Tonka bean - Brazil
Tonka bean - Brazil
Tonka bean - Brazil
Tonka bean - Brazil

Tonka bean - Brazil

Tonka bean is originally from Brazil, it gives a fragrance with notes of almond, vanilla, caramel and cinnamon. It is an incomparable fruit. Its taste is warm and delicious.

It can be gently infused in milk for pastries, but it can be used on veal like grilled shrimp.

  • Bean power: 9/10
  • Main notes: Almond, caramel, vanilla, cinnamon and tobacco
  • Use: Savory and sweet cooking
  • Dosage: Grate the bean until you get the power you want
  • Origin and plantation: Brazil, Amazonas state harvested by the indigenous population and Para rural producer

Sale of Tonka Beans from Amazonia directly harvested by the indigenous populations of Amazonia and our producer in Para.




This is where you will buy the best tonka bean in Brazil. We carried out a ranger expedition across Brazil and went up to the North of Brazil from Belo Horizonte to discover the wild Amazonian tonka bean which comes from the Kayapo indigenous reserve. 

The Brazilian tonka bean is ideal for replacing Madagascar vanilla . Our  tonka bean grows wild in the Amazon rainforest. 

Cumaru are also large trees of the primary forest of the Amazon and their  beans are harvested by the Kayapo on the forest floor during the dry season, that is to say during the winter in Brazil, from May to September. 

Our partner explains to us that when Kayapo hunters go into the forest , they encounter cumarus and they will smell the bark of the tree and traditional knowledge will tell them whether or not the harvest is close .  

If the harvest is near, they inform the community. As with the Brazil nut, entire families camp for several days in the forest to collect cumaru seeds from the ground where they fell.

The cumaru fruit looks like a small mango . Then, its fruits are brought back to the village and with hammers, they will offer the small mango to extract the fragrant seed, which is the tonka bean.

Then the beans are delicately dried in the sun and then they go to the tribe's cooperative. Om lets it be known that for the most remote communities it is a plane that comes to collect the tonka bean. And the one close to the river by boat.  

The primary forest of the Amazon and the wild harvest of the fruit will offer an ideal climate and environment for the tonka bean with incredible aromatic power and intense and delicious notes. 

In our counter specializing in the import and export of tonka beans and acai powder from the Amazon, we offer you the opportunity to buy the best tonka bean from Brazil, the little queen of pastries. 

If you're wondering what the best tonka bean in the world is , we've discovered this little princess. 

In Brazil, you discover incredible flavors and above all tributes who want to share with you all the flavors that the Amazon produces. 


We often ask ourselves where to buy tonka beans? See, where to find tonka bean. Comptoir de Toamasina thanks to its Abaçai Brazilian Comptoir and its investments in Brazil with the purchase of a pick-up truck allows you to buy tonka beans directly from the producer to the consumer.

To discover our partner we traveled across Brazil to discover excellence. 

It was essential for us from 2019 to modify our purchases and work with the natives of Amazonia. 

Here you see that just purchasing tonka beans is far from trivial. 

Indeed, this beauty from the Amazon you can find it everywhere in France but no online delicatessen has its own counter in Brazil to select only the finest and largest tonka beans with a 100% guaranteed origin. 

At Comptoir de Toamasina, our tonka beans are selected with the greatest care, whether they are tonka beans from indigenous Amazon producers or a plantation tonka bean which was our first import in 2016.

We take the same care in the selection of tonka as our guarana powder as well as our peppercorns .

Discover our original vanilla box and our rare peppers . 

Discover our YouTube video and our tonka bean route in Brazil. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to experience the Comptoir de Toamasina adventure.


When we decided to change our Brazilian tonka bean supplier at the beginning of 2020 following a trip in November 2019 to Northern Brazil, we were far from thinking that covid would paralyze the world. We have taken 

You want to buy tonka beans that come directly from the producer.

Since 2020, it has been difficult for us to travel throughout Brazil. But we talked with Casio about the native tonka bean. 

We received samples and it took us 2 years to order due to transportation issues.

We wanted to sell tonka beans from Brazil in a different way like our açai. 

Sustainability and preservation of the Amazon rainforest was our key word in finding our new partner. 

