Originally Posted by Bisected8
I'm using espresso, darkest roast I could find (based on the advice I got from consulting a few recipes, I didn't bother with the really expensive blends just the midrange Sainsbury's own brand stuff). I happen to own an old fashioned espresso maker (the sort you put on the hob), so I've brewed it with that for tomorrow.
I don't know how much vanilla pods cost in the USA, but they cost about £2 each here, which isn't much for about two bottles.
I wish I had an espresso maker. Or at least a coffee grinder. I find I use a lot of espresso for baking and I have to use the instant stuff because we don't even have a coffee maker anymore.
From what I understand, there are places you can buy or order vanilla beans in bulk pretty cheaply. The thing is, how often do I use whole pods? Possibly once a year? So even if they keep for a year or two, it's a waste of money unless I have lots of friends to share them with. Which I don't.
Going into the market and getting a bottle of maybe 3 or 4 scrawny, dry, ugly vanilla pods will probably cost you $15. That's, what, $4 or $5 a pod? Penzey's is a big spice distributor in the U.S. and even theirs are over $3 a pod. I'm guessing that they were probably the costliest ingredient, though, even counting the rum.