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Old 09-04-2011, 04:09 PM   #1
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Talking Mmm...coffee...

I know I'm not the only coffee snob here! This is our thread!

The largest section of countertop in my kitchen is dedicated to coffee. From right to left there's a drip coffee maker, an electric burr grinder, an espresso machine, and the coffee roaster. There are only two people in the house, but we have over a dozen coffee mugs, plus another half dozen or so travel mugs. I have made it my mission in life to learn how to pull a perfect shot of espresso. I'm still working on it. I think I need to find a good barista to teach me.

I'm also completely spoiled by home roasted coffee. I can't stand grocery store coffee at all, coffee shop coffee is iffy (Starbucks tastes like charcoal to me, Dutch Brothers is decent but not great, smaller coffee shops are completely hit or miss).

Talk to me, folks. Who roasts? Who wants to roast? What kind of roaster do you use? What kind of espresso machine do you have? Where do you buy your beans? My answers coming soon!
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Old 09-04-2011, 04:47 PM   #2
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Ho Ho, some one who speaks my language.

Tell the truth, a Burr grinder, is actually a slicer!.....good coffee is never ground, it's sliced.

I too, am a cupper. I used to host cupping parties, where I'd roast and everyone would sip, swirl it around in their mouth, swallow if they wanted, spit it out....rinse and repeat. When attendance started to dwindle, I got the hint, just because that was *fun* to me....not so much for every one else. So, I did my roasting thing by myself, and took notes. Some beans like more heat, some beans require longer roasts, some combinations taste better with each other. For example, anything grown in South America make
great combination beans for espresso. Espresso is a roast by the way.

I have a Zach and Dani's roaster. They have since sold their name, but the roaster remains the same. I have a first generation and a second generation. It does a great job of controlling the smoke. (it has something like a catalytic converter on it) It puts off alot of heat. In the better weather, I roast out on the deck.....

Funny you mentioned travel mugs. I am a bit nutty about
travel mugs. I'm always looking at them. I have the same
attraction to nice slim aluminum thermos's too. I fell out of my kayak on the river this morning, the kayak took on water, I don't know how I didn't snap my leg in half, and I had a total melt down because the espresso kit got away.
a whole other story ( we were going to have an espresso break on the river)

I buy from Sweet Maria's on line. She's pretty good about telling you when good beans are available. I just picked up a 20 pound sack of Coasta Rican tarrazu. Purchasing green beans in bulk, coffee or espresso is about .05 cents a cup. (fifty cups
or espresso's to a lb)...how can you not want fresh coffee.
I'll drink water before touching starbucks.

I have a Mr. Coffee espresso machine.....and I think I have a Mr coffee coffee maker....it's almost never used. Once you've had my freshly roasted espresso....thats all you'll ever want. (seriously)

Every time we visit any of our friends, I always take coffee. I pay special attention to when some one says they like a particular roast, I make sure they get that. Recieveing this coffee is better than wine. And I'm not kidding.

Target sells the syrups. So we keep them on hand for the people who just haven't made that step to real espresso.
What ever you want, the beans are always fresh, and the shop is always open.

When you roast your own beans, the beans shed a skin. Store bought coffee grinds those skins into the coffee, you can tell by the sheen on top of the coffee. I take a hand help vacuum and carefully extract all of those skins, so my coffee is smooth as can be. ZERO bitterness.

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Old 09-04-2011, 04:57 PM   #3
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Everything about espresso is in 30's. Thats very easy to remember.

A single espresso is one espresso scoop, press-using 30 pounds of pressure. I practiced pressing 30 pounds of pressure on the scale for weeks. And you pressure brew it 30 seconds for one scoop.....if you are using two scoops, collect it into two vessels for thirty seconds......

always use room temp water, preferably filtered (brita will be perfect)
let the pressure build in machine.......and when done, let all pressure out of your machine. I let it out the latte frother........

Last edited by Dominique; 09-04-2011 at 05:09 PM. Reason: magoo can't see
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Old 09-04-2011, 06:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yellow band View Post
Ho Ho, some one who speaks my language.

Tell the truth, a Burr grinder, is actually a slicer!.....good coffee is never ground, it's sliced.

