Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Buyer's Guide: How to choose premium vanilla beans

When it comes to buying vanilla there are several things you ought to consider the next time you shop. We thought a little help might be in order. 

Tahitian Vanilla Beans - Buy some now >>

Look for dark, oily, flexible, plump beans with a distinct aroma. Beans are graded A, best for appearance, or B, best for making extract. The color should be almost black. The darker the bean, the better the quality. Minor cracks at the ends of the beans indicate the beans they were harvested at the right time, when the beans were ripe with flavor.

Contrary to popular belief, the white crystalline coating of vanillin that migrates to the surface is not an indicator of quality, but indicates an exchange of air as the beans dry. Note there is no frosty coating in vacuum packed beans because there is no air. To make sure the white coating is indeed vanillin and not mold, run a finger along the coating—if it goes away, it is mold. Don't worry! You can simply discard moldy beans to keep the mold from contaminating the good beans. Insider tip: mold is most often found on Bourbon-Madagascar beans.

Storage Tips! Vanilla should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. Don’t refrigerate or freeze vanilla, as the delicate flavor will be lost. Vanilla actually improves with age if stored properly, and will last indefinitely.

We pride ourselves in sourcing top-quality Tahitian vanilla beans. Buy them here.


  1. Great info! Thanks for the tips. I am so glad to have found you.