one plain one, but that must have been a lighter roast. To me, dark roast sort of just tastes burnt? Like vegetables that have been left on the grill too long. Really charred. If it had some other flavors in there, maybe I could enjoy it, but plain, it doesn’t work for me.

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drank Genmaicha by Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
1141 tasting notes

2021 sipdown no. 78

Almost done these teas from Cameron!

This one is a delightful genmaicha. I always enjoy genmaicha, but certainly don’t drink enough of it to comment any more than that I enjoy it. I actually added a touch of marshmallow root just because.

I’ll resteep for a second steep as well.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML
AJRimmer

Where do you buy your marshmallow root? I was thinking about ordering some for this purpose!

Courtney

I actually ordered some from iHerb (quite a while ago now), but here is the link: https://ca.iherb.com/pr/Frontier-Natural-Products-Cut-Sifted-Marshmallow-Root-16-oz-453-g/31011

Cameron B.

Almost done?! Time to send you some new ones! XD

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88

Ooh, so excited! I adore sakura sencha, but this is the first time I’ve seen one from Obubu, and they were kind enough to include it in the March subscription box! \o/

I was surprised that the instructions recommend only 120ml of water for the 5g packet. But I suppose maybe it makes sense given there’s less actual tea than usual here, because of the added sakura blossoms and leaves. So I got to use a cute baby teapot!

This is so lovely. The base tea here is their Sencha of the Spring Sun, which is an unshaded spring-harvest sencha. It has some lovely vegetal spinach and umami notes, with a bit of fresh green grass on the side. There is virtually no bitterness, but a touch of astringency on the tail end with this fairly long steep time. It’s an excellent choice to pair with the sakura, as its flavor is mellow enough not to be overpowering. I love the taste of sakura, but I feel like I always have a hard time describing it in other words. There’s definitely some cherry, though it’s more subtle than you would expect from the name “cherry blossom”. It has a wonderful savoriness to it that really sets it apart from other flowers, and the floral presence is soft and light.

Not sure how this compares to my beloved Chasandai sakura sencha, I’d probably need to sip them side-by-side. It’s definitely different, because the Chasandai version has sugared leaves in it, which adds an extra sweetness. Although looking at the Yunomi website, it looks like it might be discontinued now…? T.T

https://www.instagram.com/p/CNV9yT1A4e9/

Flavors: Astringent, Cherry, Cherry Blossom, Floral, Freshly Cut Grass, Sakura, Savory, Seaweed, Smooth, Spinach, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 140 ML
Mastress Alita

Was this one very salty? I love sakura teas too, but I find the salt preservative off-putting in my teacup.

Mastress Alita

Also, boo about the Chasandai one being discontinued! I prefer that one to all the others I’ve tried because it is sugar-preserved instead of salt-preserved… I wonder what I’ll use now.

Cameron B.

I don’t think there’s any salt or sugar in this one, as far as I can tell the flowers and leaves are just dried.

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2021 sipdown no. 67

Thanks to Cameron for another great sample!

This one is toasty, toasty just like a hojicha is meant to be. I actually love it even more as it cools because a sweetness comes through and makes it even more delightful. I always enjoy hojicha, but never consider keeping it in my cupboard, and maybe that’s something I should re-think.

The term is slowly coming to an end and I have assignments galore, but I enjoyed my last cup as we binged WandaVision today because a break was in order.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML

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88

Sipdown! (9 | 213)

Okay, this is so delicious!

Sweet, slightly vegetal with notes of alfalfa hay and a really yummy grainy flavor. I’m not sure what grains precisely, maybe something like flax and steel cut oats? There’s a bit of kabocha squash with a lovely richness to it. The umami came out a touch more in the second steep, with a lovely crisp nori note at the end of the sip.

Yummy!

Flavors: Alfalfa, Grain, Hay, Kabocha, Oats, Seaweed, Smooth, Squash, Sweet, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 15 sec 5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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90

Sipdown! (64 | 194)

I took one of my recently acquired kyusu out for a spin with this lovely tea this afternoon.
I followed the parameters from Obubu’s video – first steep at 140°F for 90 seconds, and then a second steep at 175°F for 30 seconds.

The first steep had a lovely thick and rich kabocha or acorn squash-like flavor to it, along with intensely vegetal steamed spinach notes and a soft undercurrent of umami. There was also a bit of fresher grass and green hay bringing up the rear. Very little bitterness. The second steep was much hotter and shorter, so I tasted more of the grass and hay flavors, and there was a stronger pleasantly bitter note at the end of the sip, along with a touch of astringency.

Overall, very rich and satisfying with a lovely intensity. I felt very energetic after the session!