I too, am a cupper. I used to host cupping parties, where I'd roast and everyone would sip, swirl it around in their mouth, swallow if they wanted, spit it out....rinse and repeat. When attendance started to dwindle, I got the hint, just because that was *fun* to me....not so much for every one else. So, I did my roasting thing by myself, and took notes. Some beans like more heat, some beans require longer roasts, some combinations taste better with each other. For example, anything grown in South America make
great combination beans for espresso. Espresso is a roast by the way.

I have a Zach and Dani's roaster. They have since sold their name, but the roaster remains the same. I have a first generation and a second generation. It does a great job of controlling the smoke. (it has something like a catalytic converter on it) It puts off alot of heat. In the better weather, I roast out on the deck.....

Funny you mentioned travel mugs. I am a bit nutty about
travel mugs. I'm always looking at them. I have the same
attraction to nice slim aluminum thermos's too. I fell out of my kayak on the river this morning, the kayak took on water, I don't know how I didn't snap my leg in half, and I had a total melt down because the espresso kit got away.
a whole other story ( we were going to have an espresso break on the river)

I buy from Sweet Maria's on line. She's pretty good about telling you when good beans are available. I just picked up a 20 pound sack of Coasta Rican tarrazu. Purchasing green beans in bulk, coffee or espresso is about .05 cents a cup. (fifty cups
or espresso's to a lb)...how can you not want fresh coffee.
I'll drink water before touching starbucks.

I have a Mr. Coffee espresso machine.....and I think I have a Mr coffee coffee maker....it's almost never used. Once you've had my freshly roasted espresso....thats all you'll ever want. (seriously)

Every time we visit any of our friends, I always take coffee. I pay special attention to when some one says they like a particular roast, I make sure they get that. Recieveing this coffee is better than wine. And I'm not kidding.

Target sells the syrups. So we keep them on hand for the people who just haven't made that step to real espresso.
What ever you want, the beans are always fresh, and the shop is always open.

When you roast your own beans, the beans shed a skin. Store bought coffee grinds those skins into the coffee, you can tell by the sheen on top of the coffee. I take a hand help vacuum and carefully extract all of those skins, so my coffee is smooth as can be. ZERO bitterness.
When is the next cupping party?? I adore coffee and I hope to be a coffee snob one day myself!

PS-Please don't ever call me a ho.
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Old 09-04-2011, 08:35 PM   #5
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Yay!

I also buy our beans from Sweet Maria's. They have a such a great selection!

I started out with a Nesco roaster, which is I think the same one you have, only after Nesco bought them out. This one, yes?



That one lasted us a little over two years. We'd already paid a ridiculous amount to send it to the manufacturer for repair within the 1 year warranty, and then it started sounding like it was about to break again. It was no longer under warranty, and we realized the shipping costs alone sending it for repair once a year would buy a new, better roaster, so we upgraded.

Now, I have the Behmor 1600:



It's a workhorse and I love it. I was roasting every other day with the Nesco because we drink so much coffee. The Behmor can do a pound at a time and is a lot more capable of fine-tuning your roast. Also a *lot* quieter. I have no idea what kind of crack the Amazon reviewers are smoking. Especially the one who claims it "doesn't work" for espresso. I have no idea how that's even possible. I do roast in half pound increments if I'm trying for a dark roast, but that's the only limitation I've found with it.

Right now, our grinder is a Black & Decker. It's a piece of junk. We had a Cuisinart that my mom gave us for Christmas a few years ago, but it stopped working (we seem to kill coffee-related appliances really quickly). The B&D was the only burr grinder available at the store and it was on sale, so I bought it. We're replacing it as soon as possible with a Bodum:



That thing has fantastic reviews for less than $100!

My espresso maker is an Ariete Cafe Prestige:



I can pull a decent shot from it, but not fantastic. I don't think that's the machine's fault, though. I'm still not entirely sure what 30 lbs of pressure feels like, because we don't own a scale that will measure 30 lbs. I'm not at all sure if I'm packing my grind too hard or too loose. I should probably buy a scale and practice.
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:05 AM   #6
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Nice post! Thank you

