What are Black Vanilla Beans?
Black Vanilla Beans are the highest quality of Gourmet Vanilla, the product of exceptional beans, farming, and curing. With their deep, rich color and aroma Java Sisters bring you only the most delicious Black Vanilla Beans.
Gourmet Vanilla Collection
Every one of our Vanilla beans is cared for and processed by hand to yield the highest quality flavor and aroma that Black Vanilla is known for.
Buy our Vanilla beans, joyfully brought to you from our family, and enjoy their exceptional gourmet taste.
Our Fine Beans
How Are Vanillas Made?
Vanilla grows best from cuttings in a hot, moist climate with frequent rain and rich, healthy soil.
The yellowish vanilla flower blooms just one day per year. They are typically open for only a few hours and must be pollinated by hand.
Fresh harvested beans are cured by hand over several days to bring out the powerful aroma and delicious taste of gourmet Vanilla.
Vanilla comes from the creeping vine orchid plant that grew wild in tropical forests throughout Mesoamerica - Mexico through Belize, Central America and northern Costa Rica.
The distinctively flavored compounds are found in the fruit, which results from the pollination of the vanilla flower, harvested when just barely ripe then undergo complex curing and drying process.
The best Vanilla bean mostly depends on your purposes and flavor profile preference.
Madagascar vanilla has floral overtones and a pure flavor -- straight, clean and uncomplicated. This vanilla is best used in baked goods where the flavor is meant to complement, not dominate, the dish.
Tahitian vanilla is sweet and fruity and has a more cherry-like, floral, licorice taste. It's nuanced and unique taste make it a great choice for dishes that use vanilla as its main flavor profile.
We highly recommend to store your beans wrapped in wax paper, and kept in your food pantry in a closed airtight container to avoid dry out the beans.
In ideal conditions, Vanilla beans can last upwards to two years
Vanilla beans should be stored in a cool, dry, relatively dark place. But, please do not store vanilla beans in the refrigerator or worse, freezer! (The cold will dry them out and may promote a particular type of vanilla mold.)
Do not panic:
If your vanilla beans have dried out, you can re-hydrate them in either milk or warm water for several hours.
If you see a white substance on your vanilla surfaces, is not always mold. Sometimes, due to temperature and humidity conditions, the vanillin in the beans will actually crystallize out to the surface of the beans.
But, If you do suspect actual mold - spongy white substances, please do discard the vanilla beans.
For homemade Vanilla extract, you need about 4-5 beans per 8 ounces alcohol. You may use more beans for a richer result.
In the United States, pure vanilla extract, as per the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, requires that the solution contains a minimum of 35% alcohol and 100 g of vanilla beans per liter (13.35 ounces per gallon).
I recommend to use the bean for a fuller flavor but the pure extract is a little stronger.
In general, 1/2 vanilla bean is the equivalent of 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or a whole Vanilla bean equals to 1 tablespoon.
Gourmet Vanilla is basically the highest quality of Vanilla beans or Grade A. These beans are oily, plumper, and moist. With about 30% – 35% moisture content, generally beans will be soft to the touch and flexible when bent. The vanilla bean length is also an indication of vanilla quality. Grade A vanilla beans are typically over 6-7 inches, or 15 cm, in length per pound (7.5 per oz).
You can be a force for good in this fast changing world by making simple shopping decision. It was clear that one major problem in Vanilla production is that massive monopolies are unlikely to care about the land and culture and ecosystems where their products are made, and that one way to move things back towards equilibrium is to use fair trade and sustainable practices to connect the farmers more closely with the sales of their products.
You can help supporting our cause by shopping for vanilla beans in our online store.
For better and greener Earth!