Menghai Tea Factory

Recent Tasting Notes

82

I remember not being overly impressed with this tea when I first got it after reading the vendor description of it. If I recall correctly it still had some of the fresh fermentation “funk” to it. I ran across it again in a listing and said what the heck pull it out and taste it. I brewed it in the trusty yixing reserved for Menghai shou. I gave it a 20 second rinse to re-hydrate and off I went. I did a 15 second or so step and watched the dark brew come out. It has a very small tart sensation reminiscent of a persimmon but not as pronounced. It has a little drying effect on the tongue that turns to a light sweetness almost like a fruity red wine. It still has the “earthy” underlying note at the end. It gives a touch of burnt bitter caramel about the middle of the taste session. This is hard to explain all the taste notes you can get on this one but as it has lost the fermentation flavor it is turning to be a decent tea. It has some boldness at times that would stand up well to a rich evening meal. I think it will continue to evolve. I will do later steeps on this tonight as we are expected to have fall weather in the 40s and it is rich in taste as many things are in the fall.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec
ashmanra

Looks like we are all drinking puerh tonight!

JC

That sounds nice! I’m drinking a Lancang Ripe. I love ripes that have fruity undertones, especially when they are ‘playful’ rather than in your face taste.

Bonnie

Me too, made me a puerh blend with cinnamon chips and cocoa hulls and a pinch of laoshan black with cream and splenda. Puerh lovers night tonight!

mrmopar

Agreed indeed! Puerh night tonight.

Bonnie

You are the best John! We’d be lost without you!

Terri HarpLady

I was seasoning my 2 yixings yesterday evening, one for sheng & one for shu. I’ll post about them later :)

JC

I bet ripes are going to be my usual thing from now on. I love them, especially when it is starting to get cold out.

Jason

I need to explore puerhs more. This might be a good place to start…

Bonnie

Mrmopar needs his own blog with a catchy downhome country title, something unique and not stuffy, approachable and well-informed just like he is! Down with snobs, up with community!

Sil

YES!

JC

You should do a blog! Especially with your experience with Puerh. Honestly, Since you’ve stored and aged yourself your experience can benefit others!

Terri HarpLady

That would be awesome!

Bonnie

Get sponsors and advertising so you can do it full time or go on the Food Network now Paula Deen is gone…that’s a joke to scare you mrmopar! The blog is a great idea though!

mrmopar

I don’t know if I would have the time for a blog. I seem to blog this site a lot though. I am still learning and hope to keep learning. I need to find a page or source to be able to translate the Chinese symbols and numbers to what I can comprehend.

Bonnie

Send a note to Lily Duckler asking her if she knows of a resource. Tell her it was my idea to ask her. Use the Contact feature on Verdants website.

mrmopar

Thanks Bonnie!I will ,I have been trying to find a resource about this. There are so many characters that I need to learn. I am pretty good on Dayi , Haiwan and Xiaguan but the Cnnp and Kunming still confuse me. I am learning about the Boyou factory also. I need to learn learn.

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Sip down! Another wonderful sample from Terri! Gradually working through them. I’ve been drinking this one over the course of the later afternoon. Sadly it’s stupid hot in Toronto so my brain has been wandering. I think there are other puerhs that I prefer more than this one, but I don’t dislike this one either. This is one of those puerhs for me that I could drink all the time. It doesn’t feel like I have to pay as much attention to it as others but is still a creamy ish cup of puerh. I can dig it :)

Terri HarpLady

Did I send you some of the Verdant Xingyang golden leaf? THAT’s a tea to really take your time with!

Sil

my cupboard says “nope” haha

Sil

You asked if you’d sent me any….only way I have any idea is by checking my cupboard… It said nope you didn’t :)

Terri HarpLady

Damn, I thought I sent you that one!

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78

Trying this out tonight. This is the highest grade Menghai cake that I possess. The taste of it is kind of puzzling. The cake is loosely compressed and easy to break apart. I brewed this in the gaiwan to keep the flavor notes from being softened by the yixing pot. It has a buttered pea aroma to it. I washed it once for about 10 seconds and went on to steeping it 3 times and pouring it all in a 10 oz. cup. It sill has some astringency and the color is still pretty yellow for a 6 year old tea. It has notes of honey and flower in it. There is still some smoke to it and the drying on the side of the tongue. A light oiliness coats the inside of the mouth. Head to head against the 8582 from a year younger i would prefer it over this one. Needless to say I hope it will age well. It has given me a bit of sweat that the 8582 lacked. An OK sheng to drink nevertheless. i will try this in the yixing tomorrow.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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91

