Tea Chai Te

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Recent Tasting Notes

83

I’m fairly certain I’ve had Tea Chai Te’s Lady Londonderry before, but I don’t seem to have a review of it, only one for English Tea Store. I got a sample of this in an order last year, and it was the last flavored black tea sampler left in my stash, so I figured I should just finish it off.

They recommended a 2 minute steep, but I did my typical 3 minute steep in 350ml 205F water for half the sample (about 2.8g). The other half of the sample was brewed the same for the work thermos. The tea has a nice aroma; a jammy strawberry scent, but something about the smell sort of reminds me of Red Vines or cherry cola. Though I didn’t get it on the nose, taking a sip the lemon citrus note is very forward, and it has a very juicy feel to it; like freshly squeezed lemon juice. There is a touch of tanginess from it, but mostly that is mellowed by the sweeter strawberry note that comes in later in the sip and sort of lingers on the tongue in the aftertaste. The strawberry is definitely a more subtle flavor than the lemon, and I get a vague, sweeter strawberry lemonade sort of vibe from the taste. The black tea is very smooth prepared this way, and I don’t have any astringent aftertaste.

This seems to be pretty spot on to my impressions on the English Tea Store version, re-reading my notes, and I would be tempted to believe maybe they both source from the same place, except I did notice mild astringency from the other version, leading me to think this might be a slightly higher quality base tea. Regardless, this is a lovely cuppa and one I probably wouldn’t mind having in my cupboard again at some point, especially for iced tea season.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Candy, Citrus, Fruity, Jam, Lemon, Smooth, Strawberry, Sweet, Tangy

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 12 OZ / 350 ML
ashmanra

Wow, I had forgotten Lady Londonderry tea, but I sure don’t know how I did! I bought a pound bag years ago from English Tea Shop.

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90

Happy National Peach Cobbler Day! Today is the day to drink a tea with peach flavor notes!

I found this one for my Ode to Tea J entry… and I can’t believe it has sat, untouched, in my cupboard since March of 2018. Sigh…

The aroma wafting off my steeping cup is very compelling! I smell a strong tart/pithy orange citrus aroma, mixed with a peach/nectarine aroma which smell so inviting together!

On the tongue, I get a lead of hibiscus; the tea is a bit tangy but it doesn’t have the typical “hibiscus pucker” to it, it’s much sweeter. I’m mainly just getting the fruity sort of taste of the actual flower, and when I get that taste combined with the pithy tangerine note, it creates the feeling of biting into a very juicy orange or mandarine. As the tangier notes mellow on my tongue, I taste sweet peaches; I can detect the particular sweet note of licorice root, but there isn’t enough here to leave that “sticky” feeling on the tongue after the sip, only a mild flavor. The blend of rooibos and honeybush itself is magic, as I’m not getting any of the off-notes I often find in each (medicinal for rooibos, pepper for honeybush); it’s really smooth and sweet.

This may be one of the nicest rooibos blends I’ve had in a while! There are a lot of polarizing ingredients in it, but they happen to all be polarizing ingredients that I personally love, so this mix just works perfectly for me. This is just juicy citrus, sweet peach, and slightly floral honey-tasting nectar of the gods to me.

Why did this sit in my stash untouched for so long…?

Flavors: Citrus, Fruity, Hibiscus, Honey, Licorice, Orange, Peach, Smooth, Sweet, Tangy

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML
AJRimmer

Oh whoops, for some reason I thought tomorrow was Peach Cobbler Day! I couldn’t find an N tea, so I thought it lined up perfectly since I’d still have something to post. Oh well, tomorrow will be my Peach Cobbler Day :P

Mastress Alita

I’ve been sick with a bad migraine and missed posting any reminders (or even my tea post) until I could extract myself from bed. It’s all for fun anyway, just drink tea and be happy. :-)

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70

Ninth tea for March Mad(Hatter)ness! (What happened to #3-8? I’m having to skip around a bit depending on how my work schedule falls and the way tea and the time involved for different types of tea brewing, caffeine vs. no caffeine, etc., fall into that schedule). This is for the pu’erh tea round, going against Tea Etc.’s Chocolate Covered Strawberry.

