149 Tasting Notes

85

Dry – Sweet, malty, chocolate, cream, faint pine-wood.
Wet – Warm sugar, molasses, maple, woody-pine notes, chocolate, spices, hints of cream.
Liquor – Bronze

The first steep is sweet, thick malty, woody with pine notes and hints of chocolate. As it goes down, it maintain its thickness and malty notes with subtle chocolate notes and lasting wood-pine notes.

The following steeps feel more sweet and thicker with very apparent malt notes, wood-pine notes and seems to become almost savory in the middle with a broth like quality. As it goes down, it feels thick again with sweetness, chocolate notes and a roasted note that gives deeper notes of wood and malt.

The final steeps are weaker, but still pleasant with a sweet but cleaner front, apparent malt and wood in the middle with almost no broth-like middle, it is mostly wood-pine like with the chocolate notes now switched to a very subtle roasted cocoa nibs like taste, more bitter to bittersweet side of chocolate notes.

Very pleasant Yunnan Black. I prefer Spring offerings so far. By comparison I’d say that Autumn offerings have a more malty and wood profile and ‘deeper’ perhaps roasted notes, while spring has a lighter yet more complex profile.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Chocolate, Malt, Molasses, Pine, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 5 g

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87

Dry – Sweet, caramel, chocolate, spice(cinnamon), cream, tart fruity, some mineral oolong notes.
Wet – Very sweet, caramel, floral, cinnamon, creamy, tart fruity, hints of chocolate, more apparent mineral notes.
Liquor – Light-golden to copper – Very aromatic, cinnamon, fruits, caramel, hints of chocolate.

Early steeps are honeyed sweet and tart fruity that resembles caramel, but develops a richer chocolatey character up front. As it goes down, it feels thick and creamy with chocolate and cinnamon notes over a tart and fruity background. A complex and satisfying finish.

Once the tea starts to open it wears the same notes as the initial steeps, but the floral notes take a front seat. The thickness, chocolate and cinnamon notes are still apparent and very pleasant, more mineral/oolong character appears.

Later steeps are mostly tart fruity and floral with mineral oolong notes. The thick/creamy, chocolate and cinnamon notes take a backseat here; they seem muted, but are still present if you pay attention.

Final Notes
This is a very satisfying Oolong, I feel like this outshines the ’Classic Rou Gui" in over all taste and quality and funny enough in the cinnamon aspect.

Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Creamy, Floral, Fruity, Mineral, Tart

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 g 4 OZ / 130 ML
boychik

who needs a dessert, right? goes on my wishlist!

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75

Dry – A ‘dark’ / roasted sweetness, mineral oolong notes, some wood-spice (Cinnamon? not getting clear Cinnamon notes), Caramel.
Wet – Oolong mineral/rock notes, very floral, wood-spice notes, sweetness that comes from a roasted/dark source not so much line honey.
Liquor – Copper — very aromatic of Wood-spice(Cinnamon), Honey, mineral, floral and roasted sweetness.

This tea is very aromatic, it has very apparent floral-bitter/tart notes that emanate from the cup, sweet mesquite honey notes and finally get an apparent Cinnamon/wood-spice scent followed by the hallmark mineral/rock/hay Oolong notes.

The liquor is fairly smooth but pieces are not uncommon, filter if you don’t want residual astringency, however I feel like this is very pleasant. It wears all of its floral notes well, the Cinnamon character is lacking in my opinion; mostly caramel sweetness with floral and mineral. As it goes down some more of the wood-spice notes come forward and after a while the Cinnamon is more clear. This is definitely a tea to keep at work, I’ve done very short steeps and some a bit longer and the taste barely changes. It doesn’t endure much in western cup style, I’d stick to using portable Gong Fu methods, and enjoy 3-5 good cups.

Nothing too special. A great cup of work, the aroma is VERY enjoyable, definitely its best trait.

Flavors: Caramel, Floral, Mineral, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 g 6 OZ / 170 ML
boychik

Thank you for reviewing this tea. i bought it but wasnt able to sample it. Im at my summer house now. But i tried Jing Tea shop version. it was very good but i dont think it was rich enough. JTS is medium roasted. Is YS heavy roasted?