I have enjoyed 9 steeps of this tea now. I use 3 steeps for the “me” size cup I normally drink. This tea has no astringency no harshness and no “bite” at all. This tea brew a light orange/golden color. It has a light citrus aroma. It taste like a very light green tea with the sweetness of honey to it. I found this to be one of the most enjoyable shengs that I have had. Definitely in the top three. I have the newer versions of this cake and hope they age as well. I was really surprised as this is a secondary code 807 of this tea. Very nice. I will probably buy another one of these.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec
looseTman

“I found this to be one of the most enjoyable shengs that I have had. Definitely in the top three.” So why only a 78 pt. rating?

mrmopar

Whoops forgot that slider.

looseTman

Oh, that looks better!

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I’ve been sipping on this for the last hour or so.
This is the 3rd time I’ve sampled this tea, I think.
I do not taste any chocolate. I taste semolina & cream. There is a nice bold depth as well, kind of a coffee edge, which perhaps could be interpreted as dark chocolate, but that is not what I taste.
Over the course of several steepings the cream became butter, with a nice buttery sensation lingering in my throat.
It’s a pleasant tea, & maybe next time…

Bonnie

This one reminds me of good wine.

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Thank you Mrmopar for this Puerh sample!
BTW, the new picture is me sniffing wet tea leaves, proof that I am an official tea geek and nerd!

Oh yeah, getting back into my puerh groove! Woman does not live by puerh alone(but I almost get away with it)!

We’re having a dip in temperature…snow flurries then back up to the 50’s and 60’s. A real Rocky Mountain Roller Coaster! Wheeee!
For breakfast today…a strong cuppa PU sounded fabulous! (If you take a look at mrmopar’s cupboard, you’ll see that he agrees with me!)

This particular puerh was great for bold drinking. I was thinking about how you could make a big pot, sit down with breakfast or the paper…even fill a thermos and head out the door. It’s such a big flavorful puerh, reminiscent of what I ‘Used to get’ at Pete’s Coffee way back when! My morning ‘kick in the butt’ cuppa!

Smooth, dark, stands up to additions and the resteeps aren’t weak.

The flavor:
After one rinse, I steeped 30 seconds which produced a DARK red-espresso-brown brew, smooth and full of energy. The taste was raspberry/choco/cedar/nut with a little tang. (None of those flavors distinctly strong). Muted flavors, smooth and sweet.

On later steepings the flavor wasn’t as strong.

At the 4th and 5th steep…I got lazy and put the two steeps together in an 8oz mug, sweetened it and added cream. Yeah! Good!

I kicked back and watched the news, slurped my mug of PU with a furry throw tucked up under mu chin, my feet propped on the bench coffee table. What a life!

This tea is one of those “Whatever you want me to be, I’ll be it for you baby!” puerh’s! (Too bad I never married man like that, oh well!)

Thanks Mrmopar!

Indigobloom

this is my fave kind of pu! :P

Bonnie

I know, good everyday…puer!

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bought this tea to age will update in about a year to see how it compares with the other v93s i have.

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purchased as a fairly new production tea. i think a few years aging will mellow this tea out some. i think it has too much of a licorice taste for me as of yet,but i am sure with aging that will go away to the smooth menghai taste that i am used to. btw the 2010 star of menghai entirely different.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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I was getting some cheap glass teapots from Yunnan Sourcing, and I couldn’t resist taking a couple of pu’er cakes as well, especially with the expensive shipping of them. I don’t now a lot about young pu’ers, and I chose to get three vintages of 8582. I have sampled a couple of older 8582’s, and I liked them, and these young cakes where cheap. So I bought this one made 2008, another from 2009 and a third being made 2010. A vintage comparison! Although Steepster doesn’t (yet?) support comparative notes, I’m gonna give some thoughts on the comparison on this single note.

FIrst, they all were clearly the same tea. The taste was about the same, difference was more on how the taste behaved.
‘10 first attacked me with a taste I believe most describe in English as astringent bitterness, but the initial nastiness made room for a liquiricelike sweetness quite common with young cakes. Although first shocking, the initial taste moved aroung quite smoothly, it’s roughness was quite round if one can say like that. Aftertaste was pleasant. I’d say potential, but I won’t probably be drinking this for a couple of years.

‘09 was most interesting one. First I thought this was slighlty more tamed version of ’10, but at some points it gave some weird tastes. It didn’t behave consistently. At some brews this was definantly the weakest one, but sometimes it really shined. I really don’t know why.

‘08 was my overall favourite. It’s taste was most harmonious, balanced. There was quite a bit of roughness, but this tea wasn’t as bipolar as the ‘10 and ’09. If these three cakes really form a valid timeline of aging, I’d say this is my vasual pu’er in a couple of years.

