2006 Artisan Revival Stone-Pressed Sheng

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Pu'erh Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Nathaniel Gruber
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205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 6 g 4 oz / 130 ml

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28 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I honestly can’t believe this is a Pu-erh! Lovely! I’m only on my first infusion and I will say right away I am a fan… 1st infusion is light and sweet! Cooling…mouthwatering…creamy, even! Nice...” Read full tasting note
  • “Thank you LiberTEAS for this sample and introducing me to this great tea! Wow! That should say enough. Yes, its light and very smooth. Yes, there are faint vegetal and slightly roasted notes in...” Read full tasting note
  • “I brewed this in the Gaiwan. It is all that I would look for in a Sheng and more. I received this as a part of a sampler. For whatever reason I had only tasted this once before. This tea is...” Read full tasting note
  • “Wow! Now, this being my first pu-erh, I was a little nervous, because so many times people say that it’s an acquired taste. What are they smoking? This is awesome! I liked it right away. It has a...” Read full tasting note

From Verdant Tea

Year: 2006

Dry Leaf: As part of a pu’er heritage celebration, this leaf was picked deep in Xishuangbanna by the Dai people and allowed to sun-dry spread across bamboo mats and large banana leaves. Without the use of any mechanized technology, the tea was pressed into bricks by wrapping the leaves in cloth and stacking stones to weight them down. The old process is clearly visible by the extremely loose compression, and the perfect, huge leaves and buds. The colors are beautiful warm shades of orange buds, brown and black leaves and silver buds.

Aroma: A sweet and nostalgic trace of pipe tobacco and cloves, and the rich comforting smell of newly-printed books.

Color: Crystalline yellow with a suspension of shimmering down from spring buds.

Taste through early steepings: Literally mouth-watering. Strong creamy flavor and an intense orchid perfume with the lingering aftertaste of honeysuckle.

Taste in middle to late steepings: Floral notes move between orchid and lilac, while the sweet grass taste of Anxi oolong comes through. This sheng pu’er is so exquisitely smooth, it will completely redefine what sheng can be. While many sheng pu’ers are bitter and drying when younger, this one is perfect. It can only grow towards even deeper flavors with age, if you can keep yourself from drinking it all now.

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28 Tasting Notes

6768 tasting notes

I honestly can’t believe this is a Pu-erh! Lovely! I’m only on my first infusion and I will say right away I am a fan…

1st infusion is light and sweet! Cooling…mouthwatering…creamy, even! Nice hint of floral in the aftertaste.

Multiple infusion notes coming soon!

0 min, 15 sec

mmmm a pu’erh that is creamy?? huh, interesting. Is their shipping expensive?


FREE Shopping and samples with orders over $10 :) – not sure about overseas tho…where are you located again!?


Just found this…
Verdant Tea ships domestic and international, and gives you multiple shipping options in checkout.

-We are pleased to offer FREE priority mail shipping to anywhere in the United States on orders over $10. Priority mail takes 2-3 days on average.

-For important orders when you need a guaranteed delivery date and a tracking number, we offer UPS Ground shipping. This is $15, flat rate and arrives within 4 business days.

-For international orders we offer $7.50 flat rate 1st class mail shipping. This takes up to 3 weeks, but usually no more than two weeks.

-Free 1st class USPS international shipping is provided for orders over $50.

-For more urgent orders, we offer $15 priority mail shipping, which usually takes about 1 week.

All orders will be shipped within one business day, and you will be notified by email of the shipment. If you need your package faster than our delivery options, please contact us, and we will arrange express mail, or FEDEX for you.


I’m in Canada, Toronto. Is that “international”? we aren’t that far! lol
thanks TeaEqualsBliss! :)


I’m not sure how that works, honestly :) I’ll get an email addy for ya! Tell them The SororiTEA Sisters ‘sent ya’!!!


david@verdanttea.com – He’s super cool!!!! He’s also on steepster, too!


Ooooh, you rock TEB!!!