The desire to have a partner who offers our guests a tonka bean with a project that has the potential to bring together the strong demand for this Amazonian princess and the earth's ecosystems. You will see in the rest of our article the differences between cumaruzeiro in a plantation and in the Amazonian forest, that changes everything. 

We remember this sentence from this community: 

I will plant tonkal bean plants which will grow and bear fruit.  When I die, my children, my grandchildren and my grandchildren's grandchildren will be able to watch them grow up.  When I no longer exist, they will remember that I planted these Brazilian cumaruzeiro with my own hands so that they would open and eat the nuts.

Because we have to reveal a few things to you, research from Embrapa in Brazil shows that a Cumaru can live 323 years in the Amazon forest and less than 40 years in a plantation. 

You see that the tonka is a pillar of ecology and the tropical forest. 

The tonka bean is our second eco-responsible project in Brazil. Each project we develop in Brazil will take us two years between contacts and importation on average.

Le Comptoir de Toamasina only wants to offer you tonka beans that are unique and intense in taste.

Arnaud, the specialist in purchasing the best vanilla pods , trains every year in a new spice, or even in a cultivation project. 

Discover our article on drying pepper


The first tonka bean from Comptoir de Toamasina was from the district of Redenção in the state of Pará in Brazil.

We are still in Pará but we wanted to offer you a totally different tonka bean. 

So different that we are the rising star of delicatessen. 

Ranger Expedition is the documentary series from Comptoir de Toamasina in the search for Brazilian flavors. Each year, an episode on a land, a territory in Brazil. 

You will discover our everyday work aboard a Ford Ranger pick-up. 

You are going to tell us it is not ecological. But in Brazil, only cars that take a ton of cargo can have a diesel engine and above all you have to pass rivers, dirt roads where 4x4 Low and locking the rear differential is essential to pass. 

We have already traveled the Trans-Amazonian, the route from Belo Horizonte to Redençao via Jalapao. 

In Bahia we crossed rivers, traveled dirt roads in the rain to discover Brazilian vanilla.

Every product we discover in Brazil is an expedition. 

So don't forget that the tonka bean is a favorite for creative cooking and is ideal for replacing the vanilla pod . 

Check out this video with our tonka bean, when Arnaud was picked up for his first order at the airport. 


What is the tonka bean? How to use tonka bean? How to dose the tonka bean and how the tonka bean grows . 

We have fully answered all of his questions on our blog. But we're going to tell you about that in this great article. The tonka bean, Dipterix Odorata, is a police matter in certain countries with contraband, we obviously think of the USA and the ban. But you will understand the growing environment, the difference between wild tonka bean from the Amazon and cultivated tonka bean, the tree which is fabulous but does not like strong sun. 

A tree that participates in the reforestation of the Amazon because it can also grow if you don't know it in the cerrado, it's the equivalent of the African savannah. 


The story of the tonka bean from Comptoir de Toamasina begins with a meeting in Belo Horizonte with a representative of a producer cooperative in November 2015. Here, the first links will be made. 

Arnaud, will go to Para for the first time in 2018, to discover our partner at the time, a tonka bean producer. 

But it is on the road at a Petrobras gas station that Arnaud will hear about an indigenous cooperative that will harvest wild tonka beans.

He will meet the cooperative then covid arrives and will put a stop to the search for flavors.

In 2022, we are proud to be able to offer you the wild tonka bean from the Amazon which comes from the 2019 ranger expedition.

The tonka bean will have an incredible history with the Indians, because they say it is a large tree that is the spirit of the forest. 

We are going to offer you his story on our blog.


In Brazil it is called fava de cumaru , it also goes by the name  Tonka bean  (Dipteryx odorata) or  Tonka bean ,  Tonkaboon ,  Tonkabohne ,  Tonkowiec wonny ,  cumaruzeiro ,  Sarrapia  or  Haba tonca ,  Боб тонка , トンカビーンズ.

