Tea talk

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Tea talk

Postby DinkyInky » Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:14 pm

It's not cool, tech, or SteamPunk, but after having a daunting time trying to post about my love of a good cuppa, and getting trolled by a bunch of nitwits drinking hot water with week old leaf sitting in the pot, I'd like to talk of tea, glorious tea, how one steeps it, bags versus looseleaf, the types of gear they use, sweet and cream versus straight shooter, and such.

I'm not against the bag, but I absolutely love the mess of looseleaf, and the fun of watching it release it's glorious secrets...yes, I have sometimes dripped the leaf straight into my cup to watch. I love trying teas from anywhere, and have found quiet gems in the unlikeliest of places.

And if you say anything but Pu Erh can be resteeped without a how-to, thems fightin' words.

I am currently drinking:

The Consultants from Adagio Teas, blended by Cara McGee.

It's sort of a versus challenge, taking highlights from her popular Sherlock and Moriartea blends.

Unlike the stand-alone, she used a sweet ginger apple chai instead of the potent ginger Masala chai to represent Moriarty, and only the Lapsang Souchong instead of adding the Oriental spiced Assam, though I think that is due to the limitations of how much can blend in there.

Pro's:

It gives a lightly smoky sweet chai, very nice iced, plain hot, and also done up as a proper chai, strong with sweet and milk.

Con's:

If you've tried the Ginger Masala chai of Moriartea, it's more pronounced than the light ginger apple chai used here, and the very vibrant heavily smoky Lapsang Oriental spiced Assam blend of Sherlock, you might be biased against the brillant originality of her composition here.

I have actually taken two tablespoons of the original blends and mixed them into a tin, and while nice, strong, I sm surprised to say I prefer the lighter blend, though sometimes I do mix more Sherlock into it because...well, Sherlock always wins. :P

One heaping teaspoon in my 24 oz Rose parade ceramic teapot, steeped as long as I have patience to wait, so about 20 minutes. :P
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Yanno how some people have Angels/Devils for a conscience? I have a Dark Elf ShadowKnight and a Half Elf Ranger for mine. The really bad part is when they agree on something.

Aphyon chu kissa whol l'jaed.
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Re: Tea talk

Postby Just Old Al » Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:24 pm

And as opposed to the enlightened palate above...I am a barbarian. :)

Tea, with cream and sugar - Bewley's Irish Morning or Afternoon. A very traditional English/Irish belnd made strong to cope with the adulterants and still leave a good flavour. PG Tips or Yorkshire need not apply unless your water is hard enough to make the pot need descaling - then those blends shine.

Lipton is right out - though I got a box of looseleaf Liption in an Indian shop once that was VERY good.

If you make it in the cup, for heaven's sake please pre-warm it so that the water doesn't go tepid when poured into cold stoneware.

When it comes to the noble beverage I'm more of an industrial drinker - have a cuppa while writing or working at my sketch pad. Coffee is too stimulating for this - it doesn't encourage a contemplative frame of mind the way tea does.

ajr
"The Empire was founded on cups of tea, mate, and if you think I am going to war without one you are sadly mistaken."
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Re: Tea talk

Postby DinkyInky » Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:07 pm

Just Old Al wrote:And as opposed to the enlightened palate above...I am a barbarian. :)

Tea, with cream and sugar - Bewley's Irish Morning or Afternoon. A very traditional English/Irish belnd made strong to cope with the adulterants and still leave a good flavour. PG Tips or Yorkshire need not apply unless your water is hard enough to make the pot need descaling - then those blends shine.

Lipton is right out - though I got a box of looseleaf Liption in an Indian shop once that was VERY good.

If you make it in the cup, for heaven's sake please pre-warm it so that the water doesn't go tepid when poured into cold stoneware.

When it comes to the noble beverage I'm more of an industrial drinker - have a cuppa while writing or working at my sketch pad. Coffee is too stimulating for this - it doesn't encourage a contemplative frame of mind the way tea does.

ajr
Lipton used to be lovely, now it's as if they pay for the dregs of the tea picking season and label it pekoe.

