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Vanilla Products USA


FAQ - Frequenty Asked Questions

This FAQ is broken into two parts - questions about placing an order and questions about vanilla beans.


Q: I'm having trouble checking out.  What should I do?
A: Give us a call and we can take a phone order.  Please let us know about the problem by contacting us at either: 

Q: I do not have a PayPal account.  How do I checkout?
A: You do NOT need a PayPal account in order to checkout.  When you checkout, you can go through PayPal as a guest.  While in PayPal, select Pay with Debit or Credit Card

Q: What are your shipping costs?
A: Domestic US shipping is free.  We do not ship internationally.

Q: How quickly do you ship?
A: 99% of our order are shipped within 24 hours.

Q: Do you offer quantity or bulk discounts?
A: Yes, five pound minimum.  Please contact as, as market prices are constantly changing.



Q: What is the difference in taste between Madagascar vanilla beans and Tahitian vanilla beans?
A: Madagascar vanilla beans is what vanilla extract found in supermarkets is made from.  Tahitian vanilla beans add a sweet, floral note.

Q: What is the difference between Grade A and Grade B beans?
A: The grade is more about the intended purpose and not about the quality of the bean.  Grade A Prime Gourmet beans are around 30% moisture and are intended for cooking.  You would use them in situation where you need to scrape out the caviar.  Grade B Extract beans are around 20% moisture and are intended for making vanilla extract.

Q: Can I scrape out the caviar in extract grade B beans?
A: No, you need Grade A beans.  Grade B beans are too dry.

Q: How many beans are there in a quarter pound of vanilla beans?
Q: How many beans are there in a half pound of vanilla beans?
Q: How many beans are there in a pound of vanilla beans?
A: There are many factors that affect how many beans per pound there are.  Here are some ROUGH guidelines (these are NOT guarantees):
    Grade A, 7.5 inches and up: 75 to 80 beans per pound.
    Grade A, 6 to 7 inches: 100 to 120 beans per pound.
    Grade B, 6 to 7 inches: 120 to 140 beans per pound.
    Grade B, 5 to 6 inches: 150 to 200 beans per pound.
BUT, if you are making vanilla extract, you should go by WEIGHT, not number of beans.  Figure one quarter pound will make a quart, or one ounce of beans for every eight ounces of liquid extract.

Q: How long will my beans last?
A: Vanilla beans are a cured product.  Properly stored, they can last indefinitely.  We do suggest that you use them within a year.

Q: How should I store my beans?
A: Triple wrap them in zip lock freezer bags, making sure to squeeze out as much of the air as you can.  Store in a cool dark place - like your kitchen cabinet, but away from the oven.  DO NOT put them in your refrigerator or freezer.

Q: Can I grow vanilla beans from seeds I get from Vanilla Products USA?
A: No.  All of our vanilla beans are cured, which means that the seeds cannot germinate (grow).  It is illegal to import living vanilla beans into the US, except by special permit for research purposes.  You can look on eBay and see if someone is selling vanilla bean plant cuttings.

Q: How do I make vanilla extract?
A: Please see our page on making homemade vanilla extract.

Q: Do Madagascar Bourbon beans contain Bourbon?
A: No.  Bourbon refers to the island off of Madagascar that vanilla beans are grown.  The island was renamed Reunion in 1793.

Q: Do I need to wash vanilla beans?
A: No.  Commercial producers of vanilla extract do not wash their beans.  If you do feel the need to wash your beans, rinse them quickly in running water and blot them dry with a clean paper towel.

Q: After I start making vanilla extract, can I add more beans later?
A: Yes, you may add more vanilla beans.

Q: Can I keep adding alcohol after the beans are used for vanilla extract?
No.  Just like tea bags, coffee grinds, and bubble gum, vanilla beans only have so much flavor in them.  After you are done making extract there really isn't much flavor left in them.