HomeRoast Digest


Topic: OT: Reasonbly Priced Vanilla Beans? (32 msgs / 945 lines)
1) From: Steve
I know there are some people whose interests expand to food, so I was
wondering if anyone here knows a source for cheap vanilla beans.  It
seems insane to pay $2-$4 per bean..

2) From: Aaron
If you want cheap, that's what you are going to get,  cheap crap.  $2 to 
$4 a bean is actually a good price.  Ive seen them 5 and 6.
Ahh, the champagne taste versus the beer pocketbook...... 
That's the price that vanilla beans generally run.  The question 
becomes, how bad to you want them?
I do not know of any place that sells them cheaper than $2 each and to 
be honest Id be afraid to buy them wondering what is wrong with them to 
make them that cheap.
Alchemist john sells chocolate making supplies, including vanilla beans, 
and I can speak first hand that his beans are top notch.  A bit more 
expensive than 2 bucks each but definately worth every penny.
Aaron

3) From: Tim TenClay
I hope this isn't out of line, but Penzey's sells Madagascar Vanilla
Beans for 6.89 for 3 of them... I haven't used their vanilla beans
before but have been very happy with their spices.
Grace and Peace,
  `tim
On Dec 1, 2007 4:54 PM, Aaron  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
The content of this e-mail may be private or of confidential nature.
Do not forward without permission of the original author.
--
Rev. Tim TenClay, NATA #253
Dunningville Reformed Church (www.dunningville.org)
Blog:http://lexorandi.tenclay.org

4) From: Chris Hardenbrook
Vanilla bean prices very much reflect quality. If you are paying $2 - 
$3/bean you are getting a low quality bean, no if or but about it. 
Hawaiian vanilla is brand new to the market and, similar to our 
coffee prices, reflect "First World" conditions in the price of an 
amazing $10 per bean!!  BUT, they are small farm handcrafted items 
and cured with much aloha and as with similar high-quality beans, 
last longer than than their low-grade cousins. Have you looked into 
what it takes to produce vanilla beans? Truly the best are aged 
(sweated and rested) for up to two years!  Also, there are varieties 
of vanilla just as there are varieties of coffee with different 
flavor characteristics. Vanilla beans are the second most expensive 
spice after saffron.  I would hesitate to buy a vanilla bean for less than $6.
Bottom line: If you want truly excellent vanilla, open your wallet!!
Chris in Hilo
At 11:16 AM 12/1/2007, you wrote:
<Snip>

5) From: Jason Riedy
And Steve writes:
<Snip>
Looks like vanilla is going through the same problems as coffee.
Horrible conditions hurt the crops[1], followed by consumers
turning to substitutes[2], then countries came in to undercut the
prices with poor-quality vanilla[3].
Note that a bean can be re-used for many purposes.  Even once
it's "done", you can stick it in a jar with sugar to transfer
any remaining scent.
(And a little vanilla sugar was *amazing* in that Indian Anhoki
so graciously given away.  That coffee was fun both drinking and
using in other drinks.  Thank you!  Might have to get some and
stash it until granita time next summer.)
Jason, who started baking right when the prices skyrocketed...
References, though possibly not of the best quality:
[1] http://www.vanilla.com/html/aware-coke.html[3]  http://news.mongabay.com/2005/0510-rhett_butler.html">http://www.vanilla.com/html/AP-Vanillaprices.html[2] http://www.vanilla.com/html/aware-coke.html[3]  http://news.mongabay.com/2005/0510-rhett_butler.html

6) From: Steve
Thanks for the responses.  It was worth a shot.  The markup on many
spices is insane.  For example, in upstate NY I was able to get a 1 lb
bag of curry powder for $4.  Similar with most Indian spices,
including saffron, which was $2 for a little tube of it (maybe an
ounce).
Anyway, my wife has a recipe that uses an entire vanilla bean to make
a milkshake.  "That's a damn good milkshake!"  Hah.  Sometimes good
enough is good enough.
Cheers,
Steve