David Duckler

Hi! I am glad you are enjoying one of my favorite pu’ers. The creaminess is ridiculous considering that it is first a pu’er, and second, only 5 years old. I am saving up for a personal cache of this one to age.

About Shipping: I just looked up Canada, and the Post Office and it is actually cheaper to ship to Canada than other destinations. I could do free shipping to Canada, but it would be 1st class mail. Priority comes in at 11.95. If you would like to place an order, you can select domestic free shipping at checkout, or if we have to do a workaround, I will send you an invoice. In the meantime, I will try and figure out how to trick the paypal shipping calculator to allow exceptions (like Canada.) Thanks for the good question! My email is david@verdanttea.com


I just emailed you David, please ignore it… since you answered my question here so perfectly :)
thanks for the info! let me know if you figure out the workaround.


See!!! I told ya David was AWESOME!!! :) Thanks for the additional info, David! :)

David Duckler

Done and Done. I love getting questions, because I probably hadn’t thought about the issue before. I just created a shipping option in checkout for Canada only. It is free over $10, just like domestic. That should work.

John Grebe

Yep, sheng puerh and shu puerh are for pratical purposes two very different types of tea.

Nathaniel Gruber

This Pu’er is redefining what Sheng can be for so many people. Glad to hear that you love it!

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141 tasting notes

Thank you LiberTEAS for this sample and introducing me to this great tea!

Wow! That should say enough. Yes, its light and very smooth. Yes, there are faint vegetal and slightly roasted notes in this tea. The leaves are beautifully long and slender, but unbroken. The liquid is pale yellow and and has no detectable bitterness. But, there is much more. There is a story that is spoken through this tea. One, that would require much more time and space to fully record.

There is such a time stopping element to this tea. Its difficult to not be carried to a memory of a late summer stroll in a local pasture of my early upbringing in the South. You can almost hear the crunching of the parched grass underneath your feet. All you can do is close your eyes and sip away.

The final verdict: This is a very nice Sheng Pu’erh! I’m almost convince it would be my top pick, if you could only have one, and only one Pu’erh. Its that good!

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

Very lovely memory.


Commenting on Stone-pressed: remember during the witch hunt trials of Massachusetts when they pressed that poor Giles Proctor to death; when asked what sayeth you to being a witch (warlorck)and he replied more bricks.

I am sorry, at times I cannot help myself, not ever. God bless us everyone. Happy teas!


No connection to the memory above but I guess the play on words caught attention.


No connection what’s o ever…none at all! I do not know anyone.

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294 tasting notes

I brewed this in the Gaiwan. It is all that I would look for in a Sheng and more. I received this as a part of a sampler. For whatever reason I had only tasted this once before. This tea is about as good as it gets. I have tasted many Sheng lately and none compare with the exception of the ’93 Red Blossom. I would dare say that given the same amount of aging this would be mind blowing. This is the real deal….

Charles Thomas Draper

Unfortunately it’s not on Verdants website.

Nathaniel Gruber

yeah, given it’s age this one is truly unmatched. my favorite. once it has a cool 20 years under its belt, it will be almost unthinkable as to what this one will be like.

Charles Thomas Draper

Is there any for sale??


It is sold out right now! I am so happy my husband snagged me one of the last bricks. I’m sure David will be on the lookout for more of this, but it’s hard to say if any more exists.

Charles Thomas Draper

Thanks. Maybe I will contact David….

Jim Marks

This stone pressed was a replacement of sorts for a previous stone pressed which also sold out. Given that both were so popular, I am sure he will be looking for a third. But it may take some time.


Hm? Actually, this one was the original stone-pressed. The banzhang was the replacement (also a 2006, from banzhang instead of Hekai..oo, I really need to write my review of that one of these days). I also hope there’s another!

Jim Marks

Ah yes, I have it backwards. Upshot being, a third option will be some time in coming, I suspect. (Sadly)

Charles Thomas Draper

He does not have it but he offered a Hekai 2006 Artisan Revival and a Banzhang 2006 Artisan Revival. Jim, after reading your review yesterday that may be the clear choice.