Yes, that is the roaster I have. As I said I bought two, the difference between the two was a hinged lid, and that meant the catalytic converter,
i/e smoke catcher, fit more snuggly. In the very beginning, after I roasted
two batches of beans....I picked the roaster up to move it and the base
about burnt my hands. When it cooled, I saw 6 small screws on the bottom so I removed them. The entire machine is driven by a belt similar to one you'd find on a vacuum cleaner. This told me running this machine hot would ruin it. I rectified it by running two boards laterally across the bottom, from the rubber legs, this raised the heat unit an inch and a quarter, instead of just the quarter inch of the rubber legs. After that, the
unit ran much cooler, as the heat was able to escape.(so I still have both)

I drink one espresso a day. My partner, will drink 2, but is away 4 mornings of the week, (I send her off with coffee grinds), dare I say, she'd drink gas station station coffee

Thats a nice espresso machine. I have my original Mr. Coffee. It's about 8 years old, they still sell they same model, and I'm very happy with it. It was right around $100 when I bought it, and I thought it would be a good starter machine, and much to my surprise, it has exceeded my expectation.

I wonder if you are burr grinding your beans rested? I read they are best, if ground 24 hours after they've been roasted. I'm on my second Burr grinder.
Zach and Dani had a Burr in the start up kit and that lasted a few years...
Now I have the Black and Decker.

Tamping down the product is important. I pitched that cheap plastic one and bought a nice restauraunt quality scoop/tamper. This helped with applying 30 pounds of pressure. Some say tamping on a slight angle is good too.....but I find when I pull my grounds outs, there is still water
in the grounds holder. Starbucks trains their baristas to empty the grounds cup immediately after making the coffee/espresso......because staining will bring an acidic taste. (I am friendly with a starbucks manager who saves some grounds and used filters for my worms).

Where do you buy your beans and have you purchased any AAA quality
lately? Sweet Maria buy fair trade beans, her prices can be beat (and really, can you complain about a nickel a cup?) I think fair trade is important. Costa Rica, (please don't think Juan Valdez novice readers/=
gas station coffee) Has had an excellent coffee growing season. I love the Costa Rica beans. It's the Zinfindale of coffee. It goes with almost anything, and can be roasted espresso. Smokey though.

Last edited by Dominique; 09-05-2011 at 06:19 AM. Reason: typos' of course
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:14 AM   #7
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[QUOTE=SecretAgentMa'am;411908]Yay!

I also buy our beans from Sweet Maria's. They have a such a great selection!

Sorry, I missed this. I immediately started to look at the pictures. Her selection is great and I love that I can buy in those 20 pound sacks. I used to staple the burlap sacks all over the walls of my garage, kind of a neat decoration. But supply and demand. My friends love these sacks.

One of my friends is an Executive Chef, and I give her my roasted beans (of course, and you can just imagine how much an executive chef appreciates the best of the best coffee) she carefully selected one of my burlap sacks from my garage wall and had it mounted and framed and gave it to me for my 50th birthday! What a cool gift. It certainly made me look at those sacks differently, and now everyone that see's that piece of *ART*, wants a sack.
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:19 AM   #8
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I don't drink fancy coffee from a fancy machine. My life growing up revolved around good ole cups of coffee and food with great discussions around the kitchen table.

I can't see, think or hear without my coffee in the mornings. Just about any coffee will do from any coffee pot. Bring it on strong with a little bit of french vanilla creamer and my day is off to a good start.

I usually drink a pot in the mornings and one in the afternoons. I panic when i am getting low. Addicted? You bet i am.


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Old 09-05-2011, 06:25 AM   #9
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the fanciest I get is grinding my own beans, and for a long time the sound of the grinder was too dang much before I had my coffee, so Medium Roast Community Coffee is what I had since my momma put it in my baby bottle with 2 sugars and some Evaporated Milk.. (I called it Cow Milk because it had a cow on the label ).. Now I just like it black, no sugar with a lil 2% milk in it.

So yes addict here, snob, not really, just give it to me and no one will get hurt.





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Old 09-05-2011, 06:29 AM   #10
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[QUOTE=princessbelle;411994]I don't drink fancy coffee from a fancy machine. My life growing up revolved around good ole cups of coffee and food with great discussions around the kitchen table.

I can't see, think or hear without my coffee in the mornings. Just about any coffee will do from any coffee pot. Bring it on strong with a little bit of french vanilla creamer and my day is off to a good start.

