Intense sweetness, perfumey florals, fresh baked goods, cleanliness define Buna Baraka. Asian sweet lemon, red cherry, and a floral scent of Mock Orange. Transparent body suits the dynamic cup character and bracing acidity. City to Full City.
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 phenomenal. Kochore has produced some of my favorite Yirga Cheffe coffees in the past, with a highly aromatic cup and intense, lively brightness. While other areas faltered in the past harvest (mostly northward in the Sidama zone), and to the west the Deri Kochoa and others were unremarkable this year, I found the Southern parts of Yirga Cheffe to be very nice. It was a larger harvest in these parts, which is a boon to farmers but can be difficult at the wet mill to manage the quality, especially creating enough space on the drying beds. Late last year and early in 2015 I traveled around and saw some stations managing the large volumes quite well and others foundering under the pressure, taking coffee of the drying beds when it was too wet, or layering coffee too thickly. Oddly we saw a lot of overdrying on offer samples as well. This lot was prepared to Grade 1 standards, and the altitudes of area farms range from 1800 to 2100+ meters.
This is a remarkably beautiful coffee. Starting with the dry grounds, deeply sweet honey scents saturate the olfactory, bolstered by convincing floral top notes and sweet citrus. Adding hot water, these qualities only intensify. Top notes of tropical fruit and red honey in the steam, with a bracing bergamot citrus hint. On the break there is a waft of butter cookie with a sweet orange frosting aspect as well. The cup bears out the aromatics with little surprise; intense sweetness, perfumey florals, fresh baked goods, clean and well-defined flavors through the long finish. The fruited notes of are best characterized as Asian sweet lemon, with surprising red cherry flavor emerging as the coffee cools. The floral scent of Mock Orange is apparent in the light roasts, with a more rose-like 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 Buna Baraka. It's fantastic, and judging against other early wet-processed Ethiopia arrivals on the market, it's a champ!