In the mainland country research shows that there are 10 different cumaruzeiros here are the names: 

  • Cumaru-do-cerrado
  • D. odorata (Aubl.) Willd. cumaru, or coumaru-verdadeiro
  • D. po/yphy/la Huber cumarurana
  • D. punctata (Blake)Amshoff cumaru-amarelo
  • D. ferrea Ducke iron cumaru
  • D. magnifica Harms. pink coumaru
  • D. rosea Spruce ex Benth. no vernacular name
  • D. trifo/iata Ducke no vernacular name
  • There are also two other species in Central America: D. panamensis (Pittier) Record & Mell and D. o/eifera Benth

It's a bit like vanilla, no one knows that Brazil has the largest variety of vanilla. Discover the varieties of vanilla in Brazil and around the world . 

Teak is a tree that you can encounter in the wild in the primary forest but also in cultivation.

But in cultivation the tree which produces the tonka bean will have a life expectancy of less than 45 years while in the forest more than 323 years. 

It's incredible. 

It is a majestic tree that will reach between 20 and 30 meters. It takes 9 years for him to become an adult. A bit like pinot palm. Discover our article what is acai 

It can grow in humid areas but also in the Cerrado, i.e. arid areas. All soils will suit him but be careful, a temperature below 2°C he will not tolerate it.

Generally in plantations there is a space of 3 meters in the forest, it is nature which will dictate its law.

The point of Cumaru for the Amazonian Indians is very important.


This is the first question we ask ourselves when we go to buy tonka beans. What is the difference between wild tonka bean and plantation tonka bean.

To tell you the truth, there is no difference between the two tonka beans. But the big difference is the tree.

Teak will only live 45 years in a plantation unlike its wild brother which will live more than 323 years, you of course have more than 323 years. 

Here is the big difference between the two trees, one in the wild and the other in the domestic state. 

But all of the plantations in Brazil will participate in the country's reforestation projects. Because teak can survive dry climates like the Cerrado, the climate that comes after the Amazon rainforest was cut down. 

How you see it, the world of spices is incredible, now let's talk about the tree itself. 


As we have explained, cumaruzeiro can grow in the wild but also in cultivation. But there is a difference in life of 300 years. Currently it is believed that exposure to direct sunlight can cause this.

But this tree which is the spirit of the forest will produce an aromatic seed. 

This seed contains an essential oil within it, but first let's talk about the tree.

The cumaruzeiro is a majestic tree. He has no equal in the forest.

It will measure 20 to 30 meters then its diameter will be between 50cm and 70cm. Its bark will be hard and smooth. 

A bit like Madagascar cinnamon . 

The crumaruzeiro will grow in hot and humid climates like the Amazon rainforest but also in arid climates like the cerrado which will have 6 months of dry season and 6 months of rainy season. 

You can find the tonka bean tree from northern Brazil to Argentina according to Embrapa data. 

In the Manaus region, the tree that produces the Brazilian tonka bean will take 6 years to reach a height of 8m and 7cm wide. Its growth is very rapid. But in full sun its survival drops by 25% after 40 years. 

In cultivation you should know that 25% of cumaruzeiros will die and its height is only 10.9m. 

But it's a tree that is actually robust. 

But one paradoxical thing is that teak will have good flowering and fruiting which is different depending on the place of production from random to strong. 

This little spice is produced only in South America, in Venezuela, in Guyana and especially in Brazil, particularly in the State of  Pará . 

The best tonka beans in the world  are produced  in the state of  Pará .

Comptoir  de Toamasina  is the only  direct importer with Tonka bean producers in Brazil and France .

Every year Arnaud Sion travels through  Pará to discover  the best tonka beans.


When flowering arrives, the tree will produce flowers of incredible color . It is a purple and purple colored flower . It will diffuse a delicate and incredible fragrance. 

It is often from August to September that teak will flower and fruiting is from January to February. But depending on the climatic conditions this may be different.

To have perfect flowering, you should know that it must grow between 0 and 800 meters above sea level. The annual precipitation should be between 1800 and 5000mm per year. The ideal average temperature is between 22 and 28°C and its first flowering is 4 years old. 

When will the tree that produces the tonka bean flower? It is between August and January that you will have flowering. But in some regions like Santarem it is between September and October.


The fruiting of the fruit is very variable. Even with good flowering, you are not sure you will see good fruiting. 

It is a tree that will produce fruit irregularly. 

It can take place from February to March in Manaus, but in Para à Colores it is from May to August and in the Santarem region from July to August. 

As you see, each region will have its own particularity.

And especially if it comes from a culture or simply in the wild. 

