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  • Writer's picturezoarsyrup

Immersed in Change

November 1, 2020. It seems like a blink of the eye ago we were mid-March 2020, packing up files and heading into our remote offices. Masking up. Learning to be socially distanced while feeding society and our souls. For some, saying goodbyes as their loved ones passed away without holding the hands of family. Watching humanity struggle to find balance for survival--financial, social, ideological. For us, focussing on capturing this turbulent time--in the terroir of our syrup and in the reach of our Tapatree syrup-loving community.

A few years back, we posted about Bartholomaus Traubeck, an amazing musician/scientist who has translated the growth rings of trees into music. Each tree has its own unique, rich music. (You can find samples here: I am listening to his album, Years, as I write this, and it is awe-inspiring. While trees cannot yet play pianos, Traubeck opens an interpretive window upon what a tree does know very well how to do: grow, struggle, live, and die in their environment. The music is generated from the growth patterns and characteristics of the tree itself.

Traubeck's work with trees is exciting to us, because we are also opening a window upon the daily life of trees. Tapatree Whole Maple syrups reflect an intimate view of the year when each flow is gently concentrated and batched without "modern" processing methods, such as vacuum collection, reverse osmosis (stripping water and non-sugar molecules from the sap), or high-pressure filtration. Each batch is an extraordinary glimpse into the life, the day of the forest. For the initiated, you know that each year unfolds with unique flavors, entirely dependent upon the temperatures, the soils, how the trees are responding to the year. This particular year--of course--was special in its own way. Short and fast, we managed to collect 14 batches. The profiles deserve re-posting:

1E: Bright oaky vanilla with hints of nut to butterscotch, finishes with roasted marshmallow. Amber/Rich.

2E: Vanilla butterscotch with smoky toasted whispers. Amber/Rich.

3E: Fruity buttery caramel with hints of golden raisin and nuts. Amber/Rich.

4E: Bright floral syrup with buttery golden raisin, apricot and vanilla notes. Amber/Rich.

5E: Summery orange-blossom, honey-toffee tones, with vanilla and bits of nutmeg. Amber/Rich.

6E: Buttery creme caramel with honey-vanilla layers and roasted finish. Amber/Rich.

7E: Sweet vanilla, buttery syrup with notes of apricot and nutmeg. Amber/Rich.

8E: Reminiscent of the sweet smell of dried wood and summer camp, this syrup tastes of butterscotch, baked apple, and a hint of oranges. Amber/Rich.

9E: Praline bourbon pecan, with notes of aged black cardamom, gentle taffy closing notes. Amber/Rich.

10E: Dark brown caramel sugar with plum, toffee/coffee late notes. Amber/Rich.

11E: Umami with notes of root beer, hazelnut, ginseng and coffee, laced with dried apple tang. Dark/Robust.

12E: Complex syrup with layers of soy, fig, nuts, molasses, dark chocolate and spiced rum. Dark/Robust.

13E: Bittersweet chocolate and coconut, hints of orange peel and linden flower. Dark/Robust.

14E: Balsamic fig notes, with intense plum, sour cherry and blackberry layers. Dark/Robust.

A year ago, we would have had no idea how dramatically our lives would change. A tiny virus swept the world and dramatically reordered the way we interface with our physical and social environment. Changes which may be permanent. Changes that also may give our lives a resonance that wouldn't have otherwise been possible.

Dissonance may be viewed as undesirable, hard to understand, distressing. It is indeed a tension or clash, it is disharmonious. It may also represent a pivot, a turn. Maybe a reordering for a new tomorrow. If we listen and observe carefully enough, may we hear the resonance within and extract beauty.

So as the leaves melt to the forest floor, the fields rustle in the November wind, and we prepare for the holidays ahead, remember that the world is gently moving around and within us. We are not alone. We are in fact, a part.

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