7) From: Lynne
Those prices are too rich for me. I have to be content with either Costco's
pure vanilla, or, more recently, the large bottle I bought at a local
restaurant
supply store. It may not be the same quality as the higher priced vanilla
beans - however, there is a chance I wouldn't even be able to tell the
difference -
and it's also possible, in some cases, that P.T. Barnum was right...
(sorry, I had to say it... :>})
Lynne, the eternal cheap-ster
On Dec 1, 2007 7:36 PM, Steve  wrote:
<Snip>

8) From: Sandra Andina
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I shouldn't admit this, but I'm still using the quart bottle of  
Jalisco vanilla extract I bought in Puerto Vallarta in 2005 (I  
decanted it into 4-oz. bottles and gave some to friends).
On Dec 1, 2007, at 7:01 PM, Lynne wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy
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I shouldn't admit this, but I'm =
still using the quart bottle of Jalisco vanilla extract I bought in =
Puerto Vallarta in 2005 (I decanted it into 4-oz. bottles and gave some =
to friends).
On Dec 1, 2007, at 7:01 PM, Lynne =
wrote:
Those prices are too rich for me. I have to be content = with either Costco's pure vanilla, or, more recently, the large = bottle I bought at a local restaurant supply store. = Sandy = = --Apple-Mail-11--792820144--

9) From: peterz
I looked for them on e bay, and got a whole bunch for a couple of bucks!
Well, I do not have any others to compare them to, but these seem pretty 
good.
Okay, someday when I am richer I will try the more expensive kind, and 
then laugh at how silly I was thinking these things are good,
but for now, ignorance is just fine.
PeterZ
Steve wrote:
<Snip>

10) From: Lynne
I'm with you here - congrads on the vanilla score!
I feel the same about my coffee-roasting. I may be far from an expert,
and rather than tasting hints of apricot or tobacco...  I might say, "Hmm -
tastes like - coffee..." But for now, I am very happy!
Lynne
On Dec 1, 2007 8:36 PM, peterz  wrote:
<Snip>

11) From: Steve
Done and done!  Those look good enough! :)
Thanks!
On Dec 1, 8:36 pm, peterz  wrote:
<Snip>

12) From: Aaron Scholten
Lucky for me I have two healthy vanilla plants here at home,  been 
growing them for several years so I get some ofmy own beans... I use 
fresh vanilla beans in home made vanilla ice cream too and wow,  no 
wonder im getting fat...
Aaron

13) From: Steve
Found this on Wikipedia which is probably how cheap Ebay vanilla beans
are made... :)
1. Harvest
          The pods are harvested while green and immature. At this
stage, they are odourless.
2. Killing
          The vegetative tissue of the vanilla pod is killed to
prevent further growing. The method of killing varies, but may be
accomplished by sun killing, oven killing, hot water killing, killing
by scratching, or killing by freezing.
3. Sweating
          The pods are held for 7 to 10 days under hot (45º-65ºC or
115º-150ºF) and humid conditions; pods are often placed into fabric
covered boxes immediately after boiling. This allows enzymes to
process the compounds in the pods into vanillin and other compounds
important to the final vanilla flavour.
4. Drying
          To prevent rotting and to lock the aroma in the pods, the
pods are dried. Often, pods are laid out in the sun during the
mornings and returned to their boxes in the afternoons. When 25-30% of
the pods' weight is moisture (as opposed to the 60-70% they began
drying with) they have completed the curing process and will exhibit
their fullest aromatic qualities.
5. Grading
          Once fully cured, the vanilla is sorted by quality and
graded.

14) From: Bryan Wray
Every once in a while customers will ask for flavored stuff, and I would like to try adding a little vanilla bean to some of my blends every once in a while just for kicks.  How do you go about adding vanilla to the blends?  Do you just grind some up and add it in?  I'm really really new to this whole concept if you couldn't tell.
Thanks for any input.
-Bry
 
Bryan Wray
NaDean's Coffee Place
Kalamazoo, MI
"It is my hope that people realize that coffee is more than just a caffeine delivery service, it can be a culinary art"- Chris Owens.
       
---------------------------------
Be a better sports nut! Let your teams follow you with Yahoo Mobile. Try it now.

