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Welcome to Villa Vanilla

Henry at Villa Vanilla/Rainforestspices.com sent several great pictures of the plantation in Costa Rica. Check them out in the new Villa Vanilla plantation gallery.

Check out this new review of farm-direct vanilla beans from Silver Cloud Estates in India. These great vanilla beans are grown and cured on the same farm — a real rarity in the modern vanilla industry.

Silver Cloud Estates (India) Planifolia

Chris at Silver Could Estates sent such a big sample for review that I’m giving away the extras. See the complete details here.

Beanilla's great Madagascar vanilla beans are currently 20% off. I don't have any other details on the sale, but you can check it out here.

This is really a great deal — 25 beans (~1/4 lbs) is $19.99. For only a few dollars more than the cheapest Madagascar beans, you can get some really top shelf gourmet vanilla beans. Check out their Tonga vanilla beans too — some of my favorites, and the only place to buy them in the US.

Welcome to Villa Vanilla

Henry at Villa Vanilla/Rainforest Spices in Costa Rica sent this great description of the vanilla operation:

I have been in vanilla production for 21 years and I was Frontier’s Natural Products organic supplier in the 90′s. A blight affected the vanilla production in mid-late 90′s and I discovered biodynamic cultural practices as a remedy to continue growing vanilla. My farm is the first Demeter certified biodynamic farm in Central America and I have since worked in vanilla in Mexico, El Salvador, Hawaii, Madagascar and Costa Rica.

The farm is located close to Manuel Antonio National Park, a major tourist destination. I host students and tourists for our educational tour “Spices, Gardens & more…” and successfully sell our spices at retail prices at our well known “Spice Shoppe”.

Henry Karczynski
Villa Vanilla, Costa Rica
www.rainforestspices.com

Thanks Henry! Check back soon for more info on these biodynamic, sustainably grown, vanilla beans from Costa Rica.

Arizona Vanilla Company launched a new website and is offering free shipping through July. No word if this can be combined with their other 15% off coupon code.

It’s my opinion that every vanilla bean product sold by Arizona Vanilla Company is available cheaper, and higher quality, from other vendors who offer an entirely different class of customer service. On this site you can check some other vendors or view vanilla beans by origin.

If you’re a loyal customer or fan of AZVC, that’s great! Here’s your chance to get free shipping through the end of July — or check out the previous 15% off coupon if that saves you more. You may find many deals and promo codes on this on CouponsCollector, so go and check out their website!

To celebrate the launching of our new webstore look and feel, we are offering FREE SHIPPING through the end of July!!!!! Use coupon code Shipping0708 in the shopping cart to take advantage of this special offer!

Related
Last time I posted a coupon code, I got a bunch of nasty letters — all from the same internet IP address used by the Arizona Vanilla Company
Arizona Vanilla Company July 2008 15% Discount Code.

Australian Vanilla Plantation is investigating vanilla bean plantations in Australia. Paul writes:

At this stage we are concentrating on investigating the science behind the cultivation of vanilla and the science behind the curing process. We have just appointed a Ph.D. student to from the University of Western Sydney to further these studies.

Our website does need updating and will probably do this in the next month or so.

Regards

Paul Squires
Managing Director

Related
Vanilla in Australia

Tammi has vanilla review t-shirts in her Cafepress webstore. I love the slogan: “Ask me about my beans”.

Here are a couple vanilla projects located in Costa Rica.

I talked to someone at Vanilla Export Company months ago, but lost contact.

SODG is a Dutch investment group that is betting on teak plantations and vanilla in Costa Rica. Google says they were sued and might not be active anymore…

Rainforest Spices was submitted some time ago, but I forgot about it until recently. They actually list products for sale, including vanilla beans, vanilla extract, and cinnamon.

*UPDATE*
After some reflection, I added Costa Rica to the list of vanilla producing countries because beans seem to be available from Rainforest Spices. I've written for further info, I'll keep you updated with any replies.

Spices of Fiji provided me with this pricing info to buy 250 grams (1/2 pound) of Fiji vanilla, shipped by DHL:

Cost of 250g Vanilla Bean A grade – FJ$50.00
Freight Via DHL – FJ$99.00
———-
Total – FJ$149.00
———-

That's a bit more than $100 or 64 euros.

I might be convinced to send half that much, but $100 is too much. I'm also uncertain of the bank fees.

Would anyone like to split an order (4 oz each for $50) or preferably divide it further (2 oz each for $25)? Let me know through the contact form.

Don’t know what to do with a bunch of extracted vanilla beans? How about making a big bag of vanilla sugar.

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