I usually drink a pot in the mornings and one in the afternoons. I panic when i am getting low. Addicted? You bet i am.

Morning Belle!

I came from a family that drank *mud* that would perk on top of the stove.....it would smell great and taste awful. I was in my early thirties before I ever drank a coffee that I thought *Hmmm, I might like this* I became cross addicted to crappy coffee (black) and 20 ounce Mt .dew. I understand completely, how easy it is to become addicted.

Not any more. One espresso a day, no more Mt. dew. Just water....all day long. I don't even need the espresso first thing.
Withdrawl, was brutal.

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Old 09-05-2011, 06:31 AM   #11
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They would have to commit me for a long period to detox me. I won't go willingly, besides I take coffee medicinally, for my asthma, Cough Cough ahem.


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Old 09-05-2011, 06:31 AM   #12
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[QUOTE=Cajun_dee;411995]the fanciest I get is grinding my own beans, and for a long time the sound of the grinder was too dang much before I had my coffee, so Medium Roast Community Coffee is what I had since my momma put it in my baby bottle with 2 sugars and some Evaporated Milk.. (I called it Cow Milk because it had a cow on the label ).. Now I just like it black, no sugar with a lil 2% milk in it.

So yes addict here, snob, not really, just give it to me and no one will get hurt.




Hi Dee..... I love morning people. You have two coffees that I love. The community pictured. The jury is still out on the hickory. And Tim Horton's. I can get that in Ohio......and when I go to Ohio, that is the first place I head.
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:35 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Cajun_dee View Post
They would have to commit me for a long period to detox me. I won't go willingly, besides I take coffee medicinally, for my asthma, Cough Cough ahem.


I was taking it in pill form too, it was in my migraine medicine. Holly cow....just kill me why don't you? LOL, I went thru withdrawl when I was single.....6 friggin month headache no lie.

And bell's pink script writing makes me want to run for the migraine medicine.....just saying Belle.....
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Old 09-05-2011, 07:18 AM   #14
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I'll probably be asked to leave the thread after this but I am a K-Cup Freak! I have a travel machine, an elite at home and a single serve at my office. I love the fact that I can have tea, coffee, hot chocolate and cider no matter where I am it fits the need.
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Old 09-05-2011, 12:22 PM   #15
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I am not up when the first coffee of the day is made, so I always roast the night before, at least. Beans always get at least a 12 hour rest, and most get a lot more than that since I roast about a week's supply at a time.

I've never bought any of Sweet Maria's 20 lb bags. We like to try a lot of different varieties, so I generally buy one of her 8 lb. sampler packs every month or so. It's a great way to get to try a lot of different beans while staying within budget. It works out to about $5/lb, and the samplers always include at least a couple of the high-end beans.

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Espresso is a roast by the way.
I have to disagree with you there. It's common in North America to call extremely dark roasts "espresso roast" but espresso actually refers to the brewing method. From Wikipedia, referencing Ricardo and Francisco Illy's The Book of Coffee: "Espresso is a coffee beverage and brewing method, it is not a specific bean, bean blend, or roast level. Any bean or roasting level can be used to produce authentic espresso. For example, in southern Italy, a darker roast is generally preferred; but farther north, the trend moves toward slightly lighter roasts. Outside of Italy a wide range of roasts are popular." I generally roast to Full City or Full City+ for espresso. Extremely dark roasts will make it easier to get a full head of crema, but you also get that charcoal taste that's so common in coffee shops (I'm looking at you, Starbuck's). One of the reasons the drinks made by those shops are so packed with sugar is to mask the taste of their burned coffee.

The coffee roasting Wiki has a great reference chart for roast levels.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffee_roasting

I used to buy bottles and bottles of Torani syrups, until I realized I could make them myself. They're basically just flavored simple syrups. Just combine 2 parts sugar to 1 part water, boil for a minute, and add whatever flavors you want. Right now we're using blackberry syrup that I made by boiling the seeds and pulp that were leftover after I made blackberry puree for margaritas in the sugar syrup. Half the syrup went into a bottle with a pour spout for coffee, and the other half got mixed with vodka for homemade blackberry cordial.