Then, sometimes you have very strong and sometimes very weak fruiting in the plantations. 


As we explained, the fruiting is very uneven and the harvest will be too. 

The fruits are indehiscent, fleshy and oblong. It looks like a small mango. A fruit that will measure between 5 and 6cm long. 

For you take a small mango to visualize the fruit. 

To tell you, in each fruit there is only one seed.

The harvest will take place when the fruits fall to the ground. In a tonka bean plantation, the fruits are picked from the ground as for the wild tonka bean from Comptoir de Toamasina.

But here, during our conversations with our partner, he will teach us that hunters go into the forest to smell the bark of the tree. A technique that is learned from generation to generation, as with the preparation of vanilla . 

If the hunters detect that the tree will emit a certain smell, they go to the village to warn of the future harvest that is arriving.

Here, men and women go into the forest for several days to harvest the treasure of the Amazon which goes into the majority of major perfume houses.

Here, the harvest is done directly on the ground, the fruit falling spontaneously when it ripens. 

The fruits are put in bags or baskets and they are transported to the village. 


When the fruits arrive in the village, you will have to take a hammer and a metal plate to open the fruit.

At the time it was with a stone that the fruit was opened.

The fruits are opened by hand.

Extracting its bean is a very laborious process.

Because you have to take a hammer and tap to split the fruit in two and harvest its seed.

To remove the single bean, you have to break the fruit.

Take a hammer, preferably hitting it on the split in the fruit, so as not to damage the stone.

You should know that afterwards you will have to dry the seeds and sort them.

To facilitate the operation, the fruit must be placed on a resistant surface such as iron or cement.

Did you know that for 1 kilo of the fruit that bears the tonka bean you will have to collect 83 to 245 fruits but 1kg of tonka bean represents between 600 and 700 beans

Preparing tonka bean is very simple. 

After harvesting, the fruit is used to make a fire and the beans are put in the sun to dry.

A bit like black pepper, for example.

Afterwards, they are put in bags and transported by plane or simply by small boat or pick-up to the cooperative and it is here that the exports are made. We'll explain everything to you later. 


The production region of our tonka bean is approximately  10 tonnes of tonka produced per year. 

But he does not yet have precise data on the export of tonka beans from Brazil. 

Tonka bean production in 2021 was estimated at 10.5 tonnes. Dried tonka bean. Or a turnover of 740,000 million reais. More or less 140 million euros. 

Since 2016, the main production location has been Alenquer. That's 36% of this state's production output. 

Good to know the tree that will produce the tonka bean will produce around 20kg of prepared tonka beans. 


But how is the tonka bean exported from the Amazon?

When the tonka bean is dry, the tribe will pack it in jute bags like for coffee or polypropylene.

Then, it will be transported from the tribe's village in three ways to the cooperative:

  • By road with a pick-up if a track is next to the native village
  • The sea route with a descent by canoe on the tributaries of the Amazon 
  • By plane because a village has neither road nor river and its a small plane which lands on a runway in the middle of the Amazon forest

Here, the cooperative will store this beauty. 

It can be put in a container and then exported to Europe. 

Simply mailed for small quantities. 

By truck to its destination in Brazil, as for us. Then we export it.

To export tonka beans to Brazil, you first need a radar, i.e. an export license. Here are the steps to export tonka from Brazil:

  • Customer places an order
  • A pro format invoice will be sent to him with insurance to guarantee the exchange
  • Then you must pay your order to your supplier's Brazilian account. (At Comptoir de Toamasina no worries for large orders because we have an account in France and Brazil and we repatriate the funds for you)
  • Receipt of the funds a Fiscal Nota will be made and the Ministry of Finance of our state will validate the export by authorizing this invoice. You can check the authenticity of an invoice directly on the website of the Ministry of Finance in Brazil. Because there are not many importers in France
  • The tonka bean is handed over to the freight forwarder or to the post office
  • The freight forwarder does the paperwork and sends it to the carrier
  • Transport export to the country of destination
  • The tonka bean is cleared from customs and put on sale

You have seen it is simple but also complex. You see here that Le Comptoir de Toamasina knows the business of importing and exporting tonka beans, which is why we want to become the French reference. 