15) From: JoAnne Phillips
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Torani makes a large variety of non-alcoholic coffee flavors - both  
sugared and sugar free (Splenda).  I'm familiar with their vanilla,  
chocolate and hazelnut. However, I can't tell you a thing about any  
of the others, but those are very nice.  Adding anything to a  
pristine roasted coffee bean seems to be almost sinful.  The  
flavorings are added to the finished hot cup of coffee before  
serving.  On those rare occasions where I wish a flavor in my cuppa I  
use an oz. to my 20 oz cup.  I have no idea if this is more or less  
than optimum.
JoAnne in Tucson where they lied about all that snow they promised  
and we have a bunch of annoyed skibunnies in town.
On Dec 1, 2007, at 9:13 PM, Bryan Wray wrote:
Every once in a while customers will ask for flavored stuff, and I  
would like to try adding a little vanilla bean to some of my blends  
every once in a while just for kicks.  How do you go about adding  
vanilla to the blends?  Do you just grind some up and add it in?  I'm  
really really new to this whole concept if you couldn't tell.
Thanks for any input.
-Bry
Bryan Wray
NaDean's Coffee Place
Kalamazoo, MI
"It is my hope that people realize that coffee is more than just a  
caffeine delivery service, it can be a culinary art"- Chris Owens.
Be a better sports nut! Let your teams follow you with Yahoo Mobile.  
Try it now.
--Apple-Mail-2--780156037
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
Content-Type: text/html;
	charsetO-8859-1
Torani makes a large variety of non-alcoholic coffee flavors - both =
sugared and sugar free (Splenda).  I'm familiar with their vanilla, =
chocolate and hazelnut. However, I can't tell you a thing about any of =
the others, but those are very nice.  Adding anything to a pristine =
roasted coffee bean seems to be almost sinful.  The flavorings are =
added to the finished hot cup of coffee before serving.  On those =
rare occasions where I wish a flavor in my cuppa I use an oz. to my =
20 oz cup.  I have no idea if this is more or less than optimum. =
 
JoAnne = in Tucson where they lied about all that snow they promised and we have = a bunch of annoyed skibunnies in town.
On Dec 1, 2007, = at 9:13 PM, Bryan Wray wrote:
Every once in a while customers will = ask for flavored stuff, and I would like to try adding a little vanilla = bean to some of my blends every once in a while just for kicks.  How = do you go about adding vanilla to the blends?  Do you just grind some = up and add it in?  I'm really really new to this whole concept if you = couldn't tell. Thanks for any input. -Bry Bryan = Wray NaDean's Coffee Place Kalamazoo, MI "It is my hope = that people realize that coffee is more than just a caffeine delivery = service, it can be a culinary art"- Chris Owens.
Be a better = sports nut! Let your teams follow you with Yahoo Mobile. Try it = now. = --Apple-Mail-2--780156037--

16) From: Sandra Andina
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I like to slit open a vanilla bean and put it a piece in with the  
grinds before brewing.
On Dec 1, 2007, at 10:13 PM, Bryan Wray wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy Andina
www.myspace.com/sandyandina
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I like to slit open a vanilla =
bean and put it a piece in with the grinds before =
brewing. 
On Dec 1, 2007, at 10:13 PM, Bryan Wray =
wrote:
Every once in a while customers will ask for flavored = stuff, and I would like to try adding a little vanilla bean to some of = my blends every once in a while just for kicks.  How do you go = about adding vanilla to the blends?  Do you just grind some up and = add it in?  I'm really really new to this whole concept if you = couldn't tell. Thanks for any input. -Bry Bryan = Wray NaDean's Coffee Place Kalamazoo, MI "It is my hope = that people realize that coffee is more than just a caffeine delivery = service, it can be a culinary art"- Chris Owens.
Be a better = sports nut! Let your teams follow you with Yahoo Mobile. Try it = now. Sandy Andinawww.myspace.com/sandyandina = --Apple-Mail-15--780117312--

