Vanilla Bean Alert

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

vanilla beansI’ve been asking around some of my favorite forums about finding cheaper vanilla bean prices. Chowhound, local folks, and eGullet have been a wealth of information. I was just going to stop in at Penzeys in Portland this weekend (after Dim Sum and Powell’s, and yes I’m bragging), but other forces have taken over.

In a fit of eBay munchies, I just bought 1lb of vanilla beans for $15 ($6 shipping and handling). I would have never thought of eBay, but it was first suggested on Chowhound. Then it was seconded and thirded on eGullet’s pastry forum. So, the deed is done… I have one pound of organic Papua New Guinea born 6-7″ Tahitian vanilla beans on their way to mamma.

Vanilla bean reviews pending (is there such a thing as a bad vanilla bean?).
I shouldn’t even mention the great rates on 10 lb shipments should I? Eeegads!

Here’s the eGullet thread on vanilla, with great general information on the different types of vanilla.

Ebay people I just ordered vanilla from, the Organic Vanilla Company.

Companies also recommended for their vanilla beans in the eGullet thread:

23 Comments

posted August 30th, 2005 at 7:38 pm

Looking forward to your reviews. I would of never thought to look for them on eBay. Sounds like a great deal!

posted August 31st, 2005 at 2:52 am

Wow, I never would have thought of ebay! I recently read a tip about saffron.com, so I bought 1/4 lb of their tahitian beans when I was in the states a few weeks ago. They’re fantastic quality and I would highly recommend the company, but it seems your ebay purveyors are even more rock-bottom in terms of price. Let us know how they are – in fact there is such thing as a bad vanilla bean, which I had the bad fortune to buy at Trader Joe’s. So dry and brittle I couldn’t even slit it to scrape out the seeds – the only thing I could do was crack it into pieces and hope some flavor would leach out into the syrup I was simmering. :(

posted August 31st, 2005 at 5:21 am

That *is* a good deal. Very tempting, too. I usually buy my beans at Trader Joes, which charges about half the price of most other stores for two.

- Nic
posted August 31st, 2005 at 5:41 am

Hold the presses! Penzey’s has finally opened the rumored Portland store! Please, please share the details. Where is it located? Have you been there? Reviews?!?!

  • I haven’t been- I’ll check out the address… I’ve heard its in a strip mall near Clackamas…

    Portland, OR -NEW
    11322 SE 82nd Ave
    (503) 653-7779
    Monday-Friday
    9:30 am-5:30 pm
    Saturday
    9:30 am-5:00 pm

    their website has a map available too.

    –McAuliflower

posted August 31st, 2005 at 6:51 pm

I would NEVER have thought of ebay – here I am begging friends who travel to bring some back for me. I have a standing order with my sister who lives half the year in Costa Rica and half in Toronto now.

Hmmm. I will stay tuned for your reviews and then I think I will be ordering my own…perhaps 10lb batch! Wheeee!

posted August 31st, 2005 at 8:35 pm

Wow, that is a real good deal! Looking forward to the reviews…

posted August 31st, 2005 at 8:52 pm

Thanks for posting the information. Every once in awhle I’d look to see if there was progress. Somehow I missed this! I will have to come check it out soon!

posted September 7th, 2005 at 5:52 am

Wow. Thanks so much for the tip!

- abby
posted September 7th, 2005 at 5:56 am

[...] and that was a few years ago before prices jumped to 18 or so) thanks to a great tip from Brownie Points. Who would have thought you could obtain such a [...]

posted September 13th, 2005 at 5:21 pm

[...] How do I use thee oh vanilla beans? Let us count the ways… [...]

posted September 16th, 2005 at 6:18 pm

I mentally filed this post to gauge my partner’s interest in whether I should bid on one of those seller’s lots. Your follow-up post reminded me I hadn’t mentioned it to him, so I did today and sat on an auction for a one-pound lot I won for $15 ($25 before redeeming an eBay gift certificate) plus shipping. He’s already salivating over what to do with all that vanilla.