P.S. – Someone rated this a 4, seriously?!

https://www.instagram.com/p/CM8Rg17hRPn/

Flavors: Creamy, Freshly Cut Grass, Hay, Kabocha, Seaweed, Smooth, Spinach, Squash, Sweet, Thick, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
140 °F / 60 °C 1 min, 30 sec 5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML
AJRimmer

Yeah, I basically never rate things that low, even if they’re awful. It just feels mean!

Cameron B.

I mean, I could understand if it was a low quality tea, but yeah, I don’t get it for this one. Obviously it’s their right to rate it a 4 though! :P

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82

Sipdown! (59 | 189)

Finishing off the last of my subscription packets of this tea, but I still have an unopened full-size package!

This is really lovely, and it’s nice to have a milder, unshaded sencha after having fukamushi and kabuse varieties the last two times.

The beginning of the sip is all brothy simmered vegetables, more bok choy than the usual spinach. My favorite takeout wonton soup has loads of bok choy in it, and this is reminding me of that in a lovely way. There’s also a fresh grassy note and some umami, though in this sencha it’s closer to a whisper than a scream, perhaps like a light ocean breeze instead of seaweed. Some nice nutty notes that remind me of Chinese green teas as well. And then at the end of the sip, there’s this clear and poignant pine flavor that I really didn’t expect. Pine and perhaps basil as well? What an interesting finish for a more subdued sencha!

The description lists a lot of floral notes, which I don’t get much of at all. I guess I’m not doing it right, ha ha! But I like the notes I tasted better! ;)

Flavors: Basil, Bok Choy, Creamy, Freshly Cut Grass, Grass, Nuts, Ocean Air, Pine, Smooth, Umami, Vegetable Broth, Zucchini

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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88
drank Tencha by Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
574 tasting notes

Another unique tea from Cameron’s Obubu Tea Farm’s collection. I’ve always been curious to try tencha, the precursor to matcha, but it’s not an easy tea to find.

The familiar smell of matcha, those deep vegetal and umami notes, greet you upon opening the pouch. The leaf looks like a typical sencha although it has more broken leaves and small particle than other Obubu teas. The steeped tea tastes indeed like matcha. Soft peat moss earthiness, umami, and assertive notes of broccoli and spinach. It tastes like a thin matcha but without the intensity and chalkiness. As someone who finds straight matcha too aggressive, I appreciated the lighter, more delicate flavor of this tencha.

Thanks Cameron for once again expanding my experience!

Flavors: Broccoli, Earth, Grass, Spinach, Umami

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 45 sec 2 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
Mastress Alita

I’m with you, I like matcha but find it too assertive/bitter to take it plain. Since I have to have it in baking, lattes, or smoothies, I rarely see the reason to get “fancy” matcha over culinary.

LuckyMe

I usually buy the cheapest ceremonial grade for lattes as I haven’t found a good culinary grade matcha yet. What culinary matcha do you recommend?

Cameron B.

I still need to try this one, I’ve never tried tencha before either! Glad to hear you enjoyed it. :)

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82

Sipdown! (3 | 207)

I’m getting low on Obubu hojicha! Luckily I have some other ones that I need to sip through… (always, ha ha!)

I’m surprised that the roast isn’t overpowering here, given it’s the dark version. It has a nice burnt sugar, caramel sort of undertone with layers of roasted barley, wood, and autumn leaf. There’s a bit of smokiness and charcoal as well. I would like a little more nuttiness, but maybe that’s just a consequence of the darker roast.

Very tasty! But I tend to prefer lighter roasts, and especially kuki-hojicha!

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Roasted Barley, Smoke, Smooth, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 30 sec 5 g 16 OZ / 473 ML
gmathis

I know you don’t pronounce it like that, but any time my eyes see “Hojicha,” my brain thinks, “Ha-cha-cha!” Therefore, Oh-boo-boo Ha-cha-cha just makes me giggle. (It also sounds like it would make me smile—lovely assortment of flavors there!)

Cameron B.

HA-CHA-CHA! XD

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82

So after accidentally failing to make the last hojicha into a milk tea (lol), I steeped this one up instead. I figured the darker roast would give a stronger toasty flavor and stand up better to the milk anyway.

But wow, it’s really roasty! Delicious though, the milk really smooths out the rougher edges nicely. I added brown sugar syrup to this one, as I thought it would go nicely with the darker roast, and I think it was a good choice.

I’ve never had a hojicha latte, but this is fairly similar and I really like it! I really need to mix up my 3 Leaf Banana Hojicha powder one of these days…

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Grain, Roasted, Roasted Barley, Toasted, Wood

Preparation
Iced 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 12 OZ / 354 ML
Mastress Alita

I love making houjicha lattes! Especially with a dash of maple syrup.