JC

I think this one is medium roasted, but think in the higher range of what you consider medium roast. There’s still some dark green color in the leaves, but not much cinnamon taste, it is mostly in the aftertaste. I bought a bag of this and Scott sent me sample of another Oolong which in my opinion knocks this one out of the table. I’ll update once I get home and let you know the name of that one in case you want to sample it. :)

boychik

Pls do. BTW have you tried that Ya Shi Xiang Dan Cong (duck shit). name is just gross. i wonder if its good.

JC

LOL! I haven’t. I want to try it, but I have to wait until my next tea order. I find the name funny, and wonder if it does indeed smell like Duck shit. I used to visit a farming family as a little kid and I know the scent.

boychik

I’m in Pocono,PA now. We have ducks in the lake and everywhere. and in a pool which is annoying. I wouldn’t want my kids to swim in duck poop. I don’t mind looking at them from a distance.

JC

The other Oolong Scott sent me was 2013 Spring AA Grade “Hua Xiang Shui Xian”. I feel like this one is a step up to the Classic Rou Gui.

boychik

thanks, will put it on wishlist ;)

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83
drank 2007 White2Tea Repave by White 2 Tea
149 tasting notes

Dry – Bitter-tobacco/wood notes, bittersweet floral notes
Wet – Bitter-tobacco/wood notes, bitter floral, bittersweet fruit and hints of sweetness and tangy notes.
Liquor – Amber to copper.
Gongfu in Porcelain lined Yixing Gaiwan 130ml

The first two steeps had a savory front with tangy and bittersweet floral notes over the gentle tobacco background. As it washed down if feels smooth and has an almost oily texture that coats the tongue with mellow bitter floral notes and faint smoke.

Following steeps are more open and forward but continue to be mellow in character. The front is savory with smoky, bitter-wood/tobacco notes adn floral bitter-sweetness. As it goes down, it continues to coat the tongue with a lightly oily texture that feel smooth, but has a more apparent bitter-tobacco/wood and floral notes, that although more apparent are still somehow gentle.

Later steeps (past 8th-10th) are more faded, but still echo the characteristics of this tea. Most of the notes are cumulative so the tobacco and floral notes and faint smoke linger in the back of the tongue and throat. The huigan is fairly fast yet mellow in taste. Cha qi is present as a warming sentation.

A nice tea, I insist that this to me echos a very gentle Xiaguan or what a Xiaguan/Yiwu blend would taste like in my mind.

Flavors: Floral, Sweet, Tangy, Tobacco

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 7 g 4 OZ / 130 ML
mrmopar

I liked this one pretty well.

JC

it is pretty good. Gentler than I anticipated it would be.

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80

Dry – Sweet, earthy notes, somewhat creamy, dates, starch/rice.
Wet – Creamy, earthy, light spice/pepper, dry dark fruits, dates, yeasty, bitter cocoa?
Liquor – Burgundy to Red-ish brown.

1st 5secs Thick, tart, partly, fruity and some smoke?(roasted cocoa/coffee) notes up front. As it goes down, it has an apparent savory, brothy and filling body with some pepper-wood notes and a sweet and bitter-chocolate finish.

2nd 5secs First Sweet, thick, tart, earthy, creamy with light pepper notes and smoke?/roasted cocoa-coffee notes up front. As it goes down it has an initial sweetness, but a brothy and savory character is dominant. The finish is sweeter with tart/bittersweet cocoa notes.

3rd 7secs Sweet, thick, earthy, creamy, slightly tart with dark fruit notes, and faint roasted-cocoa/coffee? notes up front. As it goes down, it has some savory notes the dominate for a bit, but turns sweet again with spice and camphor and a sweet finish that has bittersweet cocoa notes.

7-8 steeps in total The steeps start collapsing at the 5th-6th and after that they are mostly sweet with minor tart notes and faded complexity. You can allow it to rest for a few hours or a day and push an extra one or two, but they are still weak.

