1269 Tasting Notes

70
drank House Blend by Den Lille Tebutik
1269 tasting notes

Backlogging. Still drinking this one at work. It was particularly good today after first a meeting with the other lab that are being moved in with us. That’s going to be interesting. The sort of thing that even though it’s super-frustrating while it’s happening, it would be a shame to miss out on, because it’ll be a great laugh afterwards. Right now, though, we’re looking at a heck of a lot of confusion.

And then that’s followed by another meeting to do with pay regulation and who’s turn it is to get an add-on and how the negotiations for that are conducted between the hospital management and the union spokespeople. Dry and complicated stuff and likely irrelevant to me, because I’m pretty sure I’m not getting anything this year. I got some last year, so it can’t be my turn again, even though my immediate leader has ‘nominated’ me. (Not that I’d complain, mind!) Very dry and complicated stuff, most of which went completely over my head.

All in all, getting back downstairs to my lunch and a big cup of this tea = heaven on earth. I still stand by my first review of this taste-wise. I just thought that the absolute relief it was to get it today was worth logging. Just for that alone.

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85
drank Almond Tea by Den Lille Tebutik
1269 tasting notes

Hyrulehippie inspired me and you can blame her for the fact that I’m logging my third tea today. Or maybe I should just change my name to Spamrboda instead.

Anyway, I’ve listed this one as black (because it is) and fruit because it’s not fruit but it’s not a plain black either. See my dilemma?

It’s very sweet with the almonds and it has big almond chunks in it. You can smell marzipan from miles away just when pouring the water on. This tea is totally a dessert tea and I really ought to wait and have it after I’ve eaten dinner. But it’s slow food tonight and I can’t wait that long!

TeaEqualsBliss

only logging 3 teas (so far) today!? No need to stop!!!! LOVE the reviews! As you can see I log at least 6 a day LOL

Hyrulehippie

Yay! I’m contagious! o

Angrboda

@TeaEqualsBliss; well true, but you’re not in the habit of writing two and a half novels about each one. At least I controlled myself about all the ridiculous background-y irrelevant stuff on this one. ;)

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73
drank Ceylon Pekoe by Den Lille Tebutik
1269 tasting notes

Another tea I’ve never logged. WTF? I thought since it’s such a relatively long time since I shopped tea (and I mean really shopped through!) that I could have sworn all my loose had been logged at least once.

This is my reward for having written concentratedly for 15 minutes. NaNo wordcount total is now 9356 words. I’m ‘racing’ one of my writing buddies though, a fun little game we’ve had for years, and she was hot on my heels this morning. I was only 21 words ahead! O.o

Thank heavens for wednesdays! I’m part time employed so I have wednesdays off and although I was a bit annoyed at the position being a part time one when I started five years ago, I have come to love and cherish my wednesdays and I’m not going to ask for more hours until I’m forced.

Anyway, I’m taking (another) tea break. Double win when it’s a previously unlogged one. I ought to just drink it while doing another 15 minutes and let the review be the reward. But there’s a limit to how much discipline I can muster at any given moment.

It’s a good solid black, this, originally bought to drink at work, but I ended up bringing a different one instead. It has a nice reddish colour and not all that much in the way of aroma. It’s quite mild, almost fleeting and I had to sort of search for it. It’s nice once you find it though. A bit surprising in a black, I find.

Especially compared to the flavour. I brewed it a bit too strong. Wasn’t really paying attention to what I was doing when adding the leaves and used too many for the size of pot chosen. Which is weird, frankly, because this small one with the farm animals on it has been my preferred pot for quite a while. My head must have been full of witches and caves and wordcounts and such while preparing. Anyway, it turned a bit bitter because of the strength but underneath it there is a lot of that thing which I have finally learned to recognise as ‘astringency’. Although, with the lab work in my background, the word still have some completely weird associations for me.

It’s a shame I used too many leaves, because it’s really pretty much all I can taste in this batch. I’m giving it a higher rating though, because I know from previous experience that if one pays attention to what one is doing, it’s better than this.

Carolyn

Whoot! 9356 words!! That’s fantastic. My word machine is struggling along trying to get the minimums.

