Octavia Tea

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72
drank Lychee Noir by Octavia Tea
2936 tasting notes

Sipdown! And backlog from two Wednesdays ago.

Thanks to Roswell Strange for giving me the last of her samples of a couple of these Octavia tea! They really are quite cute little sample packs, and a perfect size, it looks like. I didn’t take a ton of notes while drinking it, but I did note that it seemed to be a pretty good lychee black; a malty base with no astringency, and an authentic juicy lychee flavour (somewhat floral, but not overly so). Good for a lychee black, but lychees generally are a bit too floral for me, so not a personal favourite.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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77

I bought this tea with hopes of golden amber in cup. The taste of this tea is very dark and the ‘chocolate’ notes overthrow the apricot and amber taste. It may be a very rich tea, but it’s not as smooth as I would desire.

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drank Dark Rose Hearts by Octavia Tea
2368 tasting notes

My tea twin Roswell Strange is really trying to get me into pu’erh I noticed. She is trying sneaky ways to entice me, like sending me this adorable heart (which my mom thought was hash so…). I couldn’t resist this so I brewed it up and it’s actually not that bad. It’s not going to be my new love or anything but it’s not as dirty as pu’erh usually is for me. It is more mushroomy but that’s balanced slightly by the florals. It’s nicely balanced and a fun tea but I’m glad it’s just the one cup. Thanks Roswell Strange!!

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drank Tropical Ambrosia by Octavia Tea
2368 tasting notes

Apparently I never added this to my cupboard which means I don’t get the satisfaction of taking it out of my cupboard but this is a Sipdown of my sample, courtesy of Roswell Strange. I am getting pineapple for sure but it’s candied pineapple which is not as satisfying as the actual fruit. It’s actually not bad but I doubt I will miss this now that it’s gone.

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82
drank Acai Berry by Octavia Tea
2368 tasting notes

Thank you Roswell Strange for the share as this is one I would not have picked out for myself and I think I would have missed out. This is really a nice tea. The acai is really pronounced though more than a juicy drink, it is coming off sweeter and more jam-like. The base also adds some sweet honey notes which adds to the jam effect. It really is quite nice. I would consider picking up more of this if placing an order.

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88

We found this tea at a local international market. It smelled so good. Even better brewed, I get a nice floral scent, with some nice notes of sweet vanilla. Having my third cup while watching Star Trek. The base tea is nice, and pairs well with the floral/ vanilla flavour.

Flavors: Rose, Vanilla

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71

Sipdown (118)!

Cold Brewed this sample from the January Amoda box!

It’s funny that I ended up with an Octavia Tea blend in the box because I did a big(ish) Octavia Tea sample order on Black Friday – I ended up with 10+ teas from them that, for the most part, I was the first to review here on Steepster. I easily could have wound up with this one, though in the end I decided against it because of the green base.

To my surprise, I got to try it anyway!

Smell wise, this one reminded me a lot of Tea Desire’s Asia Cocktail blend – both smelled heavily of mango and a jumble of other tropical fruits, passion fruit for this one and lychee for the former.

Taste wise, this came off fairly close to having a single flavour note for me; it was solidly a mango flavoured tea. The mango flavouring was good though – it reminded me a lot of the mango flavour in the Mango Sorbet white offering from this company, and that tea was one that I was pretty impressed with. As someone who isn’t typically a mango fan, I like how this company conveys that flavour! It just works for me; would is work for someone who actually likes the fruit? I don’t know…

It wasn’t totally a flat mango taste though; while I couldn’t taste the grapefruit at all I did pick up on the passion fruit a little bit. It’s not a flavour combination I would have really thought about prior but it works well. The green base was pretty grassy, but smooth and silky. I’m sticking with my initial impression based on the smell; despite a slight difference in flavourings this really reminds me of Tea Desire’s Asia Cocktail blend, though with a better quality base?

I wouldn’t purchase this one again; while I initially also really liked Asia Cocktail I soon grew very tired of it and I fear the same would happen with this blend, and since it’s a green I know I wouldn’t turn to it that often – but it was a good offering from Octavia Tea and Amoda and I’m glad I didn’t miss out on trying it!

Flavors: Mango

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70
drank Tropical Green by Octavia Tea
265 tasting notes

Amoda Tea Monthly Box – January 2015

Dry leaf: colorful rose pink and gold flowers. IDK what they do for this blend, but ah, well. It’s smells sweet and tangy. The Chinese sencha-esque leaf lends a light vegetal flavor.

Liquor color: Happy and healthy looking green

Leaves: Dry – thin and flat green leaves. The colors are not quite as vibrant as the photo
Wet – dark green leaves with those little pink and yellow flowers. Had an unpleasant sour smell.