I know Lapsang is junk tea. It is made when the last tea leaves of the season are picked. Still wouldn't call it pekoe when it's made of stems and tougher leaves. That's how the brisk(hah, they purposely make bitter tea and call it brisk) teas taste. If that tea is steeped longer than it takes to colour the water...about five to eight minutes, it is so overwhelmingly bitter.

Used to be only the last of the season oolong leaf was called Lapsang Souchong, but now most any tea roasted that way gets labeled a Lapsang...it...just tastes different.
Instead of the usual roasting/drying processes they dry it over a pine fire. It's....potent. Some drink it for their health. I like drinking the taste of a roaring fire.

I buy it in blends because I like a little smokiness, but not the overwhelming taste of biting into pine sap. Lapsang straight is so overwhelmingly piney just talking about it makes my eyes water...must mean I need to drink more... :lol: Seriously though, I drink straight Lapsang Souchong about once a year, usually when I want a toasty bonfire.

I do like Tetley's for a table tea...that is, if I'm making a plain black tea blend in my family sized whistle kettle...that is, the water gets boiled in it...then add teabags or pour into cups with teabags in them.

I get a box of tea pouches...bags seem a bad description, seeing as how they are disc shaped to sit in the bottom of your cup. Plus they taste smooth compared to Lipton.

Celestial seasonings is more tisane. I use them as medicinals, as they are more herbals than tea.

Bigelows Constant comment is a guilty pleasure in the Summer making windowbox tea...when my son doesn't drink it all first... :lol:

Ashbys or Higgins & Burke for my Earl Grey. They don't toss in all the frou frou flowers to dilute the colour or flavour of the bergamot.

Oh, and no cold Earl Grey, and no sugar and cream...Captain Picard's way or go home... :P
Yanno how some people have Angels/Devils for a conscience? I have a Dark Elf ShadowKnight and a Half Elf Ranger for mine. The really bad part is when they agree on something.

Aphyon chu kissa whol l'jaed.
--Safyr Drathmir
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Re: Tea talk

Postby jwhouk » Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:08 pm

This reminds me: At what point did Al notice that they had installed the tea maker in the ambulance?
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Re: Tea talk

Postby DinkyInky » Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:20 pm

jwhouk wrote:This reminds me: At what point did Al notice that they had installed the tea maker in the ambulance?


About here, but he never formally acknowledged it in story, and if I mention an edit, I gonns get a whoopin'. Why am I still talking about this, you know I'm gonna dood it anyway...

"Oh Al!"

*cues up the wacky running muzak*
Yanno how some people have Angels/Devils for a conscience? I have a Dark Elf ShadowKnight and a Half Elf Ranger for mine. The really bad part is when they agree on something.

Aphyon chu kissa whol l'jaed.
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Re: Tea talk

Postby Just Old Al » Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:53 pm

jwhouk wrote:This reminds me: At what point did Al notice that they had installed the tea maker in the ambulance?


Note: I am ignoring Dinky. She's going to wake up with her hand in a bowl of warm water or something somewhere along the line...

Al actually noticed it after the battle, when returning the ambulance to its spot in the garage. He was unloading the detritus of the battle and tidying it up and he noticed the installation in place of the old one.

First thought was "Well, that's going to be convenient!" The upgraded BV they installed was one of these. It's basically a nuclear-grade electric kettle that runs off 24 volts - one still needs a teapot unless one makes the tea right in the boiling vessel - which is easily doable as there's a spigot to pour it off afterward.

Tea bags are preferred for easier cleanup.
"The Empire was founded on cups of tea, mate, and if you think I am going to war without one you are sadly mistaken."
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Re: Tea talk

Postby DinkyInky » Fri Jan 15, 2016 3:07 pm

Just Old Al wrote:
jwhouk wrote:This reminds me: At what point did Al notice that they had installed the tea maker in the ambulance?


