“Good coffee providers know how to eliminate [mycotoxins] from coffee,” Rogan said on his show, citing a study he found on PubMed from the 1980s. “They’ve been able to solve it [for decades] with something called wet processing.” When the coffee plant’s berries are picked, the cherry (or bean) is “washed” in running water before it’s left to ferment and dry, reducing mycotoxin levels to negligible amounts. Everyone from Stumptown to Starbucks washes their beans this way."
But I haven't found that wet processed beans have always made a difference, so I somewhat dismissed the notion that I could be getting mycotoxin related nasal stuffiness from my morning coffee.
Later I found that Dr. Jill Carnahan cites three studies showing that many coffees do have mycotoxins. She recommends Bulletproof and Purity Coffee.
So I finally gave Bulletproof a try. I felt better drinking it, not as stuffy (not cured completely mind you since I think multiple things lead to my 'sinusitis', but notably better). Then yesterday I had a decaf out with friends and within minutes significant stuffiness came back. I thought, wow, maybe this means I'm not imagining the effect of mycotoxin free coffee!?
I asked the barista what coffee was used for the decaf. I had read that not just wet processed coffees but also high elevation coffees are less likely to have mycotoxins. She said the decaf was from Brazil. Then I just found this:
One thing Brazil coffee is not is high-grown. Growing elevations in Brazil range from about 2,000 feet to 4,000 feet, far short of the 5,000-plus elevations common for fine coffees produced in Central America, Colombia, and East Africa...
When [dry processed] coffee is dried inside the fruit, as most classic Brazil coffees are, lots of things can go wrong. The seed or bean inside the fruit is held hostage, as it were, to the general health and soundness of the fruit surrounding it. If the fruit rots, the coffee will taste rotten or fermented. If microorganisms invade the fruit during that rotting, a hard or medicinal taste will carry into the cup.
Next I was talking to a local coffee roaster at the local farmer's market about this. He said you have to be careful not to assume that all wet processed or high elevation is clean and all dry processed or low elevation isn't. He said having seen so many different sites, he's seen that you can have operations at high elevation doing wet processing that aren't as clean as some dry processors at low elevation, although generally you can use elevation and processing as a guide.
Ethiopia has some of the highest coffee elevations at about 6,000 feet, which could be good for me because I love Ethiopian coffee. The roaster I spoke with had more confidence in the quality of the Yirgacheffe than the Sidamo, so next I'll try to find a Yirgacheffe that seems to work that's cheaper than Bulletproof.
Has anyone else with sinus issues experimented with coffees?