This is going to be a landslide victory, considering that despite multiple efforts pu’erh tea just “isn’t my cuppa” no matter how hard I try… though, on occassion, I do find some flavored blends using it as a base alright. So when a pure pu ended up randomly selected against a flavored pu it almost seemed unfair to keep that randomizer… but you know what they say, all’s fair in love and tea…

Like all the teas in my bracket, this was purchased in 2018, from Tea Chai Te in Portland (though obviously they are sourcing it). I believe the copy writing at the time indicated the pressing on these tuos was 2008. I guess of all the tea in this bracket, this round is the one that should be least phased by the old age…

I used one tuo for 350ml 205F water, steeped for 5 minutes. I didn’t have time for a rinse prior (I barely had time for such a long steep before draining it into the work thermos and heading out the door!) and the tuo did have issue breaking up properly. That was entirely on me.

Has that strong, familiar earthy potting soil dirt smell. But, for a puerh, I’m doing alright with the flavor. It will never be my favorite type of tea, but this one has come out very smooth, and sweeter than I’m used to. I wonder if the tuo being unable to break up well left the steep “weaker” but, consequently, with a flavor that is far more appealing to me personally. It’s earthy, but doesn’t feel overwhelmingly so. There is a slight, but pleasant, minerality on the sip, which leans into a wet rocks/wet earth flavor. There is a slightly mellow and sweeter finish, while the liquor is that satisfying thick and rich mouthfeel that really coats the throat and stomach.

I am super surprised by this one! I doubt it is going to beat out Chocolate Covered Strawberry (I have very fond memories of that tea!) but it is putting up a hell of a fight to stay in the race. This is probably the highest rating I’ve given to an unflavored pu’erh.

Flavors: Dirt, Earth, Mineral, Sweet, Thick, Wet Earth, Wet Rocks

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML
tea-sipper

Yeah some of these teas, it will be tough on other teas because of Fond Tea Memories. It would almost have been more fair if I had used all teas I haven’t tried before in the brackets!

Mastress Alita

I specifically didn’t want to open any of my “sealed” packages though, so I made sure my randomizer selected from my oldest teas. (though many of those I still haven’t tried yet!)

tea-sipper

yeah, that makes sense too. I think all of the teas that were picked for my brackets were already tried by me anyway

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88

Day 24 of Sara’s Old Tea came with a big sachet of Hoji Matcha Chai!

No longer available from Tea Chai Te, this can still probably be purchased if you make a phone order, as they still have everything needed to make it.

I brewed it and added a bit of almond milk, just enough to cool it down to my preferred temperature.

The chai flavors blend together so well, that I had to take several sips to try to tease out what’s in there. I taste clove, ginger, and licorice, with a bit of woody flavor from the houjicha near the end of the sip. It tastes like… sitting and talking with Sara with a pot of tea at Tea Chai Te in Portland, the one on NW 23rd Avenue, a block from Salt & Straw ice cream.

I finished my glass before finishing the review.

Flavors: Clove, Ginger, Licorice, Wood

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 6 min, 0 sec 4 g 12 OZ / 354 ML
gmathis

I read your last sentence first. That’s a very good quality indicator right there!

Mastress Alita

What turned into, “Oh ya, I need to send Todd my old package of Hoji Matcha Chai” then became, “I need to throw away this gutted DAVIDsTEA advent packaging in the big dumpster, it’s bulky… oh heeeeeeeeeey…”

Todd

gmathis haha yeah, it was that good :)

Sara: Oh LOL, so that’s how it happened…

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84

Day 6 of Sara’s Old Tea!

The dry… pu-erh puck smells like sticky rice!
I brewed it western style, which probably isn’t ideal, but that’s my setup.
I like the flavor, plenty of sticky rice and some wet leaves. The sticky rice flavor really makes it for me.

Flavors: Earth, Rice, Wet Earth

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
White Antlers

Todd I brew my sticky rice pu erh Western as well. It’s one of my favorite breakfast teas.

Mastress Alita

I even use it to flavor white Minute Rice!

Todd

I may have to order some! I see Tea Chai Te doesn’t have this one in stock, but there are other sticky rice pu-erhs!

I read that! It sounds great as rice water.

Mastress Alita

Todd, TeaSource has these as well!

White Antlers

Todd I get mine from Mandala Tea. The herb that provides the sticky rice flavor is nuo mi xiang. Upton Tea carries this as well.

Todd

Thanks!

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68

Simmered 9g of this in 3 cups water/1 cup vanilla oat milk on the stove and served it in a big pot this morning for myself and sister before we headed to breakfast and then she had to get back on the road. I think if I made this again, I’d use even more leaf, as even at 3 parts water/1 part milk the flavors were a bit more muted than I like in a chai.

