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How to Brew Saffron

Summary: Brewing saffron is an art to master within few years. But here, Azadeh tells you how to achieve the mastery within 10 minutes.

With its distinctive aroma and deep red strands, saffron is by far the most lucrative commodity in the realm of spices. Highly regarded for its medicinal use for many centuries, saffron is widely used in many cuisines around the world to deepen the color of stews, add extra aroma to soups, or show off the masterful skills of renowned chefs by appearing on high-end creative dishes.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Brewed saffron 3

While obtaining pure authentic saffron from reliable traders may cost you a pretty buck, there is an alternative when spending is an issue. Safflower (shown below on the left) is the closest counterpart to saffron; but it sure lacks the distinctive aroma of saffron and its royal deep crimson color.

However, if the quality is your priority, don’t be timid to break the bank. A little of this spice caviar goes a long way.

Brewed Saffron 2



Hot water

Sugar cube or large grain sugar (optional)



1 – In order to get the most out of saffron, it has to be grinded finely first. A Magic Bullet spice grinder container serves the purpose just fine. If using a regular marble mortar and pestle, add a sugar cube or a small amount of large grain sugar to add more constriction in order to fine grind saffron.

Pour the content of one packet of saffron into the container and pulse it several times. Give it a minute before opening the container lid since the fine particles of saffron will fly out. You do not want to lose a micron of this precious spice J.

Brewed Saffron 1

2 – In an electric kettle, bring water to a boil. Measure about ¼ teaspoon saffron or if your measuring cups are as sophisticated as mine, use the pinch spoon.

Brewed saffron 4

It is best to use a glass cup or little glass jar with lid to store the brewed saffron. Pour about ¼ cup of hot water over saffron. Place in a warm place and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes.


If stored in the fridge, the brewed saffron will keep well for about a week. So it is important to prepare the saffron in the amount to be used immediately; otherwise, the liquid part starts to get foggy, moldy segments will appear on the surface and the smell will become sharp and almost vinegar-like.