Notes: I love the combination of drinking tropical or summery things whenever it snows! Funny enough, Amoda tea had the same idea. They even mentioned it in my monthly box. The pineapple was fresh and juicy, the body was light and bright. It was quite refreshing. I am sure it would taste great iced! The green base was quite complimentary, the palm tree-like leafy greens quality gave the brew a spinach like freshness. Once I got away from the oddly sour-smelling leaves, I really enjoyed sipping on this while I watched snow fall outside.

I brewed this in my French press and decanted it into my favorite travel tumbler.

Flavors: Fruity, Pineapple, Vegetal

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 2 min, 30 sec 3 g
Roswell Strange

Glad to see someone else doing the Amoda box! Have you tried the Hawaiian Ginger Jasmine yet? I’m curious to see what someone (I think) less biased towards ginger thinks of it!

TheLastDodo

I’m obsessed with ginger! Really excited for that one. I’ll let you know!

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70
drank Tropical Green by Octavia Tea
265 tasting notes

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75
drank Mango Sorbet by Octavia Tea
2936 tasting notes

Sipdown! Thanks to Roswell Strange for the last of her precious sample of this tea! Also, super pleased that Octavia’s samples are in small resealable pouches.

Anyhow, I found this tea kind of interesting. The initial aroma smelled quite appealing, and reminded me of a 52teas blend I enjoy – Apricot Cheesecake Shou Mei. I think that’s the one… So clearly my brain wasn’t wanting to process a difference between apricot and mango, which was a little odd. Either way, once brewed up, it tastes rather similar too, so I think the base tea must be the same and contributing something in each case, and the flavourings, both being fruity, aren’t different enough for me to distinguish. Regardless, it’s tasty, and in the aftertaste, I get a sort of tanginess that makes me think of sorbet. To be honest, though, it’s probably not mango-y enough for me, but I haven’t really ever had a mango tea that was.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Anlina

I would love to find a mango tea that captures the depth of the flavour of a fresh mango, with that slight tangy bite it has from the enzymes.

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drank Grand Earl Grey by Octavia Tea
972 tasting notes

This sample was in my package from Roswell Strange. I was curious as to what the “Grand” part of the title was referring to, as the ingredients list only black tea and bergamot oil. Turns out, they think their Yunnan base tea is “exceptional”. Hmm, not sure I would agree there, the leaves are small and dark. So basically it’s a plain Earl Grey, got it. The bergamot smells pretty strong in the dry leaf, which isn’t a good sign for me as I like my Earl Grey teas milder.

The steeped tea smells like bergamot, but it’s not terribly strong. Ugh, yeah this one is not for me. For some reason it came out a little bit bitter, even though I only steeped for 3 minutes. And the bergamot is very perfumey and floral, and it’s quite strong. I find that I generally don’t enjoy plain Earl Grey teas, it needs something like vanilla, cream, or other citrus/fruit flavors. So I won’t rate this since it’s not my jam. :)

Flavors: Bergamot, Bitter, Floral, Perfume

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80

Sipdown (122)!

After getting home yesterday afternoon from my file maintenance shift I made myself lunch and then fell asleep, finally. I had gotten maybe two hours of sleep the night before because I just couldn’t make my body fall asleep so early in the day – and then I had to get up at 3AM to get to work on time for 5AM. Yuck.

Consequently, I ended up sleeping last night for a SOLID 13 hours. So; definitely rested now, that’s for sure. Sadly sleeping so much yesterday means I never got to tell you guys the word of the day! So I can do that now, I suppose. Yesterday’s word was Symbiosis; the living together in close association of two different organisms especially when mutually beneficial. I suppose you could say Tre and I have a symbiotic relationship of sorts.

Today’s word is another new one for me (though yesterday’s wasn’t new): Dross; the waste slag or scum that forms on the surface of molten metal ; waste or foreign matter : impurity ; something that is base, trivial or inferior. This one might be harder to use in a sentence; but the challenge to do so still stands!

But lets get back to the tea itself…

This is my last Octavia Tea blend to try (but not my last to sipdown); and I think I really only saved this one for last because it was so adorable and I liked looking at it when I opened up my sample drawer. Seriously, the little teeny tiny formed mini cakes are flippin’ precious!

I used one of the cakes for my mug of this; if I’m remembering correctly the recommended amount was one cake for 8 oz. but I used one for 12 oz. and after having doing so I can say that two would definitely have been too much tea for the water amount. And sadly, once my cutie pie little tea cake hit the water, it quickly started to come apart. Boo. I mean, I expected it to but it still would have been hella adorable if it hadn’t.