17) From: Sandra Andina
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I add the syrups to my friends' lattes IF they insist. (I keep them  
around for company, as I like my coffee to taste like coffee--except  
for a little anisette in caffe corretto, REAL Irish coffee  
(Bushmill's, demerara sugar and gently whipped cream) on St. Pat's  
day, cardamom & sugar in Turkish coffee or a little crushed cardamom  
pod and a 1/2 t. of honey in espresso Allegro--all very occasional).
On Dec 1, 2007, at 10:39 PM, JoAnne Phillips wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy Andina
www.myspace.com/sandyandina
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I add the syrups to my friends' =
lattes IF they insist. (I keep them around for company, as I like my =
coffee to taste like coffee--except for a little anisette in caffe =
corretto, REAL Irish coffee (Bushmill's, demerara sugar and gently =
whipped cream) on St. Pat's day, cardamom & sugar in Turkish coffee =
or a little crushed cardamom pod and a 1/2 t. of honey in espresso =
Allegro--all very occasional).
On Dec 1, 2007, at 10:39 PM, =
JoAnne Phillips wrote:
Torani makes a large = variety of non-alcoholic coffee flavors - both sugared and sugar free = (Splenda).  I'm familiar with their vanilla, chocolate and = hazelnut. However, I can't tell you a thing about any of the others, but = those are very nice.  Adding anything to a pristine roasted coffee = bean seems to be almost sinful.  The flavorings are added to the = finished hot cup of coffee before serving.  On those = rare occasions where I wish a flavor in my cuppa I use an oz. = to my 20 oz cup.  I have no idea if this is more or less = than optimum.  
JoAnne in Tucson where = they lied about all that snow they promised and we have a bunch of = annoyed skibunnies in town.
On Dec 1, 2007, = at 9:13 PM, Bryan Wray wrote:
Every once in a while customers will = ask for flavored stuff, and I would like to try adding a little vanilla = bean to some of my blends every once in a while just for kicks.  = How do you go about adding vanilla to the blends?  Do you just = grind some up and add it in?  I'm really really new to this whole = concept if you couldn't tell. Thanks for any input. -Bry = Bryan Wray NaDean's Coffee Place Kalamazoo, MI "It = is my hope that people realize that coffee is more than just a caffeine = delivery service, it can be a culinary art"- Chris Owens.
Be a better = sports nut! Let your teams follow you with Yahoo Mobile. Try it = now. Sandy Andinawww.myspace.com/sandyandina = --Apple-Mail-17--779714461--

18) From: Bryan Wray
"I like to slit open a vanilla bean and put it a piece in with the grinds before brewing."
This is a little bit more in line with what I was thinking.  
We have flavors for days at the shop (yeah, we are one of those shops- but we also have, hands down, the best straight shot of espresso within about 2 hours in my opinion).  I know all about Torani's syrups and everything (actually used to work for a coffee warehousing company- Paramount Coffee Company- and moved about 40-50 cases- 12 bottles per case).  I get to try all of the Torani flavors before they even hit the market because of this actually, it's pretty nifty.
But yeah, I was hoping for something a little less over the top sweet, and more natural.  For example, try nectar sometime as a flavoring agent, it's awesome!  I only had it once, in a capp. that I got to make on a 3 group Synesso at a barista jam, so there is a chance there were other reasons why it tasted so amazing (something to do with all the shiny chrome probably), but that was seriously the best additive I have ever tasted.  You only needed a tiny little bit, but it was very smooth and mellow, not sickeningly sweet or anything.  Anyway, thanks for the tip Sandy, I'll give that a try.
-Bry
 
Bryan Wray
NaDean's Coffee Place/
Dino's Coffee Lounge
Kalamazoo, MI
"It is my hope that people realize that coffee is more than just a caffeine delivery service, it can be a culinary art"- Chris Owens.
       
---------------------------------
Be a better pen pal. Text or chat with friends inside Yahoo! Mail. See how.

19) From: Aaron
ON the rare occasions that I put flavorings into my coffee, ie vanilla, 
I just cut up a bit of the bean and let it set in the grounds when i 
brew the coffee.  I suppose one could also cut a small piece of it off 
and throw it into your cup you are drinking too, just be careful you 
don't accidentally wolf it down when taking a drink.
Other things, the nectar idea is a very good one.  Most the flavorings 
tend to be corn syrup derivitaves and very too sweet and artificial 
tasting.  Use a little nectar or fruit juice and it will go a long way 
and taste much better.
As much as I hate to say this, cinnamon sticks, swirl your coffee with 
one for about 45 seconds or so gives it a nice flavor too if you are 
into the poofter froofty stuff.
Aaron

