Recent Tasting Notes


I love the scent of this – it is umami and smokey and meaty in a great way.
This is so neat – it’s completely different from the other lapsang souchong I like. It is sweet! It has a nice astringency to it – I never really like astringency in my tea but this is nice because it balances out the sweetness.
This lapsang is a little lighter on the smokey flavor. I actually really like super dark smokey flavors in lapsang souchong, but I’m still enjoying this. I am going to try it with milk. The addition of milk brings out the sweetness – I love this as a breakfast tea.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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I’ve had a few smokey green tea before but this one is unique. It has a cool tingly sweet aftertaste that reminds me of orchid and ginseng oolongs. It didn’t come out till the second steep and is most strong in the third. I hadn’t experienced it in a green before neat! It is a bit bitter at the front and charcoaly, but the lingering taste on my tongue and in my throat are worth it. Thanks Michelle for sharing this one!

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Dry smell: When I opened the package I was first hit with the smell of vegetables. It reminds me of fresh picked produce from a farm. Then on further smelling I can detect a nice roasted smell with light floral notes.

Wet smell: The wet smell is a bit more like a wet smokey smell. I can still smell the vegetable smell but it reminds me more of a nice, roasted oolong.

Liquid aroma: The aroma is very deep and rich. I can definitely still smell the smokiness and now the floral notes are coming out.

Liquid taste: The taste is very rich right off the bat. It doesn’t have the bright green oolong flavor, but a darker note. There isn’t much floral flavor which is nice because I don’t like super floral teas. This is a great relaxing afternoon tea and I will definitely be ordering more

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This is my first experience with any Tie Guan Yin. So what happens now? Do I get inducted into the Brother and Sisterhood of Tea? Am I knighted, given the Order of the Dragon? Any of that? No?

Well, I like this anyway. I was surprised opening my oolong sampler pack from Teavivre when this one was vacuum-packed amongst the other regular-looking samples in the normal Teavivre large zip pack. Another surprise as I opened the sample itself: it was in yet another smaller clear plastic pack inside the foil pack! You can tell they wanted to take care of this tea. It already has a scent of cooked vegetables, artichoke, I think, and that’s when dry! I can also pick up a little sweet floral and a roasted/fired scent.

As usual, I followed Teavivre’s recommendations of using the whole sample (7g) for 200-250ml of boiling water and steeps of 1, 2 and 3 minutes.
1st steep: The wet leaf is strongly scented: buttery vegetables (artichoke and long-cooked greens), vanilla and orchid. In the cup it’s a light yellow-green and has a broth-like feel to it with a slight astringency. I get flavors of buttery vanilla and orchid with notes of vegetable and mineral.
2nd steep: The leaves pretty much filled the normally generous-sized infuser basket in my teapot, so it was a little tough to judge how much water I was pouring in. As it turned out I poured just right. It’s now a golden color in the cup and feels lighter. The astringency is stronger this time, but not too strong. I don’t get vanilla this time around, but it’s still really buttery with orchid and vegetable flavors. The mineral note is quite a bit stronger too, taking over much of the middle and finish of each sip. That’s not something I’ve had so strongly before, at least not that I’ve noticed. This is a mentally-awakening cup of tea, and that’s always a good thing!
3rd steep: Check it out! I actually got to a 3rd steep! I actually turned over the leaves in the strainer, moving the ones on top to the bottom so that the water would reach them better. I think as a result, this cup was very much like the 2nd steep.
4th steep: I can hardly believe I’m writing this. A fourth steep! Thanks, ashmanra for the commission comment below. :) But everyone, given my track record for not being able to take teas to even a third steep, I think I deserve at least a “Most Improved” ribbon! I had this cup with dinner, so I wasn’t focusing on it so much. But it was still noticeably floral and buttery with the mineral center, even though it had a thinner feel this time.

