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Discount Vanilla Beans - Good Information


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#31 Anni

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Posted 29 January 2005 - 08:50 AM

Ok, I went back to this site and now the same amount of beans is 24.75.  Whats up with that?  Has anyone received their beans yet?

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Huh, you're right. Dunno why they have a lower price...

On the plus side, I received my beans 24 hours after I ordered them (I live in the SF Bay Area). I ordered the 1/4# package, which contained exactly 40 beans. There was also a couple of bonuses in the box with the beans: vanilla soap and a small bottle of 1-fold vanilla extract.

The beans were a little dryer and less plump than I would expect for tahitians. I made a small "test batch" of vanilla pastry cream, and while the vanilla flavor/aroma was there, it was definitely mild. My next test is a vanilla ganache, so we'll see how that goes later today.

Anyone else?

Edited by Anni, 29 January 2005 - 08:53 AM.


#32 nathanm

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Posted 02 February 2005 - 11:29 AM

I tried blind taste tests a few years ago, of creme anglais and vanilla ice cream using beans from Tahiti, Madagascar, Indonesia and Mexico. The test was designed both to see if people could tell the difference as well as what they prefer. Everything else was held constant.

Nobody did better than random guessing at telling the difference between Tahiti, Madagascar and Indonesia. Some people would label two samples as different even if they were identical, for example.

Mexican vanilla was definitely different. A few people preferred it, most did not prefer it although it was not bad.

My conclusion is that most of the talk about differences in vanilla bean origin is pretty suspect, at least between Tahiti, Madagascar and Indonesia. I think there is a lot more variation between fresh and old beans than there is between fresh beans from these different places.

Any such test depends on the samples of course. The differences from batch to batch can vary. I ordered fresh beans for the test, but still it could just have been the batches I had.

I'm curious to see what people think of the cheap beans from the site....
Nathan

#33 fauxtarga

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Posted 02 February 2005 - 11:08 PM

This certainly is a good excuse to make Bill Yosses's warm vanilla cakes and the ice cream with the "12 bean" vanilla ice cream. Thanks!

#34 CaliPoutine

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Posted 03 February 2005 - 07:31 AM

This certainly is a good excuse to make Bill Yosses's warm vanilla cakes and the ice cream with the "12 bean" vanilla ice cream. Thanks!

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My beans arrived and Im itching to do something with them.

Where would I find the above recipe? 12 beans? wow, have you tried it yet?

#35 fauxtarga

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Posted 03 February 2005 - 09:08 AM

Discussion on the warm vanilla cakes:

http://forums.egulle...showtopic=36204

This is the most useful because it has Chef Yosses's own commentary on the recipe.

I have the recipe from the Hesser article but I'm not sure if we are allowed to repost them on EG because the Times now charges for it. If you have a service that allows you to dig through old articles like Factiva or Lexis Nexis you can get it under the title:

"An Exotic Import: Hardly Plain Vanilla" by Amanda Hesser
Which also seems relevant to this thread.

"The Best Meal in Town" by Jonathan Reynolds
Has his interpretation of the recipe.

I'll have to check if I have the Food Arts version.

I get the impression that the 12 bean ice cream involves taking your favorite vanilla ice cream and using 12 beans/quart, if I recall. But that sounds funny because my consumer machine makes the stuff in 1 qt batches, and it seems kind of unlikely that they would use a small batch size like that in a professional setting. Actually scratch that, 1 quart makes a lot of sense, for just one flavor. Pacojet = 1.2 qts.

#36 Bond Girl

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Posted 03 February 2005 - 09:46 AM

My beans arrived all 1/2 lbs of them. The package was surprisingly small, the beans were drier than the variety that I bought in Tahiti a few years ago, but better than what I would have gotten on the Island of Manhattan. Good for the price of $46 (shipping included) since I can revive them with some moist paper towels when I need to. Will make Vanilla ice cream.
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#37 Pyewacket

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Posted 03 February 2005 - 12:50 PM

I've been ordering form these fellows for several years now and have always been very happy with the quality I recieve and the rapid delivery.
I want to grow some vanilla planifolia orchid plants and have the perfect place to do it. However, I'm having difficulty finding anyone who can sell and ship me a starter vine.
Anyone here have any idea where I might get one, or several?