Angrboda

11712 words and counting. Part time jobs rock!
You’ll be fine. There are lots of days to get ahead in.

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90

I’m in a green mood this morning. A lot of healthy stuff comes in the shade of green. That’s why call them greens. :)

I was originally amused by this one. I’d never seen a genmaicha before where puffed rice were all coloured green. I thought it looked hilarious, but figured it might have been done for the decorational value. Next, it surprised me by being very sensitive to steeping. If you brew with the leaves floating loose in the pot like I do, it MUST be decanted after steeping, because it will turn ridiculously bitter if left to its own devices.

Over on LJ, though, a resourceful person known as Iguanahey looked into it a bit and found that it was actually a variation of Genmaicha called ‘Uji Genmaicha’, in which a measure of matcha was added to the usual mix of sencha and rice. This would explain the mildness of flavour and the sensitivity to steeping.

I think I prefer the ‘usual’ Genmaicha that I had before, but this is really really nice too, and I’m dreading running out.

I think I should have let the water cool a bit more before brewing today. The rice of course have a toasted flavour, but it seems a bit more burned than usual this morning. Eh well. That’s what you get when you don’t have a thermometer and go by gut (and memory. Many’s the time where I’ve had to boil new water because I’d forgotten the kettle and it had gone way too cold) when brewing green and white.

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65
drank Earl Grey by Twinings
1269 tasting notes

Also backlogged. This is what I had this afternoon with the boyfriend. You may regard the following post as a collaboration.

Apparently these bags are getting a wee bit on in age, most likely, and haven’t been stored all that strictly according to what is best for the tea.

I could definitely pick up a citrus-y flavour, although it reminded me a bit more of lemon than of anything else. Something acidic, definitely, thought the boyfriend. We settled on citric acid.

The tea itself was rather bland. After a short while when it had developed a bit, read: steeped a little bit longer, it developed a little more character although not very much.

It did bring on the question of ‘astringency’, though. WTF is that? I’ve searched high and low for a proper easily understandable explanation of what this is supposed to taste like. I know it’s one of them ‘official technical terms’, but it has just never ever been a word that I have associated with any sort of flavour.

On the contrary, I work in a hospital lab, and when we talk about ‘stringency’ it has something to do with the environtment in which a given test is conducted being EXACTLY identical each time. Temperature and reaction times and such things. ‘Astringency’ sounds like the opposite of this and in the lab it wouldn’t really be all that good. It’s just the first thought that pops into my head, and it’s really confusing when talking flavour.

Hence, it’s really difficult for me to wrap my head around it not only being a sort of flavour, but also something good. I know that it has something to do with how tannins affect the mucus membranes of the tongue and such. But still.

Anyway, to make a short story long, we decided that this particular sensation that we found in it must be what people meant when they talked about astringency. I described it as something that could be mistaken for bitterness and the boyfriend, apparently having more imagination than me, said slightly like soap but not. After some consideration the soap was the conclusion we went with.

And then the boyfriend said he would award it 3 out of 5 chainsaws, which I thought on a 1-100 scale would translate to 60. And then he haggled me up to 65 on the grounds that chainsaws are cooler.

(It may take a couple of tries to make the slider hit 65 exactly. Bear with me if I have to edit a few times.)

teafiend

I whole heartedly agree with the soapy comment, and that chainsaws get bonus points for being awesome. On the astringency thing, I’ve adlibbed that its like how dry my mouth feels after drinking. But, I’m not 100%, just like I’m trying to figure out “malty” tea.

Carolyn

I believe that astringency is that sensation of your mouth being dry after drinking something. If you touch your tongue to a very astringent substance that is the sense. We did it in chemistry (and this is about the only thing I remember from chem class).

Carolyn

Interestingly enough, I just happened to be looking for information on green teas and came across this on astringency in the FAQ from Den’s Teas:

Q: What is the taste of astringency? Is it different from bitterness?