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Originally Posted by Okiebug61 View Post
I'll probably be asked to leave the thread after this but I am a K-Cup Freak! I have a travel machine, an elite at home and a single serve at my office. I love the fact that I can have tea, coffee, hot chocolate and cider no matter where I am it fits the need.
There was a Keurig machine in the break room at my last job, and I honestly don't get why so many people love them. I understand that they're popular, but I found the coffee that came out to be weak and bitter. I don't think I ever managed to finish a cup, even with tons of cream and sugar. The hot chocolate also had a strange chemical flavor. Maybe it's just me. I can't stand artificial sweeteners, and I think all the K-cups other than the straight coffee have artificial sweeteners in them.
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Old 09-05-2011, 04:44 PM   #16
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Very informative link, thank you. Espresso is a roast, came right out of my
tutorial book that Zack and Dani's sent along. To be honest. I stop roasting just before any bean starts bringing out the oil. I roast Kona, to a City roast. I'm not a fan of deep roasts. I, (my opinion) think
it's too bold and flavor is lost. Yes, I agree...you can, and I have, made espresso out of the kona beans.

That blueberry syrup sounded wonderful!

I didn't (and maybe it's a good thing) start to roast beans until after I detoxed from it. I do it yes, because I love a good cup if I am limiting my self to one cup a day. But I enjoy roasting it and giving it to others. I do enjoy the roasting. I was on the sampler packs with Zack and Dani's, and now that I am at sweet Maria's. I order up a couple one pound bags when she gives the crops a good to excellent rating. If it is something I end up
liking, I'll order the sak. It's shelf life is two years. I roast once or twice a week. We always have Kona beans.

I burr my grind my beans all at once. If I read your post correctly, you grind as you brew?

I never had a K cup. Coffee snob here. I don't drink coffee anyplace but here.
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:00 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Okiebug61 View Post
I'll probably be asked to leave the thread after this but I am a K-Cup Freak! I have a travel machine, an elite at home and a single serve at my office. I love the fact that I can have tea, coffee, hot chocolate and cider no matter where I am it fits the need.
I have a Keurig and I hate that stupid thing. Nick's parents got us one because they think it's just the greatest thing on the planet.

The things I hate about my Keurig:

1 - it's not environmentally sound. Do I REALLY need to have plastic to toss in the trash every time I make a cup of coffee? (Do not mention the reusable k-cups you can buy. They make REALLY weak coffee.)

2 - it's not financially sound. I refuse to pay on average 55 cents every time I want a cup of coffee in my own fucking apartment.

3 - I do not want one cup of coffee in the morning. I want 3 or four. May as well make a pot.

4 - tastes bad!

5 - lameass trendyass expensiveass machine.

(I am, personally, all about the French Press.)
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Old 09-05-2011, 07:42 PM   #18
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I have a Keurig and I hate that stupid thing. Nick's parents got us one because they think it's just the greatest thing on the planet.
I had all the same thoughts about it. I received a free Senseo machine when they were brand new on the market, and wound up giving it away. I have no interest in a machine that requires me to buy specific refills for it that can only be purchased from that company. I actually bought the reusable filter for the Senseo to try it with my own coffee, and it still sucked. The Keurig didn't seem any different. My boss was in love with the Tully's Vienna Roast K-cups so that's what we mostly had. It was awful. I bought a variety pack of K-cups thinking maybe I just hated that coffee. Nope, couldn't stand any of it.
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:17 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Cajun_dee View Post
They would have to commit me for a long period to detox me. I won't go willingly, besides I take coffee medicinally, for my asthma, Cough Cough ahem.


I actually read once that coffee can help you snap out of it if you're on the edge of an asthma attack. Made me happy to read that.

I will not be giving up coffee or trying to detox from my caffeine addiction. Just not worth the, um, headache.
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Old 09-06-2011, 02:57 AM   #20
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I had all the same thoughts about it. I received a free Senseo machine when they were brand new on the market, and wound up giving it away. I have no interest in a machine that requires me to buy specific refills for it that can only be purchased from that company. I actually bought the reusable filter for the Senseo to try it with my own coffee, and it still sucked. The Keurig didn't seem any different. My boss was in love with the Tully's Vienna Roast K-cups so that's what we mostly had. It was awful. I bought a variety pack of K-cups thinking maybe I just hated that coffee. Nope, couldn't stand any of it.
Sipping espresso here. Glad to read I missed nothing with those K cups.
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