Now the interesting thing is, are the differences in taste due their ages, or are they resulting from different harvests? Their age differences are relatively large, the ‘08 being three times as old as the one from ’10. On the other hand, they are only a year from each other. That will probably clear out in a couple of years, as their relative age difference lessens. I’m excited in onberving the aging of these three.

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I am not a big fan of Shu, but oddly sometimes this tea serves me so well, such as on a cold winter night!

This tea has nice bright dark red tea liquor. The taste is smooth with a soupy texture, feels very clean, no offensive over-fermentation taste at all. It’s after taste is not only sweet, but also somewhat more complicated (in a nice way) than most shu I’ve tried. No wonder it’s seen by a lot of people as a classic product of shu.

If I have to critique on it, I would say its taste is on the weaker side. But very possibly many flavors of shu that’s favored by a lot of other people just escape my radar. The tea is very soothing, with great mouth feel and excellent warming effect. It really made every skin pore of mine feel comfortable!

A friend of mine commented that he feels this tea doesn’t taste much different from its 2008 version, which seems to me may not be a bad thing at all.

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I am recently in a puerh sheng mood, which doesn’t happen often. So I would grab the chance and taste a few more sheng products :D

This tea is supposed to be one of the routine, decent products of Da Yi. It’s from 2007, which was not a great year for puerh, but not the worst year either. The tea is pretty good, that’s if you are like me and don’t mind bitterness to a small degree. I think this tea is reasonably bitter, and by reasonably, I mean the bitterness is not long-lasting. It hits the inner part of the tongue and disappears fairly quickly. The aftertaste is very nice. It’s the aftertaste that make you feel the mouth is very cool and clean. There is a little bit of astringency and a hint of smokiness.

The leaves are not very chopped, but not the whole leaves either.

I made about 8-9 infusions of it, and pushed the brewing pretty much to an end. It’s not a very strong sheng among the teas I’ve tried recently.

I’ve sadly found I’ve got a little bit of allergy recently. A friend of mine used to say, if you live in Northeast and don’t have a season allergy yet, don’t think that you are spared and it may start any year! Now I think I’ve got it :-S but just a little bit. Probably that’s why I crave for sheng puerh recently. It did help a lot. Probably just drinking that much of water would help anyway, but only with tea, I can patiently drink so much water!

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
the_skua

I’ve noticed lots of people have been craving sheng puerh lately, myself included. I wonder if it is indeed seasonal allergies!

Gingko (manager of Life in Teacup)

Possibly! Autumn can be a very dry season. Tea that brings moisture to the mouth is great for the season :D

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First produced by Menghai after the name change to Xishuanbanna Menghai. Production started in ‘97. This specimen part of a tong. Slightly loose, and damp ’shu’ beeng cha. Quick rinse and first two brews were very dark due to presence of loose leaves. Subsequent brews mellowed out, with hui gan appearing, and slight ‘dust’ notes. Beeng has been opened to air and ‘re-vitalise’.

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88

This tea is very rich with a slight mineral taste that moves on to an almost oak taste as found in a good dry red wine. This tea brews a nice dark orange color with a light floral or citrus aroma apricot or muskmelon. Easy drinking no bitterness or astringency. Brews up nice and tasty. A nice drink for the end of a long and late work week. Brews up almost creamy. Very good tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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67

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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100

This is hands down my favorite Shu! Its smooth and full of flavor. I detect notes of raisin and smooth creaminess. I judge all other Shu’s against this. The liquor is bold and full of creamy flavor. Deep red in color. I will always have this as long as its offered.

mrmopar

This is a good one!

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80

Just tried this one today. This tea gives a very dark infusion right off the bat after the first rinse. It comes across bold and strong with a woody almost like someone had put chestnuts in the pot with it. It has a touch of sweetness that has carried through 5 infusions with no loss of flavor yet. The aroma is just like a new shou with the barnyard smell that is knocked out by the taste. I personally think this one still has the new fermented taste still a little strong for now, but I think this will be really great in a year or two. I have no doubt about these being old tea tree leaves the strength of the brew has not dissipated yet. I will continue to experiment with this one till the flavor is gone. Giving it a so so rating for now because I believe it will age well.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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87

I’ve had this tea aging in my cupboard for about 4 years already. The last time I tried it (2 years ago) I remember the flavors being quite vibrant, but I thought I’d give it another try this afternoon.
Parameters: water just under boiling; infusion times 45s, 20s, 25s, 30s, 35s, and so on, for about 12 infusions. I filled up about 1/4 of my gaiwan with leaf.