A: Astringency is a feeling rather than a taste. It’s something you can feel in the body (a feeling in your mouth) of the tea. It is also the “puckering” sensation. In the medical definition, astringency is the tendency to draw together or constrict tissue, to pucker. People confuse the taste of bitterness and astringency. Bitterness is one of four tastes – bitter, sweet, sour and salty – that are picked up in the mouth and sent to the brain. The bitterness in tea comes from caffeine, and astringency comes from catechin (tannin). The astringency overlays the tastes and adds a weight or thickness to the tastes.

Auggy

I always think of Sea Breeze toner/astringent when I think of astringency. Which could be why I have negative feelings towards astringency. But I think that fits in with what Carolyn found so maybe I wasn’t too far off.

Carolyn

So much of this seems to be “I’ll know it when I taste/feel it”. For myself I wish I knew what the “malty” flavor was supposed to taste like so that I could detect it.

Angrboda

I keep thinking of beer when people say malty. I have to say that I am deeply forever grateful that I have never encountered a tea that tasted of beer. I sincerely hope such a tea does not and will never exist. Needless to say I don’t like beer at all, not one little bit.

teaplz

Astringency… the best way to describe it is the feeling of all the saliva in your mouth suddenly disappearing. The best example is if you bit into a banana peel. Some wines have a “drying” feeling on the tongue as well!

CHAroma

I always think of malted milk balls when I hear “malty.” Haha!

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65
drank White Fruit Salad by Custom
1269 tasting notes

Backlogged. I had this this morning. It’s what you get when you don’t really have enough of the white tea with kiwi and strawberry and you got inspired by a fellow Steeper the other day just add something else to it. So this is half white tea with kiwi and strawberry and half white tea with pomegranate.

The former was once quite nice but has faded a little. The latter have never been more than a bit better than mediocre and has never actually really tasted like pomegranate all that much. Obviously, what could I call this other than ‘fruit salad’?

It was nice enough, but heavily dominated by the strawberry/kiwi half. It’s not something that I’m heartbroken over not being able to make more of, but it was quite nice for the travel mug on the train.

Jillian

Your resourcefulness is inspiring. ;)

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94
drank Lapsang Souchong by A C Perch's
1269 tasting notes

I haven’t logged this one before? WHUT?

I likes me a good Lapsang. Don’t get me wrong there. But the lack of logging (ha! say that ten times fast!) might have something to do with the fact that I bought this one primarily to give my boyfriend when he’s here and secondarily for myself.

Right now though, I’m having the hardest time focusing on NaNo and I need a bit of a kick in the rear. Caffeine me. My green semi-spree is not going to cut it here. I know the amount of caffeine is the same, but the black tea just feels like it has more. Also this place, with the introduction of comments and liking and interaction, has became bloody addictive! Just the other day I discovered that on the front page that you get to when you’re not logged in, there are featured posts and featured users if you scroll down! I’m a featured user, apparently! It made me go WEEEEEE!!!! and immediately add all the other featured users to my follow list. You lot are all to blame if I don’t reach the 50K this year, I swear. Either that or I’ll start counting words on tea posts and include them.

The leaves smell all nice and smokey and with a hint of tobacco, which is something I’ve just recently learned to pay attention to in aroma. I get inspired when I see how you others describe these hard-to-describe things. The steeped tea is less smokey in scent and it has an underlying note of something sweet. I want to say caramel but I’m not really sure that’s the best description for it. Definitely tobacco too. Now that I’ve noticed, it’s really clear.

I think I’ve understeeped it a bit because I got impatient, but I made it good and strong with more leaves than usual. The flavour doesn’t have so much of the smoky flavour in it, but I expect the next cup with be better on that aspect. I think I might be getting the ‘pepper’ though. A sort of prickly flavour at the very back of my mouth like black pepper. But again, it might be because I used more leaves. This may not have been the most ideal brew, but it’s one of my black favourites, and aforementioned boyfriend is a good excuse to keep stocked up on it.

Right. I have my caffeine kick now and I need to get back to my pretense at novel writing. I’m going to take 15 concentrated minutes of writing and then I can slack off for a couple of minutes more. (This doesn’t sound like much, but it totally works. A short spurt of concentration, a couple of minutes break. Easy to over-look. Not so scary. And if you disregard all typos you can get a decent amount of words out in 15 minutes.)