Taste wise this was surprisingly smooth with some very nice, well rounded sweet earth or, rather, loam notes to it. I drank it early in the morning on my way to work, and it just felt very appropriate to be having it as a “breakfast blend” of sorts; the way it was very bold and robust flavour wise to kind of slap me awake, but with a softness to it that kind of apologized for doing so. As for the rose, it wasn’t as present as I expected it to be but it was faintly there contributing a caress of floral flavour that likely added to the overall softness of the blend.

Surprisingly to me, I think this is a blend I would buy for myself. Partly for the taste, which was definitely better than I had anticipated and partly for how aesthetically pleasing it is to look at tiny little heart shaped Pu’Erh cakes – but a lot because of the convenience that the formed cakes provides. I can definitely imagine travelling with one or two of these cakes with me – the convenience of taking loose leaf tea on a trip, but without sacrificing the flavor or quality.

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76

Sipdown (128)!

- Timolino with milk
- Bonus sample in my Octavia Tea order
- Very strong bergamot flavouring; ALMOST a bit too strong for my tastes
- Also got a lot of lavender in the dry smell of it
- But not quite so much in the taste (still present though)
- Milk made for a thick mouthfeel and extra richness
- Hardly masked the bergamot at all though
- good overall, maybe better for bergamot lovers but not exceptional

So, I had this one on Christmas and, like they did last year, my Aunt and Uncle (the ONLY family I have in the city) had me over for Christmas supper again this year. I’m honestly getting the impression that my family thinks I’m depressed or something. Every Christmas card I’ve got from them this year has said something along the lines of “We know it’s lonely up there but stay positive” or “Remember to be happy”. What makes them think I’m not?

Seriously; I’m FAR from depressed right now. Tired and overworked, yes – but not even close to depressed. I have a very full life right now between both jobs, and have made an awesome best friend (Bobbi) and still hang out with my best friend from before I moved (Robyn), a pretty good roommate (despite what I sometimes write), and am now working with some awesome coworkers who really brighten my day too. Plus you Steepster people. So seriously, just because I’m “not in school” and work at a grocery store and don’t see you constantly does not mean I’m “not ok”.

Ugh.

Don’t interpret that to mean I’m not grateful to be asked to go to my Aunt’s for Christmas though. Just because we aren’t close doesn’t mean I don’t like her or recognize the hospitality there and free food is always welcome.

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82

Sipdown (116)!

My last Octavia Tea blend! I had a really fun time exploring their company’s blends, and I think a found a couple winners so maybe an order’ll be in my future. I know I was talking this morning about getting more of the Dark Rose Hearts in Steepster chat, and I find myself craving the Mango Sorbet; so who knows!

- Slightly more leaf this time to prevent winding up with an under leafed third cup
- Also paid much more attention taste wise
- There’s totally a yeasty/malty quality still, but also a sweet fruitiness
- Can’t quite put my finger on what fruit but I suppose in that regard it IS brandy like
- I actually really like this one, and find it to be quite smooth
- Would totally drink it again, maybe would purchase another sample size amount

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82

First reviewer for this one and my review is gonna SUCK because I totally didn’t pay attention when I had this one.

I steeped it Christmas Morning, and drank it on the car ride to my Aunt Nancy’s Christmas day but because I was in deep conversation with my Uncle Neil I just absentmindedly drank it. What I do remember was a strong yeasty flavour and some mild maltiness. Thankfully, Octavia Tea sent me lots of this one so I can totally do another cup and pay more attention next time.

Holding off on rating, for obvious reasons.

Flavors: Malt, Yeasty

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63
drank Melon Pear by Octavia Tea
2718 tasting notes

Sipdown (130)!

I’m pretty sure this was my last white blend from Octavia Tea; and I cold brewed it because it seemed like the kind of sweet but “lighter” fruit blend that works well as a cold brew or iced tea. Ideally, I was kind of looking for something that’d work during summer or spring to sip on the walk to work, or in the backyard.

- Base was more present in this one than any other white from Octavia Tea
- Hay and grass notes with some honeysuckle
- Something about the flavourings was a bit muddled
- More pear than melon, but I guess both were present
- Good overall, but not shockingly impressive?
- The fruit just wasn’t as strong as I expected

So this wasn’t a huge “miss” but not what I was looking for/expecting, either. So overall out of just the white blends I tried, I think I’d most likely to order the Mango Sorbet or Acai Berry (I REALLY liked the Acai Berry) and, surprisingly, I kind of find myself thinking back fondly to the Ginger Peach as well so maybe a small portion of that as well.