Jim Marks

I found the notion of “wild arbor” too enchanting to resist.

The later steepings did settle down a fair bit.

Charles Thomas Draper

I am boiling the water now. I have a bit left….

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25 tasting notes

Wow! Now, this being my first pu-erh, I was a little nervous, because so many times people say that it’s an acquired taste. What are they smoking? This is awesome! I liked it right away. It has a brisk, oolong-like, taste. It has very appealing color, too. It’s sort of blush, like apple cider. In earlier steepings, I noticed a faint earthy, sort of mushroom-like, background. It wasn’t musty, though. It was still sweet, and floral. I can sort of taste the sweet tobacco flavor, too, but it doesn’t have that sharp bite. It’s very smoothe. In mid-later steepings, just when I thought it was done, judging by the lighter color, it was not giving up! In fact, it took on a honey, raisin-like flavor that is soooo good. It’s now taking on an even more floral, plum, tangy, somewhat citrus, flavor. It just keeps getting better! I can probably push it even further, still. I guess, we shall see. ::sip sip:: mmmm

So, I got to around 20 or so steepings (lost count), and the flavor is still there. I have to steep so long the water cools, now. That’s my fault, however, because I’m not very skilled at gongfu cha, yet. Some of my steepings were too long, and tasted slightly bitter. I was over-focused on the color. Now, that I know that it’s OK for it to lighten, and it’ll still pack a flavorful punch, I think I probably could’ve managed 30+ steepings out of this. I’ll have to chalk that up to live and learn, I spoze. Definitely worth the experimentation! Plus, there’s still plenty left. This is a very delicious, and flavorful tea. I totally enjoy it better than oolong.

The only thing missing in the experience, is that intense cleansing, centering feeling I get from drinking sencha. It’s more fun, though. Due to the fact that it requires so many steepings, and some skill, I can’t call it the perfect tea. The perfect sheng pu-erh, however? Definitely maybe. Even though, I haven’t experienced anything else to compare it to, I can’t imagine it being any better.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
David Duckler

Hi Chad! I am really happy that you like the Artisan Revival. This is one that I am tempted to get a tong (stack of seven bricks) to age just for myself. Having played around with steeping a lot on the sheng pu’ers, I have some suggestions to get the most out of them. I have definitely done 30+ steeping on this tea. First, I use what seems like a lot of leaf. Usually enough to fill the gaiwan 1/4 of the way up. This is a light fluffy tea, so 4 grams, which is normal, looks like a lot. I do this so that I can do really short 1-4 second steepings and experience the way the flavor changes (which you describe really well!). By steeping 20, you have to do maybe 10 seconds. Steeping 30 up to 25 or 20 seconds. I also use boiling water on this sheng pretty often because it is so resistant to bitter or drying tastes. To keep the water hot for those long steepings, I pour boiling water into the gaiwan saucer to act as insulation. It actually works pretty well, and gives you more temperature control.

As an aside- if you love the cleanness of sencha, you might enjoy any of the green teas I just imported from the spring picking in Laoshan. They are so far North in China that they have a lot of similarities to Japanese tea. Clean, yet full bodied, rich and sweet. I have a mini-article on the region on the Verdant Tea website.

Nathaniel Gruber

You’re right, most people will tell you that it is an acquired taste, but this is perhaps one of the finest Sheng Pu’ers that have been brought in to the country. You’re spoiled, my friend. :)


That may be true, Nathaniel. Although, I believe that’s part of the point, for me, when it comes to tea, anyways. To spoil myself, a little. It’s a healthy and affordable luxury, and a fun hobby. I just started, not long ago, and so I’m exploring what’s out there. I chose this tea, partly, so I’ll know what I should look for and expect from a great pu-erh. Besides, I was too nervous to try anything else, that might be unpalatable to me.

I have to admit, I thought your reviews seemed a little biased, at first, but now, I see why. Both of the teas I’ve tried from Verdant are in a whole different class to themselves.