20) From: Paul Goelz
At 06:39 AM 12/2/2007, you wrote:
<Snip>
OK, I gotta stop in the next time I'm passing through Kzoo!  I looked 
you up on the web and then went to put a marker in my copy of Street 
Atlas 2008 and it turns out that NaDean's is already in their 
database!  Easy to get to from 94 too.
Paul
Paul Goelz
Rochester Hills, MI
paul at pgoelz dot comhttp://www.pgoelz.com

21) From: Sandra Andina
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A bar where I used to play used this as their signature coffee--a  
cinnamon stick in every cup (glass mug) of black coffee.  Had most of  
their patrons been teetotaling coffee drinkers, they'd have gone out  
of business long before they actually did. (Cinnamon sticks aren't  
cheap, either).
On Dec 2, 2007, at 6:07 AM, Aaron wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy Andina
www.myspace.com/sandyandina
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A bar where I used to play used =
this as their signature coffee--a cinnamon stick in every cup (glass =
mug) of black coffee.  Had most of their patrons been teetotaling =
coffee drinkers, they'd have gone out of business long before they =
actually did. (Cinnamon sticks aren't cheap, either).
On =
Dec 2, 2007, at 6:07 AM, Aaron wrote:
As = much as I hate to say this, cinnamon sticks, swirl your coffee with one = for about 45 seconds or so gives it a nice flavor too if you are into = the poofter froofty = stuff. Aaron = homeroast mailing list http://li=sts.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast To change your = personal list settings (digest options, vacations, unsvbscribes) go to =http://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings= Sandy Andinawww.myspace.com/sandyandina = --Apple-Mail-19--739317983--

22) From: Angelo
Now, I don't feel so bad about not liking vanilla... :-)

23) From: Angelo
I found a coffee flavoring product called, "Flav-a Brew" it is (or 
was) made by a company called "Tops mfg. co. inc." at Darien, CT 
06820. I'm not sure if this is the bubble gum company or the company 
that had the huge frozen burger recall, but these flavorings are very 
strong and contain no sweetener. One drop to a cup of coffee should 
do it. for those of you so inclined..
I haven't used them in years, but the scent is still as strong as day 
one. They come in 1 OZ dropper bottles which should last quite a long 
time. I have Irish Creme, Amaretto and Hazelnut.. There may be more flavors..
A
<Snip>

24) From: Paul Carder
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Get'em on ebay. Lowest prices I could find anywhere. Good quality too. I =
use them all the time anything that calls for vanilla.http://home.listings.ebay.com/Spices-Seasonings-Extracts_Vanilla-Beans_W0=QQfclZ3QQfromZR11QQsacatZ115728QQsocmdZListingItemList
Hope this helps. 
Paul Carder

25) From: Lynne
Thank you, Paul. Incredible prices and website (I am looking at the Organic
Vanilla Bean Co. link fr. eBay)...
Is this the co. with which you had first hand experience?
Lynne
(who doesn't actually *need* vanilla right now - but, oh, do I love it... so
tempting...)
On Dec 2, 2007 1:00 PM, Paul Carder  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
"I've said it before, and I'll say it again. When you find something at
which you have talent, you do that thing (what ever it is) until your
fingers bleed or your eyes pop out of your head."
Stephen King, author

26) From: Alison Pfeffer
<Snip>
Alison
<Snip>

27) From: peterz
Those are the ones I bought and they make great vanilla ice cream :)
PeterZ
Who still doesn't know from vanilla, here in LHC
Paul Carder wrote:
<Snip>

