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Why is maple syrup different colors? Pure maple syrup ranges in color from light golden amber to dark reddish brown. Over the course of the maple production season, the color of maple syrup produced in an individual maple operation will gradually progress from lighter to darker. This progression is due primarily to the gradual changes in the composition of maple sap, warming of daytime temperatures during the production season and accompanying metabolic changes in the trees, and quantity of microbes over the course of the production season, all of which influence the balance of different sugars that develop color during evaporation.