There was a lot left over in the pot so I’ve had it chilling in the fridge all day now as an iced latte! It’s very sweet, with a more forward vanilla flavor (perhaps the fact I use vanilla oat milk enhanced the vanilla notes?) The rose is present but not overwhelming, at least when made as a latte. The spices aren’t very strong here either, the most prominent is cardamom (which I think pairs nicely with the rose flavor) with a more subtle hint of ginger.

I need to experiment with it a bit more (plain, varying amounts of milk) and see what that does to the flavor. This brew felt a little overwhelmed, but I think this could be amazing with some tweeks.

Flavors: Cardamom, Cream, Floral, Ginger, Rose, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 9 g 32 OZ / 946 ML

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86

Finished what I had left with a nice big pot. Sweetened with a tiny bit of honey. Really, really nice vanilla flavor. The mate doesn’t overwhelm the creaminess of the vanilla. Still getting a macadamia nut cookie vibe, which I love. This is one I would return to.

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86

I was very intrigued by a macadamia nut tea. Combined with the vanilla, I was hoping for a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie vibe, and hot was actually pretty close! A very nice, creamy Yerba mate blend that wasn’t overwhelming.

Mastress Alita

I really enjoy this one too!

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91

Much, much better as an oat milk latte. Used my new milk frother and made an absolutely wonderful latte, sweetened with honey, and sprinkled with cinnamon.

Mastress Alita

I love Tea Chai Te! I like to make this one with coconut milk; the coconut milk adds the sweetness and compliments the flavors really well.

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87

Day 1 of my advent from Inkling! I audibly gasped when I took my first sip of this tea. It has an incredibly lovely vanilla flavor, that seems to be surprisingly difficult to find. Really enjoyed this at the end of my work day yesterday.

Flavors: Vanilla

Shae

Adding to my wishlist! I love a good vanilla tea.

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90

After listening to Jenni King rave about this tea for years (literally!) I finally caved and got my hands on some. And she wasn’t wrong…this is one of the best vanilla teas I’ve ever tried! Not quite as good as Whispering Pines Golden Orchid, but perhaps a close second. The vanilla flavor is rich and natural and compliments the base tea well. It’s delicious straight, but milk takes it to the next level and I’m betting it would make a pretty awesome sweetened tea latte as well, though I haven’t tried that yet. I’m down to the last couple teaspoons of my 2oz tin and will almost certainly be restocking.

Flavors: Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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98

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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72

I made this a week ago for an early morning staff meeting when my stomach felt awful… my stomach felt awful because, as it turned out, I was getting a migraine. I went home at my lunch break and never had a chance to log the tea. I still had about two more servings left in the (rather generous) sampler Tea Chai Te included of this in my last order with them, so I decided to brew it up again this morning. I’ve been migraining a lot this week, but working through it so my job won’t hate me. Mint is really soothing on the GI migraine symptoms, I’ve found.

This is pretty nice for a mate. I normally don’t like mint teas where I can tell they are heavily flavored with peppermint oil, and the ingredients don’t state this uses oil, but the peppermint is so strong I suspect it is using peppermint oil of some sort. Since I don’t really like the smoky notes in mate and the really strong peppermint flavor from the oil covers those notes up entirely, I’m actually kind of digging this. I’m still getting a bit of a grassy/hay herbaceous note from the tea, but the mint in this has a strong menthol flavor that is cooling, refreshing, sweet, and soothing. The mint hits early in the sip and the mate notes are a more subtle aftertaste. I’m actually really liking this; it isn’t as good as their macademia nut mate, but it is soooooooooo soothing on my stomach with a more interesting flavor then plain peppermint leaf tea. I could probably get behind having more of this, at least to combat morning migraine nausea, since the caffeine in the mate does make it a bit impractical for all-hour usage.