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70
drank Blood Orange by Octavia Tea
2718 tasting notes

Sipdown (111)!

Almost done with my Octavia Tea samples! This one I did up as a cold brew. I think I’d have been fine with a hot cup too, but cold brew was just a more convenient route.

Taste wise, I didn’t get ANY of the base for this one: the orange flavouring in it was just too strong to let any base show through. Taste wise, it was certainly a robust/powerful orange flavour but I’m entirely sure if I could name is “Blood Orange” specifically with any confidence. It certainly didn’t read as chemical/disinfectant-y to me, and I didn’t solely taste peel or rind, which is a big “no” for me, but I think it could have used a little sweetner because that aspect of the orange flavour was lacking for me. There was no juice or “sparkle” for me. It was just kind of… flat.

So overall: not a bad tasting tea, but very very monotone as far as the flavour goes. If I had more, I’d definitely be down for experimenting with it to try and get more out of this one (hot cups, tea soda…) but alas I do not, and it’s not really worth the effort to get more on a hunch I could make this one better.

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64
drank Lemon Green by Octavia Tea
2718 tasting notes

Sipdown (103)!

One of the bonus samples from my Octavia tea order, and definitely not one I’d have picked out for myself. Not even close. To get it over and done with, I just cold brewed it.

- VERY strong/intense lemon smell, like lemon extract!
- Green base totally masked in the smell
- Taste wise, this is almost purely intense lemon
- It manages not to venture into “Pledge” or “Peel” territory
- But DAMN it’s strong
- Green base only makes its presence known in the end sip
- Which has a slight vegetal/spinach type flavour to it
- GREAT for lemon fans, but it’s too concentrated for me

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72
drank Lychee Noir by Octavia Tea
2718 tasting notes

Sipdown (101)!

Had this one in a timolino, and it was pretty good – definitely traveled a little better than I thought it would. I was pretty sure the subtle juiciness of the lychee wouldn’t translate but it did. I still echo my first impression though that this is just a relatively average lychee black. Good, for not exceptional.

Two stories today: One involves a coworker. And one involves Tre…

A couple nights ago me and another coworker were kind of playfully teasing/bantering with this 15 YO cashier named Matthew. He’s actually one of my favourite cashiers because he’s so sarcastic/witty and so am I so we both just kind of constantly play off each other, and it’s entertaining and fun.

So point is we were teasing him because his sideburns are CRAZY PUFFY and we were mocking him saying we could see his sideburns sticking out all the way from Customer Service, which is quiet a distance from the till he was working out. I THOUGHT we were being obviously sarcastic like usual but, uhh, the next day he came to work without sideburns. Welp.

So, I sorta directly influenced a 15YO who was probably super proud of his facial hair to shave it off. Even though I in no way meant to! And honestly, people who know me well know I’m the last person to persuade someone to shave; I have such a thing for facial hair. Every man should be bearded…

And now the Tre story.

I came home from work, and walked into the house – and immediately onto a whole bunch of pieces of lego. Not even getting started on how much it hurt. But, the big dork bought about $300 in Star Wars Lego battleships for himself as a Christmas present, and now there’s Lego literally everywhere in the apartment. Living room floor, kitchen floor, kitchen table…

Getting ready for work in the morning is like navigating a minefield.

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72
drank Lychee Noir by Octavia Tea
2718 tasting notes

This is my current tea that I brought with for my shift. For whatever reason, it feels like they gave me more leaf in this sample than in any of the others, not that I’m complaining. And yeah, I know I said not too long ago that I was done with Lychee Blacks for a while but if you guys don’t know by now how much of a hypocrite I can be then, well, shame on you? I saw it, and I had to try it.

I’m actually really enjoying it: the lychee is subtle like most lychee blacks seem to be, but it’s still present and I’d say pretty natural/realistic tasting. This is my first Octavia Tea sample with a black base as well, and I’m pretty impressed with the base. It’s obviously not something super high quality but it’s smooth and despite a longer steep time it’s not bitter or astringent.

Overall I’d call this one tasty, but relatively average as far as lychee blacks go.

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79

Sipdown (106)!

Well, I’d be crazy if I didn’t cold brew at least one of my Octavia Tea samples, right? So here’s the first Octavia Tea cold brew! Dry I couldn’t smell the kiwi at all – just a whole lot of crisp, vegetalness. So, the cucumber most likely? That didn’t seem too promising to me.

