Starbucks now offers their Via Ready Brew coffee (ground coffee bean) with vanilla flavoring, which I thought I’d try. (It’s not bad, but I think I will stick with their instant coffee sans vanilla). Vanilla is a flavoring derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla native to Mexico. The majority of the world’s vanilla is the Vanilla planifolia variety, more commonly known as “Madagascar-Bourbon” vanilla, which is produced in a small region of Madagascar and in Indonesia. The ‘bean’ is part of the stem ending in the flower. According to Wikipedia vanilla is the second most expensive spice after saffron, due to the extensive labor required to grow the vanilla seed pods.