Anyone familiar with the honey method for processing coffee beans? Almost no water is used in this method supposedly. My intuition says it should be less moldy. Anyone knows more???
Never heard of it - got any links?
It says on their website that the beans are dried for a day or two in raised beds. Dave points out that drying in the elements causes mycotoxins to evolve. His process (which I do not fully know) appears to be wet processed, machine dried and then hulled. I'm also not sure when the mycotoxins develop. I'm guessing that it's the first stage of the drying process before the skin and pulp are removed. They also state that the drying process is critical and if not controlled can cause mold and fungus to develop. That statement alone makes me cringe. Because you just don't know what kind of control they really have.
Would be great if someone has tested these types of beans and can tell us the levels of mycotoxins they have.
Yes: the thing is wet-processed are being fermented for about 20 hours as well.
Thought I might rehash this as I just became familiar with honey processing. From my local roastery here in Toronto, the information for this particular bean specifically refers to lower risk of mold. I wonder if this is actually true. If the odds are better than dry processing its worth a shot to try anyway.
Costa Rican Fair Trade Organic ~ Honey Processed
All the rage in Costa Rica and spreading throughout Central America, honey processing is the middle ground between washed processing and natural/dry processing: the cherry peel is removed but some amount of the sticky, honey-like mucilage remains while the beans dry.
Honey-processed beans are assigned a colour to indicate the amount of light the bean is exposed to during drying. These particular beans are “red honey,” meaning that they dried for 2-3 weeks in the shade or on overcast days.
The advantage for farmers of coffee processed this way: lower risk of mold and over-fermentation and a shorter dry time. For us: an intensely sweet coffee with more character than other Central American varietals.
Expect to be intrigued – complex flavours; a refreshing and sweet cup.
Roast recommendation: This one can be tricky! At a medium-dark, these beans look like a decaf coffee. Best to go with a dark roast for a more uniform result. This bean is a fruity/neutral and will not lose its characteristics at a high roast. Refer to our roasting guide here.
Let me know what you guys think.