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.
Baaroo has a distinct dry fragrance that seemingly jumps out of the cup with sweet chocolate frosting notes, cane sugar, vanilla, and fruited hints of apple juice. The wet aroma from the crust has a pectin-like saturation, similar to peach preserves, and with cane sugar, cola nut, and a hint of black Assam tea. Breaking the crust on Baaroo shows even more sweetness but more in the form of dried apricot and clover honey. The cup profile boasts a wide range of fruit and developed sugars, and along with its syrupy mouth feel, is reminiscent of port wine in both flavor and viscosity. A City roast shows golden raisin, red currant and clover honey flavor, while the City+ profile leans more towards stone fruits like peach blossom and fresh apricots. Darker roasts in the neighborhood of 2nd crack have a toned down complexity, with less fruited and floral notes. Baaroo is not a typical Ethiopian coffee in terms of its weighted mouth feel and darker fruit notes, although its floral, honeyed character reminds us of its origin.