Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Mar 5, 2012 12:17 PM

Bulk vanilla beans

Has anyone ordered a large supply of vanilla beans online? I see them on Amazon but I'm not sure if they are any good. Looking for not more than a 1/2 pound. I am experimenting with making my own vanilla extract and vanilla gelato as well as making some vanilla French macarons so I'm going to need a few beans.

I can't really afford to spend $10 for two vanilla beans so need a better resource.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I've bought bulk vanilla beans from Morrocco off ebay and I'm thrilled with the quality, the service and the wonderful vanilla essence I've made with them, also vanilla sugar. I have a kilo of sugar in a large jar which I constantly top up and I'm constantly dipping into for baking, in my coffee etc.The essence I usually make with Vodka, but I recently read that it works with rum, ehich is what I've got brewing at the moment.
    Good Luck

    1. Yes, check on Ebay, several suppliers there.

      12 Replies
      1. re: OCEllen

        Wow, just looked on Ebay and so many different ones. Can you recommend a particular vendor?

        1. re: Jpan99

          Sorry, I've never bought them, just knew they were there. Maybe I will buy some!

        2. re: OCEllen

          I've used Vanilla Products USA. Very good beans. Extra long and supple.

          1. re: scubadoo97

            Thanks, I saw that they were pretty popular with good reviews so I placed an order this afternoon. Should have them by Friday I think!

            1. re: Jpan99

              Jpan99, I buy beans from
              Prices, selection and freshness can't be beat (and isn't) and the CHOW video for extract and extraction is also in this older thread. Enjoy!

              1. re: HillJ

                I've purchased saffron from them. Also a good source

                1. re: scubadoo97

                  scub, have you tried their mushrooms?

                2. re: HillJ

                  I can also attest to the quality of their vanilla beans and their saffron. Haven't tried their mushrooms yet.

                  1. re: HillJ

                    Another satisfied customer of Vanilla Saffron Imports here, for both vanilla beans and saffron. Great quality and prices. I do not, however, recommend their vanilla extract because they add sugar (though they do not list this on the website, unfortunately). Very good customer service, as well.

                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                      Good to know. I've never ordered their vanilla extract or oil. But, I'm thrilled to learn you had a positive ordering experience, CMc.

                    2. re: HillJ


                      I called that phone number several times and no one answered < ever.
                      I gave up my hopes of finding vanilla beans that I could actually afford.
                      I'm making my husband a banana vanilla pudding tonight for dinner and used my last vanilla bean that cost me about $7 at Vons. It was a nice jar with 2 beans in it.
                      sheeeeeeeeeeeeeesh. Anyway......................

                      I just ordered my vanilla pods from Juan at the Poster. Someone finally answered the phone after 3 consecutive tries...............
                      I can't wait to get them. Completely forgot to do this months and months ago.
                      ;:+/ And the upside, Juan is even letting me mail him a check-when it clears, I get my vanilla beans, so helpful....................thanks again HillJ

                      1. re: iL Divo

                        I just use email, iL D. Never had any trouble placing an order but I am very happy to read that Juan was able to connect with you and that you'll be in vanilla bean heaven in no time! btw-I love banana vanilla pudding

              2. Wherever, whenever, you buy your vanilla beans, please post your experimental experiences in making extract .

                I was in a nowhere market in a nowhere town in Guatemala a few days ago. This was so off the beaten path that I kept hearing whispers of "Gringa, gringa" as I passed through. I stopped to ask a vendor about a clay pot and she asked if I wanted fresh vanilla beans. Must have been a hail Mary pass on her part, but I bought a dozen of them for about $8. Yes, even here they're expensive. No idea if they're any good; haven't even had a chance to cut into one of them yet. But extract was very definitely on my mind. Won't be home for another couple of months and won't mess with it while I'm here. But I'll very much look forward to whatever you might have to say about your attempts and, hopefully, successes.

                1. I have two jars of vanilla essence brewing. One is from Indonesian (I believe, Javanese) beans and it smells heavenly. The beans were plump and very sticky inside. The other is from PNG (Papua New Guinea), and it smells more like licorice.The beans weren't as good.

                  They are supposed to brew for 6 months altogether so things will probably change. I just ordered more beans but I forget where they are from. When I get them I'll update you.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: gothamette

                    I just put up extract 2 days ago; there was a thread here a while ago that got me started.

                    Bought beans from here: out of SF. Got 1/2 lb., and a bonus gift of 6 beans in a seperate vacumn pouch. They are incredibly supply, aromatic and moist. Packages say 'sun cured' on them.

                    My extract, after only 2 days, smells deeply of vanilla (tho I can sure still smell vodka!), and is
                    already a brown color.

                    Got tips from this referral a CH'er put up:

                    Let us know how it goes!

                    1. re: gingershelley

                      Right now it's not extract, it is vanilla infused vodka. The website you linked is the one I learned that from. This will take a while - be patient!

                  2. Does anyone know why the Mexican beans are so much more expensive?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Jpan99

                      Yep, Mexican beans have the best flavor