Edited by Pyewacket, 03 February 2005 - 12:51 PM.


#38 cricklewood

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Posted 03 February 2005 - 07:00 PM

Looks like a damn good deal to me. Let me know if you're happy with what you get.

Not to change the subject, but one thing I never understood is the price differences between vanilla beans and vanilla bean paste. A bottle of Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon bean paste is 4 fluid ozs for $17. Since 1Tb of paste is equal to 1 bean, the 4oz bottle is equivalent to 8 vanilla beans. Yet NM sells 2 beans for like $13, or about $52 for the equivalent of a 4oz bottle of paste.

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I think the reason the paste is so cheap it is because it is made from beans leftover from the making of vanilla extract a thickening agent is added, that is what I heard but would make sense since I find the aroma and lfavor is not quite like that of a mashed or chopped bean.

#39 CaliPoutine

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Posted 04 February 2005 - 07:18 PM

I just wanted to add that today I received 2 mexican beans. I asked the owner if he could send me a sample so i could compare and he obliged. Im impressed with the customer service. The beans werent wrapped and they smell fantastic.

I believe some vanilla ice cream is in my future.

#40 Chef Metcalf

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Posted 24 March 2005 - 07:39 PM

I said I would post the tax, duty and brokerage fees for shipments to Canada.
I paid about $21.00...and that's on top of the cost of the beans.
Service was great and the product is about the quality that I would get at any of the stores in Vancouver...for about 75% less than I normally pay.
Gotta like that.

cm

#41 Tepee

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Posted 24 March 2005 - 07:56 PM

I want to grow some vanilla planifolia orchid plants and have the perfect place to do it. However, I'm having difficulty finding anyone who can sell and ship me a starter vine.
Anyone here have any idea where I might get one, or several?

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This is from the Australian site Aprilmei posted. clicky here
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#42 KarenS

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Posted 24 March 2005 - 08:55 PM

My first choice is Tahitian- though I also use Tongan, and Papua New Guinea (for less special puposes, and Hawaiian- to support a growing industry). Tahitian is a different species then the "true" Mexican vanilla (where it came from- and where there is a bee that naturally polinates them- instead of by hand like everywhere else)

#43 Marmish

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Posted 24 March 2005 - 09:36 PM

I've been ordering form these fellows for several years now and have always been very happy with the quality I recieve and the rapid delivery.
I want to grow some vanilla planifolia orchid plants and have the perfect place to do it. However, I'm having difficulty finding anyone who can sell and ship me a starter vine.
Anyone here have any idea where I might get one, or several?

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I don't know where you are, but you might try Plant Delights. I didn't see it listed, but they may be able to help you, or redirect you. Interesting people with some rare stuff.

#44 Eden

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 11:27 AM

Thanks for letting us know about this site Randi! I just got my order today & they smell fabulous! I got some of each to do my own taste test :-> Can't wait to cook with them...
Do you suffer from Acute Culinary Syndrome? Maybe it's time to get help...

#45 Mayhaw Man

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 12:17 PM

Vanillafrica is a company that we just added to the group on my company's website. The samples were gorgeous, though I have not had a chance to use any of them as of yet. The beans that they sell are all from Madagascar and Uganda.

Once again: I don't make anything out of the transaction, we just host their site, so this is information and NOT promotion. Thanks.
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#46 scovilleFiend

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 11:01 AM

I have been buying vanilla for awhile through places like penzey's and trader joe's and in general it is rather expensive. Ordering from some of the places listed on the forums definitely is cheaper, but I have recently found a very nice source.

Strangely, there is a company selling on ebay for pretty stellar prices. I know I know, it's ebay, but still. The buy it now prices are reasonable, but recently I was able to get an auction price of $10 for 1/2 of vanilla, 6-7". $3 was tacked on for shipping. They are tahitian and supposedly organic. I can at the very least say that the ones I was delivered are quite good, and the price is absolutely phenomenal. Total shipping time was 1 day, and total price was $13, quite a steal for 1/2 lb. of what I would consider good quality vanilla beans.