FInal Notes
After the Feng Ling pot this one is more than welcomed. I feel like this one has some complexity and depth to it, which it is rare in Shou in general. It is in the between the lines of an amazing every day Shou or a good occasional treat.

Flavors: Creamy, Dark Bittersweet, Dates, Earth, Rice, Sweet, Thick

Preparation
Boiling
Sarsonator

I officially want to drink this! LOL

JC

I can send you some later. I’ve been really busy lately, but I can me up some time later :)

Sarsonator

OK. Thank you :)

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70

Ceramic Pot Puerh – Feng Ling Tea Factory, April 2000 100gm

Dry – Earth, Clay, Wood, Sweet.
Wet – Sweet, wood and earthy.
Liquor – dark brown almost black.

1st 5secs- Earthy, tart-bitter wood notes, talc/starchy and some clay notes up front. As it goes down, it feels starchy like talc and somewhat sweet, but flat at the end.

2nd 5secs – Think earthy, woody, some spiciness, starsh/talc sensation on the tongue and some sweet up front. As it goes down, it has some earthy wood notes and sweet finish. This steep has more live than the first one.

3rd 7secs – Thick earthy, woody, more apparent spicy middle with a starsh/talc sensation up front. As it goes down, it holds its earthy and wood notes while slowly developing sweetness that linger in the finish.

Quick wrap up
This one wasn’t a hit with me. I feel like people who enjoy imperial Loose Puerh and other traditional high fermentation ripes will get a better time out of this one. I will re-visit this one when I’m more in a Shou mood.

Flavors: Clay, Earth, Sweet, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 6 g 4 OZ / 130 ML
apt

It seems that the majority of pu’erh consumers feel that The Phoenix Collection is bad and not good. What’s your opinion on them?

JC

VERY honestly, I like David Hoffman, humble and nice guy. But it is a hit or miss. He does have some really good ones, but some that I’d rather not go back to. Although, some people can appreciate those. I’ve found well stored ones, but some that have been in obvious wet storage, which isn’t bad (there’s people who love them) but it would be nice before you put the money in.

apt

Seems like I should steer clear, I dislike humid storage. He seems to be a super inaccessible vendor, as his lowest amt for loose teas is 4oz and puerh is generally 1 cake minimum, and he barely describes them (I can’t even tell if it’s ripe or raw!)

JC

Ex. REally good Shou : Tibetan Brick High grade, Lao Ban Zhang Ripe, Beencha Puerh, Vietnam Been Cha, Lancang/Simao/Mensong Loose Leaf from old trees(although wierd looking). Shou I didn’t like : Tibetan Brick Standard grade (basically heicha), Yunnan Been Cha, The other Large Leaf from old trees ripes, everyday shou(blehh). I can do the same for the Sheng.

apt

I generally dislike Shou, it’s just repulsive to me, like wet-stored teas of any kind. Something about the aroma. I drank nice shou as well, I’ve tried a CNNP, a Yunnan Sourcing, and a mini-coin. I got the same vibe from a wet-stored aged Sun Moon Lake black tea.

A dry-stored sheng though, that’s gooooood.

JC

If you don’t like to talk to people stick to other vendors. I spoke to him about it, the thing is that he is mostly a whole seller so he has no need to advertise or market his Puerh, usually people go to tastings and buy on buy/order on the spot. I’m interested in visiting sometime. He has several old Puerh that is not even listed and some have been pleasant. But if you want to make sure every single is a hit, I’d advice staying with guys like Tea Urchin, White2Dog and other curators that don’t do much wholesales and describe a more limited catalog. :)

apt

yeah I was chatting with a Taiwanese Oolong wholesaler today, quite a nice selection. I e-mailed them with a question a while back, and they responded instantly. However, the lack of flexibility of sampling turns me off. I’m ordering with White2Tea very soon, actually.

JC

I’d recommend White2Dog. Paul has been very attentive and the tea has been as advertised. And I have to say, I feel you about sampling. I usually do research before buying anything and Puerh is not the exception. With Phoenix Collection it was a must because the information is limited. If lived in CA I would visit and taste on spot… I wish I could do that in all places actually LOL.

apt

I haven’t tried Paul’s teas yet, but I’ve spoken to him a bit and he’s been great to talk to. Next month (which is in 8 minutes) I’m ordering from him.