Note: I am ignoring Dinky. She's going to wake up with her hand in a bowl of warm water or something somewhere along the line...

Al actually noticed it after the battle, when returning the ambulance to its spot in the garage. He was unloading the detritus of the battle and tidying it up and he noticed the installation in place of the old one.

First thought was "Well, that's going to be convenient!" The upgraded BV they installed was one of these. It's basically a nuclear-grade electric kettle that runs off 24 volts - one still needs a teapot unless one makes the tea right in the boiling vessel - which is easily doable as there's a spigot to pour it off afterward.

Tea bags are preferred for easier cleanup.
:lol:

Ain't I a stinker?
Yanno how some people have Angels/Devils for a conscience? I have a Dark Elf ShadowKnight and a Half Elf Ranger for mine. The really bad part is when they agree on something.

Aphyon chu kissa whol l'jaed.
--Safyr Drathmir
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Re: Tea talk

Postby TazManiac » Fri Jan 15, 2016 4:47 pm

yep. But so what?

And here I was going to mention 'Pu Erh', but now I ain't gonna; other than to say it's the finding of a good one that seems to be the biggest trick.

I am into loose leaf more-so than pouched too, (yeeeah, no way am I getting within ten-foot-pole territory of either phrase "I am Tea-Bagger" or "I'm in to 'Tea Bagging'", but I'm glad I got that out of my system nonetheless.)

I tend to either make and consume Tea in two different ways;

- Really Good Stuff, with care towards time of steeping and less to no sweeteners, 'raw' sugar if any & then

- Really 'Don't Care, it's Tea & it's Hot' where I toss the stuff into a mason/canning jar with more than a little sugar and boiling water and let soak a long, long time.
And then drink it right from there, no teacup required.

In fact that last is how I do my Hobo French Press; fine ground coffee in a mason jar, hot water and steeping long enough to let the grounds settle.

Last thought, this actually belongs a little higher up in the text; there is a commercial brand of green tea, a version of which has brown rice/roasted barley? in it and it's mood altering medicinal for me. It's likely one of the constant staples I have at hand at all times. Except for right now... :(

I really need to make a trip to SF's Chinatown (or Oakland's for that matter) to stock up on 'da Good Stuff'...
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Re: Tea talk

Postby DinkyInky » Fri Jan 15, 2016 5:27 pm

Boricha, Roast barley "tea" is good for the complexion, as well as refreshing, but not good for Celiac's sufferers.
My Mother makes it by the gallon pretty much daily during Summer and drinks it instead of water.

I found nothing on roasted rice green, nor roasted barley green tea, so let me know when you find it. It sounds lovely.
Yanno how some people have Angels/Devils for a conscience? I have a Dark Elf ShadowKnight and a Half Elf Ranger for mine. The really bad part is when they agree on something.

Aphyon chu kissa whol l'jaed.
--Safyr Drathmir
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Re: Tea talk

Postby TazManiac » Fri Jan 15, 2016 6:10 pm

Found the particular commercial brand I'm used to;

It's Green Tea with Roasted Brown Rice added.

http://www.pacificeastwest.com/011152019420.html

http://www.marukaiestore.com/p-3877-him ... -10oz.aspx

Looks like this:
http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0941/2 ... 1438173986
(it has small 'popped' kernels in there that look like popcorn...)

Image

I'm not going to be surprised when somebody drops the "yes, but there is 'brand XYZ' that's soooo much better..." still, I have found this stuff decent and reliably available. And worth drinking...
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Re: Tea talk

Postby DinkyInky » Fri Jan 15, 2016 6:34 pm

TazManiac wrote:Found the particular commercial brand I'm used to;

It's Green Tea with Roasted Brown Rice added.

http://www.pacificeastwest.com/011152019420.html

http://www.marukaiestore.com/p-3877-him ... -10oz.aspx

Looks like this:
http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0941/2 ... 1438173986
(it has small 'popped' kernels in there that look like popcorn...)