Dry leaf: Wet hay, a little musty, grassy notes.
Wet leaf: Leather, cedar, loam, finishing with caramel and vanilla notes.
“ChaQi”: A surprising feeling! Heat, all along the neck, and a flushed face. First sadness and nostalgia (infusion 3) followed by calm (infusion 6).

This tea tastes exactly like it smells. The first few infusions yielded an earthy, pleasantly dirty flavor with an utterly creamy mouthfeel. There is no bitterness. As you drink it, you can imagine you are in a cabin in the woods, and that it is raining outside. Infusions 4, 5 yielded new mineral notes. Infusions 6, 7, 8 became increasingly sweet, with the distinct aftertaste of wild blueberries along the sides of the tongue. I look forward to this tea becoming even smoother as it ages.

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92

This is so nice tonight. Really mellow and slightly haylike, but there’s a bit of sweetness here too. This almost smells like honey and wood to me.

I’ve debated posting anything about my day yesterday, but it feels good to air it out. While crossing the street yesterday morning, I got hit by a car. Some crazy lady just plowed into me when I was halfway through the crosswalk; she did not stop at the stop sign. Good news: I am okay. After she initially hit me I put out an arm against her hood, thinking she would see me, and when she continued to push me forward I threw myself backwards out of the way of her car. She drove away, never even looked at me or the various people that were honking at her, and she never stopped. I pulled a number of things in my shoulder and around my scapula, bruised my tailbone falling, and have bruises on my legs. Very thankfully, I am alive and not broken. The whole thing still feels really surreal and kind of like a far away movie.

It feels really wonderful right now to just rest and drink some tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Terri HarpLady

Unbelievable, Claire!
I’m glad you’re ok. Did you report it? That gal shouldn’t be driving!

Sil

O my goodness. I’m so glad you’re ok. What a terrible thing to have happen

Lindsay

yowza. some people. glad to hear you’re ok

K S

Steepster was hanging on to post again. So you are now a day away from the car incident and I can imagine very sore. Recover quickly. Drink lots of tea. It seems to cure everything from what I read on other sites :)

Claire

Thanks for the good wishes!
Terri – I didn’t report it. When it happened I was in shock and ended up getting up and just walking to school. About a half hour later I realized it really hurt. At that point I got checked out by the doctor and called the police, but they said I had to go down to the station to be checked out, and I haven’t had the time/energy to go over there.
K S – Yes, I am very sore! I’m attempting to take it easy, and I am drinking lots of tea. :)

Terri HarpLady

I know in St. Louis they have cameras everywhere now days, which is an irritation, but the accident may be caught on film…
I know that I would never remember what the car looked like even, had I been in your circumstances. Just be gentle with yourself. Sending some good Reiki vibes your way!

ashmanra

Oh my gosh! I will be praying for you today! The soreness after something like that is always nasty!

Claire

Terri – I actually remember that it was a small black car, like a toyota corolla. The lady had long blonde hair and was young too. I have some time in the morning so I will probably try to stop by the station.

I’m happy to say that while I’m still quite sore and bruised, it’s getting better! And now I’m home and can drink puerh to my heart’s content. :)

canadianadia

That’s so scary. It’s so horrifying that you went through that, and it’s especially terrible that that she drove away. I hope your soreness and bruising heal quickly.

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89

called the thick ripe cake. well aged dayi with hints of cherry on the first steep.hints of oak at the back of the tongue. second infusion cherry with lemon a taste almost like a well aged scotch. will explore more steeps. now off to enjoy…..short steeps under 15 seconds for now.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Bonnie

sounds yum!

Misty Peak Teas

Hey Mr Mopar. I did a video that you may enjoy about how to brew Pu’er, just posted it online today. Id love to hear your take on it. I was doing gong fu, then recorded the Gaiwan simple method which may be more popular on here.

Let me know your thoughts, if you like :) Cheers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmNZ3Mqi5F4

mrmopar

Bonnie, Azzrian it’s a good one no off odors or any signs of twigs or anything in this one. A nice clean cake. Misty saw the video it;s nice it should help many out. aA lot of people use the gaiwan style preparation. I tried it but my big hands could not do it righ so i got clay pots for my preparation. I actually have a pot for each of the major producers that are dedicated to each factory. Hopefully the will retain that bit of each one as they get older and more use.

Bonnie

mrmopar, a fat gaiwan is easier to handle (I have one) Or the type with the spout and handle (mine is clay). I think the use of a gaiwan should not be ruled out entirely,because of what you can do playing with the leaves.

mrmopar

I got an easy gaiwan coming in from china soon. I think i will be more comfortable with it than the one i have here. The one i have coming in has the spout so i should be able to master it.