The tonka bean is a very good project for developing eco-responsible projects and preserving the Amazon forest. 

Today, in Alenquer, a project wishes to produce from 2022, between 30 and 60,000 plants each year of:

  • Cumaru
  • Brazil nut
  • Andiroba
  • Ipê
  • Cedar 
  • MAssaranduba
  • Cacau
  • Acai
  • Acerola
  • Graviola
  • Camu camu

Here you see the importance of spices and super foods. 

Today, nurseries should enable family farmers to convert areas currently unused or occupied by degraded pastures, into biodiverse agroforestry systems, with an emphasis on food sovereignty and income generation through the sale of surplus production. .

Here you will see a good reforestation project.

Today, we also see projects to recover deforested areas by planting forest species that contribute to the environment. 

And here the revenue generation. 

Some programs will have Petrobras as a sponsor.

In the production area of ​​our tonka bean, we simply see a promotion of ethical and fair trade for everyone, producer, importer and customer. 

You should know that we buy our tonka bean at a higher price than on the market. 

We even see mixed cooperative projects from Brazilians and tributes and quilombolas to develop its wires. We must live together and develop wireframes like this.


Today more than 50% of the tonka bean which is sold by our partner producer goes into the cosmetics industry for the preparation of soap and perfume. For example, Guerlain makes great perfumes with tonka or Natura Brasil which makes creams with tonka bean. 


The Brazilian tonka bean presents an impressive aromatic palette . 

You only need a little bit to give that touch of exoticism to your preparation, recipes or even your creative cuisine. 

It is used in both savory and sweet dishes. 

It's a bean with a powerful aroma that will work wonders. So consult our blog to discover our recipes with Brazilian tonka bean


To use the  Tonka bean  in  desserts , in  savory cuisine , we advise you to grate or grind it at the last moment in order to preserve all its flavors. 

The  Tonka bean  has a very strong taste, so it must be used with great care, so do not hesitate to put it in a small dose, then readjust afterwards. You can also let it infuse so that the fragrance diffuses. 

A Tonka bean  can easily replace Madagascar vanilla. 

The Tonka spice will go very easily with chocolate, you will be able to make chocolate mousses, creams, cakes, truffles, chocolate tarts.

This little Tonka bean baking princess  works wonderfully with creams, crème brûlées, custard or tonka vanilla cream.

The  Tonka bean  will be used very well in pancake batters, waffle batters, pie crusts. You can also use it with fruit salads, compote and baked apple.

It  goes wonderfully with creams , whether crème brulées, butter cream, custard, vanilla cream, etc.


Why not use the  tonka bean in savory cooking . It goes wonderfully with  scallops, lobsters, shrimp . 

Don't hesitate to add it to your soups, stews or simply a velouté. But the  Tonka sweet potato  or pumpkin combination is magnificent. 

You can also make a  rum mixed with Tonka bean . 

  • Scallop carpaccio with tonka bean
  • Chervil tonka bean sauce
  • Melon and tonka bean panna cotta
  • Tonka bean shrimp curry


The tonka bean is a dessert essential and should be a staple in your spice cabinet. If you cook regularly then we advise you to stock up a little. If you cannot store any, see if the tonka bean point spice cabinet discover the alternatives:

  • Papua vanilla : How to replace vanilla, tonka bean is a spice of choice, then the opposite is true, with its warm notes of spices and intense vanilla, New Guinea vanilla will vibrate your kitchen. 
  • Long pepper : Long pepper is our second spice, it is a pepper with hot notes that does not sting and will have intense and incredible cocoa notes. We recommend it
  • Timut berry : Our third is a small berry that comes from Nepal with notes of citrus and pink grapefruit, it is a distant cousin of lemon
  • The açai will replace the tonka bean, it is an Amazonian flavor which replaces an Amazonian flavor. 
  • Madagascar cinnamon with its intense and warm notes will wonderfully replace tonka. Especially since cinnamon will also have coumarin in it. But only cinnamon from Ceylon and Madagascar called cinnamon verum

You can find other spices to replace tonka, but here are our top 5 to replace tonka.

Discover our ranking of the best pepper in the world

Native country
Dipteryx odorata
Tonka beans
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Preparation within 24 hours - Delivery within 48 hours
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