Sammerz314

Not a fan of this tea either

JC

Sam, I haven’t been much into Shou lately, but this one added the extra ‘clay’ and wood that I didn’t get too much into lol.

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95

Edit 7/31/14
I was too harsh on this one. I was biased towards the price tag. I had four notes written two in the 90s and two in the 80s. The 80s were mostly considering the price vs what else you can get for that price. But the reality is that I should just rate the taste of tea and price being expensive or cheap is up to each person. Read the notes for details. :)

7/30/14
Initial Note This are the notes I took when I first received the cake, the cake was very aromatic with fruity and young sheng notes. I’ve consolidated my other three notes at the bottom in the Final notes section :)

Dry – Aromatic, young notes apparent, honey, apricot, faintly creamy.
Wet – Young, honey, creamy, floral, fruity, stronger apricot.
Liquor – Bright, somewhat pale yellow with slight green hue.

1st 3secs – Honey, creamy, slightly nutty and floral bittersweet notes up front. As it goes down, the bitterness is more apparent, but very mellow and pleasant with fruity and floral undertones and a somewhat savory base. Very young notes were apparent in the aftertaste.

2nd 4secs – Honey, slightly creamy and nutty, floral bitterness with bittersweet fruity undertones up front. As it goes down, it becomes slightly more bitter, but maintains a mellow and pleasant body with some more body adn thick apricot notes at the end. Slightly young still but more honeyed-apricot finish.

3rd 5secs – Floral bitterness, bittersweet fruity notes, light creamy and nutty notes and honeyed up front. As it goes down, it thickens and intensifies its bitter notes with floral and fruity character that resembles apricot as it fades away. It still has the young notes as the huigan fades and stays on the tongue.

4th 7secs – Floral bitterness, bitterseweet fruity notes, thinner body with nutty notes and some honey up front. As it goes down, its bitter notes become more apparent and develops a very pleasant thickness that in turn develops floral/fruity tones that resemble apricots. Some astringency is present with faint young notes, but still honeyed-apricot finish.

5th – 10secs – Floral bitterness, Bittersweet fruity notes, smooth but juicy (as opposed to the initial creamy character) honeyed up front. As it goes down, it becomes thicker with more apparent floral bitterness and fruity bittersweet notes that resemble apricot. The finish is sweet, with honey and apricot and develops young notes with minor hay/herbaceous characteristics.

6th 15secs – Floral bitterness, bittersweet fruity notes, smooth and somewhat thinner and honeyed up front. As it goes down, it is slightly thicker with an apparent floral and fruity character that play betweent bitter and bittersweetness that is very pleasant but plays with more astringency on the tongue. The finish is honeyed-apricots like, it is lasting but has a herbaceous prescense that lingers with astringency.

7th 25secs Floral bitterness and fruity notes that lack the initial smoothness but remains honeyed up front. As it goes down, it has faded thickness in the background like a ghost of what it had to offer, the astringecy is more apparent and brings out the bitter and bitter sweet floral and fruity notes. The finish is still honeyed, and the astringency is still there, the herbaceous/hay is more apparent in the finish.

8th 35secs – Mostly flat and one dimensional. It starts with bitter floral and bittersweet fruity notes, but they seem faded and overtaking by astringency and a mineral/metallic tone, there’s still honey in the front. As it goes down, it gives hints of a thickness that quickly dissipates and becomes bitter-to-bittersweet floral notes and astringent. At this point to me, the astringency went from apparent but pleasant to just astringent.

9th 45secs – Mostly flat, bitter-bittersweet notes and some sweet, no body to it.

Final Notes
Not stealing, but cleverly borrowing Cwyn’s analogy for New Amerykah 2 :P

If New Amerykah 2 (2014) is an illegal and a jail-bait, this one is the Beauty JUST over the age, that carries herself very well… but had that tad too much to drink LOL. When you first meet her, you take it at face value; it is a young sheng after all, but it surprises you during the first few steeps with a gentle well rounded body and only hints of immaturity. The living image that age does not dictate maturity….

