We tapped a Big Leaf Maple in Washington and it was remarkably easy!
I've always loved the way maple syrup tastes and ever since finding out that it's possible to tap maples in the Pacific North West, I've been dying to try it. In order to do so we needed to gather supplies from the hardware store. It came to just under $20.00 for a 2 gallon bucket, a hose and a spigot. It was simple to assemble and worked perfectly. I would have preferred not to use plastic but for the sake of a last minute experiment, we used what we could find. You can purchase high quality, stainless steal maple tapping materials here or here.
Once we drilled into the maple tree maple sap instantly came gushing out. We hooked it up to our contraption and about 5 hours later it was full of maple sap!
After doing some research we found that many cultures across the planet regard maple sap as a health tonic and drink it to restore the body after a long winter. It is the perfect spring tonic! Of course we tried it and it was outstanding. It tasted like sweet water and could easily be substituted as a simple syrup for flavored drinks. I want to make ice cubes out of it :)
We saved most of the sap to make maple syrup - and this is where things got difficult. It took hours to boil down the sap and when it was all said and done, 2 gallons of delicious sap turned into about a half cup of maple syrup. We then made blueberry pancakes and had the best maple syrup I've ever tasted on top!