Baaroo strikes balance between sugary sweetness and fruited highlights - raw honey, unrefined sugar and stone fruit reductions, subtle floral accent - all tied together by integrated citrus-like acidity. No jarring 'snap', but like lemon oil. 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 were part of an initiative we helped adminster in Ethiopia to work direct at the coop level. The program was implemented via a non-government organization that not only coordinated agronomists and managers for each of the coops they worked with, but also had a business adviser assigned that helped the cooperative manage their debt, re-invest in quality improvements at the mill, and verified distribution of income to all members. Baaroo has since "graduated", and is under full operation and direction of coop members and their self appointed board (Fiseha Dibissa advisor in 3rd photo). 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 complex sugar browning sweetness and subtle top notes to reflect coffees from the origin. The dry fragrance has a smell of dark toffee, so sweet and candy-like, with an understated peach note of the canned, syrupy sweet variety. Adding hot water sees a boost in stone fruit aromatics, like apricot and brown sugar,, as well as a peak in sugary sweetness, a maple icing scent filling the steam. Baaroo is extremely versatile, and great at both light and dark roast levels. Notes of stone fruit reductions with unrefined sugars prevail across the roast spectrum, and darker roasts develop deep chocolate roast tones. Oddly enough, the floral side is most present in the hot cup, faint jasmine and lemon oil accent a honey-sweet cup. The cooler temperature allows for profile expansion and depth, and the profile is filled out with notes of raw honey, baking spices, slab apricot, and a well-integrated lemony acidity. There is a mingling of rindy citrus and cacao nibs in the finish too 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. Espresso shots of a Full City roast extract a rich chocolate syrup flavor, along with orange juice and licorice accents, and undeniable citrus brightness but without overpowering the shot.