I liked this. I had read about Tie Guan Yin before, and notes of iodine, mineral, salmon and flint were mentioned. It didn’t sound too appealing to me, but everyone and his dog has had several different TGYs in their tea logs, so I had to try it. Since I got Teavivre’s oolong sampler, I chose to have this organic version first because the “Monkey Picked” version looks like one I’ll like even more. Now I’m really looking forward to it!


I hereby commission thee, Madame Devvyleys, übermeister of tea extraordinaire! I really do think we should at least get a badge to carry when we try our first oolong, and some sort of backstage pass to the whole world when we try our first puerh!


Some of y’all need one of those funky Girl Scout sashes to hold all your badges ;)

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Very delicious. I get a little floral/sweetness that’s silky smooth on the nose. The liquid is nice and sweet and the smoothness carries through on the tongue. The creamy, milky-ness is really enjoyable. This seems like a really solid milk oolong favoring fewer powerful flavors over several subtle, deeper notes.

Interestingly, I get a little spice at the end of each sip. Not sure what’s going on there but it’s interesting nonetheless.

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In my cupboard. Woot! Yahoo! Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh! It finally got here!

I served this at tea party today and as always it was DELISH! The jasmine smells like grape candy in this to me, incredibly sweet, and the flavor is just perfectly floral and not perfume-y. I really love both types of Jasmine Pearls they carry, who can choose just one?


Your tea parties always sound so awesome!


Thanks! We do have fun! Three teas and a cookie/pastry plate or two unless I happen to cook something. It is pretty fast and easy, too. Come join us sometime! :)

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This sample was generously sent along by Angel from Teavivre – thank you!
This is the first dragon well I have tried. The liquour was so light I was afraid I hadn’t used enough leaf (I might not have – I don’t have my little gram scale right now).
The flavor is subtle and interesting. It has a buttery scent to it, with a nutty flavor with a funny vegetal aftertaste. I’m not sure that I like it, but I am going to experiment with it and try a shorter steep with more leaves.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Today is probably not the best day to write about tea, but given that I find comfort in both writing and tea, here goes. I got this Milk Oolong on a recent order from Teavivre. I’d like to just reiterate how much I love Teavivre. Fast, relatively low shipping threshold, and I’m not sure if they sell a bad tea (everything I’ve tried has been delicious). My only other experience with a milk oolong was from David’s Tea. I loved every single thing about that tea. The milk flavor was strong enough that even I could taste the creamy, delicious goodness. So I had a high bar set that I was hoping Teavivre could surpass.
My first pot of tea I made according to Teavivre’s directions—2 t per 8 oz of water steeped at boiling for two minutes. What I got was overwhelmingly oolong and short on milk. Green oolongs aren’t my favorite in the first place, so that was a bit of a disappointment. I valiantly brewed a couple more resteeped pots. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what I was hoping for—a milk miracle, I suppose. It was a miracle that never occurred.

I decided to give it another try this morning, in the hopes that different brew parameters would help. Also, I ordered a lot of this tea. So I have quite a bit to work my way through. I brewed 1 t per 8 oz at 90 C, and low and behold. Milk! I was so happy! The smaller amount of leaves and lower temperature seems to have allowed the milk flavor to come through. I’m definitely a happier camper (tea-wise) this morning.

And if you don’t want to read about my crappy news, please stop reading now. I totally get it, since it isn’t exactly about tea. But it is weighing heavily on my mind. I found out from my vet yesterday that my dog has a very aggressive pancreatic cancer. Animals with this condition seem to only live a couple of weeks after diagnosis. She is my baby, gotten from a rescue. She was terrified of everything when we got her, and she’s come so far. She’s only seven—young for cancer. She is my tail. She follows me everywhere, and prefers me to all other company. The thought of losing my Bella is tearing me up.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

big hugs I am so sorry about your Bella. Atleast there is tea to comfort you. Don’t worry about sharing your woes here, we are one big family in my eyes


I am so sorry to hear about your pup. Bella sounds like a joy, and it is obvious that you love her. (((hugs)))


Sorry to hear about your dog, they are precious creatures


Oh I am so sorry… I completely understand how hard what you are going through must be. I wish you the strength to go through this and to your baby I wish and pray that she doesn’t suffer. She has a great owner that will be by her the whole way!


