Vanilla Bean Profiles

Everyone's nose is just a little different.  And even though our tongues may all look similar, they all work differently.  It is little wonder that when we smell something like a vanilla bean, we may differ in how we might describe it.

Vanilla beans are like grapes used in making wine.  They pick up unique characteristics in smell and taste depending on where they are grown, the weather, and how they are harvested and cured.  It's just really hard to describe their differences.

That being said, this is our best creative effort at describing how our different varieties of vanilla beans smell and taste.


Brazil V. planifolia

These V. planifolia beans from Brazil are beautiful! We detected fragrance notes of spices and dried fruit. Grade A or longer, about 4-8 beans per ounce. 

*Available only through retail store*

Comoros V. planifolia

The island country of Comoros, located in the Indian Ocean off the eastern coast of Africa, brings us a lovely V. planifolia vanilla bean. They have very classic vanilla notes of cream and caramel. They're a lovely bean! 

Grade A and about 8-11 beans per ounce.

*Available only through retail store*

Cook Islands V. tahitensis

The Cook Islands grow the Vanilla tahitensis species of vanilla beans like their neighbor Tahiti. These beans have a very sweet aroma, with hints of ice cream and cotton candy. Grade A and about 10 beans per ounce.  

*Available only through retail store*

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Africa boasts several vanilla producing countries. The V. planifolia beans from the Democratic Republic of the Congo are lovely beans with deep fragrance notes of dried fruit and prune. Grade A and about 8 beans per ounce.  

*Available only through retail store*

Ecuador V. tahitensis

A Vanilla tahitensis species from South America! These Ecuadorian V. tahitensis vanilla beans are lovely with spicy, floral fragrance notes. These small beans pack a real flavor punch. Grade A, about 8 beans per ounce.

*Available only through retail store*

Madagascar Hybrid

These unique beans from Madagascar are a hybrid of V. planifolia and V. pompona. Their V. pompona heritage makes them long, plump, and luxurious, clocking in at an average of about 2 beans per ounce. They have fragrance notes similar to both of their parental varieties-buttery, creamy, caramelly, and classically vanilla with a fruity depth similar to V. pompona. Gourmet length and girth, about 2-3 beans per ounce.   

*Available only through retail store*

Mexico Bahiana

Bahiana vanilla beans (sometimes called Maya) are a hybrid of V. planifolia, V. tahitensis, and V. pompona. These beans are shorter than other varieties, but very plump.  They have spicy fragrance notes that remind us of cayenne pepper!  Short and plump, about 7 beans per ounce.  

*Available only through retail store*

Peruvian V. pompona

These are a very rare variety of Vanilla Bean, and we are always watching for more to be available from the suppliers. They are grown in the wild and not many are produced annually. They are a more "fruity" rich vanilla. (V. pompona, Bourbon Cured).  Gourmet length and girth, 1-3 per ounce. 

*Available only through retail store*

Tahiti V. tahitensis

True Tahitian vanilla beans are thick, pliable, and fragrant! They have floral and sweet fragrance notes. Grade A, about 4 beans per ounce.  

*Available only through retail store*

Tanzania V. planifolia

Another African bean, these Tanzanian V. planifolia vanilla beans are beautiful and long with an earthy vanilla fragrance. They're sure to please! Grade A, about 8 beans per ounce.

*Available only through retail store*

Tonga V. planifolia

Tongan vanilla beans are thick and pliable with deep, earthy notes of milk chocolate. About 4-5 beans per ounce.  

*Available only through retail store*

Vanuatu V. planifolia

Vanuatu is an island nation located between Papua New Guinea and Fiji. They grow some beautiful V. planifolia vanilla beans that have chocolate and fruity aromas. They remind us of black forest cake! Grade A, about 6 beans per ounce.  

*Available only through retail store*

Hawaiian

Hawaiian Vanilla Beans are a unique and wonderful variety of vanilla. The beans have fragrance notes of honey and chocolate. Grown on the island of Oahu these vanilla beans are beautiful and long.  This variety is available as a group order.  (V. planifolia, Bourbon Cured). Long and beautiful, about 6-7 per ounce.

*Available through retail and Indri's Vanilla Bean Group*

Indian

These vanilla beans from India are a new variety to our group orders! We're excited to be able to offer them! These beans have sweet caramel aroma notes with the slightest hint of fruit. They are long and beautiful.  We are able to get these beans on occasion as a group order, but they are a new variety and new supplier which means there may be delays in delivery.  (V. planifolia, Bourbon Cured).  About 6-8 per ounce.

*Available through retail and Indri's Vanilla Bean Group*

Indonesian

Classic beans with notes of cinnamon, cream, and butter. These beans are the most “common” flavor of vanilla. Extract made with these beans will give the familiar flavor bought in stores.  This variety is available as a group order.  (V. planifolia, Bourbon Cured).  About 6-8 per ounce.

*Available through retail and Indri's Vanilla Bean Group*

Madagascar Bourbon

Probably the most well known vanilla bean. Madagascar beans have a rich, woody, clear smell with notes of cream and caramel that is very similar to the smell of the vanilla bought in stores. This variety is available as a group order. (V. planifolia, Bourbon Cured). About 7-10 per ounce. 

*Available through retail and Indri's Vanilla Bean Group*

Madagascar Mexican Cure

 Vanilla beans grown in Madagascar but cured with the Mexican method have fragrance notes of cream and caramel with an added depth and richness. They also have notes of chocolate. Length can vary from 13 cm to over 20 cm! This variety is available as a group order.  V. planifolia, Sun Cured).  These can run anywhere from 2 to 8 per ounce.

*Available through retail and Indri's Vanilla Bean Group*

Mexican

 A classic variety of vanilla, these beans grown in Mexico have flavor notes of caramel and cream with a sun-kissed warmth and slight spiciness. This variety is available as a group order. (V. planifolia, Sun Cured).  Grade A, about 6-8 per ounce.

*Available through retail and Indri's Vanilla Bean Group*

Papua New Guinea V. planifolia

Similar to Indonesian or Madagascar Bourbon, these are "work horse beans" with fragrance notes including cream, caramel, and dried fruit. This variety is available as a group order.  (V. planifolia, Bourbon Cured).  About 8-10 per ounce.

*Available through retail and Indri's Vanilla Bean Group*

Papua New Guinea V. tahitensis

 Fragrance notes of cream and caramel with an added lightness or brightness. These are lovely in lighter applications such as fruit based desserts.  This variety is available as a group order.  (V. tahitensis, grown in Papua New Guinea, Bourbon Cured).  About 8-10  per ounce.

*Available through retail and Indri's Vanilla Bean Group*

Sri Lankan

This is a more rare variety of vanilla bean. It's very rich and dark with flavor notes of chocolate, mocha, and caramel.  This variety is available as a group order.  (V. planifolia, Bourbon Cured).  Grade A, about 8-10 per ounce.

*Available through retail and Indri's Vanilla Bean Group*

Ugandan

 Ugandan beans have flavor and aroma notes of chocolate and smoke. They have more depth than other varieties. Often ordered before the harvest and shipped directly to us, these are some of the freshest beans available!  This variety is available as a group order.  (V. planifolia, Bourbon Cured).  Grade A, about 7-10 per ounce.

*Available through retail and Indri's Vanilla Bean Group*