This section is from the book "A Treatise On Beverages or The Complete Practical Bottler", by Charles Herman Sulz. Also available from Amazon: A Treatise On Beverages.
A controversy as to the meaning of these terms often exists. Caramel is the commercial sugar coloring prepared by heating and converting the sugar or its substitute until it tastes neither sweet nor bitter. In the United States and Europe they call a higher converted sugar, burnt sugar, the process of preparation being the same as with caramel, the difference consisting only in heating longer until the coloring has acquired a decidedly bitter taste.