OMG I’m so sorry!! I lost my dog to cancer several years ago and just the thought of her still makes me tear up. At least you know you gave her a good life. That’s all a dog can wish for from an owner. *hugs

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A long rainy day of studying and anxiously preparing for a job interview deserves an oolong. This was an excellent choice! Thank you to Teavivre for the sample!

I can basically describe this tea in one word: sweet. It was extremely sweet, almost like honey. I didn’t really get a milky flavour on the first steep, but it started to come out stronger with every steep. The smell was like raspberries mixed with honey, and the smell alone was quite the treat.

Overall, delicious and its going to keep on going (4 steeps and counting)!

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I wanted a nice strong black tea while getting ready for a long work day, so I went through my bag of samples and found this gem from Teavivre that I haven’t yet tried. The sample size was so generous!

This tea smells perfect and tastes wonderful! It is perfect just the way it is you don’t need to add anything to this tea (I generally don’t anyhow). This tea has a natural sweetness to it. In fact I think it’d be a shame to add any sweetner to this. It’s hearty and malty with no harsh tastes to the sip at all.

I think this is the perfect cup of black tea! This stuff is seriously awesome. Love love love it! I’ll be taking the second infusion to work with me and plan to continue infusing this throughout the day =)

Edited to remind myself that I used 2 tsp per 14 oz water.

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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drank True Love Flower Tea by Teavivre
87 tasting notes

This is my first flowering tea in my teapot and I was just in Aww… I called my husband over and sent photos to everyone! This tea is soo light and fresh i just LOVE IT!!! it reminds me of being a Child drinking chines tea :) Just Wonderful!!!

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My gustatory sense is somewhat dulled, as I am battling a cold. Perhaps that is why I don’t taste the delicate aromas others have noted, such as chocolate, fruits and flowers. I find this tea pleasant, slightly tart, earthy. It is a good, flavourful oolong. I will be trying this one more often.

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Well, that’s the end of it. I have loved this tea all the way through the packet. It is smoky and sweet, like drinking a packet of smoky-bacon flavour crisps. Lovely.

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec

Hallelujah my two bags of it FINALLY arrived today!


Poor Roughage…glad you made him feel better ashmanra! ;)


Oh dear! I didn’t mean it that way! Lol!


I know him…he’s laughing his head off.


Whew! That’s better than sobbing into a tea cup!


Don’t worry, ashmanra, as Bonnie wrote, I find it amusing. I am also plotting another order to Teavivre. After all, running out of LS seems like a great excuse to put a new order in. :)


Indeed! I love that you used the word “plotting.” I think we do sometimes rub our hands together gleefully and give a little evil laugh when getting an order together. I actually got the Lapsang mostly for my youngest daughter who loves Lapsang teas. But there were some of the Downy Superfine Jasmine Dragon Pearls for me in there as well! :)

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Oh yes yes yes this is what I need today …. A QUALITY black from Teavivre THANK you Teavivre for my wake up SO SO SO good!
Many steeps as well which I also need today.
If you love quality black tea then GET THIS!
See other notes for more detail.

James R

Stuff is amazing!!

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I bought a beeng of this because it was in the sale and I had heard good things about it. I’m glad I did. The dry beeng is warm and inviting with a grassy aroma. The tea, when brewed, is mellow, with a slight tongue puckering astringency that I really liked. I should note at this point that I was destruction testing this tea and brewing it western style per the instructions on the packet. I would not normally make it that strong or brew it for that long. Anyhoo, the astringency was quite pleasant with no hint of bitterness. The tea was earthy, mellow and slightly grassy, and I really enjoyed it.