You can search ebay for "organic vanilla", and I dug up the "store" site here:

http://stores.ebay.c...aderLinksQQtZkm?

#47 jim_jimmers

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 03:27 PM

the place i work buys all of our beans and extracts from them (saffron.com). they have been very reliable as long as i have used them (~1 year)

Edited by jim_jimmers, 25 August 2005 - 03:27 PM.


#48 Patrick S

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 07:08 PM

Strangely, there is a company selling on ebay for pretty stellar prices. I know I know, it's ebay, but still. The buy it now prices are reasonable, but recently I was able to get an auction price of $10 for 1/2 of vanilla, 6-7". $3 was tacked on for shipping. They are tahitian and supposedly organic. I can at the very least say that the ones I was delivered are quite good, and the price is absolutely phenomenal. Total shipping time was 1 day, and total price was $13, quite a steal for 1/2 lb. of what I would consider good quality vanilla beans.

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Thanks for the tip! At that price, they have to be worth a shot. I see a lot of vanilla bean creme brulees in my future. . .
"If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?" - Rumi

#49 bripastryguy

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 07:23 PM

I cant get on the site, it says the server is down....maybe it was too good to be true
"Chocolate has no calories....
Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence
SWEET KARMA DESSERTS
www.sweetkarmadesserts.com
550 East Meadow Ave. East meadow, NY 11554
516-794-4478
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#50 aprilmei

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 08:02 PM


I want to grow some vanilla planifolia orchid plants and have the perfect place to do it. However, I'm having difficulty finding anyone who can sell and ship me a starter vine.
Anyone here have any idea where I might get one, or several?

View Post


This is from the Australian site Aprilmei posted. clicky here

View Post


Try this instead:
https://bne078u.serv...nillaorchid.htm

Besides selling vanilla plants, they also sell Australian grown vanilla beans (didn't know they did that, did you? I didn't either). Really good service and they DHL for free anywhere in the world (well, anywhere DHL goes to). I bought 500 grams of one type of vanilla bean and asked for a sample of another - they sent me about 20 extra beans. The beans are a little drier and smaller than what I've normally worked but they're reasonably priced.

#51 scovilleFiend

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 07:52 AM

I cant get on the site, it says the server is down....maybe it was too good to be true

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Hmmmm, it doesn't look like it posted the whole URL in the forum. Does just clicking on it not work? In any event, like I said, you should try searching ebay's items for "organic vanilla".

With my order I also got a list of "special" prices that I can use as a previous customer instead of ebay. The prices are quite reasonable. They of course have them by weight as well, but I am not very good with the metric system despite its superiority.

20 beans for 16.50 (tahitian)
20 beans for 18 (bourbon)

Those are for 6-7, they have larger ones which are obviously more expensive. They have a website organic-vanilla.com, but apparently it is still "coming soon". It looks like they are trying to buy it or something, because right now the website is something else.

#52 CanadianBakin'

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 06:02 PM

I have been buying vanilla for awhile through places like penzey's and trader joe's and in general it is rather expensive. Ordering from some of the places listed on the forums definitely is cheaper, but I have recently found a very nice source.

Strangely, there is a company selling on ebay for pretty stellar prices. I know I know, it's ebay, but still. The buy it now prices are reasonable, but recently I was able to get an auction price of $10 for 1/2 of vanilla, 6-7". $3 was tacked on for shipping. They are tahitian and supposedly organic. I can at the very least say that the ones I was delivered are quite good, and the price is absolutely phenomenal. Total shipping time was 1 day, and total price was $13, quite a steal for 1/2 lb. of what I would consider good quality vanilla beans.

You can search ebay for "organic vanilla", and I dug up the "store" site here:

http://stores.ebay.c...aderLinksQQtZkm?