As cups go down, the unfiltered reality starts to leak out. Once you reach the 5th steep (sometimes one or two past that), the scene gets loud, immature and uncomfortable. Astringency develops at first and it isn’t an issue, it’s expected, bitter notes are demanded from any Kucha and it slowly delivers. It feels like I went on the ‘perfect’ date and ended up stalking the waiter to bring me the check.

Now, for reality. I was victim of my own preconceptions, the reviews were amazing and with the price tag I expected no less. I feel like this is a really good Sheng blend, but that’s all it is, a blend. The huangpian gives it this undeniable maturity and deep notes at first, but that’s make up and dress up, each cake portion will differ from the other because you can’t guarantee that every piece you get will be balanced, some times it seems like you hit a honeyed, bitter and complex jackpot(sometimes short-lived) and other times you get mostly younger leaves with fine developing characteristics, but lacking depth and maturity. I’d say sample this one for the good times, $90 for a cake this young and with not proof of aging potential is not in my budget; but if you favor young Sheng… this is your date.

Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Bitter, Creamy, Floral, Fruity, Honey, Nutty

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 130 ML
apt

Sounds pretty nice! $90 is a lot though, aren’t Bulangs generally cheaper than that?

JC

Usually much cheaper, but Gushu, blah blah, sourced from a remote village, blah blah, XXXX years old blah blah, pretty wrapper. LOL. I mean, it is a nice Sheng, value is in the eye of the buyer, to me is WAY too expesive. For that price you can get something from the similar/same region with age. I like it, but I’m not sure I enjoyed the price vs the tea.

Sammerz314

I’m actually drinking this tea right now… courtesy of… YOU! hahaI definitely smell the honey in the wet leaves.

Sammerz314

IMO,this is a very nice tea.

JC

It is! lol that’s why I told you so many times I was torn about it. Because I LOVE things about it, and then I hate things about it. So to me it is a give and take.

P.S. >>
It is later steeps that I hate.

JC

Also, what I mentioned about the blending. I’ve found portions that are pure glory and I want to drink it forever then I get a portion that is like having any other 2013 Sheng. I treated you with the front of the cake! lol

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62

It is ‘Meh’ for me. That’s half the reason I brought it to work. It has a deep amber liquor and it has mellow sweetness and mellow floral, to me it seems flat, nothing worth paying too much attention to.

It is at $14 for 200gm, but as I said it is rather flat and tastes a bit more aged than it should, nothing off just possibly wetter storage(aged taste, not musty) on the overall scent and taste; tastes older than 2009 or maybe it is because is made from plantation and it may still be weak in Wu Liang notes.

Flavors: Floral, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C

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Dry – Abandoned old wood cabin in the tropics, spice-wood.
Wet – Thick earth notes, spicy-wood notes, bitter wood notes and sweetness.
Liquor – Burgundy.

Gonfu Style — 2 rinses (first 3 secs and 2 secs rest and second just a quick wash)

The tea started with very assertive spicy-wood notes, earth notes with very apparent sweetness and feels smooth going down. Some astringency was present, but it only helped the spicy notes and later the camphor sensation.

The second and third steeps (partly 4th as well), were smoother but maintaining the earthy and wood notes with spicy background. Allowing time between cups allowed me to appreciate the lasting sweetness and perhaps notice some very faint notes I have yet to identify.

Later steeps were gentler that previously, but still assertive to its storage background. No musky notes, just plain wood and earth, with a a sweet finish and lots of camphor.

Final Notes
First sip was confusing and puzzling since I’ve never had a wet storage Sheng like this, I’ve had the occasional ‘oh, there are some floral notes, honey… and ughh, there you are, moist rotting wood note, bitter and saddening’. By the second steep I was beginning to enjoy the sweetness but was still puzzled/bothered by the deep wood notes. By the third,…. I told myself “This Sheng makes a great Shou!” LOL.