I’m posting this at 6.28 pm my time. If you see any activity from me at all before fifteen minutes have passed, come by and kick my butt.

Cynthia Carter

You totally should count your tea posts towards NaNoWriMo – they are creative, technical and fun to read.

Jillian

Better yet, write a novel about tea. XD

Angrboda

Cynthia Carter: I will if I have to, but right now it’s going awesomely, so I don’t think I’ll need to cheat. :)

Jillian: Maybe later. This one’s about a witch. :)

gmathis

As a fellow writer, I have a theory - the intensity with which you need to meet a deadline is surpassed in triplicate by the urge to putter online.

Angrboda

I’m generally extremely easily distracted by Shiny Internets, but I still manage to write more during November than I do in I’d guess, three whole months for the rest of the year put together, so I don’t really fall inside your theory there.

On the other hand my dad always says that it’s the exception that proves the rule. :)

Carolyn

Witches can drink tea and when they do, you can include portions of your Steepster entries. Anything written in November should be looked at as potential prose that can be repurposed to the novel.

We do the fifteen minutes of writing then take a break also. My beloved says that its “health-supportive”. Good luck with NaNo!

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34
drank Chai-cino by Baresso
1269 tasting notes

This one comes with a bit of a story. Prepare yourself for a lengthy post. Fingers on scroll-buttons.

I was a scout when I was a child. At one point when I was around 9-11 or so, we had these two pretty alternative individuals as leaders. Two younger men, who seemed to be brought up on the belief that sweets=evil and if it came from the Far East it was Good by definition. This is why, whenever we had any sort of celebration of sorts, like before holiday breaks or the last time before christmas or what have you, we had chai.

I had never heard about it before, and I didn’t have the slightest clue that it was something to do with tea. And back then I wouldn’t have cared either. All I remember about it was this strangely coloured spicy fluid that was just about drinkable, all the while wondering what the heck was suddenly so wrong with hot cocoa! So I was biased against chai at a fairly early age.

Many many years later I started getting interested in tea and one day I purchased a chai (Tengla chai, from Chaplon) to see if it was really so horrible as I had remembered it and also out of curiosity about the fact that there are as many recipies for chai as there are people in the world, just about. Oh, I remember it well. There were instructions for how to make it with milk and what not. I didn’t like it one bit. Couldn’t get it down. There was something or other in it that made it impossible for me to swallow without making a face and got rid of the rest of it in the first and the best swap that came along. Having shown people the list of ingredients it had in it, I have been told that the thing I didn’t like was likely ginger.

Fast forward to this past saturday. There’s a really great ice cream shop near where I live. They make a load of different flavours, some fairly unusual (it’s the only place, for example, that I’ve ever seen a plum sorbet. Which by the way is delicious) and you never quite now what they have to choose from on any given day. This past saturday they had one called chai latte. I don’t much care for chai, but I like tea a lot, so I’m enough of a dork that I had to try that one. There was just NO WAY I’d be able to walk away from it ever.

Turns out chai turned to ice cream was rather nice. Surprisingly nice. Nice enough that I could totally buy it again if I saw it there another time. It made me think that possibly it was time to give chai another chance.

So today, when going home from work, I went into Baresso and got a small chai-cino. I’ve seen people log chai latte or some such from Starbucks and I assume this is pretty much the same deal. They make it like a cafe latte (or in this case, like a cappucino) only instead of the espresso shot, they use this chai mix. I just got a small one, in case of extreme dislike. I’ve tried looking it up on their website and it would appear that the contents of said chai mix is a closely guarded secret. Can’t say I’m really surprised there.

They asked me, “do you want cinnamon on top?”
I dithered a bit on this and finally answered, “yes please, but not too much.”
This, apparently, was not a problem. Except, I saw his colleague make it and her definition of ‘not too much cinnamon’ was about three times my definition of same. I would have stopped her, but I hadn’t realised yet at the time that it was my order.

It was very very very VERY sweet. Sweet and fat. I’m glad I only got the small one, because I don’t think I’d be able to finish the large one. And I’m honestly not usually all that fat-frightened. You’d be amazed at the amount of cake with whipped cream I’m capable of consuming with utmost pleasure.