But(!) after I strained this I got a whole bouquet of sweet, juicy and slightly tangy kiwi notes. It was the right level of sticky sweet with a little tang to it, and very natural tasting with a very crisp, cool vegetal background and some grassy notes too. I totally, and clearly, got both the Kiwi and the Cucumber aspects of the tea. And while this kinda seems like a weird pair up, it totally works! This is another one I was really impressed with, and would possibly order again come spring/summer!

Glad my initial impression was off.

Anlina

Oooh want!!

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83
drank Acai Berry by Octavia Tea
2718 tasting notes

Sipdown (108)!

Balls, why did I write so many jot notes for this one? I’m lazy, and my shifts almost over and I want to catch up on tasting notes so I’m just going to paste them here directly…

- Dry, smells strongly of Acai berries and is just a little tart
- Very juicy and defined Acai berry taste
- Blueberry notes are also subtly present and possibly red currants
- Kinda “jammy”
- But they’re soft
- White base is very soft and has some honeysuckle type notes
- REALLY enjoy this one
- It actually strongly reminds me of DT’s Superberry blend
- Probably a psychological transfer from the comparison of the two but I taste pine…
- Even though it’s junipers which taste like pine
- This is the first tea I’d actually restock for myself!
- I can see why it’s one of their Best Sellers
- Can’t find the hibiscus in this one at all!

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

I like your notes in little bullet points, not sure why but they make me happy. Also yay to the lack of hibiscus and pine notes

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66

Sipdown (110)!

Guys, there’s a scavenger hunt in the mall right now for one of the nearby elementary schools so the place is just flooded with adorable little snot babies. And one of the clues on the hunt is to find the name of the “Painter of Light” from the Calendar Club Kiosk (me!). The answer is Thomas Kinkade, but I’ve had cutie pies coming up to me all day asking for help. It’s so precious!

But the tea…

My first “miss” from Octavia Tea. And, it’s not even so much that it’s bad – it’s just really, really weird? Dry, it smells delicious – kind of like “Tropical” flavoured Fruit Rollups? Just yummy, and kinda sweet and candy like. Steeped up, however, there’s something hard to describe about it. I wanted to initially say that it was like low quality, “healthy” Fruit Roll Up equivalents that my Mom used to buy for school lunches ‘cause she couldn’t afford the name brand but that’s a little harsh, and not super accurate either.

More so, I’m picking up one the pineapple/apple really heavily but the pineapple feels a little artificial and then the apple is more of a tart apple, and then more tartness from the rosehips and that’s a whole lot of tart together. However, something is keeping it mostly in check: not the mango, I don’t think, because I don’t so much actually taste mango. I’m thinking maybe the red currants? I would have described it more like a “dull strawberry” but there’s no strawberry in this and strawberry is closer to red currant than mango.

Anyway, there’s a sort of flat sweetness (if that even makes sense) coming from the red currants that mostly counterbalances all the tartness, but just falls short. Wah wah wah. Things “missing” other than the mango: the rose petals (hooray) and the white base in general. Honestly, this felt more like a tisane than anything else. \

So conclusion: a little disappointed, but this was still drinkable overall. Just wouldn’t really drink it again unless, maybe, it was cold brewed…

And that’s it for today guys: I’m practically done my shift and this was the last tasting note I had to catch up on for now. So have a good day Steepster!

See you tomorrow :)

Cheri

Sounds like a fun time, Ros. Too bad the tea wasn’t better!

OMGsrsly

Hee! Snot babies. :D

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73

Sipdown (112)!

Well, I forgot to message my list of tasting note jot notes this morning, so before I struggle to remember what I drank and what I thought about it I’m going to write about the tea I’m currently drinking at work. Bleck; I hate out of order tasting notes, but I’d rather write accurately.

Dry, this visually has a lot of cocoa shells/husks in it as well as tiny shredded bits of what looks like strawberry, and tiny black tea leaves. It smells very much like powdered hot chocolate and maybe a little bit of fruit. Now that it’s steeped up, it’s definitely got a richer chocolate taste and a lovely fruitiness to it that reminds me of that sugary strawberry waffle topping you can get with your Belgian waffles at any kind of breakfast restaurant. Mmm! The “mocha” part isn’t super obvious to me though: I don’t really taste any sort of coffee flavour. As it’s cooled, the fruit has become more apparent.

Took the bus ride to work, but I finally realized that what this is reminding me of is the Strawberry Cacao from Herbal Infusions, but richer/higher quality. Pretty good; plus, this seems to be a much easier company to deal with than HI.

EDIT: I just looked it up and apparently this is raspberry/chocolate – but I definitely tasted strawberry.

Fjellrev

OMG, seriously? I noticed Amoda had this on their site and almost ordered it because it sounded good. I’m so delighted to hear that it’s similar to Strawberry Cacao.

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