This is the second minibeeng from the Xi-Zhi Hao pu-erh tea gift set sold by Hou De. As Hou De stated, it's made from tiny pieces of mao-cha that left after sieving the spring 2009 Xi-Zhi Hao mao cha used for sheng cakes. These leftovers were then fermented by an ex-Meng Hai Factory master.
The beeng looks and smells good, the smell reminded me of 2005 Menghai Golden Needle White Lotus I have. Not a bad start. The tea brews very dark yet clear soup with no fishy or pondy taste or smell. I drink shu pu-erh only once in a while, because I know, how it's made, but this tea is fine by me - it's gentle and smooth.
Now, the negative side of this tea. As you can see on these bottom picture, the tea leaves are extremely fragmented, it's almost a tea dust, so you cannot expect too many good infusions made of this beeng. Even when I broke a whole chunk, it fell apart in seconds, making a coffee-colored liquid and in fourth brew it sharply started to fade into nothingness.
This pu-erh requires either very short infusions with moderate amount of tea leaves, making it into sixth or seventh infusion gracefully, or slightly less leaves with longer infusion times - but then you can expect only two or three good brews. Even prolonging the infusions at the end does not help, the tiny bits of tea already totally gave up.
So my resume is: this xiao beeng, like it's sheng counterpart, is good for softcore tea-drinkers (is this an accurate opposite of hardcore tea-drinker?), being easy and smooth without unpleasant taste. For more experienced tea-drinker this pu-erh may be a bit light and short-living.
To be continued... with the two minibeengs as a whole gift set.