Is Coombs Family Farms real maple syrup?

Coombs Family Farms is a company that produces and sells maple syrup and other maple products. Their maple syrup is sold in stores across North America and marketed as being 100% pure maple syrup. However, some consumers have questioned whether Coombs Family Farms maple syrup is “real” or authentic maple syrup, versus being an artificial flavored syrup. This article will analyze the production methods, ingredients, taste, and labeling of Coombs Family Farms maple syrup to determine if it can be considered real maple syrup.

What Makes Maple Syrup “Real”?

Authentic maple syrup is made from the sap of maple trees, most commonly the sugar maple. The sap is collected in early spring when temperatures cause it to flow, then boiled to evaporate water and concentrate the natural sugar in the sap. This boiling process allows the sap to be reduced into a thick, sweet syrup. So for maple syrup to be considered “real,” it must come directly from maple sap and not contain any artificial flavors or additives. Real maple syrup is never made from pancake syrups flavored with maple extract.

Some key qualities of real maple syrup:

  • Made exclusively from maple sap
  • Boiled to evaporate water in sap
  • No artificial flavors, colors, or additives
  • Graded for color and flavor (Grade A, B)

How Coombs Family Farms Makes Maple Syrup

To understand whether Coombs Family Farms maple syrup meets the criteria for real maple syrup, we need to look at their production methods.

According to the Coombs Family Farms website, their maple syrup comes straight from maple sap harvested on their own maple farms in New England. They use traditional methods of tapping maple trees, collecting sap in buckets, and boiling it down into maple syrup. The sap is boiled on a wood-fired evaporator which allows water to evaporate while preserving maple sugar and flavor.

Coombs states their maple syrup is “100% pure” and “made from maple sap, not corn syrup.” They emphasize natural production methods without any additives or artificial flavors.

This described process using only maple sap and heat aligns with standard practices for making real maple syrup. Coombs Family Farms production methods appear to meet the basic criteria for creating an authentic, pure maple syrup.

Ingredients in Coombs Family Farms Maple Syrup

Checking the ingredient list can verify if a maple syrup only contains maple sap and no adulterants.

The Coombs Family Farms logo includes the phrase “Maple Syrup 100% pure,” and their maple syrup labels state a single ingredient: “maple syrup.” With no other ingredients listed, this follows guidelines for real maple syrup.

The company’s FAQ states their maple syrup does not contain preservatives, additives, or added flavors. This further supports the conclusion that Coombs Family Farms maple syrup contains only maple sap boiled into syrup without any other added ingredients.

Taste and Quality of Coombs Family Farms Maple Syrup

Beyond production methods and ingredients, the taste and quality of maple syrup can indicate if it comes from real maple sap.

Characteristics of real maple syrup include:

  • Robust, complex maple flavor – not just plain sweetness
  • Smooth, silky texture
  • Graded as Grade A or Grade B based on color and flavor

Reviews of Coombs Family Farms describe their maple syrup as having a “robust, sweet maple flavor” and “rich maple taste.” The syrup is described as smooth and silky on the palate. Customers praise its flavor as being far superior to grocery store maple syrup brands.

Coombs Family Farms sells their maple syrup in Grade A Golden, Amber and Dark colors. This grading system based on lightness or darkness of syrup indicates an adherence to quality standards for real maple syrup.

The robust maple taste and appropriate grading suggests Coombs Family Farms maple syrup meets sensory and quality benchmarks for real maple derived from maple sap.

Comparison of Coombs Brands to Other Major Maple Syrups

Brand Made from Maple Sap Graded by Color/Flavor Ingredients
Coombs Family Farms Yes Yes Maple syrup
Aunt Jemima No No Corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, water, cellulose gum, caramel color, sodium benzoate and sorbic acid (preservatives), artificial and natural flavors, sodium hexametaphosphate
Log Cabin No No Corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, water, salt, natural and artificial maple flavor, caramel color, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, citric acid
Vermont Maple Syrup Company Yes Yes Maple syrup

This comparison shows that Coombs maple syrup is made solely from maple sap, graded by color and flavor, and contains only a single ingredient – aligning it with other authentic maple syrup brands like Vermont Maple Syrup Company. The leading pancake syrups contain corn syrup and artificial flavors rather than real maple.

Accuracy of Labeling

For a maple syrup to be considered real, its labeling and marketing should accurately represent its production from maple sap.

Coombs Family Farms maple syrup bottles are labeled as “100% Pure Maple Syrup.” Other Coombs syrup labels say the syrup is “Made from Fresh Maple Sap” or “Maple Syrup.” This clear labeling aligns with the single ingredient being pure maple syrup.

There are no indications on Coombs Family Farms maple syrup labels or marketing that suggest it contains anything artificial – the messaging consistently focuses on maple sap sourcing and traditional production.

The labeling appears transparent and accurate based on the maple sap-derived nature of the syrup. There are no attempts to mislead consumers that would undermine its validity as a real maple syrup.

Meeting FDA Guidelines for Maple Syrup Labeling

The FDA has standards for using the term “maple syrup” on product labeling:

  • Made exclusively from maple tree sap
  • Concentrated through boiling off water until proper sugar density is reached
  • Free from additives and artificial flavors

Based on its production methods and ingredient list, Coombs Family Farms maple syrup meets the FDA guidelines for using “maple syrup” on its labeling. The company uses the term in an appropriate and non-misleading manner.

Certifications Held by Coombs Family Farms

Coombs Family Farms holds several certifications that validate their maple syrup:

– Organic Certification from Vermont Organic Farmers – requires adherence to strict standards excluding artificial additives or non-organic ingredients. Coombs achieved organic certification in 2013.

– Produced with Agricultural Methods Approved by the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) – demonstrates commitment to sustainable, environmentally-sound agricultural practices.

– Kosher Certified – indicates Coombs maple syrup meets Jewish dietary laws, including exclusion of any non-kosher additives.

Achieving these respected certifications provides assurance that Coombs Family Farms maple syrup complies with high standards of purity and natural production with no artificial flavors or ingredients. The organic and kosher certifications in particular reinforce that it qualifies as true, real maple syrup.


Based on an analysis of its production methods, ingredients, taste, labeling, and certifications, it appears clear that Coombs Family Farms maple syrup meets all criteria to be considered real, 100% pure maple syrup made directly from maple sap.

The company uses traditional tapping and boiling processes without any artificial flavors, colors, or additives. Their maple syrup has a prononced maple flavor and smooth texture characteristic of high quality real maple syrup. Coombs Family Farms adheres to accurate labeling practices in line with FDA guidelines for real maple syrup. And their organic and kosher certifications affirm the purity of their product’s natural maple origin.

While less expensive commercial brands may use corn syrup or artificial maple flavors, Coombs Family Farms maple syrup stands out as an authentic, natural maple syrup made genuinely from real maple sap. Consumers can be confident that when buying Coombs Family Farms maple syrup, they are getting the real thing.

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