28) From: Sandra Andina
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Mine said "Orlando," and cost me about $20 (200 pesos) per liter.
On Dec 2, 2007, at 10:33 PM, Chris Hardenbrook wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy Andina
www.myspace.com/sandyandina
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Mine said "Orlando," and cost =
me about $20 (200 pesos) per liter.
On Dec 2, 2007, at =
10:33 PM, Chris Hardenbrook wrote:
More = about vanilla: http://www.orchidsasia.com/vanilla.htm = Chris in Hilo At 08:29 AM 12/2/2007, you wrote: = Thank you, Paul. = Incredible prices and website (I am looking at the Organic Vanilla Bean = Co. link fr. eBay)... Is this the co. with which you had first = hand experience? Lynne (who doesn't actually need = vanilla right now - but, oh, do I love it... so tempting...) = On Dec 2, 2007 1:00 PM, Paul Carder <pacarder > = wrote: Get'em on ebay. Lowest prices I = could find anywhere. Good quality too. I use them all the time anything = that calls for vanilla.   =http://home.listings.ebay.com/Spices-Seasonings-Extracts_Vanilla-Beans_W0Q=QfclZ3QQfromZR11QQsacatZ115728QQsocmdZListingItemList =   Hope this helps. =   Paul Carder =   -- "I've = said it before, and I'll say it again. When you find something at which = you have talent, you do that thing (what ever it is) until your fingers = bleed or your eyes pop out of your head." Stephen King, = author = homeroast mailing list = http://li=sts.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast To change your = personal list settings (digest options, vacations, unsvbscribes) go to = http://=sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings<= br> Sandy Andinawww.myspace.com/sandyandina = --Apple-Mail-9--693481282--

29) From: Jerry Procopio
Lynne, I have first hand experience with this company.  I have used them 
before and been very pleased with the product.  I just placed my 2nd 
order with them (thanks to Steve Hay for starting this thread and 
reminding me).
I make chocolate (thanks to Alchemist John's great Chocolate Alchemy 
website) and add 1/2 to 2/3 of a bean to each batch.  I also use real 
vanilla in baking and ice cream making.
A word of CAUTION to those buying vanilla beans, especially on ebay - 
there are two different kinds of vanilla beans.  Bourbon vanilla 
(Vanilla planifolia) and a Tahitian vanilla (Vanilla tahitensis).  The 
Bourbon cultivar is the one that is highest in vanillin and is generally 
the most desired.   Vanilla beans are grown in Tahiti, PNG, Madagascar, 
Mexico and other places, but to make sure you are getting what you want 
be sure to look for the words "Vanilla Planifolia" in the description.
Just my 3¢
Jerry
Lynne wrote:
<Snip>
begin:vcard
fn:JavaJerry
n:;JavaJerry
org;quoted-printable:JavaJerry'sâ„¢ Custom Home Roasted Coffee Beans ;RK Drum roasting in Chesapeake, VA
email;internet:JavaJerry
title:HomeRoaster
tel;cell:757.373.3500
note;quoted-printable:JavaJerry'sâ„¢ Custom Home Roasted Coffee Beans
=
	RK Drum roasting in Chesapeake, VA
x-mozilla-html:TRUE
urlhttp://members.cox.net/javajerry/javajerry.shtmlversion:2.1
end:vcard

30) From: Lynne
Thanks, Jerry - good to know!
The company has an unbelievably good rating on eBay, and the site is very
informative. When I can, I intend to order some.. (can't wait -  I
*love*vanilla..)
Lynne
On Dec 3, 2007 9:25 PM, Jerry Procopio  wrote:
<Snip>
QQfclZ3QQfromZR11QQsacatZ115728QQsocmdZListingItemList
<Snip>
QQfclZ3QQfromZR11QQsacatZ115728QQsocmdZListingItemList
<Snip>
-- 
"I've said it before, and I'll say it again. When you find something at
which you have talent, you do that thing (what ever it is) until your
fingers bleed or your eyes pop out of your head."
Stephen King, author

31) From: Terry Stockdale
Jerry's comments pushed me over the edge.  My 1/2 
pound of Bourbon Vanilla beans went on order last night.
Thanks, Jerry (seriously).
--
Terry Stockdale -- Baton Rouge, LA
My Coffee Pages:http://www.terryscomputertips.comAt 10:13 PM 12/3/2007, you wrote:">http://www.terrystockdale.com/coffeeMy computer tips site and newsletters:http://www.terryscomputertips.comAt 10:13 PM 12/3/2007, you wrote:
<Snip>
http://home.listings.e=bay.com/Spices-Seasonings-Extracts_Vanilla-Beans_W0QQfclZ3QQfromZR11QQsacatZ=
115728QQsocmdZListingItemList 
<Snip>
 

32) From: Brian E. Jensen
Same here - got a 1/2 pound.  Sounds like they're getting some business =
from
the list this week.
-Brian


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