Frequently asked questions
What is Whole Maple? Is it the same as "pure maple"?
"Whole Maple" is a trademarked moniker of Zoar Tapatree--because our syrup is different! Whole Maple is a descriptor you can count on to mean that the sap has not been stripped by reverse osmosis prior to processing, and that the syrup was minimally filtered to make sure you are getting all the minerals the syrup can hold in solution. Our syrup is also "pure maple." The opposite is not typically true of other producers' products...so be sure to ask!
How do you get all those flavors in Tapatree Whole Maple syrups?
The trees do it! Unlike infused syrups (where a producer will take a syrup and soak it in a flavored barrel, or drop another product in the syrup to contribute flavor), ALL Tapatree syrups are flavored directly by the trees. So that caramel, vanilla, rum, anise, fig, or other flavor...is the direct result of terroir and the magic of the trees on that particular flow. It is part of the magic of small batch, whole maple syrups!
Is the low temperature, never boiled syrup (available in the boxed sets) just sap then?
Our specialty low temperature syrup is processed like our traditional boiled syrups, it's just never boiled! These batches take a minimum of 48 hours to produce with induction heat, gently heating the sap until it is concentrated into an amazing, non-carmalized delight. You'll be amazed by this entirely different take on maple.
How many taps do you have at Zoar Tapatree?
Very few. We're keeping it small, people! Our forests contain approximately 20,000 sugar maple trees, and 1,500 black walnut trees. We're currently tapping approximately 2,500 sugar maples and 100 black walnut trees. We don't "retap" holes in the same season (the holes start to heal after initial drilling, contributing to a slow down in sap production), so we phase in new trees as the season progresses to give us roughly even batch sizes.
Why is the Tapatree Whole Maple-Black Walnut syrup so pricey?
Black walnut trees, which make a perfectly amazing syrup in their own right, are notoriously stingy in sap production. While we might get a gallon of sap from a sugar maple on a good day, we may only get 1/2 cup of black walnut sap. The concentration ratios are virtually the same--about 40:1--so that means just microscopic amounts of black walnut syrup. It's the truffle of the syrups, and we allow it out one shave at a time!
Can I buy a particular batch in larger quantities for special projects?
Yes. If you have a special request, direct message us and we'll see what we can do!
I loved Batch (fill in the blank) from last year! Can I get it again?
Direct message special requests! We'll check the syrup cellar to see if we still have that vintage in stock, or we can suggest a comparable batch from the current year line up!
How can I tell which batch I have?
Each bottle is marked with the batch designation, and also will have a flavor profile on the side. The profile reflects the taste impressions from our in-house assessments.
What is a Simplified Syrup Assessment (SSA)?
The SSA is a process we've developed in-house for evaluating each batch of syrup. Like a wine tasting or coffee grading, it reflects our thoughts on the body, color, aroma, and taste impressions of each batch!
How can I have a gift message included?
Just ask! We're happy to include a hand written note with your gift purchases.
What are defoamers and what do you use?
At high temperature boils, syrup can develop a wicked foam in the pans. In the olden days, this was controlled by tossing in a greasy piece of lard. In modern times, there are a variety of commercial degreasers utilized. At Tapatree, we use just a tiny fleck of organic coconut oil to control foaming. Our low temperature, never boiled syrups contain no defoaming agent whatsoever. If you have a dietary need for low temperature, never boiled syrup, send us a direct message and we'll see what we can do!
When are the trees tapped?
Collecting sap is very weather dependent. Basically, anytime the temperatures are above freezing by day, below freezing by night, the trees will "flow." We occasionally take advantage of an autumnal run, although we've found that the sap tends to have a lower sugar content. Typically, we are tapping from February through early April, with "the season" ending by the end of April.
What is a celestial batch?
Like so many others, we are fascinated by celestial events. The trees are, too. As the moon waxes, the trees draw increasing amounts of minerals from the soils, peaking at the full moon. Whenever we have a full moon during "the season," we identify and label it as a "full moon batch." We've also discovered that other celestial events, such as meteor showers, also cause the trees to draw particularly hard. To the extent we are able, we will try to identify these batches for you!
What fuel sources do you use to process the syrup?
We use three sources of fuel: oil for the main evaporator, natural gas for the finishing evaporators, and electric for our never boiled syrups. We burn wood in our heating stove to keep warm in the early season. Although we realize a lot of producers market "wood fired" syrups, in our opinion, if your syrup tastes like your fuel source, there's a problem there! Carbon is an issue no matter the methods, and we are working with an area university on sources of renewable energy to produce or assist in production. Stay tuned!