Image

I'm not going to be surprised when somebody drops the "yes, but there is 'brand XYZ' that's soooo much better..." still, I have found this stuff decent and reliably available. And worth drinking...

And so tasty cold. I was looking for barley, and it's not a combo with green...
Yanno how some people have Angels/Devils for a conscience? I have a Dark Elf ShadowKnight and a Half Elf Ranger for mine. The really bad part is when they agree on something.

Aphyon chu kissa whol l'jaed.
--Safyr Drathmir
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Re: Tea talk

Postby TazManiac » Fri Jan 15, 2016 6:51 pm

Yeah, sorry. I have heard of Barley 'Tea' as a medicinal, but never seen it commercially available.

Here's more info re: gen mai cha; (from humble beginnings...)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genmaicha
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Re: Tea talk

Postby jwhouk » Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:13 pm

The wife is the one who's a fan of Chai Tea Latte - something that a friend of ours got her hooked on. Her usual morning fix is peppermint tea, though right now we're going through a box of green tea.

I'm more of a coffee drinker, myself - shows how American I am.
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Re: Tea talk

Postby DinkyInky » Fri Jan 15, 2016 11:06 pm

TazManiac wrote:Yeah, sorry. I have heard of Barley 'Tea' as a medicinal, but never seen it commercially available.

Here's more info re: gen mai cha; (from humble beginnings...)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genmaicha

Any Asian market should carry roasted barley for tea...

Mugicha (麦茶) in Japanese, dàmàichá (大麦茶) or màichá (麦茶 or 麥茶) in Mandarin Chinese, and boricha (보리차) in Korean. Including the calligraphy so you can print it up to look in an Asian market for it.

Another neat thing(though as a teenager I hated my Mother for it) with barley tea is if you put the used barley into a cheesecloth when done then freeze it, it makes a soothing eye mask for puffy eyes.
Yanno how some people have Angels/Devils for a conscience? I have a Dark Elf ShadowKnight and a Half Elf Ranger for mine. The really bad part is when they agree on something.

Aphyon chu kissa whol l'jaed.
--Safyr Drathmir
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Re: Tea talk

Postby DinkyInky » Sun Jan 17, 2016 2:25 pm

Today is sort of recovering, as I'm trying to kick a cold to the curb.

I wanted a nice chai tea because I'm feeling wretched, so I went with a humourous blend inspired by the new Sherlock offering from BBC titled, Mycroft.

My son and I love chai spice tea, and this one now ranks highest on our list(beating out a tiny cafe in Chicago's Chinatown that makes sinful iced chai spice tea).
We've tried this both hot and iced, and with and without cream. It's delightful without sugar, as the inspired blending of the herbs and teas and chocolate all lend to a perfect union, not at all bitter, even if I forgot I brewed a cuppa in the morning and poured it at lunch(I may have done this once or twice...oh, who am I kidding...I nearly always do this.).
Plain hot, it's sweet, rich, spicy. Plain iced, it's refreshing, earthy, a guilty pleasure.
Hot with heavy cream, it's cream and chocolate notes pop, with the spice taking a back seat and iced with heavy cream, it's a sinful dessert...my son wants to try it hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream in it next.
Brewed in my trusty Rose Parade ceramic teapot.

So yeah, tea glorious tea. How does Mycroft keep trim? He drinks his desserts as tea. :p
Yanno how some people have Angels/Devils for a conscience? I have a Dark Elf ShadowKnight and a Half Elf Ranger for mine. The really bad part is when they agree on something.

Aphyon chu kissa whol l'jaed.
--Safyr Drathmir
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Re: Tea talk

Postby Catawampus » Sun Jan 17, 2016 9:37 pm

Appropriate timing: I just finished making up a pot of hot tea fruit punch stuff not long before reading this.

