VANILLA – Not only is it the second most expensive spice in the world, it is one of the most labour intensive foods on earth. After the flowers are pollinated by hand and the seed pods are harvested, each pod is soaked in hot water, wrapped in a woollen blanket for about 48 hours, placed in a box to sweat and are later laid out to dry in the sun. The whole process takes months to complete. . World production of vanilla is very small, and for a while, due to its difficulty to produce and the small return on investment, many farmers called it quits and decided to grow more profitable crops, reducing the number of farms producing vanilla. Like most things, the cost of vanilla is affected by supply and demand, and due to growing consumer expectations for organic and all-natural vanilla, it’s widespread use in so many areas of food production, and the lowered production rates, the dramatic increase in global demand has resulted in massive price hikes. As vanilla pods are so precious, theft has now become a major problem, and with all of these factors combined, there has recently become a worldwide shortage. . It is for this reason that you might find we are low or out of stock of some favourites, such as Chamomile Vanilla, Rooibos Vanilla, Vanilla Chai and French Breakfast. Additionally, we have had to slightly modify our Turmeric Tea and Golden Spice recipes, so that we can continue to provide these blends. We have tested our updated recipes many times over, and are confident that the quality, flavour and therapeutic benefits are of the same high standard, as always, and we hope to be restocked with any out-of-stock favourites again soon.