Baaroo displays balance - juicy stone fruit notes, honeyed sweetness, body, floral and spice accents, all tied together by integrated citrus-like acidity. No jarring 'snap', but like lemon oil, a thing of beauty. A nice dual-use Ethiopia. City to Full City+. Good for espresso.
Baaroo is the local Oromifa name for this cooperative in the far western part of Illubabor. Baaroo is part of a new initiative we have in Ethiopia to work direct at the coop level. The program is administered by a non-government organization that not only coordinates agronomists and managers for each of the coops they work with, but also has a business adviser assigned that helps the cooperative manage their debt, re-invest in quality improvements at the mill, and verifies distribution of income to all members. Baaroo is quite small and remote compared to the other excellent cooperatives we buy from in Illubabor region. We have been impressed with the cup quality, and how clean and fresh the coffee tastes although it tends to be harvested later than other nearby stations. It is from a lower relative altitude than others (1700m) but perhaps because of the heavily forested environment in this part of Illubabor, the effect slows the maturation of coffee, and increases the density of the bean. It seems to be so, in both flavor profile and roast.
We're really pleased with this year's lot of Baaroo. A balanced coffee, Baaroo's profile has just the right levels of floral, fruited notes and complex sugar browning to reflect coffees from the origin. The dry aroma has a smell of dark toffee, so sweet and candy-like, and with suggestions of fresh peach and apricot, and a host of baking spice accents. Adding hot water results in a floral stone fruit aroma, like apricot and brown sugar reduction, along with caramel sauce and cinnamon stick. Baaroo is extremely versatile, and great at both light and dark roast levels. Notes of stone fruit prevail across the roast spectrum, and darker roasts capitalize on chocolate roast tones, adding to the array of peach, plum, and nectarine notess. Oddly enough, the floral side is most present in the hot cup, star jasmine and and lemon oil accent a honey-sweet cup. It's not that florals disappear when the coffee cools, but that the cooler temperature allows for profile expansion and depth. The raw honey sweetness shows across the roast spectrum, and baking spices accent City/City+ roast levels. There is a mingling of rindy citrus and cacao nibs in the finish that interplay with one another nicely. Body is juicy, even at City roast level, and translates into great mouthfeel as both brewed coffee and espresso.