View Post


Thanks for the link! I just won 1/4 lb 7" & longer Tahitian vanilla beans for $11 USD including shipping to Canada. Delivery is 3 - 5 days so I'll let you know when I get them how they are. I'm pretty excited as they are about $7 Canadian for 2 beans in the stores here.
Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

#53 bripastryguy

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 07:08 PM

I just ordered a pound of beans, tahitian 2nd grade we will see how good for $29.95, at least I'll make my own vanilla paste and powder instead of buying for awhile.

Their is also a company called Tripper that has vanilla and vanilla beans. They made a deal with me if I buy 4 gallons of paste its something like $55.00 a gallon, but I have to buy a minimum of 4. Anyone wanna go in with me?
"Chocolate has no calories....
Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence
SWEET KARMA DESSERTS
www.sweetkarmadesserts.com
550 East Meadow Ave. East meadow, NY 11554
516-794-4478
Brian Fishman

#54 CaliPoutine

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 07:18 PM

I just ordered a pound of beans, tahitian 2nd grade we will see how good for $29.95, at least I'll make my own vanilla paste and powder instead of buying for awhile.

Their is also a company called Tripper that has vanilla and vanilla beans. They made a deal with me if I buy 4 gallons of paste its something like $55.00 a gallon, but I have to buy a minimum of 4. Anyone wanna go in with me?

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Can you tell me how you make your own paste?

#55 bripastryguy

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Posted 29 August 2005 - 05:27 PM

Just got my pound of vanilla beans from organic vanilla.com...They seem plump, pretty fragrant, I'll see how they fair when used tomorrow. If they are good I will take advantage of their 5 pound deal for $110.00.

I make vanilla paste by using the beans. Drying them out, grinding them in a spice grinder then mixing them with light corn syrup enough to make a paste.
"Chocolate has no calories....
Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence
SWEET KARMA DESSERTS
www.sweetkarmadesserts.com
550 East Meadow Ave. East meadow, NY 11554
516-794-4478
Brian Fishman

#56 CaliPoutine

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Posted 29 August 2005 - 06:24 PM

Just got my pound of vanilla beans from organic vanilla.com...They seem plump, pretty fragrant, I'll see how they fair when used tomorrow. If they are good I will take advantage of their 5 pound deal for $110.00.

I make vanilla paste by using the beans. Drying them out, grinding them in a spice grinder then mixing them with light corn syrup enough to make a paste.

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I just "won" a half lb for 5.50. Why would you pay 110 for 5 lbs? The auctions are a lot cheaper.

#57 bripastryguy

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Posted 29 August 2005 - 08:02 PM

Sometimes I just dont feel like dealing with the bidding
"Chocolate has no calories....
Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence
SWEET KARMA DESSERTS
www.sweetkarmadesserts.com
550 East Meadow Ave. East meadow, NY 11554
516-794-4478
Brian Fishman

#58 Patrick S

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 08:17 AM

Just got my pound of vanilla beans from organic vanilla.com...They seem plump, pretty fragrant, I'll see how they fair when used tomorrow. If they are good I will take advantage of their 5 pound deal for $110.00.

I make vanilla paste by using the beans. Drying them out, grinding them in a spice grinder then mixing them with light corn syrup enough to make a paste.

View Post


I'm eager to hear what you think of the beans you bought, bripastry. Have you used tahitensis beans before? I haven't, and I'm curious to hear about their flavor, since the vendor says they contain "very little vanillin."
"If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?" - Rumi

#59 Katie Nell

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 10:29 AM

I think their prices have gone down even more! Just started reading this thread and now I want some! What about the vanilla extract? Are any of the different kinds superior to the next? Recommendations?
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#60 bripastryguy

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 02:34 PM

The beans are alittle scrawny but, fragrant and they are working fine for my applications. Not a bad deal, when you are in business for yourself, every dollar counts so sometimes you cant buy the best of everything but I still like to come close.
"Chocolate has no calories....
Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence
SWEET KARMA DESSERTS
www.sweetkarmadesserts.com
550 East Meadow Ave. East meadow, NY 11554
516-794-4478
Brian Fishman