I'm not really too fussy about tea bags versus pouring loose tea into an infuser, just so long as it tastes good.

For just a plain ordinary cup of tea, my standard one is usually Twinings orange pekoe with milk and sugar. Their Earl Grey is one of the other ones I'll often have, either plain or with a little sugar. I'll usually have a box of plain green tea sitting around, too, but I don't really stick with any particular brand; the one that impressed me most was some sort of Vietnamese gunpowder tea that I've found twice in Asian markets but generally doesn't seem very common or easy to track down. Good strong lapsang souchong is probably the closest I have to an actual “favourite” tea, but I have a hard time in the US finding any that is of more than indifferent watery quality. I like oolong and darjeeling, but don't generally actually have any sitting around.

Iced teas have never interested me, and I'll only drink them when they're all that's available and I can't be bothered to go find something else.

Every now and then I'll decide to get fancy and make some version of chai masala. The last time was a few months ago, when a friend of mine was sitting there with his little pathetic tea bag of “chai tea” in a cup of water and was rhapsodising away about how much he loved chai tea. So I offered to show him some of the ways I've learned to make it while traveling around central Asia, and now I've basically ruined the premade stuff for him forevermore.

As far as tisanes go, I tend to prefer the more simple types that aren't a mix of a bunch of different things. I'll often steep mint leaves or ginger or lemongrass or dandelion root and drink that, often plain but sometimes with a bit of honey. In Korea I was introduced to parched corn (so obviously not too ancient a traditional drink there) steeped in hot water, though that takes a bit more effort to make since stores don't sell parched corn and I have to prepare it all myself. I also quite like rooibos; Celestial Seasonings makes a decent rooibos mix with vanilla, though the best blend of that was probably the rooibos with chili peppers that I picked up in. . .Capetown or somewhere and was never quite able to emulate. I suspect that it was some local variety of peppers.

Hibiscus tastes awful to me, so unfortunately about 90% of premade commercial tisanes are out as far as I'm concerned; they seem to feel the need to mix hibiscus in with practically everything.

Military life, of course, was filled with instances of very plain ordinary tea brewed in a bewildering variety of peculiar or unorthodox manners (“This spent artillery shell casing will work to boil the water in, now we just need to find something to build a fire with. . .oh, wait, let's just drop some thermite in the water!”). Sometimes it was good and tasty and hot, sometimes it was only two or even one of those. And occasionally it was none of the above. But the experience has left me with a fairly high tolerance for odd quirks in tea flavour.

I also like to brew teas in glass cups or pots with a good light behind them, and watch the tea oils come coiling out of the leaves and gradually spread their tendrils throughout the whole pot along the convection currents.
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Re: Tea talk

Postby Jabberwonky » Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:35 am

Catawampus wrote:I also like to brew teas in glass cups or pots with a good light behind them, and watch the tea oils come coiling out of the leaves and gradually spread their tendrils throughout the whole pot along the convection currents.

This is something I also love to watch.
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Re: Tea talk

Postby DinkyInky » Mon Jan 18, 2016 8:33 am

Catawampus wrote:Appropriate timing: I just finished making up a pot of hot tea fruit punch stuff not long before reading this.

I'm not really too fussy about tea bags versus pouring loose tea into an infuser, just so long as it tastes good.

For just a plain ordinary cup of tea, my standard one is usually Twinings orange pekoe with milk and sugar. Their Earl Grey is one of the other ones I'll often have, either plain or with a little sugar. I'll usually have a box of plain green tea sitting around, too, but I don't really stick with any particular brand; the one that impressed me most was some sort of Vietnamese gunpowder tea that I've found twice in Asian markets but generally doesn't seem very common or easy to track down. Good strong lapsang souchong is probably the closest I have to an actual “favourite” tea, but I have a hard time in the US finding any that is of more than indifferent watery quality. I like oolong and darjeeling, but don't generally actually have any sitting around.
What notes in the Lapsang Souchong grab you? There is a difference. I had one that tasted like boiled pine sap, some have a hint of the tea leaves behind the smoke...then again which types of tea the companies can get away with calling Lapsang.

