Time for Vanilla Beans, Again

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

vanilla beansOver one year later

It’s time for another vanilla bean purchase!

I just bought one pound of organic Tahitians from eBay for $18, shipping included. This eBay shopping is jolly good stuff!

I plan on giving these out for Christmas this year, mostly stuffed in bottles of bourbon: that magic ju-ju to add to eggnog.


posted November 21st, 2006 at 6:54 pm

Hah! I did that too. A quarter pound, in my case, for um… five, six bux?
Made me so happy.

posted November 21st, 2006 at 9:13 pm

I’ll bring the eggnog…or at least the stuff to make it!

  • Woohoo!


- MoM
posted December 16th, 2006 at 3:49 pm

I wouldn’t recommend the vanilla beans off eBay, considering that they are mostly the cheap Tahitian vanilla beans with very little Vanilla flavor and a bitter taste. Try a reputable source online like http://www.beanilla.com and try some of the Madagascar beans. I have tried eBay and Beanilla Vanilla and the beans don’t even compare. Yes, they are cheaper on eBay but you get what you pay for.

posted September 7th, 2007 at 2:19 am

Laura you have never purchased vanilla on Ebay, what do you know. I am sitting in a room with some vanilla beans vaccume packed and I can still smell them all over my house. Ebay does not sell the items, individuals do. And for you to say the quality is not any good means you are speaking from your butt. I have added a link for some quality vanilla beans, they are delightful in every way.

posted November 21st, 2007 at 9:45 am

One should be careful of eBay vanilla purchases such as this. I think that this is a good example of why as well. I recently came back from Tahiti from a vanilla buying expedition. There are only eight people in Tahiti who are licensed by the government to cure vanilla for export. (Thus effectively, there are no “secret sources”.) The price of the vanilla beans directly from the curerer is $250/kilo or $113/lb directly in Tahiti. So, if the price is lower than this it is not real Tahitian vanilla and the retail price would be more in line with 2-3 times the price paid to the vanilla cure-er.

More likely than not, the vanilla beans purchased are from New Guinea where they also grow the same variety of vanilla orchid and where much of the inexpensive vanilla has recently been originating from. Unfortunately, they have a slightly different way of curing their vanilla in New Guinea and so the flavors are not quite what may be achieved from true Tahitian vanilla.

On the other hand, if you are enjoying the vanilla you still have something wonderful. Working with vanilla beans (even those from New Guinea or similar origins such as Indonesia) is still much better than working with extract.

If you would like to read about my recent trip, I have it posted here:



- Art
posted April 4th, 2008 at 5:01 am

as stated above, it’s WHO you buy from. There are a couple very reputable vanilla bean sellers who have even received top kudos from egullet mavens. I’ve been buying my beans off ebay for a couple of years now and have been very pleased with the quality.

You look for high feedback, as near to 100% as possible and selling pretty much exclusively vanilla products.

- lori
posted May 7th, 2008 at 1:03 am

[...] to Brownie Points for this [...]

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