Nine months after the flowers are fertilised, the pods reach maturity. The colour of the pods changes from bright green to a pale green which gradually turns yellow. This is the time to pick the pods before they split open and release their seeds and aromas. Their preparation can begin.



The Bourbon preparation is organised into several stages, the first of which is the scalding of the pods. They are soaked in water at a temperature in the range of 60 and 80°C for 3 minutes. This step aims to halt the biological processes of the pods which naturally causes them to split open and allows the batches to be homogenised.



Steaming lasts approximately 48 hours. After being scalded, the pods are quickly placed in large blankets that are rolled up and then placed in trunks. The heat of the pods is thus preserved. The pods are then said to « sweat ». It is at the end of this second stage that they begin to display a dark colour resembling cocoa.



Drying the pods reduces the humidity level, promotes the development of aromas and prevents the development of mould. The pods must dry slowly. For this reason, they are exposed to the sun and then placed in the shade for several weeks until they reach the desired humidity level to become a “Gourmet” quality vanilla. A pod that dries too quickly will turn into so-called “Red” vanilla.



The last stage of preparation consists of placing the pods in large ripening boxes lined with parchment paper. This stage lasts from 2 to 6 months and it is during this stage that the most subtle aromas appear and become refined. The trunks are regularly opened to inspect the quality of the pods.



The pods are finally ready. Plump, shiny, flexible and endowed with a sweet aroma, sorted by class according to their quality and according to their size, they consist of bunches of about fifty pods held together by a piece of raffia. They can then be transported to us by ship or by plane.

The different species of vanilla plants

The Vanilla genus includes more than one hundred species of vanilla plants distributed throughout America, Africa and Asia. Only about thirty of the vanilla plants native to America are aromatic, but to date only Vanilla planifolia, Vanilla tahitensis and Vanilla pompona are considered commercial species. Note: Bourbon vanilla is not a species. Only a pod of the planifolia species from the "Bourbon Islands", by extension Madagascar, Réunion and Comoros, which is prepared on these Islands according to the Bourbon method can be called Bourbon.