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.
New crop Ethiopian coffee is here and we're very excited about this new lot of Baaroo. The profile is balanced, with just enough floral, fruited notes and complex sugar browning to remind us of the origin. The dry aroma is like butterscotch, so sweet and candy-like, and with suggestions of fresh peach and apricot. Adding hot water results in an aroma of star jasmine, along with caramel sauce and a hint of juicing oranges. Baaroo is extremely versatile, and great at both dark and light roast levels. Notes of stone fruit prevail across the roast spectrum, and darker roasts capitalize on layers of chocolate. Lighter roasts are laced with brown sugar, baking spices, cola nut, and pomegranate. There is a mingling of lively citrus and cacao nibs in the finish that interplay with one another nicely. The body is very juicy, even at City roast, and translates into great mouthfeel as both brewed coffee and espresso.