Thank you for the tips, David. I appreciate the advice. I also loved the sample of Spring Tieguanyin you sent along, and will most likely order some. The handwritten note was also nice to see. I appreciate the little things, and enjoy the personal touch. It’s one of the things I enjoy most about tea. There is such a vibrant community of really nice people. I’m glad I tried Verdant Tea, and I’m certain that I’ll be a return customer. I watched all of your videos on Youtube, and I think that is a big part of what encouraged me to try gongfu with a gaiwan. Your videos were very informative, detailed, and easy to follow. I watched them over and over, and really enjoyed them. Many thanks for your effort and care.

Nathaniel Gruber

Good to hear. I 100% agree…I tend to spoil myself with tea as well, and why not?
For the record, I am very biased towards Verdant Tea, but that comes after trying literally hundreds of other teas out there and knowing the quality that Verdant has brought about in contrast. I’m lucky and spoiled ;) to be able to work with them.

David Duckler

Thanks for the feedback Chad,
I am glad you enjoyed the videos. I have a whole new Youtube series planned to start on as soon as spring (and the tea scouting season) have wound down a bit. You are right about the tea community. The people is one of the main reasons I got into the business. Tea people, especially in China, are just so kind and gracious. The interest in America is encouraging as well. I only hope that tea can overcome the stereotype of being too complex or fancy for most people, so that it can be enjoyed for what it is.


It’s true. You will be hard pressed to find much better sheng than this without spending a fortune and a lot of time. Nice pick!

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4843 tasting notes

I’m on my fourth infusion of this Pu-erh now. The first couple infusions were rather delicate, much more so than I would have expected from a Pu-erh, but then again, this is no ordinary Pu-erh. This has to be the best one I’ve tried. It seems like I say that every time I try a new Pu-erh… perhaps my palate has really developed a taste for them now.

The third and fourth infusions, I noticed more of a grassy tone come through. The flower notes of the first two infusions are still there, but, they are obscured somewhat by the grassy tones. But that’s quite alright, I still have a sweet honey-like taste that comes through and I’m really enjoying that.

More infusions to follow… looking forward to the flavors they will bring.

If you think you don’t like Pu-erh… I highly recommend this one. This one could just change your mind! This is excellent.

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516 tasting notes

Wow I feel so grateful to be sipping this cup of tea – thank you aisling of tea for including a whole bunch of Verdant in our swap that I haven’t the pleasure of trying yet! eeee!

This one is amazing! First three steeps remind me of mesquite bbq chips – savoury with a hint of sweetness and a real smoky treat. I’ll be back for more, I just couldn’t contain my excitement any longer!

Autistic Goblin

that sounds yummy :D

James R

I was between that or the Benzhang 2003, chose the Benzhang, if I like it I’ll pick up the artisan revival!

Daisy Chubb

HIGHLY recommend it – but I can’t see you being disappointed with the Benzhang either ;)

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314 tasting notes

So excited to try this!! My first sheng puerh!

Parchment-like aroma. Tree bark and limestone. Slight cereally background.
MIneral-rich taste. Flavor reminiscent of a rainforest—all lush greenery rooted in rich soil. Paradoxically, though, it also tastes delicate and dry. I’m reminded of beautiful, papery moth wings.

Very interesting. I like it. I admire it’s complexity.

But, the aforementioned “creaminess” eludes me, right now.

It seems that my lazy, quick, western-style brewing has done this tea a disservice! :)

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 30 sec

Your first sheng- how exciting! You’re definitely starting at the very top here. I remember my very first sheng.. it was like sucking on a penny and an extreme lemon-flavored drying warhead at the same time- very bitter and hard to swallow. Wish I’d started with something like this!