The contents of the chai mix being a state secret, I tried to decipher the flavour myself. There was cinnamon, definitely. The lot she had shaken on top was pretty overwhelming, but I’m certain there was cinnamon in the chai mix itself too. Also vanilla. And definitely sugar. These were most obvious flavours. I also picked up a note of something that I suspect might have been anise and something that was possibly cloves. Rather surprisingly I couldn’t find anything in the flavour that reminded me all that much of cardamom, but I expect it was probably hiding underneath all that cinnamon.

I liked it. I wouldn’t say I loved it, but it was drinkable. Definitely more so than my previous encounters, and I’m not completely turned off the idea of experimenting a bit the concept, depending on the list of ingredients in any given chai. The chai-cino from Baresso is also available on ice, blended with ice cubes. Considering how sweet and fat the taste was, I think that might actually be the way it would work the best.

Jillian

A lot of times you can ask for them to use skim or 1% milk when they made it, which cuts down on the fat. Can’t help you with the sugar though. :(

Cynthia Carter

A lot of the commercial chai mixes are just tooth-achingly sweet. And, sad to say, a lot of the chai tea blends are not particularly good. It’s not surprising that you haven’t found a chai that you like yet. This is one of those instances where you may do better by blending a tea you like with spices to your taste.

As far as spices go, it seems almost anything goes, but some of the most commonly used are cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and vanilla. They may not have used much cardamom – after all, it’s pretty expensive, and not something that Westerners are accustomed to, unless you grew up in a household that believed in adding it to coffee.

Chai ice cream – I have been looking at recipes for a honey ice cream lately, as I am planning a dinner party with Indian food, and thought of serving a chai honey ice cream as part of dessert. I’m glad you liked it – it gives me confidence to try it out.

Angrboda

Jillian: They’re already making it on skim milk by default, so I think it’s because it’s so sweet that it takes on such a fat taste.

Cynthia Carter: It sounds like they developed the recipe themselves and their not selling the mix. I know they did that with their espresso.
Yeah, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves = christmas biscuits in Denmark. :) I don’t think the mix they used at Baresso had any of the ‘rougher’ spices in it such as pepper and such. I’ve seen one that had laurel leaves in it too. I think you’re right it’s better to try some samples and then modify those blends to my liking, but I don’t have a black that’s not too good to be used as a base for this. Eh, we’ll see. I’m not entirely discouraged on this, but I’m not completely sold either.
As for the ice cream, I liked it much better. It had the same spices and was very similar to this chai mix, but much milder in the ice cream. I think possibly mildness might be what I’m looking for here.

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80
drank Green Cactus by Den Lille Tebutik
1269 tasting notes

Backlogging. I’ve had this one for a long time, it’s one of the teas that have been forgotten during a long period of time where greens didn’t really interest me much. It’s one of those green ones that get an almost neon-like colour and you wonder if there might have radio-active waste involved in making it. It’s really old though, and the flavour has faded rather a lot, especially the cactus flavour.

But it was awesome when it was fresh.

Jillian

So…. what does cactus taste like???

Angrboda

It sweet and fruity. To be honest it reminds me a bit of Dr Pepper, which in my head is a really weird comparison, but it’s the one that springs to mind. :)
I imagine they probably use prickly pear for it and call it ‘cactus’ because most danes might not know what a prickly pear was.
(On the other hand, I had a prickly pear a while ago and didn’t really like it at all. I didn’t think this tasted like one at all, so I don’t know. Maybe they use something else)

Carolyn

I used to eat prickly pear cactus fruits from our front garden and they always tasted like fruit punch to me. It seems odd to me that they’d combine prickly pear with a green tea since prickly pears are magenta and stain everything they come near.