Flavors: Grass, Hay, Menthol, Mint, Peppermint, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 14 OZ / 400 ML
tea-sipper

I’m glad some mint helps you a bit. :D

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75

I’m surprised I haven’t reviewed this one yet, since I’ve had it since my Portland birthday trip in March 2017, when I visited Tea Chai Te. It’s their take on the famous Cinnamon Orange tea from Market Spice in Seattle, only on a rooibos base. I normally don’t like that artificial “Red Hot” cinnamon candy flavor used in these sorts of spice teas; they don’t claim to be using any flavoring, but it certainly has that “cinnamon flavoring” taste which makes me think of cinnamon candy or Big Red chewing gum that I don’t associate with teas that are only using cinnamon spice. That said, the rooibos base adds a lot of natural sweetness which helps temper it a lot, so I find it much less cloying and obnoxious than I usually find that flavoring. It’s actually kind of pleasant, reminding me of the sweet, satisfying counter-balance to the strong spicy cinnamon flavoring I get from the one cinnamon candy that I actually like, chocolate-covered cinnamon gummy bears.

The result is a tea that is more mildly spicy than overbearingly hot; the sip has a sweet rooibos and strong cinnamon candy flavor, with a very subtle sweet orange note in the rooibos base. It’s a bit hard to make out beneath the spice, though. A bit of clove is present toward the end of the sip. Mostly, it’s a strong cinnamon rooibos, and it’s the artificial, candied sort of flavor. But it at least isn’t hot, creating pleasant warmth during the sip but not leaving a long spicy lingering unpleasant tingle. It’s a safe choice for spice-weenies like me.

Flavors: Artificial, Candy, Cinnamon, Clove, Orange Zest, Rooibos, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
derk

March Babby!

Mastress Alita

St. Paddies Day!

derk

I have a few days on you :P

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73
drank Market Spice No. 72 by Tea Chai Te
1075 tasting notes

This is probably the best smelling tea from the tea box, so I had to try it! It reminds me of Harney’s hot cinnamon sunset flavor, but with a bit more complexity. The flavor is mostly cinnamon. Sugar makes the flavor pretty pleasant. While it’s tasty, it’s not really special enough to keep around. I think the Harney version is a little bit better, but I don’t even keep that one around anymore since I haven’t gravitated toward spicy teas lately.

Mastress Alita

I have Tea Chai Te’s rooibos version of the blend, which I really like. The rooibos base adds a bit of natural sweetness, I think, but it still has a quite bold cinnamon-orange flavor to it.

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80

23rd day of Sara’s Advent Calendar!

It’s Christmas Eve Eve, and this is a nice spiced tea that reminds me a bit of Hobee’s tea, a blend they serve in their restaurants and also offer in loose leaf. The cinnamon and clove waft off the cup and are the prominent flavors. I can also taste the rooibos and a subtle note of the orange peel. It tastes sweet too. I like it hot, and I’ll bet it would work great as an iced tea too.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Orange Zest, Rooibos, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Mastress Alita

Ya, it always made me think of a sweeter, more natural-tasting version of Hobee’s tea as well. While I frequently ice Hobee’s tea, I actually prefer this one warm; for some reason I don’t like red rooibos iced. Something about it cold brings out certain medicinal notes I just don’t like. But I drink it as a warm evening herbal all the time!

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86

It’s already the 20th day of Advent! Thanks again to Sara for the custom calendar!

This one smells like pumpkin in the cup, not just spice! Since this is a chai blend, I brewed it in water and added enough vanilla almond milk to cool it down so I can drink it right away. It’s probably not to most people’s taste, but I like doing it that way.

It’s actually more pumpkin than spice! I can taste a little cinnamon and clove or allspice. I checked the ingredients, and no allspice. So it must be clove. Oh hey, now I found a ginger note at the end of the sip.

I think it would be fine w/o any milk too.

If you like your chai to have a big kick of spices, you might not like this one so much, but I love it. It’s warm and soothing.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Pumpkin

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Mastress Alita

The best pumpkin chai. It’s mellow enough it doesn’t need to be milked, and it actually does have a pumpkin flavor, not just spices. I’ve tried a lot of pumpkin teas and it is still one of my favorites. Has a nice vanilla sweetness from the vanilla bean in the blend if you drink it plain, too.

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50

I received an early Christmas gift in the mail yesterday: the black tea gift set from Tea Chai Te! I’ve been wanting to try their “Mount Hood Vanilla” blend for ages and I’m so excited to finally own it, along with several others. This is the one tea in the gift set that I wasn’t quite sure about and sadly it isn’t for me. The description is accurate…this is like drinking melted red hots! Way too much cinnamon for me. I’m sure there’s someone out there who loves cinnamon and will adore this tea, so I’ll be popping it in the Discovery TTB for someone else to enjoy. :)

Flavors: Cinnamon, Spicy

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Mastress Alita

I love Tea Chai Te! Their Spiced Vanilla Chai (which uses the Mount Hood Vanilla as its base) is one of my favorite teas, ever!