As for “western-style brewing”? You’re right- a big teapot single steeping won’t give you all that this tea can offer. But don’t worry; you don’t need to run out and buy gaiwans or yixing clay teapots. If you can find a brewing basket Isomething like this: http://www.rishi-tea.com/store/finum-tea-brewing-basket.html), you’ll be able to conveniently recreate the gong-fu experience.
Just fill the brew basket with 3 or 4 grams of tea (1/3 or half way with leaves..about as much as you’d do for a big pot), and then set the brew basket in a personal-sized mug.
Pour in boiling water for a few seconds, take out the brew basket (you can set it on it’s cap!), and throw out this first steeping. It’s a wash to “wake up” the leaves, and it’s also like a little sacrifice for the sake of greater deliciousness.
Replace the brew basket, pour in boiling water, wait a few more seconds (5-10ish), and pull out the basket. Drink and enjoy in small sips, smacking your lips! The extra air will help you to savor more of the flavor. Plus, making the “yummy” sounds always makes things more yummy.
Continue re-steeping like this, adding 5 or so seconds each time you do it. Steep and drink until you just can’t have any more liquid! Feel free to adjust steep times, too. If it’s seeming too light, leave the basket in a few seconds longer. If it’s seeming too heavy, then steep for less time or pull out some of the leaves. Just aim for something that tastes great to you.

If you’re up for trying more sheng’s, I’d suggest going for Verdant’s Wild Arbor Single-Mountain Yiwu sheng. It’s a great representation of what more traditional shengs can taste like. It’s still really complex and lovely, but it’s a little more on the juicy/fruity/grape/apple side of things, with fun pine/cedar notes.


Thanks Spoonvonstrup!! Yeah, I’ve been eyeing those type of brewing baskets. But there’s even an instant “gong-fu” mugs offered by some companies—like Adagio’s mug. I also have a sample of the Wild Arbor—I’m looking forward to try all my sheng samples!!


Ah- those instant gong-fu style mugs from Adagio do work well. They’re especially good for green or white teas or display teas, since the clear sides show off how lovely the leaves are. I find them a little bit harder to clean than the brew basket, but that’s probably just because they’re a larger contraption (and I don’t have a dish washer).

Did you do the sheng sampler pack, then? Hope you enjoy them all as much as this one.


Yep, I ordered to sheng sampler. Such a good deal with the inclusive shipping and free sample (had to ask for the DIYI Cornfields since I love corn)!

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50 tasting notes

My first taste of a Sheng. I steeped 1/2 tablespoon leaves in 4 oz water, and each steep was 205F and for 3 min.

I took Spoonvonstup’s recommendation to start trying some teas in smaller steeping volumes with this one.

These almost whole, brown-black leaves with some iridescent, green-black leaves, twigs, and a few yellow buds are loosely pressed and come apart easily. The dry leaves smell of dried hay, strongly sweet, and a faint bit like leather. I also smell dried apricots.

1st steeping. The leaves unfurled and became greener with re-hydration. The liquor is a an orange-tan and transparent. Aroma is earthy, smoky, cedar. The first taste is delicate and smoky, smooth and some faint powdery bitterness, but very faint. As the cup cooled and I got to the bottom, I got some stronger bitterness and sweetness, giving over to bitter and leathery/barnyard at the end of each sip. Lingering sweet aftertaste.

2nd steep. This has a decidedly smokier aroma than last cup, then hay aroma; the color is the same. Smokey and sweet flavors at the start of the sip, with bitter strongest. There are aromatic floral flavors here. A sharper bitter comes in only at the end of the sip, and astringency is now here at the end of the sip, too, that was totally absent in the last cup. The powdery feeling is gone. The sweet aftertaste has a twinge of dried fruit — current? — then goes floral.

3rd steep. I smell hay and leather aromas over the cup. The steeps are getting more orange in color. This is smooth, without a hint of bitterness and without much astringency. It is still sweet. What are the flavors here? I get more feelings than flavors. Some part of what made up the leathery flavors is still here, and there is some sweet, lip-smacking velvety feel. There is a cooling feeling in my mouth. Oops, I ran out of this steep trying to get the flavors down. The aftertaste is strongly sweet and floral.

4th steep. This is light red-orange in color. The leathery aroma is almost gone. This has some vegetal, bean pod flavor. The cooling sensation is stronger. The sweet aftertaste is strong. The floral notes, smoke, and cedar all seem to be gone, but the strong, sweet aftertaste remains.