Bonnie

good idea….think you have it all now!

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99

Excellent. However, expensive.

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98

Thank you mrmopar for this fantastic Pu-erh Sample!

I really should read up on Puerh’s before I go off brewing up on my own. Somehow, a purist will probably be horrified at my methods here.

I was enjoying myself, having a great time with this Puerh!

I have a lovely little seasoned purple clay Gaiwan that I use for Puerh. A pick, strainer and cup is all I need for a good session.

Usually I use less leaf than other people because fibromyalgia has made me very sensitive to taste. I make quantity adjustments because of that and use 3 grams of Puerh when others use 5 grams with the same taste results.

Today, I wanted to try a larger amount of leaves. I used 5 grams, which is a huge quantity for me, then did 2 quick washes.
(I poked the hard nugget of Puerh during the first 30 second steeping to break it up a bit.)
The liquor was dark golden brown with a hint of red throughout.

Steepings 30 seconds unless noted otherwise.

1. First steepings are usually not my favorite. They can knock you down with a fuzzy cedar or redwood taste and texture that’s very strong and sometimes bitter.
But this Puerh…HA!
This tea was extremely Smooth, Juicy and Semi-Sweet, with a light cocoa, sugar date flavor! I was pleasantly surprised!

2. The second steep flavor was like Bittersweet Chocolate or a light Pinot Noir. There was no grit or earthy flavor, but a thick mouth feel that made me think of sipping chocolate.
I added a few grains of sugar and the caramel flavor came up with a richness that I had suspected was hiding deep in the thick, smooth tea.

3. As an experiment, I tried a quick immediate steep.
The color was dark, the flavor…a bit dryer and spicy on my tongue like cinnamon and clove. The creaminess wasn’t as strong and the richness was lighter.
There was more of a wood cedar taste than when I steeped the leaves longer. I liked the longer steeping better.

4. Returning to the longer steeps, this time at 40 seconds, the Puerh was spicier.
Cinnamon, clove and allspice. A bright Paso Robles Zinfandel with Sunshine and Ripeness in the bones of the flavor.
This tea was beginning to remind me of…a Chai base, or Sangria.

It’s the Holidays…and I remembered that the person who sent this Puerh to me…who has become a true friend…has at his side the love of his life. She is fond of Chai.

So, I did what anyone other than me would NEVER do with a great Puerh! I made some Puerh Chai in honor of her, hoping that this is something that he’ll try. Here goes…

I made 2 steepings of Puerh, added half and half, then a little sugar and a little honey (I don’t like too much honey because it can overpower the taste of the tea). Stirred it up…and YUM!

Caramel, smooth, spicy, creamy…(Hey mrmopar, you have 5 cakes of this Puerh, so tell me if you make this for your sweetheart!)

This Puerh is great stuff! Probably the smoothest I’ve ever had and the closest to the experience of drinking wine.

Thanks again mrmopar my friend!

Indigobloom

that sounds incredible Bonnie! YUM. I hope we get a chai review from mrmopar ;)

Bonnie

Me too if he doesn’t boop me on the head for screwing around with such a fine Puerh. It’s a super fine brew!

Terri HarpLady

This is one of the ones I’ve been wanting to try! It sounds wonderful!

Bonnie

Mrmopar says it only is sold in 100gr cakes so it shouldn’t be too expensive or hard to find. It’s really good though! Very smooth.

mrmopar

i wont boop you in the head! it is all about the enjoyment of the tea. everyone of us has our own way to prepare it, and yes i may make a chai out of this one. terri it is pretty easy to find and not too expensive. if you look to pick some up i will find a good priced one for you. keep me posted.

Terri HarpLady

I saw it on Beryleb’s page on ebay. Do you know if there is a place to purchase a sample size of it? I know the 2 of you love it, but I’d like to try it before I buy a cake.

Bonnie

I only have a couple grams left. Need to buy some myself. The small 100 gram cake was under $8.00

mrmopar

jas-tea has them u.s. 7.99 yunnan sourcing usa 7.50 or pm me your address i will send you a sample.

Terri HarpLady

I didn’t see it at yunnan sourcing, but saw one on jas that looks similar, listed as
2009 Menghai Hong Yun Ripe Pu-erh -100 grams
is that the same tea?

mrmopar

yes that is the same one. it is just described a bit differently on the yunnan sourcing site.

Terri HarpLady

Thanks, mrmopar. : )

mrmopar

you are quite welcome!

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63

I love it." but not too much

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