Inkling

Oh boy, another one to add to my wish list!

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81

The smell is very vanilla! Like the vanilla coffee is sometimes scented with.

Hmm, I feel like I’m tasting the vanilla and then the mate, but not together. Or something grassy. There’s a very slight note of macadamia, but I wish it had a little more of that.

It’s not bad, but after smelling it, I’m a bit disappointed by the taste.

Edit: Okay, I tried it again cold, and I like it much better! I moved it up from 65 to 81. I also now taste a coffee note.

Flavors: Coffee, Grass, Nuts, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 3 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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90

Phew, I have finally worked through sipping down a lot of the teas I’ve been working on over the last few days, so now I’ve moved a new set of alphabet letters over into my focus area. I pulled this one for my Ode to Tea V entry! I reviewed it before, two years ago (here: https://steepster.com/mastressalita/posts/383379 ) but figured it had been long enough to give it a proper revisit.

I absolutely love the smell of this stuff. If you separate the herbaceous quality of the mate base beneath, the scent does remind me of a warm Macademia Nut sugar cookie. Has a very sweet vanilla aroma, with a somewhat nutty quality. On the sip… I can tell age has not done this tea any favors. I remember the flavor being a lot richer than I’m getting now. The mate is coming forth a bit more strongly, with that herbaceous hot hay note, and a hint of smokiness; not nearly as smoky as I have had yerba mate get in the past. The tea is still quite sweet, with some vanilla and nuts. I noted before it tasted like coffee to me, but I’m not really getting that now; perhaps one of those sweet and nutty coffee creamers, but not actual coffee beans.

I’m not going to slide my rating down though, as I remember this tea being an absolute standout in an area that isn’t well represented (flavored yerba mate) and think my neglect hasn’t done the flavorings any favors. All the more reason why it’s good I grabbed this one to sip down! Would do far more good to get rid of this less-than-steller tea and replace it with a fresh, tastier batch.

Flavors: Herbaceous, Hot Hay, Nutty, Smoke, Sweet, Vanilla, Vegetal

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML

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90

Autumn Harvest! Going nutty again today, though this is my only macademia nut tea (honestly, I don’t think I’ve even seen any other macademia nut teas!) and it’s on a rather unique base — yerba mate (another rarity, as yerba mate blends in general are rather rare). The smell is interesting to me, because I’ve had plain yerba mate and it tasted just like gunpowder green tea to me — vegetal and like tobacco smoke — but this smells just like a nutty coffee with a bit of vanilla creamer from the dry leaf. It’s soooooo appealing! I usually only get roasted mate because I don’t care for that tobacco smoky taste, but this doesn’t even have a hint of that from the aroma.

Steeped up the tea is lightly golden, and the tea tastes very similar to the aroma. It isn’t a strong coffee flavor by any means (nothing like roasted barley) but I’m getting it. It’s a bit vegetal too, a bit like dry hay, but I’m not getting that smoky tobacco taste that turned me off so much from plain, unroasted mate before. The flavoring of vanilla and macademia nut oils is wonderful! It’s not overwhelming, but it really does seem to bring out that sweet, nutty coffee feel, and it’s so natural, too. The nut is very forward on the sip, and the vanilla just adds a sweetness that sort of lingers at the end, and the two flavors compliment each other well.

This is probably the best unroasted yerba mate I’ve ever had. Will definitely be keeping this one around!

Flavors: Coffee, Hot Hay, Nutty, Sweet, Vanilla, Vegetal

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec 3 g 12 OZ / 350 ML

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79

I had this in my water bottle today, prepared as a cold brew, about five teaspoons to a quart and left to steep overnight. I have to say, this is a really nice fruit tea; I normally love tart/tangy hibi-hip teas, but this tea is much sweeter than a lot of fruit teas I’ve tried, with strawberry being the dominant flavor note I’m getting. In fact, the first thing that came to my mind was sweet, strawberry jam. I also get some slightly more tangy red berry notes, which settle toward the back of the tongue toward the end of the sip, but overall it’s just a very naturally sweet, juicy, jammy tea. It’s very refreshing!

Flavors: Berries, Fruity, Jam, Strawberry, Sweet, Tangy

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 5 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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