Thanks for the recommendation!

posted May 25th, 2006 at 12:45 pm

I just bought some vanilla beans from The Organic Vanilla Company (eBay)… 1 lb for $22.50+free shipping. Definitely the best deal out there since I’m seeing other places with 1/2 lb. for $45! Even if they’re hard and dry like store-bought ones, at least they’re way cheaper! BTW, I remembered reading this post a while ago but couldn’t remember where, so I found it with a Google search on “blog vanilla beans cheap”. Thanks for being easily found!

- Leanne
posted June 12th, 2006 at 2:55 pm

Well, what’s the verdict…I just bought the 1lb of grade B Tahitian’s for $22.50 and they are on the way…do I have to wait and see for myself, or do we get a review already?!? :)

  • Hi Steve,

    the track back above was suppose to be your bread crumb trail… go check out the post Vanilla Bean Tremens.
    And yes- they’re good!

    –McAuliflower

- Steve
posted June 26th, 2006 at 3:55 pm

Well i dont know what to say but most of the Company you all mentioned are mostly a distributor and/or a supplier. of course evry single store will say that their product is the best I could not agree more to that. However check this web site http://www.tripper.com. and ask me anything about the vanilla or sweet and spices.(price quality, origin, quality assurance) I would be to share the info and help you in any posible way.

- Zie
posted July 5th, 2006 at 2:16 pm

Tripper…I really recommended them if you were looking for quality consistency product with their favorable prices of course!! Their vanillas, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves and Ginger are excellent!! also their unique brand and packaging. But from all of that, even I just a small buyer but they have respect to me, good service and always updated me the market situation at origin either on prices or products.

Sam

- Sam
posted July 26th, 2006 at 12:30 pm

If you are looking for vanilla beans, then check out http://www.beanilla.com

My wife orders vanilla beans all over the place. She has tried eBay, but says the price is good but the quality is horrible. The “Tahitian” vanilla beans you buy off eBay are from Papua New Guinea, which are basically the weeds of Vanilla Beans. After trying many online Vanilla Bean shops, she has concluded hands down that http://www.beanilla.com has the best prices and the best quality beans.

Cris

posted August 9th, 2006 at 5:53 am

I purchased 1 lb of Cobra Vanilla beans for $25 from Tripper and that was an excellent quality.

Meg

posted November 27th, 2006 at 4:01 pm

Also take a look at this site. They have the best quality and lowest prices of SAFFRON. I’ve purchased saffron from them and it’s just the best. http://www.saffronimports.com

- Shawn
posted December 4th, 2006 at 12:16 pm

Hello, been a while since anyone has talked about Vanilla Beans — Prices are at the lowest in years due to global glut caused by more farmers starting in 2000/01. PNG beans (pods) are $19.95/lb — and I’ve seen them for $15/kilo in bulk purchase. You do get what you pay for.

Anyway, has anyone ever heard anything about Costa Rican Vanilla beans?? The website I left: http://vanillaexport.com/store/index.php is the only site I found. They claim to sell American Vanilla??

If you know anything about Costa Rica Vanilla resources or comments, please let me know. I am going there soon and would like to visit a farm to see the process, thanks Lance

ps. any other up-to-date vanilla info would be great too, like your experience with specific online retailers as noted in this bbs some time ago.

I haven’t considered beans from Costa Rica Lance- very interesting. Are you familiar with the food site eGullet? That would be a great forum to join and pose these questions to!

Regarding up to date feedback on vanilla bean companies- I top post the most current information / posts, which is viewable from the main page. The most recent vanilla bean entry is regarding my buying beans from the same vendor mentioned in this post you are commenting on.

thanks for commenting

– McAuliflower

posted December 18th, 2006 at 6:34 am

we are growing vanilla in bulk and looking for purchares in bulk

posted November 26th, 2007 at 10:22 pm

All Trader Joes locations in Portland carry Vanilla Beans?

I don’t know. I don’t tend to support Trader Joes.

–McAuliflower

- Susan
posted March 9th, 2010 at 5:45 am

We are the grower, processor and exporter of natural vanilla beans. Please visit our website to understand more about vanilla processing. Or visit our blog to see more images of our curing station where we process the vanilla beans from the beginning

http://tobavanillabeans.blogspot.com/

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