I enjoyed this quite a bit. I’m not sure sheng is my thing if this one is a particularly smooth and tasty one, but I did have a lot of fun and enjoy tasting it.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
David Duckler

What a deep and perceptive tasting note for your first sheng pu’er. Sheng is a different beast all together. I had the privilege of trying some 1960’s sheng from the same region and it was a completely different experience. I am glad that you noticed the cooling feeling in the 3rd steep. It is so intriguing. I often have the same issue of tasting and tasting to try to understand a tea, and then suddenly there is no tea left in my cup. Tea is like a musical performance. It follows certain notes, but no two performances are exactly the same. That is what makes it exciting.

I find that I enjoy sheng pu’er the most not when I am comparing it to other tea categories, but when I taste it and compare it to what it was a year ago and what I think it is going to become. That promise of a future makes sheng perhaps the most exciting category of tea. If you liked this one, I have a new sheng coming in two weeks (along with oolongs and greens) that is similarly intriguing.
Best Wishes,


On the cooling feeling: the chemist in me wonders what menthol-like molecule is causing it — the rest of me just experiences and enjoys it. That is also like a musical performance. Part of me enjoys the listening and experiencing, but part of the experience is the musician in me watching to see how the musicians on stage make the music with their hands.

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59 tasting notes

Definitely agreeing with Nate, above. This is such a perfect, well-balanced sheng. Not only that, but it’s incredibly interesting, too! So many decent, acceptable, lovely shengs are simply pleasant and entirely unoffensive. This one goes leaps and bounds beyond to be the kind of tea you want to bring out for special occasions and drink for at least two hours. Definitely a tea to drink with a good friend who loves discussing flavors and memories. It would definitely be great in a pot or a mug, but it would be such a shame to limit yourself to just one of the taste on its long and complex flavor arc.

Terribly delicious and satisfying.

And so young! The only way I could imagine this better is if it were older. But how am I supposed to hold off drinking it until then?! It’s so good now! This is definitely something I want to save up for so that I can have at least three tongs (stacks of seven) hidden away. For now, I’ll make due with the ounce or so I have.

Thank goodness Verdant Tea let’s me buy by the ounce. It brings exquisite pu’ers within reach of those of us who aren’t millionaires.


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134 tasting notes

Rainy day in Miami. Hot and steamy outside, cool and comfortable inside. Time to brew up my sample of 2006 Artisan Revival Stone-Pressed Shang…

Beautiful leaves with a lovely aroma. First leaves I pull out are a bud and two leaves—open and full; a good sign. Gaiwan gets loaded up, leaves rinsed, then a three minute steep at about 200 degrees.

Clear golden amber liquor. Smooth, sweet, woodsy and a lingering earthiness. Hmm, and an extra aroma of what… flowers in a forest? This tea is good… seriously good. In fact, I turned off the TV to really focus on my second steep.

There is that aroma again. Alluring and sensual. Taste? Even better! Same smooth woodsy earthiness, with just a hint of dryness, like fresh hay. It looks as if I am going to write one of those over the top reviews… for a tea I just met. I would write more, but I think it is time to go back for a third steep. :)

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Nathaniel Gruber

Yeah, it is a really, really amazing tea…and that is why it is the top ranked tea on Steepster!

A three minute steep time! That is something that I’ve never tried with this particular tea, and now that you’ve mentioned it I am going to have to try that out.

David Duckler

Nathaniel, you will have to let me know how your three minute steep goes. The Xingyang family workshop recommended 2 minutes, even in a small Gaiwan or Yixing for their pu’er, so why not this one? It is a good test of quality.

When I got this in, the woman who provides it in China told me that she took some liberties with my order. I had ordered an incredible stone-pressed brick, and was skeptical of any other, but when I tried this, I felt like I must have been in trouble, because it was too good. It took my wife to stop me from putting this on in private pu’er storage. I very glad that she did! More bricks of this one are on their way right now from southern Yunnan to exotic Minnesota where we are based.

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