Intense sweetness, perfumey florals, fresh and dried stone fruits, a complexity unique to the coffees of Southern Yirga Cheffe. Cools so well, sweet lime and peach nectar, Mock orange flower aroma. City to Full City. Good Ethiopian espresso.
Baraka Buna means first coffee in the Amharic language, and it seems a perfect fit for this early arrival of Yirga Cheffe . It comes from the Kochore area, the mill being located not far outside the town of Chele'lektu. The cup quality is top notch. Kochore has produced some of my favorite Yirga Cheffe coffees in the past, with a highly aromatic cup and intense, lively brightness. While the coffees from some stations in the surrounding regions may have started off strong a few years ago, we've seen a decline in cup quality the past couple of years (in particular coffees we've bought from the west in Deri Kochoha), but have consistently found spectacular quality from this particular station in Chele'lektu. Large harvests can be a boon to farmers but also difficult at the wet mill to manage the quality, especially creating enough space on the drying beds. The last couple of years I traveled around and saw some stations, like this one, managing the large volumes quite well and others floundering under the pressure, taking coffee of the drying beds when it was too wet, or layering coffee too thickly. This is the fourth year in a row we've bought from this station, and each year they deliver one of our best Ethiopian coffees of the season. This lot was prepared to Grade 1 standards, and the altitudes of area farms range from 1800 to 2100+ meters.
Once again, Baraka Buna rises toward the top, our average scores settling in 92 point range at our cupping table. The dry grounds are laden with stone fruit smells, sweet honey that awakens your olfactory, and a crowning floral note. Adding hot water, these qualities only intensify. Smells of sweet citrus and red honey come up in the steam, with a bergamot tea-like hint, and floral jasmine setting the stage for the cup to come. And it sets the stage well, as the brewed coffee bears out the aromatics with little surprises; intense sweetness, perfumey florals, and clean, well-defined flavors through the long finish. The fruited notes expressed include apricot and nectarine, ripe floral peach flesh, and sweet lime (not to be confused with regular limes, sweet limes can be eaten like any other fruit and don't have any sort of citric bite). Mock orange florals are apparent in the light roasts, with a more rose water scent toward City+ level. The body is transparent, and suits the dynamic, bright cup character as well, and the bracing acidity lends structure to the overall mouthfeel of the Baraka Buna. We don't always recommend Ethiopias as espresso either, but I happen to like wilder shots, and this one has the characteristics I look for. At Full City, expect inky dark chocolate tones and a syrupy mouthfeel, a canned peach flavor folded in, and a compact orange juice 'zip'. Truly a stand out coffee in light roasting, and big body lends to it's ability to stand up to darker roasting as well.