Angrboda

It’s probably just artificial flavouring or essense or some such. But then again I don’t know if it’s actually that fruit. It’s just a guess. Might also be this dragon fruit things or whatever they were called that I saw on Wiki. I’ve seen those in my local supermarket. I’ll have to try and get one and see if that’s the right flavour. :)

Luthien

Interesting. I had a Green Cactus tea from Tea Leaves a while back that I found really disappointing and lacking in flavour. Sounds like I should go to Denmark for good cactus tea! g

Angrboda

I’ve only ever seen this one before ever, and in the meantime the shop where I bought it has passed on to new owners (Nooooo! I liked the woman who had it before! She recognised me and we could nerd a little over my purchase and she knew I knew what I wanted) so I don’t even know if they’ve got it anymore. I’m kind of in stingy-mode this month so however much I want to go shopping, it would be a bad idea. I’ll try to remember to have a look next time I go.

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91
drank Blueberry by Adagio Teas
1269 tasting notes

I think my tongue must be recovering.

I tried a second steep of this yesterday and then I thought the blueberry flavour was as dominant as everybody else said it would be. Then I made another pot today (to wash down the icky rooibos) and thought that was pretty heavy on the blueberry too. Encouraged by yesterday’s success, I’m trying a resteep of that again now.

It’s weird for me though. I’ve never had much luck with resteeping black tea before.

I think I’m getting close to making this my ideal blueberry tea, if it hadn’t been for the fact that it’s the only one I’ve ever had, so I can’t really compare with anything.

The European Adagio store has a very limited selection though, and that one order I got from Adagio was definitely on the extravagant side, so it’s not something we’re going to repeat a lot. If ever, in spite of the good experience I’ve had with it.

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Profile

Bio

Ang lives with Husband and two kitties, Charm and Luna, in a house not too far from Århus. Apart from drinking tea, she enjoys baking, especially biscuits, reading and jigsaw puzzles. She has recently acquired an interest in cross-stitch and started a rather large project. It remains to be seen whether she has actually bitten off more than she can chew…

Ang prefers black teas and the darker sorts of oolongs. She has to be in the mood for green and white, and she enjoys, but knows little to nothing about, pu-erh.

Her preferences with black teas are the Chinese ones, particularly from Fujian, but also Keemun and just about anything smoky. She occasionally enjoys Yunnans but they’re not favourites. She has taken some time to research Ceylon teas, complete with reference map, and has recently developed some interest in teas from Africa.

She is sceptical about Indian blacks as she generally finds them too astringent and too easy to get wrong. She doesn’t really care for Darjeelings at all. Very high-grown teas are often not favoured.

She likes flavoured teas as well, particularly fruit flavoured ones, but also had an obsession with finding the Perfect Vanilla Flavoured Black and can happily report that this reclusive beast has been spotted in a local teashop near where she works. Any and all vanilla flavoured teas are still highly attractive to her, though. Also nuts and caramel or toffee. Not so much chocolate. It’s a texture thing.

However, she thinks Earl Grey is generally kind of boring. Cinnamon and ginger are also not really a hit, and she’s not very fond of chais. Evil hibiscus is evil. Even in small amounts, and yes, Ang can usually detect hibiscus, mostly by way of the metallic flavour of blood it has.

Ang is not super impressed with rooibos or honeybush on their own. She doesn’t care for either, really, but when they are flavoured, they go usually go down a treat.

Ang used to have a Standard Panel of teas that she tried to always have on hand. She put a lot of thought into defining it and decided what should go on it. It was a great idea on paper, but in practise has been discovered to not really work as well.

Ang tries her best to make a post on Steepster several times a week. She tends to write her posts in advance in a word doc (The Queue) and posting from there. This, she feels, helps her to maintain regularity and stops her from making five posts in three days and then going three weeks without posting anything at all.

Angrboda is almost always open to swapping. Just ask her. Due to the nature of the queue, however, and the fact that it’s some 24 pages long at the moment, it may take a good while from she receives your parcel and until she actually posts about it.

The Formalities

Contact Angrboda by email: [email protected]
Contact Ang on IM on Google chat

Find Ang on…
Steam: Iarnvidia (Or Angrboda. She changed her display name and now is not certain which one to search for. She uses the same picture though, so she is easily recognised)
Goodreads: Angrboda
Livejournal: See website.
Dreamwidth: Ask her

Bio last updated February 2014

Location

Denmark

Website

http://angrboda.livejournal.com

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