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At last: Artisanal Vanilla Extract

Updated: Feb 15


All Maui, vanilla and vodka or organic rum made in Kipahulu, Maui!

I have been farming vanilla and for over 20 years studying the complex steps to transform the green vanilla pod into a deeply aromatic and rich vanilla bean. Our vanilla is grown in a natural mixed food forest environment so the roots can reach deep into the fertile soil! The shoots reach for the sun, then gracefully drape back to the Earth. Throughout the springtime, the vines are covered with clusters of creamy blooms. I dutifully pollinate by hand as vanilla flowers lack natural pollinators. Each blossom lasts a day, so daily walks are needed.

Over the next several months while I care for the vanilla orchids, it is fun to watch the pods lengthen. I dream about the beans maturing and turning them into quality extracts through the following year. By winter it is time to start the harvest. Beans are hand selected individually just at the perfect moment for the best flavor and highest amount of vanillin. Then I follow a special fermentation and drying process I have practiced and improved upon over the decades. After they cure for at least six months, I can begin the extraction process. I currently extract for a minimum of 10 months in both Organic Kula Rum and Pau Hana Vodka, spirits which are high quality, made on Maui and both gluten free. I weigh the beans to ensure I meet or exceed the US standards for vanilla extract. I make single and double fold extracts in both vodka and rum bases for a truly authentic 100% Maui artisanal vanilla extract!

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