Bottom line, if you are all about dry storage… stay away, you’ll just have a bad day. If you are into wood and somewhat spicy notes Shou, I’d try this one.

Flavors: Cedar, Earth, Sweet, Wood

Preparation
Boiling
boychik

I really need to try this!

awilsondc

Nice review! I’ve been craving an earthy sheng… I’ll put this one on the list!

JC

You both should try it! If you like Shou/Earthy Sheng this is it. No musty/wet wood scent, just old scent.

Sammerz314

I sort of enjoyed this tea. Nice example of wet storage.

JC

Agreed! I’ve had two types of wet storage before this one. The first type is weak sheng, like the wetter storage sucked the life away from the Sheng. The second is ‘dirty’ Sheng, the one that tastes like mulch and has the scent of rotting leaves on partially dried mud. This one to me resembled a clean Shou. I’m glad I got a sample, I would otherwise avoided because of those experiences.

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74
drank 2011 Dashu Bulang by White 2 Tea
149 tasting notes

Dry – Floral, Tobacco, hints of sweetness, bitter-woody and floral notes, faint fruit notes.
Wet – Bitter, Tobacco,Smoke, floral, some sweeter fruit hints.
Liquor – Gold-Amber

  • Gong Fu in Yixing Gaiwan 130ml — 5-6gm tea**

1st 4s – Tobacco, some smoke, bitter and bittersweet notes with hints of young harshness. As it goes down, it mellow a bit, but still wears smoke. It slowly builds a pleasant Huigan.

2nd 4s – Strong Tobacco, smoke, some deeper notes that remind me of Licorice/medicinal taste and bittersweet notes up front. As it goes down, it mellows considerably and wears sweeter notes that linger through the more apparent smoke and tobacco notes.

3rd 4secs Harsher, more assertive Tobacco with bitter-wood, medicinal/licorice notes and bittersweet notes up front. As it goes down, it mellows again, but wears some of the harshness, smoke and tobacco notes. It slowly develops sweeter notes that may slightly resemble fruit(apricot?)

4th 6 Strong tobacco with again assertive bitter-wood almost medicinal/licorice-like taste and bittersweet notes (somewhat floral) up front. As it goes down, it mellows considerably, but continues to stay mostly harsher; however it slowly develops sweeter notes at the end.

Final Notes
I had around seven steeps from this one. I feel like it would take another 3 easily, but only if you can deal with the cumulative harsher notes and also cumulative astringency. Even after all of that ‘harshness’ I can still respect this tea. I feel like Islay Whiskey fans will get a nice kick out of this one, even more for the price! Lagavulin anyone?

If you have some time visit my blog
http://thetinmycup.blogspot.com/

Flavors: Licorice, Smoke, Tobacco

Preparation
Boiling
Yang-chu

I’ve got something from this tea company called Silver Peacock. I’ll send you some along with the samples. It’s aging quite nicely. Amazing clarity to the liquor.

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Bio

Discovered tea a few years ago and I’ve been exploring ever since. I’m looking forward to keep learning and enjoy tea as I do. Keep learning, those who “know” stop learning and become irrelevant to the world.

I’m adding the scale because I noted that we all use the same system but it doesn’t mean the same to all.(I rate the tea not by how much I ‘like it’ only; there are flavors/scents I don’t like but they are quality and are how they are supposed to be and I rate them as such).

90 – 100: AMAZING. This the tea I feel you should drop whatever you are doing and just enjoy.

80-89: Great tea that I would recommend because they are above ‘average’ tea, they usually posses that ‘something’ extra that separates them from the rest.

70-79: An OK tea, still good quality, taste and smell. For me usually the tea that I have at work for everyday use but I can still appreciate and get me going through my day.

60-69: Average nothing special and quality is not high. The tea you make and don’t worry about the EXACT time of steep because you just want tea.

30-59: The tea you should probably avoid, the tea that you can mostly use for iced tea and ‘hide’ what you don’t like.

1-29: Caveat emptor! I feel sorry for my enemies when they drink this tea. :P

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DC

Website

http://thetinmycup.blogspot.com/

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