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I really, really love Teavivre’s Keemuns.

For the sake of transparency, I’m technically drinking a Keemun Grade 1.5 tonight, as it was a mix of remaining samples. But I like 2 better, so that’s where it’s getting logged. Nyah nyah nyah.

I drink this, and it pretty much cements in my mind that there’s no real need for Lapsang Souchong in my life. This keemun is rich and smokey, absolutely deliciously so, but without that really heavy smokey pine flavor. Which, all being said isn’t that bad (at least not Teavivre’s version), but is nowhere near as pleasurable as the just slightly smokey flavor of the Keemuns.

Missy’s awesome, she’s letting me finish off the pot because I like this so much. I’m totally drinking more than my fair share on this one… nummy nummy.


Aw, that is very sweet if Missy! Now, rub her feet!

Dylan Oxford

She’s a great woman :)


Gah, I STILL need to try a Keemun.

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I have been waiting with great anticipation for my Teavivre samples to arrive. Though they actually did several days ago, with my recent accident I’m still less than mobile and my poor wife must do the running for two; on top of her very demanding schedule. And how do I repay my wife for her sacrifice…I stay up and drink the first sample without her. Hey, hey,… before you start hating on the Davyboy, Angel sent more than one of this selection that she actually suggested to me in my first week here on Steepster. Not only is the sample pack more than I expected, but when she first returned my PM (many of you know I offer a standerd hello with all follow/return follows) she openly offered to let me try her tea. Me being new she made several suggestions to present me some variety, yet still within what I described as my preferences, and then even sent a PM to inform me that she saw by tracking the package that it had arrived and was ready for pick-up. How splendidly thorough is that!

The sample didn’t give me a strong indication of the dry leaf smell, though I won’t hold it against it. After getting the liquor to a bright yellow with a tinge of red I was better able to secure a sniff of the leaf; it’s floral, almost fruity. This same floral note is one of the first things I noticed at first sip. Floral and light with an initial buttery mouthfeel that regretfully subsided half way through the cup. There’s an ever so slight vegetive note with just enough presence to give it a juicy feel as well, yet not too green or grassy. The combination of the light airiness of the drink and the delicate sweet notes that hint at floral and fruity, yet without wholehearted commitment, culminate into a refreshing easy drinker.

I look forward to my next meeting with this tea to see if I can learn anything more from her the next time around. It’s a pleasing tea that I would suggest to a new oolong drinker without hesitation and yet would share with another more acquainted with oolongs as well. I thank you again Angel and know that you’ve gained a future customer.

tunes-Buddy Guy=Five Long Years/Rememberin’ Stevie(Ray Vaughn)/Feels Like Rain/Every Girl I See/Ain’t That Lovin’ You/Where The Blues Begins(w/Carlos Santana)/I’ve Got Dreams To Remember(w/John Mayer)/Baby Please Don’t Leave(groovy song).

185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 15 sec
Terri HarpLady

Nice song list!


I love this one! I give it the full three minutes and don’t get any bitterness or astringency. If you have enough left, you might want to give it a go!


Love your reviews!


Love this tea! Nice review :)

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First of all, I appologize for how long it’s been since I last made a post. My allergies (dust mites) decided that last weekend was a great time to act up, so I’ve been suffering the effects of a severe head cold, but without the benefit of my allergy meds (which were left at home…). Byt the time a acquired my meds, and the three days that it took for them to become effective, a week had passed. If I had had the meds on the first day, that would have been hte end of it, but since this only happnes twice a year, I tend to forget about it after 180 days…

Anyway, now that I got that small rnat out of the way, on to the tea! I actually used my larger mug to brew the tea, and transfered it into my usual drinking mug. I let it sit for 15 seconds before the transfer, and actually managed to pour it all out without spilling anything. After letting it cool for a while, a took a sip and was immediatly reminded as to why this is one of my favorite teas. The sweet foretaste quickly transitinos into a delightful sweet ginseng, with the flavors almost perfectly balanced. The contrast is what really makes this first infusion special, since the bold flavors seems to dance arround your mouth before settling onto the roof of your mouth and the back of your throat. the aftertaste is kind of hard to describe unless you had Verdant Tea’s Orchid Oolong from about a year ago, since it’s almost the same, but not quite as good, but it’s still delightful to experience. This flavor lingers for several minutes, and reasserts itself every time you breathe in. Truly a unique experience.