Cameron B.

Yum, that sounds delicious.

Kittenna

I literally started salivating at the thought of a dark roast hojicha as milk tea! Yummmmm.

LuckyMe

Big fan of Hojicha lattes here as well. Sometimes hojicha that isn’t great on its own is transformed with a little milk and sugar.

Mastress Alita

Exactly, LuckyMe. Sometimes I run into a houjicha that comes out overly “dusty” or more “barky/wood chip” like than that nice, rounded wood note, and then I tend to over leaf those and add milk and a touch of maple syrup as sweetener. Great way to use up otherwise lacklaster houjicha.

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85

Sipdown! (17 | 147)

I figured this would be interesting to try as a milk tea! I only had one packet left after sending out a couple on swaps, so I thought it would be a nice way to finish it off.

The beginning of the sip is actually dead-on for kabocha! Which I was not expecting at all, given that’s not a note I found in the tea by itself. But it’s very squashy, yet sweet and creamy, almost like a creamy kabocha soup. The middle and end transitions more to sweet honeyed brioche, which makes more sense as I often find wakocha bready.

Anyway, surprising and yummy! Next time I’d try this one with honey syrup instead of regular.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Butternut Squash, Honey, Pumpkin

Preparation
Iced 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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85

So apparently I didn’t write a note for this when I drank it last month. Today I’m finishing it off as a milk tea, but I want to write a note for it prepared traditionally, so here we go. Luckily I did do an Instagram post, so I have those notes.

Wakocha always reminds me of white tea in some ways, and Taiwanese black tea in others.

This one has a lovely smooth taste and light body, with notes of honeyed hay and oats with freshly baked bread. There’s an underlying sweet molasses richness that I really love, and hints of syrupy dried fruit like figs or dates. The hay and straw notes have a bit of mineral mustiness to them that I find quite refreshing.

Yum! I should really drink wakocha more often…

https://www.instagram.com/p/CKzdthPAX-4/

Flavors: Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Dates, Dried Fruit, Fig, Grain, Hay, Honey, Mineral, Molasses, Musty, Oats, Smooth, Straw, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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88

Sipdown! (13 | 143)

So… I haven’t had much gyokuro. For some reason, I’m very intimidated by it, even though I drink sencha all the time. I guess it’s because it’s supposed to be this precious thing, and I’m afraid of messing it up? I ’unno…

But today I said YES, let’s steep it up! This was a single sealed 5g packet leftover from an Obubu sampler I had. I used a 120-ish ml shiboridashi for this tea, and 140°F water.

Wow, it’s really a punch in the mouth! Such an intense vegetal and umami flavor, but without any bitterness at all. Very thick with a lovely honeyed sweetness, and also some sweet fruity notes. The first thing I thought of was maybe cooked pear? But I see that the description mentions melon, which I also agree with. There are also sweet and creamy veggies, like edamame and fresh garden peas, and a strong note of steamed spinach. Perhaps a hint of floral at the end?

This was just so yummy. Very thick, brothy and satisfying, yet also sweet and fruity. I have a few more gyokuro samples from Obubu, so I’ll have to give those a try soon!

https://www.instagram.com/p/CMF7qB6gOBM/

Flavors: Broth, Cantaloupe, Creamy, Floral, Garden Peas, Honey, Honeydew, Melon, Pear, Peas, Smooth, Soybean, Spinach, Sweet, Thick, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
140 °F / 60 °C 1 min, 30 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
Mastress Alita

The one time I tried gyokuro, I found it a little too seaweedy for me, at least on the first steep (subsequent steeps were better). But I really liked it cold steeped.

It sure gave me an energy boost, though! I only drank gyokuro stems today and was unable to take a nap, heh.

Kittenna

This sounds so good. My experiences with gyokuro have been pretty good as long as I’m very careful with time, temp, and leaf amount. Finicky, but rewarding!

Cameron B.

@Alita – I definitely felt a little rush of energy for a few minutes after sipping this! But nothing more than that, as I don’t tend to be affected by caffeine.

@Kittenna – Luckily I had a video from Obubu with parameters specifically for this tea! But they didn’t have any instructions for second or third steeps, so I’ll have to experiment with that more.

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91

Backlog. Another share from Cameron.

This was an exquisite tea. Soft and creamy with mellow grassy notes and a taste that’s reminiscent of mountain mist and tender spring vegetables. It develops a rich, hearty body over successive steeps while remaining well-balanced and smooth. Notes of soy milk and cream along the way before ending bright and fruity. It’s also got staying power as I was able to push it for 4 good steeps.

Flavors: Soybean, Umami, Vegetables

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
Cameron B.

Yum, so glad you liked it! Your note is making me hungry. XD

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