Try this one. The samples are in looseleaf, but they do sell bags(but again, expense for convenience). I find it very nice, but it is one of a very few I add sweet and cream. To me, it enhances the smokiness.

If interested PM me an email, and I can shoot you one of their try it gc's. Ditto to anyone wanting to try them.
Yanno how some people have Angels/Devils for a conscience? I have a Dark Elf ShadowKnight and a Half Elf Ranger for mine. The really bad part is when they agree on something.

Aphyon chu kissa whol l'jaed.
--Safyr Drathmir
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Re: Tea talk

Postby DinkyInky » Mon Jan 18, 2016 8:54 am

Mind Palace

To be quite honest, I got it because of the artwork after...an incident.
Didn't even look at the notes...wasn't sure if I could even drink it. Didn't care.

I impulse picked it after hearing this:

'Bored!' Thump.

'Bored!' Thump.

'Bored!' Thump.

'I'm Bored!' Thump.

My son shouted this while shooting tiny plush Bad Piggies and Angry Birds with a slingshot at a smiley face he pinned on the wall.

So I picked it for that reason...oh, and then I showed him that scene from the new Sherlock(he's a Jeremy Brett fanatic like me, but we've since watched this one...and rather like their take on it).

It's a gloriously morning tea. The orange is such a refreshing wake up, from the scent in package down to the pouring of the cup. I had to actually get a large bag because I brewed the entire sample tin in a weekend, and as fast as I poured it, he drank it.
He tried it both sweetened and plain, and unlike most, prefers it in a tall clear tea glass with two sugar cubes, watching it steep.
When I finally tried it, it was citrusy, a very focused citrus that lent itself well to the Ceylon tea. Vanilla was a hint, and not in your face.
My son likes to have a cup when he is doing his homework, as he says it helps him think.

Spot on for the new Sherlock...actually, spot on for classic Sherlock and his brain-attic. Clean, uncomplicated, uncluttered.

Brewed in my Rose Parade ceramic teapot.

It's also nice blended with a bit of the Sherlock blend, as the smokiness and the orange are amazing together...as I am doing presently because I'm bloody sick, and I'm bored, and it's never a good combination...

I'm also nearly out, so I will have to order more before we get bored... :twisted:
Yanno how some people have Angels/Devils for a conscience? I have a Dark Elf ShadowKnight and a Half Elf Ranger for mine. The really bad part is when they agree on something.

Aphyon chu kissa whol l'jaed.
--Safyr Drathmir
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Re: Tea talk

Postby DinkyInky » Tue Jan 19, 2016 9:44 am

Still feel lousy, and now my son is blargh. He reminded me that the school will take him as long as there's no fever, so he was going, sniffles and all.
Personally, since it most likely came from the petri dish known as elementary school, in the first place, I don't mind.

Brewed up this lovely gem, Triforce tea.

It's a very relaxing, creamy citrusy vanilla Earl Grey. I am spoiled forever, because I now have to get this blend to enjoy it.

Three major teas, three minor accents. They blend together perfectly.

As always, unsweetened plain, or with heavy cream. Utterly delicious.

Brewed in my trusty wee ceramic teapot.

We once watched family play Twilight Princess(well, until certain scenes made me go all whirly) while drinking this tea and eating fresh made Irish soda bread with sweet cream butter. My son laughs whenever I turn heavy cream into creamy butter, and put little clouds of it on his bread.

Earl Grey connoisseurs might enjoy it.
Yanno how some people have Angels/Devils for a conscience? I have a Dark Elf ShadowKnight and a Half Elf Ranger for mine. The really bad part is when they agree on something.

Aphyon chu kissa whol l'jaed.
--Safyr Drathmir
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