Second cup, same temperature, 10 second infusion. It is a lot less sweet in the fortaste now, but the sweetness returns a lot for the aftertaste. The middle of each sip turns a bit lackluster, where the flavor seems to wane a lot, but it reasserts itself a lot for the aftertaste, which makes everything okay. Hoinestly, this tea starts at the peak of its flavor, and slowly fades into mediocaty. While sad, I realize that not all teas are like puerh, where you can get interesting flavor development for hours.

205 °F / 96 °C

Oh dear, feel better!

Joshua Smith

I feel much better now, it just took the meds a few days to kick in. OF course, without meds I would be fine in a bout two weeks, since the peak season will be over (at least, until spring).


Glad to hear you feel better now!

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Backlogging from last night: We skipped a week doing our Chinese buffet take out so I was especially ready for it last night. For less than twenty bucks we got six meals, and enjoyed really good tea with it instead of dining in and having…water, because I am NOT taking their bagged black Lipton! LOL!

This was my tea of choice. This is the most soothing, delicious, smooth green tea with the most beautiful jasmine aroma. I was getting a little anxious that I might use up my favorite jasmines, but at last one of my orders has finally arrived in New York, so I could prepare a pot of this without fear of running out too soon. The one I ordered first is still showing as being in Hangzhou. Hmph.

Hubby used to drink just sweet iced tea, then started loving hot Tetley with milk and sugar and sugar and sugar, LOL! I watched him last night down a cup of this and reach for the pot and pour another. He has found a number of greens that he really enjoys and I am soooo glad! This is kne he really likes. He still doesn’t know the names of the ones he likes. I just have to keep track!

Daniel Scott

Hot Tetley with milk and sugar and sugar and sugar. I know that one! I used to drink that one all the time. :P


I still lightly sweeten my tea. My brothers brew sugar and sugar and sugar then wave some bags over it. Hurts my kidneys to drink their tea… erh sugar water.

Yogini Undefined I used to drink my tea like that as well too when I was younger..gallons of sugar lol!

I used to drink all my teas sweetened too, but, I slowly transitioned away from it by adding less and less, and now I can drink tea straight and I prefer it that way usually … although there are some teas that benefit from a small amount of sugar. I wanted to retrain my palate, and it took a while, but I finally managed it and have been drinking most of my teas sugar-free for about a year now.

Daniel Scott

Nice job, LiberTEAS! I kind of want to do that too. I have gotten down to a bit less than a tablespoon per cup, but no lower, generally. Still, that’s down from (mumblecough) amount of sugar, so…


My mom used to put three cups of sugar per gallon of iced tea! She balked when I cut it back to two. I started out sweetening my teas, but two friends who drank their coffee black started having tea with me, and they drank their tea without sugar, too. I was ashamed to put sugar in…made me feel like a little kid! – so I quit adding it in front of them and eventually just got used to it without sugar. Now I like it best without sugar, except one or two out of a hundred teas! Hubby will get there eventually! He has made a great start.

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One of several teas I shared with my friend Michelle at our tea date today, thank you to the other Michelle for the sample! We had this after Verdant’s Taiwanese Orchid Oolong. They are a bit similar though this was a bit mellower and less smokey/charcoaly and the sensations in the mouth were less intense. Still this is very very nice, it starts out subtler but in a later steep this evening it left a cool coating on the sides of my tongue and roof of my mouth. I have been wanting to try this one for awhile and it is actually my first ginseng oolong and it is already a favorite. I’m glad I only used half the sample so I can enjoy this another day when it is not following the intense orchid oolong, that many describe as being ginseng-like.


I’m glad you like it!

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so just a brief summary of my past week
so as alot of you probably do not know i am an avid mountain biker
so on friday last week me and a couple friends decide to go biking on the local hill
so since there is no lift we ride our bikes up switchbacks in order to get to the trails
so me and one of my friends started biking up and we got to the very top and then rode back down a little bit to meet up with two of my other friends
we met up with them and started down the trail
i like to kick up the rear so i waited a little bit before following after them
i very easily caught up to one of my 3 friends and passed him
i caught up to my next friend an stopped for a little bit to wait for the friend i had passed and then kept on going
i go to a place where the trail split into 4 parts and i was not sure where they had gone so i waited for my other friend to show me where to go then started biking again.

this is where it gets a little gruesome/interesting
my friend was 50 metres behind me and we were talking and riding and i hit a rock and my feet slipped of my pedals and i sacked myself very hard.
if your a guy you know how it feels so i hopped off my bike and started hopping around in pain. eventually the pain subsided and i hopped on my bike and kept going.
30 seconds later i felt a liquid in my pants and i screamed to my friend behind me " hahaha i pissed myself"
i looked down
there was blood all over my jersey and all over my shorts.
(since i am a downhill mountain biker not alot of things scare me but this
this scared me)
i told my friend and we decided it would be best to keep going out until we got on the road.
i called my dad and he picked me up and took me to the hospital. it was a very short wait at the hospital and then i went into a room
ill skip all the disgusting details and get to the point
i ended up rupturing my urethra and i have to wear a catheter for a month which means no biking for a month
that sucks

now to the tea

i stepped out of my comfort zone today as i am not a big fan of black teas
i brewed this one up and the smell of honey hit me instantly
steeped it for 3 minutes and its a browny reddish liqeur
i took a sip and its good
the thing i dont like about blacks teas is the sharp taste and maybe thats because i do not drink alot of black teas
i have yet to learn how to distinguish the flavor notes in a tea and that is something i will have to work on
in all a really good black tea

thats my story for the day

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OUCH OUCH OUCH OUCH! Well, that settles it. No mountain biking for grandma Bonnie! (be well!)


Haha thanks Bonnie


Ouchie….I used to bike alot, but in the ‘burbs. and even though I’m a girl…..I can kinda empathize….Anyways.

I am not a fan of alot of black teas either, there there a few I’d like to try just to say that I did.


Im more of a fan of whites and oolongs


I know this note is nearly a year old, but I couldn’t help myself saying that: you mountain bikers are CRAZY! my brother is one of you. how many times I thought he was a goner. . . when we were teenagers and my parents we out, he was outside practicing jumps on a ramp and I open to door to say lunch is ready only to see him flying through the air sans bike landing face down on the electrical box. Oh the anxiety he caused! And when he was out and about on the real trails, he came hobbling home with broken bones cursing about his broken bike rather than himself, while everyone else just wanted to get him to the hospital and he wanted to go salvage his bike first. see, CRAZY. LOL


haha yea when i crash the first thing i do is check my bike ;)
just by habit now

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The first few times I tried this one I can’t say I was a fan, however after returning to it, it seems to have mellowed out a bit.

Let me explain: I had tried this type of tea once before and it was delicately sweet with hints of citrus so I was expecting something similar. But when I took a sip of this one I was immediately hit with a salty smoke taste that brought to mind smoked meat (if anyone wants to make a bacon-inspired tea perhaps this would work well as a base…). Now, some people might like this flavor in a tea, but I’m not one of them.

This time however, after my sample had been open for several months, the salty smoke was much less prominent and now I see what everyone is saying about the light “miso” thing. While the tea is now much more palatable, it’s still not really my thing (though I do love miso soup!) but to each their own.

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